Ah, Rome. Its name alone elicits a lot of sighs and awe from almost everyone. Rome is one of Europe’s most iconic cities and has hosted travellers from all over the world for years.
This famous destination offers everything from grand Roman architecture, historical sites, enchanting cobblestone streets, and food. Rome has long been known as a foodie’s haven and one of the many reasons why tourists keep coming back for more.
As the capital city of Italy, you can enjoy everything from the Colosseum to the scenic Cinque Terre to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Every traveller is also known to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain and has stood on the famous Pantheon. It is also important to walk to St. Peter’s Basilica and visit the Vatican – which is a small country located within Rome.
How to Get There
The major international airport in Rome is the Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport. It connects the Italian peninsula to the world and other European cities.
From the airport, travellers can rent a car or take a taxi to reach the centre of Rome. However, these options are a bit pricey.
Their local trains are the fastest option to get from the airport to the city centre. It is in front of Terminal 3 arrivals and offers two types of trains: Leonardo Express and Sabina – Fiumicino FR1. The Leonardo Express is a direct shuttle that runs every half hour while the Sabina – Fiumicino FR1 is more convenient since it has more stops as opposed to the Leonardo Express.
Meanwhile, there are five bus services offered at the airport to the centre of Rome. It includes the SIT Bus Shuttle, Terravision, Tam Bus, Schiaffini, and Cotral.
Top Things to Do
Rome is a city that is embedded in centuries of history. There are many things to do and places to see. However, if you are a first-time traveller, it would be great to start your adventure by checking the historical sites.
You can start your trip by visiting the Pantheon’s famous dome. It is the only structure with a good condition compared to other Roman structures found in the city. A great way to appreciate this historic marvel is to see its beauty from right below the dome.
Another thing to tick off your bucket list is the Trevi Fountain. It’s been featured on many TV shows, music videos, and movies, to name a few. Tossing a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder means you will be fated to return to Rome.
Meanwhile, you’ll find the famous Piazza di Spagna in the city centre. Located right below the Piazza Trinita dei Monti, climb up its 135 steps and enjoy the view. It’s especially beautiful during sunset.
Another beautiful sight you should see is the geometric centre of Rome – Piazza Venezia. Located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, Piazza Venezia is the city square that is the best place for you to get a panoramic view of the Roman City. You can view both Rome’s largest street, the Imperial Forums, and the Colosseum. You can also spend time at the River Tibet where you have a lot of choices for dinner.
Visiting Rome will not be complete without a side trip to the Vatican. This offers an opportunity to look at the beautiful Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and a lot of Vatican Museums that will take your breath away.
And of course, you must take a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
What to Eat
One of the best things about Rome is its cuisine. There is just nothing like it. There’s the famous pizza, gelato, and even delicious street food. Indeed, everything in Rome is a delight to try.
A famous appetizer in Rome is the fritti – which are deep-fried goodies that are tasty, comforting, and satisfying. A classic choice of fritti is the classic suppli, a fried rice ball that is mixed with ragu and mozzarella. You can try this at Suppli at I Suppli.
Another popular Mediterranean cuisine is the cod. You will find the salted cod fried in egg batter and is often served piping hot. You can try this at the famous Baccala at Dar Filettaro, which has been famous since the 1950s.
Gabriele Bonci introduced a new dimension to the famous Roman street pizza. He has created creative combinations that have all the flavors you can think of including Parmesan, pumpkin cream, and mozzarella. You can try them all at Pizza al Taglio at Pizzarium.
Lastly, you cannot leave Rome without trying their famous gelato. You can try this at Neve Di Latte, I Caruso, and Gunther Rohregger Gelato.
Keep in mind that the Romans enjoy late dinner that starts at around 9 PM. You might want to adjust your appetite for your trip!
The party doesn’t start until after dinner in Rome so do not be surprised if the bars are practically empty at 7 PM. Locals often hang out in low key win bar and restaurants on weekdays while weekends are spent in pubs, rooftop bars, and clubs. It’s normal for the party to end at 6 AM. Party-goers often end their nights at nearby 24-hour bakeries and eat a cornetto before calling it a night. You can try hanging out at Gay Village, Sharivari, and Baja.
Where to Stay
If your Roman dream includes simple walking right out of your hotel in Rome and enjoying the heart of the Piazza, the best option for you is the Centro Storico. Centro Storico is the centre of Rome and has many hotels to offer from luxurious to budget-friendly, although the budget-friendly option may still be a bit expensive. This is the best place to stay if you have little time and want to see everything possible.
Another upscale area to look for hotels in Rome is the Tridente neighbourhood. It is perfect for the shopper traveller because it is filled with designer boutiques and features 4 to 5-star hotels in Rome. It was the hotspot of the 50s and 60s and offers a lot of elegant hotels. This is perfect if you have a high budget and want to stay close to the centre of the city as well.
For inexpensive options, you can stay in Stazione Termini and Esquilino. These areas are close to Rome’s Termini station and are packed with inexpensive Rome hotels. It isn’t extremely beautiful but it's calm, inexpensive, and safe. This is the perfect place if you wish to be close to the Metro.
• Italy still functions largely on cash economy so make sure you always have cash on you.
• Tipping is not obligatory, but it’s appreciated.
• Order coffee at the bar to avoid paying a service charge for being served at a table. Find the bar by locating the cashier.