Except for some of the Greek city-states, Rome is just about the oldest place in Europe. It’s an incredible place to visit and spend a holiday. If you’ve got several days to spend, you might never get bored with the city. In fact, you could probably spend a month there and never get bored. Recently, I was in Rome for a few days to soak up the experience. It was incredibly fun, but there are some things you need to be aware of, especially if you’re coming from the UK.
Rome is a few thousand kilometres south of the UK, so the weather is going to be much different. And by much different, I mean hot. Rome – and Italy in general – is much warmer than the UK. If you’re going in July or August, you should know that the average high temperature is about thirty degrees Celsius. That might not be a very big deal for someone from Italy or Australia, but for a UK citizen, it can be a bit of a shock. Make sure you bring your sunblock and your wide-brimmed hat. The summers are hot and dry. The winters, however, are a dream for someone from the UK. The average low during the winter is about three degrees Celsius. That’s pretty cold, but rarely does it get down that far. Usually, the temperature during the winter hovers at about seven or eight degrees Celsius. If you’re headed to Rome, I would say the best time to go is during the fall. That’s when I went. I walked around all day wearing just a light jumper. I was never too hot or too cold.
What to See
Choosing what to see is one of the most difficult parts of going to Rome. Vatican City is always a popular option. Holiday apartments in Rome, right next to Vatican City are difficult to find, so if you’re planning to visit, you should try to plan as far in advance as possible. That makes it more likely that you’ll find one near your areas of interest.
When you visit Vatican City, you might notice that the guards aren’t Italian. That was the first thing I noticed when I went. The guards are Swiss. Well, it turns out that the Swiss have been the guards of the Pope for hundreds of years. During the medieval period, Switzerland wasn’t quite as neutral as it is now. Due to their country and their society, they didn’t really have castles or knights. Instead, they had fearsome fighting groups that actually resembled the old Roman phalanx. They were so fearsome that they became the most trusted and sought-after mercenaries in the medieval world. You don’t really think of the Swiss being fearsome, do you? But, that’s what they were. Well, the Pope hired them in the 15th century to guard him, and they’re still doing it to this day. Interesting, no?
Rome is full of that kind of history practically everywhere you turn. Rome is built on seven different hills. Each one has a rich history that tells how Rome came to be a great city. If you get the chance, you should visit them all.