Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations to travel to in Italy. Many tourists travel to Rome yearly because there’s a lot of things to see and discover. The city has a interesting history that even tourists from far sides of the world would enjoy.
The best time to visit Rome is during April to May when the weather is relatively average and mild. Flowers bloom everywhere and the atmosphere is very relaxed. During summer, the sun is at its peak and it can be very hot so you have to literary seek cover during afternoon or take a siesta perhaps and resume your tour during the early evenings. September to October are also good months. There are not many tourists so you can enjoy top destinations at ease.
During August, most Romans head out for vacation so there could be a lot of closed shops and restaurants.
How to Reach the Destination
As the saying goes, “All Roads Lead to Rome” and true enough, getting to the huge city is very easy. Most international plane lands at the Rome’s Fiumicino/Leonardo the Vince Airport so most of those who are about to go on an Italian tour would start their journey at Rome first.
From the airport, there is a direct train that goes to the city center every 30 minutes. Train rides cost 11EUR. Taxi from the airport to the city center usually costs 40EUR and up.
Being the capital of Italy, Rome is connected through rail to almost all Italian cities. Getting there via the main station which is the Termini is quiet easy plus, there are different trains that can suite your budget.
From the Termini, it is also easy to go to popular places such as the Colosseum and the Vatican via the Rome Metro Service. There are also a lot of shops, restaurants, and hotels around the Termini. The Rome Hop on and Hop Off Tour busses usually starts at the Termini too.
Get out of your comfort zone. Get out from your hotel (especially if its located near the city centre) early in the morning and walk. Have a simple coffee and some sweets in any of the open cafes and explore the city during its most quiet time.
Watch your belongings carefully especially at tourist attractions. Just like in any other Italian city, there could be a lot of pick pockets everywhere – even in the airport vicinity. Take care of your bags and wallets and travel documents.
Ask if there’s a corresponding price for souvenir photos. Some tourist attractions have photo booths where somebody from there would take your photo for a corresponding cost. For some places like the Colosseum for example, taking a photo with the men in a gladiator costumes can be very expensive.
Dress appropriately when visiting churches. It is a sign of respect and some places might even have it as a dress code. This typically means covering your shoulders if you have on a sleeveless top.
Don’t be fooled by unofficial tour guides. If you don’t belong to any tours and would want to experience the city by yourself, then be free to do so. However, there are many unofficial tour guides who will lure you with their services. Be very aware of costs.
Don’t exchange your money through unofficial money exchange vendors. It’s better to use an ATM so you can be sure you are getting the official rate. We are talking about your hard earned money here. Avoid being scammed.
Price Range for Hotels
Just like in any other popular city in Italy, accommodation in Rome can hit you hard in the pocket. A no fuss no frill hotel near the city center cost €200 while a luxury hotel can cost upwards of €1000 per night.
The good thing about Rome however is that there are actually a lot of interesting places to stay in. There are bed and breakfast places that are not really far for the city center that cost between €50 to about €100. Convents and monastery also offer rooms for about €60 up. Now for backpackers, hostel accommodation can be as low as €20 per night.
Cost of Meal
Prepare to spend around €20 per day on budget meals when you are in Rome. Average cost for coffee and bread during breakfast is about €5 while a simple lunch of pizza or pasta would cost about €5 to €10. A dinner at a fancy restaurant is about €10 to €25. Beer is €1 at groceries but regular price of beer when dining in a bar is at €3 to €5 a pint. A gelato on a hot afternoon would cost you €2.
Cost for Commute
In Rome, do what Romans do and go around the city via public transportation. Sure, you can just easily ride a Hop-on Hop-off bus for a hassle free tour but to really experience and get to know the city further, a commute through bus or train won’t hurt. A standard ticket per trip in local transport cost € 1.50 but there’s also a €6 daily ticket valid throughout the day for an unlimited metro bus and train ride. For tourists, a three days transport pass cost €16.50 and this also includes unlimited metro bus and train ride within Rome.
Top Places to Visit
When in Rome, visit the Colosseum. The largest and most famous ancient amphitheater in all of Italy. The Colosseum is also the symbol of Roman’s strength and power for this served as the venue of bloody fights between gladiators. Book in advance and get a clear picture of how it once was during the glory days of Rome.
The Roman Forum
It’s amazing how so many of the ancient structures in Rome were preserved for many years. Just looking at the Roman Forum as a whole will give you chills. It’s truly mind blowing. Imagine for centuries, the place served as venue for elections, speeches, and other Roman state affairs.
The Vatican is a mini city within Rome (actually it’s considered it’s own country). It is easily accessible via public transport from the Rome Termini. Say a prayer or if your fortunate, hear mass The St. Peter’s Basilica where the Pope resides and drop by and marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo’s work of art at the Vatican Museum. Probably one of the best seasons to visit Vatican is during the holiday season where you could attend a Christmas mass with a lot of people from all over the world. If you plan on attending the Christmas mass it requires an invitation from the Vatican which you have to apply for. Also, there is no gauranteed seating so you should show up early!
This world famous Baroque fountain is the only legit place where you could throw a coin a say your wish. The fountain features a sculpture of the Roman sea God Neptune.
This is Roman architecture at its finest. The Pantheon is beautifully preserved after thousands of years and it remains to be the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The Pantheon might just another tourist attractions in Rome because of its magnificent structure but during the earlier times, it was a sacred place where the Roman gods were believed to reside. The place also served as a church and sometimes, masses are still held there.
Campo de’ Fiori
Do what locals do and drop by the Campo de’ Fiori to shop for food, spices, and other interesting effects. It is located just within the vicinity of Piazza Navona. Walking around it is like being in the movies. It might be a market place but it has a romantic and ancient appeal in it, which most people outside of Rome like very much. At night, you can shake things off and enjoy a good drink around the area. Before, the place was actually a meadow.