Although I recently wrote about the benefits that Milan has to offer Business Travellers, I would be carrying out a huge injustice if I didn’t mention my favourite Italian city of them all, Rome!
I have had an ongoing love affair with Rome for more than a decade, but sadly these days I don’t get to visit as much as I’d like to (which would be every day if I could). In my opinion, Rome has a lot to offer, with two International Airports serving a large number of European and International cities, a regular and reliable train service into the city centre from Fiumicino (a cab won’t cost much from Ciampino either), an array of well-equipped and beautiful international hotels and meeting spaces, and a plethora of beautiful ancient monuments and architectural wonders to admire.
Rome is a unique and extremely versatile city for business travellers for a number of reasons, but my top four would be:
Accessibility – Rome Fiumicino Airport is located 30 mins from the city centre by train, which you can reach by taking either the Leonardo Express. Train run every 15 minutes. My European airline of choice is EasyJet, which has around 4 flights per day from London Gatwick.
Hotels – Rome offers a wide range of hotel choices in a variety of neighbourhoods, and each one has it’s own personality and individual charm. Like Milan, you are spoiled for choice in terms of city centre hotels from budget to high-end, there are options for every traveller’s wallet. I personally use booking.com to make my reservations, but there are many options such as the ever- popular Airbnb.com. Hotels.com, Secretescapes.com etc.
In terms of accommodation, if your personal preference the top of the range, then choosing the Hotel Hassler Roma will ensure you will never want to leave. A more mid range hotel would be The Hotel Abruzzi located practically on the steps of the Pantheon, and if you are on more of a budget, then checking booking.com before you leave will give you a list of great deals depending on what time of year you plan to visit. My hotel of choice is the very beautiful Art Deco style Hotel Locarno, built in 1925 and located just a 2 minute walk from Piazza del Popolo. It’s a fairly quiet neighbourhood with just the occasional siren or two at night, which are just par for the course in large Italian cities. .
The Piazza del Popolo district is quiet and fairly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of areas like The Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. Located right alongside the River Tiber is an ideal location for business travellers who like to take a run or a walk before or after a busy day of meetings. You’ll find miles of flat river-paths to choose from which allow you to take in the sights, whilst getting in a bit of exercise. A few minutes in the opposite direction from the hotel is the sprawling oasis of Villa Borghese. If you want more sights and less exercise, you also have the option of hiring a Segway.
Getting around – Rome has a super easy metro system with only 2 lines – Modern-day Romans have been trying to extend the metro system for many years now, but Rome being Rome, every time they dig a hole they have to call in the archaeologists and digging grinds to a halt. Personally I like to walk in Rome, and if you do choose the Locarno, you can walk to the Vatican in just 30 minutes, the Spanish Steps in 10 minutes, Trevi Fountain in 15 minutes. The Colosseum is a little further so I tend to jump on Line A from Flaminio at Piazza del Popolo and change for the Line B at Termini, if I want to wander around and marvel at this amazing structure. If you have some free time in the evenings you could take part in one of the free walking tours, which leave from Spanish Square at the Spanish Steps every day at 6pm.
Food – It’s hard not to find amazing food in Rome. There are a vast number or restaurants to choose from, but if you are looking for a really special venue with, I believe, the only rooftop view of the Vatican, then please go and see my good friend Marco at Les Etoiles who will ensure you are extremely well looked after, and leave completely stuffed full of great food and wine. Alternatively have a read of this great article which will leave you salivating… You have been warned!
With so many plus points – there is absolutely no reason not to plan your next business event in Rome