The Eternal City isn't just a throwaway title – Rome's nickname was coined 3,000 years ago; testament to its genuinely universal appeal.
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.
Food and drink
Food is something that Italians are hugely passionate about, with pizza and pasta topping the list of obvious choices in Rome. Every restaurant in the city is required by law to display a menu (including prices) outside, so there should be no nasty surprises when you get the bill.
Traditional trattorias line the city streets, with tables and chairs often spilling out onto cobbled squares and pavements. Expect to be wowed by pizza and pasta like never before – even the simplest pizza Margherita or pasta bianca (pasta sprinkled with cheese and pepper) is a guaranteed taste revelation. Try restaurant Al Moro, which serves up some of the best pasta in the city, just steps from the Trevi Fountain. Or Forno Campo de’ Fiori for delicious hole-in-the-wall pizza.
For dessert, head to a gelateria, where colourful rows of every conceivable ice-cream flavour make it a tough task to choose just one or two scoops. Gelateria Il Dolce Sorriso is a well-established local favourite with a huge range of iced treats, plus crepes, waffles, cakes and great coffee.
If you've got deeper pockets or are celebrating a special occasion in Rome, there are plenty of fancier restaurants to choose between. Sticking with Italian cuisine, three-Michelin-starred restaurant La Pergola is truly upmarket, sitting in the Waldorf Astoria hotel with magical views and a menu full of equally magical culinary creations. Or, for fine dining at more down-to-earth prices, head to Ristorante Crispi 19 near the Spanish Steps.