Rome is the true heart of Italian culture, and with fascinating history actually visible in its remarkably long-standing buildings and ruins, is one the world’s must-see cities. So much world history can be traced to ancient Rome, and visitors are spoilt for choice between the spectacular old world sights, before even considering what the culture of modern Rome and contemporary Italian cuisine offers.
Famous sights abound in Rome, such Via Veneto – one of the most famous streets in Rome, home to Café de Paris and Harry’s Bar, as immortalised in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. This iconic 1960 film was mostly centred around the Via Veneto area, which is now home to upmarket cafes, exclusive shops, and luxurious hotels.
Nearby is the Hotel Eden, which overlooks the seven historic hills of Rome, and provides an ideal base for full immersion in the cultural ambience of the ‘eternal city’. The hotel has a reputation for sophisticated luxury and has served as a host to royalty, world leaders, and the international rich and famous since the turn-of-the-century. Decor is elegant throughout all guest rooms and suites, with rich fabrics and antique Italian furnishings. Classic paintings and opulent bathrooms add to the sumptuously grand atmosphere and spacious picture windows frame inspirational views of Rome.
A short walk from the Hotel Eden are the famous Spanish Steps, a monumental stairway of one hundred and thirty-eight steps descending a steep slope from Piazza Trinità dei Monti with it’s grand church, to the Piazza di Spagna below. The Spanish Steps or Scalinata, is the longest and widest staircase in Europe.
Along the Via del Babuino from the Spanish Steps is the Hotel de Russie, a romantic five star hotel in the heart of the city’s most fashionable area. The hotel is within easy walking distance of Rome’s most famous attractions, making it a perfect base for exploring; The Vatican City, with St Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel, is just a ten-minute walk from the Hotel de Russie and Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain are within easy access.
This contemporary Rocco Forte hotel is an oasis amid the surrounding bustle. Rooms are decorated and upholstered for a restful ambience, with highly individual suites available such as the ‘Picasso’ and ‘Nijinsky’. The extensive terraced gardens are perfect for balmy evenings and the hotel boasts a unique ‘Secret Garden’, home to a rare urban butterfly reserve created in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund.
A classic and unforgettable Roman site is the gigantic oval of the Colosseum – 186m long, 153m wide and about 47m high. Constructed by Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus from AD72, it was the scene for the famously gruesome ‘games’ where gladiators, lions and wild beasts fought to the death.
A short walk, but a world away in terms of civilisation and sophistication, is the St. Regis Grand Hotel, a landmark in its own right. Built in 1894 as the city’s first deluxe hotel, today it exemplifies iconic elegance as its millennium renovation has reaffirmed its position as one of the finest hotels in Rome. Each of the guest rooms and suites is exquisitely appointed in a combination of Empire, Regency and Louis XV styles, with swathes of richly coloured damask, Murano glass chandeliers and lamps, original hand-painted frescoes, and Italian marble. The hotel is famed for its legendary service, with guests staying in a suite enjoying complimentary butler.
Guest post by elegantresorts.co.uk