Things to do in Rome
To keep the memories of Rome, you must be sure to do several things:
- To stand on the Coliseum’s arena;
- To drink some water from the street drinking fountain;
- To take cash from the Vatican’s ATM choosing the Latin language;
- To become Italian and to have a dinner in hosteria and to order a true Roman meal - soup of oxtail;
- To toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain.
The Weather in Rome
Generally, the weather in Rome is always warm and dry. Winters are mild and dry, without raining or snowing. Springs are also dry and warm, with average monthly temperature of + 15 ° C. Summers are hot and dry, with no rainfall. So, you can visit the city throughout the year. But the most enjoyable time of the year, when it’s perfect to visit Rome is still spring, when the Easter holidays begin. And it’s good to visit the city before the weather gets hot (until July).
Useful tips for tourists in Rome
Transportation in Rome
Want to get around the city? Choose metro, bus or tram – they are ideal variants to explore the city and see its beautiful panorama. Of course, you can take a taxi, but it’s quite expensive. The working hours for urban transport starts from 5.30 am to midnight. It’s convenient for tourists. Rome’s public transport is good, but there are several features which you have to know about.
Rome’s Public Buses
The bus will stop only if potential passengers vote being in a bus stop. Otherwise, it will just pass by. To get out, you need to press the yellow button in advance, after it you will hear a bell over the door and you will see the electronic inscription "Fermata prenotata" – which means "Please, stop at the next bus stop". At stops you’ll find the bus’s schedule. Daily routes are marked by black color, weekdays are highlighted by blue, weekends and public holidays are red. There are 3 types of buses in Rome:
- Ordinary buses - their number is marked by black, blue or red colors;
- Express (espressi) buses, they have a few stops on the route, these bus numbers are written in green small boxes:
- Night (autobus notturni) buses. They are marked by the picture with owl. The number is dark blue with the letter N. The interval is 1-1.5 hours, the ticket can be bought from the driver.
Unlike buses, Rome’s trams make stopes at every tram-stop on their route. There are two types of trams in the city: the old trams are orange, and the new ones are green.
Enter through the front and rear doors, and go out through the middle ones.
Do not forget to validate your ticket in the special yellow device. If you do not validate a ticket, the first inspector will fine you! The law applies to everyone without exceptions. A fine is € 40, and you need to pay it within 2 months, otherwise it will increase to 200 euros and the data of debtor are transferred to the embassy. Because of that you may have some troubles with getting your new Schengen visa.
As a "public transport" you may choose special buses for tourists. The fare ranges from 15 to 25 euros. The bus makes more than ten stops around the city. At any stop, you can get off to see the local sights and then again to go further on the same tourist bus. The ticket is valid all day. Each bus features large panoramic windows, and, moreover, there is an open top area for fresh air lovers. Oh, and it offers a stunning view, especially during the warm months. You can use the audio guide, with the narrator speaking your language.
In Rome, there are public taxis and private cabs. The first ones are marked with yellow color and "Checkers". The fare depends on the mileage. At night time and during holidays there is an increased fare. A trip out of the town or to the airport are usually paid at a fixed rate. We distrust the private taxi drivers. Even local people try not to use private cabs, even if they are cheaper.
The fastest way to get around the city is the subway. In Rome, there are three "branches" of metro stations: an orange, a blue and a green C. The A-line consists of 27 stations, the line B - of the 22. The two lines cross each other in the Termini metro station (Termini). The Line C now is being built. It is expected that it will consist 30 stations, but now there are only three. There is 10-minute pause between trains. The nearest stations to the historical part of the city are: the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Spanish Square. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get to the subway station (if you don’t hurry). The departing trains to the airport, also are underground ones.
From Tiburtina station, without any problems, you can go to:
- To Rome’s suburbs - Castel Romano;
- To the beach “Lido di Ostia”;
- To Rome's attractions - the ruins of Ostia Antica.
The tickets are the same as for a bus, or for a tram.
Where to get and purchase tickets in Rome
In Rome, there is the same fare system of the purchase of tickets, as in other European countries. But still, there are some special things about which we’ll tell you.
To start, you need to decide what kind of ticket suits you best:
- BIT 1,5 euros includes 75 minutes by bus, 1 for the metro, 1 for the tram. The validity of the ticket is 75 minutes from its first checking.
- BIG 6 euros – unlimited ticket for the metro, bus, tram within 24 hours.
- BTI 16.5 euros - unlimited ticket for the metro, bus, tram within three days.
- CIS 24 euros - unlimited travel ticket for the metro, bus, tram within seven days. For this type of ticket, you have to give (write) your personal information.
Tickets can be easily purchased: at bus stops at the newsstands, in the subway stations, in tobacco shops and even in bars.
