"Eternal Rome," the city that wasn't built in a day, continues to be a gathering place for conferences and congresses, events and product launches, in the same manner that fueled social activity and commerce more than 2,700 years ago. But while planners will find that meeting venues in Rome are state-of-the-art, landmarks like the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the outdoor piazzas of the Vatican, will remind groups how little meeting architecture has been improved upon in the ensuing centuries.
This has not stopped Rome from trying: in fact, in 2012, the Nuvola Conference Center – the newest of Rome meeting venues, will open in the EUR district just outside of town. Joining venues like the Centro Congressi, the Fiera di Roma, the Palazzo dei Congressi-Eur and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni; the Nuvola will offer meeting planners more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, whose highlight is a giant steel-and-Teflon cloud suspended over a surface area of 107,640 square feet holding a 21,528-square-foot auditorium and other meeting rooms.
EUR, literally the convention and exposition district, is close to Rome's second airport, Ciampino. Most international attendees, however, are likely to arrive through Leonardo da Vinci Airport – Fiumicino, which lies 16 miles to the southeast. Rome is also served by Eurostar and other high-speed rail systems.
Special event venues, best reserved by local DMCs, include landmarks familiar to fans of the Da Vinci Code, such as the Castel Sant' Angelo, which was built as a tomb for the Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D. (The modern-day museum housed in the edifice is a major setting in the bestselling book and part of a continued pilgrimage amongst readers.) Like many of Rome's historic houses and museums, it is available for special group venues. Other amazing special venues include Cinecitta, the vast complex of film sets that was home to the Italian film industry, as well as site of the Elizabeth Taylor epic, Cleopatra. Meeting planners can use its outdoor and indoor sets for private parties, conferences and break-out sessions – and can even enlist the Cinecitta craftsmen to build custom-designed sets.
The grandeur that is Rome doesn't stop at special venues. Hotel venues in Rome have long been known for their gilded, over-the-top magnificence. The Westin Excelsior, for instance, on the famed Via Veneto, has 14,000 square feet of meeting space in a historic hotel that was once the part-time home of both Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The Excelsior's multi-million Euro restoration of the Cupola suite at the top of the hotel created Europe's largest suite complex that now includes 7,909 square feet of space encompassing board rooms, bed rooms, a full-service movie theatre, Jacuzzi pool and outdoor terrace. But you don't have to spend a fortune to bask in the reflected glory that is Rome. Meeting participants at the Hilton Rome Airport Hotel, for instance, can board free shuttles that take them into the center of the historic district, steps away from the Forum and the Colosseum. Meeting in Rome feels like making history all over again.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Leonardo da Vinci Airport – Fiumicino (FCO)
Approximate taxi fare: 64 EUR
Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA)
There are no current promotions in Rome, Italy.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.