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Rome
Location
Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg
Flag
Flag of Rome.svg
Quick Facts
Government Capital of Italy, Latium and the Metropolitan City of Rome
Currency Euro (€)
Area 1,285km²
Population 2,863,322 (2013 est.)
Language Italian (official)
Religion n/a
Electricity 230V, 50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Time Zone UTC+1
Rome is capital a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Rome (Italian: Roma), the Eternal City, is the capital and largest city of Italy and of the Lazio region. It's the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (the sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Rome, as a millenium-long centre of power, culture (having been the cradle of one of the globe's greatest civilisations ever) and religion, has exerted a huge influence over the world in its roughly 2800 years of existence.

The historic centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millennium-old churches, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe's and the world's most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals. Today, Rome has a growing nightlife scene and is also seen as a shopping heaven, being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world (some of Italy's oldest jewellery and clothing establishments were founded in the city).

With so many sights and things to do, Rome can truly be classified a "global city".

Districts[edit]

Central Rome[edit]

Rome can be divided into several districts: the so-called historical centre is quite small - only around 4% of the city area - but it's the place in which most of the tourist attraction are located.

Districts are explained below:

Rome's central districts
Modern Centre
Where many of the hotels are, as well as shopping and dining galore along the via Veneto; home to the areas around the Quirinal, Trevi fountain, piazza Barberini, Castro Pretorio and piazza della Repubblica.
Old Rome
The Renaissance-era centre of the city, with beautiful squares, cathedrals, the Pantheon, and plenty of laid-back dining; includes piazza Navona, piazza Campo de' Fiori, and the (former) Jewish Ghetto.
Vatican
The independent Vatican City and its endless treasure troves of sights, relics and the Vatican Museums - as well as the surrounding Italian districts of Borgo, Prati and Monte Mario.
Colosseo
The heart of ancient Rome, the Colosseum, the Imperial Fora and the Markets of Trajan, the Capitoline hill and its museums.
North Centre
Situated in the northern part of Rome, it is home to the Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, and the elegant districts of Parioli and Salario.
Trastevere
The charming district south of the Vatican, on the west bank of the Tiber, full of narrow cobbled streets and lonely squares that served as the inspiration for artists such as Giorgio de Chirico. Now arguably the centre of Rome's artistic life.
Aventino-Testaccio
Off-the-beaten-path districts of Rome with plenty of surprises waiting for interested travellers, as well as some truly great food.
Esquilino-San Giovanni
South of Termini, with an indoor market, piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and the Cathedral of Rome - Saint John in Lateran.
Nomentano
The districts "behind" the train station. Vibrant night life in San Lorenzo.

Outskirts[edit]

North
The vast suburban areas to the north of the centre
South
Home to the Appian Way park, several catacombs, Fascist monumental architecture in the EUR district and extensive suburbs.
Ostia
A Roman district (not a separate town!) with a view to the sea and several beach resorts. Home to the ruins of Ostia antica, ancient Rome's harbour.

Understand[edit]

The Pantheon

Situated on the river Tiber, between the Apennine mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the "Eternal City" was once the administrative centre of the mighty Roman Empire, ruling over a vast territory that stretched all the way from Britain to Mesopotamia. Today, the city is the seat of the Italian government and home to numerous ministerial offices. Rome has 2.6 million inhabitants while its metropolitan area is home to around 4.2 million.

Architecturally and culturally, Rome has some contrasts - you have areas with pompously huge majestic palaces, avenues and basilicas which are then surrounded by tiny alleyways, little churches and old houses; you may also find yourself walking from a grand palace and tree-lined elegant boulevard, into a small and cramped Medieval-like street.

The abbreviation "S.P.Q.R" - short for the old motto of the Roman Republic Senatus Populusque Romanus ("The Senate and People of Rome") - is ubiquitous in Rome, being also that of Rome's city council; a humorous variation is "Sono pazzi questi romani" (these Romans are crazy).

For two weeks in August, many of Rome's inhabitants used to shut up shop and go on their own vacations; today, however, things have changed - many shops and restaurants (especially those located in the historical centre that cater to tourists) are open in summer. On the other hand, the ones located in residential areas do close. The temperature in the city at this time of year is not particularly pleasant: if you do travel to Rome at this time, you might see chiuso per ferie (closed for holidays) signs on many establishments. Even in these weeks the city is very beautiful and you will always be able to find somewhere to eat.

Climate[edit]

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High (°C) 11.9 13.0 15.2 17.7 22.8 26.9 30.3 30.6 26.5 21.4 15.9 12.6
Low (°C) 3.1 3.5 5.2 7.5 11.6 15.3 18.0 18.3 15.2 11.3 6.9 4.2
Precipitation (cm) 6.69 7.33 5.78 8.05 5.28 3.40 1.92 3.68 7.33 11.33 11.54 8.10
Rome, Italy - Weather forecast

Spring is a relatively mild and rainy season. The temperatures remain cool until mid-April. In May the first warmer days arrive but the seabreeze keeps it cool.

Summer, from June to August, is hot and sunny. Clear days are the norm especially in July and August. On hot days the temperature touches easily 34/35 °C, and every year it reaches for a few days 37/38 °C. It goes better on the Roman coast, where the daytime temperature can be a few degrees lower than in the city center.

Autumn, from September to November, is mild and humid, with sunny days alternating with periods of cloudy skies and rain, which gradually becomes more frequent. There's no shortage of sunny days, at least in the first part; in October the nice and almost summer-like days are frequent especially in the first half of the month. In November, the rains are frequent and the temperature decreases fairly rapidly: at the beginning of the month the temperature is often very mild, while at the end of the month, the weather is often similar to that of winter.

Winter, from December to February, is quite mild, given that the average temperature in January is about 7.5 °C. There's no shortage of sunny days, which can be mild, but it often gets cold at night, with lows around freezing or slightly above. Cloudy periods, accompanied by wind and rain, are milder, especially at night, because of the wind from the south, and cloud cover which is able to prevent nocturnal cooling. In early December, an autumn-like weather can still prevail, and abundant rainfall. In the second half of February, in some years you can already see the first spring-like days.

History[edit]

Roman Forum
The artsy piazza Navona.
The Vittoriano, a symbol of a united Italy.
The Quirinal Palace, the official residence of the President of Italy.

Rome's history spans over two and half thousand years, which have seen its transformation from a small Latin village to the centre of a vast empire, through the founding of Catholicism, and into the capital of today's Italy. This is a long and complex topic; what follows is merely a quick summary.

Rome is traditionally said to have been founded by the mythical twins Romulus and Remus (the sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia) on 21 April 753 BC. The twins were abandoned as infants in the Tiber river and raised by a she-wolf (Lupa) before being found by a shepherd (Faustulus), who raised them as his own sons.

Actually, Rome was founded as a small village on top of the Palatine Hill (including the area where the Roman Forum is found) sometime in the 8th century BC; due to the village's position at a ford on the Tiber river, Rome became a crossroads of traffic and trade. The settlement developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom, led by a series of Etruscan kings, before becoming the seat of the Roman Republic in 509BC and then the centre of the Roman Empire from 27BC to 285AD. For almost a thousand years, Rome was the largest, wealthiest, most powerful city in the Western world, with dominance over most of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476AD, Rome maintained considerable importance and wealth. Beginning with the reign of Constantine I (306-337), the Bishop of Rome (later known as the Pope) gained political and religious importance, establishing the city as the centre of the Catholic Church. The city was sacked by the barbarians, first in 410 and again in 455; after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476 the city withstood a siege by the Ostrogoths in AD 537 and a Saracen raid in AD 846, followed by its capture by the Normans in 1084.

During the Early Middle Ages, the city declined in population but gained a new importance as the capital of the newly formed Papal States; Charlemagne, for example, was crowned Emperor at Saint Peter's in 800. Throughout the Middle Ages, most of the city's ancient monuments fell in disrepair and were gradually stripped of their precious statues, ornaments and materials; these were either recycled in other constructions or, as in the case of marble, baked in order to obtain mortar for new buildings... meanwhile, the ancient Fora became nothing more but pasture land. However, Rome not only was a major pilgrimage site but was also the focus of struggles between Roman nobles and, most importantly, between the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy. In 1309 The Pope left Rome for Avignon, at the request of the King of France, and the city plunged into chaos; despite it being formally under the authority of the Pontiff, nobles ruled it as they pleased and were known for oppressing its citizens, often engaging in bloody feuds. By 1347, the populace was on the verge of rebellion - a commoner, Cola di Rienzo, became "Tribune of the People" and promised to rule for the good of the city; a free comune (city-state) was established, nobles were exiled and a vast reform programme was started. However, said nobles conspired against Cola and this, along with the Tribune's own vanity, caused his downfall in 1354.

The Santa Maria in Trastevere church, a symbol of early medieval Rome.

Following the return of the Papacy (1377) from the Avignonese captivity and with the Italian Renaissance fully under way in the 15th century, Rome changed dramatically. Extravagant churches, bridges, and public spaces, including a new Saint Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, were constructed by the Papacy so that Rome would equal the grandeur of other Italian cities of the period. The city recovered quickly from the sack of 1527 and, in the following 200 years, it became the centre of Baroque architecture; renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Caravaggio worked there while the new St. Peter's basilica was begun in 1506, only to be completed in 1626. During the latter stages of the French Revolution - more precisely, in 1798 - local revolutionaries inspired by the new ideals rose against Papal authority and a Roman Republic was declared; the Pontiff was forced to flee and the following year troops from the Kingdom of Naples entered the city, thus putting an end to the revolutionary movement.

Between 1805 and 1814, Rome was also occupied by Napoleonic troops.

In 1849, the population - with the aid of patriots such as Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini - rose against the Papal government and forced the Pontiff to flee the city and seek refuge at Gaeta. A modern, democratic, Constitution was drafted and a new Roman Republic was proclaimed. The Pope then requested the help of the French emperor, Napoleon III, who promptly sent an expeditionary force: despite some initial setbacks the French troops overcame the revolutionary forces which, after a month-long siege, attempted a desperate last stand on the Janiculum hill. In the ensuing bloodbath, the Italian patriots - along with their foreign allies - were crushed; Goffredo Mameli, composer of the current Italian anthem, was among the fallen. In 1860 Rome became again the focus of a power struggle with the rise of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, which sought to unite the peninsula; after a series of battles, the Papal States were stripped of all their Italian possessions except for Rome, which remained under French protection. However, with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, the French abandoned Rome, leaving it clear for the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy to capture on 20 September 1870. Rome became thus the capital of Italy, and has remained such ever since. The new Italian government started a huge campaign of public works; new districts (such as Prati, or the Esquilino), monuments (the Vittoriano) and public buildings were built, while countless Medieval and Renaissance buildings were torn down to make way for the new street layout and the Tiber river was enclosed within its current embankments.

