LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2012) - When Rome was the centre of the Western world, travellers and merchants would voyage for months to reach the 'Eternal City'. Thankfully, transport has advanced considerably since then - and today's holidaymakers can take advantage of cheap flights from Monarch Airlines to arrive at Rome pronto. From piazzas to pizza, the Italian capital is a hub of both culture and cuisine. If you fancy a taste, why not take a weekend city break?
Where Michelangelo created his visions of beauty in the Sistine Chapel, and Bernini gave us St Peter's Basilica, today's artists are using their inspiration in the cafés, gelateria and restaurants of Rome.
The capital is the perfect holiday destination for foodies, with a typical local menu consisting of traditionally cured salamis and hams, gnocchi, bruschetta, and the famously thin crusted pizza Romano - all great reasons to visit Rome, although visitors may fly home with a little bit of extra baggage!
A perfect place to walk off some of the calories is the serene gardens of the Villa Borghese, where you can stroll amongst the quiet tree-filled expanses of the city's central park. It's a great place to bring the kids too, with a pond to feed turtles and pony rides - and the trees also provide useful shade for a post-lunch snooze.
Alternatively, if you need something to perk you up after lunch, why not try one of the city's many fantastic coffee bars? The famous Caffè Sant'Eustachio, located just a few hundred metres from the Pantheon, is a favourite with locals and tourists alike, with charming authentic 1930s décor and excellent coffee made from high-quality organic and Fair Trade beans. If you're feeling indulgent, you can also pick up a pastry or biscotti and take your coffee outside at a table on the piazza.
Whether you're flying to Rome this summer for a long weekend or as a starting point before visiting other parts of Italy, you're sure to be intoxicated by the historical, cultural and culinary wealth that the city has to offer.
With cheap flights from Monarch Airlines, you can now fly to Rome from just £35, including taxes. Monarch's scheduled flights to Rome Fiumicino airport depart from London Luton and Birmingham. You can find more information about Monarch's affordable flights to destinations around the world by visiting Monarch.co.uk.