Rome is a place you can easily fall in love with. How can it be otherwise?
The city that ruled an empire was the center of the Renaissance, the Papacy and the birthplace of Western civilization. History, Religion, and Art are everywhere. La dolce vita, the Italian way of life, fills the tiniest streets with laughter, great wine, tasty food, and enchanting accents.
When to Go?
Spring and autumn are your best bet, when the Seven Hills change to their most beautiful colors. Temperatures are mild and days are mostly sunny with a bright blue sky. Avoid the heat of the summer when the sky turns mostly white. Many restaurants and shops are also closed in August. Roman winters are usually mild but watch out for the rain.
Major European cities have direct flights to Fiumicino Airport (FC0). Located 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the city, it is linked with Rome’s Termini station by a direct train. Low-cost airlines will fly into the Ciampino airport (CIA), on Via Appia Nuova, 15 km (9 miles) from Rome. Shuttle buses to downtown Rome run daily.
Once in the city, your feet will become your best friends! Rome has an extensive transportation system which includes buses, the Metropolitana or Metro, and suburban trains. You can also hire a taxi at the many taxi stands. Remember to carry cash and ask for the receipt (ricevuta) to avoid any overcharge! If you want to experience the Roman dolce vita, rent a Vespa!
The historical heart of the city is situated on the south side of Piazza Venezia. Head to Piazza del Campidoglio to enjoy the panorama from the Capitoline Hill. The Roman Forum, the religious, political, and commercial center of Ancient Rome; the Palatine Hill and the spectacular Colosseum will stretch at your feet, leaving you feeling like Caesar! Try to be there early in the morning to avoid the noisy and crowded flow of tourists. Buy your ticket at the Forum gates, which are less crowded, then head on to the Colosseum with the same ticket! Booking a guide is recommended in order to understand the complexity of the world’s most striking and concentrated ancient remains and the influence of the Roman Empire on our modern society. To enjoy some peace, continue to the Caracalla Baths. This was the fashionable place to live in Imperial Rome and its vanishing splendor is still apparent.
Piazza Navona and its gracious fountains is the center of a vibrant, crowded, yet beautiful neighborhood. Cobblestone streets will lead you to the most loved Trevi Fountain. Don’t forget to turn around and throw a coin into the water to return to Rome! The majestic Pantheon on the cute and lively Piazza Minerva is just a few steps away. Head to Piazza Campo de’ Fiori in the morning to experience the explosion of colors on the stalls of this famous marketplace. Make sure to do a little bit of shopping in the stores around the square. In the afternoon, it becomes a trendy meeting place until late at night.
Via del Corso will take you all the way to the magnificent Piazza del Popolo. The panorama from Monte Pincio is a popular spot to watch the sundown. From the Villa Medicis, start your way down the famous Spanish Steps. The Via dei Condotti and surrounding streets are a major and luxurious shopping neighborhood.
To get away from the hustle of the center, take a stroll on the ancient Via Appia Antica. And for an even more quieter experience, visit the catacombs!
Don’t miss Vatican City! Book your tickets Online to skip the queue. Admiring Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel might give you torticollis but it will definitely be the highlight of your visit.
Eat and Drink
The Trastevere and the Jewish neighborhoods are both great areas to find wonderful trattorie, ostiarie, or travole calde away from the more touristy areas.
« Life is too short to have the wrong artichoke Jewish style » is Nonna Betta’s motto. Artichokes are a must eat in Rome and this family restaurant in the Jewish quarter is the place to taste the best carciofi!
After a stroll on the Via Appia Antica, chill out under the shade of the pine trees at the Appia Antica Caffè. If you did not get enough exercise, you can rent bikes there!
For a bite on the go, try a tasty panini at Pane Più on via Florida.
Giolitti is an institution in Rome. The oldest gelateria is a stop you will not regret. You might even come back to try out a different flavor!
Little Queen Roma, three different boutique hotels in the heart of Rome, are ancient palaces beautifully renovated. Each one is a unique and elegant oasis in the hectic city. They are well situated within walking distance of major monuments. The owners will do their best to make your stay relaxing and delightful.
For a more budget conscious option, airbnb offers many rentals at different prices.
And for a more exclusive stay, Hotel de Russie is a luxury five-star hotel located between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. If you are lucky, you might even share your breakfast with a celebrity!
Here are additional options for where to stay in Rome.