YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!


From Wikitravel
Revision as of 03:33, 27 January 2009 by Wikibob (talk | contribs) (Churches: Francesco Bianchini's meridian line)
Jump to: navigation, search

Default Banner.jpg

For other places with the same name, see Rome (disambiguation).

Rome is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

The Colosseum

Rome, the "Eternal City", is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region. It's the famed city of the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita, Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Its Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Central Rome

  • Rome/Modern Center — Where the hotels are, as well as shopping and dining galore along the Via Veneto; home to the Quirinale, Trevi, Castro Pretorio, and Repubblica neighborhoods
  • Rome/Old Rome — the center of the Roman medieval and Renaissance periods, with beautiful plazas, cathedrals, the Pantheon, and plenty of laid back dining; includes the Navona, Campo de' Fiori, and the Jewish Ghetto neighborhoods
  • The Vatican — Vatican City and the surrounding area
  • Colosseo — the heart of ancient Rome, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum and Markets of Trajan, the Capitoline and its museums
  • Campo Marzio — situated in the north part of Rome, home to the Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, and the elegant neighborhood of Parioli
  • Trastevere — the land to the south of the Vatican, across the Tiber River, full of lonely plazas that served as the inspiration for artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, now arguably the center of Rome's artistic life
  • Aventino-Testaccio — off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods of Rome with plenty of surprises waiting for interested travelers, as well as some truly great food
  • Esquilino-San Giovanni — south of Termini, with an indoor market, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, and the Cathedral of Rome Saint John in Lateran
  • Nomentano — Municipio III, the neighborhoods "behind" the train station


  • Rome/North — including the elegant neighborhood of Salario
  • Rome/South — home to beaches and fascist monumental architecture at EUR



Rome is traditionally thought to have been founded by the mythical twins Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned as infants in the Tiber River and raised by a mother wolf before being found by a shepherd who raised them as his own sons.

Situated on the River Tiber, between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the "Eternal City" was once the administrative center of the mighty Roman Empire, governing a vast region that stretched all the way from Britain to Mesopotamia. Today it remains the seat of the Italian government and home to numerous ministerial offices.

The abbreviation "S.P.Q.R" is ubiquitous in Rome, short for the old democratic motto "Senatus Populusque Romanorum" (Latin) or "The Senate and People of Rome" (English translation).

The metropolitan area is home to around 3.3 million people.

For two weeks in August, many of Rome's inhabitants shut up shop (literally) and go on their own vacations; many stores and other amenities will be closed during this time. The temperature in the city centre at this time of year is not particularly pleasant. If you do travel to Rome at this time, be prepared to see Chiuso per ferie (Closed for holidays) signs on many establishments. Anyhow even in these weeks the city is very beautiful and if you look for a less overcrowded vacation in Rome this is not a bad time.

Get in

By plane

Rome has two main international airports:

  • Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Rome Fiumicino, code FCO) - Well organized and connected to the center of the city by public transportation.
  • Ciampino International Airport (Rome Ciampino, code CIA) - Located to the east of the capital. It is the city's low-cost airline airport.

Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport (FCO)

Rome's main airport is modern, large and rather efficient.

There are several options to go from Leonardo da Vinci airport to downtown Rome:

  • Leonardo Express trains leave every 30 minutes to the central train station Roma Termini (35 minute trip). Trains from Termini depart from the track 24 on the right. Ticket costs €11, available at the counter as well as the Termini news stand. Tickets sold at the departure platform are more expensive. You can't buy a ticket for a specific train (it's just a general ticket for specific route (Termini), but for any time). Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it. Ticket expires 90 minutes after validation.
  • The Metropolitan train leaves from the track on the left but does not stop at Termini. Get off at Tiburtina Station or at Ostiense Station to connect to Line B of the Rome Metro. Tickets: €5.50, plus €1 for a metro ticket. The extra cost of the Leonardo Express is for the convenience of a direct ride to Termini. If you are going somewhere else on the Metro, Tiburtina and Ostiense are as convenient. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it.
  • Taxis. Taxis in Rome are white. From October 1st 2006 there are fix fares from downtown to airports. City center to Fiumicino and vice-versa cost €40. City center to Ciampino and vice-versa cost €30. For other destinations fares are not fixed. You don't have to negotiate the price. Regular taxis have a taximeter. Fee for luggage is around €1 each. Be aware that Fiumicino is outside of the city limits, this implies that the fare for the first part of the journey is higher (a number 2 appears on the meter): the driver is supposed to change the fare to number 1 once he hits Rome's ring motorway (G.R.A.) and enters the city limits. Watch out for unlicensed taxi drivers or limousine drivers (dark cars) that approach you at Termini station or any of the airports.
  • Rental cars are available from all major carriers. Providers can be reached easily in the Arrivals Hall at the airport.
  • Shuttle services must be booked 1 day in advance, from the following companies:
  • Airport shuttle, Tel.: +39-06-42013469, 4740451, or 42014507, [28] offers door-to-door service from airport Fiumicino / Ciampino to Rome hotels or private residence. Minibus 8 seats.
  • Airport Connection, (+39) 06 3383221 (, fax: (+39) 06 3380748), [1]. Shuttle and limousine service. 30-50€.
  • Civitavecchia Port Shuttles, (+39) 333 4191175, [29]. Transfers from Fiumicino or Ciampino airports / Civitavecchia port (24 hours).
  • Colosseumtravel Limousine Service, Tel.: (+39) 06 57305406, [30]. Provides first-class private limousine and airport transfer services.
  • NCC Rome, Piazza P. Puricelli, 11 Rome, Tel. (+39) 06 5565483, Fax (+39) 06 55307295, [31], [32]. Shuttle and limousine service.
  • Orange Limos Rome – Piazzale Ardeatino, 1 C, Rome, Italy. [33]. Office Telephone from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm: (+39) 06 5754104, Fax: (+39) 06 57137675, Mobile Phone 24hrs: (+39) 335 7167871 or (+39) 335 7167872. Transfers from and to the roman airports (Fiumicino and Ciampino) and Civitavecchia Sea Port (only for cruise passengers), wedding service, and tours with private driver in Rome as well as in Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Perugia and Assisi. Convenient rates and professional service!
  • Rome Airport [34] – Phone 24hrs: (+39) 340 1962556.[35], Provides a 24 hour genuine Airport transfer (Fiumicino and Ciampino) service streching to all distances in Italy!
  • Rome Limousines [36]. Provides luxury sedan and van transportation for your airport transfers, charters, and tours.
  • Terravision [37]. Offers a shuttle service from/to Fiumicino airport to/from Termini Station (Via Marsala). Tickets: €9 single or €15 return, 70 minutes, 5 stops, 7 services a day.
  • Zelit Limousine [38]. Best transfer rates from airport to Rome hotels & Civitavecchia port.
  • Rome airport shuttle [39].Private airport transfer and shuttle service from Fiumicino, Ciampino or Civitavecchia.
  • Bus (Co.tra.l, S.p.A, blue regular-size buses). The bus stop is located outdoors at ground level, at the bottom of the A Terminal (Domestic Arrivals). You can buy tickets at the tobacco shop in the A Terminal baggage area, with the blue sign (Tabacheria). Lines are:
    • Aeroporto-Termini-Tiburtina (€3.60)
    • Aeroporto-Roma Cornelia (metro A) (€2.80) (schedule [40])
    • Aeroporto-Roma Magliana (metro B) (€1.60) (schedule [41])
    • Aeroporto-Ostia Lido (€1.00) (schedule [42])
    • Aeroporto-Fregene (€1.00) (schedule [43])
    • Aeroporto-Fiumicino (città) (€0.77) (schedule [44])
Don't forget to mark your ticket after getting on the bus; if the machine doesn't work (which is fairly common), you have to write your name, birth date and current date & time on the ticket.
A good choice is to take the bus to EUR Magliana (stops directly at the metro station, which belongs to line B) and then take the metro. It's the cheapest way to get to the centre (€2 bus+€1 metro). The sign on this bus reads "Fiumicino-Porto-Magliana".
The schedule for Aeroporto-Termini-Tiburtina is:
from Fiumicino: 1:15, 2:15, 3:30, 5:00, 10:55, 12:00, 15:30
from Tiburtina: 0:30, 1:15, 2:30, 3:45, 9:30, 10:00

Ciampino International Airport (CIA)

Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizzair flights, among others (see Discount airlines in Europe) fly to Ciampino Airport (CIA). This small airport is closer to the city center than Fiumicino but has no direct train connection. Note that at Ciampino cash machines are available only in the departures area. Please note that this is a small airport, really only a step above a regional airport. And despite it's status as an "international airport" it does close. The last buses from the city are around 12:00am which means arrival at the airport is around 1am and as of September of 2008 an hour after the airport closes. You will be locked out of the airport until it opens again for the first check-in around 4:30 or 5am, be prepared to wait.

