Rome Tourism Information
Rome is one of the world’s greatest ancient cities. It is also the capital of Italy, now a cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins all over the city, like the Roman Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Rome is also the location of the Vatican City, declared an independent state in 1929 with it's headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and St. Peter’s Basilica as the main attraction for tourism and pilgrimage. As well as many Vatican Museums around the area.
Rome can't be seen in a hurry, there are dozens of locations where to admire the ruins, classic buildings, museums and landmarks worth visiting to learn and explore the life back in the Roman times. Fortunately, the city is full of places to take a break, enjoy a traditional ice-cream during a hot day or chill in an Italian Cafe and see life pass by. Whether you want to relax in the evening or party the night away, Rome has also a lively night scene where Italians love to show off their latest fashion trends and dine in style, the Italian way!
Spring and Autumn, are great times to visit the city of Rome, as the weather is warm and generally quite sunny. In a good year the mild weather many continue right up to December, with only occasional cold winds, but in a bad year, heavy rain can start in October.
Summer, from June to September is the high season, with July and August usually very hot and temperatures tend to stay around 35°C for much of this time. The heat can be uncomfortable when sightseeing during this time, with possible sunstroke being a serious threat, although as many of the locals head for the mountains or beaches, the Rome traffic becomes noticeably reduced and footpaths less busy.
The weather can prove unpredictable from November to February, when Rome is at its most quiet, although it is generally fairly mild, there can be heavy rain and occasional icy winds, so be sure to bring a warm overcoat, scarf and gloves. If you are planning to visit outdoor locations, water-resistant boots or shoes with a good grip are recommended as the pavements can get very wet after heavy rain, and an umbrella can be a useful item to carry. During the Winter temperatures can reach 5°C but most often in the city,it will be around 8-13°C.
When arriving to Rome, there are two main airports which you can land at, Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA).
- Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, better knows by Rome Fiumicino, is the main airport and where most flights operate from. To get to the city you can take busses or trains. The trains are operated by Trenitalia, the quickest is the Leonardo Express. it's a non-stop service to/from Rome Termini railway station leaving every 15 minutes with a journey time of 32 minutes. It costs €14 for a single adult ticket. It's also possible to get the Regional FL1 trains to/from other stations in Rome, including Rome Tiburtina, which will cost €8 one way per adult. Busses provide the best affordable option, busses depart from terminal 1 and 2, to the main train terminal in Rome. (Termini station, P.zza dei Cinquecento) The journey takes about 1 hour. Busses are operated by Terravision for €5 one way per adult. They leave every 30-45 min.
- Ciampino Airport is the second biggest airport in Rome, served mostly by low cost airlines and a few national airlines. The airport does not have a direct train service however Terravision busses operate frequent services into the city centre. (Termini station, P.zza dei Cinquecento) The journey takes about 1 hour. Price is €5 one way per adult. They leave every 30-45 min.
Once in Rome, there is an extensive public transportation network consisting of busses, metro and trams. When staying in Rome for a few days it's advised to buy day passes. A 1 day pass is €7 EUR, 2 day pass is €12.50 and for 3 days its €18. (Also available one week pass for €24). If you purchase a single ticket, it's valid for 100 minutes and costs €1.50. As well you can buy the Rome Tourist Card which also includes public transportation. You can purchase the travel passes from vending machines and manned ticket offices at metro stations and many newsstands / tobacconists. (only cash is accepted).
Below you will find the metro map of Rome, it's a simple network consisting of only 3 lines. The fragile grounds which it circulates by,the rich archaeological value and with many areas still in exploration for roman ruins are a few reasons why the metro system is so small for a city of this size. Also ready to download are the train-metro and tram map links.
❗Attention: Traffic in Rome is famous for being difficult to drive through, easy to get congested due to the narrow streets and drivers don't often give way to pedestrians, even on crossings! Expect to find rush hour traffic in the morning and evening to see how congested it can get! Best to avoid these times if using ground transportation, and take the metro instead.
Taxis are expensive, and when they pick up tourists they will often drive around in order to increase the fare, so it’s best to avoid them. Now a days, Uber, and other applications are a good alternative.
For the visitor, Rome is an incredible place to see monuments from the capital’s glorious past, from the ancient Roman remains to the beautiful baroque churches. There is no shortage of things to do in Rome, you can relax in the city’s elegant squares, explore the narrow alleyways of the city centre, or stroll along the main shopping streets.
The capital’s great historical landmarks, Coliseum, Roman Forum, San Peter’s Basilica , the Pantheon and the Trevi fountain, attract millions of tourists every year. Rome boasts one of the world’s largest and various number of museums.
