There is nowhere in the world quite like Rome. You can spend hours combing cobbled streets, stumbling across ruin after ruin left behind by the Roman Empire.
It is a city steeped in history, from ancient gladiators fighting to the death; to the power of the papacy; and Renaissance masterpieces which continue to lure thousands of visitors every year.
There is so much to see and do that you really should plan ahead before you arrive, or risk running out of time and missing many of Rome’s gems.
Take, for example, the Vatican Museums: it would apparently take four years to study its entire collection.
Arriving in the eternal city, we head straight to one of its most recognisable landmarks: the Trevi Fountain.
Standing at 86ft, you certainly won’t miss it.
We manage to make our way through the swarms of tourists and grab a seat at the edge of the fountain, taking part in an age-old tradition. Legend dictates that tossing a coin over your shoulders will ensure you return to Rome.
We head back to our home for the next few nights, Hotel Nord Nuova Roma, which, sitting close to Termini Station, is perfect for not only exploring our surroundings, but also getting to and from the airport.
The onsite rooftop bar and restaurant is the perfect spot to relax, grab a glass of Italian wine and catch the last of the rays before the sun sets.
We have an early start the next morning and, after a quick metro ride, we are ready to explore the Vatican, St Peter’s Square and Basilica.
Make sure, if you’re heading to any of the city’s churches, that you honour the strict dress code (men and women should have their shoulders covered, and an outfit that reaches the knees). You’d be surprised by how many people we see who have flouted the rules.
Wary of getting stuck in queueus for tickets, we choose to take a fast-track guided tour of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. I cannot recommend this option enough as we learn so much not only about the artwork, but also the history of the church and the Vatican City.
The Vatican Museums has plenty to keep us occupied, with masterpiece after masterpiece.
One area which stands out for me is Raphael’s Rooms. The frescoes are simply magnificent.
While Raphael was putting the finishing touches to these, in the early 16th Century, another artist was creating one of the world’s most iconic sights: Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
There is nothing quite like the moment you step into this iconic building and first set eyes on this astounding artwork.
Needing to cool down in the 35-degree heat, we head to the beautiful Piazza Navona to indulge in what is one of Italy’s greatest traditions: gelato, or ice cream.
There are a couple of gelaterias around the square where you can grab a few scoops, sit in the square and take in the beauty of Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers.
We later enjoy dinner at one of the city’s best pizzerias: Est! Est! Est!
As the saying goes: when in Rome…
By day three we are keen to immerse ourselves further in Italy’s history so first stop is the Colosseum.
Here, in the largest amphitheatre ever constructed, gladiators would lock swords while crowds jeered and cheered. Standing on the arena floor gives you goosebumps. A short stroll away, we find the Roman Forum where we are invited to imagine what life was like for ordinary people during ancient times.
Filled with the remains of religious and public life, it is a fantastic insight into this period of history.
There is a reason Rome is the so-called “eternal city”; and with history and culture like this, it will keep me coming back for more and more.
One of Rome’s best sunset viewpoints is located at the top of the Spanish Steps.
The small but truly beautiful Trinita dei Monti church sits at the top. It’s the perfect place to relax and watch the sky turn pink.
For more on Rome, visit turismoroma.it.
Hotel Nord Nuova Roma offers room and breakfast from £132 per night in October and is located a short walk from Rome Termini. Stationhotelnordnuovaroma.it