| There's a saying that defines the city: |
"You can take the Rome out of romance but you can't take the romance out of Rome".
| Another Italian joke goes like this: |
"What is the difference between the ancient Romans and modern Romans? Ancient Romans had slaves, and modern Romans have the Milanese."
The joke tells you that people in Milan believe that all they do is work and all the Romans do is play. And that's essentially how most of the rest of Italy views Rome and its people.
It's as if the city were designed as an enormous, beautiful playground.
Romans love pleasure and sensuality, and this is expressed through food, wine, and quality of life. Despite the amazing treasures accumulated in its twenty-nine centuries of life, what you will most remember about Rome are the fun-loving Romans themselves. Our goal in this Rome tourist guide is for you to have as much fun as the locals!
What to Do in Rome
|Rome's Top Tourist Attractions||Fave Fun Activities in Rome|
|Best Day Trips from Rome||Monthly Events, Activities & Celebrations||How to Visit the Vatican|
Rome is full of fun-loving Romans who like being out and about in their city. They know what to do and where to go.
We want you to feel like that, too, so we put together monthly guides of the tops things to do and see in Rome — to keep you updated on current events and celebrations in the City of Celebration!
| • September 2016 Rome Events… |
• October 2016 Rome Activities…
• November 2016 Rome Activities…
• December 2016 Rome Activities…
• Christmas – Natale in Rome…
The Best Time
The best time to visit Rome is Spring or Fall. Temperatures are mild and warm and the summer heat and crowds are gone. (Or haven't arrived yet!)
Then again, Christmas in Rome is magical, and generally the winter months are the slowest months in the city. As you can imagine, Easter in Rome is a busy time as pilgrims gather.
High season — during the summer months of July and August — delivers hot weather and crowds. August is ferragosto, when many Romans head for the seaside on their vacations. The shoulder season, April to June and September to November are the ideal times to visit to Rome.
Rome's Top Attractions
Art, architecture, ancient monuments, catacombs, 2,000 fountains, 900 churches, and dozens of world-class museums make Rome one of the word's most popular destinations.
You know the Sistine Chapel & St Peter's, but there are also hundreds of other important churches & basilicas like Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica di San Clemente, and San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane.
Rome is also famous for its lush, manicured parks and vast nature reserves; Villa Borghese, Villa Ada and Villa Doria Pamphili, Orto Botanica (botanical gardens) make it one the greenest cities in Europe.
• Roma (as it's called in Italian) is the capital city. It's located in the Lazio region, in the central Italy on the banks of the Tiber River. Its 2.9 million citizens make it the country's largest and most populated city.
• The Vatican City is is a unique independent country within the boundaries of Rome — making it the only country contained within a city.
• Rome is governed by a mayor and a city council and since its the capital it's also the seat of the Italian Government, the Italian Parliament, and the Italian Constitutional Court. The President and Prime Minister of Italy have their official residences in Rome.
• You will eat well in Rome! There are many wonderful trattorias, ristorantes, pizzerias in every neighbourhood.
• It is best to avoid any restaurants that post a tourist menu in English only. It's also wise to head off the main squares and find hidden treasures a little distance from major monuments.
• Famous Roman dishes include pizza bianca or white pizza (no tomato sauce), pizza Roman style (ultra thin and baked in a wood-fire oven), deep-fried everything (cod, zucchini flowers, seafood), spaghetti ala carbonara, anything with artichokes, oven-roasted lamb, saltimbocca (veal cutlets topped with fresh sage and prosciutto crudo and sautéed).
• For the best service (and to be courteous), call your server signore (man), signorina (miss), or signora (madame).
• Ancient Roman Heros & Villans
Nero, the Madman of Rome; Trajan, the first non-Italian Roman Emperor; Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor; Julius Caesar, the self-annotated dictator; Spartacus, the most famous gladiator in Roman history; and Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.
• Modern Roman Heros & Villans
Actress Sophia Loren; food celebrity Giada de Laurentiis; director Roberto Rossellini and his daughter Isabella Rossellini; fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli; Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone.
As you would expect, the language spoken in Rome is Italian. English is becoming more common and is now heard throughout Rome, especially in the service industry — restaurants, shops and hotels.
But it's always a good idea to learn a few key words in Italian — buon giorno (good day), buona sera (good evening), arrivederci (goodbye). Scusi is used to get someone's attention. Please and thank you — per favore & grazie are essential.
• Most flights to Rome arrive at the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) called Fiumicino due to its location in the small town of the same name. The airport is about 25 miles (40 km) from the city centre.
• There is a smaller airport, Ciampino (CIA), where some charter carriers land. Check your ticket to make sure you're headed to the right airport.
Tipping in Italy
Like many European cities, the tip (called servizio) is already included in your bill. You won't be considered a barbarian if you don't tip. In fact, you can offend the restaurateur by tipping. It gives the impression that they are poor.
Time in Rome
Rome is in Central European time (CET). Rome uses daylight savings time with the usual Fall and Spring adjustments
Safety in Rome
As world cities go, Rome is a safe place. The biggest threat to tourists is pickpockets. The best advice is to carry your cash in a safe place — not your back pocket or backpack. And use your common sense — only take taxis from official taxi stands, don't talk to strangers, don't get into a sardine-packed bus or Metro car. Try not to look like a tourist. (Don't carry a selfie-stick, which you should leave at home in any case!). The emergency number for police is 113, for the ambulance, 118.
• Romans don't eat pizza during the day. Most of the wood ovens are only fired up for dinner service. Any pizza you find during the day was likely baked in an electric oven.
• Coins only go into the Trevi Fountain. Do not toss coins into the other thousand or so fountains.
• Pecorino cheese is more popular in Rome than Parmigiano. The 100% sheep milk cheese is aged in caves and has been made in Lazio since ancient times.
• Rome's first shopping mall was built in the 100s AD by Emperor Trajan.
• Yes, there is a pasta museum in Rome
, called The National Museum of Pasta.