01 Jun Tips and things to Know About Visiting Rome
I have been to Rome several times over the years and it never disappoints. The city is basically an outdoor museum, filled with ageing buildings that are thousands of years old. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps…everywhere you turn you’ll see historic sites. It’s crazy to walk around and think about the ancient Romans walking around this city.
This is one of the things that makes Rome really special, and the other thing…food. I LOVE the Roman cuisine. I could spend my entire days eating caprese salads, carbonara and finishing off with a gelato for dessert. It’s definitely one of my favourite cities in Italy and is on par with Venice for wow-factor.
Here I’m going to give you some pointers for my must-do Rome Tours as well as some tips for where to stay and how to get around.
Rome has several different airports. There’s Rome Fiumicino which is used by major airlines and then there’s Rome Ciampino which is used by budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet.
If you fly into Rome Fiumicino then you can take a train right to Station Termini which costs about £12 per person, and from there you can either walk, take a taxi or take public transport to your hotel. A taxi is around €50 so if you’re travelling as a four this is the most economical option, but if you’re travelling as a two then just take the public transport.
If you’re flying into Ciampino this is further away, but the budget airlines run transfer buses that will take you into the city.
Unfortunately Rome is known for pick pockets so make sure you keep your bags zipped up and if possible, wear a cross-body bagged so it’s firmly attached to you. This way no-one can swipe it easily from your shoulder.
You’ll be walking a lot so wear comfortable shoes and it can get very hot in summer, so make sure you carry a water bottle with you. There are public water fountains, so you can easily fill it up.
The best time to visit is in shoulder season, as summer can be really hot and many take their vacations in August. Try to visit in late September through to October, or April through to May when the weather is pleasant and not too warm.
When it comes to major attractions like The Vatican or Borghese Gallery, you may want to purchase tickets in advance and plan ahead. This helps you to avoid any long lines. Or you can get a Roma Pass, which includes 2 museums and travel on buses, metro and trams.
Check when the attractions are open too, because the Vatican Museums are usually closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of every month, when entrance is FREE and it is open from 9am till 2pm. Always check to see whether there are any national holidays.
Lots of people will try to sell you things such as souvenirs and Roses – you don’t have to buy them, so don’t feel obliged.
Things to do besides the tourist traps
I’ve already written about the 10 best things to do in Rome, so there’s no need to repeat this. You’ll definitely want to see all the major attractions such as the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel. And make sure you throw a coin over your shoulder at the Trevi Fountain!
But here are some of my other favourite things to do:
Have gelato at Il Gelato di San Crispino – this is the best ice cream in Rome. The flavours are a lot more adventurous in Italy then you would find in the UK, so don’t just stick to vanilla or mint chocolate chip. You can try whisky flavoured ice cream, or ginger and cinnamon, or perhaps the San Crispino ice cream with strawberry tree honey sauce from Sardinia.
Walk around Trastevere – I could spend all day just wandering the streets of Trastevere, which is located on the other side of the Tiber River. The streets are incredibly pretty, making them perfect for Instagram shots. This area is full of nightlife, bars and restaurants, so it’s a great place to visit in the evening, when the streets are full of life.
Eat some delicious Roman cuisine – Roman food is incredibly delicious so don’t miss the chance to eat your way around Rome. Check out Pizzeria ai Marmi, on Viale Trastevere 53, if you want the best pizza in town. If you have the cash to splash then I recommend Antica Pesa, which is popular with celebrities and serves the most delicious carbonara I’ve ever eaten.
Stroll through Villa Borghese – if you want to escape the crowds then take a stroll through Villa Borghese, an enormous park with an artificial lake, an aviary, an orangery and landscaped gardens. You can see the Borghese Gallery here too.
These are just some of the things I really love doing in Rome – If you’re looking for more inspiration, isango has a digital magazine with guides to lots of major cities, just follow this link: https://www.isango.com/theguidebook/