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Rome, the "Eternal City", is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region: it is the famed city of the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita, the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain.... Population 3.3 million (metropolitan area).
The Colosseum in Rome
The Vittoriano Monument, Piazza Venezia
- Campo de' Fiori
- 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
- Esquilino - South of Termini, with an indoor market and a park piazza.
- Repubblica - also known as Termini, after the main railway station
- San Lorenzo
- Spagna - the Spanish Steps, the Mausoleum of Augustus, Ara Pacis
- Trevi - the Trevi Fountain
- Via Veneto
- Villa Borghese
- Vatican City - the independent Papal State within the city of Rome, location of St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Castel Sant'Angelo
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 Today it remains the seat of the Italian government and home to numerous ministerial offices, but is superseded by Milan, in the industrial north, in terms of finance.
Romans are highly tolerant, but nonetheless try to avoid getting involved in political or religious debates. Also avoid emphasizing your wealth. It is also a deeply humorous town so don't get excited if anyone very soon starts laughing at you (they do it among themselves too).
Rome has two main international airports 1 (http://www.adr.it/default.asp?L=3):
- 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 - located to the south of the capital, confusingly on via Leonardo Da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO)
Leonardo Express trains leave every 30 minutes from the airport and arrive in Termini after a 40 minute journey. They're very cheap (about 9.5 euros). The Leonardo Express train leaves Termini on the track on the right.
The Metropolitan train leaves from the track on the left but doesnt stop at Termini. If you are going to get on the Metro ( the underground or subway) when you get to Termini anyway, You can take the Metropolitan train to Tiburtina Station and catch the Metro from there. The cost is only 5 euros. It takes about 10 minutes longer to go to Tiburtina that the Leonardo to Termini.
At the Termini station you have to buy the ticket at a counter - the tickets that are sold directly at the departure platform are more expensive. You can also buy tickets for the Leonardo Express at the news stand in the Termini station at the regular price. The lines at the news stand have always been shorter in my experience.
Terravision (http://www.terravision.it/) run a bus service to Termini station (?9 single, duration 70 minutes, 5 stops, 7 services a day). Se more on Terravision below.
A taxi journey to the center of Rome from Fiumicino may cost more than 50 euros. Roman taxi drivers may be not so kind to tourists and may ask for some strange additional fares. Addition - check at the beginning of the journey what is on the meter. There should be, and usually is, a sheet attached to the seat backs giving the prices. The strange additions may be for your luggage. However one trick is to add it at the beginning and add it again at the end. It would be hard to negotiate this one I think without Italian
Fiumicino Airport has everything a tourist may need, whether arriving or leaving.
Ciampino International Airport (CIA)
Easyjet and Ryanair flights (see Discount airlines in Europe) arrive at Ciampino Airport (CIA). This small airport is closer to the city center than Fiumicino but less well connected by public transport.
- COTRAL (http://www.cotralspa.it) operate a bus from outside the terminal building to Anagnina metro station with direct connection to city center. The timetable of that particular bus however does not seem listed on their website. The buses operate roughly every hour or 30 minutes during the Italian work day (8-12 and 16-20). There is a timetable booklet available in some information booths.
Additionally, COTRAL provides direct busses to the Termini station for 5 EUR. It is not known if they are available throughout the whole year, at least there was a bus at daytime in December.
- Already mentioned Terravision (http://www.terravision.it/) run a low-cost bus service from the central train station Roma Termini from this airport as well. The timetable is available on their website. The price is ?8 single, ?15.50 return, 40 minutes direct to Ciampino (about 20 services a day). Buses are timed to connect with flights, observing any delays of the planes. Payment is cash only, and there are no cash machines in the tiny Arrivals area at Ciampino. You won't necessarily have time to get to the Departure lounge, where there are cash machines, so bring some Euros with you. The Terravision service is pretty convenient on the way to Rome, but chaotic when catching the bus back. So much, so that they ask to arrive three hours before your flight time on the return journey. Ask the clerks in the Terravision booth for the timetable of your bus back to the airport. On your way back to the airport, it is advisable to appear at least 30 minutes before departure of the service you wish to take as some particual services may get crowded and you may not find your place on the bus.
