The eternal city of Rome provides the venue for many a romantic weekend or holiday break, offering a memorable mix of activities and sights guaranteed to keep even the hardest-to-please tourist happy! The capital of Italy is home to great designer shopping, a long impressive history and, of course, a gorgeous Mediterranean climate. Furthermore, Rome is currently in the news due to the election of the Coliseum - its iconic ancient stadium - as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The Coliseum is Europe's sole representative in the new Seven Wonders list, for which 90 million people voted in an online poll. The results, announced during a star-studded ceremony in Lisbon in early July, also revealed the remaining six of the new Seven Wonders of the World to be: the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Taj Mahal in India, Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil, and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. The poll has attracted criticism in some quarters, most notably by UNESCO who has its own list of wonders and argues that a popular vote is not the way to determine the world's wonders.
However, whether or not you agree with the poll results, Rome's Coliseum is undeniably an impressive ancient wonder. In its heyday it could accommodate 50,000 spectators seated over three tiers, many of which were witnesses to the incredible gladiatorial contests held therein. Opened in 80AD, this marvel of ancient engineering still stands proudly in the centre of modern-day Rome and draws millions of visitors each year. The Coliseum bears witness to the sheer opulence and decadence prevalent at the height of the Roman Empire, and leaves many a visitor awed.
There are other notable sights in Rome from the same age worth a visit, such as the ancient Pantheon with its massive dome - an architectural and engineering marvel. Other sites in Rome from a later age that should be included on a 'must-see' list are the Vatican City and the Trevi Fountain. Indeed, if you leave the city without throwing three coins into the fountain, legend dictates that you will never return.
Rome offers a varied range of hotels from cheap and cheerful all the way to top 5-star luxury. Those wishing to visit the Coliseum on a budget but not wanting to sacrifice comfort should consider renting an apartment in Rome, as such an option can offer an affordable alternative to expensive city centre hotels and are certainly more comfortable than budget hotels. You can rent fully-furnished, stylish apartments in Rome for stays of as little as one night.
But, wherever you choose to stay in the world's eternal city, you must visit the Coliseum: one of the new seven modern wonders of the world.