  • By Bus + Metro or by Bus + Train
  • COTRAL/Schiaffini [45]. Operates buses from outside the terminal building to Metro Line A Anagnina station (ticket: €1.20). A metro ticket to central Rome costs another €1. There are also buses at the same price to Ciampino local train station; from there there is a train to Rome Termini station (ticket: €2). The buses operate roughly every hour or 30 minutes during the Italian work day (8-12 and 16-20), and you should count on at least 45 minutes travel time for either route. The metro can get very crowded. Timetable booklets are available in some information booths.
Schiaffini also run direct buses to Termini station for €5 one-way (approx. 40 min), but with far fewer departures than Terravision (see below). These buses are not mentioned on the airport website yet, but you can find them on Schiaffini's own site.
  • Sit bus shuttle [46]. Runs a direct bus service from/to Termini. The price is €6 one-way or 10€ with return (approx. 40 min, with about 25 services a day).
  • Terravision [47]. Also runs a direct bus service to Termini. Please note that this is a dedicated airport-city transfer only for some airlines. The price is €8 one-way or €13.50 return (approx. 40 min, with about 20 services a day). It is advised that passengers on the return trip from Termini to board the bus 3 hours before their flight's departure time. Terravision also offers buses from Fiumicino airport to Termini, and a transfer bus between the two airports.
  • By taxi
The price for a taxi ride to Termini is €30, as it is to any destination within the city walls. Be aware of unofficial taxi drivers: A drive with them could reach as high as €80. Do NOT negotiate the price for the city center with anyone and be sure your driver activates the meter when he starts driving to any other destination. Be aware that Ciampino is outside of city limits, this implies that the fare for first 10 minutes is higher (a number 2 appears on the meter). The driver is supposed to change the fare to number 1 once he hits the ring highway (G.R.A.) and enters the city limits. One more proviso: Go direct to the taxi stand, ignoring touts.
  • By Airport Shuttle / Transfer
  • Zelit Limousine Rome - Airport & Port Transfers [48]. Economic transfer rates from airport to Rome hotels and Civitavecchia port.
The shared shuttle can be hired for around €15 per person. However, since the shuttle is shared, it may take longer to reach your destination if other customers are dropped off before you are.
  • Rental cars are available in the airport terminal from all the usual companies.

By train

Rome's main railway station is Termini Station. Like any other train station, it's not very safe at night. It's also locked up between 00:30 and 04:30, when the only people hanging around outside are taxi drivers and the homeless. Most long-distance trains passing through Rome between these times will stop at Tiburtina station instead.

Other main stations include Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, Tiburtina.

By car

Roman traffic is chaotic, so it is better to use public means, if possible, while in Rome. A valid alternative is to rent a scooter which costs about 40€ per day.

By boat

Cruise ships dock in Civitavecchia. Most offer a shuttle bus to the port entrance, and from there you can walk 10-15 minutes to the train station. Purchase of a B.I.R.G. roundtrip train ticket for Rome costs just 9 Euros, and also entitles you to unlimited use of the Rome Metros and bus lines. Trains for commuters leave every hour or so, and take about 80 minutes. You can get off near St. Peters, or continue to the Termini station right downtown, where countless buses and the Metro await. At nearly ten times the cost, ships often offer bus trips as well, often taking 2 hours to reach Rome.

Now it is possible to dock in new Porto di Roma, Ostia, located a few kilometers from Rome and linked by train and metro.

Get around

By car

'DON'T !!!'

It's chaotic, expensive and unnecessary. Far better to travel by bus or metro, or (in extremis) take a taxi.

By taxi

Fake taxis
Some private citizens dress up their cars to look like cabs. These people strategically locate themselves at airports and railway stations waiting for travelers. Beware of operators who don't display a licensed meter and ID. Use only authorized taxis (white vehicles with a taximeter) that are available in the arrivals areas of the terminals. Also, some airport employees may direct you to a 'Taxi' driver if you ask where you find them when you are inside the airport terminal. The 'Taxi' could end up being a Mercedes limo, costing you double the fare of a real taxi, and a tricky situation to get out of as your luggage is locked away in the limo's trunk.

Taxis are the most expensive way to get around Rome, but when weighed against convenience and speed, are often worth it. Roman taxis within the city walls run on meters, and you should always make sure the driver starts the meter. Taxis will typically only pick you up at a taxi stand, which you will find at all but the smallest piazzas, as well as at the main train station. Flagging down a taxi (like in London) is possible, but quite rare as the taxi drivers prefer to use the stands. When you get in the cab there will be a fixed starting charge, which will be more for late nights, Sundays and holidays. Supplements will be requested for bags that the driver has to handle, typically €1 per bag. Drivers may not use the shortest route, so try to stay on map and discuss if you feel you're being tricked.

Be warned that when you phone for a taxi, the cab's meter starts running when it is summoned, not when it arrives to pick you up, so by the time a cab arrives at your location there may already be a substantial amount on the meter. ou can get a taxi pretty easily at any piazza though, so calling ahead is really not required.

A trip completely across the city (within the walls) will cost about €11, a little more if there's heavy traffic at night or on a Sunday. From Ciampino airport the flat rate is €30 to anywhere in the city period, and this is set by a central authority. Drivers at the airport may try to talk you into more, saying that your destination is 'inside the wall' or 'hard to get to'. State flat out before you drive away that you want the meter to run. If they try to overcharge you, start looking for a policeman. They will probably back down. Taxi drivers can often try to trick customers by switching a 50 euro note for a 10 euro note during payment, leading you to believe that you handed them only 10 when you have already given them 50. The main taxi companies may be called at 063570 and 065551.

Rome also has several taxi cooperatives:

  • La Capitale, Tel 064994
  • Roma Sud, Tel 066645
  • Cosmos, Tel 0688177

By foot

Once you're in the center you're best off on foot. What could be more romantic than strolling through Rome on foot holding hands? Hard to beat!

Crossing a street in Rome can be challenging. There are crosswalks, but these are rarely located at signaled intersections. Traffic can be intimidating, but if you are at a crosswalk the secret to getting across is to just start walking. Cars will not slow down, but they will alter their trajectory to avoid hitting you. Do not try to run across, or anticipate gaps in traffic. Keep a steady pace, look straight ahead, and you'll get to the other side safely.

Watch out for the thousands of mopeds.

By bus

Roman buses are reliable but crowded. They are the best way to get around the city (except walking).

Tickets must be bought (from a 'Tabacchi' - look for the big 'T' sign) before you board the bus. Options as at September 2008 are the following:

  • a single ticket ride ('Ordinario') for €1.00 - you can change buses or into and out of the metro on one journey (valid for 75 minutes)
  • a day ticket ('Giornaliero') for €4 (Valid until midnight)
  • a 4-day ticket (€11)
  • a week ticket (€16)
  • a month ticket (€30)

When you board the bus or metro you should validate it ('convalidare') in the little yellow machine. (The last four must be validated the first time you use it only.)

ATAC [51] polices the bus system for people riding without tickets. Inspectors may be rare, nut if you don't have sufficient money on you to pay the fine, they will actually escort you to an ATM to pay the fee. If you don't have an ATM card to withdraw money, you will be asked to pay by mail, and the fee goes up to €140.

Free maps of the bus system are available. Others for purchase (3.5 euro at Termini). Bus stops list the stops for each route. Ask for assistance. (In Rome, there is always somebody nearby who speaks English.)

  • One of the most popular and useful lines is the 40, which arches from the Termini station through the historic center and then up to the Castel Sant'Angelo, near the Vatican. It is considered an express route, so its bus stops are spaced about 1/2 mile (2/3 km) apart; but it is also very frequent, very convenient for most places that the Metro does not go to, and very fast moving, especially compared to other routes.
  • The 217 is a little electric bus which winds through the Centro Storico.
  • The metro is quick and efficient, especialy 'Linea A' (the 'red' route). It goes South to Anagnina, from where busses leave every half-hour or so to Ciampino airport. (Ticket on this bus costs EUR 1.20 - but on the bus.)
  • Night buses Night buses should be useful due to the closing of the Metro stations at 23:30 and the stop of regular lines of buses and Trams at midnight. During the summer (until 23rd September) and on Fridays and Saturdays, the frequency of the rides is halved, which can vary among 10, 15, 30 and 35 minutes depending on the line, and of course, the particular pace of the city. In any case they are much more punctual than during the day, as traffic is much less jammed. This makes the drivers drive at high speeds, allowing passengers to experience a strange mixture of adrenaline and (the city's) classical views.

A popular alternative to city and pre-planned tour buses are the Greenline and Redline hop-on/hop-off, double-decker buses. An all-day ticket runs about 18-20 Euros, can be purchased as you board at any stop, and provides unlimited access to available seats (upper deck highly preferrable in good weather) and earbud phones to plug into outlets for running commentary on approaching sights. Commentary is offered in nearly every European language.

By Tram

The Tram routes mostly skirt the historic center, but there are stops convenient for the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Trastevere area. The number 8 does run into the center, not far from the Pantheon. If you want to catch a soccer game at one of the stadiums in the north of the city, catch the tram (2) just north of the Piazza del Popolo.

By Metro

There are two lines, crossing at Termini station. Line A (red line) runs northwest past the Vatican, and south. Line B (Blue Line) runs southwest past the Colosseum and northeast. In 2008 Line A stops running at 11:00 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays the last trains of Line B leave from the stations at 1:30 am and the line closes at 2:00 am to re-open at 5.00. The Metro is the most punctual form of public transportation in Rome, but it can get extremely crowded during rush hour. See safety warning in the Stay Safe section.

