Tips and advice

Rest & Relaxation in Rome

If you crave some sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Rome there are plenty of places where you can seek some quiet solitude and enjoy a moment’s meditation and reflection. Or just to escape from your present company... Even if you’re the outgoing party animal sometimes it’s nice to appreciate a bit of down time. For some, they might seek refuge in a local cafe, sitting over a coffee and newspaper, for others it might be with a glass of fine Italian wine and close friend. But you’ll be surprised, among the vibrant Roman life, there are actually a number of hideaways for you to enjoy a bit of R&R and some all-important ‘me time’. So where are the best places to go in Rome to seek a bit of peace and quiet? Villa Borghese: for your green oasis Without a doubt Villa Borghese is probably on the top of every Roman’s list as a go-to haven for a bit of time-out. Nestled in the heart of the city, this lush pocket of green provides that oasis of calm among the chaos. Spanning across 148 acres, it’s the third largest park in Rome, but probably the most visited. Linking the Piazza del Popolo to the famous Via Veneto, Villa Borgese is home to private gardens, the Borghese Art Gallery, manicured piazzas and temples inspired by classical English architecture. Our advice: take a picnic and indulge in the serenity of Villa Borghese with your loved one. Blessed with good bus and metro links to right within the park there’s no excuse not to visit. Stop off at the Pincio on your way in and admire the view over the city, but beware, once you’ve stepped into this verdant oasis, time stands still and you’ll forget entirely where you are... Gianicolo : for sweeping views If you’re more of the brooding type, head to the Janiculum Hill, or Gianicolo as it’s known locally, for breath-taking views over the city. Hidden up the top of one of the highest hills in Rome, snaking around a windy back road from the trendy Trastevere district, is a relatively unappreciated viewpoint visited only by Romans and a few lucky travellers in the know (and with good stamina). The best time to go is after dusk where you can watch the sun set over the city and get an unparalleled view of this stunning panorama. To reward yourself for the steep(ish) climb, theres a small kiosk at the top selling snacks and drinks. So if you want to make your quiet time a bit more relaxing, there’s no harm in toasting the view with a chilled Peroni. Come on, it would be rude not to. Museum of Doria Pamphilij: for urban escapism You’d never think but Palazzo Doria Pamphilij, a stunning baroque villa turned museum, is actually fronted onto Rome’s busiest shopping street, Via del Corso. Lined with high street shops, this street is probably one of Rome’s most stressful as tourists dodge locals, who dodge buses, which dodge vespas; so it’s ironic to find such a quiet hideaway in the midst of this animated atmosphere. Owned and lived in by the Doria Pamphilij family since 1505 this Palace is one of the most treasure-filled palaces in Europe and is still inhabited by the family to this day. Look out for endearing photos of the current generation dotted around the place. The four wings look onto a tranquil courtyard, and the rooms are hung with masterpieces from classic Italian artists over the years. A quiet sanctuary, this museum is one of Rome’s best hidden secrets and you’ll be pushed to ever find it crowded. It’ll definitely take your mind off the fact you’ve left a swarm of people at the front door, completely unaware the place even exists... Radisson Blu: for poolside posing If you’re visiting Rome in the summer we’ll let you into a little secret. The Radisson Blu, by Termini Station, has two rooftop pools (two of the very few that actually exist in Rome). In the high summer months visitors are allowed to pay for a day at the outdoor pool, to relax alongside the guests, while indulging in the impeccable poolside service and all round luxury. The minimal and modern glass-surrounded roof oozes contemporary chic and you can’t help but fall into a sense of calm. Up from the busy traffic below, you can lie back, have a dip and swim your stresses away. It’s best to arrive early and avoid coming as a big party as it can be a first come first serve basis. Which is probably for the better, you wouldn’t want to spoil the serenity after all... So whether you’re a culture vulture, one in need of a sprawling landscape to clear the mind, or if you’re most happy in a secret garden, Rome offers it all. Don’t forget there’s more to the city than meets the eye.

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