By Francesca Merced

Cities like Paris and Milan may be widely known as fashion capitals of the world, but in my opinion, Rome is the style capital!

From the food to the clothing to the majestic architecture, Rome is a city that simply exudes strength and magnificence.

Just like every great city, Rome has something for everyone!  History buffs will marvel as they tour through the many remnants from antiquity all over the city such as the Circus, the Pantheon and, of course, the Colosseum.

Artists will be inspired by the works of the great ones like Bernini, Raphael and more; and a quick trip to Vatican City where Michelangelo’s opus – the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – and St. Peter’s stunning Basilica stand testament to an era so long ago that it hardly seems to have ever existed at all.

The romantic in you can’t help but come out as you frolic in the lush landscaped gardens like that of the Villa Borghese, and make a wholehearted wish as you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

Foodies should come ready with an appetite for delicious and delicate wine (Chianti, anyone?) and plates loaded with pasta, pasta and more pasta!  As the saying goes, “When in Rome…” so be prepared to dive into lots of Spaghetti al Carbonara – one of the city’s signature dishes.

Seafood is also an Italian cuisine staple and, when in Rome, you’ll want to check out one of my favorites – Il Tempio de Iside.  Whether you’re looking for great fish, pasta or a lovely wine list, this restaurant is sure to please!

And trust me when I tell you that you’ve never truly experienced gelato until you’ve tasted it in Rome.

Just walking through the city is like being at a runway show. The Romans – both men and women – are extremely stylish and put together. But, as is the case with all great fashion, their look is effortless. So when packing for your trip, keep this in mind. Remember that your clothes should never wear you.

And if you’re totally clueless about what to wear, then just bring your skivvies and a near-empty suitcase because you’ll want to pick up plenty of Versace, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana before you head back home! There’s nothing like shopping for Italian fashion in its native habitat!

While it’s no longer true that all roads lead to Rome, there are numerous tour operators who offer all-inclusive vacations to the city. My personal favorite is Perillo Tours.  They provide you with first class travel accommodations, friendly and knowledgeable tour guides and a comprehensive vacation that moves at a pace that any traveler can enjoy.

To check out their latest vacation packages, please


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