The roman city is the largest archaeological area in the world, with a population of three million. It is also incredibly various, from offering the richest art collection in all Europe to a vast possibilities of entertainment when the museums close and it's time to explore the city by night. The city’s restaurants, ”Osterias”, pizzerias, gelaterias, wineries and pubs have always lots of joyful atmosphere, and naturally food is a major attraction too.
Below you can read the best things not to miss out on your visit to Rome:
- Colosseum: Probably the highlight of your visit to Rome, the Roman Colosseum is a testament to the architectural skills of the ancient Roman people and offers insight into the culture that celebrated the gladiator games at this huge entertainment arena. The first bloody fight was reported back to A.D. 82, starting a tradition of battles between men and beasts in a public forum with crowds reaching 50,000. Outside of the Colosseum, you can see the Arch of Constantine, which was built in 315 to commemorate the victory of Constantine over Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius. It's advised that to avoid lengthy lines, you book online before going, at Coopculture.it, you can use them for 2 consecutive days and includes admission to the nearby Forum and Palatine Hill.
- Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: In ancient Rome, the Forum was the centre of city life, playing host to festivals, celebrations, funerals and rituals. The city grew around this grassy area that was empty marshland until the 7th century B.C. The area lost its fame and fell to waste around the 8th century and remained that way until excavations in the early 20th century. Currently you can visit the remains of the Forum with the ruins of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Emilian Basilica, the Curia, the Temple of Vesta, the Altar of Cesar, the Arch of Titus, the Arch of Septimius Severus and more. Then climb to the top of Palatine Hill for amazing views of the city. According to ancient tradition, it was on the Palatine hill that the first settlement of Rome was made by Romulus in the mid eighth century B.C. The museum is located at the top of the hill where, among the artworks collected from the hill site, various artefacts of the Iron Age tombs and decorations from the imperial buildings are exhibited.
- Vatican city: Even though it's located in Rome, the Vatican City has been an independent state since 1929 with its own flag, coins and stamps. It even has its own militia, the Swiss Guard, which protects this state, the Pope and the 800 full-time citizens and visiting residents. The first impressive site is St. Peter's Square designed in the late 17th century. As long as you're dressed appropriately (no bare shoulders or shorts or skirts above the knee), you may enter St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietá, a beautiful and sad sculpture. You can continue up to the roof where you can take in the view of the large square and city beyond. Also contained in the Vatican's walls, are the Vatican Museums, which hold Italian masterpieces, including Michelangelo's painted ceiling at the Sistine Chapel.
- Pantheon: Rome's temple to the gods is remarkably intact, a great feat considering that it was originally constructed in 27 B.C. and was later rebuilt in the early 2nd century A.D. after fire damage. An altar was later added for Christian worship after the country abandoned its pagan gods. After the Renaissance, the Pantheon took on yet another role as a designated tomb for some of the city's artists and elite including the painter Raphael and former kings of Italy. The Pantheon's architecture has inspired copycats around the globe with its tall columns reaching toward the sky, expansive interior and impressive dome with the sun shining through the oculus, a 27-foot hole in the centre of the rotunda.
- Trevi Fountain: The famous fountain is more an attraction to visit to through a coin and wish for love or to return to the city more than the statues itself. The fountains is built in a Baroque style showing God Neptune riding in a shell-shaped chariot led by seahorses. All the money collected from the tourists (Nearly $3.500 each day!) go to charities to support food programs for the city's poor and disabled.
- Piazza Navona: Rome is known for beautiful and charming squares lined with restaurants and open-air cafes. The best one is Piazza Navona, once centre of sporting events, the square contains 3 fountains, the most famous is Neptune fountain and Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, with each of the 4 statues representing a river from different continents.
- Galleria Borghese: It's a beautiful building both from the outside to the inside, located in a prime location in the sprawling gardens at Villa Borghese. The park and gardens are a great location where to walk and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It's also possible to rent bikes (2 to 4 people) within the grounds of the park. The rental company is Bici Pincio which provide the tandems or rickshaws from €8. (beware, never leave your credit card as deposit as there are other unofficial rentals which use this practice to scam tourists). If you visit the museum inside the gallery, you'll find Bernini sculptures including Apollo and Daphne and his take on young David preparing to take on Goliath. The impressive collection also includes works by master artists Correggio, Raphael, Rubens and Caravaggio.
✔️Tip: Get tickets days in advance, as the museum admits only 360 visitors every 2 hours. Buy tickets at Galleria Borghese, cost €13 per adult.
- Spanish Steps: Famous for being the longest and widest staircase in all Europe, but the best part are the views once you start ascending the stairs. A Barcaccia fountain bubbles at the foot of the steps while the Trinità dei Monti church rises above the crowds at the top of the steps. The best spot is somewhere in between the 2 to admire the views below. The area is full of boutiques, shops and stylist restaurants.