- RyanAir provides bus transportation from Ciampino to Termini for about 10 Euro
- The price quote on a taxi service to Termini one can get at the taxi stands from the drivers may be as high as ?80 though according to some Ciampinians, appropriate price should be between ?40 and ?50. Always negotiate the total price (tutto inclusivo) before boarding the taxi!
Rome's main railway station is Termini Station. Like any other train station (20 national, regional and local stations), it's not very safe at night.
The main taxi companies are 063570 and 065551.
Other main stations include Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, Tiburtina.
Roman drivers are infamous for their aggressive driving. Avoid driving in Rome if you can.
Cruise ships dock in nearby Civitavecchia. Most cruises should have some form of transport to Rome.
Now it is possible to dock in new Porto di Roma, Ostia. At few kilometers from Rome and linked by train and metro
The official page with lines, tables and maps, route calculation, fares & tickets is http://www.atac.roma.it/
Transport ticket (biglietti per autobus) - one metro ride and as many bus/tram rides as you can do in an hour and a quarter (1 Euro). Tickets can only be purchased at Tabaccheria (big 'T' sign outside), newspaper kiosks or vending machines in some metro stations. You'll have more chances to buy them in "Bars" inside the Metro stations.
So called "24 hour" tickets are only valid on the day you buy them, not for 24 hours after buying. Be aware that many tabaccherie close on Sunday, so buy your tickets in advance. You can also get tickets for longer periods. For example, a three-day ticket costs €11. They're dead handy, as you can use them on the bus, tram and metro.
ATAC (the transportation system) does police the bus system for people riding without tickets. It's been known for a team of 3 ATAC officers to board at every door of the bus just before the bus leaves and check every passenger on the bus. Stamp the ticket before boarding the Metro, or on board the bus or tram, or face a €100 fine (though inspectors are rare). In that case, pretend not to have so much money with you. Then you have a chance that they want to see your passport and write your address on a form. If you're lucky you won't get a bill any time (especially if you're foreign).
Once you're in the center you're best off on foot.
The buses basically operate on the honor system, but ATAC (the transportation system) does police the bus system for people riding without tickets. ATAC officers may board at every door of the bus just before the bus leaves and check every passenger on the bus. Stamp the ticket before boarding the MetRo, or on board the bus or tram, or face a ?100 fine - though inspectors are rare.
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.
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.
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. If you want to catch a soccer game at one of the stadiums in the north of the city, catch the tram just north of the Piazza del Popolo.
There are two lines, crossing at Termini station. Line A runs northwest past the Vatican, and south. Line B runs southwest past the Colosseum and northeast.
Roman Empire structures
The Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill are all in very close proximity to each other.
- The Colosseum - Entry ?10 (cheaper for EU nationals). 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 Forum, you can buy a day-long pass for 10 euros (or, better still, a 7-day pass for 20 euros). This pass gets you in to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Baths of Caracalla, and the catacombs. 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 3.5 euros per person.
- 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. Free admission.
- Roman Forum - If stones could talk: these hallowed ruins were the most powerful seat of government in the world. The Forum is much less crowed than the Colosseum and, from a historical perspective, much more interesting. Free admission, execept for an audio guide, which is highly recommended.
- 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.
The Vatican Museums are open daily, except Sundays - but they are open (with free entry) on the last Sunday of every month. Entry is €12 - which also gets you into the Sistine Chapel. The museums open at 8am, and close at 1:30 daily, and their reasonable restaurants (with good veggie options) stay open for another hour or so.
The museums are extensive, far more than you can see in a day. The Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo's famous ceiling fully deserves its excellent reputation. If you only see one classical art exhibition in Rome, this should be it. After all, it isn't going to go out on loan anywhere! If you're not convinced by the quality, just compare the work with the frescos in other rooms here.
