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Monday, June 7, 2010

A Luxury Weekend in Rome

A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken by myself ...Image via Wikipedia

By Tom Ingrams

Home of more monuments, culture and chic fashion than any other city in Europe, Rome is one of those fabulous destinations that you have to visit in style. From the awe-inspiring architecture of the churches to the luxury hotels in Rome, it's a place which showcases opulence.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of luxury hotels in Rome to choose from, but the location can make all the difference to the atmosphere. If you're looking for somewhere very central to make the most of the sights on a short visit, Residenza Napoleon III is hard to top for its whimsy and aristocratic vibe. Housed in a 16th Century palazzo on the legendary Via Condotti, it's a unique antique property which has been restored to its former grandeur and glory.

Hotel Lord Byron is situated outside the heart of the city near Villa Borghese, which is just far enough away from the crowds to offer peace and quiet inside its elegant walls. Private and old-fashioned, this townhouse has an Art Deco edge expressed in such lovely touches as oversized marble bath tubs.

Where to Visit

It would be hard to see everything in Rome even if you spent a year here, so it's important to pick and choose what really interests you. The best way to really experience the city, though, is just to walk through the streets and marvel at every new treasure and secluded fountain which is revealed. Starting at Vatican City, you can walk along the Tiber River and then into the heart of Old Rome to the Pantheon with ease.

When you find a view that takes your fancy, pause for a moment to enjoy the dolce vita lifestyle for which Italy is famed and indulge in a cappuccino, or an aperitivo after sunset. Most of the piazzas will have outside tables to soak up the atmosphere of tourists staring at the monuments and locals hurrying about their business without seeming to notice they're in the presence of some of the world's most famous art.

Eating and Drinking

Italy is famed for its cuisine and the capital is no exception, although a lot of eating establishments right outside the attractions will be overpriced for the quality they provide. Off the immediate tourist track, side streets are filled with family style restaurants for a hearty meal and wine bars where you can enjoy plenty of delicious side dishes like cheese, antipasti and olives to accompany your drink.

Tom Ingrams is a travel writer who specializes in the higher end of the market, with particular attention to the very best luxury hotels in Rome.

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