Following World War I, with the rise of Fascism in 1922 Rome's face changed again: new districts (the EUR), avenues (via della Conciliazione, via dei Fori Imperiali) and other public buildings were built and ancient sites (such as the Fora or the Circus Maximus) were feverishly excavated; in doing so, entire Medieval neighbourhoods were bulldozed. Population grew; this trend was halted by World War II, which dealt (relatively minor) damage to Rome. After Italy had signed the Armistice, the city was occupied by the Germans on 8 September 1943 despite heavy resistance from surviving units of the Royal Italian Army aided by local partisan formations: these were crushed in a bloody battle near Porta S. Paolo. Roman Jews were deported on 16 October and on 24 March 1944 - after 33 German soldiers were killed in a partisan attack - 335 civilians were rounded up and summarily executed at the Fosse Ardeatine. Rome was finally liberated by Allied troops on 4 June.

With the fall of the monarchy and the creation of the Italian Republic in 1946, Rome again began to grow in population and became a modern city. Today's Rome is a modern, contemporary, bustling metropolis with an ancient core that reflects the many periods of its long history - the ancient times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Modern Era - standing today as the capital of Italy and as one of the world's major tourist destinations.

Background reading[edit]

At last count there were close to 1,700 novels set in Rome in days gone by. [58] Most easily available in bookshops are those by Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor. Both are good storytellers and excellent at portraying life in Ancient Rome. Particularly interesting if you are visiting Rome may be Saylor’s “Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome”, which traces the first thousand years or so of Rome’s history by following the fictional fortunes of two families. Each chapter begins with a map showing the state of Rome’s development at the time of the chapter.

The classic work on Ancient Rome remains Edward Gibbon’s “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. This was written in 1782 but is still being reprinted. A marvellous book that covers Rome’s fortunes from Romulus and Remus to the 1970s is “Rome: The Biography of a City” by Christopher Hibbert (Penguin). An excellent guide book, too, although perhaps a bit too heavy to carry around.

English-language bookshops in Rome are:

  • Anglo-American Bookstore, via delle Vite, 102, also close to piazza di Spagna. A large store, with specialist sections. Strong on non-fiction.
  • The Almost Corner Bookshop, via del Moro 45, Trastevere. Small but very well-stocked store on the other side of the river.

Some Italian bookstores also have English-language sections. Try the large selection of English books (but also French, Spanish and more) at Feltrinelli International in via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando - or the smaller ones in the branches at Largo Argentina or via del Corso.

By boat[edit]

Cruise ships[edit]

Most cruise ships dock in Civitavecchia, and advertise this in their itineraries as "Rome". The reality is Civitavecchia is an hour and a half away from Rome and a bit of a pain to get from the pier to the City if you are travelling without a tour. Some ships begin or end cruises here, some stay a full day to allow passengers to "day-trip" to Rome.

For "day-trippers", many ships arrange shuttle buses to and from the pedestrian port entrance. From there you can walk 10-15 minutes along the shore to the Civitavecchia train station. A B.I.R.G. round trip train ticket for Rome costs approximately €12 (as of 2014), and also entitles you to unlimited use of Rome's Metro, tram and bus lines. Trains for commuters leave every hour or so - more often during rush hours - and take about 80 minutes. For Rome, you can get off either at the Roma Trastevere train station, Roma San Pietro (for the Vatican) or continue to Roma Termini right downtown, where countless buses, some trams and the Metro await.

If starting or ending a cruise using the train, you'll likely want to take a taxi between the ship and the train station. Because some train platforms can only be reached by underground walkway/stairs, plan ahead for transferring your luggage. At certain times of day, there may be porters to help. See also "About luggage" in "By train" above.

It is now possible for modest-to large-sized yachts to dock in the new Porto di Roma at Ostia, a district located 20km from the city centre and linked by the Roma-Lido light railway (whose stations, however, are not within practical walking distance of the marina or riverside boat facilities).

Ferry services[edit]

  • Grimaldi Lines. Provides ferry service from Civitavecchia to Barcelona, Tunis, Toulon (France), Porto-Vecchio (Corsica). Many ferries run as much as 4h late causing problems with onward connections such as the train to Rome. The last one leaves Civitavecchia at midnight and can leave you stranded overnight.
  • Moby provides service to/from Olbia, Sardinia.

By car[edit]

Driving to Rome is quite easy; as they say, all roads lead to Rome. The city is ringed by a motorway - the Grande Raccordo Anulare or, simply, the GRA. If you are going to the very centre of the city any road leading off the GRA will get you there; if you are going anywhere else, however, a GPS or a good map is essential. Signs on the GRA indicate the name of the road leading to the centre (e.g. via Appia Nuova, via Aurelia, via Tiburtina) but this is useful only for Romans who know where these roads pass.

One thing to watch out for is the free parking spaces in deserted areas. As car theft is very common in Italy, you should always watch out for them.

By train[edit]

Rome's main railway station is Roma Termini, which is closed between 00:30 and 04:30. Most long-distance trains passing through Rome between these times will stop at Tiburtina station instead (see also the "By boat" section below).

Other main stations are Roma Tiburtina, Roma Ostiense, Roma Trastevere and Roma Tuscolana.

About luggage: when travelling between major cities or to/from another country, trains will be designed for passengers and luggage. Most others (e.g., between nearby towns and cities) are often designed to serve commuters.

  • For stations en route, they stop for only 1-2 minutes.
  • Most cars have a middle platform close to the station's boarding level, but with a significant gap. Seating areas may be at levels different from the middle platform, with narrow/clumsy steps for moving large luggage and little space to store them. Large pieces must often be left on the middle platform; have someone guard them... as thieves might try to grab them just before the doors close.

By plane[edit]

Rome (IATA: ROM for all airports) has two main international airports:

  • Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport (Fiumicino, IATA: FCO, ☎ +39 06 65951) - Rome's main airport is modern, large, rather efficient and well connected to the city centre by public transport. However, late-night arrivals may limit you to an irregular bus into town unless you can afford a taxi.
  • G.B. Pastine/Ciampino International Airport (Ciampino, IATA: CIA, ☎ +39 06 794941) - Located to the southeast of the capital, this is the city's low-cost airline airport, serving Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizzair flights, among others (see Discount airlines in Europe). This small airport is closer to the city centre than Fiumicino but has no direct train connection. There are plans to move the low-cost airport much further out of Rome, but this is unlikely for some years. Note that at Ciampino cash machines are available only in the departures area. This is a relatively small airport and it closes overnight; you'll be locked out of the airport until it opens again for the first check-in around 04:30 or 05:00. Flying into Ciampino, try to sit on the right of the plane - it will fly just to the east of the city centre. While the plane's reaching Rome, you can see the Tiber and then the Olympic stadium, Castel Sant'Angelo, St. Peter's and the Colosseum.

Transport to/from airports[edit]

  • Private Transfer From Fiumicino Airport

There are two categories of private transportation from Fiumicino airport to the city centre. The Roman taxis that are white with the City Council’s crest printed on the door and the private cars with a chauffeur. Since 2012 there is a flat price €48  from Fiumicino airport to Rome city ring, meaning withing the Aurelian walls and the ride will take about 45 minutes. 

You can check in advance whether your drop off destination is within the Aurelian walls. Outside of the Aurelian walls area, you will need to pay what is written on the taxi meter.

For a private car with a driver, it’s advisable to pre-book your transfer in advance and get a quote, the transfer cost might be different from the flat cost determined by municipality of Rome. Your driver will be waiting for you right outside of the arrival gate and it is by far the least stressful option. Please avoid any car or shuttle service that approaches you for a transfer upon your arrival, there might not be licensed drivers.

Rome Airport Taxi Fares FCO Airport to Rome City Ring (downtown) 48 € FCO Airport to Fiera di Rome (Exhibition Center) 25 € FCO Airport to CIA (Ciampino Airport) 50 € FCO Airport to Tiburtina Station (Railway station) 55 € FCO Airport to Ostiense Station (Railway station) 45 €

Useful Tips

  • The taxis in Rome can take up to 4 people with 4 luggage
  • There is a flat cost of 48 €, that remains the same no matter the time zone
  • Feel free to show that you are aware of the 48 € fixed cost inside the Aurellian Walls
  • It will take you approximately 45 minutes from Fiumicino airport to the city center depending on traffic
  • The Termini station (central railway station) is inside the Aurelian Walls


  • Private Transfer From From Ciampino Airport

Like Fiumicino Airport, you can find 2 categories of taxi outside of the Airport. The Roman taxis that are white with the City Council’s crest printed on the door and the private cars with a chauffeur. There is a flat rate set by the city to go from the Ciampino airport to Rome. The flat rate is 30€. Is Advisable to pre-book you transfer from Ciampino Airport, in order to avoid hidden fees and tricks from drivers.

By train, public and private bus[edit]
Fiumicino[edit]

From the Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino airport, there are two train lines that will get you into Rome:

  • The Leonardo Express leaves every 30 minutes to Roma Termini, Rome's central train station (35 min trip). Tickets cost €14 and are available (within 7 days of departure) online (you must create an account and enroll in Trenitalia's Cartafreccia program before you can purchase online tickets). Tickets sold at the departure platform are €15. So if there are three of you it is cheaper to take a taxi and you get delivered to your door. You can't buy a ticket for a specific train; it's just a general ticket for a specific route (Termini), but it's good for any time. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before boarding the train: it will expire 90 minutes after the validation. It is important to validate the ticket: otherwise, the train conductor could fine you a substantial sum. At Termini, the Leonardo Express stops at platform # 24.
  • The suburban train (FL1 line) does not stop at Termini. Get off at Tiburtina or, before that, at the Ostiense train station, where you can connect to line B of the Metro; alternatively, you can get off at the Roma Trastevere train station and from there take the # 8 tram line (direction: "p.za Venezia") to go to Trastevere, Campo de' Fiori, largo di Torre Argentina and piazza Venezia. Tickets are €8, plus €1.50 for a bus-tram-Metro ticket. The extra cost of the Leonardo Express is for the convenience of a direct ride to Termini. If you are going somewhere else close to a Metro station, Tiburtina and Ostiense stations are as convenient. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it.

