Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Royal Holiday members likely need no introduction to Rome, an ancient city whose roots extend over two thousand years into the past. Rome’s incredible history and exciting present make for an incomparable vacation. Between the majesty of Vatican City, the ruins of the Roman Empire, and the machinery of the modern day Italian capital, the city is a timeless place that deserves its Latin nickname, Roma Aeterna, the Eternal City. With two excellent options for lodgings, Royal Holiday makes it easy for its members to enjoy this truly once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Those looking for the best deal will find it at Residenza Villa Marignoli, a stylish Art Nouveau manor-turned-condominium resort located near the Villa Borghese and the Spanish Steps. With its affordable units featuring full kitchens and plenty of space for couples and small families, its central location is the main draw; guests can also take advantage of an on-site bicycle rental center and quickly find their way to many of Rome’s best sights and sounds. Royal Holiday members interested in true Roman luxury, however, may wish to stay at Palazzo al Velabro, located just south of the Roman Forum overlooking the Capanne del Palatino. Guests will enjoy hotel-style cleaning services, elegantly refurbished rooms, and an in-house lounge in an incomparable location; the Palazzo’s sumptuously appointed lobby opens out right into ancient Roman history.

Legends say that Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus, who was raised by wolves with his brother Remus; archaeologists disagree, though by the time of the Roman Kingdom it had certainly already become an important city. The Romans dominated the Western world for nearly 700 years before they were surpassed by other powers; by the Middle Ages, secular power in Rome had given way to the Catholic Church, which engaged in struggles with powers across Europe and east Asia. In 1870, the Kingdom of Italy annexed Rome from the Papal States and made it the capital of the country a year later. The city has continued in that role ever since. Royal Holiday visitors will not have to look hard to find history in Rome; it exists around every corner, with ruins interrupting modern Roman streets at regular intervals.

Those traveling to Rome for the first time shouldn’t shy away from the famous tourist destinations, as they are well known for a reason. Royal Holiday members staying at the Residenza Villa Marignoli will likely want to start at the nearby Villa Borghese, which offers incredible gardens and one of the best art museums in the city, the Galleria Borghese, where one will find the sculptures of Bernini in addition to numerous other treasures. Roman ruins like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum are all astounding sights, and are only the foremost; a guidebook is necessary for identifying the historic treasures littering the streets. And of course, Vatican City certainly deserves a visit, not only for the incredible beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica, but also for the priceless works of art by Michelangelo, such as the stunning Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the excellent Vatican Museums.

However, Rome is also a city with one foot firmly in the present. Grab a slice of cheap and authentic Italian pizza while wandering the streets of the city, but don’t fill up, as saving room for dessert is important in Rome. Royal Holiday members will want to sample gelato widely, such as that found at the Gelateria Corona and other fine purveyors. While restaurants are in abundance, visiting the charming Campo de’ Fiori marketplace for fresh produce and meats will provide a leisurely change of pace and plenty of local flavor. Others will want to find the latest Roman fashions at such boutiques as Arsenale or Le Tartarughe, while those looking to enjoy haute culture at its finest can dress up for a night at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma-Teatro Costanzi.