Florence to Rome
Journey Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes by train
Just across from the Colosseum (a single ticket will get you access to both), the Roman Forum has bragging rights to the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Caesar, the Rostrum, and the iconic eight pillars of the Temple of Saturn. Get there early to avoid the crowds, and head to the top of Palatine Hill where grandstand views of the ruins will help plan your day.
One of Rome’s most eye-catching (but often overlooked) buildings, Castel Sant'Angelo has been a mausoleum, a fortress, a hideaway, and museum… its secret elevated passage leads directly to St Peter’s Basilica; and its sumptuously decorated rooms showcasing beautiful frescoed walls. Climb to the top for some of the city’s most breathtaking views.
Combine coffee on the lively Piazza della Rotonda with a visit to the Pantheon, Rome's oldest intact building: its crowning glory the giant dome and its occulus designed to connect the temple with the gods above, and the building’s only source of light.
It may now be a large public park for modern-day Romans, but back in the day, Circo Massimo was the world’s largest sports and entertainment venue, where 250,000 people flocked to its chariot races, gladiator contests, staged animal hunts, processions and public executions.
Antico Arco, Trastevere – an essential Rome eatery atop Janiculum Hill, renowned for its refined culinary inventiveness, seasonal Italian menus, and particularly its famed molten chocolate cake.
Stay: Hotel Eden (3 nights)