Terravision bus is probably the easiest and cheapest connection between Fiumicino airport and Rome city centre, but the journey takes 55 minutes. However, you should consider that they oversell buses online and you may to wait more than two hours to catch one. The online "reservation" does not guarantee a seat. You can either book online (€4 one-way) or buy the tickets there (€6 one-way, €11 round-trip). The bus departs near Terminal 3 of the airport and arrives at Termini station (the same applies for the route in reverse). There are other buses that go to Termini station and, during the low season, you can hedge your bets and see which one leaves earlier. Be careful terravision is not always on time and you might get late to your flight.

Note: When boarding one of the Terravision coaches from Termini to either airport, you must trade in your ticket for a laminated card called a "Boarding Pass". The €6 ticket is good for any bus in the day of purchase, but there's a limited number of seats available on each bus - and the Terravision office hands out these boarding passes on a first come, first served basis. For example, you may go to the station at noon and buy the 14:30 ticket to Ciampino. The ticket agent will however be giving you a generic ticket; you must then come back (they recommend 30 minutes earlier) at, let's say, 14:00 and trade that ticket in for a boarding pass valid for the 14:30 bus to Ciampino. In rare cases, these passes may have already run out by the moment you show up at the office - our advice is to get onto the bus before the one you actually want to ride. The agents speak decent English, though, so just ask them if you are confused.

Schiaffini operates buses from both airports to the city; don't forget to validate your ticket after getting on the bus. The timetables can be found here: [59]

SIT Bus Shuttle also operates buses from both airports to the city, stopping at Termini and Piazza Cavour (for Fiumicino). Arrive at the bus stop 15 minutes before the scheduled time and show your reservation number to the ticket person. You can also purchase tickets from them via cash. The Price is 6 Euros.

From Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino, the public bus stop is located outdoors at ground level, at the bottom of the Terminal 1 (Domestic Arrivals). You can buy tickets at the tobacco shop in the Terminal 1 baggage area, with the blue sign (Tabaccheria).

Lines from Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino are:

  • Aeroporto-Termini-Tiburtina (€4.50)
The schedule for Aeroporto-Termini-Tiburtina is: from Fiumicino: 01:15, 02:15, 03:30, 05:00, 10:55, 12:00, 15:30 from Rome Tiburtina station: 00:30, 01:15, 02:30, 03:45, 09:45, 10:30, 12:35, 17:30

Night-time timetables aren't that useful; buses may be half an hour late or not arrive at all. But wait at the bus stop, don't give up - the bus will come.

  • Aeroporto - Roma Cornelia (Metro line A) (€2.80) (schedule [60])
  • Aeroporto - Roma Magliana (Metro line B) (€1.60) (schedule [61])
  • Aeroporto - Ostia Lido (€1) (schedule [62])
  • Aeroporto - Fregene (€1) (schedule [63])
  • Aeroporto - Fiumicino (città) (€0.77) (schedule [64])

An inexpensive choice from Fiumicino is to take the bus (COTRAL) to the "EUR Magliana" stop, which belongs to line B, and then take the Metro. It's the cheapest way to get to the centre (€2.50 bus + €1.50 Metro). The sign on this bus reads "Fiumicino-Porto-Magliana".

Ciampino[edit]

From Ciampino airport the cheapest way is a combination of bus and train. For the first part you can take the Atral/Schiaffini bus [65] (roughly every hour or 30 minutes on weekdays) from the stop located outside the terminal building to either Ciampino train station (5min) or to the Metro line A Anagnina stop (10min or more) for a cost of €1.20 to either way. From the Ciampino train station you can take the train to Termini station (20min) for €1.50. Because Ciampino is the first or second train stop on the way to many destinations from Termini, there are around 5 trains per hour and this is probably the overall fastest way (if you are going from Termini to Ciampino by train, you can enter "Ciampino" in the automated ticket machines and it will offer the different destinations/times). From Anagnina Metro station the ticket costs €1.50 (good for any public transport for 100 minutes, see single-ride ticket) and this should be the best way if your destination is near a Metro line A stop, but not Termini station. It's not possible to walk the 4km to the local train station, as there are no footpaths. If you miss the train station to airport bus and can't wait for the next one, a taxi ride will cost you €15-20.

There are a few direct bus services from Ciampino, all of which arrive at Termini station in downtown Rome:

  • Sit Bus Shuttle. They run a bus line whose ticket costs €6 one-way (€10 round-trip); the ride takes approximatively 40 minutes and there are about 25 rides a day.
  • Terravision. This is a dedicated airport-city transfer that takes approximatively 40min, with a service every 30min, provided just for the major low cost airlines. The price is €4 one-way or €8 round-trip. You can book on-line, inside the airport or outside near the bus stops (look for the employees with fluorescent vests writing "€4 city transfer"). Passengers should, on their return trip from Termini, board the bus three hours before their flight's departure time.
  • COTRAL. This carrier's ticket costs €5 one-way (the ride will take some 40min), but has far fewer departures than Terravision. These buses are not mentioned on the airport website yet, but you can find them on Schiaffini's own site. This bus line may come in handy if you arrive at a time when the Metro is closed.
By taxi[edit]

Taxis in Rome are white. There is a flat fare of €48 from Fiumicino airport to downtown Rome (the area within the city's Aurelian Walls) and vice versa. Sometimes, taxis in the queue at the airport are not from Rome but from the nearby town of Fiumicino: these are not bound by the fixed fare rule and are best avoided. The fare from Ciampino airport to the city centre and vice-versa is €30; between the two airports, the fare rises to €50. For most other destinations, fares are not fixed and are based on the meter. Generally, Roman taxi drivers are hard-working honest people; however, there's a hard core of crooks who tend to work the airports and the main station. Do NOT negotiate the price for the city centre and be sure your driver activates the metre (all licensed taxis have a metre) when he/she starts driving to any destination not covered by a fixed fare. Drivers at the airport may try to talk you into paying more than the fixed fare, saying that your destination is 'inside the walls' or 'hard to get to'; if they try to overcharge you at your destination, threaten to call the police. They will probably back down. Licensed limousine drivers may approach you at the airports, especially Fiumicino, where there are several companies (mainly cooperatives) with booths close to the exit. A drive with them to the centre could reach as high as €80 but if you are in a group a large limousine or "van" could be cheaper than two taxis. Be aware as well of unlicensed "taxi" drivers. Go directly to the taxi stand and ignore touts.

From the airport at Ciampino, the flat fare is €30. There should be an organised taxi queue - however, the drivers will often negotiate amongst themselves if you are going somewhere the cab at the front doesn't want to go to. There are reports that late-night licensed cabs at Ciampino are asking €100 to take people into town, so try to avoid late flights or take the bus that connects with the flight. If you have to take a cab just pay the legal fare at your destination; if, instead, you have no stomach for the resulting argument then you can phone a cab from one of the numbers listed under the "Get Around" section.

A shared airport shuttle can be hired for around €15 per person to take you from Ciampino airport. However, since the shuttle is shared, it may take longer to reach your destination if other customers are dropped off before you are.

Rental cars are available from all major companies at both airports. Providers can be reached easily in the arrivals halls at both Fiumicino and Ciampino.

Rome Airport Shuttle Another option, is to book a licenced limousine in advance on-line. The prices are often cheaper than a taxi especially for minivans and in Fiumicino even for sedans. One disadvantage however is that you normally need to book at least 24 hours in advance so you need to plan ahead. ☎ +39 345 840 183

Get around[edit]

The Capitoline hill and the Imperial Fora.

We'd suggest you to get a map from your hotel or go inside a hotel to ask for directions to a place; every accommodation seems to have a stack of these sponsored by a variety of businesses. Roman roads can indeed be confusing and directions can be hard to follow without a map to reference.

Roma Pass[edit]

If you'll be staying in Rome for at least 3 days, consider purchasing the Roma Pass. It costs €36 (or €28 for a 48 hour pass) and entitles holders to free admission to the first two museums and/or archaeological sites visited, full access to public transportation, reduced tickets and discounts for any other following museums (that are included in the programme - e.g., the Vatican Museums are not included) and sites visited as well as exhibitions, music events, theatrical and dance performances.

Rome ComboPass is also available as a combo pass deal that includes the Roma Pass and hop on/off Bus.

OMNIA Vatican and Rome instead includes the services provided by Roma Pass, free entry to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, fast track entry to St Peter's Basilica and hop-on-hop-off bus tour for 3 days.

By car[edit]

In a nutshell: don't do it. Well, some people actually enjoy it. The traffic in the city centre can be chaotic, but it is possible to drive there; it will take a few weeks to understand where to drive, to get where you want to go. When driving in Rome it is important to accept that Italians drive in a very pragmatic way. Taking it in turn and letting people go in front of you is rare. There is little patience so, if the light is green when you go into the intersection and you are too slow, they will let you know. A green light turning to amber is a reason to accelerate, not brake, in part because the lights usually stay amber for several seconds. If you brake immediately when the light changes you are likely to get rear-ended. Parking is scarce. The city centre is plagued with people who demand money to direct you to a space, even on the rare occasions when there are many places available. While in Rome, it is better to travel by bus or Metro, or (in extremis) take a taxi.

If you're driving in the city centre or in certain parts of Testaccio, note that many areas (limited-traffic zones or ZTL) are limited to residents, who have special electronic passes. If you go into these areas (which are camera controlled) you may end up with a fine, particularly if your car has Italian plates. Beware that when turning right across a pedestrian crossing you might have a green light at the same time as the pedestrians.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are the most expensive way to get around Rome, but when weighed against convenience and speed, they are often worth it.

Roman taxis run on meters, and you should always make sure the driver starts it. Taxis will typically pick you up only at a taxi stand, which you will find at all but the smallest piazzas, as well as at the main train station or when called by phone. Flagging down a taxi (like in London) is possible but quite rare as the taxi drivers prefer to use the stands. When you get in the cab, there will be a fixed starting charge, which will be more for late nights, Sundays and holidays. An €1 supplement per bag will be requested for every piece of luggage the driver has to handle (however, if you carry only one bag you won't have to pay the supplement). So, if you have a limited amount of luggage that wouldn't need to go in the trunk, you may decline when the driver offers to put your bags in the trunk. Drivers may not use the shortest route, so try to follow the route with a map and discuss if you feel you're being tricked.