How to get from the airport to Rome
The flight time from Moscow to Rome is less than four hours. There is a direct flight by "Aeroflot" and the company "Alitalia". The closest airport to Rome is "Leonardo da Vinci Airport". The distance from the airport to the capital is 26 km.
For your convenience, there is an electric train called "Leonardo Express" from the airport (Stazione Aeroporto) to the city. It is easy to get to the station, because there are signs everywhere – to the railway station, to the bus stop etc. The last railway station in the route of "Leonardo Express" is Termini (Termini). Departures are every half an hour throughout the day, from 6 am to 12 am. The same express goes to the airport from 5.52 am till 11 pm every half an hour. The cost of the ticket, which can be purchased at the box office station, is about 14 euros.
There is another train to Rome from the station Fiumicino. The departure is also from the airport’s railway station. The only difference is that the ending station is not in the center of Rome, but in the railway stations Tiburtina and Ostiense (the distance from the city center is 2 stops). This type of electric train goes every 20 minutes. The departure time: from 5.57 to 23.27. The trip takes 40 minutes. From Tiburtina to the airport, train goes from 5.06 to 22.36. The cost for the ticket is cheaper than for "Leonardo Express", it is only 6 euros.
You can easily get to the station Fiumicino (airport) by special buses. The direction of the route is Tiburtina-Termini-Airport "Leonardo da Vinci". From Tiburtina, the leaving time of the first bus is from 0.30 up to 17.30. From the airport to Tiburtina, the first bus leaves at 1.15 to 19.05. Tickets can be purchased from the driver and their cost is around 7-8 euros.
Another option is to take a taxi to Rome. The fare is high. The trip costs more than 40 euros. The price includes the parking on the territory of the airport (there is an extra charge) and fee for transportation of your luggage. During holidays or in the night time the fare is even more higher.
Usually, the guides in Rome, recommend to explore the sights of Rome for centuries, from old times to the Renaissance. According to this principle, you can buy tickets, which cost will be between 12 euros and above. But with a single ticket, you can, for example, visit three sites: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine.
The most beautiful and breathtaking view is offered by the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, which is in the Vatican. The cost for the ticket is 7 euros (by lift and by foot (there are almost 400 stairs) and 5 euro (only by foot).
There are more than twenty main attractions of the city. And now we don’t speak about the secondary ones, but they are no less important.
In Rome, you will see countless monuments of different eras, from the Middle Ages to the monuments in the baroque style, a lot of churches, temples, and cathedrals.
Visiting the Capitoline Museum, enjoy the stunning views of the Palatin.
If you don’t want to get lost, it is advisable to purchase a tourist card. With its help, you can discover all great attractions of the city and explore the city’s parts. By the way, each card "Roma Pass" has been equipped with a special chip for already five years, it allows you to use public transport and enter to all museums more easily. If you connect the chip with a mobile phone number, you can receive messages about cultural and interesting events in Rome. The cost of the card for three days is about 25 euros. More about Rome’s attractions you can read here.
The main part of the hotel is located close to the train station. Some of the hotels are tiny and cozy, while others are big and huge. And still, you can find a hotel with small rooms, but everything will be within your arm’s reach. The average cost of a hotel room near the railway station for two persons varies within a hundred euros.
Near the Pantheon and Piazza Campo de 'Fury you will find many attractive hotels, where the average cost of a double room is 150 euros. The level of service here is higher, and the view from the room’s window is usually stunning.
If you want serenity and privacy, you should choose something far from the railway station, where there is always noisy. The only thing that attracts is the main attractions nearby, such as the Colosseum, which is literally five-minute walk away.
The most attractive city’s areas for tourists are: Campo Navona, Campo di Fiori and Trastavere. By the way, Trastavere, despite its location, behind the city’s river, very attractive for tourists. Firstly, a hotel room features a beautiful view, and secondly, it is absolutely all the attractions are located in a five-minute walk, thirdly, this area is readily accessible, fourthly, the streets in this area are very beautiful and picturesque. The cost of the hotel Double room in each area is above 150 euros for two. The best option is to rent an apartment (apartments).
If, nevertheless, you have decided to live in the hotel, it is reasonably to book a room in advice for a few months before the trip. The hotels are usually overcrowded regardless of the time of year. Despite the unaffordable cost, still there are lots of people who want to live in a hotel with the most ridiculous prices. The hotels usually start rising the cost for the room from March and up to the end of October. Then it comes a little break and to the Christmas holidays the cost increases again.
One of the main features of the hotel business in Rome, that even hotels with 2 * and 1 * are quite comfortable and quite nice, though the rooms can be too small, but cozy, and each guest are treated as he or she is a relative of the owner. In these hotels, you will find - a bed, dresser, bed linen, and wardrobe. Toilet and shower facilities are for several rooms.
