Rome is among the most attractive European cities. That’s why I choose a trip to Italy in 1996 as my third trip to Europe after trips to France, Germany and Nederland.
Its history spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Since the 1st century CE Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.
In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.
After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence.
There is a tourist office in the train station that can help you find a hotel and gives out maps and information. Most staff at tourist offices speak English. The main office is on Via Parigi near the Piazza della Republica.
You can watch my 4 min 40 sec Video Rome walking around the city out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
When I was in Italy I used a tour company called Excursion Boutique http://www.excursionboutique.com/
They helped me immensely from the moment I contacted them with everything I should see and do while in Italy and even provided great restaurant recommendations!
I did the Best of Rome and the Best of Florence private tours with them and I loved it! They are both full-day tours and you visit all the must-see sights. The guide was friendly and very knowledgeable and informative. The best part was by-passing all the long line ups because they pre-purchased all the tickets.
They also have other tours (group and private) that range in hours but I wanted to make the most of the time I was in each city.
I also used them for a private transfer from the airport to my hotel in Rome and the driver was on time and very professional.
They truly made my Italian vacation unforgettable and I am so thankful that my friend told me about them.
Fondest memory: The food! Simply amazing!
Favorite thing: This was our first visit to Italy and we had limited time in Rome. We wanted to maximize what we were able to see without exhausting ourselves. We were already in Italy when we started looking for a private tour, Rudy was one of the few who had a phone number to call (rather than filling out an on-line form and waiting for a reply) which allowed us to make arrangements quickly. He met us at the train station and we started one of our best days in Italy. Rudy spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable about the history of all the sights. There were six of us and we were escorted in perfect comfort in a minivan,. At each stop we were able to get out, do some exploring, take pictures, etc. Yet we weren't exhausted at the end of the day from walking from place to place. Rudy kept us entertained while he taught us so much about the city. We couldn't have had a better day. Highly recommended! Fantastico!
If you want to avoid lines and are planning to see quite a few archeological sites in Rome within a week, the Archaeologia Card is a good buy.
It includes these sites:
Colosseo, Palatino and Palatino museum, National Roman Museum (Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi, Terme Diocleziano), Terme di Caracalla, Cecilia Metella, Villa Dei Quintili.
The card costs € 23,50 for all 9 sites, valid for a week, and you can buy it at the National Museum near Roma Termini (probably at other locations too).
More info and addresses here
Note: Discount for EU citizens between 18-25 yrs and teachers: € 13,50.
EU citizens under 18 and over 65 the card is free.
Fondest memory: Combine this card with the CIS transportation card, also valid for 7 days (€ 16) and you are all set to discover Rome.
(link checked for 2011, still good)
3 weeks ago I was in Rome for 2 days with my boyfriend. We are walkers and were able to see a great deal in the two days. Depending on how much time you want or need to spend in one place ... it's easy to see plenty. I can't actually give you a route as I found the streets in Rome a big disaster to navigate. Where on street ends, two other begin then a curve or barrier is thrown in the way. It's just best you walk, follow a map and ask directions. You will see plenty of other tourists doing just the same thing.
Make sure to grab a map from the airport!!
Day 1: Colosseo ( it closed at 5pm that day and we missed going in.), Via del Fori Imperiali where we just walked and gawked, plenty of wonderful piazza and fountains. In the evening we walked to Campo de Fiori and had dinner at a fish n chip place (not the greatest first meal in Rome but my bf knows a waiter there). But Campo de Fiori is where young and old gather, flash the lastest style and grab a coffee or gelato. There are about 5+ different restaurant/cafe there and it's a perfect place to relax and watch typical Roman life.
Day 2: Was a pure walking day. We went to Trinita dei Monti, The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona (where we watched a tv show being filmed), Ponte Umberto I, Castel Sant Angelo, and the Vatican. This day we spent 10hrs on foot, it was exhausting but beautiful.
Good luck. Have fun.
Fondest memory: I did what Romans do/did in Rome.
