Rome in the height of summer can be either glorious or 'molto intensa'.
To make sure it’s the former, take note of these top tips for making the most of a beautiful summer’s day in the capital.
Over 140 acres of romantic greenery at the Villa Borghese
Relax under a shady tree: Villa Borghese Gardens
Flanking the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, the Villa Borghese Gardens comprise over 140 acres of greenery and dappled shade to rest in and escape the midday sun. You can take a paddleboat, cycle around, rollerblade, or stand under the sprinklers if you’re desperate.
Inside the cool rooms of the old Roman Villa, you’ll find one of the world’s greatest art collections. See Caravaggios, Titians, and don’t miss Bernini’s ‘Apollo and Daphne’ sculpture, a jaw-droppingly beautiful creation carved out of a single piece of stone.
On the edge of the Villa Borghese Gardens and close to the Spanish Steps, Maison Evelina is a stylish hotel with orchids and modern art adorning the rooms.
Find a 'nasoni' fountain to cool down in in central Rome
Splash in a fountain: 'Nasoni' fountains
In Rome there's never any danger of going thirsty, thanks to the public drinking fountains known as 'nasoni' ('big noses') on account of their distinctive shape. With over 2,000 of them scattered all over the city, these fountains are invaluable to escape the city heat, whether you drench yourself or simply fill up your water bottle with cool drinking water.
Residenza Ponte Sant'Angelo is a classically-Italian hotel that’s super central.
Local favourite, Piscina della Rose
Jump in the pool: Piscina delle Rose
This Olympic-sized pool is a local favourite and can be easily reached on the blue, B line metro from the centre of Rome. Entrance costs just €16 for the day, a bargain compared to some other city pools. With so much space for splashing around and trees surrounding the pool, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the city at all.
If it’s too hot for you to even take the metro, stay at the nearby Hotel American Palace Eur.
Feel blessed in the cool confines of one of Rome's regal churches
Cool down spiritually: visit a church
Thick stone walls, high ceilings, plenty of sweet, sweet shade; stepping into a church in the middle of a blazing hot Rome summer’s day is a great way to keep cool while also appreciating art, history, and culture. Rome has hundreds of churches worth visiting.
Aside from the most famous, St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Pantheon (all must-sees), also visit lesser-known churches like San Giovanni in Laterano (actually the official cathedral of Rome, filled with frescoes, columns, mosaics and sculptures) and the ornate Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Vatica B&B Roma has a great location, practically next door to the Vatican city, as well as pretty black-and-white chequered floors, boldly-coloured decor, and spacious, airy rooms.
The best thing about summer in Rome: gelato
The one major blessing about midsummer Rome is gelato. Gelato is not like normal ice cream, it is so much better than that. Gelaterias use fresh, natural ingredients to create the creamiest flavours and lightest textures. Coconut, pistachio, rose, ginger, cinnamon, hazelnut and chocolate – these are just the beginning. One of the best gelaterias is Della Palma near the Pantheon but gelato is sold everywhere in Rome so you won’t struggle to find it.
Lifestyle Suites Rome are not only infinitely luxurious, with super king size beds, massive bathrooms, and views out over a piazza in the heart of Rome, but also just a five-minute walk to the Pantheon.