Italy: Rome, the eternal city

Air France airlines offers several daily flights to Rome , Italy's capital. Flights depart from Hong Kong with connections in Amsterdam or Paris.
You will land at Fiumicino airport , located 32 km from the city centre of Rome, that you can reach by train or bus.
You may use the bus, subway or tram to get around Rome.
Rome was built on seven hills and is located in the Latium region. It has a population of 2.7 million inhabitants (4.1 million including the greater region). Rome has been Italy's capital since 1871, the date when the Italian Kingdom was unified.
According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. on Mount Palatine by Romulus who was said to have killed his brother, Remus. It has always played an important role in history since it was the capital of the Roman Empire from the first century B.C. until the 5th century A.D. The Empire dominated Europe, North Africa and the Middle East! After the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome continued as an important power since it became the seat of Christianity. The Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic church, is landlocked by the Italian capital. Rome also played a major role during the Renaissance.
That is probably why Rome is the third most visited city in Europe after Paris in France and London in the United Kingdom.

Rome, an open-air museum

If you take a flight for Rome , you will likely hear that Rome is an "open-air museum". And it's true! Every corner of the city is filled with amazingly well-preserved buildings that date back to all periods in history.
You can discover the gigantic Coliseum from the Roman era which was built starting in 72 B.C. It was the theatre for gladiator fights and held up to 55,000 spectators. It is located in the heart of the city, near the Roman forum which was the religious, political and legal centre of the city. Or the Pantheon, a temple built under the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 A.D. The Caracalla thermal baths, Mount Palatine, the gardens where you can see the ruins of the former Roman emperors' palaces.
The seat of the Roman Catholic church, Rome has more than 400 churches, in particular the imposing Saint Peter's Basilica located on the same name square in the heart of the Vatican, built during the 16th century, or the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church where you can see the "Mouth of Truth".
Rome also has many famous squares such as the piazza Navona, with its fountain - Rome has more than 300! - in the shape of an oval, the immense piazza del Popolo, the piazza Venezia with the monument to Victor Emmanuel II, as well as the piazza del Campidoglio and the piazza di Spagna with is monumental staircase, etc.
Finally, you can't travel to Rome without enjoying a thin-crusted pizza or a happy hour in the lively Trastevere neighbourhood where there are so many delicious and inexpensive sidewalk cafes to choose from.

Travel to Rome: useful tips

If you purchase a plane ticket for Rome , you do not need a visa for a stay of less than 90 days but you must have a passport that is valid for at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen area which includes Italy.
If you would like to rent a car , it is recommended to have an international driver's license. However, note that it is not always easy to drive in Rome.
The currency in Italy is the euro. Credit card are accepted everywhere. Traveller's cheques must be exchanged in a bank (for a fee).
The best period to visit Rome, is during the months of May to July and September to October when temperatures are warm and the weather is sunny. In August, the heat can be very high and you should take that into account when planning your trip.

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