Posted on May 31, 2015.

They called it urbs kaput mundi—the city at the center of the world. And while this gorgeous tumble of ancient and Renaissance buildings may have ceded that title centuries ago, it’s still endlessly fascinating. Its tastemakers retrofit their own inimitable takes on being Roman—whether it’s the elevation of rib-sticking pastas at Roscioli, or the whimsical jewels designed by Delfina Delettrez—into its glorious, timeless maze. All you need to do to find beauty, inspiration, and something seriously delicious to eat is walk out the door of your hotel. (Did I mention it has some killer hotels, too?).

If you had to narrow Rome’s many fetching attributes down to one single selling point, it would have to be how effortlessly the ancient past and the electric present merge everywhere: in its cuisine, its culture, and its hospitality. Because the city is compact and dense, three days is actually an ideal stay. Work your way from the once-hardscrabble, now thoroughly gentrified streets of Trastevere across the Tiber and through the gorgeous jumble of the Campo Marzio, then venture out to a less-explored suburb – on foot, or astride a vintage Vespa with a guide.