Europe’s most popular destinations are that way for a reason. Their world-famous attractions have people visiting from all over the world in great numbers, but sometimes that can be to their detriment. When a city becomes too overrun with tourists or panders to the masses too much, it can lose some of its authenticity and its appeal starts to diminish.
That’s not to say that these destinations aren’t worth visiting, because they definitely are. It just means that many travellers are on the lookout for alternatives that offer something similar but in a quieter,more original and often more affordable setting. With that in mind, here are three great options for anyone considering a Rome city break.
If you’re keen on Italy but not its capital, why not see if Bergamo ticks a lot of the same boxes that Rome would? You may have to swap the famous seven hills for just one, but this part of Lombardy can draw some pleasant comparisons with The Eternal City. To start with, it has a charming and historic Old Town that offers a similar feeling to exploring the historic alleyways in the denser parts of Rome. From Via Gombito to the beautiful Piazza Vecchia, the streets and squares hold many treasures and interesting sights.
There is a romantic ambiance in ‘The City of the Thousand’and the gelato is fantastic. Plus, if you want to visit a more bustling city for the day, Milan (and the Italian Lakes, for that matter) is very close by.
Head further east to the Croatian city of Pula and you’ll find stunning whether, delicious food with more than a few nods to Italian cuisine and a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre that conjures up images of gladiators in the same way as the Colosseum.
Pula is situated in an area called Istria, known for home-grown delicacies like olive oil and cheese, and links to Italian civilisations of the past. Its position across the Adriatic from Venice means that the Romans, the Venetians, Genoa and Pisa all enjoyed spells ruling over the region in the past. And, with the Austro-Hungarians, Byzantines and Franks holding power for some time too, it’s no surprise there is so much history in the city.
Arguably friendlier than Rome and definitely closer to the beach, Pula is a great choice.
Trier may be a slightly more obscure suggestion as an alternative to Rome, but if you’re on the hunt for history and ruins, there are few better places outside the Italian capital than this German city. Located on the banks of the Moselle River, in the south-west of Germany, Trier was built by the Romans back in the 16th century BC (then called Augusta Treverorum) and, therefore, lays claim to being the oldest city in Germany.
There are architectural highlights all around, including the Porta Nigra that greets you upon arrival and the remains of the Imperial Baths.However, there are also sights that you’re unlikely to enjoy in Rome, such as the Electoral Palace and rolling vineyards in the district of Olewig.
The Roman ruins of Trier are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city itself is part of the Historic Highlights of Germany. It’s a fine choice if you want to dig up the past.
If you would like to know more about any of the destinations mentioned above or any other alternatives to a Rome city break,call the team on 0800 988 3369. We will tailor-make your trip however you like.