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.

Essential sights

Sistine Chapel

Relatively modest from the outside, the interior of the Sistine Chapel is a complete assault on the eyes. There's so much going on here that you'll struggle to decide where to look first, but the ceiling by Michelangelo and frescos by other Italian renaissance greats, including Botticelli, are a good place to start.

Colosseum

Probably Rome's most famous landmark, the Colosseum is an absolute must-see for any visitor. Handily located near the crumbling Roman Forum ruins, this 2,000-year-old structure, which is the largest amphitheatre in the world, looms imposingly over the crowds craning to look up at it. If you want to see inside, expect to queue (unless you don’t mind paying an extra €18 to skip the line). Full price tickets cost €12, with concessions available.

Via Condotti

If history and religion aren't necessarily your thing, Rome has a more modern ace up its sleeve to tempt you – fashion. Via Condotti is one of the city's most exclusive designer shopping streets, with Italian names such as Gucci and Prada lining the smart avenue. This entire area is a maze of criss-crossing boutique-lined streets, with some high-street favourites and vintage stores thrown in. A must for those who love to shop.

Spanish Steps

If you've energy to spare after shopping, head to the Spanish Steps, which sit at the end of Via Condotti. The 135 steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom, to the Piazza Trinita dei Monti (complete with gleaming white church) at the top, and climbing them is something of a city tradition.

Trevi Fountain

Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain is possibly the most touristy thing to do in Rome, but there's something magical about the ritual all the same. This elegant fountain dominates the surprisingly small square that it sits on (Piazza di Trevi), and the surrounding streets are a rabbit warren of white and ochre buildings, pavement caves and traditional gelato parlours.