Be aware that when you phone for a taxi, the cab's metre starts running when it is summoned - not when it arrives to pick you up! Therefore, by the time a cab arrives at your location, there may already be a substantial amount on the meter. A major problem is that taxi drivers often leave the previous fare running on the metre. So you may find the cab arriving with €15 or even more on the metre. If you are not in a hurry you should tell him (there are very few female cab drivers in Rome) to get lost, but if you are desperate to get to the airport it's a different matter. You can get a taxi pretty easily at any piazza though, so calling ahead is really not required. A trip across the city (within the walls) will cost you about €11 if starting at a cab rank, a little more if there is heavy traffic at night or on a Sunday. Taxi drivers may try to trick customers by switching a €50 note for a €10 one during the payment, leading you to believe that you handed them only €10 when you have already given them €50.

Note that it is possible to pay with credit cards! To do so, however, you will have to notify the driver before the ride starts.

The tariffs (fixed fares to and from the city's airports are covered in the "Get In" section) work as follows:

Fixed charges:

  • If you board a taxi on a week-day between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM ---> € 3.00
  • If you board a taxi on a week-end between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM ---> € 4.50
  • If you board a taxi at night (between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM) ------------> € 6.50

Base hourly tariff:

  • If the taxi's teaveling at a speed below 20 km/h -------------------------------> € 27/h

Incremental tariffs:

  • If the taxi's traveling at a speed greater than 20 km/h ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> € 1,10/km
  • If the taxi's traveling at a speed greater than 20 km/h and the meter's displaying a fare greater than € 11,00 -------------------> € 1.30/km
  • If the taxi's traveling at a speed greater than 20 km/h and the meter is displaying a fare greater than € 13,00 ------------------> € 1.60/km

Surcharges:

  • If you board a taxi with just one piece of luggage ---------------------------------------------------------------------> Free
  • If you board a taxi with two or more pieces of luggage measuring more than 35 x 25 x 50cm -------> € 1/piece
  • If you called for a taxi ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> € 3.50

Discounts:

  • 10% off if you're directed to one of the city's public hospitals;
  • 10% off to women who board a taxi at night (between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM);
  • 10% off to young people who board a taxi on Friday and Saturdays and are exiting a disco (but only if the place in question is taking part in the scheme).

 

Notice! The main taxi companies may be called at ☎ 060609, ☎ 063570, ☎ 065551, ☎ 064994, ☎ 066645, ☎ 0688177, ☎ 068822, ☎ 6645 and ☎ 3570.

On foot[edit]

Directions for pedestrians on a wall near piazza Navona.

Once you're in the centre, you are best off on foot. What could be more romantic than strolling through Rome on foot holding hands? That is hard to beat!

Crossing a street in Rome can be a bit challenging, though. There are crossings but, sometimes, they aren't located at signalled intersections. Traffic can be intimidating, but if you are at a crossing just start walking and cars will let you cross the street. While crossing watch out for the thousands of mopeds: as in many European cities, even if cars and lorries are stationary due to a jam or for another reason, mopeds and bikes will be trying to squeeze through the gaps and may be ignoring the reason why everyone else has stopped. This means that even if the traffic seems stationary you need to pause and look around into the gaps.

Beware that unlike in other countries where a lit "green man" indicates that it is safe to cross the road, in Italy the green man is lit at the same time as the green light for traffic turning right, so you can often find yourself sharing the space with cars.

By public transport[edit]

In Rome, all public transport (comprising buses, trams, trolleybuses, the Metro network and the Roma-Lido, Roma-Viterbo, Roma-Giardinetti light railways) is managed by ATAC [66], whose site comes with a handy route planner [67]. There's also the route planner belonging to Romamobilità [68], the city's public agency in charge of programming bus routes and providing real-time information with regards to traffic.

Android users can download the apps: Muoversi a Roma (with route planner), Probus Rome and Autobus Roma, all with menus translated in English.

Tickets[edit]

Tickets must be bought from a tobacconist - look for the big 'T' sign, these shops are plentiful - or from a news stand before you board the bus, Metro or tram. Metro stops and bus terminals all have automated ticket kiosks, and major Metro stations have clerked ticket windows. Newer trams and buses have yellow single-ticket vending machines as well.

Please note that the whole public transportation network uses the same kind of tickets. Options are the following:

  • A single-ride ticket (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo, or BIT) - € 1.50 (you can change buses, trams or into and out of the Metro on one journey; valid for 100 minutes)
  • Roma 24H - € 7 (valid on the whole network for 24 hours from the date of first validation)
  • Roma 48H - € 12.50 (valid on the whole network for 48 hours from the date of first validation)
  • Roma 72H - € 18 (valid on the whole network for 72 hours hours from the date of first validation)
  • Monthly Pass (Abbonamento Mensile) - € 35 (valid for 30 calendar days; you must write your name on it!)
  • Annual Pass (Abbonamento Annuale) - € 250

When you board the bus or Metro you must time-stamp your ticket ("convalidare" or the red-tapey "obliterare") in the little yellow machine ("obliteratrice"). The last four types of ticket on the list above need to be validated just the first time you use them. On the whole, the integrated passes are not economical; unless you take many rides spread all over the day, the single ticket option is preferable. Calculating if a pass is worth it is easy since a single ticket ride costs €1.50. For example, for a daily ticket (€6) to be worth it, you would have to make 5 or more trips at intervals greater than 100 minutes apart on a single day. Many visitors just walk through the city in one direction and take a single ride back.

Note: when riding the Metro with a single-ride ticket it is possible to change line without having to buy a new one (in doing so, you won't exit from the turnstiles); this way, you can also change from Metro line B to the light-rail (Roma-Lido) network by using the same ticket. Some stations - especially those near the most popular sites - might have people that will insist upon helping you at automated ticket machines. Beware as some of these people are either pickpockets or scouts/spotters for other pickpockets nearby; when in doubt, walk away and come back to observe how others behind you are dealing with these people and/or using the machine. In many stations, a ticket window is available for buying tickets, where these "helpers" will not bother you at.

Ticket inspectors & fines[edit]

ATAC personnel polices the buses, Metro and trams for people riding without tickets. Inspectors can be rare on some buses, although they tend to increase their presence in the summer; they are present on the Metro as well (where they like to hang out at the turnstiles). You should keep your validated ticket throughout your journey as proof-of-payment: if you don't have sufficient money on you to pay the fine, they will actually escort you to an ATM to pay the fee. If you don't have an ATM card to withdraw the money, you will be asked to pay by mail, and the fee goes up to €140; in every case, the officer will issue a receipt.

Note that you can choose to pay on the spot - in this case, the fine will be reduced to €50, which you'll give directly to the officer in question. Of course, you should make sure that he/she (or, better: them, as they go around in packs...) is a legitimate ATAC inspector first! These people have an uniform consisting of a pair of black trousers, a light blue shirt with the red ATAC logo sewn on the breast pocket, and a badge - which they must carry around (either around the neck or pinned on their shirts) at all times. Another livery consists of navy blue jacket and trousers; occasionally, ticket inspectors may wear a yellow (or red) vest with the aforementioned ATAC logo on the back.

Since November 2013, traffic wardens have been authorised to levy fines too.

Bus[edit]

Roman buses are reliable, but can be crowded. They are the best way to get around the city, with the notable exception of walking. Free maps of the bus system are available, others can be purchased (€3.50 at Termini). Signs at the bus stop list the stops for each route. Ask for assistance (in Rome, there's always somebody nearby who speaks English or tries his best to help you out). Some bus lines have arrivals every ten minutes or so. Less popular routes may arrive every half hour or less. If heading outside the centre beware that bus schedules can be seriously disrupted by heavy traffic; sometimes trips just get cancelled altogether.

Useful bus lines (along with their most important stops) are:

  • H Termini (Metro lines A and B; tram lines # 5 and # 14) - via Nazionale - piazza Venezia - via Arenula (Jewish Ghetto; tram line # 8) - viale Trastevere (homonymous district) - Roma Trastevere train station (FL1, FL3 and FL5 train lines)
  • 3B Roma Ostiense train station (tram line # 3; Metro line B; Roma-Lido light railway; Pyramid of Cestius and Protestant Cemetery) - v.le Trastevere (tram line # 8) - Roma Trastevere train station
  • 23 St. Paul Outside the Walls - Roma Ostiense train station - via Marmorata (Testaccio) - v.le Trastevere - p.za del Risorgimento (Vatican Museums; tram line # 19)
  • 30 Piazzale Clodio (Monte Mario; Cavalieri Hilton) - Lepanto (Metro line A) - piazza Cavour (Prati district) - corso del Rinascimento (piazza Navona) - largo di Torre Argentina - piazza Venezia (tram line # 8) - via Marmorata - Roma Ostiense - EUR
  • 40 Termini - p.za Venezia - l.go di Torre Argentina - corso Vittorio Emanuele II - Castel Sant'Angelo [express route]
  • 44 Via del Teatro di Marcello (Capitoline Hill) - Forum Boarium - viale Trastevere - Janiculum - Monteverde vecchio
  • 63 Via Arenula - via del Corso - Barberini (Metro line A) - via [Vittorio] Veneto - via Po (Galleria Borghese) - piazza Buenos Aires (tram lines # 3 and # 19)
  • 64 Termini - p.za Venezia - l.go di Torre Argentina - c.so Vittorio Emanuele II - c.so del Rinascimento - St. Peter's
  • 70 Termini - Repubblica (Metro line A) - via Nazionale - Quirinal - p.za Venezia - l.go di Torre Argentina - c.so del Rinascimento - p.za Cavour - via Cicerone (via Cola di Rienzo) - Lepanto - p.le Clodio
  • 75 Piazza Indipendenza - Termini - Roman Forum - Colosseum (tram line # 3) - Aventine - Roma Ostiense train station - Testaccio - Trastevere - Janiculum - Monteverde vecchio
  • 81 St. John Lateran - Colosseum - Circus Maximus - p.za Venezia - c.so Vittorio Emanuele II - p.za Navona - p.za del Risorgimento
  • 87 St. John Lateran - Colosseum - Roman Forum - via del Plebiscito (p.za Venezia) - l.go Argentina - c.so del Rinascimento - p.za Cavour - via Marcantonio Colonna (via Cola di Rienzo) - Lepanto
  • 90 Termini - Porta Pia - via Nomentana (villa Torlonia) [trolleybus]
  • 115 Largo Fiorentini (via Giulia) - Janiculum (piazzale Garibaldi) - Janiculum (S. Pietro in Montorio) - Trastevere
  • 116 Via Veneto - Campo de' Fiori - piazza Navona
  • 117 St. John Lateran - Colosseum - piazza di Spagna - piazza del Popolo
  • 119 Piazza Augusto Imperatore (Mausoleum of Augustus; Ara Pacis) - Pantheon
  • 130 Roma Ostiense train station - via Marmorata (Testaccio) - p.za Venezia - l.go di Torre Argentina - p.za Cavour - Lepanto
  • 224 P.za Augusto Imperatore - p.za Cavour - Lepanto - piazza Lauro de Bosis (Olympic Stadium; Foro Italico) - lungotevere Maresciallo Diaz (ponte Milvio)
  • 246 Aurelia train station (FL5 line) - via Aurelia (Ergife hotel) - circonvallazione Cornelia (Metro line A)
  • 280 Roma Ostiense train station - via Marmorata - Aventine - L.go Fiorentini - p.za Cavour - Lepanto - p.za Lauro de Bosis
  • 492 Cipro (Metro line A) - p.za del Risorgimento - Castel Sant'Angelo - c.so del Rinascimento - l.go Argentina - p.za Venezia - via del Corso - via del Tritone (p.za Barberini) - Roma Tiburtina train station
  • 710 Circonvallazione Gianicolense (S. Camillo hospital) - p.le Dunant (tram line # 8) - Quattro Venti station (FL3 line) - via Giacinto Carini (Janiculum)
  • 791 EUR district - viale Marconi - p.le Dunant - villa Pamphili - circ.ne Cornelia
  • 871 Trastevere train station - Monteverde district - Janiculum
  • 913 P.za Augusto Imperatore - p.za Cavour - Lepanto - via Andrea Doria - Monte Mario train station (homonymous hill; Cavalieri Hilton)
  • 916 Circ.ne Cornelia - via di Porta Cavalleggeri (St. Peter's) - c.so Vittorio Emanuele II - l.go di Torre Argentina - p.za Venezia.
  • 982 P.za Risorgimento - via Gregorio VII (Roma S. Pietro railway station) - via Piccolomini (lookout point) - Via Leone XIII (Villa Pamphili) - S. Pancrazio (Janiculum) - Quattro Venti