On the way to the Sistine Chapel, you'll pass through the fascinating Map room, with huge 15th century maps of Italy painted on both walls.
Also well worth a visit is the Etruscan collection, for a view of life in the region before the emergence of Rome as a power.
Also contain a good collection of classical art, as well as ancient sculpture. The Capitoline piazza, between the two museum buildings - designed by Michelangelo, is 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.
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 most extensive collection of Etruscan art and artifacts anywhere, well worth the 4 euro 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.
If you aren't familliar 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.
- St. Pietro - St Peter's - where the Pope resides. Long queues for entry, said to be the finest church on the planet.
- San Carlo alla Quattro Fontane - a very small and beautiful church, the first design commission of Francesco Borromini.
- Sant' Ivo della Sapienza
- Santa Maria del Popolo - with a couple of paintings by Caravaggio.
- San Luigi dei Francesci
- 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.
- Santa Maria Maggiore
- San Paolo fuori le mura
- 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.
- Santa Maria in Trastevere
- Santa Maria degli Angeli
- San Pietro in Vincoli, Piazza San Pietro in Vincoli 4A; The chains that held St. Peter are displayed in a case before the altar. Also contains a statue of Moses created by Michelangelo.
- Santissima Trinità dei Monti - up above the Spanish Steps
- Santa Maria in Aracoeli - close to the Capitol Hill
- Santa Maria alla Minerva - piazza della Minerva
- The Pantheon - the only intact ancient Roman building. Originally a temple to all (Pan) the Gods (theon), it was consecrated as a Christian church in 606AD, and thus survived the general looting for building materials that ruined the rest of ancient Rome.
- Capuchin Monastery - a macabre display of a series of chapels constructed out of the bones of dead monks.
- Piazza di Trevi - where you can find the famous Fontana di Trevi
- Piazza di Spagna - under the "Spanish Steps"
- Piazza Navona - Used to be an ancient stadium built by the emperor Domitian.
- Campo de' Fiori
- Piazza del Popolo - with the twin churches
- Piazza della Minerva
- Piazza delle Coppelle
- Piazza di Sant'Ignazio
- 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
- Piazza Barberini - with the famous fountain
- Piazza della Rotonda - where you can see the Pantheon
- Piazza Venezia
- Piazza del Campidoglio - over the Capitol hill. It was designed by Michelangelo
- Castel Sant'Angelo - Originally built between 135 and 139 AD by the emperor Hadrian for use as his mausoleum, it rivalled Augustus' mausoleum just across the Tiber (Tevere) River. The mausoleum was later used as a fortress and a prison until 1870, but now houses a museum.
- Il Gianicolo
- Piramid, at the Piramid 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.
Partying in Rome is a pretty easy thing to do. Given a heart for exploration, Testaccio is the place to wander. Head down there around 11pm and listen for music. The outsides of the clubs will give you NO idea what the insides are like. There are usually loads of people simply walking through the street or looking for parking. Be brave, walk in, meet some wonderful Romans, but never buy them drinks unless you are looking for sex (in this case, better to be sure you are inviting the right person). This area is best in the summer when the dancing moves outside. In the winter, most clubs close.
A great place to look for where parties are happening is http://www.nightshots.it. They list at least one party per night somewhere. Only bummer for English speakers is that it's in Italian. But, with a little help from the Lonely Planet phrasebook, you'll figure out the days and times with no problem.
- White Night - Various Events and plus shops and restaurants, museums stay open while the Roman Notte Bianca stages music, dance and theater events;
- 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.
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.
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.
