Maybe it’s the abundance of exquisite Italian espresso, or maybe it’s the exceptionally stylish Romans that populate the city? Whatever the reason, Rome is buzzing – and it’s contagious. With all the drama of a lover’s feisty argument, and the serenity of an ensuing truce, this sprawling city is awash with sensuality. The city’s ancient past is everywhere. Beyond the famous colosseum, Rome is a living monument to vast, fallen empires and iconic artists.
Rome’s public transport is operated by ATAC and includes buses, trams and the Metropolitana, the city’s subway network. Resident Romans tend to rely on the Metropolitana, the fastest and most convenient way to travel around the city, but the tram and bus are great for sightseeing.
Single tickets, known as BIT, cost €1.50 and are valid for 100 minutes on any form of public transport. If you’re taking a trip on a subway train however, a single BIT covers just one journey. It can save you money if you invest in a travel pass, from just €7 a day they are very reasonably priced. Passes can be picked up all over the city from tobacconists, news vendors and at metro stations.
If you need a taxi, keep on the lookout for a licenced car. You’ll recognise them by the red SPQR sign on the driver’s door. Fares start at $3 for journeys before 10pm and €6.50 for any journeys after this time. It can be quite tricky trying to hail a cab down on the street. It’s best to book in advance, but unless you are fluent in Italian, consider asking a member of staff at your hotel to do it for you.
Driving your own car around Rome can at best be described as chaotic and at worst nightmarish. Unless you are well aware of local driving rules and the city’s myriad streets, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. If you do decide to brave it however, there are a few key rules to bear in mind. Italians drive on the right, the speed limit in all Italian towns and cities is 31 mph and if you have any kids under the age of 12, or under 150 cm, they’ll need to be in a booster seat.
Headquarters of the Roman Catholic church, Vatican City is an independent state in the heart of Rome. Home to the pope himself, the Sistine Chapel and many other artistic and cultural treasures, no trip to Rome is complete without a visit.
Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world.
If you can, book a tour around the city and in each of its great monuments. It’s the best way to understand and appreciate all that this tiny state has to offer.
A vital trade and military asset for many centuries, nowadays the River Tiber runs at a more leisurely pace. A cruise on the Tiber is an amazing way to take in the sights of Rome.
The Tiber is named after Tiberinus, an ancient king who drowned in the river.
Do your research. There are lots of great cruising options – including some that include dinner, wine, and even live music.
Rome has an abundance of al fresco dining establishments. With chairs and tables dotting the periphery of the city’s numerous squares and side streets, there’s no better way to appreciate the city’s culinary culture.
Trattoria’s are the best way to sample real, rustic Italian cuisine.
Our advice, find a local trattoria with just a handful of spare tables. With so many options in Rome, busier really is better.
Rome was the capital of the ancient Roman Empire. This influential civilization once spread from Europe to the Middle East, and signs of it can be seen all over the city.
- The Pantheon
- The Coliseum
- The Roman Forum
Visit one of the 40 Roman catacombs discovered in the city. These ancient burial chambers give a fascinating glimpse into Roman beliefs and traditions, and can lack the swathes of tourists you’ll find at some of the other sites.
Italy is famous for its exquisite coffee, and Rome is home to some of the greatest baristas on the planet. You won’t find a better espresso anywhere else and stopping to sample one is a must.
- A ‘coffee’ in Rome is an espresso
- Café culture is very important in the city
- Roman coffee is notoriously strong
Caffè Sant'Eustachio, located near the Pantheon, is often voted Rome’s finest café. This historic venue even roasts its own beans using a 1940’s, wood-fired coffee roaster.
Rome is awash with art. The architecture of the city is striking in itself, but inside many of these grand buildings are ancient artefacts and priceless art pieces that will take your breath away.
- Vatican Museums
- Borghese Gallery
As well as all the historic pieces on show, Rome has a wealth of contemporary art galleries too. Macro: Museo d'Arte Contemporanea and Maxxi are worth visiting.
Ancient Roman amphitheatre and historical site of gladiatorial games.
2 Roman Forum
Former centre of the Roman Empire dating back thousands of years.
3 Vatican City
Museums, churches, home to the Pope and the Catholic Church.
1 St Peter’s Basilica
The world’s largest Christian basilica, partly designed by artist Michelangelo.
2 Castel Sant’Angelo
A large circular castle dating right back to the 2nd-century.
3 Spanish Steps
18th-century Baroque stairway and traditional meeting point in the city.
1 Trevi Fountain
A world-famous sculpted Rococo fountain designed by artist Nicola Salvi.
2 Trajan’s Market
A beautifully restored Ancient Roman shopping centre and archaeological exhibit.
3 St. Clement Basilica
A Medieval church built on the pagan and Roman ruins.