Eter­nally won­der­ful stay in Italian cap­i­tal

KATE FIELDER en­joys the sights and sounds of Rome – but also gets some peace and quiet on her break

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

CITY breaks are some­thing I’ve grown to ap­pre­ci­ate in my more grown up years. I want the hus­tle and bus­tle of a vi­brant city, the energy, the vibe, but I also want a so­phis­ti­cated ho­tel, a peace­ful haven to re­cover af­ter a jam-packed day sight­see­ing and wan­der­ing the streets from one tourist hot spot to the next.

I found my­self trav­el­ling to Rome in early spring, it made per­fect sense for a short week­end break due to its two-hour and 50-minute flight time from Manch­ester.

It is an in­cred­i­bly easy desti­na­tion to get to, with reg­u­lar di­rect flights from Jet2, and it’s a desti­na­tion so far re­moved from my home city that there is a level of ad­ven­ture un­matched in my other city break trav­els.

Tick­ing all the boxes in my quest for a peace­ful haven not far from a vi­brant city was The Rome Cava­lieri Wal­dorf As­to­ria Ho­tel & Re­sorts. The Rome Cava­lieri is nes­tled on the high­est hill in Rome, the mag­nif­i­cent Monte Mario.

Over­look­ing the stun­ning eter­nal city, and due to its more un­usual lo­ca­tion, space is plen­ti­ful - un­like most of Rome’s cen­tral ho­tels.

Ar­riv­ing at the Rome Cava­lieri you soon re­alise this is so much more than a ho­tel. It is home to more than 1,000 pieces of art, French pe­riod fur­ni­ture, gi­gan­tic ta­pes­tries and el­e­gant paint­ings.

Many peo­ple flock to Rome to spend time in a city that dou­bles up as a liv­ing and breath­ing mu­seum, wit­ness­ing some of the great­est art­works in his­tory, like the ceil­ing of the Sis­tine Chapel, or visiting many of the most beau­ti­ful sights in the world while ca­su­ally wan­der­ing around the city.

The Rome Cava­lieri is a sought-af­ter prop­erty, one of the top ho­tels in Rome, fre­quented by Hol­ly­wood greats, sport­ing heroes and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, and it’s not dif­fi­cult to see why.

With deca­dent styled bed­rooms and lux­ury suites, in­clud­ing a most im­pres­sive pent­house apart­ment, all man­ner of guests can re­treat to their own lux­u­ri­ous haven. Ev­ery room has a bal­cony, so the trip can be made even more spe­cial wak­ing to the view of Rome.

An­other op­tion is to stay in an Im­pe­rial Room – a VIP ser­vice is of­fered with these rooms, lo­cated on the Im­pe­rial floors of the ho­tel. They in­clude pri­vate check-in and out, and ac­cess to the Im­pe­rial Lounge - mean­ing drinks and snacks are avail­able all day long, at no ex­tra charge.

Rome’s only three Miche­lin-starred restau­rant, La Per­gola, is situated on the roof ter­race of the Rome Cava­lieri. It is such a lav­ish restau­rant with the all im­por­tant views and food con­sis­tently made to the high­est stan­dard to keep its cov­eted Miche­lin stars.

How­ever, even if stay­ing at the ho­tel, booking is es­sen­tial and usu­ally needed quite far in ad­vance.

A more ac­ces­si­ble in-house all day din­ing op­tion is L’uliveto Restau­rant, which serves a su­perb buf­fet break­fast with lots of choice and a world-wide in­flu­ence.

Din­ner is a classy af­fair in the L’uliveto, with fresh lo­cal in­gre­di­ents with an el­e­gant twist and so­phis­ti­cated pre­sen­ta­tion. There is a som­me­lier on hand to ex­pertly guide guests through the wine list and, when the weather per­mits, a seat­ing area on the main ter­race – with that all im­por­tant view – to pro­vide al­most the per­fect din­ner set­ting, with­out the Miche­lin price.

But no­body goes to Rome to stay in ho­tel grounds, no mat­ter how amaz­ing. Peel­ing my­self away from my lush sur­round­ings, I jumped on the ho­tel’s com­pli­men­tary shut­tle bus into the city ready for a pre-booked three-anda-half hour tour of the mag­nif­i­cent Vat­i­can City and amaz­ing art it holds.

The show stop­per was a trip through the mag­nif­i­cent Sis­tine Chapel – with some of the most fa­mous works of Michelan­gelo and much more.

The sheer size de­tail and mag­ni­tude of the paint­ings can be over­whelm­ing.

My favourite part of the Vat­i­can City was the Gallery of the Maps, a huge room dec­o­rated with 40 maps of ancient Italian re­gions all painted be­tween 1580 and 1585 by fa­mous ge­og­ra­pher of the time Ig­nazio Danti.

And af­ter our tour, fol­low­ing our guide with hun­dreds of other tours go­ing on, it was time to head to the city and meet our friendly shut­tle bus driver and wearily head back to The Rome Cava­lieri and toast the end of my stay with an ice-cold prosecco on the bal­cony over­look­ing the mag­nif­i­cent city of Rome.

The Rome Cava­lieri re­ally does prove you can have ev­ery­thing...

AN­TO­NIO SABA

The Rome Cava­lieri, Wal­dorf As­to­ria Ho­tels & Re­sorts boasts won­der­ful views across Rome

No trip to Rome is com­plete with­out a visit to see the ceil­ing of the Sis­tine Chapel at the Vat­i­can

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