Be aware that clothing bigger than a UK size 12/US 16 isn't always easy to find. Quality of clothing varies, from the high-quality (and expensive) Prada, to the poor quality goods found in some local shops. Via del Corso has 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. Children's clothing can be expensive - basic vests (tank tops) can cost 21 euro in non-designer shops. Upim is a good shop for cheap clothing of workable quality. Lots of fake plastic 'Louis Vuitton' bags on sale from immigrants. Make sure you haggle; unsuspecting tourists pay up to 60euro for them.
If you need stamps get them at the post or tobacco shops.
The Trastevere neighbourhood 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)
- Bucatini alla Amatriciana
- Spaghetti (or Rigatoni) alla "Carbonara"
- Abbacchio alla "scottadito"
- Rigatoni con la "Pajata" (not always available)
- Scaloppine alla romana
- Coda alla "vaccinara"
- 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 Bafetto' (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 Volci / 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 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. Its 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 you won't understand and 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". It makes you sound like an idiot.
- Ice cream. Look for a gelateria with a big plastic sign with a big 'G' on it outside. This means it has a kind of 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.
- 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 be vegetarian.
There are a few vegetarian restaurants in Rome. 'Arancia Blu' on Via Dei Latini (Via Tiburtina) is posh, overpriced and not that good, but the wine list looks impressive.
- Coffee. Starbucks has a lot to answer for. A latte is a glass of steamed milk. A latte macchiato (meaning "spotted") the same with a shot of espresso 'marked' through it. Espresso or normale is just that, and usually called "cafe". 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. It's espresso topped up with hot water and not very good. Cappuccino - do I need to explain that it is very declasse to order one after 11am and never after a meal? Decaffeinato - self explanatory. Add it after your coffee choice. It is often a Sanka-like product and not nearly as good as the real thing.
- 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
Regional wines (they're cheaper and very good). House wine is almost always drinkable and inexpensive (unlike, say in the UK). Most trattoria wouldn't be caught dead serving poor wine. If the place looks really tourist-trappy then this doesn't apply! (And why would you want to eat there?)
Water is free at most fountains from designated water fountains. Some of these date to ancient times, and the water is still very good. It's fresh spring water and 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 hole and it will shoot up so you can drink it
If you're arriving in Rome during high season, be sure to book your accommodation at least a couple of days in advance.
For backpackers the area east of Stationi Termini (the side where you find track 1) is full of cheap accommodation. Go to Enjoy Rome or find a place yourself. If you are staying for a week or more, haggle for a better price.
- Agli scavi di Ostia Antica, Via della Stazione di Ostia Antica 7. A small ville steeped in the green of the roman campaign. It is located at only 100 metres from the archeological excavations of Ostia Antica. At about 50 metres from the bus and the train stop. http://www.ostiaantica.net/bandb/
- Alessandro Hostels, Alessandro Palace - Via Vicenza 42, +39.06.446.1958 fax +39.06.493.80.534, Alessandro Downtown - Via C. Cattaneo 23, +39.06.443.40.147, Alessandro Indipendenza - Via Curtatone 13, +39.06.44.61.958, has grown from a pensione into a small chain of three of the most popular backpacker hostels in Rome. All locations are 5 minutes on foot from Termini, include free breakfast, no curfew, cheap internet, video security, free pizza parties at the Palace pub, and free linens. Other amenities vary between the locations (ie the Palace has ensuite bathrooms and an in-house pub with cheap beers, while the Downtown location has communal bathrooms and a medium sized self-service kitchen.) Prices from ?16 per person per night in low season, from ?19 per person per night in high season. http://www.hostelsalessandro.com/