Night buses could be useful due to the closing of the Metro stations at 23:30 and the stopping of regular lines of buses and trams at midnight. During the summer (until 23 Sep) and on Fridays and Saturdays, the frequency of the rides is halved, which can vary among 10, 15, 30 and 35 minutes depending on the line. In any case they are much more punctual than during the day, as traffic is much less jammed. This makes the drivers drive at high speeds, allowing passengers to experience a strange mixture of adrenaline and (the city's) classical views. Hubs of the night buses are Termini station and piazza Venezia.

  • N1 replaces Metro line A between 23:25 and 05:00. On Fridays and Saturdays, the line operates between 01:25 and 05:00 and the route ends at Termini station.
  • N2 replaces Metro line B between 23:30 and 05:00. On Fridays and Saturdays, the line operates between 01:40 and 05:15 and the route ends at Termini station.
  • N28 replaces Metro line C between 23:30 and 05:00. On Fridays and Saturdays, the line operates between 01:40 and 05:15 and the route ends at S. Giovanni.

Note: the # 116, # 117 and # 119 are electrically-powered minibuses. Bus line # 40 is an express route, whose stops are far apart. Along with line # 64, it's notorious because of the pickpockets; be extra careful while riding these two lines. # 90 is a trolleybus.

HO-HO Buses[edit]

A popular alternative to city and pre-planned tour buses are the hop-on/hop-off buses... that is, open-top double-deckers. In the last few years there has been a veritable explosion in the number of such buses, and at the last count there were seven different companies. An all-day ticket runs about €18/20, can be purchased as you board at any stop, and provides unlimited access to available seats (the open-air upper deck highly preferable in good weather) and earbud headphones to plug into outlets for running commentary on approaching sights. Commentary is offered in nearly every European language. Most companies follow more or less the same route, starting in sight of Termini station but there are also two different tours of "Christian Rome" and the Archeobus, which will take you to the catacombs and along the Appian Way.

One good tactic for first-time visitors is to ride a complete HO-HO loop, making notes of what interests you. Then stay on until you arrive at each point/area you wish to visit, do so, then hop back on another bus (for that bus line) for the next point/area of interest. Even with a prompt morning start, seeing/doing all that's available with some thoroughness can easily consume the whole day. If you're there more than one day and like the approach, on subsequent days look for different bus lines that take different routes, e.g., most of the same points/areas but in different order.

Taking pictures from the upper-deck while in-motion is tricky but doable (but not recommended by the bus lines) by those with good balance who can also recognise approaching limits on camera and lighting angles. An early start will also help choice of seat location to help camera angles. Watch out for the sales guys hanging outside of the big train station Termini who have leaflets for all the companies, they often actually work for just one and drag you to a ticket office which is a waste of time as you can just get a ticket on a bus.

The different bus companies offer vastly different service levels. Please help by writing about them:

  • GLT, also known as the Green Line (but the buses are actually grey). No A/C on the lower deck and the audio of the tour is done by multiple different recorded voices (it's not activated by GPS, too) - the narration feels very disjointed and random, sparse and unhelpful; for example, the audio will tell you too late of things you just went past. Also, they don't seem to have many buses compared to the other companies.
  • Rome Open Tour: green and yellow livery.
  • Roma Cristiana: yellow buses which stop at the main basilicas, including St. Peter's.
  • City Sightseeing Roma: red livery with some yellow logos.

Tram[edit]

Rome's current tram network (click twice to enlarge).

In Rome, there are six tram lines: # 2, # 3, # 5, # 8, # 14 and # 19.

These are the remnants of a much bigger network (in fact, the biggest in Italy) which opened in 1877 but was largely dismantled during the 1960s in favour of a well-developed bus system, whose fleet soon developed a tendency to get stuck in traffic. There are currently three types of of tram cars in service - the oldest one dates from the 1940s and is prevalent on lines #5, #14 and # 19. These cars are not air-conditioned and it's not possible to buy ATAC tickets aboard: they're also considerably smaller, and thus prone to overcrowding, than their newer counterparts. Another type of cars entered service in the 1980s, but this one too is small and lacks both air-conditiong and ticket-vending machines; it can be easily recognised by its angular design. The newest of the whole lot are spacious, air-conditioned, have a ticket-vending machine aboard and - what is more important - they come with free Wi-Fi! They're prevalent on lines # 3 and # 8.

The tram network follows the same timetable as the Metro and bus systems (05:30-23:30): you should avoid rush hour (07:30-09:00), especially on lines # 3, # 5, # 14 and # 19. Line # 8 gets rather crowded on Sundays, because there are fewer trams passing and there's the Porta Portese flea market going on. Most evenings, lines # 5 and # 14 are jam-packed with commuters.

Here are the most useful lines, along with some of their most important stops:

  • 2 Piazzale Flaminio (piazza del Popolo; villa Borghese; Metro line A) - Belle Arti (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna) - piazza Antonio Mancini (MAXXI; Foro Italico; Olympic Stadium)
  • 3 Piazzale Ostiense (homonymous train station; Roma-Lido) - Aventine - Circus Maximus - Colosseum - St. John Lateran - Porta Maggiore (tram lines # 5, # 14 and # 19) - San Lorenzo - Nomentano

Note: in order to get from the Roma Ostiense to the Roma Trastevere train stations (or viceversa) you'll have to catch bus # 3B, whose terminus is located near the pyramid of Cestius.

  • 8 Monteverde district - Roma Trastevere train station - viale Trastevere - piazza G.G. Belli (Trastevere district; Tiberine island) - via Arenula (Jewish Ghetto; largo di Torre Argentina) - piazza Venezia
  • 19 Piazza del Risorgimento (Vatican Museums) - via Ottaviano (Metro line A) - via Lepanto (Metro line A) - Bioparco (Rome's zoo; villa Borghese) - Nomentano - then follows the same route as line # 3

Metro[edit]

Rome's Metro network (click thrice to enlarge).

There are three-and-a-half Metro lines: A, B, its B1 branch and the new C line. Lines A and B cross at Termini, while line C doesn't reach the city centre yet.

  • Line A runs northwest past the Vatican, and then southeast. It has convenient stops for Termini station ("Termini"), Trevi fountain ("Barberini - Fontana di Trevi"), the Spanish Steps ("Spagna"), piazza del Popolo ("Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo"), and the Vatican Museums ("Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani").
  • Line B runs southwest past the Colosseum and northeast in one direction, but it also splits - this is the B1 branch - at the "Bologna" stop to go due north to "Jonio". This line has convenient stops for the Tiburtina ("Tiburtina") and Termini ("Termini"; this stop is above that of line A) train stations, the Colosseum ("Colosseo"), the Circus Maximus and the Aventine ("Circo Massimo"), the Pyramid of Cestius along with Testaccio and the Ostiense/Roma Porta S. Paolo train stations ("Piramide"), the EUR district ("Eur Fermi"/"Eur Palasport") and the catacombs of S. Agnese ("S. Agnese/Annibaliano", on the B1 branch).

Notice! If you're directed to the Tiburtina train station (served by line B), you'll have to board the trains bound to "Rebibbia": trains headed to "Jonio" do not stop there.

  • Line C runs southeast, from the adjacent comune of Montecompatri (just outside Rome) through the city's SE suburbs to the Appio district. At present, the line is of no particular use to tourists as it is not yet connected to the rest of the Metro network; the rest of the line will reach the city centre when another stop, located near the archbasilica of St. John Lateran, is expected to open in mid-2016. A further three stops - piazzale Ipponio, via dei Fori Imperiali and piazza Venezia - will open between 2020 and 2021.

Operating hours: all three lines are open every day of the week - including week-ends - and during holidays, when they run a limited schedule.

  • Sunday to Thursday: Metro lines A, B and C operate from 05:30 to 23:30.
  • Friday to Saturday: Metro lines A and B operate from 05:30 to 1:30. Line C operates from 05:30 to 23:30.

The Metro is the most punctual form of public transportation in Rome, but it can get extremely crowded during rush hour (08:00 to 09:30) - see safety warnings in the Stay Safe section.

Light rail[edit]

Rome is also home to an interesting light suburban railway network that may come in useful if you're headed to some parts of city which are otherwise too impractical to reach via bus or taxi; but you can also use it to get to places such as Viterbo or Ostia Antica. Keep in mind that these lines are leftovers from a much older, extensive network and that the cars themselves are often antiquated: some of them actually look more like trams than proper trains. These railways are all managed by ATAC and are part of the public transportation network the same way as trams and the Metro do, meaning that you can ride them (with a partial exception, see below) by using ordinary ATAC tickets and passes.

