Top Rome Travel Tips
Date: 2014-08-06 17:47:59
Author: Tara Gorman
Pincian Hill has the best view of the city at sunset in the main piazza. Just a short five minute walk from the metro stations Flaminio or Spagna you will find yourself in one of the most famous parks of Rome to explore and then to catch the sunset at.
Janiculum (Gianicolo in Italian) Hill has a perfect view of Rome while the sun rises. Looking from the piazza you will see the numerous domes and bell towers across the horizon light up at the start of your day and it's a sight not to be missed.
Know the monuments you want to see
Do your research about the city and figure out what else you want to see other than the Colosseum and the Vatican City. Rome is filled with so much history and places to see that having a bit of a plan of what you want to see is a good idea so you canmake sure to fit as much of it in as possible during your stay. Don't forget the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza Barberini, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia and more. Also keep in mind that some of the sights may be under construction for cleaning or fixing, so find out which places will be in the best shape for you to see during the period you are in Rome.
Skip the long lines at the Colosseum with a guided tour and don't miss out on the incredible information on the history of the Colosseum and the Ancient City from the best guides Rome has to offer. The tour will also include a guided stroll through the Ancient City close to the Colosseum. If you want to explore on your own, then make sure to buy your Colosseum and Roman forum pass at the entrance of the Roman Forum. The lines are shorter here as most visitors don't realize the Colosseum entrance ticket includes both locations.
Drink coffee in the Italian way by having an espresso any time of the day or a cappuccino before midday and fall in love with coffee the way the Italians have. Find a shop labeled 'Bar' on the outside and it means you have found the perfect Italian shop to experience an espresso in a true Italian style. Inside there will usually be small sandwiches, sweets and other snacks as well as even cigarettes and lottery tickets sold behind the counter. Your find will be a perfect location to stand at the counter, have a quick sandwich and finish off with an Italian espresso. A true Italian experience to be had.
Having pasta anywhere in Italy is an absolute must. Make sure to order either the Carbonara or the Amatriciana style pastas in any restaurant and experience how they were originally made - your taste buds will go crazy with happiness. Or find something that looks good on the menu and give it a try. The best restaurants to have a good pasta at will be the small ones with a pasta plate priced around six to eight Euros, these are the ones that give you the best prices and the best true Italian tastes.
A must see while in Rome is the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City. To see the Sistine Chapel there is an entrance fee and a long line, which can be around a two hour wait during high season. One way to skip this line is to book a guided tour or to book a skip the line ticket which helps you completely skip the line and go straight to the front. Both perfect for a day trip to the Vatican. Also keep in mind that there is a separate entrance to St. Peter's Basilica, which means a completely separate line with a new wait, but if you book a guided tour through the Sistine Chapel you will get to skip both lines. Booking a guided tour is the most efficient way to get through the Vatican City without having to stand in the long lines and will give you an opportunity to use the time to explore more of the city.
If you are staying in center, which means close to Termini or the main Roman monuments, then walk the city instead of taking the metro or the buses. Grab a map outlining the major monuments and main roads and take a stroll. The city is surprisingly easily walkable and you will not regret the kilometers and time spent to get from place to place because around each corner is something amazing to see. Whether it's an old church, architecture above the street levels shops, wineries or even little restaurants and cafes, you will find something worth seeing more than you would by taking the metro or buses, so walking through the city will not be a disappointment, after your tours of the Colosseum or Vatican of course.
If you have walked around the city and want a break, then take the buses in the evening. During the day they are completely full of locals and tourists and very uncomfortable, but in the evening, after about six, they are less busy and more comfortable. So if you want to get to that Italian restuarant you passed earlier on your walk, then grab a bus back to that area. And don't worry, there are buses that run all night, so there is always a way to get back to where you are staying if you don't want to take taxis.
If you have seen the famous street Via del Corso and realized that many of the shops are too expensive for you, then find the markets scattered throughout the city. They are filled with souveniors, clothes, Italian food and more. Testaccio market is one of these, located near to the metro station Pyramide and it's filled with everything from food to clothes. A very Italian food market to definitely see on your trip is Eataly. Here you will find Italian products of all kinds from wine to pasta to cheese. And if you want to sit and have a meal there are areas throughout the store selling dishes made from the products for sale. If you are in Rome on a Sunday then be sure to check out the Porta Portese market located near the Trastevere area. It is known as the main flea market of Rome.
Rome at Night
Don't forget to see the Eternal City illuminated after the sun goes down. It is one of the most magical experiences walking through the city with the lights, especially the fountains and piazzas that are scattered throughout. If you are not sure which places are the best to see, then book a Rome by Night tour with a guide and don't miss out on the best way to see Rome under the stars.
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