Rome Flights:

Flights to Rome

image of romeRome is the capital and largest city of Italy and is situated about half way down the ‘boot’. It’s nicknamed the ‘Eternal City’ and is definitely a place which everyone should visit at least once in their lives!

There is a good choice of airlines for a flight from South Africa to Rome, though unfortunately none of these fly direct. The airlines are: Egyptair, Iberia, Emirates, Swiss Air, Air France, South African Airways, KLM and Lufthansa and flights are via Cairo, Madrid, Dubai, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Alternatively if it’s more useful, you can get a flight from Cape Town with Emirates, Lufthansa, SAA and British Airways though not direct – these flights would be via Dubai, Frankfurt or Heathrow.

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The Tourist Attractions of Rome:

Rome is a city built on seven hills, whose city centre is about 15 miles (24km) from the Tyrrhenian Sea, though the greater city extends all the way to the coast, and has a multitude of historic places to see and visit.

Rome’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its great historical importance, and it is here that you’ll find many of Rome’s most popular attractions. The district called Colosseo is the heart of ancient Rome and the most obvious landmark here is the Colosseum. This was a very important amphitheatre in its time, when it could seat up to 50,000 people who came here to watch gladiatorial fights amongst other events. Construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 and was completed in the 80’s.

A short walk from here is the Arch of Constantine, an impressive monumental arch built in honour of the Emperor Constantine around the year 315.

There are also a couple of important museums in this area: the Museo Capitolino and the Palazzo dei Conservatori. The former was built in the 17th century based on a design by Michelangelo and contains a number of impressive sculptures. The latter (known as Palace of the Conservators in English) was also based on an architectural plan by Michelangelo and has many interesting sculptures and paintings.

It’s not just ancient Rome that has much to see, all over the city are many examples of Renaissance and Baroque architecture because Rome was lucky enough to escape relatively unscarred from World War II.

The world famous Spanish Steps are in the north of the city centre. The 135 steps were built between 1721 and 1725 with French funding to link the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See and the Bourbon French church.

Vatican City is also quite an interesting place to visit. This is the last Papal state in existence and is the world’s smallest state at just over 100 acres (less than half a kilometre squared). You can visit Vatican City but there are many parts which are understandably not open to the public, though you can go to the Basilica of St Peter and the Vatican Museums.

As Rome is built on seven hills there is ample opportunity to get up high for views of the city. Aventino Hill is one such hill which has amazing views which are popularly seen through a keyhole in the Gate on Aventino Hill.

When Should You Visit?:

For the hottest weather visit in the summer, but you will need to battle your way through crowds of other tourists! However, for 2 weeks during August the tradition was that much of the city actually closes as many of the residents go on holiday to escape the heat, so although you may find places closed this could be a quieter time, if somewhat too hot, to visit. This tradition is slipping now though!

Rome has a Mediterranean climate so is quite pleasant all year round. October to January are the wettest months, and so spring or late summer are possibly the best times to visit.

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