The Eternal City of Rome is littered with the relics and glorious remains of a 2000 year history dating back to the height of the Roman Empire.
Rome is the natural home for the worlds finest sculptures, the finest religious and architectural art and the birthplace of La Dolce Vita (the expression used to describe a life full of beauty, pleasure and happiness).
Rome City Breaks & Tours: Rome is the most visited city in Europe and has a fabulous wealth of ancient sites just waiting to be discovered. Rome is both educational and welcoming, it's the perfect destination for a short relaxing break, a romantic weekend away, or a journey to discover the ancient wonders and charms of this great Italian city.
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Compare low cost Flight Only Ticket Deals to Rome Fiumicino, T3 (FCO). Fly direct from the following UK airports:
Jet2.com - departs Birmingham BHX. Glasgow GLA. Manchester MAN
Easyjet - departs London Gatwick LGW. Manchester MAN
British Airways - departs London Heathrow LHR. London Gatwick LGW
ITA Airways - departs London Heathrow LHR
Rome on a budget Tips: Fly direct with EZJ or Jet2.com. Book a B&B in the charming Trastevere Neighbourhood. Many of Rome's state-owned museums and archaeological sites usually have free entry on the first Sunday of the month. Travel out of season October-April. Order and drink coffee & cornetti directly at the bar 'standing up' to avoid paying a hefty service charge for being seated at a table. Order house wine and local beer as they're often great quality.
Rome Introduction: A good time to visit Rome is between October and April when tourists disperse, the weather turns cooler and hotel room rates are cheaper. Another good time to visit Rome is Spring, when you can wander comfortably through Rome's ancient streets to discover its charm and hidden splendours. Wandering through Rome is a must to experience the beauty, size and scale of the city's architecture. It's the architecture that soon becomes a constant reminder of the dominance and importance the city once held at the centre of the Roman Empire.
The majestic city of Rome has a wealth of sights waiting to be explored. Deciding which attractions and monuments to visit can sometimes be difficult, to help plan your sightseeing itinerary we've listed a few of our favorite sights, tips and places we think you must see.
(1). The Colosseum: Rome's Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built and symbolizes the power and drama of ancient Rome. The Colosseumis an important symbol of Rome and is one of the city's top tourist attractions, with over 6 million visitors a year. In Roman times the large amphitheatre would house over 50,000 spectators, entertainment would include Gladiators battling each other or fighting wild animals, the reenactment of Roman battles, the exhibit of wild animals and the executions of prisoners.
The Colosseum (official name: The Flavian Amphitheatre) remained active for over 500 years with the last recorded games taking place in the 6th century. Visiting the Colosseum is a must, you can visit the arenas interior, the stands and underground areas. Top Tip: As Rome's top attraction, the Colosseum can be extremely busy during peak summer months, it's recommended to book tickets in advance or better still book an early guided tour to avoid the queues.
(2). St Peter's Basilica: (Basilica di San Pietro) is a Renaissance style church that stands boldly on the majestically colonnaded Piazza San Pietro, located within the independent state of Vatican City. St Peter's Basilica is one of the largest and most holiest churches in the world and is where the Pope presides many liturgies throughout the year. The Basilica was built on what is believed to be the grave of St. Peter, one of the twelve disciples and the first Bishop of Rome.
The construction of the Basilica was finally completed in 1626, during it's long construction period several renowned architects were responsible for its design, including the greatest architects of all time, Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Bernini. St'Peters Basilica is one of Rome's most visited tourist attraction and is accessed from the vast and very impressive St. Peter's Square.
Inside the Basilica: When you first enter the Basilica it's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by its size and beauty. Inside you'll discover some of the worlds most famous and most visited art, including Michelangelo's 'La Pieta' one of the world's most recognizable statues. La Pieta is protected behind bullet-proof glass, it's also the only work signed by Michelangelo.
You'll also find Arnolfo da Cambio's thirteenth-century bronze statue of St Peter seated on his throne, his right foot shows ware due to the constant flow of touches and kisses by the devoted. You should also visit the the beautifully decorated Crypt or Vatican Grottoes, containing over 100 tombs and chapels dedicated to popes and saints. It's a longstanding tradition for popes to be buried within the basilica.
