A little warning! Pickpockets tend to head for big tourist attractions so be extra vigilant whilst marvelling at the Colosseum or enjoying a coffee with friends. Be aware of your surroundings and try and keep valuables hidden.
Top five things to do in Rome
The queues can be off putting but if you buy a combination ticket at Palatine Hill first you won't have to stand in the queue for the Colosseum. Try and plan a visit at night as well for great photos of this magnificent structure and Constantine’s Arch lit up. If you are not there just for the some great photos a guide is recommended and not always a rip off, they can give an entertaining insight and lots of history on the place. Alternatively get an audio guide on entry – the queues are often shorter here so you bypass the main ones.
These beautiful English-style gardens are also home to a number of Museums and Galleries; here you can mix culture with the peace and tranquillity of the landscaped grounds. Bring a picnic in summertime and enjoy a lazy Roman afternoon.
Fontana di Trevi
The most photographed fountain in Rome, throw a coin in and legends says you will return, but having seen Rome that’s a given anyway. Certainly a beautiful sight but a crazy place; watch out for pickpockets here. You may find you have to queue to take a photograph but just take this in your stride and soak up the atmosphere while you wait.
Take a wander through this busy Italian neighbourhood with shopping, eating and drinking a plenty. There’s more of a small town feel here where it seems you can escape the hordes of tourists and spend some time just watching the locals go about their daily business. Here you need not have an itinerary just follow your feet around the many narrow streets and squares.
A free attraction containing the ruins of ancient roman civilization, it features the Arch of Septimus Severus, Temple of Saturn, Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestals. It’s recommended to get an audio tour, which can be downloaded for free along with a map, or just join one of the walking tours for a reasonable cost if you are keen to really understand what you are seeing.
Where to stay in Rome
This is a popular tourist destination all year round so it’s not advisable to arrive in the hopes of finding a cheap deal and discover there’s no room at the inn, book a few weeks ahead to ensure a bed for the night. The majority of the luxury and five-star hotels can be found in the Centro Storico (historic centre) or head for the district of Campo dei Fiori for elegance at a more affordable price. If your budget doesn’t meet any of the above you can find good cheap accommodation in the form of pensioni, or bed and breakfasts in the area’s around the train station and in Trastevere, the capital's most lively and colourful area.
Where to eat and drink in Rome
Head for the area of Testaccio for some traditional Roman Cuisine that won’t break the bank. If you want to sample something a bit more high class head over to some of the more exclusive hotels for an elegant dining experience. Is has to be said, while in Rome…make sure you visit one of the traditional pizzerias for a true pizza! Finish off your night doing it like the Romans, a leisurely coffee on a pavement cafe. If you’re looking for something a bit more up tempo during the summer months many discos relocate to the beaches of Fregene and Ostia. Bars combine food and internet access with late night music for a one stop shop for the busy traveller.
How to get around Rome
The public buses and the metro are a great way to get around the city. You can get a day or a multi-day travel pass and save time by not having to constantly queue and sort out foreign coins every time you get on a bus, these can be purchased at metro stations and tobacco and newspaper shops. But depending on the duration of your stay and how much you plan to walk about it may prove cheaper to ‘pay as you go’.
The best time to visit Rome
The theatrical season lasts from October to May and it can often continue through the summer months. Many outdoor cinemas are set up from July to September, and show popular re-releases, the most famous outdoor cinema is Cineporto, near the Olympic Stadium. Rome has year round good weather with quite oppressively hot summer months and mild winters.
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