Rome, the Eternal City. In the streets you can hear the chimes of church bells echoing through historic city streets, transporting you to another time in history. Rome is a destination for gourmands, culture and history lovers and couples in love.
Rome was the heart of civilisation after being founded in 753 BC by the twins Romulus and Remus who according to legend, were raised by a wolf. Rome became an empire which lasted for centuries and is known as the birthplace of many great philosophers, artists and writers. The majestic city is an architectural wonder, being home to over 900 churches and nearly 300 fountains!
Walking through the city, you can discover charming trattorias, historic buildings and palaces and an Italian flavour of life that permeates all things in the city. What better way to experience Rome but on a luxury long weekend or a few leisurely days in the city?
In this guide we will show you how to enjoy Rome in style with our easy guide to everything you need to know about the Eternal City.
This guide is perfect for those who are travelling to Rome on a luxury. We will show you what to do in Rome, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether it’s a weekend in Rome or a long term stay.
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The best time to visit Rome
Rome is best visited in the springtime between the months of April and May and then again in autumn, in September to November. These are the ideal periods to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, though Rome has tourism all year round. The summer is the peak tourist period with more crowds, higher prices and sometimes sweltering temperatures.
In the recommended months you can enjoy sunny days with cooler evenings, so a light jacket is required. The summer months can be hot and humid but there is a lot of street-life as trattorias and outdoor cafes fill with tourists and locals alike, especially in the evenings.
How to get around Rome
Rome is a highly walkable city and for those who don’t want to squash into the metro or buses like sardines, there are many taxis available. Be aware of taxis, though, as there are many scams and taxi drivers in Rome have a notorious reputation of trying to run up the meters and overcharge. Taxis can be found at stands and sometimes may stop if flagged down. Prices for taxis start from €3 in the daytime on weekdays and around €4.50 on weekends. After 10 pm the starting far is €6.50.
There is also a 10% discount for single women at night which often drivers are not aware of but will apply to the fare if you request it. For a driver who will take you around and wait for you whilst you visit the sites, the rate starts at €27 per hour.
You can also hire a private driver either in a smart Mercedes or a vintage Fiat for three hours for the cost of €180 for the three hours, if you really want to see the city in style!
What to expect in Rome
Rome is a vast, sprawling metropolis that is one of the most-visited cities in Europe, expect a lot of tourists around the city centre all year round. As it’s a walkable city, good walking shoes are recommended to brave the cobbled streets.
The language spoken in Rome is Italian but due to it being a major tourist destination, most people speak English and sometimes other European languages too, so communication will definitely not be a problem.
The currency in Rome is the Euro and there are plenty of ATMs around the city, most shops and restaurants will also accept card payments, however it’s always a good idea to carry cash on you. Tipping is appreciated and most may round up the bill or leave a 10% tip, service charge is included in the bill and therefore tipping is not obligatory.
Avoid the tourist trap restaurants in central Rome. Research the best, local and authentic restaurants to enjoy the best that Rome has to offer.
Rome is generally a safe city but you should be aware that there are pickpockets active around tourist attractions.
Luxury things to do in Rome
Designer shopping in Via Condotti
Just off Via del Corso and the Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Stairs), you’ll find a street of row after row of designer shops called Via Condotti. Here you will find all the Italian brand names including Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Gucci among some of the names. If you’re all worn out from the shopping you can rest your feet at the famous Caffe Greco, where you can have a coffee break and watch the world go by.
VIP access to the Vatican Museum
One of the iconic attractions of Rome, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel is usually crowded with tourists, all jostling to take photos of the famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. You can avoid the crowds by enjoying an early tour of the Vatican and Chapel, which despite the early start at 7:00am is well worth it!
You will enjoy a filling breakfast buffet in the Courtyard with no more than 20 other tourists in the group, made from the Vatican’s own produce from its farms and orchards. Though the tour is not entirely private and the gates usually open at 9:00am, your early start ensures that you get ahead of the crowds.
Indulge in a spa day
Nestled between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo is the famous Hotel de Russie, home to one of the best spas in Rome. The hotel has a gorgeous garden where you can enjoy a lunch before heading to their Rocco Forte Spa. The spa is well-equipped with various pools, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room.
Cocktails at the trendiest bars
Rub shoulders and dance the night away with the in-crowd in some of Rome’s most exclusive and glamourous bars such as La Maison, which has a VIP lounge which has hosted celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio and a sushi restaurant on-site. In the summer La Maison relocates onto the Tiber River and you can enjoy the outdoor ambience or the bar whilst watching the beautiful and glamourous crowd. Another famous club that is a favourite with celebrities is the Jackie O’ piano bar. The A-list crowd are no stranger to this elegant and exclusive bar with all-night dancing.
A night at the opera
If you’re a lover of the classical, a trip to the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is a must. This spectacular theatre is elegant and prestigious, with some of the best acoustics in the world. Here you can find classical music concerts, ballet and in the summertime the opera house organizes performances under the starlit sky at the Baths of Caracalla.
Where to stay in Rome – Luxury Hotels
Grand Hotel Palace – This central hotel is situated on Via Veneto, and is famous for being one of the historic luxury hotels in the centre, dating back to the 1920. Everything is just a short walk away and the Barberini Metro stop is just five minutes from the door of the hotel. It caters to all your needs with a gourmet fine-dining restaurant, spa and wellness centre, as well as a breakfast buffet served daily. Prices start €350 per night.
Palazzo Manfredi – This hotel could not be in a more spectacular location, you have views right over the Coliseum which you can enjoy whilst having breakfast on the rooftop terrace or enjoy waking up to views of the Roman Forum from your bedroom window. The hotel is just 2 minutes’ walk to the Colosseo Metro stop making it an ideal base for exploring the city. The hotel also provides options of self-catering apartments nearby with kitchens and living rooms. Additionally, if you want to impress, you can also rent a Lamborghini sports car from the hotel reception. Price start at €383 per night, Lamborghini not included.
