Sift through Europe’s best flea markets
By Sukie Chapman
5 June 2015
While on your railway holidays in Europe, spend an afternoon looking at a range of eclectic antiques. Here are some of the best flea markets to discover.Read more
From the moment they arrive in Italy's magnificent and historic capital city, Rome bombards visitors with sensory pleasures. In an existence spanning an estimated fourteen-thousand years it's no surprise that Rome is steeped in stunning architecture, but on top there are innumerable fine artworks, sculptures, fountains and public gardens to admire.
In the city's ancient yet bustling streets the air hangs heavy with the aromas of coffee and Italian cuisine that emanate from al fresco restaurants, intimate Trattorias and cosmopolitan cafes. Somehow, Rome effortlessly manages to offer something that will delight every visitor. The awe of avid sightseers cannot fail to be inspired by spectacles such as the ancient Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Forums, whilst aesthetes and architecture buffs will find Rome's four cathedrals and countless historic churches and buildings nothing less than breath-taking.
The city is abundant with world-class museums and art galleries, with none more famous than the incomparable Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in which priceless masterpieces by the likes of Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael and Michelangelo are almost obligatory viewing.
But simply walking Rome's atmospheric streets and grand piazza's is an experience in itself; something new and amazing awaits discovery around every corner. Clearly, the Eternal City wasn't built in a day and it would take a lifetime of holidays in Rome to appreciate everything it has to offer.
Originally built in 349AD and then rebuilt to a design by Michelangelo in the sixteenth century, St Peter's Basilica is arguably Italy's most beautiful church but is definitely its largest, boasting an interior space of fifteen thousand square metres which is bursting with exquisite artistic masterpieces.
Rome's most romantic, most beautiful and most photographed fountain is illuminated when darkness falls, achieving the seemingly impossible task of making it even more beautiful. According to the legend, anyone who throws a coin into the Trevi fountain will return to Rome someday.
Atop the Janiculum Hill above the Trastevere district of Rome, this open square is a peaceful spot to relax away from the bustle of the city streets and provides spectacular panoramic views of Rome which are particularly unforgettable at sunset.
A temple to the ancient pagan gods and built almost two thousand years ago, The Pantheon is free to enter and utterly stunning to behold thanks to its remarkable central dome, geometrically-patterned marble floor and vast portico built from stone quarried in Egypt.
Set in one of Rome's most beautiful public gardens, the sixteenth-century Villa Borghese houses an unparalleled collection of masterpieces and sculptures by artists including Rubens, Caravaggio and Titian.