Apartments in Rome
A remarkable alternative to hotels are apartments, which cost lower than hotels. For example, a large two- and even three-room apartment with a nice bathroom, kitchen, furniture, and hall will cost about 100 euros. If you plan to go to Rome with your family or friends, rent the apartment! It’s an ideal option for you. In addition, living in an apartment, you can fully experience the life of the Italian person who takes out the garbage every morning, goes to the shop and greet their neighbors.
The cost of one-bedroom apartment in a beautiful area of the city, which is readily accessible and close to the central attractions, is about 120 to 150 euros per night. While the cost for a hotel room for two people in the same area of the city starts from 340-360 euros per day. We’re sure you see the difference. One thing to know that is the apartment rental period starts from 3 days.
Book and apartments and a room in advance - in Rome, high season is all year round.
In Rome, you can purchase high quality clothing, shoes, watches, leather goods. Amazing underwear you can bring only from Rome, and we don’t have to speak about Murano glass, porcelain, crystal.
The main trade places in Rome:
- Street Via del Corso (similar to Tverskaya street in Moscow, but with more affordable prices on branded items). Here you’ll find cheap shops as well as expensive boutiques, which the high-quality products, and where you can bargain with the sellers);
- Street Via Nazionale (begins from Venice Square in the north-west direction. This place is considered to be one of the most important shopping streets in the city, where one will find shops and boutiques of famous brands);
- Street Via del Tritone;
- The area of Plaza de España (the latest collections of famous designers, branded shoes, jewelry, clothing, leather goods, etc.).
Prices in Rome are much lower than in Milan.
- Winter sale (from January to February);
- Summer sale (from July to August).
At the end of each sale-season you can find discounts up to seventy percent.
"Ai Monasteri", Corso del Rinascimento, 72. The small-sized store, which features products made in the Italy’s convents.
Stores "Blu Sand". “No name” clothes, very cheap, but the quality is high.
Stores "Habana". Cheap T-shirts, shirts and tops of different styles, sizes and colors. The average cost for clothes - 15 euros for one item.
Rome’s Shopping Centers:
- "La Standa": great selection, low cost of goods;
- "Upini" and "Coin": great selection of goods, the price tag higher than in "La Standa".
- In the winter time: from 9.00 to 19.30 (lunch break 13.00-15.30)
- In the summer time: from 9.00 to 20.00 (lunch break 13.00-16.00).
In the central part of the city, some stores start working from 10.00. If the shop is open throughout the day, you’ll see the sign "Orario continuato" - "without a break" on the front door.
Thievery in Rome
The central parts of Rome are safe for tourists. But, if you want to take a walk alone in the city, especially in areas inhabited by immigrants from other countries, you should be careful and cautious. There are lots of pickpockets at every city’s corner. Therefore, it is better to avoid city’s areas, where there are no tourists, or protect your wallet, keeping it in the inner pocket of a jacket or in a purse, which you must hold in your hand. The main category of pickpockets is gypsy. You can meet them not only in the streets, but also in public transport. By the way, in Rome, there are lots of signs warning you of the "work" of pickpockets.
It is no use taking a big amount of money with you. If you do not plan to make purchases, it is desirable to keep your money in a hotel room or put them into the safe deposit. The same rule applies to passports. Make a copy of your license and passport to take them with you and leave the original ones in the hotel room.
Many thieves snatch handbags driving mopeds or motorcycles. If you have rented a car, do not leave valuable things in it.
One of the distinguishing features of the Rome’s cafes and restaurants is their schedule of work. Many tourists are surprised by the fact that in the evening about seven o’clock, most of the restaurants and cafes are closed, and if you want to have a dinner, you’d better harry up, or you’ll need to look for an open cafe, pizzeria or restaurant.
In Rome, there are two categories of catering with affordable prices:
- Trattoria and hosteria (such as restaurants). Advantages: nourishing dinner or lunch of several meals cost to 15 euros. The cuisine is good and hearty;
- Rosticeria (mini-restaurants, family-type). Advantages: caters for people on a budget (about 9 euros for lunch or dinner), home-made cooking, cozy atmosphere. Restaurants are located in the peaceful and quiet side streets, away from the tourist spots. By the way, Italians are really love rosticherii!
The cheapest way to have a meal is to buy a snack “take-away” pizza, the price starts from two euros.
It is not necessarily to carry bottled water with you. Throughout the city, there are special drinking fountains. The water there tastes good, it is healthy, and something similar to the mineral. For example, half a liter of water will cost around 2 euros in a store, and the water in the fountains is absolutely free!
