The Eternal City and central Italy generally swelter in the summer months. Good news for getting a tan, less good news if you’re trailing the Tiber, ticking off sights. Luckily, Rome has lush parks and tree-framed courtyards, where overheated travellers can chill out and cool off – plus these hip hotels with pools, bookable with Culture Trip.
Around the corner of the Piazza del Popolo, with its sun-splashed obelisk and gargoyle-graced fountains, this primped palazzo looks out over the Tiber. Its courtyard garden makes you forget your city surrounds – especially at the outdoor pool, shaded by olive and lemon trees. Come nightfall, retreat to one of the high-ceilinged suites with velvet-veiled beds and restful blackout curtains.
For culture lovers who come to Rome to visit the Vatican Museums, this luxury hotel is the perfect basecamp. After a long day of art- and architecture-musing in Vatican City, you can slump poolside on a daybed or cool down at one of the villa’s many indoor and outdoor pools. For ultimate post-sightseeing relaxation, book a treatment at the spa, overseen by luxe brand Clarins.
In the heart of Villa Borghese – Rome’s most famous park – this arresting palace boasts one of the best pools in the Eternal City. The outdoor addition is framed by pruned hedges, while the spa includes a mini Thalasso pool, sauna and steam room. Budget travellers who don’t want to splurge on a night in this top-tier address can reap its benefits by booking full- and half-day spa packages.
Cooling down in a pool after a long day is great, but, at times, you need something more to unwind. The Aleph Hotel offers a hammam-style wellness hub that includes a thermal pool and a sauna, clad in marble mosaics. You can also let off some steam in the rooftop pool, looking out over Rome’s jumbled rooftops, then settle in for some well-deserved rest in one of the soothing, sand-coloured rooms with marble floors and sculpted ceilings.
Strategically set in Rome’s Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) district, between the city centre and Fiumicino airport, Hotel Cristoforo Colombo is a great option for travellers on a budget who don’t want to splash out on the price but do want a pool – here, surrounded by sunbeds and a marble-clad bar. Rooms are restful, too: dressed in botanical greens and flower motifs throughout.
This affordable hotel blends a prime position close to Marconi metro station with an upscale rooftop pool and jacuzzi. While you swim and chill, look out over the Ostiense neighbourhood with its Meccano-like Gazometro tower and street-food stops, including Puglian-hailing PuRo and Roman-purists Sorrisi e Caffè. Besides the pool, guests can also enjoy the wellness centre, a gym and a Turkish bath.
If you’re looking for a swagged-out Roman stay, this stylish hotel is for you. Designed by world-famous Italian architect Gio Ponti and located next to Villa Borghese, Parco dei Principi offers all-out luxury amid velvet-clad interiors. The crystal chandeliers and marble fireplaces are straight out of the 18th century, the outdoor pool looks out over a lush garden, and the indoor version comes with a Finnish sauna and a Turkish bath.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.