Rome

The Eternal City isn't just a throwaway title – Rome's nickname was coined 3,000 years ago; testament to its genuinely universal appeal.

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The city has more A-list attractions than most whole countries, but there's much to it than tourist hotspots – the pasta alone is worth the trip.

Arriving at Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport

Flights from London City Airport go to Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO – also known as Rome Fuimcino). The airport which has an easy direct train (the Leonardo Express) to Rome's central station, Termini. Tickets cost €14 (don't forget to stamp your ticket on the platform before you board!) and the journey takes around 35 minutes. As Rome's main transport hub, you'll find a network of metro and bus services leaving from Termini, so you should find it easy to get to your hotel in Rome from there.

You'll also find buses leaving for the city centre at the stops opposite arrival terminals 2 and 3. These have varying stop-points in the city, so choose the service that gets you closest to your accommodation. Most services leave every 30 minutes, and you can buy tickets on board.

If you'd prefer the no-fuss option of a taxi, Rome's official white taxis wait outside the terminal 1 and 3 arrival areas. Fares are a fixed €48 to the city centre, giving you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what the journey will cost.

You can hire a car in advance and collect it at the airport. Booking your car in advance will give you the best choice.

There'll be no mistaking the fact that you've arrived in amorous Italy when you spy the Kiss&Go area, which gives 15 minutes' parking time for anyone picking you up. If you've organised a pick-up through your hotel, this is the service they're likely to use.

Getting active

Rome was famously built across seven hills, presenting plenty of opportunity for activity if you fancy a strenuous walk with extra-special views. From the Roman Forum you can climb Palatine Hill, the most central, which boasts some impressive ancient Roman ruins of its own. From there you can see nearby Capitoline Hill, which is famous for its elegant palaces, which now house important collections of art and architecture.

If you want to get higher than Rome's seven hills will allow, Gianicolo Hill offers the highest peak, and the most incredible views across the rooftops of the Centro Storico, Vatican City and Trastevere.

Excursions

Vatican City

You don't have to go far to visit this separate city-state, but it does have a decidedly different feel from Rome – and plenty to fill a morning or afternoon. Tick off St Peter's Square and its domed basilica, the Vatican museums stuffed with Renaissance treasures, the incredible Sistine Chapel, the sombre necropolis, and the Pope's palace. You can even take a guided tour of the gardens.

Tivoli

Tivoli sits around 20 miles (33km) from Rome and provides a refreshing breather from the city crowds. Its collection of beautiful villas and their romantic gardens are the main attraction, but you can also see fountains, castles and temples as you explore.

Orvieto

This clifftop medieval town can be reached by train from Rome Termini in an hour and 15 minutes. Its gothic cathedral is the most photo-worthy landmark, thanks to its colourful frescos, but the historic underground caves also make an interesting break from the elements.