- Freedom Traveller Hostel, Via Gaeta 25, (+39) 06 47823862. A four-minute walk from the central train station, this hostel has adequate dorms from ?23 per night, including free breakfast, internet and dinner. Some dorms also have nice balconies, kitchens and communal areas. No curfew, but lockout is from 11.00 - 15.00. http://www.freedom-traveller.it/
- Gullivers House, Via Palermo 36, (+39)-064817680. Small co-ed youth hostel. 10 minutes from Termini. Owned by a nice couple, fluent English, they'll help you plan your stay in Rome better then any travel agent would. Free breakfast is what you would expect, so not much. They do have a fridge you can use, buy some juice from one of the nearby stores for a refreshment when you get back in the evening after a long day of not drinking the ?2 cokes. Show English-language movies in the evening. Clean. Cute dogs. http://www.gullivershouse.com
- M&J Place Hostel Roma, Via Solferino , 9, (+39) 064462802 (info @ mejplacehostel.com) is within spitting distance of the train station. Friendly staff and reasonable dorms, this popular hostel has a paltry free breakfast but no lockout or curfew. http://www.hostelinrome.com/
- Yellow Hostel, 44 via Palestro, 00185, telephone: +39 06 49 382 682 ( info @ yellowhostel.com ), dorms from ?23 per night. http://www.yellowhostel.com/
- Colors Hostel on the West side of the city, a few blocks north of the Vatican (take the metro from the train station, which is on the East side of the city) http://www.colorshotel.com/
- YWCA Foyer di Roma Youth Hostel is four blocks from Termini on the Via C. Balbo. Rooms are spotless, bathrooms are extremely clean, and towels and linens are changed once a day. Internet for ?1 per hour. Fridge on every floor. Continental breakfast included in room rate. ?26 per person per night for a bed in a 4-person room. ?31 for a double, ?47 for a private room. You have to be female to reserve a room; however, men can stay if accompanied by a woman. Via C. Balbo 4, 00184, telephone: +39 06 4880460 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Cristina House Located in the area around Termini Rail Station, Cristina House is a group of Hostels, Bed&Breakfast and Low budget-Hotels. Web site provide more information and FREE online booking system. http://www.cristinahouse.com/
- Hotel Aberdeen, Via Firenze 48 (metro: Repubblica), tel +39 06 4823920 (fax +39 06 4821092, email@example.com). Clean, central and quiet. Doubles ?110-150 including reasonable breakfast. http://www.travel.it/roma/aberdeen/
- Hotel Zara, Via Quattro Fontane 37 (metro: Repubblica), tel +39 06 4814847 (fax +39 06 483620, firstname.lastname@example.org). At the center of Rome city on the National Street (Via Nazionale) there is a place where the ancient culture and modern mingles together, Hotel Zara, family owned, completely renovated antique palace which noted for its nearness to the Termini station, Colosseum,Metro (subway) A&B,Spanish steps, Trevi fountain,Via Veneto, Piazza Venezia,President's Palace (Quirinale), various Opera theatres, Via del Corso, Piazza del Popolo and more beautiful parts of the eternal city. http://www.hotelzara.com/
- Villa Eur, Marcellino Champagnat, 2-00144 Roma (metro: Laurentina), tel +39.06.54220627. Very quiet and stylish in midst of a park. You can reach it from the subway by a 5 minutes walk. The hotel has a small bar, excellent breakfast and a restaurant. Double room is 150 Euros including breakfast. In the vicinity of the hotel you can find an excellent restaurant La Taverna de Porto if you want to go out eating. There is also a tennis court, a gymnasium and even an Aikido Dojo. http://www.villaeur.it
- Hotel San Giusto, Piazza Bologna 58, 39 (06) 44-24-45-98, across from the busy Bologna traffic circle/subway stop. Cost:Eur:88/$145 Popular complimentary breakfast buffet, for fee internet (the computer is slow if being used at the time by hotel clerk).
- Le Terrazze Di strindber B&B, Largo Strindberg 43, gr 8, tel:+39 0627801135. A bit outside center. Take Bus 766/769 from Metro Paolo. ?50-100.