The Basilica's Dome: Michelangelo's spectacularly decorated Dome or Cupola is one of the largest in the world measuring a height of 136 m (447ft), it was designed and built by Michelangelo and was completed in 1590 by his pupil Giacomo Della Porta. For a small fee you can choose to climb the 550 steps that lead to the top of the dome, or you can take an elevator to the first level (about half way up), followed by a 320 step climb to the very top.
The Dome's first level is the inside lower section and provides a fascinating close-up view of the Dome's interior painting and mosaic work, there's also a spectacular view downwards to the Basilica's floor below. On this level you also have limited access to the roof of the Basilica, here you can view the apostles statues that form the facade of St Peter's. From level 1 you can carry on inside the dome and climb the winding staircase to the very top, here you'll find spectacular outside views over Vatican city and Rome in the distance. Caution, the latter part of the Dome's ascent is via a narrow spiral staircase that may prove 'closed-in and challenging' for some visitors.
Top Tips: a strict dress code is in place for the Basilica with no shorts, short skirts or bare shoulders allowed for both men and women. It's free to enter St' Peter's Basilica but be prepared to queue for entry, with up to 2 hours wait in high season. It's recommended to purchase 'skip the line tickets' well in advance which will help reduce waiting times.
If you have 5 hours to spare consider the Vatican City Guided Tour which includes St. Peter's Basilica and Dome climb, plus fast-track entry into the glorious Vatican Museums. This guided tour is pricey but good value, plus you'll spend less time queuing. Visiting the Basilica is highly recommended and climbing the steps inside St Peter's Dome is a fantastic and extraordinary experience.
(3). The Forum: A great place to start your Roman discovery is at the very heart of the Roman Empire, the Forum Romanum (The Forum). The Forum is located Between the Colosseum and Piazza del Campidoglio and was Rome's political, religious, legal and social hub for all Roman citizens. The rectangular-shaped site contains the impressive ruins of several ancient and highly important buildings, arches, columns, monuments and temples.
Today the Roman Forum is one of Rome's most popular tourist sites, attracting more than 4 million visitors annually. Top Tips: head to the top of Capitoline hill for an impressive ariel view of the Roman Forum, the view provides a good sense of scale and layout of the area. During peak times queuing for entry can be a problem, save time and skip most of the queues by booking a guided tour incorporating all three closely located main monuments, the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
(4). Trevi Fountain: The beautiful Fontana di Trevi is the world's most famous fountain, it dates from 1762 and is the largest Baroque fountain in Italy. The fountain has origins dating back to ancient Roman times, with the fountains location forming part of the end point for the Roman Aqua Virgo Aqueduct. The Trevi is short for "tre vie" or three streets which converge on the fountains small square and which gives the Trevi Fountain its name. The fountain's fame can be contributed to its appearance in many classic films including La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and Angels and Demons.
The fountain stands at almost 50-metres wide and 30-metre high and is made from Travertine stone, believed to have been quarried near Tivoli, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) east of Rome, it's also believed to be the same stone used to construct parts of the Coliseum. At the centre piece of the fountain stands the mighty statue of the nautical god Neptune, who stands on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by two (very impressive) winged horses with tritons either side. The fountain can be found tucked away in the tiny Piazza di Trevi, and as you turn the corner it surprises you with its beauty and familiarity.
It's a tradition to throw coins into the fountain, according to legend the person who throws a coin will one day return to Rome, if two coins are thrown you will find love in Rome, and if three coins are thrown you will marry. For the legend to have an effect you should throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder with your eyes closed. It is believed the tradition of offering coins to a fountain dates back to ancient Roman times when soldiers would offer coins to water to favor the gods for a safe return.
The municipality of Rome is responsible for the fountains up-keep, they collect the coins from the fountain once a week and donate a large portion of the proceeds to local charities for the poor, it's estimated that over 1.2 million euros in coins is collected annually. Top Tips: Politely ignore the pushy rose sellers and they will eventually move on. It is illegal to pick a coin up from the fountain even if you intend to throw it back in. Visit the Trevi twice, once in daylight and once at night to see the fountain lit up.
(5). The Trastevere Neighbourhood: One of the greatest pastimes in Rome is to roam The Trastevere. The Trastevere neighbourhood is a city within a city, it's a charming medieval neighborhood located south of the Vatican on the west bank of the Tiber River. This is where you'll find authentic Rome, an old working-class neighbourhood with a maze of narrow cobbled streets, ivy-clad facades, medieval ochre-colored houses, flower-filled balconies and centuries-old piazzas.
