Rome

ultimate guide to visiting Rome

Picture Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

Rome is usually at the top of everyone’s list when they consider visiting Italy, and for good reason. Most people picture riding a Vespa around the cobblestone streets with a view of the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

First, I will advise you to avoid trying to drive wheels of any kind in this city. It’s terrifying, for real. The Italians have a reputation for driving like… well… maniacs. There is truth to this, a lot of truth.

Second, riding a motorized bike on cobblestones will jar your teeth loose and make you question your life decisions. Now that I have dashed your Vespa riding dreams, let me tell you a little about the fantastic city of Rome.

It is one of the most iconic and most-traveled cities in the world. Founded in the 8th century BC, this town evolved from a small community to the beating heart of the Roman Empire. With a vibrant modern culture, Rome blends its ancient past with a bustling contemporary lifestyle, making it a captivating destination for history, art, and architecture enthusiasts.

Rome is also a foodie’s paradise that serves world-class cuisine in Michelin-starred restaurants, casual trattorias, and even takeaway pizza that will melt in your mouth!

Without further ado, let’s get into my ultimate Rome travel guide!

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Downloadable Guide

Want a FREE printable downloadable itinerary on this city? Simply click the image and it will take you to the PDF itinerary, download it, and print it for easy use.

The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide
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Attractions and Places You Should Visit in Rome

To skip ahead to the main attractions and points of interest, click here.

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Ultimate Rome Travel Guide: Expert Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

Rome's iconic landmarks with expert travel tips for a memorable visit.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned wanderer returning to soak in the city’s allure, navigating Rome’s treasures requires a certain finesse. Fear not, fellow adventurers, for I’ve gathered a trove of expert tips that will make your life easier while visiting this city. Click here to read tips for visiting Rome.

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Rome showcasing various transportation options, including buses, trams, and metro lines. Icons highlight key landmarks like the Colosseum and Vatican City, providing a visual guide on navigating the city.

Getting Around Rome

While walking is the best way to see Rome there are a lot of attractions that are spread out throughout the city making public transportation necessary. Using public transportation in Rome is a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city. By familiarizing yourself with Rome’s public transportation system, you can efficiently navigate the city and make the most of your time exploring its diverse attractions. Here’s a guide on how to navigate Rome’s public transportation system.

Purchase Tickets for Public Transporation in Rome

Tickets for buses, trams, and the metro can be purchased at metro stations, newsstands, or tobacco shops. You cannot buy tickets on board buses or trams. Make sure to validate your ticket at the designated machines before boarding. I have tried the app mycicero and have had mixed results. Sometimes it works seamlessly, other times it glitches and won’t work correctly. If you have any experience with this app let me know what you think.

Types of Tickets

There are various ticket options, including single-journey tickets, day passes, and multi-day passes. Choose the one that best suits your travel needs. Keep in mind that certain passes may be valid for both buses and the metro.

Metro:

Rome has two metro lines, Line A (orange) and Line B (blue). The metro is efficient and connects key points in the city. Major attractions like the Colosseum and Vatican City are accessible via the metro.

Buses and Trams:

Buses and trams cover areas not served by the metro. Bus stops are well-marked, and route information is available at each stop. Check the ATAC website or use mobile apps for real-time bus schedules and routes.

Roma Pass:

Consider getting a Roma Pass, which offers free or discounted entry to museums and archaeological sites and includes unlimited use of public transportation for a specific duration. It can be a cost-effective option for tourists.

Night Buses:

Rome has a night bus service that operates after the regular buses and metro shut down. These buses cover key routes, making it possible to navigate the city during the late hours.

Navigating Routes

Use online tools, mobile apps, or maps to plan your routes. Apps like “Muoversi a Roma” provide real-time information on bus and tram arrivals, helping you navigate the system more efficiently.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be more expensive than public transportation. Ride-sharing services like Uber are also available in Rome.

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The best time to visit Rome

Weather / Best Time to Visit

Spring runs from March to May and sees temperatures between the mid-60s and 70s during the day and between the 40s-50s during the night. I love traveling during this time. Its still warm enough to not need a parka but cool enough to not soak your clothes in sweat within 10 minutes of stepping out of your hotel.

Summer, June to August, is very hot! Temperatures can reach reaching into the high 90s. While I was visiting in June the Real Feel Temp was over 110 degrees. It felt like walking on the surface of the sun. The sun is almost always shining therefore there is no reprieve from the heat. Use plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water. This is also high season for tourism so keep that in mind.

Fall that goes from September to November is generally pleasant with cooler temperatures. October can see more rain and November can get colder. September is still warm with temperatures in the 80s, then the temp drops about ten degrees in October and another ten to the 60s in November.