These lines are very popular with commuters, so it would be wise to avoid peak hours (roughly 07:30-09:00 AM and 6:00-7:30 PM).

  • The Roma-Centocelle line connects the city centre with Porta Maggiore - where you can change to tram lines # 3, 5, 14, 19 - and the south-western suburbs. The eastern terminus, called Roma-Laziali, is located next to the far end of Termini station (via Giolitti) while the western one, Parco di Centocelle, lets you connect with the homonumous station of Metro line C which is located nearby. Keep in mind that the line nowadays works just like a tram, despite its name... a relic from times past.
  • The Roma-Lido line connects Testaccio with Ostia Antica and the nearby Ostia district. The Roma Porta S. Paolo train station, which is located right next to the "Piramide" stop of Metro line B and near the "Roma Ostiense" train station, is this line's main terminus; but it is also possible to board it from the "Basilica San Paolo" and "Eur Magliana" stops of line B, as both systems share part of the same route. To do so, just get off the Metro train and change side of the platform.
  • The Roma-Nord line connects the city centre with the Parioli district, the city's northern suburbs and Viterbo. The line's Roman terminus is almost hidden from the view as it is tucked in a corner of piazzale Flaminio, near villa Borghese; it's called Stazione di Roma Piazzale Flaminio. Both the "Flaminio" stop of Metro line A and the terminus of tram line # 2 are located nearby. Note that ATAC tickets and passes only cover the urban stretch of the route, which ends at the "Sacrofano" train station: if you wish to continue the trip beyond the city limits, you need a dedicated ticket.

Notice! These lines are not to be confused with the more extensive Regional train network (see below), which is managed by Trenitalia.

By Regional train[edit]

Map of the FL network (click thrice to enlarge).

There is a network of eight railway lines - the Ferrovie Laziali or FL (also spelt FM or FR in outdated signage) - that mostly connect to the conurbations of Rome and other towns in the Lazio region; these lines are wholly owned and operated by Trenitalia. Tourists are unlikely to use them, except when arriving from Fiumicino or Civitavecchia, but they can be very convenient if you fancy a day-trip out of Rome (see Get Out) or need to get across the city quickly (these lines working a bit like the Metro in their urban stretches). You can ride them by using ordinary ATAC tickets for as long as you stay within the city limits: if you're headed to any other destination that doesn't lie within said boundaries you will have to buy (and then time-stamp before boarding the train) a ticket, which costs about €8; there are no reserved seats, food carts or travel classes aboard. This kind of ticket doesn't come with an expiration date, meaning that you can buy one and use it later.

There are also some Regional train lines connecting Rome with other Italian cities and towns - these use the same tracks as the FL lines but are not part of them.

Useful train lines, along with some of the most important stations, are:

  • FL1 [Fiumicino Aeroporto] - Fiera di Roma - Roma Trastevere (tram # 8) - Roma Ostiense (Metro line B) - Roma Tuscolana - Roma Tiburtina (Metro line B).
  • FL2 Roma Tiburtina - [Tivoli]
  • FL3 R. Tiburtina - R. Ostiense - R. Trastevere - Quattro Venti (Janiculum) - Roma San Pietro (St. Peter's) - Valle Aurelia (Metro line A) - [Bracciano] - [Viterbo].
  • FL5 [Civitavecchia] - R. San Pietro - Quattro Venti - R. Trastevere - R. Ostiense.

Note: Placenames in square brackets indicate that the station in question is located outside the city's boundaries.

Note: The signs and maps in a few local train stations haven't been updated in a while. It is possible that they don't show some of the newer stops (such as Quattro Venti).

On a moped[edit]

There is the possibility to hire motorcycles or scooters. Many Romans prefer this way of transportation and even in winter you can see them driving scooters equipped with raincoats, blankets, and rain boots. Motorbikes are not particularly safe in Rome and most accidents seem to involve one (or two!). Nevertheless, Roman traffic can be chaotic and a two-wheeled provides excellent mobility within the city. Scooter and motorcycle rental costs between €30 and €70 per day depending on scooter size and rental company. The traffic can be intimidating and the experience exciting, if a bit insane.

Some of the main rental shops:

  • HP Motorrad Roma BMW motorcycle rental, via Giuseppe Bonaccorsi 28, ☎ +39 06 83777859
  • Scoot A Long noleggio scooter, via Cavour 302, ☎ +39 06 6780206
  • Colosseum Motorcycle Centre, via dei S.S. Quattro, 46, ☎ +39 06 70451069
  • Eco Move Rent, via Varese 48/50, ☎ +39 06 44704518
  • Rent & Rent, via Capo d'Africa 33, ☎ +39 06 7002915

On a bicycle[edit]

There is the possibility to hire any kind of bike in Rome: from tandem, road bikes, children bikes to trekking bikes. Some shops are even specialised only on high quality ones while street stands will hire you cheaper and heavy ones. Bicycling alone can be stressful because of the traffic: the best way to discover how to move around and avoid it first is with a guide, thanks to the tours offered by almost all rental shops. There are different itineraries offered from the basic city centre, panoramic Rome tour to the Ancient Parks (€29 for 4h). The experience is well worth it and you would reduce also your impact on the city's environment.

The Appian Way as seen from two wheels.

Even moderately experienced cyclists, however, may find that cycling through Rome's streets offers an unparalleled way to learn the city intimately and get around very cheaply and efficiently. While traffic in the city centre is certainly chaotic to someone from a country with more regimented and enforced rules of the road, Roman drivers are - generally speaking - used to seeing bicycles as well as motorcycles and one may move throughout the city relatively easily. Should you find yourself in a car's way, they will generally let you know with a quick beep of the horn and wait for you to move.

A particularly spectacular, and relaxing, cycle trip is to pedal out along the via Appia Antica, the original Appian Way that linked much of Italy to Rome. Some of the original cobblestones, now worn by over two millenia of traffic, are still in place. With exceptionally light traffic in most sections, you can casually meander your bike over kilometres of incredible scenery and pass ancient relics and active archaeological sites throughout the journey. (Rome/South)

Some of the many rental shops:

  • Punto Informativo. Via Appia Antica 58/60. From Monday to Saturday 09:30-13:30 and 14:00-17:30 (16:30 in winter). Sundays and holidays from 09:30-17:30 non-stop (16:30 in winter). Price: €3/h and €10/day. ☎ +39 06 5126314.
  • Comitato per la Caffarella. Largo Tacchi Venturi. Su 10:00-18:00. Price: €3/h and €10/day. ☎ +39 06 789279
  • Catacombe di San Sebastiano. Price: €3/h and €10/day. ☎ +39 06 7850350
  • Rolling Rome Electric bicycle and bicycle. Via del Cardello 31. ☎ +39 348 6121355
  • TopBike Rental & Tours. Via Quattro Cantoni, 40. ☎ +39 06 4882893
A bike-sharing point in the city centre.
  • Bici & Baci. Via del Viminale, 5 (Termini Station). ☎ +39 06 4828443
  • Colosseum Motorcycle Centre, via dei S.S. Quattro, 46, ☎ +39 06 70451069
  • Collalti. Via del Pellegrino, 82 (Campo de’ Fiori). ☎ +39 06 68801084
  • Romarent. Vicolo dei Bovari, 7/a (Campo de’ Fiori). ☎ +39 06 6896555
  • Bikeaway. Via Monte del Gallo, 25/a (near the Roma San Pietro train station). ☎ +39 06 45495816
  • Bikesharing. Rome's public transport company, ATAC, operates a bike sharing scheme. The bicycles, which are green, are available at numerous locations downtown and further afield. Tickets cost €10, which includes a €5 inscription fee. Electronic cards can be obtained at the Metro ticket offices located in the "Termini", "Lepanto" and "Spagna" stops. The rental costs €1 for an hour. Application is a bit cumbersome and you'll have to give credit card details, but this is a good system if you want to move around Rome quickly and with minimal exhaustion.

By Segway[edit]

It is now possible to rent a Segway in Rome; it's a fast, convenient, and eco-friendly way to get around in the city centre. In Rome, a person on a Segway is considered a pedestrian, not a motorist, so Segways are only allowed on the sidewalks, not in the streets with the other vehicles. Segway rental costs between €25-50 per hour, or between €70-100 for an accompanied tour of 2/4h.

Some of the main rental shops:

  • Rome on Segway, via Labicana 94, ☎ +39 06 97602723, ☎ +39 034 86121355
  • Rex-Tours and Rent, via dei Balestrari 33, ☎ +39 06 87690040
  • Ecogo Segway, piazzale Ammiraglio Bergamini 10, ☎ +39 034 09345441
  • Italy Segway Tours, via di Santa Eufemia 15, ☎ +39 055 2398855

Actual WIPS[edit]

  • The works for the new Metro (line C) station at via dei Fori Imperiali are going on. A good chunk of the pavement in front of the Colosseum is currently inaccessible (looking towards piazza Venezia, pedestrians have to use the one at their left).
  • A parking lot and a new commercial gallery are being built above the tracks at Termini station: some areas may be off-limits to visitors.
  • The long-awaited restoration of the Colosseum began on 23 October 2013 and will be complete by late 2016: scaffolding covers approximately one-third of the monument at a time.
  • The Domus Aurea, along with the gardens of Colle Oppio, is currently undergoing a series of lenghty, expensive and extensive restoration works; limited tours are available.
Rome's Capitoline hill.

Italians are very fond of their landmarks; in order to make them accessible to everyone one week a year there is no charge for admittance to all publicly owned landmarks and historical sites. This week, known as the "Settimana dei Beni Culturali", typically occurs in mid-May and for those 7 to 10 days every landmark, archaeological site and museum belonging to government agencies (including the Quirinal palace and its gardens, the Colosseum and all of the ancient Forum) is accessible and free of charge. For more information and for specific dates see [69] or [70].

In general, Rome's main attractions are free - for example, while it doesn't cost anything to enter the Pantheon you'll have to pay to visit the museums and so forth.

