Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Rome, the "eternal city"

Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:14am EST
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By Catherine Hornby and Deepa Babington

ROME (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Rome, the ancient city with a jaw-dropping list of historical sights that can overwhelm even the most experienced traveler?

The Italian saying "Non basta una vita" -- a lifetime is not enough to experience it -- accurately captures the sensory overload Rome offers visitors.

Be warned, central Rome is a land mine of tourist traps serving up everything from microwave pasta to tacky t-shirts and aprons, so avoid places featuring tourist menus and waiters who try to cajole you into their restaurants.

And remember, the only way to cross the street in Rome is to step out boldly -- don't expect cars or scooters weaving through the streets to slow down and let you pass if you patiently wait by the crosswalk.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help you make the most of the eternal city.


7 p.m. - After checking into your hotel, take a stroll around the city center, starting with the magnificent Piazza del Quirinale, at the president's official residence, and then down the winding streets that lead to the Trevi fountain. Cross over to the Spanish Steps and climb up to the top to savor the romantic view across Rome.

8 p.m. Head to the nearby Palatium wine bar on Via Frattina, which is owned by the regional government. The restaurant offers traditional Roman fare like Amatriciana (pasta with a spicy tomato sauce and bacon) made with fresh ingredients and a selection of surprisingly good local wines.   Continued...