26 May

What to see and do in Rome before the Big Match

Over its 2,500 year history Rome has undergone many invasions but few will be as good natured as tomorrow's, with tens of thousands of Manchester United and Barcelona fans heading to the Eternal City for the Champions League Final. Many have arrived in Italy in advance or will be staying on after the match spending time in the most historic city in Europe.

Did you know that Italian drivers don't take zebra crossings too seriously? Did you know that Italian bars charge different prices if you order and drink at the bar or have waiter service? Do you know the essential Italian phrases for tourists? We do and can give advice to your listeners on all of this and so much more.

The centre of Rome is full of reminders of Rome's ancient past as capital of the longest lasting empire of classical times, ranging from the temples and public buildings of the forum and the perfectly preserved Pantheon temple to the undoubted scene stealer, the Coliseum, the Wembley of its day.

Rome is also home to stunning baroque churches and the dramatic Spanish Steps which sweep down to the marble splendour of the Trevi fountain, immortalised by Italy's leading film director Fellini in his 1960s classic La Dolce Vita. Eating out in one of the city's many beautiful squares is a pleasure for the tastebuds and eyes and savvy fans looking for a taste of authentic Roman cuisine should venture to Trastevere a working class district just across the river Tiber from the Pope's home in the Vatican.  

ABTA spokespeople are available for interview on ISDN or by phone to discuss the joys of Rome and the rest of Italy as we build up to the biggest football match for years.