Experiencing Rome for the first time can be quite surreal. With such grand and iconic structures just a few minutes walk from each other, it can almost seem like a giant movie set. More than two centuries old, Rome is the very definition of authentic. In fact, the Historic Centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Architecturally, Rome is a bastion of styles, from Classical and Medieval to Baroque and Neoclassical. Piazzas ("city squares") where the Romans would gather, abound. Be sure to check out the Piazza Navona and the Piazza di Spagna, where you can take a load off on the beautiful Spanish Steps. Keep your eyes wide open — small masterpieces are everywhere in the form of sculpture, frescos, fountains, mosaics, engravings and paintings. You can even find eight ancient Egyptian obelisks around the city.
There's No Place Like Rome
Despite its priceless ancient treasures—the Raphaels, Michelangelos, the Da Vincis — Rome has some not-too-shabby contemporary and modern art and architecture, too. Just check out the National Gallery of Modern Art, which contains works by Cézanne and Monet. And MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid, is committed to inspiring innovations in contemporary arts and architecture. Work up an appetite at the Pasta Museum (yes, Rome has an entire museum devoted to pasta!), then take your pick feasting on some of the best pasta in the world. Al Ceppo, Maccheroni, Il Pagliaccio, Gusto, and oh, so many more.