Last week I went to Rome – it was AMAZING! And as discussed yesterday, I will be sharing my travels in Rome all week long. The guides are broken down into 3 areas of travel – Ancient Ruins in Rome, Sights to See in Rome, Religion in Rome. While they can help you plan for what to do in Rome they don’t have much “behind the scenes” info. So today I wanted to share more general Rome Travel Tips….where to stay, food to try, what to wear, & getting around.
Where to Stay
I always recommend Airbnb (as it is usually 1/2 the price of hotels), BUT it may not be the best option in Rome. While you can find a cheaper option most are removed from the city center.
We stayed near the college in a cute neighborhood at Sabelli House. It was exciting at first; the block was full of cool pubs/bars, and we found the most amazing authentic pizza place. BUT the novelty waned, and the commute became a burden. Every morning we started our day with a 25 min commute in a PACKED tram. And then each night before dinner we wanted to head to the room to clean up but didn’t want the hour (roundtrip) commute back to a restaurant in the city. This meant every dinner was spent eating at places in our neighborhood.
While the apartment was nice, we definitely got what we paid for (30 euros/night). To create a more enjoyable stay I recommend finding a great deal on a hotel closer to the city center! You’ll have better access to all the sights, have more options for dinner close by, and be able to stop off at your room any time you need to relax/refresh.
BUT Airbnb can be good for someone on a budget.
Sights at Night
If you’re on a romantic trip you MUST visit the Colosseum/Roman Forum at sunset. While you cannot enter the sites, the sun setting behind the ruins is AMAZING. And to top it all off hardly any one is around…people-free pictures! Just look at that view…
Fun Drinks at Trevi
It is legal in Rome to walk around with alcohol – VACATION! So one night we sat by Trevi Fountain and drank Bellinis (romance). There’s a liquor store around the corner where you can buy the ingredients to make your own. Or you can go out for a cocktail at this adorable restaurant! To get there go down the street on the right of the fountain (facing it) and within a few steps you’ve made it. You can sit and enjoy a cocktail under their umbrellas or take-away to sip around the town!
Food to Try
You MUST try Italian pizza – BUT find something authentic. Don’t go to places near the tourist sites (all Americanized). Try to take paths untouched. Dive into small streets tucked away – there you can find a great authentic Italian pizza experience. My favorite had to be this zucchini topping!
I think I gained 2 lbs as a result of all the gelato I enjoyed in Rome. There was never a time I didn’t have a cone in my hand. Enjoy your vacation with Italy’s finest treat! Every flavor is AMAZING…
Entrance fees are quite low in Rome BUT if you’re planning on going to a lot of museums or taking public transportation frequently, the cost will add up. Save money with the Roma Pass.
Here’s what it is:
- A pass for free/discounted entry into Museums
- 2 options (48 hour or 72 hour)
- For the 72 hour pass you get Free Entry into 2 Museums (included on the list)
- For the 48 hour pass you get Free Entry into 1 Museum
- After you use your free entry(s) – entry is discounted but not free
- Free use of public transportation (each leg of a journey metro/bus around 2 euros)
- Valid 48 or 72 Hours (2 or 3 days)
- Costs = 28 Euros (48) or 38.50 Euros (72)
We DID NOT get this card and here’s why:
- We went to two places that required an entry fee: The Colosseum/Roman Forum & The Vatican
- The Vatican is NOT included in the Roma Pass (it costs 16 Euros)
- The Colosseum & Roman Forum are a joint entry ticket (only 12 Euros)
The one site (we visited) that was included did not equal the cost of a pass. It wasn’t worth it for us. But the Roma Pass is great if you’re planning on visiting MUSEUMS of Rome (enough to equal the amount of the card or more). Something you’ll want to calculate for your trip!
Getting around really depends on where your are going. So in my guides that I will post throughout the week I will share specifics based on the sights I’m highlighting. BUT in general here is some information about different transportation in Rome.
There is a tram through-out the city that is fairly easy to navigate. While you can purchase a ticket for it…we were told (by our hotel) not to – that they are never checked. I believe a ticket would be between 1-2 euros (cheap). This is a great way to get around the city. We used this each day.
There are bus routes all over the city. While the buses are very cheap and easy to use – the timing is not very reliable. We did take the bus a few times, and it NEVER was on-schedule.
The metro is a little more complicated to find/use (signage is not great). BUT it’s very cheap and much faster than the other public transport. However it is EXTREMELY crowded. Not the most comfortable option.
There are taxis through out Rome. BUT hailing one from the street can be quite difficult. There is an easy online website 3570 that can be used to book taxis when needed. We used this for the airport, and it was GREAT. There are set rates for different routes in Rome as well as meters – read up a bit to make sure you don’t get duped!
I recommend you walk around Rome. First off, the sites are close together (more so than you think). Second, the city is FULL of history and you never know what you’ll happen upon when you walk (we saw a lot of things we didn’t even know about). And it’s great exercise, which gives you an excuse to eat more gelato!
I hope my Rome Travel Tips help you plan your vacation to Rome this summer! It truly is an amazing city – I can’t wait to go back….
Tell me all about your travel plans – or any information to add!