There isn't one pass that provides entry to all paid sights and museums. There are however several tickets that provide entry to a group of sights. You can for example buy a Roma Archeologia Card for €27,50 (concessions €17,50) that is valid for 7 days. This is not for sale online, get it at any of the included sites or at the Rome Tourist Board Office (APT) on via Parigi 5. This pass gets you in to the Colosseum, Palatine hill, the Baths of Caracalla, and the catacombs as well as the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, the Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, the Villa dei Quintili and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella. Find all combination tickets listed on Rome.info

It is recommended to buy your tickets in advance, either online or at a quiet ticket booth, to avoid having to wait in line for a very long time at popular attractions. Pre-booked tickets allow you to skip the queues. Online tickets are cheapest at the official site of CoopCulture. Tickets for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel can be bought in advance at the Vatican's online ticket office.

Ancient Rome[edit]

Coffers and Oculus of the Pantheon.

The main area for exploring the ruins of ancient Rome is in Rome/Colosseo either side of via dei Fori Imperiali, which connects the Colosseum and piazza Venezia. Laid out between 1924 and 1932, at Mussolini's request, the works for such an imposing boulevard required the destruction of a large area of Renaissance and medieval buildings constructed on top of ruins of the ancient forums, and ended forever plans for an archaeological park stretching all the way to the Appian Way. Via dei Fori Imperiali is a busy throughfare, but it has been partially pedonalised in August 2013; said boulevard is also the location of a grand parade held every 2nd of June in occasion of the Italian national holiday (see the "holidays and events" section). Heading towards the Colosseum from piazza Venezia, you can see the Roman Forum on your right and Trajan's Forum and Market on the left. To the right of the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine and the beginning of the Palatine Hill, which will eventually lead you to ruins of the Flavian Palace and a view of the Circus Maximus (see Rome/Aventino-Testaccio). To the left, after the Colosseum is a wide, tree-lined path that climbs through the Colle Oppio park. Underneath this park is the Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea), an enormous and spectacular underground complex restored and then closed again due to damage caused by heavy rain. Further to the left on the Esquiline Hill are ruins of Trajan's baths.

In Old Rome you must see the Pantheon, which is amazingly well preserved considering it dates back to 125AD. There is a hole constructed in the ceiling so it is an interesting experience to be there when it is raining. If you are heading to the Pantheon from piazza Venezia you will first reach largo di Torre Argentina, on your left. Until 1926 the area was covered in narrow streets and small houses, which were razed to the ground when ruins of Roman temples were discovered. Moving along corso Vittorio Emanuele II and crossing the Tiber river into the Vatican area you see the imposing Castel Sant'Angelo, built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. This is connected by a covered fortified corridor to the Vatican and served as a refuge for Popes in times of trouble.

South of the Colosseum are the Baths of Caracalla (Aventino-Testaccio). You can then head South-East on the old Appian Way, passing through a stretch of very well-preserved city wall. For the adventurous, continuing along the Appian Way (Rome/South) will bring you to a whole host of Roman ruins, including the Circus of Maxentius, the tomb of Cecilia Metella, the Villa dei Quintili and, nearby, several long stretches of Roman aqueduct.

Returning to the Modern Centre, the Baths of Diocletian are opposite the entrance to the main railway station, Termini. The National Museum of Rome stands in the South-West corner of the Baths complex and has an enormous collection of Roman scultures and other artifacts. But this is just one of numerous museums devoted to ancient Rome, including those of the Capitoline Hill. It is really amazing how much there is.

Catholic Rome[edit]

The Baroque opulent exterior of St. Peter's Basilica.

There are more than 900 churches in Rome. Probably one third would be well worth a visit!

St. Peter is said to have founded the Church in Rome together with St. Paul. The first churches of Rome originated in places where early Christians met, usually in the homes of private citizens. By the 4th century, however, there were already four major churches, or basilicas. Rome had 28 cardinals who took it in turns to give mass once a week in one of the basilicas. In one form or another the four basilicas are with us today and constitute the major churches of Rome. They are St. Peter’s, St. Paul Outside the Walls, Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni. All pilgrims to Rome are expected to visit these four basilicas, together with San Lorenzo fuori le mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, and the Sanctuary of Divino Amore. The latter was inserted as one of the seven at the time of the Great Jubilee in 2000, replacing San Sebastiano outside the walls.

Take a look inside a few churches. You'll find the richness and range of decor astonishing, from fine classical art to tacky electric candles. Starting with several good examples of early Christian churches, including San Clemente and Santa Costanza, there are churches built over a period of 1700 years or so, including modern churches constructed to serve Rome's new suburbs.

Churches in Rome deny admission to people who are dressed inappropriately; you will find "fashion police" at the most visited churches ("knees and shoulders" are the main problem - especially female ones). Bare shoulders, short skirts, and shorts are officially not allowed, but long shorts and skirts reaching just above the knee should generally be no problem... however, it's always safer to wear longer pants or skirts that go below the knee; St. Peter's in particular is known for rejecting tourists for uncovered knees, shoulders, midriffs, etc. (you also generally won't be told until right before you enter the church, so you will have made the trek to the Vatican and stood in a long security line for nothing) etc. The stricter churches usually have vendors just outside selling inexpensive scarves and sometimes plastic pants, but relatively few churches enforce dress codes and you can wander into most wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, or pretty much anything without problems. It is, however, good to keep one's dress conservative, as these are still churches and houses of prayer for many people (older Romans might comment on your attire if it is particularly revealing).

The Seven Hills of Rome[edit]

The original seven hills and the Servian wall.

To the modern visitor, the Seven Hills of Rome can be rather difficult to identify. In the first place, generations of buildings constructed on top of each other and the construction of tall buildings in the valleys have tended to make the hills less pronounced than they originally were. Secondly, there are clearly more than seven hills - in Roman days many of these were outside the city boundaries.

The seven hills were first occupied by small settlements and not recognised as a city for some time. Rome came into being as these settlements acted together to drain the marshy valleys between them and turn them into markets and fora. The Roman Forum used to be a swamp.

The Palatine Hill looms over the Circus Maximus and is accessed near the Colosseum. Legend has it that this was occupied by Romulus when he fell out with his brother, Remus, who occupied the Aventine Hill on the other side of the Circus. Also clearly recognisable as hills are the Caelian, to the southeast of Circus Maximus and the Capitoline, which overlooks the Forum and hosts Rome's city hall, as well as the Capitoline Museums. East and northeast of the Roman Forum are the Esquiline, Viminal, and Quirinal hills. These are less easy to distinguish as separate hills these days and from a distance look like one.

The Servian Wall outside Termini Station.

The red line on the map indicates the Servian Wall, its construction is credited to the Roman King Servius Tullius in the Sixth Century BC, but archaeological evidence places its construction during the Fourth Century BC. Small bits of this wall can still be seen, particularly close to Termini railway station and on the Aventine hill. As Rome expanded new walls were required to protect the larger area. These were built in the Third Century AD by the Emperor Aurelian. Lengthy sections of this wall remain all around the outskirts of Rome's centre. Much is in very good condition.

Among other hills of Rome, not included in the seven, are those overlooking the Vatican; the Janiculum, overlooking Trastevere, which provides excellent views of Rome; the Pincio on the edge of the Borghese Gardens, which gives good views of piazza del Popolo and the Vatican, and Monte Mario, with its famous Zodiaco (a panoramic viewpoint), to the north.

Museums[edit]

If you are in Rome for the art there are several world-class museums in the city. The natural starting point is a visit to the area of Villa Borghese in Campo Marzio, where there is a cluster of art museums. Galleria Borghese houses a previously private art collection of the Borghese family, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia is home of the world's largest Etruscan art collection, and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna houses many Italian masterpieces as well as a few pieces by artists such as Cézanne, Modigliani, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh. The Capitoline Museums in the Colosseo district opens their doors to the city's most important collection of antique Roman and Greek art and sculptures. Visit the Galleria d'Arte Antica, housed in the Barberini palace in the Modern center, for Italian Renaissance and Baroque art.

A visit to Rome is not complete without a trip to the Vatican Museums. You'll need to go to the museums if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, but there is an enormous collection. You cannot miss any part of it, such as the tapestries, the maps and the rooms painted by Rafael as they are en route to the Sistine Chapel but there is much, much more to explore, including a stunning Egyptian collection and the Pinacoteca, which includes a "Portrait of St. Jerome" by Leonardo da Vinci and paintings by Giotto, Perugino, Raphael, Veronese and Caravaggio, to name just a few. Not to mention the countless, ancient statues...

Rome's National Museum at the Baths of Diocletian in the Modern Center has a vast archaeological collection as does the national museum at Palazzo Altemps, close to piazza Navona. Further afield, the Museo della Civiltà Romana (Museum of the Roman Civilisation), in the EUR, is most famous for an enormous model of Imperial Rome but it is also home to an extensive display of plaster casts, models and reconstructions of statues and Roman stonework.

If you have plenty of time there is absolutely no shortage of other museums covering a wide variety of interests. Examples include the Museum of the Walls (see Rome/South), the Musical Instrument Museum and a museum devoted to the liberation of Rome from the German occupation in the Second World War (Rome/Esquilino-San Giovanni).

Check museum opening hours before heading there. Government museums are invariably closed on Mondays, so that is a good day for other activities. The Rome municipality itself operates some 17 museums and attractions. Info at [71]. These are free to European Union citizens under 18 and over 65. Web sites for other museums are listed on the relevant District pages.

The Keats-Shelley House is recommended for fans of second-wave British Romantic poets (Keats, Shelley, Byron etc). This is the house in which John Keats died of tuberculosis at the age of 25 in 1821; it is now a museum dedicated to the English Romantic poets. It is located at piazza di Spagna, 26, right next to the Spanish Steps. For more information, visit [72].

Just walking around[edit]

The lovely piazza della Repubblica.

Much of the attraction of Rome is in just wandering around the old city. You can quickly escape from the major tourist routes and feel as if you are in a small medieval village, not a capital city. If you can do so while watching for uneven cobblestones, keep looking upwards. There are some amazing roof gardens and all sorts of sculptures, paintings and religious icons attached to exterior walls. Look through 2nd and 3rd floor windows to see some oak-beamed ceilings in the old houses. Look through the archway entrances of larger Palazzos to see incredible courtyards, complete with sculptures, fountains and gardens. Take a stroll in the area between piazza Navona and the Tiber river in Old Rome where artisans continue to ply their trade from small shops. Also in Old Rome, take a 1km stroll down via Giulia, which is lined with many old palaces. Film enthusiasts will want to visit via Veneto (via Vittorio Veneto) in the Modern Center, scene for much of Fellini's La Dolce Vita. The best way to see the heart of what was ancient Rome's "entertainment center", namely the Campus Martius, with its theaters, stadiums, baths, temples and porticos is on foot. This is the area that runs south from the Capitoline Hill to the Piazza del Popolo on the north and the Corso on the east to the Tiber and is what generally encloses the "centro storico" or historic center. Downloadable walking guides through the maze of streets in this area will assist you. See, for instance, P. Jacobs, A Walk Through The Field of Mars - Rome's Ancient Campus Martius A Piedi or A. Claridge, Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide.