Visitors flock here to stroll the neighborhood's medieval maze of piazzas and labyrinth of backstreet alleyways full of traditional pizzerias and trattorias, craft beer pubs and artisan shops. The Trastevere neighborhood is mostly car-free so discovering the area on foot is easy and fun. Top Tip: Several local tour companies offer guided walking tours around Trastevere, including guided foodie-walking-tours, or the combined traditional-food-with-wine-tasting-tours. All walking tours are popular, as they offer a great way of getting to know the area and the people, you also get plenty of opportunity to sample good local wine and traditional Italian cuisine.
After a long stroll it's great to relax at one of the many café terraces to soak-up the local atmosphere. After a break head towards the photogenic Piazza di Santa Maria, the beating heart of Rome’s bohemian Trastevere. Here you'll discover an ornate square, picturesque fountains, busker's playing and stunning Romanesque architecture, all overshadowed by the beautiful 12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria, with its stunning facade of golden mosaics and medievalbell tower.
You should visit Trastevere at night as well as the day, in the evening both the Piazza di Santa Maria and nearby Piazza Trilussa turn into one of Rome's most magical and popular entertainment hot-spots. The area comes alive with sidewalk restaurants, cafés, italian pubs and trendy wine bars spilling out onto the piazza, with the faintly lit traditional architecture of the piazza adding to the atmosphere.
Top Tips: The Trastevere neighbourhood has a great reputation for wining and dining with a good mix of restaurants, atmosphere and reasonable prices. Consider staying in the Trastevere area, there's a good mix of midrange, upmarket and budget grade hotels, all of which provide a 'relaxed pace' compared to the busy hotels in the city. Note: There is no Metro station in Trastevere, however bus services are plentiful. The number 8 tram connects Trasteverewith Piazza Venezia by the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Museum (central hub for monuments).
(6). The Sistine Chapel: The Sistine Chapel houses two of the world’s most famous works of Renaissance art – Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes, including the Creazione di Adamo, the Creation of Adam and the Creation of Eve painted c.1508–1512, and his Giudizio Universal (Last Judgment) painted c.1534–51 which covers the whole altar wall of the chapel.
The Sistine Chapel side walls include works painted in 1481–83 by major Renaissance artists including Botticelli, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and Signorelli. Highlights include Botticelli’s Temptations of Christ and Perugino’s Handing over of the Keys. Interestingly the Sistine Chapel also serves an important modern-day religious function as the place where the conclave meet to elect a new pope.
Top Tips: A visit to the Vatican museums including the Sistine Chapel should definitely be on your list of things to see in Rome, however entry to the museums and chapel can be extremely busy with up to 2 hour queues at peak summer times. It's therefore recommended to book your tickets in advance and reserve an early morning tour to avoid disappointment.
Leave your cameras behind, no pictures are permitted inside the chapel. Be prepared for a squash on a busy day you could find yourself sharing the chapel with up to 2000 visitors. Close by are the Vatican Museums housing one of the world's greatest collections of art.
(7). The Vatican Museums: The Vatican Museums (Museum Vaticani) are the public museums of the Vatican City, they are some of the largest and most visited museum's in the world, and the second most visited museum in Europe after the Louvre. The museum's enormous collection of displayed works range from ancient Roman sculptures and Egyptian artefacts, to amazing wall tapestries and artworks by the world's most important artist's, including Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio.
There's also a large selection of Contemporary art by artist's such as Francis Bacon, Émile Bernard, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin and Salvador Dalí. The Museums works have been amassed over the centuries by both the Catholic Church and the papacy.
Top Tips: If your travelling on a budget, entrance to the Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel) is usually free on the last Sunday of every month, however free days are also the most popular. To avoid large queues visit on a regular day and/or consider one of the guided tours - they can save you time and you may end up seeing more. The Vatican Museums are actually made up of several museums and buildings, with the one Vatican Museum ticket allowing access to them all, a typical Vatican Museums visit could last anywhere from 3-6 hours.
"It's free to walk & roam, pick a neighborhood of Rome you like and just keep walking and take in the detail".
Rome - Public Transport: Rome's Metro network is limited but does reach the city's most important landmarks. The city of Rome had planned for a much larger metro network, however when new tunnels were built more archaeological remains were found putting a halt to expansion. This is why there are no metro stations in the 'ancient centre' of the city. The Bus network is extensive, with Rome's smaller electric buses serving the city's ancient and narrower streets.