There is a network of suburban rail lines that mostly connect to smaller towns and conurbations of Rome.


Italians are very fond of their landmarks; in order to make them accessible to everyone one week a year there is no charge for admittance to all publicly owned landmarks and historical sites. This week, known as "La settimana dei beni culturali", typically occurs in mid-May and for those 7 to 10 days every landmark, archaeological site and museum belonging to government (including the Quirinale presidential palace and gardens, the Colosseum and all of the ancient Forum) are accessible and free of charge. For more information and for specific dates see [52] or [53].

Roman Empire structures

The Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill are all in very close proximity to each other.

Colosseo in the night-time
  • The Colosseum - Entry €11 (€9 if you're under 25). Expect a long queue and an even longer wait. You can skip the queue if you decide to take a tour, but if you don't want a tour, you can STILL skip the queue. If you walk across the street to the Roman Forum, you can buy a day-long pass for €10,or a standard Colosseum + Palatine ticket at €11, better still, a 7-day pass for €22. This pass gets you in to the Colosseum (Colosseo), Palatine Hill (Palatino Hill), the Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla), and the catacombs as well as the Terme di Diocleziano, Palazza Massimo alle Terme, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, Villa dei Quintili, Tomba di Cecilia Metella. If you don't want to cram it all into one day, get the pass. Plus, it is nice to buy a slice of pizza and eat in the gardens of Palatine Hill. There are lots of people offering tours in English just outside the entrance to the Colosseum. Inside you can take a tour (English, Spanish, or German) every 30 minutes or so for an additional fee of €4.5 per person. The tours are given by knowledgeable archeologists, but they don't take you to any areas you couldn't visit on your own.
Coffers and Oculus of the Pantheon
  • The Pantheon - A marvel of ancient architecture, this ancient temple to all the gods is celebrated for its large dome, copied during Greek and Roman revival periods by such designers as Thomas Jefferson, who modeled his Monticello and the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on it. Built during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (AD 125-128), the Pantheon carries a dedication to Marcus Agrippa, who built the original structure on this spot in 27 BC. As it is still a functioning church, silence is requested during your visit. From inside the Pantheon, you'll see traces of the former bronze ceiling, melted down during the reign of Pope Urban VIII to make bombards to for the fortification of the Castel Sant' Angelo. The hole in the center of the ceiling, though, is an original feature designed for architectural reasons (the dome would collapse without it.) Guides will tell you the spectacular doors are original, but the original bronze doors were also melted down by Pope Urban and might have been used to create Borromini and Bernini's Baldacchino in Saint Peter's.
The site surrounding the Pantheon offers a lesson in archaeologial stratigraphy. The building now appears to be built in a recess at the edge of a hill, but this is not the original appearance. The street level at the sides and rear has risen about 10 meters since the original construction due to the accumulation of debris from 2,000 years of settlement. This has necessitated the maintenance of the deep trench that keeps the building from being buried.

Tip: if you come to Rome and it happens to be raining you should definitely come to the Pantheon. Since there is a hole on the ceiling you will be able to see the rain pouring inside the building, and that's a rather unique view. When starts raining the center of the Pantheon is separated by a rope but you can come around and the the drops falling in the middle of the building. There are holes in the ground that drains all the water.

Roman Forum
  • Roman Forum - If stones could talk: these hallowed ruins were the most powerful seat of government in the world. The Forum is much less crowded than the Colosseum and, from a historical perspective, much more interesting. Free admission, except for an audio guide, which is highly recommended. To stand in the political, legal and religious centre of the whole Roman Empire brings shivers down one's spine. It is the best way of imagining the splendour and glory of ancient Rome.
  • Tabularium - The remains of the ancient Roman archives, where Cicero and Seneca did research. Visible from the Forum and accessible through the Capitoline Museum.
  • Circus Maximus - The contours of the ancient stadium are still visible in a city park across the Palatine from the Forum. It was in one of the tunnels here that Caligula met his end.
  • Palatine Hill - Right next to the Roman Forum, contains the ruins of several large villas that belonged to wealthy Roman families. You can buy a combined ticket for the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum here, avoiding the long lines at the Colosseum.
  • Fori Imperiali - Entry €7 (cheaper for EU nationals, free for EU history students). The inside of the fort is very similar to a museum, with a lot of rooms containing items in glass cases. It is a bit of a maze and takes time to orient yourself, but it is worth climbing to very top for a view of the city and the Vatican. As of late June 2007, it is closed for restoration, but you can still see a lot of it from the road.
  • The Catacombs - The catacombs at San Callisto, situated on the Appian Way, are quite tourist friendly and are accessible from central Rome. Not the easiest place to find, you can get there from Termini station. Catch the 714 bus from outside the station, and change at the 6th bus stop (St Giovanni) to the 218 bus, which will take you all the way to the Catacombs. Entry is €6 and includes a guided tour in several languages.
  • Caracalla Terme - Ancient terms. Impressive and well-preserved.


Campidoglio Rome
  • The Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio 1 - 00186 Roma, 06 82059127 (every day 9.00-19.30) (, fax: 06 6785488), [2]. Tu-Su 9.00am-8.00pm; Dec 24th, 31st 9AM-2PM (the ticket office closes an hour in advance) Closed on Mondays, 25th Dec, 1st Jan, 1st May. Also contain an excellent collection of classical art, as well as ancient sculpture. Some of the museums best pieces include the famous Etruscan bronze she-wolf, the gilded bronze Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, and several marbles discovered in Hadrian's villa in Tivoli. The Capitoline piazza, between the two museum buildings was designed by Michelangelo and is very beautiful. Explore these museums, then head out the back of the square to the Forum, where you'll find the remains of the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, among many other buildings on the way to the Colosseum. It is recommended to book tickets online [3]. Ordinary €6,50 (+ €1,50 for exhibitions), Concessions €4,50 (+ €1,50 for exhibitions).
  • Palazzo Massimo, 06 39967700. Mo-Sa 9AM-1:30PM, 2:30PM-5PM. A magnificent collection of ancient Roman sculptures, mosaics and wall paintings, including the famous paintings from the Imperial-era villa discovered under the Villa Farnesina, as well as the dining room from the Empress Livia's villa at Prima Porta. Located across the piazza from Termini, opposite the Baths of Diocletian. € 7,00.
  • Galleria Borghese, Piazzale Museo Borghese (Parco di Villa Borghese) 00197 - Roma, +39 06 8555952, booking: +39 06 32810 (, fax: +39 06 32651329.), [4]. Tu-Su 9AM-7PM (note: Mandatory exit at the end of allotted 2 hour slot). A small museum that concentrates on the quality rather than the size of its collection. There are some very notable works by Antonio Canova and Gian Lorenzo Bernini here. The number of people admitted is limited to 360 every 2 hours, so it is best to make a reservation on-line [5] well in advance for the time slot you want. No cameras are allowed. Full and Student €12.50, Concessions €9.00.
  • Villa Giulia Museum, Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9, Villa Borghese 00196 - Roma, +39 06 3201951, [6]. Everyday 8:30AM-7:30PM. Closed Jan 1st, Dec 25th. The most extensive collection of Etruscan art and artifacts anywhere, well worth the admission charge. They do, however, make you lock up your camera. A difficult museum to find, but a lovely display in a beautiful villa setting. Full: €4.00 Concessions: €2.00.

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, or the National Gallery of Modern Art, is an underrated way to see fantastic art made after the Renaissance. Though with the exception of Modigliani and Pollock, few of their works were produced by artists that Americans are familiar with, these modern Italian artists are well worth getting familiar with.


If you aren't familiar with Roman Catholic churches, take a look inside of any one of these. You'll find the richness and range of decor astonishing, from fine classical art to tacky electric candles. Please note that some churches in Rome deny admission to people who are dressed inappropriately. You will find "fashion police" at Rome's most visited churches. ("Knees and shoulders" are the main problem - especially female ones.) Bare shoulders, short skirts, and shorts are officially not allowed, but long shorts and skirts reaching just above the knee should generally be no problem. However, it's always safer to wear longer pants or skirts that go below the knee; St. Peter's in particular is known for rejecting tourists for uncovered knees, shoulders, midriffs, etc. (You also generally won't be told until right before you enter the church, so you will have made the trek to the Vatican and stood in a long security line for nothing.) The stricter churches usually have vendors just outside selling inexpensive scarves and sometimes plastic pants. Few other churches in Rome enforce dress codes. You can wander into lesser known churches like Sant'Ivo and Sta Maria in Trastevere wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, or pretty much anything without problems. It is, however, good to keep one's dress tasteful, as these are still churches and houses of prayer for many people. (Older Romans might comment on attire and perhaps harass you if it is particularly revealing.)