The piazze[edit]

The Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous and popular sights in the city.

The narrow streets of the historical centre frequently broaden out into small or large squares (piazze), which may have one or more churches and a fountain or two. Apart from piazza Navona and piazza della Rotonda (in front of the Pantheon), take in the nearby piazza della Minerva, with its unique elephant statue by Bernini and piazza Colonna with the column of Marcus Aurelius and palazzo Chigi, seat of the Italian Government; right next to it, there's the piazza di Monte Citorio with the homonymous palace, seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. On the other side of corso Vittorio Emanuele II are piazza Farnese, with the palace of the same name (now the French Embassy), two interesting fountains and the flower sellers at Campo de' Fiori - scene of the city's executions in the old days. All of these squares are a short distance from each other in Old Rome. The enormous piazza del Popolo in the North Center, which provided an imposing entrance to the city when it represented the northern boundary of Rome, is well worth a visit. A short walk back towards the centre brings you to piazza di Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Yet another fascinating fountain here. The area was much used as backdrop for the 1953 film "Roman Holiday" with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Piazza Navona

On the other side of the river is, of course, the magnificent St. Peter's square at the Vatican. Further south, in Trastevere, is piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere - a great place to watch the world go by, either from one of the restaurants or bars that line two sides of the square or, if that is too expensive, from the steps of the central fountain. The square attracts many street entertainers.

Moving back to the Modern Center you have to see the Trevi Fountain, surely a part of everyone's Roman holiday. Visitors are always amazed that such a big and famous fountain is tucked away in a small piazza in the middle of side streets. Take extra-special care of your possessions here. Further up the via del Tritone you will come to piazza Barberini, now a busy roundabout, but the lovely Bernini fountain is not to be missed.

Overlooked Places[edit]

The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana is an excellent example of the Fascist architecture in Rome, and is often referred to as "the Square Colosseum"; it was designed by architects Giovanni Guerrini and Ernesto Lapadula as part of the ambitious building programme for the Universal Exposition of 1942, which never took place due to Italy's entry into WW2. After having seen the Colosseum itself, you could visit it so to compare the monuments' differences and similarities.

Viewpoints[edit]

On the Pincio, above piazza del Popolo, is a good viewpoint.

One of the best views is at the top of the Vittoriano. This can be reached by climbing to the mid level terraces of the building and then paying €7 to ride the lift up to the very top of the building. This gives breathtaking views over the entirety of Rome with informative diagrams to help you understand just what it is that you can see. Views of the city can also come from climbing the many hills, either the original "seven hills" of Rome, or others that surround them. The two most popular views of Rome are from the Janiculum hill overlooking Trastevere and the Pincio at the edge of the Borghese Gardens. The former, best reached by car, has sweeping views of the centre of Rome, as long as the city council remembers to prune the trees on the hillside in front of the viewpoint. Cross over the piazza for an excellent view of the dome of St Peter's. The Vatican is the main sight from the Pincio (Metro line A, "Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo" stop, and then a good climb). Less popular, but just as nice, is the orange grove at the Parco Savello on the Aventine Hill.

Rome for kids[edit]

If you are planning some serious sightseeing then leave the kids with their grandparents! They don’t take kindly to being dragged from ruin to ruin and church to church; a common sight in Rome is miserable looking kids traipsing after their parents. Also, push chairs/buggies are difficult to use because of the cobbled streets. If you are a family, do not try to do too much - It will be a big strain on kids and in the end everyone will be tired.

Apart from the major attractions, Rome has relatively little to entertain kids. If you noticed a big Ferris wheel on your way in from the airport, think again: the lunapark at EUR was closed down in 2008. A few of the other ways to bribe your kids, however, are:

  • Children's Museum, via Flaminia, 82. Just north of piazza del Popolo. Controlled entrance at 10:00, 12:00, 15:00 and 17:00 for visits lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. Closed Mondays and for much of August. Best to check the web site for up-to-date info and to book in advance. Hands-on science, mainly for pre-teens, housed in a former tram depot.
  • Bioparco. The rechristened Giardino Zoologico, Rome's municipal zoo. It is located on the edge of Villa Borghese. 09:30 to 17:00 or 18:00 depending on the month. They try hard, but San Diego this isn't; if you are a regular zoo-goer you will be disappointed.
  • The Time Elevator, via dei Santi Apostoli, 20 on a side street between piazza Venezia and the Trevi Fountain. Daily 10:30-19:30. "Five-dimensional" shows on the Origins of Life and on the History of Rome, plus "The House of Horrors". Not for the faint-hearted: your seats move all over the place. Kids love it.
  • Museo delle Cere (Rome's wax museum), piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 67, next to piazza Venezia. Few good reports about this museum. Comments invited.
  • Planetarium at EUR. Home to an excellent astronomy museum, it's conveniently located next to the Museum of the Roman Civilisation [73].
  • The Vatican is, by and large, not a great idea for kids although they often enjoy the Sistine Chapel and are impressed by the beauty and the fact that it was all done in just four years. However, the Sistine Chapel is very crowded and getting there through the corridors of the Vatican Museum is even worse. It is easy for families to get separated so determine a meeting point. The best part of St. Peter's Basilica is that kids can go to the top of the dome. It is 500 steps but you can take the elevator up to the third floor. From there there are another 323 exhausting steps. So it is fun for older kids who can both climb up all the stairs and walk down as there is a huge line for the elevator.
  • Zoomarine. Dolphins, sea lions, exotic birds, splashy rides and swimming pools some 20km south of Rome, near Pomezia. A good day out, but is this really why you came to Rome? Free transport from the EUR and Pomezia railway station.
  • Take in a show. There are lots of theatres, but you will need to know Italian to enjoy them. The main concert venue is the Auditorium in viale Pietro de Coubertin in the northern part of Rome.[74] The Auditorium at Parco della Musica is a large complex composed of three separate halls whose shapes are inspired by musical instruments. These are positioned around an open air amphitheatre, that is used nearly every night in the summer for concerts. The Parco della Musica hosts a constant stream of classical, popular, and jazz music, featuring national as well as international musicians and groups. Really big names perform outdoors in the summer; usually in either the Olympic Stadium or in the Stadio Flaminio, which is next door to the Parco della Musica. In winter the Palalottomatica in EUR is an important pop concert venue.
  • To get full details of what is on, buy a copy of the La Repubblica newspaper on Thursdays, when it has an insert called TrovaRoma. There are a couple of pages in English but even with no Italian you should be able to decipher the main listings. This is not published in late July and August, when half of Rome heads to the beach. Both La Repubblica and Il Messaggero have daily listings.
  • Learn some authentic Italian cooking with local Italian chefs at their own homes. Learn from the locals themselves, eat great food, enjoy the company of new friends and see a different side of the city. BonAppetour is a great site to discover unique dining experiences in Rome.
  • Walk and feel the energy of Rome; sights are everywhere waiting to be discovered.
  • Explore the Trastevere district for some great cafes and trattorie, and a glimpse at a hip Roman neighbourhood.
  • Take in a game of football at the Olympic Stadium. Rome has two teams, A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio and they both play there.
  • Cinecittà Shows Off, Via Tuscolana 1055, Rome, [1]. Cinecittà Shows Off is a tour of the legendary Cinecittà Studios in Rome, revealing cinema secrets from the history of the famous studios. Original sketches by celebrated set designers, costumes worn by international stars, and monumental sets: it’s a journey into what was dubbed the "Dream Factory". The exhibition also offers the option of a guided tour through the monumental sets that are still used today for shooting films as well as national and international TV shows. If you love movies, don't miss it.  edit
  • Food and Wine Tour, [2]. Take in some of the best food in the world with a professional tour. Crazy4Rome offers food and wine tours among other walking tours and workshops.  edit
  • Museum Tours, [3]. Rome has some of the best museums in the world, so museum tours are often very popular. Walks Inside Rome offers popular tours that features the notable museums of Rome.  edit
  • Underground Colosseum Tours, [4]. You haven't truly seen the Colosseum unless you've explored the tunnels beneath the amphitheatre. Through Eternity offers fascinating walking tours of Rome, including all the most important ancient sites such as the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine.  edit
  • Cooking Classes and Food Tastings Travelling to Rome means also discovering one of the most ancient and well known culinary culture in the world. Learning how to cook pasta, pizza and exploring the traditional markets of Rome will make your trip unforgettable. During the cooking classes professional chefs will guide you in cooking amatriciana, carbonara and so on, having a lot of fun at the same time.
  • Tours on wheels Have a ride with a Fiat 500 or a Vespa will let you enjoy the eternal magic of Rome. Tours will give you the chance to experience Rome from a different point of view.

Holidays and Events[edit]

  • Anniversary of the Founding of Rome (21 April) - Since 1922, the city of Rome celebrates its founding. A national holiday between 1924 and 1945, the celebration is now limited to the city itself; during this day, admission to some of the municipal museums is free while historical parades, reenactments and other events take place.
  • Liberation Day (25 April) - On this day, Italy commemorates both the end of the Second World War, as well as the end of the German occupation (Turin and Milan were amongst the last cities to be liberated on the 25 April). Parades and other kinds of events take place in most major Italian cities.
  • Labour Day (1 May) - Labour Day is a national holiday in Italy; Romans either leave town or attend a big rock concert in piazza San Giovanni. On this "day of the worker" much will be closed, but you may find parades and festivals all over Italy. Expect big crowds in popular areas.
  • Vatican guard swearing in (6 May) - This is the day when new groups of Swiss Guards are sworn in, marking the sack of Rome in 1506. Guards are sworn in by the San Damaso courtyard, Vatican City. The public is not invited, but you may steal a glimpse if you book a private guided tour of the Vatican.
  • Italian Open Tennis Tournament, [5]. For two weeks in May, Rome hosts one of the most important European clay-court tournaments, a warm-up for the French Open.  edit
  • Republic Day (2 June) - This is the Italian national holiday, commemorating the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946; in Rome, a grand military parade takes place from via dei Fori Imperiali to piazza Venezia and the gardens of the Quirinal palace are open to the public.
  • Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) - This is a public holiday in Rome and a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Public buildings, along with many shops, will be closed; on

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome


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