26 Sep The Roman holidays
Every year millions of tourists come from all over the world to admire the treasures and masterpieces of the art and architecture of one of the most beautiful cities in the world; but because of its size and the huge number of places to visit, Rome is a city that can even confuse a tourist on his first visit.
This is intended to be a guide full of small and great tips that will help you to orient yourself and enjoy the beauties of the legendary Eternal City. Since Rome is a city capable of attracting a huge number of tourists, it is important, if possible, to plan the dates of stay carefully. The best times are in spring, (April or May) or in autumn. In these periods the influx of tourists in the city is important but not yet chaotic, time is able to give beautiful sunny days. However, the climate of the Eternal City is generally mild and even in winter the temperature never drops below zero.
In the months of July and August the summer heat combined with the large number of tourists, can become rather oppressive, but this is also the time of year when the city almost empties its citizens with a consequent decrease in traffic and movement in the city it is facilitated. In July in particular “the Roman summer” is organized, a famous cultural event that sees different events, concerts, and attractions of various kinds come to life in various areas of the capital including monumental places like Castel S. Angelo. If you can stay for a week, the things to see will not fail, and you will still seem to leave too soon, but if you have little time available, try to spend in Rome at least four days. If you try to visit it in two days you will do nothing but run frantically from one place to another with the feeling of having seen little and badly.
After all, Rome was not built in a day, and can not even be visited at the same time. The main Roman airport (Leonardo da Vinci) is located about 34 km from the city. Inside the airport there is a train called “Leonardo express”, which will take you directly to the central station of Roma Termini. The second airport of the capital is Ciampino, this is particularly active on low cost flights, and has a practical shuttle service dedicated, but also cheaper services, which connect it with the Termini station 24 hours on 24.
From Termini station you will have several bus lines to get anywhere in the city and above all you will find the metro station that will quickly connect you with the historic center. If you have a lot of luggage or want some extra comfort, the taxi is a convenient alternative, but be careful, to avoid unpleasant surprises, we advise you to choose only those white, equipped with “regular taximeter”. If you decide to arrive by car, remember that the streets of Rome are rather complicated to memorize, even if helped by a map, the traffic is always congested, and in the historic center it is forbidden to access during the day.
It is important, therefore, that your hotel has a reserved parking, because finding a place is often problematic in many areas of Rome. Also remember that to move from one extreme to the other in the city by car it can also take hours, while the same journey is covered by the underground in much less time. To get fully into the atmosphere of Rome we suggest you choose a hotel in the historic center of the capital, where most of the most famous sites and monuments are concentrated, obviously the cost will be greater the closer you get to the very heart of the city .
The area between the east bank of the Tiber and the terms station is large enough to offer a wide range of hotel rates, but keep in mind that the distances on the map may seem lower than they really are. The center of Rome is quite large, for example Via Veneto seems to be very close to the Trevi Fountain, but in reality to reach it from there it will take about 20 minutes walking briskly. A beautiful distance! despite what you do not seem on a map.
Some of the hotels in this area are very luxurious but there are also some small family run hotels with affordable prices. Alternatively, even a more peripheral hotel will be fine, the important thing is that it is well connected by bus or, better, the subway.
Of course we advise you to use the internet to find the best rate, and if you prefer, booking a hotel through our site ItalyGuides.it you will contribute to the future realization of other guides like this. Finding a good place to eat is definitely one of the things you will not have to worry about in the Eternal City. Rome has a very high number of restaurants, pizzerias or fast food, some of them “not really cheap” regardless of whether they are located in the historic center or not. The pizzerias to cut, very typical in the capital, can offer an undemanding and economical solution for lunch.
For dinner, the whole area that goes from the Pantheon to the Tiber is an intricate maze of streets and streets full of small and large restaurants. Some of them may appear to be classic “tourist traps” but as you can see there are also many Romans who habitually frequent the area dining side by side with tourists. The aera of the historical center is in fact a great meeting point for the Romans too. For younger guests we recommend spending an evening sipping a beer at “Piazza di Campo dei Fiori” or in the picturesque district of “Trastevere”, a typical meeting place for young Romans.
Or try some typical Roman trattoria in the district of Testaccio. Also remember that, especially during the summer season, Roman restaurants can be open to the public until late in the evening. Take a map of Rome and draw a diamond from: Piazza di Spagna at the top, Termini Station on the right, L’Aventino at the bottom and Piazza Navona on the left.
Approximately three quarters of the places you want to visit are located inside the diamond and although it will not seem as large as the area you will need at least two days to visit it all. Maybe even three days since some archaeological sites such as the Colosseum with the aera of Roman holes can easily take a whole day. Outside the diamond, however, some fundamental monuments will remain for every tourist such as San Pietro, Castel Sant’Angelo or Villa Borghese, all places however easily accessible by public transport. In order to facilitate mobility in Rome, the integrated Metro bus tariff system has been created consisting of two special tickets: the “Integrated Tourist Ticket” BIT which is valid for 3 days from the date of endorsement for an unlimited number of trips on the entire network of public transport; and the CIS “Integrated Weekly Card” which lasts up to 7 days.
To these are added the “Roma Pass” card, promoted by the Municipality of Rome and by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, this also offers free access to the first two museums or archaeological sites and reduced admissions for the following museums and visited sites. A careful use of the Roma Pass could be the first to visit at least one of the most expensive museums in the city, the Colosseum and the Galleria Borghese and then continue with the one that interests you most. Rome is a city that should be enjoyed calmly, like a glass of robust wine, try to formulate a plan before departure.
Choose a small area to visit each day leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the view while eating an ice cream in the shadow of the Colosseum. Finally we advise you to leave last the monuments closest to your hotel, you will be tempted to do the opposite, but in case the time at your disposal begin to run short they will be the easiest to visit. In the worst case, one in which you can not see all the wonders of Rome, do not despair and remember to throw a coin, from behind, in the famous Trevi Fountain before leaving. A legend says that in this case your return to the eternal city will be assured.