Baldacchino and Dome, St. Peter's Basilica
  • St. Pietro - St Peter's - where the Pope resides. Said to be the finest church on the planet. It's certainly the largest. Start early (get there by 9am.) Long queues for entry, but queuing time is not very long. Strict dress code, entrance is denied if not followed. The basilica and tombs of the popes are free. Access to the cupola is €7 using lift, and €5 using stairs. Even with lift, about 350 steps must be climbed.
  • San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane - A very small and beautiful church, the first design commission of Francesco Borromini.
  • Sant' Ivo della Sapienza - This little church is hard to find but well worth the extra effort. Bellini's masterpiece. It is located only a block from Piazza Navona, but not usually visible from the street, as one must enter the courtyard of an old palazzo to reach the church. Sant'Ivo is a small church shaped like the Star of David, with an amazing star-shaped dome and whimsical steeple.
  • Santa Maria del Popolo - With a couple of paintings by Caravaggio: "The Crucifixion of Saint Peter" and "The Conversion of Saint Paul".
  • San Luigi dei Francesi - This church is roughly halfway between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. It is most notable for a side chapel which contains three Caravaggio masterworks: "The Calling of St. Matthew", "St. Matthew and the Angel" and "Martyrdom of St. Matthew".
  • Santa Maria in Cosmedin - A medieval church dating from the 6th Century and home to the Bocca della Verità. The church's mosaic floor is more rustic and less intricate than some others (S.M. in Trastevere, for example), but its simplicity gives it a solidity not found in the more ornate styles. S.M. in Cosmedin has a fine medieval choir enclosure and the tallest medieval belfry in Rome.
  • Sant'Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona - This lovely basilica church is small with an almost circular interior. It is undergoing rehabilitation and the facade and dome are hidden in scaffolding. It seems to be open only until noon.
  • San Giovanni in Laterano - This is the cathedral church of Rome and first of the major basilicas. It's also the Pope's (as Bishop of Rome) Church. Be sure to check out the fourth century baptistry (still in use) and the medieval cloister (brilliant Coamati columns)
  • Santa Maria Maggiore - This ancient basilica crowns the top of the Esquiline Hill. Tons of gold decorate the interior.
  • San Paolo fuori le Mura - Also known as St Paul Outside the Walls. This is on the outskirts of Rome in an otherwise drab modern neighborhood. The church is a faithful reconstruction of the ancient basilica which burned down in the early 1800s. Don't miss the medieval cloister, which survived the fire.
  • S. Passera - Even though it isn't worth a trip, this church can be a interesting deviation if you live or pass through its neighbourhood. This church is believed to be the grave of the Saints Ciro and Giovanni, killed during the time of the Emperor Diocletian. The church is now know as Saint Passera because of the several changes its name has undergone. The oringal name was Abba Cyrus and through Appaciro and then Appacero finally it got Pacera, that's very close to today's Passera. The building on top is a 3rd century building still visible in the lower floor and in the underground. The main part of the building dates back to the IX century as the frescoes on the higher floor. Some of th frescoes are too spoiled to be enjoyed, but some of them have recently been restored and depict the Saints Paolo, Pietro, Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Evangelista in the vault and Our Lady together with Jesus, Saints Giacomo and Antonio and the Archangel Michele in the apse. Downstairs there is a small quadrangular room and the underground, where the rest of the two Saints should be. Frescoes in these floor date back to XIV century but are almost completely ruined, but in the underground there are still visible III century traces of Roman age frescoes; in front of the stair you can enjoy a small bird, the Justice, and an athlete while in the vault some eight apex stars. Bus 128,780,781,775 (first stop in Via della Magliana).
  • San Clemente - A great little cathedral to visit, with an excavated older church below and a pagan temple below that. The only place in Rome to hear the underground river that flows beneath the city. Very close to the Colosseum.
  • Santa Maria in Trastevere - One of the oldest churches in the city. The nave is lined with a mismatched collection of columns taken from ancient Roman buildings. The apse is covered in gold mosaics from the 13th century, arguably the finest mosaics in the city.
The relic chains of St. Peter, San Pietro in Vincoli
  • Santa Maria degli Angeli - This church was built inside the former baths of Diocletian. Very light and airy inside. Note the unusual art on the outside doors. Around solar noon check out the sun's image on Francesco Bianchini's meridian line inside.
  • San Pietro in Vincoli - The chains that held St. Peter are displayed in a case before the altar. Also contains a statue of Moses created by Michelangelo. It's close to the Colosseum, but a little hard to find.
  • Santissima Trinità dei Monti - Up above the Spanish Steps.
  • Santa Maria in Aracoeli - Ballroom-like church which crowns part of the Capitoline Hill. Don't be fooled by the plain stone exterior.
  • Santa Maria alla Minerva - This church is literally right behind the Pantheon. It is Rome's only Gothic church, and well worth seeing, although its plain square façade makes it look inconspicuous.
  • Il Gesù - Not far from Piazza Venezia. The interior is Baroque art on steroids. Simply astounding.
  • Sant'Ignazio - Not far from the Pantheon. A stunning example of Baroque art. The ceiling frescoes are especially fine, including a trompe l'oeuil dome by the master Andrea Pozzo.
  • Capuchin Monastery - On Via Veneto, right by Piazza Barberini. The crypt of the church contains a macabre display - a series of chapels decorated with the bones of thousands of dead monks. The bones are glued to the walls and ceilings in bizarre and striking decorations.

Public squares

The Vittoriano Monument, Piazza Venezia
  • Largo di Torre Argentina - An excavation of four Roman Republican-era temples and Pompey's theater. The largo is also home to a large amount of cats which are tended by the local animal rights organization. (Purportedly a jab at Mussolini who excavated the area and is said to have hated cats.)
  • Piazza di Trevi - Where you can find the famous Fontana di Trevi. It's not a very big piazza and gets very crowded very quickly.
  • Piazza di Spagna - Under the "Spanish Steps."
  • Piazza Navona - Used to be an ancient stadium built by the emperor Domitian and still retains the shape. The fountains are by Bernini and are very notable. Piazza Pasquino is just round the corner.
  • Campo de' Fiori - Not far from Piazza Navona. Used as a marketplace during the day, party central for college students and tourists at night. In nearby via dei Giubbonari the salumeria Roscioli is worth checking out.
  • Piazza Pasquino - Piazza about 20m from Piazza Navona. There is a statue here named "Pasquino", apparently named after a tailor working nearby who had a reputation for complaining. The statue is now used as a place to hang messages, complaints and other opinions which has to be shared with the world. The piazza is also home to Cul de Sac, one of the best enoteca in Rome.
  • Piazza del Popolo - With the twin churches.
  • Piazza della Minerva - A small piazza just behind the Pantheon. The centerpiece is a statue of an elephant by Bernini with an ancient obelisk on its back.
  • Piazza delle Coppelle
  • Piazza di Sant'Ignazio - Small and attractive piazza tucked away in a neighborhood near Pantheon.
  • Piazza Montecitorio - Where you can find the building of the House or Representatives.
  • Piazza Colonna - Where there is the building of the Italian Government, Palazzo Chigi. Also there is a marvelous carved column (hence the name) dating back to Imperial Rome.
  • Piazza Barberini - With Bernini's famous Triton Fountain. Via Veneto starts here too.
  • Piazza della Rotonda - Where you can see the Pantheon.
  • Piazza Venezia - More of an enormous traffic circle than a piazza, but a good central location. The centerpiece is the enormous Vittorio Emanuele Monument (aka the Wedding Cake or the Typewriter) with the Capitoline hill next door. Piazza Venezia is also very close to the Forum.
  • Piazza del Campidoglio - On top of the Capitol hill. It was designed by Michelangelo. The Capitoline Museum is housed in the palaces flanking the piazza. You can walk behind the palaces and to a wonderful viewpoint which overlooks the entire Forum.

Historical Buildings

  • Palazzo Venezia - In the very heart of the city center, the building was for centuries ago the seat of the Venice embassy. Today it houses a museum and art galleries.
  • Palazzo della Cancelleria
  • Palazzo Farnese
  • Palazzo della Sapienza - 8, Corso Rinascimento tel 06 686 4987. Bus 70 81, 87, 492. Close to Navona square, this building housed the University of Rome since the middle of the 15th century until 1935. The splendid interior courtyard was created by Giacomo della Porta. The inside church of St Ivo is one of the masterpieces of Architect Borromini.
  • Palazzo Altemps - 8, Sant' Apollinare street, tel.06 6897091. Bus 70, 81, 87, 492. Simple and elegant lines make up this building, whose construction began in 1480 for Count Girolamo Riario, nephew of Papa Sisto IV and was taken up by architect Martino Longhi for the new owner, Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps.
  • Palazzo Taverna - Via di Monte Giordano. The building is located in one of the most hidden corners of the city center among the Navona square and Castel Sant Angelo. It served as residence for the Orsini Family. Nowadays it is private property and one can only glance at the courtyard and the amazing fountain inside, erected in 1618 by architect Antonio Casoni. However, the brief moment is worth it.
  • Palazzo Crivelli - Via dei Banchi vecchi, 22 This building also known as the Doll House was built in the 16th century. It is unique for the quantity and quality of the decorations - lions heads, satyrs and disfigured heads that adorn the facade attributed to the sculptor Giulio Mazzoni.
  • Palazzo Spada Piazza Capo di Ferro - This building was erected in the 16th century by Giulio Merisi Caravaggio for Cardinal Capodiferro. One century later it was acquired by another powerful Cardinal, Bernardino Spada and was restored by Borromini.
  • Palazzo Barberini
  • Villa Farnesina - This Renaissance house is in Trastevere, very close to the river and not far from the Vatican. You can tour several beautiful rooms covered in frescoes, including some by Raphael.


