National Geographic Traveller (UK)



Getting there & around

Take the Eurostar to Paris, then the TGV to Milan (the latter takes around seven hours). From there, high-speed Freccia trains get you to Rome in just over three hours. Several airlines fly direct to Rome’s main airport, in Fiumicino, including British Airways from Heathrow, EasyJet from Bristol, Gatwick and Manchester, Jet2 from Manchester and Vueling from Gatwick. The city’s smaller Ciampino Airport is served by Ryanair from Manchester and Wizz Air from Luton and Stansted.

Average flight time: 2.5h.

Rome has a decent Metro system but it only skirts the top of the historic centre, which is best explored on foot.

Buses run to neighbourh­oods such as Testaccio and Pigneto. Good shoes are recommende­d, as the city’s sampietrin­i cobbles are notoriousl­y hard.

When to go

With temperatur­es in the low 20Cs, October in Rome is so special that there’s a special name for it: ottobrata romana. Mild winters get rain, but a sunny winter’s day can still feel like autumn in the UK. Summers are very hot and humid — so try to avoid July and August.

Where to stay

Mama Shelter, near the Vatican. From €139 (£119). mamashelte­

The Hoxton, in Parioli. From €149 (£127).

Hotel Locarno, in the Centro Storico. From €252 (£215). hotellocar­ Hotel Vilòn, in Campo Marzio. From €570 (£486, B&B.

More info

Rome Tourism. turismorom­

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Rome (Luster, £14.95)

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard (Profile, £19.99)

How to do it

MERRION CHARLES has three nights at Hotel Locarno, B&B, plus flights and transfers from £520 per person. merrioncha­

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