My favourite place: Rome, Italy

The latest in our historical holiday series sees Sarah Peverley soak up the sights and sounds of Italy’s ancient capital

The photogenic Trevi Fountain is a highlight of most visits to Rome. (Image by Getty Images)

There are many ways to describe Italy’s ‘eternal’ capital, but 20th-century writer Anatole Broyard captured it most eloquently when he declared that Rome is “a poem pressed into service as a city”. Put simply, Rome assaults the senses and expands the mind. Every nook of the ancient metropolis oozes history and culture; every cobbled street reveals something new.

Getting the most out of the city requires a delicate balancing act. Cram too much into a short stay and Rome will leave you feeling exhausted and short-changed. The trick is to plan ahead and make time for the most iconic sites alongside more restful hours spent soaking up the atmosphere in a scenic spot.

Most visitors flock to the historic heart of the city (Centro Storico), which can be chaotic and frustrating to navigate with its persistent snarl of Vespa engines, cocktail of car fumes and bustling crowds. Yet it is also one of the most rewarding areas, packed with treasures.

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