The Pyramid
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - Perhaps the most fascinating building in Rome. The core of the structure began life as the mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian, built between 135 and 139 AD. Subsequent strongholds built on top of the mausoleum were in turn incorporated into a residence and castle by medieval Popes. The building was used as a prison until 1870, but now houses a museum. Opera buffs will be exhilarated to visit the balcony from which Tosca leaps to her death.
  • Trastevere - On the west bank of the Tiber, South of Vatican City. Narrow cobbled streets offering excellent cafes, clubs and trattories.
  • Il Gianicolo - Hill with a fantastic view of the city.
  • Piramid - At the Piramide metro station.


Walk and feel the energy of the place, sights are everywhere waiting to be discovered.

Explore the Trastevere neighbourhood for some great cafes and trattorie, and a glimpse at a hip Roman neighbourhood.

Have a look at the seaside in Lido di Ostia and the huge pinewood of castelfusano easy to get from ostia or infernetto.

  • Consider a day trip to Tivoli. (Hourly trains from Tiburtina; fewer on Sundays.)


  • Estate Romana Festival (Roman Summer Festival) - from late June through early September offers various musical events of jazz, rock, and classical music, and film, sport, theater and children’s fun.
  • White Night (Notte Bianca) [54] - in early to mid-September, various events and plus shops and restaurants, museums stay open while the Roman Notte Bianca stages music, dance and theater events. Expect enormous crowds; buses and trams will be packed to the brim; prepare on getting cozy with copious Romans.


  • Context Rome, 40 Via Baccina, Rome, +39 064820911 (), [8]. daily. This organization of scholars, professors, and specialists in such fields as architecture, archaeology, art history, and theology organize in-depth walking tours for small-groups (max 6 people) throughout Rome. from 35 Euros. (41.53,12.29)
  •, [9]. Free information on self guided walking tours through Rome.


Rome is replete with foreign language and cultural institutions. Of course, learning Italian is a worthwhile activity while in Rome.

Be a good guest if you do not speak Italian. Being extra polite will keep you out of trouble.

  • The regional government and two historical societies are offering free Latin classes to tourists. [55].
  • The Historical Group of Rome runs a gladiator school. 18 Via Appia Antica. ph 00396 51607951. [56], [57].

University in Rome

  • Università La Sapienza, [10].
  • Università Tor Vergata, [11].
  • Università Roma Tre, [12].


If you want to work during the tourist season, ask around at the hostels, hotels and restaurants with that touristy feel. It is quite easy to get a job, and it is a lot of fun even if it does not usually pay well. There are differing views on how easy it is to get a job out here. There is high unemployment and most jobs seem to go on a family - friends - other romans - other Italians - white EU - other foreigners pecking order. Italian helps. And be wary about making any financial commitments before you've actually been paid -- late and non-payment is common here, and you may find as a non-Roman you are more likely to be seen as an easy target for this. You will also need a permesso di soggiorno, whether or not you are an EU resident. Legally, you are required to have a working visa, although it is very easy to work and live without one.


In Rome population talk of course in Italian for formal purposes. The road signs are in Italian but it's common to find explanations in English too. Residents in their common life speak their own slang, romanesco, a dialectal form of italian based on vernacular expressions and particular contractions and vocabulary. Roman slang is not far from italian language so is easily understood by other italian people, while for foreigners it can become harder. Anyway if they see that you are foreigner, they'll speak usually in correct italian language. Roman people are very fond of their language. In southern Italy, also in the big cities people use dialects. Don't be surprised if you can't understand locals in Naples or Reggio di calabria even if you know Italian quite well. In this situation, politely ask them to repeat.

English is widely spoken in Rome, especially by people working in virtually any touristy areas. But you'll be able to speak English with common people very often, especially with younger persons aged between 14 and 35. English is studied by italian students since lower schools and they often can speak it: if you meet someone who's not skilled, he'll however understand basic questions and will surely try to help you. Older citizens don't know English very well, some of them know little French or German but not so much.

Spanish is known by an average number of persons but it can be easily understood by almost everyone if spoken slowly and simply, because it's quite similar to Italian language.


Main shopping areas include Via del Corso, Via Condotti, and surroundings.

The finest designer stores are around Via Condotti, whilst Via del Corso has more affordable clothing. Some brands (like Miss Sixty and Furla) are excellent, some are not as good - be sure to feel garments and try them on.

There are great quality shoes and leather bags at prices that compare well to the UK and US, quality for quality.

Bigger sizes: clothing bigger than a UK size 16/US 12 isn't always easy to find.

Children's clothing can be expensive - basic vests (tank tops) can cost 21 euro in non-designer shops.

Summer sales begin around July 15th.

Cheaper stuff can be bought from Via Cola di Rienzo, and from surroundings of Via del Tritone, Campo de'Fiori, and Pantheon. Upim is a good shop for cheap clothing of workable quality.

If you want to spend a day in a large shopping mall, there's the Euroma2 with about 230 shops (mainly clothes and accessories) and restaurants near EUR district. Take Metro B line from Termini to EUR Palasport station, cross the road and take the frequent free bus (ride takes ca 15 minutes) to the mall. In addition to many shops and food, the conditioned air and free toilets may be helpful for a tourist.

Fake products: Lots of fake plastic 'Louis Vuitton' bags on sale from immigrants. Make sure you haggle; unsuspecting tourists pay up to 60euro for them. Be aware, that buying of fake products is criminalized in Italy. Fines up to €1000 have been reported. It is possible that having a receipt helps even if the product is fake - this is, however, quite uncertain.

Factory Outlets

  • Castel Romano Near Rome, along the Pontina regional highway, is located a very large Factory Outlet with more than 100 branded shops [58]. A car is needed to reach the place but a 30% in a designer shop is surely worth the 20Km trip.
  • Valmontone A little further away than Castel Romano you can find Valmontone outlet on the motorway towards Napoli just 50 Km far from Roma [59]. Valmontone itself is a delightful little town - 30 mins by train.

Nice shops

  • Frengo's music, Via della lungaretta, 65 - 00153 Roma (Trastevere), Tel. 06 58 33 24 02. One of the few CD shops in the center of Rome still run by a music lover instead of a shop assistant in a franchising chain. You can find a nice selection of CDs, DVDs, Console games and Dolby Surround home stereos.
  • Archeo Art, Via del Teatro di Marcello. Not far from the bottom of the Campidoglio steps. This shop sells beautiful reproductions of ancient sculptures; not the tacky kitsch sold by many of the street vendors, but museum quality miniatures that look incredibly close to the real things. Not cheap, but definitely unique and classy souvenirs. Also stocks reproductions of ancient Roman arms and armour, including full centurion outfits!


Rome is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

The Trastevere neighborhood and the old Jewish quarter have some of the best trattorie and ristoranti in Rome.

In Rome you can ask for:

  • Carciofi alla romana (artichokes, Roman style)
  • Carciofi alla giudia (artichokes, Jewish style)
  • Puntarelle (Chicory Salad)
  • Bucatini alla Amatriciana (a pasta dish)
  • Spaghetti (or Rigatoni) alla "Carbonara", a sauce made with egg and pancetta (bacon)
  • Abbacchio alla "scottadito" (lamb chops)
  • Rigatoni con la "Pajata" (not always available)
  • Scaloppine alla romana (Veal Sautéed with Fresh Baby Artichokes)
  • Coda alla "vaccinara" (beef stew)
  • Cornetti and cappucino (especially cornetti alla nutella--a delicious, sweet pastry filled with nutella!)
  • Pizza. Lots of the better places only serve pizza in the evening, as it takes most of the day to get the wood oven up to the right temperature. Try some of the fried things like baccala (battered salt cod) for a starter, followed by a pizza for a really Roman meal. For one of the most famous places for pizza, try 'Da Baffetto' (Via del Governo Vecchio). Roman pizzas tend to be very thin crusted.
Avoid the tourist areas where you'll often pay double the going rate just to get a badly reheated frozen pizza. Instead, head for a pizzeria like 'Pizzeria Maratoneta' in via dei Volsci / via del Sardi, San Lorenzo area, where you'll find a fine atmosphere of families and groups of students, and you'll get a good meal with a bottle of local plonk at a very reasonable price. You'll get an English menu, too.
  • Pizza al Taglio. Pizza by the slice. A good cheap way to get something to fill you up, and it makes a good lunch. Point to the one you want, indicate if you want more or less than your server is indicating with the knife. It's sold by weight (the listed price is usually per 100 gm) and a good quick lunch or snack.
  • Panini. If you don't speak Italian, the question that will always be asked once you've pointed out the sandwich you want is 'Do you want it toasted?'. If not, you can simply state 'caldo, per favore' (make it hot, please). Please note: singular is panino, and plural is panini. Never say "2 paninis" or "1 panini".
  • Ice cream. Look for a gelateria with a big plastic sign with a big 'G' on it outside. This means it has a guild association and will be good quality. Remember it costs extra to sit inside. You pay for your ice cream first...take your receipt and go fight your way through the throng to choose your flavors. You will be asked Panna? when it's almost made - this is the offer of whipped cream on top. If you've already paid, this is free.
  • Trippa - is tripe. Offal is a roman tradition, e.g. osso buco, bone marrow.
  • Coffee. Starbucks is not present in Rome, and local cafes are a great alternative. A latte in Italian is just a glass of milk. If you're expecting coffee in that glass, you should ask for a caffe latte. A latte macchiato (meaning "stained") is steamed milk stained with a smaller shot of espresso. "Espresso" or "normale" is just that, but more commonly just referred to as caffe. Espresso doppio means a double shot of espresso, while espresso macchiato is espresso 'marked' with a dab of steamed milk. Americano — the one to order if you like filter coffee — is espresso diluted with hot water and not drunk much by Italians. Cappuccino is well known outside of Italy, but be warned: it is considered very un-classy, and somewhat childish, to order one after 11am (and certainly after a meal). Decaffeinato is self explanatory, but often referred to by the common brand-name Caffe Hag. It is usually instant coffee and not nearly as good as the real thing.