"Wine Bar Trimani", Via Goito, 20. A good meal with reasonable price. There is an impressive Italian wine map and a great selection of Italian cheese. Try a soup of the day, a salad, a delicious baked sandwich and a tasty dessert like the chocolate mousse of gelato. The average cost of meal for one person is 15-17 euros.
Restaurant "Dune", Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 52. It is a cozy and very quiet place to eat and to chill. You can find this restaurant easily, because of its location. It is located just in a few steps from "Piazza Venezia". This restaurant features the unusual interior in a true Italian style, with stucco on the walls, paintings and white marble tables. As a nice "bonus”, there is a life-music. The outdoor terrace is functioning during warmer months, but only lucky ones can have a meal there, because usually all tables are reserved. The menu includes both Italian and international cuisine. The average bill is 17-20 euros for one person.
Pizzeria Restaurant "Gusto", Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9. "Gusto" has always only positive feedback. Firstly, it's a good pizzeria with very low prices even for Rome, and secondly, the restaurant service here at the highest level, and, thirdly, there is a shop where you can buy delicious and inexpensive local wines, which are also available in the restaurant, or you can take the bottle out. By the way, the restaurant’s store enjoys a wide variety of cookbooks with recipes of the Italian cuisine of different price and size, and original items of kitchen interior.
The Cafe "Mondo Pasta Srl - Pastarito Pizzarito", Via 4 Novembre, 139. This café is one of the few places in Rome, where you can have inexpensive and very tasty meal! However, the interior of the place is not luxurious and charming, but if you want to have a nourishing meal – go there! The portions are impressive, the food is delicious and fresh, the waiters are polite and friendly. The price for a big plate of pasta, which is enough for two people, is - 7-8 euros. The menu is wide, we are sure you’ll find something amazing. You don’t have to reserve a place in this café: just come, order and eat. Another important feature is take-away (the average cost starts from five to seven euros). Good offer, right?
The beer restaurant "L Oasi della Birra", Piazza Testaccio, 40. Do not be afraid of the beer restaurant, because in addition to one hundred items of beer, there is a great Italian wine map. Hot baked snacks and sandwiches and tasty salads are also offered there.
The pizzeria "Forno La Renella", Trastevere, Via del Moro, 15. In "Forno La Renella" you can sample the real Italian pizza. The tastiest pizza with parmesan cheese, mushrooms, salad radichcho with ricotta is here. Impressive selection and attractive prices. We are sure that you’ll like the huge pizzeria’s widow. Through it you can see the cooks working. The average check per person is about 15 euros.
The pizzeria "Ai Marmi", Viale di Trastevere, 53. The cheapest pizza in town, ideal place for people on a budget. Here you can eat tasty and inexpensive. The only thing you should know that Wednesday here is a day off. But in other days - you can have lunch here. There is a nice atmosphere, varied menu, which includes not only pizza, but also olives stuffed with meat or pork, fried cod, excellent homemade Italian wine and more other delicious things.
The pizzeria "La Monte-Carlo", Vicolo Savelli, 13. The tables for visitors are placed in the street, everything is very simple but nice. The interior and stuff of the place are very simple, but the food is really tasty. The variety of pizza is great and the price is unbelievably cheap. This place makes us only happy with no regrets. "La Monte-Carlo" is the best place to people who want to eat cheap and quick.
The pizzeria-bakery "Antico Forno Del Campo de 'Fiori", Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22. Here you can sample outstanding big pizza. Moreover, this bakery is considered to be the one of oldest pizzerias in Rome. Only here you can taste the most authentic pizza! This pizza is made according the old recipe which has been used for several centuries. Try tasty - Pizza Bianca – a tortilla stuffed with herbs and oil, and delicious the Rossa pizza – a tortilla stuffed with herbs, tomato sauce, and olive oil. Pizza is not sold by portions, but by weight. The average cost for a kilogram is from 5 to 8 euros.
"A.Spinosi" Cafe, Via del Mascherino, 60. The food is good, Italian, varied and inexpensive! The cafe is located near the St. Peter Cathedral. A.Spinosi is an ideal place for lunch. Three-course meal with wine for one person will cost 15-20 euros.
The restaurant "Il Brillo Parlante", Via della Fontanella, 12. Sooo tasty! Il Brillo Parlante is a wonderful, cozy, restaurant with beautiful interior in a classic Italian style. The service is perfect and the presentation of meals too. The average bill for one person is about 25 euros (including alcohol).
Money can be changed in exchange offices, at post offices and banks (working hours: weekdays from 8.30 to 16.15, closed for lunch from 13.30 to 15.30). The most unfavorable exchange rate is usually at the airport. The only pro is 24-hour ATM’s working. In many restaurants, as well as in most stores and shopping centers, you can pay by credit card (look for the sign “Carta si”). US dollar currency exchange is bad. We advise you to take euros with you from your hometown.