Not surprisingly, Italy is one of the world's favourite destinations. It has so much to offer: great history, culture, stunning architecture and natural beauty.
Rome is one of those cities people want to visit over and over, and as Catriona Rowntree discovered, it needn't break the bank.
Renting an apartment can be a cheaper option than staying in a hotel, and Cross-Pollinate lists apartments and B&Bs in Italy's major cities, Paris and Barcelona. Using their service could mean you have more money to spend on the important things, such as food, wine and fashion.
Appartamento Celio is on a quiet street in the heart of Rome, between the Colosseum and Villa Celimontana, a large park which has nightly concerts during summer. It has three bedrooms, large eat-in kitchen and large living-dining area, which has a queen sofa bed. There are two bathrooms and two balconies and as the owners also stay there, it has every convenience you require.
Restaurants, wine bars, delis, gelatarias, markets and a metro station are a stone's throw away. You can pack a delicious lunch and visit one of the local parks.
Everyone is in awe of the size and history of the Colosseum. Men dressed as gladiators strut around the 2000-year-old building and you can be photographed with them. Set the price before the picture is taken, though! Guided tours in English are available at the entrance. After the visit you may be inspired to think about signing the children up for a gladiator school at via Arpeah.
Just north of the centre of Rome this 80-hectare, heart-shaped park is the perfect picnic destination. There are plenty of tables and benches under spreading shade trees. For family amusement, there are bicycles and in-line skates for hire. Train rides, a zoo, puppet theatre and play equipment.
Rome, the Eternal City.
Appartamento Celio on Rome's via Marco Aurelio has rooms start at around $175 a double a night. It is a self-catering apartment and there a no extra fees for cleaning.
The Colosseum is open between 9am and 7pm every day. If you buy a two- or seven-day archaeological pass in advance, you can skip the queues and enjoy nine archaeological attractions at a reduced price.
Emirates has flights to Rome.
- Perth $2170
- Melbourne $2222
- Sydney $2238
- Brisbane $2241
- Adelaide $2266
Prices correct at February 26, 2009.
For further information
Ph: 39 069727 9432
48, Sqaq Nru 2
Pieta' MSD 08
Italian Government Tourist Office
Level 4, 46 Market Street
Ph: (02) 9262 1666
Ph: 1300 303 777
Visas: Australians don't need a visa to enter Italy for stays of up to 90 days.
Electricity: Standard voltage is 220V. Power points have two or three holes, plugs are the European standard, with two or three round pins.
Time zone: GMT +1 hour.
Currency: The euro which is divided into 100 cents.
International dialling code: +39 6.
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