A Brief Guide To Visiting Rome
Rome is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world and attracts millions of tourists to the city to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture. However, a trip to the Eternal City can be a little confusing and overwhelming to anyone visiting for the first time.
The Eternal City has held the fascination of the traveling public for generations, eager to experience the Rome of Fellini and Rosselini of Roman Holiday and three coins in a fountain and frankly who can blame them?
Pound-for-pound, Rome has more Historic Landmarks and iconic treasures, than just about anywhere else on earth but as spectacular as they might be, don’t let Rome fool you into thinking that’s all it has to offer. If you ae prepared to dig a little deeper, wander a little further, then you’ll see why Rome has been the inspiration for artists poets and travellers for millennia. The fourth biggest city in Europe by population, Rome like many other European capitals has a tightly packed historic centre, surrounded by increasingly modern urban and suburban sprawl. Now despite being cleft in twain by the river Tiber and containing an entirely separate city-state within its limits, Rome is surprisingly compact and more than accessible.
This short guide is designed to provide you with a basic overview of Rome, and will hopefully offer lots of practical advice that will help you discover and enjoy the city in all its glory.
Choosing The Right Time To Visit
Due to the fact that Rome is a very popular destination, it is advisable to choose the date for your trip carefully. Generally, the best times of the year to visit Rome are in the months of April, May, and late September through October. In the height of summer, the city gets very busy and the heat and the crowds make the city nearly unbearable. As you can imagine, August is particularly busy and if possible, you should try to avoid visiting Rome during this month.
One thing that you should also take into consideration is that if you travel to Rome too early or the too late in the year, then the opening times of the attractions are shorter and may close earlier than they do in peak times and some may even be closed completely.
The two main airports in Rome are Ciampino Airport and Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo da Vinci Airport). Fiumicino Airport in Rome, is used by most of the major airlines and is now the main airport to service the city, whereas Ciampino Airport is generally used by the low budget airlines.
Airfares to Rome typically drop quite a considerably out of main peak season making this the optimal time to visit the city. Obviously, everyone’s time schedules are different but if you can arrange to visit avoiding July and August, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money! This can then be spent on visiting more attractions. Flights into Ciampino International Airport are often much cheaper as the majority of low budget airlines use the airport.
Visiting September – October
The days in these months are still warm, the nights are slightly cool and the tour groups of tourists and pretty much disappeared.
How Long To Visit
Rome has so many attractions to see and if you visit Rome for a couple of days, you will certainly not have enough time to visit everything and will probably feel as though you have rushed around the city. If you can afford to stay for a week, you certainly won’t run out of things to do and you’ll still feel like you’re leaving too soon! If your time is limited, try to allow at least four days to see all of Rome’s major attractions.
Driving In Rome
If you have hired a car for your trip to Italy, then you may want to leave the car at your hotel or accommodation and catch the bus or train into the city. If you have never driven in Rome before then it is worth taking into account that driving in Rome can be chaotic!
Hotels In Rome
It is highly recommend staying in a hotel close to the centre where you can simply walk out your door and into the heart of the city. Obviously, the hotels closer to the city of Rome and nearer to to the attractions will cost more money but it is worth it!
Tip: When looking for hotels in Rome city centre, try to concentrate your search for hotels that are located East Of Tiber River and West Of Termini Train Station. This will mean that you are pretty central and will ensure you do not have long walks into the main centre.
Rome has a large number of restaurants so you will never be stuck for places to eat. In the summer months most restaurants in the main streets have outside seating which adds to the ambience of the city and they all serve a wide range of cuisine with plenty of pasta dishes, chicken and fish. The food in Rome is generally simple but fresh and most restaurants serve good quality food. It’s not hard to find a café or restaurant in Rome with a great view and if you can’t decide on the type of cuisine you want to eat, then why not choose the restaurant or café for its view. For example, There are many café bars in the Piazza della Rotonda which offer a great view facing The Pantheon. Also, there are many restaurants around the Piazza Navonais which provide views to the many fountains located close by.
Tip: As with many things when booking travel arrangements, it is much better to book everything in advance if possible. Booking your hotel, car hire, tours and other travel extras in advance will not only ensure you secure the best deals and save money, it will also make your experience visiting Rome, much more relaxed, stress free and enjoyable.