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Every year, as it comes to a close, Google releases its zeitgeist lists, a fascinating insight into what everyone has been searching for, thinking about, dreaming of and wanting information on in the last twelve months. In terms of travel, the list for 2013 has Rome in top position.

It is suggested that this may have a lot to do with the focus and high profile brought to the ancient city by the inauguration of new Pope Francis in the spring. He has hardly been out of the news with all his proposals to do away with a lot of the pomp and circumstance of being pontiff, and become a man of the people. He is even rumoured to sneak out of the Vatican at night (not the fancy part, the lowly bit he chose to live in) to go and help the homeless.

Rome does not need much of a push to put it into the spotlight though, it has been a cherished destination for travellers for centuries. Even so, the Romans will doubtless be delighted to have trumped New York and Amsterdam which took second and third places behind it in the survey. Mallorca remains extremely popular, so much so it tool both fourth and fifth places.

The type of holiday searched for by British people has changed quite a bit over the years. Ski operators should be thrilled to see that skiing holidays are the top trending item. Getting into the mountains and the fresh air also saw hiking and country breaks feature strongly.

Beach holidays, perhaps surprisingly, were only number 10. We seem to be sportier these days, with cycling, camping and sailing all out-ranking the old bucket-and-spade style escape.

A state for luxury and pampering is another genre that would not have existed a couple of generations ago, apart from the very wealthy. Spa breaks now take a number five position in the nation's favourites.

Do you fit in with the general zeitgeist, or are your holiday plans way off the scale? It is interesting to see how these patterns emerge and what effect, consciously or unconsciously, they have on the choices we go onto make. The Rome Tourist Industry is probably hoping that the zeitgeist will lead to a renewed influx of visitors to its beautiful streets and piazzas. Any excuse is good enough to go to Rome quite frankly.

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