- Castel Sant'Angelo: This fortress on the Tiber River was originally designed by the Emperor Hadrian to be used as a mausoleum for his own family. Over the centuries, it moved beyond its original purpose and served as a military fortress in 401 and later a papal residence and even a prison. It's now a museum where you may tour the apartments and see the statue of the archangel Michael rising above the terrace.
- Capuchin Crypt: Located under Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins celebrates the life of the religious order of the Capuchin friars. The friars arranged the bones of the deceased into displays and frames for Christian artwork in various spots throughout the crypt including the Crypt of the Skulls and the Crypt of the Resurrection. Not merely a macabre display, these creations tell the story of life, death and resurrection and show a unique interpretation of the church's teachings of good, evil and eternity.
- The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Veritá): this enormous marble mask, which carries a legend behind it, was said to bite the hand of those who lied. The huge legendary sculpture has a diameter of 1.75 meters and is dedicated to the God of the Sea, represented by a male bearded face with holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. The sculpture was once located in the Piazza della Bocca della Veritá until in 1632 it was transferred to the outside of one of the walls of the nearby Santa María in Cosmedin, where it remains today. Note, that's it's very common to see large numbers of people lining up to be photographed with their hand inside the Mouth of Truth., so going during the week, in the morning, is a good suggestion. It's free to enter and you can get there by metro, closest station is Circo Massimo, line B.
The nightlife in Rome is laid-back, in true Italian style. People like to sit at cafés or restaurants taking their time with lots of food, wine or coffee. Campo dei Fiori, the Piazza Navona area and Trastevere are some of the best places for bars and cafés, while the Testaccio and Ostiense districts are better for nightclubs.
There are many wine bars and cafés near Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Navona and Via della Pace. Cafés in Trastevere attract visitors to see Piazza di Santa Maria's fountain and 12th-century church lit up at night, as well as occasional guitar performances.
There are always spectacular nightclubs available for the real party animals in Rome, but some of them do close during August. When the clubs close for summer, there are numerous outdoor venues around town and near Ostia; outdoor festivities on Via di Monte Testaccio, in Testaccio, take centre stage and include food stalls and markets.
The Teatro dell'Opera is home to the Rome Opera Ballet and opera is performed at the Baths of Caracalla's open-air ruins in July and August. Rock bands often perform at Stadio Flaminio and the Palazzo dello Sport.
Rome, only too aware of its popularity with international tourists and investors, is an expensive shopping destination; however, some deals can be found on trinkets like crafts, leather goods and glasswork. To find these bargains, look to the markets of central Rome, which generally operate Monday to Saturday from 7am to 1pm. On Sundays, the popular Porta Portese flea market operates from the Trastevere district.
Another budget shopping option popular in Rome is second-hand book and clothing shopping, with an abundance of stores located throughout the city. Antique shopping is also pervasive but could prove expensive for those who aren't sure of what they're doing!
If you have the means, Rome has an assortment of boutique stores, with brands like Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Fendi all represented in the Piazza di Spagna. The Piazza San Silvestro exhibits Rome's best jewellers, such as Bulgari and Martinelli, among others. In Via del Corso one can find, in addition to an assortment of clothing department stores, the flagship stores for Ferrari (which is worth a look if nothing else) and Swarovski, with exquisite crystal-wrought crafts.
❗Attention: While Rome is generally safe for tourists, markets and other areas where many tourists gather for shopping, are regarded to be targeted by street pickpockets and con artists. Rome has some of the most skilled pickpockets in the world, and visitors are advised to take care with their possessions!
Rome is a very varied city when it comes to accommodation and lodging. You can find plenty of 4-5* Hotels with all the luxuries associated to them to family run Hotels which offer basic amenities and facilities. When in the city you can easily find Hostels, Pension or Motels which are old renovated flats converted into Hotel rooms or dormitories. Often some are better to be booked face to face than online, as they are run by older generations which rely on telephone bookings rather than the internet. However it's easy to find a lot of them on sites like Booking.com where they have very competitive rates. (approx 15€ to 25€ per person and bed). If you are looking for normal Hotels, you can expect to pay around €30 per night within walking distance to popular attractions or landmarks. It's also popular to arrange private accommodation via Airbnb and stay in local houses or flats in a more rural environment.
Rome is a city of immense cultural history and beauty. It should be visited with plenty of time to spare to take in all the landmarks and sights. Not all attractions are in close proximity to one another, so it's essential you travel a little to be able to see everything. With the infinite amount of cultural places to visit it can take several visits to Rome till you can say you have seen everything it has to offer! For a first time visit to Rome, it's advised to stay for 4-5 nights, ideally combining cultural activities during the morning and the afternoon and later relaxing during the evening.
Rome Photo Slide 📷