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. eurostar.com trenitalia.com 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. ba.com easyjet.com jet2.com vueling.com ryanair.com wizzair.com.
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). mamashelter.com
The Hoxton, in Parioli. From €149 (£127). thehoxton.com
Hotel Locarno, in the Centro Storico. From €252 (£215). hotellocarno.com Hotel Vilòn, in Campo Marzio. From €570 (£486, B&B. hotelvilon.com
Rome Tourism. turismoroma.it
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. merrioncharles.com