Winter sees daytime temperatures in the 50s during the day and in the 30s at night. Rome doesn’t really see snow during the winter so don’t visit hoping for a white Christmas. This is a good time to visit however, because of the Christmas Markets that are set up in different locations throughout the city.

The best time to visit Rome is October or April when the weather is warm enough to enjoy being outside and the nights are cooler. Also, flights and hotels are generally cheaper during this time.

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A photo of a charming hotel in Rome with a view of historical architecture. The hotel is centrally located, offering convenient access to popular attractions and a comfortable stay for travelers.

Where to Stay

You need to remember that the rating system for accommodations in Europe is very different than in the United States. Here in America, 1 means drugs are probably being dealt in the parking lot and don’t question the scratches on the door, and 5 means opulence and butt-kissing. In Europe, instead of stars meaning quality on a scale of 1-5, it actually shows amenities/requirements. For example, you can find some great 2-star properties without pools or spas, and the rooms are a bit smaller but clean and safe. However, some of the 4- or 5-star properties can have that rating because they offer things like fitness centers and valets, but the rooms could be unclean. The best thing to do is read through what each property offers and look at the reviews.

Another thing to keep in mind is the location of the property. While it might be tempting to go with a cheaper hotel a bit outside of central Rome, you need to know that you will be spending a good amount of time on the public transportation and fighting with locals that are trying to get to and from work. I prefer to find reasonable accommodation in central Rome so I can simply walk out the door to everything I want to visit.

The best districts/neighborhoods to stay in Rome are:

Pantheon / Piazza Navona / Campo de’ Fiori

This is the best place for first-time visitors. You can easily walk to all the major sights of the city.

Piazza di Spagna

This luxurious area in Rome is known for its high-end shopping and luxury hotels. It’s also close to the beautiful gardens at Villa Borghese, making it an excellent choice for families.

Trastevere

Another charming neighborhood close to the historic center of Rome. It’s famous for its tiny, cobbled streets and a thriving restaurant scene.

The Colosseum/Monti

This area is a unique combination of ancient sites and a bohemian neighborhood. However, walking to other tourist sites from here is more challenging.

Vatican/Prati

This elegant residential area is an ideal base for exploring St Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museums.

Roma Termini/Esquilino

This is the best area in Rome for budget travelers and those who need quick transit out of the city.

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where to eat in rome italy

Where to Eat in Rome

If you want a more in-depth look at the local dishes by region in Italy, check out my Culinary Journey through the Regions of Italy.

ADESSO Vineria-Bistrot

Address: Via dell’Orso 71, 00186 Rome Italy

Hours: Open 6-11 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Saturday; Sunday 12:30-4 p.m. and 6-11 p.m.

El Maiz Venezuelan Street Food

Address: Via Tolemaide, 16, 00191 Roma RM, Italy

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.

We found this location by accident wandering around the neighborhood after visiting the Vatican on a very hot day. This was an oasis in the desert lol. The owner was extremely nice and helped us order. Everything we had was amazing and me and my family still dream of this meal!

charcuterie board in rome at Pane e Salame

Pane e Salame

Address: Via di Santa Maria in via 19, Rome, Italy

Hours: noon to 10 p.m.

This is a great place to stop and have a wonderful charcuterie board and wine

RIONE XIV bistrot  

Address: Borgo Pio 21 San Pietro, 00193 Rome Italy

Hours: Monday through Thursday 12-3:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12-3:30 p.m.; 7-10:30 p.m.

Bufalero

Address: Via Passo del Turchino 18, 00139 Rome Italy

Hours: 7 p.m. to midnight

La Tavernetta 29 Da Tony E Andrea

Address: Via della Pelliccia 29A, 00153 Rome Italy

Hours: Open daily noon to 11 p.m

Giolitti

Located close to the Pantheon – approx. 4 blocks away

Established in 1890 it is the oldest ice cream parlor in Rome

Address: Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40 00186 Roma

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Giolitti ice cream in rome italy

Nannarella

Address: Piazza di San Calisto 7/7A, 00153 Rome Italy

Hours: Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight / Tuesday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Quel Che C’è Laboratorio di Cucina

Address: Via Torino 129, 00184 Rome Italy

Hours: 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday through Saturday

Pierluigi

Address: Piazza de’ Ricci, 144, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Hours: noon to 2:30 p.m. and 7-11:30 p.m.

Things to do

Kristal Ham

Hi fellow nomads!

Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

I hope that the travel guides, fun facts, and photography you find here will inspire you to explore new places!

Kristal

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