Although Vatican City is a great repository of artistic and spiritual wonder, if you are visiting and are not high clergy, odds are you will be staying outside of city limits.  Lucky for you, you will probably be relaxing in one of the most fascinating, artistic, and richly historical cities on the planet.

So, spend a day in Rome .  

Check out the Colosseum , the most popular and extant of remains from the city’s ancient empire.  Constructed in 72 AD, and opened by the great emperor Titus eight years later, it is the famous sports venue known in historical records for its brutal man-versus-man gladiator fights and man-versus-beast corporal punishments.  Originally an immense stadium holding up to fifty thousand people, today it stands as an eroded and broken remnant to an enormous empire that once was.  The Colosseum today, though a tourist trap, is a rather accessible one at that, currently sporting two elevators to help visitors glimpse heightened views into Europe’s past.

Outside this attraction is the Arch of Constantine , constructed in 315 AD in homage to the first Byzantine emperor and the first imperial Christian head of state.

in Rome can be luxurious, as some of the finest brands in apparel—Ferragamo, Valentino, Fendi—are present here.  

In addition, historical nightlife spots like the Antico Caffe Greco , dating from the 1700’s, are open for coffee and other drinks.

The list of other cities in Italy worth checking out is nearly endless: Capri , Milan , Naples , Florence , Venice …why not make your time in Italy extra-Vatican and everything it can be?