Favorite thing: We made the mistake of not acrrying one, so we shelled out 7E for a booklet called Rome for you- totally worth it, it divides Rome into 6 zones and suggests 7 itineraries thru it....if you are pressed for time this is a good investment to make.
if all you can manage is 2 nights then you can see lots in Rome if you are REALLY organised and plan plan plan.. We had 3 nights and just managed to do the things we wanted. Bear in mind that if you want to see the Bascilica at The Vatican it is not open on the days of the Papal audiences. We were caught out 2 years ago and went on a Wednesday, the area was full of chairs and you could not see the basilica until late afternoon. Yes - the Vatican will take half a day if you do the Sistene Chapel - its right at the end of the museum tour so takes a while to get to. The best thing to do is get a map of the city and try to do things that are in the same area on each day. The "hop on hop off" city tour bus is a good way to get round the city and see the sites you may not see otherwise (even if they are from the outside). You can get on and off on a circular route all round the city.
Fondest memory: I was glad we found time to visit the Capuchin Monks Chapel. Its under the Church if the Immaculate on v. veneto. It is 6 crypts decorated with nothing but the human skeleton bones of the monks from the 17th century. I though it would be a bit like a horror set from a movie but instead I was really moved by just how holy and sacred it felt - I am not at all religious. Its not one for small kids but teens and adults will find it worth a visit.
Also another memory is how amusing it was to hear the guards in the Sistene chapel "shushing" everybody at 2 minute intervals - when they silence they mean it !!
Favorite thing: If you are going to book a tour whoever you settle on avoid Tickitaly. I booked a tour and had an issue with the date (it was incorrectly booked for three months after I was due in Rome)Needless to say I had to buy fresh tickets but more importantly, despite telling Tickitaly about the mistake three months before the event they refused to refund. So if you want to enjoy Rome avoid this lot.
There can be no one site to take a visitor to in Rome. Everywhere you go is something interesting to see, especially if history is your passion but the Colosseum must be high on the list. For those with a religious bent, there are so many churches to visit as well as the Vatican, but the Pantheon is a must too.
If the arts are your interest there are fountains and statues everywhere like the Trevi Fountain, The four Rivers etc.
If it's food you are interested in, you will have mo trouble finding somewhere to go and indulge your appetite.
If you just like exploring, let your feet take you where ever they like . There are interesting nooks and crannies everywhere, and when you are tired parks and gardens to rest your weary feet.
It is a small city if you concentrate on the old town, and easy to move around in. It is fairly well sign posted; buses and the metro all are fun to use as long as you take care of your belongings.
And more and more people seem to be conversant in English.
Fondest memory: Taking my daughter and grandchildren to see the highlights,walking along the Tiber and then having pizza and ice cream.
One of my favorite things about Rome is how close the historic sites are to one another. This city was designed to be walked in. This was the main mode of transportation for centuries. The city is not laid out on a grid or any other plan that makes any sense to me, so take a good map with you when exploring. I have done a little research and have come up with these figures to help you while planning your trip. (I used viamichelin.com for these figures) From the colosseum to the termini station is 1 mile (1.7km). Colosseum to spanish steps- 1.25 miles (2km). Colosseum to Mouth of Truth (via circus maximus) - 1 mile (1.7km). Colosseum to Baths of Caracalla- .85 miles (1.4km). Colosseum to Trevi fountain- 1.2 miles (1.9 km). Colosseum to capitolini - .8 miles (1.3 km). Colosseum to Pantheon- 1.1 miles (1.9km). From Spanish steps to Trevi fountain- .4 mile (.6km). Spanish steps to Piazza Navona- .75 miles (1.2 km). Spanish steps to St. Peters- 1.25 miles (2 km). Piazza Navona to Pantheon- .4 miles (.6 km). Piazza Navona to St. Peters- .9 miles (1.5 km). Pantheon to Trevi- .25 miles (.4 km). These are for direct routes between each of the sites.
As you can see, the distances between these major sites is very small. The city is so beautiful to walk in and there are so many other things to see along the way that you wont even notice that you've walked half a mile. If you plan your routes out ahead of time, you can limit the amount of walking you do.
Fondest memory: One of the amazing things about Rome is the amount of history it contains. You can literally walk down the street and see buildings that are hundreds of years old incorporated on the sides of new buildings. There are sections of the old viaduct system still standing in some of the neighborhoods. Everytime I go to Rome I find "new" things to see. I notice more "hidden" history that is right in front of everyone. I take my time now to enjoy the wonderful sights that have been preserved for us. I just walk. I usually don't worry about the distance.
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