You can get cheap food in Rome, the problem is that if you don't know the city well or are forced to eat out in the centre, the prices go up.

  • €3.5 - You buy the pizza and eat it walking around, since it's a bread shop with no sitting area. You can choose how much you want to eat, but you'll be spending about €2 each + about €1.50 for a can of soda or €1 for water.
  • €15-20 - At lunchtime if you go to a restaurant you'll be spending between €15 for a set menu (not always good, try to go where you see Italian office people having their lunch as your best bet) and €20. For this you should get a pasta dish and a second course (meat) ending with coffee. Obviously if you have special wine the price will increase.
  • €20 - At night you can spend about €20 at a pizza restaurant or if you only have one main course. Again if you have special wine it will cost more.
  • €15-20 - In any case, for a sit down lunch or dinner in a restaurant €15 is cheap and €20 is more normal and then up from there.

Chinese restaurants are still quite cheap but other ethnic restaurants (Thai, Indian) are generally expensive (think €30 upwards per person). Sushi is very expensive (€40 minimum per person).

Restaurants, Pizzerie and Trattorie

  • Ristorante Asinocotto, Via dei Vascellari, 48. Tel. 06.5898985 [60]. Located in a beautiful and tranquil area not far from Isola Tiberina with really excellent dishes and desserts. The menu changes with the seasons and everything on the menu is delicious. Deserts are not to be missed. Everything is home made (including pasta) and the owners also have a farm in Tuscany which provides lots of fresh goodies (their selection of goat cheeses is outstading). Chef is Giuliano Brenna, a celebrity. They are open both lunch (Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 2:30PM) and dinner (Tuesday to Sunday from 7:30PM to 11:30PM).
  • Il Bacaro, Via degli Spagnoli 27 - Tel. +39.06.6872554 - [61] You’d never know that you are three minutes walk from Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Via degli Spagnoli is tiny, leafy and quiet. Il Bacaro seats about 24 inside and even fewer outside under the shade of an ancient vine. Great selection of wine. In general a great stop for a romantic meal in the Eternal City.
  • Pizzeria da Baffetto, Via del Governo Vecchio, 114 - Tel. +39.06.6861617. Old-fashioned, family feel pizzeria near Piazza Navona & the Pantheon, unarguably serving some of the best pizzas in Rome. Usually crowded but well-worth the occasional queuing.
  • Antico Caffe, Via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, 25 - Tel. +39.06.69190704. Very nice restaurant on the main alleyway between Trevi Fontana and Piazza de Spagna. For 9 Euro, you get a large choice of pasta with two vegetable sides, bread, and a bottle of mineral water. The house wine is especially good.
  • Mama Che Pizza, Via Poggio Ameno, 34/38 - 00147. Worth stopping by if you're close to the EUR and it's cheap. They also own the deli right next to it, where you can also get miniature pizzas and breads.
  • Taverna Cestia, Via Piramide Cestia, 65 (at METRO Piramide), Tel: +39 065743754. Excellent traditional Roman restaurant. Menu only in Italian, and the waiters do not speak much English. They have a good selection of seafood, and the seafood spaghetti is great.
  • Sapore&Arte, Via Efeso 24/26 Metro B San Paolo Basilica, Tel. 06 59 60 03 40 Really good and fresh food, this place is run by young people who make extensive use of fair trade food. They have very good dressed potatoes and salads, bruscetta and sweet cakes. Mid-range at lunch and cheap at dinner. Don't miss it if you visit the very near Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura.
  • Tapa Loca, Via di Tor Millina 5, 06 68 32 266. Spanish food near Piazza Navona.
  • Taverna Pio Bove, Via Alessandro Cruto 9, Tel. 06 553 011 35 - Bus 128, 775 Good steak house in the suburbs, but not too far from Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura. Open at 7PM everyday.
  • Le Bistrot [62], Garbatella - Via delle Sette Chiese 160, 06 512 89 91. Creative French and vegetarian cuisine with a very kind staff and a homey environment. Better to reserve.
  • Al peperoncino, Via Ostiense, 369 (San Paolo), Tel. 06 54 10 192 . Very close to the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura and the Metro B San Paolo Basilica station, this pizzeria has a good Roman style pizza (the thin one) and also a good choice of fried vegetables and appetizers. Price is low to mid-range, food quality and service are medium.
  • Casetta di Campagna [63], Via Affogalasino, 40 (Casetta Mattei-Trullo), Tel. 06 6574 32 30, [64]. In the natural park Valle dei Casali they have very good meat. They also offer a fixed price menu for pizza (only for more than 4 people) which is good for a large gathering dinner. You need a car to reach the place. Closed on Monday. Sunday, Saturday and holidays also open at noon.
  • Est! Est!! Est !!!, Via Genova, 32 - Metro A Republica (Via Nazionale/Piazza della Repubblica), Tel. 06 48 81 107, [65]. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-midnight, closed on Mon. Established in 1900 this pizzeria is something you cannot miss in Rome. Situated in the area of Piazza della Republica, it is very easy to reach either by the Metro A or B lines. They make a relatively small but amazingly good pizza. Every pizza here is outstanding, and the calzone, one of their specialties, is excellent too. Staff speak English (one of the few places plenty of tourists with very good food). Reservation is advisable. In the same neighborhood, there's another EST,EST,EST pizzeria, beware the difference!
  • Supperclub [66], Via de'Nari, 14 (Pantheon), Tel. 06 6880 7207. Don't come to supperclub if you're in search of a traditional restaurant, have lazy taste buds or are scared of new experiences. However, if you're looking for an unusual dinner experience in an unexpected place and are not afraid to discover the creative corners of your personality, then knock on supperclub's door. Have fun, eat, listen, dance and enjoy your evening.
  • Cul de Sac Piazza Pasquino 73 (near Piazza Navona), tel. 06-68801094 . One of the best enoteca in Rome, serving a wide range of small dishes. The pate selection is a must-try. Kitchen works until 1am. In Aug, closed for 2 weeks.
  • al Piccolo Arancino, located at Vicolo Scanderberg 112, near the Trevi Fountain. Small restaurant with a lot of Italian guests and moderate prices.
  • Il Portico, Via del Portico dý Ottavia, 1/E, in the Jewish Ghetto. Small indoor/outdoor restaurant with local cuisine. Must tries include the Roman specialty "trippa", tripe simmered in a light tomato sauce and sprinkled generously with parmasean. Risotto is also fantastic. The staff is warm and friendly, if not with a full grasp of the English language.
  • Vivi Bistrot [67], Via Vitellia, 102 (VillaPamphili), Tel. +39 06 58 27 540, [68]. In the Villa Pamphili park this new bistrot offers healthy food suitable for children as well. Useful for arranging a picnic in the park.




  • La Pergola, Hotel Cavalieri Hilton, Via A. Cadlolo 101, 06-35092152. Tue-Sat 7:30pm-12am; closed Aug 8-Aug 23. Awarded three stars in the Guide Rouge. The chef, Heinz Beck, is German in origin and has set a style which combines Italian fresh produce with exceptional creativity and presentation. The restaurant overlooks Rome, so be sure to get a table by the window. The wine cellar is exceptional. Expect to have to book months in advance, but the trip is well worth it. mains €35-50; set menu €130-150.

Kosher dining

Kosher - While there is not much choice, at least Rome's Kosher restaurant is truly excellent. "La Taverna del Ghetto" is in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, steps away from the Colosseum.

  • La Taverna Del Ghetto, Via Portico d'Ottavia 8, tel. 06.688.09.771, [69]. Meat restaurant, excellent lamb dishes.
  • YeshVia Silvestro Gherardi 51 - 00146 Roma, tel +39 06 858 00315 [70] Kosher Steak House

Ethnic Food

  • FelFel, Viale dei Consoli 106, Cinecittà, Roma tel 3290989802, [71]. East Mediterranean tastes and spices, CousCous, Shawarma, Kebab, Baklava.
  • Planet Kebab, Via Natale del Grande, 17 (Trastevere), Tel. 06 581 98 63. Good Turkish food, from Kebab to Falafel. This place is very clean, and the guys working there are very friendly. They claim to be open every day of the year.

