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null Reserve some time on your trip to see these top places: 
St Peter's Square | The Colosseum | Roman Forum | The Pantheon | Trevi Fountain |
Sistine Chapel |

The centre of Europe for centuries, Rome is the perfect destination for lovers of history, sophistication and good food. If it’s culture, history and a healthy dose of style that you are after, then look no further than Italy’s capital Rome. The centre of the once mighty Roman Empire and the home of Roman Catholicism has more than enough impressive sights to feast your eyes on for days.

Whether it’s art and history, Italian designer shops, or some mouthwatering cuisine that takes your fancy, Rome has more than enough on offer. Known as the ‘Eternal City’, Rome has to be the world’s biggest open-air museum. This is a place where awe-inspiring Roman remains battle with Renaissance churches and opulent fountains for your attention. The architecture here is mind-blowing, with a kaleidoscope of Baroque, Renaissance and Neoclassical buildings sprinkled throughout the city centre. How about starting with the Colosseum, the Pantheon or the Roman Forum? Or perhaps the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps?

Put aside for a minute the ancient sights, galleries full of priceless artworks and museums bursting with the heritage of the western world and you’ll find a modern city full of noisy Vespas, chic little bistros, designer shops and trendy bars and clubs. A perfect marriage of old and new, Rome will delight visitors of all ages.

Selling vintage and handmade goods with a modern twist, covered craft market Mercato Monti takes place nearly every Saturday and Sunday in the fashionable Monti district. Browse the 20 or so stalls featuring vintage silk scarves, old books that have been fashioned into lamps, artisan jewellery and screen printed t-shirts and fabrics. Entrance is free. (Saturdays and Sundays, Via Leonina 46, 10am until 6pm) www.mercatomonti.com

June 2nd marks the 71st anniversary of Italy becoming a republic, and the public holiday is celebrated with a military march at midday along via dei Fori Imperiali, the imposing street that leads all the way down to the Colosseum. Look out for the President of the Republic and Italy's Prime Minister laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in piazza Venezia at Rome's Vittoriano monument.

The Rome Marathon, taking place this year on 2 April, boasts one of the most breathtaking routes in the world. Starting and finishing at Rome's iconic Colosseum, the race's 42km takes in Piazza del Popolo, Vatican City, and nearly all of the city's seven hills. Expect the starting pistol to be fired at 8.40am and Rome to remain tied up until late afternoon. www.maratonadiroma.it

Head to the Castelli Romani district, 25 miles from Rome, for local food festivals in its hilltop towns throughout the autumn. In October, Marino hosts a chocolate festival, with stands selling artisan sweets and hot chocolate from 7-9 October, while 14-16 October sees the annual chestnut festival return to Rocca dei Papi, featuring hot roast chestnuts and food stands galore. Trains to the principal towns of Frascati, Marino and Albano Laziale depart regularly from Termini station.

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