- BEST Bed & Breakfast, 135, Via degli Scipioni, Roma. The Best B&B is a brand-new luxury property situated in Rome's exclusive Prati neighbourhood, at 3 min. walking distance of St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican, just a stone's throw away from the Ottaviano-Città del Vaticano underground station, and right around the corner from one of the city's finest shopping streets, via Cola di Rienzo. Housed on the third floor of an elegant 19th century building, the property boasts sleek interiors and modern facilities. Rooms are spacious, comfortable and functional and the service is highly professional and friendly. Prices range from EUR 80.00 to 150.00 for a double room. Info and reservations: Email: email@example.com; Tel: +39.39.2560.1203; Internet:http://www.bestbb.it
- 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.
- 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
- the Australian Embassy 2 (http://www.italy.embassy.gov.au/), Via Antonio Bosio 5 00161 Rome, tel 06 85 2721 (0830 to 1650, Monday to Friday), fax 06 85 272 300
- the Austrian Embassy 3 (http://www.austria.it/), Via Pergolesi 3 00198 Roma, tel 068440141 (0900 to 1200, Monday to Friday), fax 068543286
- the British Embassy 4 (http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1025627694549), Via XX Settembre 80 I-00187 ROMA RM, tel 06 4220 0001 (9am-5pm), 06 4220 2603 (out of office hours), fax 06 4220 2347
- the Canadian Embassy 5 (http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canadaeuropa/italy/embassy02-en.asp), Via Zara 30, 00198 Rome (Visa and Consular Sections), tel 06 44598.1, fax 06 44598.2905 (for Visa/Immigration Services)
- the Finnish Embassy 6 (http://www.finland.it), Ambasciata di Finlandia, Via Lisbona 3, 00198 Roma, tel +39 06 852 231 fax +39 06 854 0362, firstname.lastname@example.org
- the New Zealand Embassy 7 (http://www.nzembassy.com/contact.cfm?CFID=13016284&CFTOKEN=26176920&c=7&l=38), Via Zara 28 Rome 00198, tel 06 441 7171, fax 06 440 2984, Email: nzemb.rom at flashnet.it
- the South African Embassy 8 (http://www.sudafrica.it/ENGLISH%20WEB/where%20we%20are.htm), Via Tanaro, 14 Rome, tel 06 85.25.41 Monday to Friday. 8am-4.30pm.
- the US Embassy 9 (http://www.usembassy.it/mission/files/hours.htm), via Vittorio Veneto 119/A 00187 Roma, tel 06.4674.1 (switchboard) (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM), fax 06.4882.672 or 06.4674.2356
Clean, well-stocked, public facilities are sometimes hard to find. Those on the way into the Forum from the main road into Rome going to the Colosseum are worth knowing about. Carry tissue paper and soap with you - chances are that there won't be any. At Termini, under platform 24, near the left luggage office, 70c, well provisioned.
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 not so safe, 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 kids who will crowd you and reach for your pockets under the cover of newspapers or cardboard sheets.
A great deal of pickpocketing and bag- or purse-snatching takes place in crowded locations, but there is very little violent crime. Members of Italian public would likely be sympathetic if you are a crime victim. Police are also generally friendly if not always helpful. Carabinieri (black uniform) 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. 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.
In an emergency, call 113 (police) or 118 (medical first aid). Carry the address of your embassy or consulate.
If you plan to spend some time at Lake Bracciano and visit the towns and villages north of Rome, you might want to rent an apartment in the country. If you have a car, it's even worthwhile to stay outside Rome when sightseeing in the city - cool, quiet, with access to good and inexpensive restaurants in the smaller towns. Parties of up to 10 can rent Casale Treia - the owner speaks good English and French: http://www.mazzano.com/accommodation.htm
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 10 (http://www.cotralspa.it) or train. Trains run from Roma Termini approximately every hour, take about 30 minutes, and cost around € 2 11 (http://www.trenitalia.com/).
- Head to Ostia Antica, the ancient harbor and military colonie of Rome. It is accessible by train every 30 minutes from Stazione Ostiense (near the Piramid). It is an 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.
- Romaturismo.com (http://www.romaturismo.com/) - official site of the Rome Tourist Board. Available in English and Italian. Flash-based presentation.