Vegetarian Restaurants

Vegetarians should have an easy time. Buffets usually have a good range of delicious vegetarian stuff too - eg gratinated roast peppers/aubergines, etc. Vegans should do OK, too. Pizzas don't always have cheese - a Marinara for example, is just tomato, garlic and oregano. Remember, though, that Parmesan cheese is not permitted to vegetarians.

There are a few vegetarian restaurants in Rome.

  • Il Margutta RistorArte, via Margutta, 118 (near the Spanish Steps), 06 32650577 (), [13]. Lunch Buffet and Dinner Menu. A fairly decent vegetarian lunch buffet. The staff can point out the vegan eats. A decent value for the money. Near where Fellini once lived.
  • Arancia Blu, Via Dei Latini (Via Tiburtina). Posh, overpriced and not that good, but the wine list looks impressive.

Ice cream

It should say: Produzione Propria (homemade - our own production), Nostra Produzione (our production), Produzione Artigianale (production by craftsmen). These are just a few signs to keep in mind. If the colors seem dull and almost ugly it is probably natural, the bright colors being just a mix. Keep in mind, Italians usually won't queue, but if they are in line for gelato, get in line yourself, you may have hit the jackpot.

  • Gelateria Giolitti, Via degli Uffici del Vicario 40 Originally opened in 1800, very popular amongst locals, tourists, and the late Pope John Paul II was known to be a regular customer. Arguably the best ice cream in Rome. About 4 Euro for a large cup and 2 euros for a regular cone.
  • Palazzo del Freddo (Gelateria Fassi), Via Principe Eugenio 65, Tel. +39 06 4464740. Not as marvelous as Giolitti but still worth trying. Prices are reasonable, quality good.
  • Gelateria Salus, Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli, 117 (Ostia), Tel. 06 976 13 117. Very good ice cream (only at the table) in a particularly nice enviroment, prices are mid-range, but the ice cream and service are worth the price.
  • Il gelato, Via dell'Aeronautica, 105 (Bus 764 - Metro B Laurentina). Nice place to have some weird flavor of ice cream. You'll choose among maybe 50 different and sometime unusual flavors (such as Gorgonzola or Mortadella). Great variety of chocolates and fruits. Closes around 11PM.
  • Old Bridge, Located across the street from the Vatican City wall if you're following it from San Pietro to the Vatican Museum. Very cheap and delicious.
  • Della Palma, Located just a couple blocks away from the Pantheon, this is an excellent gelateria with 140 different flavors. Prices are very reasonable.


Regional wines are cheaper and very good. House wines are almost always drinkable and inexpensive (unlike, say in the UK). Most trattorie wouldn't be caught dead serving poor wine. You may often find a bottle of wine on the table for you. Believe it or not, this bottle will be less expensive than a glass would be in the US or UK, possibly only €4 or €5. This doesn't always apply to those places that look really tourist-trap-like!

Water is free at most designated water fountains. Some of these date to ancient times, and the water is still very good. It's fresh spring water coming from tghe famous underground springs of Rome and is safe to drink. If you carry an empty bottle, fill it up for the rest of the day. Look for the drinking fountain with constant running water, plug the bottom hole, and cool water will shoot up from a smaller hole on top of the tap.

Partying in Rome is a pretty easy thing to do.

Before dinner

Pre-dinner drinks (7.00 PM to around 9.00 PM) accompanied with small hors d'oeuvres (aperitivo) are very common for Romans: 1) chic yuppies in their 20s-30s crowd the area around Piazza delle Coppelle (behind the Parliament) and Piazza di Pietra (near che Chamber of Commerce); 2) younger generations sprawl around the square and streets of Campo de' Fiori (behind Piazza Venezia); 3) everyone sits to drink in the narrow streets behind the Pantheon (Piazza Pasquino and Via del Governo Vecchio).


Given a heart for exploration, Testaccio is the place to wander for after-dinner partying. Head down there around 11pm (take metro Line B and get off at Piramide station) and listen for music. There are usually loads of people simply walking through the street or looking for parking. Be brave, walk in, meet some wonderful Romans. This area is best in the winter when the dancing moves outside, especially in Ostia and Fregene to towns 30 minutes driving car from Rome, at the seaside. In the summer, many clubs close and you might have to inquire to find out which ones are open.

Young tourists and backpackers like to go on famous Roman pub crawls. The Colosseum Pub Crawl[72] for example, has been throwing parties since 1999.

Gay travellers

Friday nights at Giardino delle Rose in via Casilina Vecchia 1 (rather central but only reachable by taxi): a luxurious garden with open-air bars and tables. Two large discos are cramped up with people on Friday and Saturday nights: check out Mucca Assassina (one-nigh party usually held at the disco in via del Gazometro or at Classico in via Ostiense). During the week there is little to do except for meeting after dinner at Coming Out (a bar right in front of the Coliseum where crowds of gay romans and tourists gather in and outside, all year round but overwhelmingly crowded during the summer) or going to late-night clubs such as Hangar in Via in Selci (Metro Line A, get off at Manzoni station). The best sauna (open 24 hours during week ends) is Europa Multiclub in via Aureliana (behind Piazza Esedra, Metro Line A Repubblica station). The meeting spot for gays day and (especially) night is Monte Caprino, the park on the Palatine hill behind the City Hall (Piazza Venezia) with spectacular views over the temples and ruins of ancient Rome.

Tea rooms

  • Dagnino Tea Room, Galleria, Esedra Via V. Emanuele Orlando 75, 064818660. If you haven't tried a "Cannolo" or a "Cassatina" then get one here, they are simply great. Don't seat at the tables (it's pretty expensive) just take them away. Good pastries too.
  • Bibelot Arthè, Via dell'Aeronautica, 105; ("Bus). Cozy tea room in Via Appia nuova. They offer free table games and serve excellent milk and fruit shakes as well as tea and coffee blends. Prices are mid-range to expensive, but the place is very nice and well furnished. It's possible you'll find a queue. Perfect for couples. Piazza dell'Alberone 13/bis; 347 33 18 178 around at 11PM.
  • Cafè Cafè, Via dei Santi Quattro 44, 06 7008743 (). Cozy and quite cheap, this tea room is very close to the Colosseo, and it's ideal to have nice meeting with friends or a more intimate date. Very good sweets and tea, the choice is also good. Open all day and after dinner. .


  • Caffè Novecento, Via del Governo Vecchio 12, Tel. 066865242. Located in the very center of the city (behind the Pantheon and Piazza Navona), this place offers a very good variety of cakes, sweets, coffee and tea. The furnishing are nice, with couches as seats at some tables. Prices are mid-high range but worth every single cent. Closes at 10 PM.


Note hotel listings can be found in the appropriate districts, and should be added there too:


There are at least two campsites near Rome, they are:

  • Camping Tiber on the bank of the river from which it draws it's name is to the north of the city proper. It's at Via Tiberina Km. 1400, Prima Porta, Roma. Tel. 06 33610733, Fax 06 33612314. On Rome's ringroad, take exit No 6 Via Flaminia, if arriving by public transport, take the ground-level Roma-nord Subway leaving from Piazza Flaminia towards Prima Porta. From there, there's a free shuttle service to the Camp site. There's a minimarket, a pool, a restaurant and a bar.
  • Happy Valley In the Hills north of the city at Via Prato della Corte 1915, Prima Porta-Cassia Bis, Roma Tel. 06.33626401, Fax 06.33613800. Take exit no 5 from Rome's ring road and head towards Cassia-Veientana. If you get there by public transport, take the ground-level Roma-nord Subway leaving from Piazza Flaminia towards Prima Porta and wait for the free shuttle bus service. It has a pool, a bar, a restaurant and a minimarket.


  • Missing Link Rome – Regina Margherita, 24 - 00060 Torrita Tiberina (Rm) Italy. [73]. Telephone +39 328.1225939. Consulting and hotel management, weddings organization, link between guests and hotels. All for offering a vast array of services required by a modern, cosmopolitan clientele waiting for the best.


Romans regularly interact with foreigners and tourists; it shouldn't be hard to find friendly help. As for most every place in Italy, just be polite and you won't have much trouble.

If you hit someone with your luggage or shoulder while walking on a street, say "sorry" (Mi scusi): despite being very busy, Rome is not London or New York and going ahead is considered bad behaviour, while a little apology will be satisfactory.

In buses or trains, let older people have your seat if there's no space available. The gesture will be appreciated. Romans, and Italians as well, are very chaotic while in a queue, and often "clump" without any particular order: It's considered unpolite, but they do it anyway. Be careful while driving, as Romans often drive frantically and bend the rules to cope with the heavy traffic.

Stay safe

Rome is generally a safe place, even for women travelling alone.

As in any big city, it is better if you don't look like a tourist: don't exhibit your camera or camcorder to all and sundry, and keep your money in a safe place.