Hotel Majestic Roma – This hotel is a historic institution, established in 1889 on one of the most popular streets of Rome, Via Veneto. This amazing hotel boasts art deco style bedrooms, a fantastic restaurant with a street-facing terrace and fitness centre. The best thing about this hotel is its central location, just a few minutes away from the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese Park. Prices start at €383 per night.
Aldrovandi Villa Borghese – This stunning hotel is situated a short stroll from Villa Borghese, with luxurious and elegant rooms with a mosaic decorated marble bathrooms. The hotel has a spa, gardens, swimming pool, wellness centre, gym and a Michelin-starred restaurant called Assaje. Breakfast is served daily and you can enjoy a delicious buffet spread while enjoying views of the garden and pool, at night, the hotel bars have live music concerts. The hotel is situated just 20 minutes on foot to the Spanish Steps and the hotel also provides a free shuttle to the centre. Rooms start at €418 per night.
Rome Cavalieri Hotel – The Waldorf Rome Cavalieri Hotel is sure to fulfil your five-star expectations. Set in beautiful surroundings which include views of Rome and the Vatican from on top of Montemario, nestled in gorgeous manicured gardens. The rooms are stylish and the bathrooms are made of marble, offering either a city or garden view. The hotel itself has four bars and two restaurants, including La Pergola, which is a 3 Michelin star rooftop restaurant. Facilities include a gym, running trail, tennis courts, spa, saunas and indoor pool. The hotel is situated 25 minutes by car from the Coliseum and there is an hourly shuttle providing service to and from Via Veneto. Rooms start at €552 per night.
Hotel Russie – Combining classical and modern, this contemporary hotel overlooks Piazza del Popolo and is just a short walk from the major attractions of the city as well as the designer shopping street. The hotel has 120 rooms with a mix of styles with garden or city views, there is an onsite restaurant offering delicious Italian cuisine, there is also a wellness centre which has Turkish baths, hydromassage pools and relaxing beauty treatments and massages on offer. On beautiful sunny days you can enjoy breakfast in Le Jardin de Russie restaurant, served in their Mediterranean garden. Prices start at €1,015 per night.
Luxury eats in Rome
Dinner with a view
The Rome Cavalieri Hotel has one of the best restaurants in Italy, La Pergola with three Michelin stars under the helm of Heinz Beck is where you can savour some of Italy’s classic dishes with a modern twist including the sumptuous duck ravioli in a foie gras sauce with freshly shaved black truffles. The dishes can be paired with one of the 60,000 bottles of wine in their cellar. Enjoy a dinner whilst looking over the rooftops of the Eternal City and taking in the fantastic views.
Dinner and Tour at the Vatican
The Vatican hosts a regular private event including a gala dinner which sometimes hosts dinner for up to 250 people, for something really special, you can organise for a dinner catering for two in one of the most opulent and spectacular settings. Some tour organizers can offer an intimate tour of the Vatican Museum followed by a VIP three-course dinner with wine pairings on the museum grounds with views of the Basilica of St. Peters. What could be more charming than an experience which combines the culture, history and cuisine of Rome?
Michelin Food Tour
This unique tour will take you through the sights of Rome whilst you are lead from one Michelin star restaurant to another. On this 3 and a half hour tour, you will visit three Michelin restaurants to savour the wonderful flavours and ingredients of Italy. The restaurants on the tour include Enoteca Achilli al Parlamento, Pipero and Aroma Restaurants, you will be led by an expert local and foodie who will be able to give you an insight into the culture and gourmet of Rome.
Luxury tours to do in Rome
Personal shopper tours
Shop Rome in a different way, on this tour you’ll explore the markets and boutiques where you can explore unique fashion with the guidance of a personal shopper from Vogue magazine. The three hour tour is completely personalised and will give you a peek into Italian chic style.
Cooking Class in the Roman Countryside
Learn how to cook with experienced chef in the village of Mazzano Romano, just outside of Rome. Start your day exploring the local markets for ingredients and this is followed by a four-course meal which you can enjoy afterwards with some delicious Italian wine. The class is intimate, with a maximum of 12 people and personalized guidance.
Private Colosseum and sightseeing tour
If you want to skip the queues at the Colosseum, sign up for a VIP tour including visits to the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill as well as the Vatican. The comprehensive tour with an experienced guide will allow you to see Rome’s jewels in one day, you can experience Rome from the comfort of a limousine. This tour is a must for history buffs short on time.
Drive a Ferrari to Lake Nemi
This tour is the epitome of luxury and indulgence, you can rent a Ferrari and guide to explore Lake Nemi, just thirty minutes from the city of Rome. The route takes you through the picturesque countryside to Tarquinia and includes a guided visit the historic centre before heading onwards to Bracciano, then visiting the Orsini-Odescalchi Castle before enjoying a Michelin star-worthy lunch with views of the valley and the lake.
Recommend luxury tours in Rome
- Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican’s Secret Rooms
- Vatican VIP Experience: Exclusive Breakfast at the Vatican with Early Access to Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel
- Pompeii and Amalfi coast from Rome
- 9-Day Tour of Italy: Rome Naples Amalfi Florence Pisa Venice
- Evening Underground Colosseum Tour with Prosecco
- Private Tour: Amalfi Coast and Pompeii Day Trip from Rome
- Private tour of Rome top sites by Night including Food Tasting and Hotel Pick Up
- Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open
- Semi-Private Tour of the Colosseum and Forum with Arena Floor, Gladiator Entrance and Virtual Reality
- Vatican Museums and Pope’s Summer Residence Day Trip from Rome plus Garden Visit