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Romance in Rome

When thinking of a romantic break, many of the destinations that automatically spring to mind are in Europe. This is hardly surprising when you consider that Europe is the resting place of one of the most enduring romantic figures in history: St Valentine.

All around the world, people of many religions celebrate this saintís day each February 14 through grand gestures and displays of love. Traditionally, St Valantineís Day is a time to anonymously declare oneís feelings for another or, for those already in relationships, to demonstrate ongoing commitment.

While the tomb of St Valentine can be found on the Via Flaminia, connecting Rimini to Rome, Rome itself can be a great place to make your own romantic memories. These memories neednít be restricted to what is meant to be the most amorous day of the year, however: Rome can inspire romance all year round.

While the crowds may head for the major tourist attractions and cafes and restaurants lining the main streets and squares, those hoping for some quiet, tender moments would be well advised to head off the beaten track. A wander down a quiet lane could lead to the discovery of a small restaurant or trattoria which becomes a favourite for many years to come.

Many of us still choose to show our affection for loved ones by offering gifts of flowers which can be found in abundance in Rome. As with many European cities, after dark youíll find people selling single red roses to unsuspecting couples; the purchase of which may seem an incredibly romantic gesture at the time, although it will invariably be dead in the morning. Instead, think about making a purchase one of the many flower markets dotted around the city for a gift that will last the duration of your visit.

Of course, strolling hand-in-hand over the bridges across the Tiber (if you can avoid the many salesmen), around the Isola Tibernia, or along the banks during the summer months, can be the source of many happy memories for years to come. Summer sees markets and events around this area, making it a great opportunity to experience life in Rome first hand.

During the summer, there are also a great many open air musical events in the city. Why not while away the sultry evenings experiencing an aural extravaganza? Whatever your musical taste, thereís sure to be something to appeal, with a different event held each night.

While few of us can even begin to see ourselves as the enduringly beautiful Audrey Hepburn, there is certainly no reason why we canít all enjoy our very own Roman Holiday this year.

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