Termini (the main railway station), Esquilino and bus line 64 (Termini to San Pietro) are well known for pick-pockets, so take extra care in these areas.

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in Rome and you will want to see them coming.

Watch out especially for bands of gypsy kids who will crowd you and reach for your pockets under the cover of newspapers or cardboard sheets. One of the best ways to avoid pickpocketing is to wear a money belt (different from a fanny pack, worn under clothes). Remember, if you are pickpocketed or another scam, don't be afraid to shout Aiuto, al ladro! (Help, Thief!). Romans will not be nice to the thief.

A great deal of pickpocketing and bag- or purse-snatching takes place in crowded locations, but there is very little violent crime. Members of the Italian public are likely to be sympathetic if you are a crime victim. Police are also generally friendly if not always helpful. Carabinieri (black uniform, red striped trousers) are military police, and Polizia (blue and grey uniform) are civilians, but they both do essentially the same thing and are equally good, or bad. A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work. If you are robbed, try to find a police station and report it. This is essential to establishing a secure travel insurance claim.

Another popular trick that occurs at night, when people are leaving the bars/clubs is someone will approach you asking for a cigarette. They will then proceed to walk up towards you and do a funny dance of some sort. As you stare at them trying to figure out what's going on, a second person will come up from behind and snatch your purse, or wallet.

Currently there are two middle-aged men working near the Spanish Steps. They approach you, asking where you are from and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. There are also two men in their early twenties doing the same thing in the Piazza Navona. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, perhaps not wise if there are not many people around, however my friend and I escaped by claiming we had no money on us.

In Metro pickpockets are extremely skilled. Keeping your wallet in your front pocket or in your bag is FAR from safe. You should consider using a money belt that has a zippered inner pocket or a pouch that straps around your waist and rests between your pants & underwear. If you carry a bag, it is imperative that you either lock the zippers together with small padlocks, or carry it always in front of you, strapped AND held onto tightly. Pickpockets often work in teams using elaborate distraction techniques that are constantly evolving.

Be aware that holding the strap of your purse or messenger bag does very little to ensure its safety. One popular technique that purse-snatchers use is to ride by you on a moped, slice your bag's strap with a very sharp knife & ride off with the bag. Another technique is, usually in places like Metro or Bus, & sometimes closely-packed queues, to cut the bottom of your bag open & pick your wallet up off the ground. The thickness of crowds makes it extremely difficult to give chase in such an event. There are companies that sell bags with strong wire mesh woven into the fabric so they cannot be cut.

It may seem cumbersome to keep all your valuables completely secure, but the peace of mind it offers is priceless. It is far more enjoyable not to have to be constantly watchful.

Also, as a rule, you should pretty much never carry anything very valuable in any pocket. The front pocket of your pants is one of the easiest & most common targets. The best way is to keep whatever cash you'll need for the day in your front pocket, in no kind of wallet or carrier that is visible through your pants (in other words, if you have only paper bills in your pockets, they will appear to be empty), and put your credit card, passport & additional cash in a money belt.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember license number written on the card door. In seconds your taxi bill can raise by 5, 10 or more euros. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful. They usually tell you gave 10 instead of 50 euros, they are skilled thieves and you can not negotiate after they scam you.

Be careful of con-men who may approach you at tourist sights such as the Colosseum or Circus Maximus. Eg. a car may pull up next to you, and the driver ask you for directions to the Vatican. He will strike up a conversation with you while he sits in his car, and tell you he is a sales representative for a large French fashion house. He will then tell you he likes you and he would like to give you a gift of a coat worth several thousand euros. As you reach inside his car to take the bag the coat is in, he will ask you for €200 for gas, as his car is nearly empty. When you refuse, he could turn angry and now demand money from you, any money, of any currency. Don't fall for such confidence-tricks - if something sounds too good to be true, it is.

Rome is also home to two rival Serie A football clubs, A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio, and there is a history of conflict, and even rioting, between the two. If you dare to wear anything that supports either of them, especially during the Rome Derby (when the two clubs play each other), make sure you don't wander into supporters of the other club, or you may be subject to heckling or even confrontation. Play it safe and refrain from openly supporting either club unless you are very familiar with the rivalry.

In short, conscientiousness and vigilance are your best insurances for avoiding becoming a victim of a crime in Rome.


In an emergency call 112 (Carabinieri), 113 (Police), 118 (medical first aid) or 115 (firemen). Carry the address of your embassy or consulate.


  • Police At pl Lorenzo is where to report theft.
  • Left Luggage Termini. You can leave luggage at Termini but they have a lot of security and only one X-ray machine so there can be a +100 people queue. It costs about €3.40 per bag(of any size) for the first 5 hours, €0.80 per bag for each hour thereafter. There's a sign limiting bags to 20kg each, but no facility for weighing them (that I saw) so it's probably not enforced.
  • Splasnet laundry, internet, left luggage, Via Varesi 33, 100 m west of Termini. €2 per luggage left (and 15 min of internet included).

Embassies and consulates

  • Australian Embassy, Via Antonio Bosio 5, +39 06 85 2721 (fax: +39 06 85 272 300), [14]. M-F 8:30AM-4PM.
  • Austrian Embassy, Via Pergolesi 3, 068440141 (fax: +39 06 85 43286), [15]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • British Embassy, Via XX Settembre 80, +39 06 4220 0001, +39 06 4220 2603 after hours (fax: +39 06 4220 2347), [16]. M-F 9AM-5PM.
  • Chinese Embassy, Via Bruxelles 56, +39 (0)6 8413458 (fax: +39 (0)6 85352891), [17].
  • Canadian Embassy, Via Zara 30, +39 06 44598 1 (fax: +39 06 44598 2905), [18].
  • Dutch Embassy, Via Michele Mercati 8, +39 06 3228 6001 (, fax: +39 06 3228 6256), [19]. M-F 8AM-5:30PM.
  • Estonian Embassy, Ambasciata di Estonia, Viale Liegi 28 int. 5, +39 06 844 075 10 (, fax: +39 06 844 075 19), [20]. M-F 9AM-5:00PM.
  • Finnish Embassy, Ambasciata di Finlandia, Via Lisbona 3, +39 06 852 231 (, fax: +39 06 854 0362), [21].
  • Greek Embassy, Ambasciata di Grecia, Via S. Mercadante 36, +39 06 853 7551 (, fax: +39 06 841 5927), [22].
  • Maltese Embassy, Lungotevere Marzio 12, +39 06 6879990.
  • Norwegian Embassy, Via delle Terme Deciane 7, +39 06 571 7031 (, fax: ++39 06 571 70326), [24].
  • Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro, Via dei Monti Parioli 20, +39 06 320 07 96, +39 06 320 08 90, +39 06 320 09 59, +39 06 320 08 05 (all night) (, fax: +39 06 320-08-68), [25]. telex 616-303
  • Consulate General of the Republic of Singapore, Via Nazionale, 200,00184 Rome, +39 06 4875 9510 (, fax: +39 06 4875 9511).
  • South African Embassy, Via Tanaro 14, +39 06 85 25 41, [26]. M-F 8AM-4:30PM.
  • Spanish Embassy, Palazzo Borghese, Largo Fontanella di Borghese 19, +39 06 684 04 011.
  • US Embassy, Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A, +39 06 4674 1 (fax: +39 06 4882 672, +39 06 4674 2356), [27]. 8:30AM-5:30PM.
  • Turkish Embassy in rome, 16, Avenue de Lamballe 75016, +39 (1) 4524 5224.
  • Indian Embassy, Via XX Settembre, 5, 00187 Rome (Italy), +39 06 4884642/3/4/5 (fax: +39 06 4819539).
  • Russian Embassy, (Via Gaeta 5), 06/4941680, 06/4941681 (fax: 06/491031).

Get out

  • Especially if you have a rail pass, making Pompeii a day trip, while it is a very full day, is very doable. You can amuse people on the train by your complete lack of luggage.
  • Head to Frascati, one of the historic hill towns to the South East of Rome known as the Castelli Romani. This town has been a popular destination for centuries away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, and this is still true today. Famous worldwide for its white wine, Frascati is a relaxed hill town with a slower pace of life. Just 21km from Rome, Frascati is accessible by bus [74] or train. Trains run from Roma Termini approximately every hour, take about 30 minutes, and cost around € 2 [75].
  • Head to Ostia Antica, the ancient harbor and military colony of Rome. It is accessible by tube every 30 minutes from Stazione Piramide (near the Piramid). It is a monumental area a bit like the Roman Forum. But in Ostia Antica you can get an impression how a roman city looked like.
  • Go to the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, with its famous and glorious fountains. Check out the Emperor Hadrian's Villa while you are out there.
  • The papal city of Viterbo, well known medieval and thermal destination (about 1 and half from Rome)
  • Civitavecchia[76], the port of Rome, is the point of arrival and departure of hundreds of ships, cruises, ferries travelling all around the Mediterranean. From here it is possible to reach Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Spain, France, some other small islands, and even north Africa. A good transportation system links the port to the Eternal City.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

This article may contain pieces contributed by people external to Wikitravel, namely: TripAdvisor user "Gabriella (Nabu)"