Rome, Italy’s capital and largest city, needs little introduction. One of the world’s most historical locations, Rome is home to an illustrious past. From a fascinating patchwork of ancient wonders to Renaissance masterpieces, all are on display in the Eternal City. The origin of many sports, its prominence as an athletic powerhouse is testament to a centuries' long reputation for competitive spirit.
Lazio and Roma are the two principal football teams of Rome. They both have large local followings - dividing the city in two - and both play in Serie A. The derby between the two is called the Derby della Capitale, it is amongst the most heated and emotional footballing rivalries in the world. Roma was founded by a merger in 1927 by Italo Foschi, initiating the merger of three older Italian Football Championship clubs from the city of Rome: Roman FC, SS Alba-Audace and Fortitudo-Pro Roma SGS.
Roma has participated in the top-echelon of Italian football for all of their existence except for the 1951–52 season. Winning Serie A three times, as well as nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana titles has made Roma a dominant force in football. In European competitions, Roma has won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960–61 and were runners-up in the 1983–84 European Cup and the 1990–91 UEFA Cup.
The Roma logo pictures a wolf and two humans in the upper part of the shield. This is a Roman mythical motif. The two humans are Romulus and Remus, who were said to have been abandoned by their mother, and then adopted and raised by a she-wolf. The twin brothers are considered the founders of the city of Rome circa 753 BC.
Rome became an empire that has lasted for centuries. Landmarks from this golden era, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the ruins of the Forum, define Rome today. It is recognized as the birthplace of many great philosophers, writers and artists. The “Eternal City” is an architectural wonder, being home to over 900 churches and nearly 300 fountains. It would take weeks to fully explore the city’s plethora of ancient remains.
Following its restoration in 1480, Michelangelo embellished the Sistine Chapel with famously ornate detail. Construction of the famed St. Peter’s Basilica began in 1506. Rome became the capital of the unified Kingdom of Italy in 1871, and truly returned to bloom as capital of the Republic after 1945.
Always fashionable, the Italian capital today is as exhilarating, forward thinking and cosmopolitan as ever. A stroll through Rome is endlessly surprising. Vast palaces, luxurious hotels, fashionable avenues and towering cathedrals are surrounded by a maze of alleyways, Old World architecture and hidden ruins.
While the modern day city sprawls outward, the majority of interest is concentrated into a fairly small historic center. One can explore the districts of Old Rome, the Renaissance-era center of the city, with gems such as the piazzas Navona and Campo de’ Fiori.
No visit to Rome is complete without experiencing the interior of the historic colosseum, one of the world's most celebrated buildings. Built 2,000 years ago, this epic stadium formerly held gladiatorial contests and other public spectacles. No one wants to feel like a tourist while traveling, but it is significantly impactful to peer across the stadium floor imagining the roar of 80,000 rabid Roman spectators.
Colosseo marks the ancient city center and contains the Colosseum, the Imperial fora and Capitoline Hill. Adjoining is the Modern Center, home to the Trevi Fountain and elegant Via Veneto, with the Spanish Steps just north. On the other side of the banks of the Tiber, the independent Vatican City (the world’s wealthiest municipality) can be found.
It is worth taking a moment to soak it all in. Doppio in hand, embrace “la dolce far niente,” (the sweetness of doing nothing). Sitting at an al fresco street-side café, people watching with an omnipresent backdrop of an ancient basilica is priceless. And, we have not yet even begun discussing the cuisine…
Rome has been in a state of expansion, culturally. More hotels, trendy wine bars and restaurants are popping up, especially now in our own (what we hope is a) post-Covid renaissance. The combination of new and old makes it easy to indulge in just about everything when in Rome.
Now let’s talk about creature comforts… Food, wine and fantastic luxury hotels. Nestled between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo is the famous Hotel de Russie, home to one of the best spas in Rome. This hotel has a gorgeous courtyard garden where you can enjoy lunch before heading to the Rocco Forte Spa. The spa is well-equipped with various pools, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room.
The Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria hotel, has one of the best restaurants in Italy, La Pergola, boasting three Michelin stars. Under the helm of Heinz Beck, you can savor some of Italy’s classically delicious dishes with a modern twist, including the sumptuous duck ravioli in a foie gras sauce with freshly shaved black truffles. Paired with one of the 60,000 bottles of wine in the cellar, you cannot go wrong. Enjoy dinner while gazing over the rooftops of the Eternal City, taking in the fantastic view.
In Rome, you can plot your course through one Michelin star restaurant after another, including Enoteca Achilli al Parlamento, Pipero, Aroma, and many more. This is the place to be for a foodie.
The epitome of luxury and indulgence, you can rent a Ferrari to explore Lake Nemi, just thirty minutes from Rome. A well-planned road trip will take you through the picturesque countryside to Tarquinia and Bracciano. Perhaps a side-trip should be considered to visit Castello Orsini-Odescalchi before enjoying a Michelin star-worthy lunch with views of the valley and the lake.
Back to the important stuff…Football. The biggest icons in Roma’s football world is, without a doubt, Francesco Totti. Roman born and bred, Roma to his core, he has never hidden how much Rome means to him. “It is my family, my friends, the people I love,” said Totti a few years ago when asked why he had stayed at Roma. “It is the sea, the mountains, the monuments.”
Totti made his debut for Roma at 16 years old in 1993. He has played nearly 800 times for Roma and scored 306 goals. He regularly plays alongside teammates not yet born when he first entered Serie A. We will be dedicating a full article to this absolute TENLEGEND! Stay tuned. Join us.
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