Top Tip: When using both Metro & Bus services you will at some stage have to pass through or change services at TERMINI (the main rail & bus station). Termini can be very crowded, slightly confusing and has many pickpockets looking to take advantage, so plan your journey, don't hang around and know where you want to go to next.
Rome - Metro: Rome has three metro lines (A, B & C) however A & B are the primary lines and the most used. Line A (Orange) operates from northwest to southeast, from Battistini to Anagnina. Tourist stops include CILPRO for The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. OTTAVIANO for St. Peter's Basilica. BARBERINI for the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. TERMINI is the main rail station with links to Fiumicino Airport via the Leonardo Express.
Line B (Blue) operates from the northeast to the south, from Rebibbia to Laurentina. Tourist stops include TERMINI for the main rail station. COLOSSEO for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Metro tickets can be purchased from ticket machines at metro and bus stations, plus newspaper shops and convenience stores. There are ticket barriers at all Metro stations where you have to insert your ticket to enter and leave the platform or station.
All of Rome's local public transport systems are integrated, and you must purchase a travel ticket before boarding any transport service. The one travel ticket is valid across metro, tram and bus networks. One trip tickets are cheap and are valid for 100 minutes after validation (time stamped in ticket machine).
If you are visiting Rome for a few days, the Rome Metro Card has a 1 or 3 day validity and gives you unlimited access to public transport (metro/bus/tram) including the Hop-on Hop-off bus.
Rome - Bus & Tram Services: Rome's bus network is extensive, frequent and relatively reliable but unfortunately slightly complex, the service starts at 5.30am and runs till midnight. Night Bus services run through the night on main routes only. For buses and trams you validate your single ticket or travel pass using the onboard validation machines. If using a pass, only validate it the once at the start of your journey. Always validate (stamp date & time) your ticket or pass as soon as you board the vehicle.
Rome - Taxi: Taxis in Rome are usually metered, they can be hailed on the road side or can be picked up at Rome's many taxi stands. Only use the official white cabs with Taxi roof signs, they usually have a phone number on the side and a working taximeter on display. Travelling around Rome by taxi is safe and much easier than fathoming bus networks and watching out for pickpockets.
However, taxi's can be expensive and Rome's taxi drivers do have a reputation for overcharging, if you feel you've been overcharged let the driver know, ask for a receipt, take a note of the displayed taxi licence number and the taxi company name and phone number. You can pay taxi fares by cash or card, all taxis in Rome have to provide a working point of sale (POS) machine for processing card payments (excluding American Express).
Top Taxi Tips for Rome: Before you enter a taxi ask the driver what the fare will be. Some routes have fixed rates set by the city of Rome, airport journeys are usually fixed. If the taximeter is not running ask the driver to turn it on. If You're going to a private address, display the address and route on your phones screen and show it to the driver. In general Taxis are great for travelling around Rome, you just have to be a little flexible and patient. Taxis can be ordered for you by the hotel concierge or at restaurants.
Rome Nightlife: The nightlife starts with the 'Passeggiata' a relaxing 'stoll around' in the early evening. Then onto the cafes and bars in Piazza Navona for a variety of international restaurants. Try the Via Veneto for a host of fashionable cafes and bars. The Trastevere area on Rome's Left Bank is filled with Trattorias and Italian cuisine. To experience 'la dolce vita' have a drink in one of the pavement cafes that line Via Veneto.
Top Tip Ristorante: Located just north of Vatican City in the Prati district of Rome you'll find 'Cacio e Pepe' an intimate rustic trattoria serving classic Roman pasta dishes. Try their signature pasta dish, Cacio e pepe (meaning cheese and pepper) the ingredients include spaghetti or tonnarelli with black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano cheese...semplicemente fantastico...
Prati is located on the River Tiber’s west bank, the area is upmarket with high-end boutiques and a good mix of al fresco wine bars, stylish cocktail lounges and gourmet restaurants.
Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino is located 25km (16miles) southwest of Rome. Airport transport to Rome city centre includes Rail, Bus and Taxis:
FCO Airport Rail Service: Direct Rail links from the Rome FCO airport to Rome city centre (Roma Termini Station) is provided by Leonardo Express. Follow the signs to Fiumicino Aeroporto train station, it's an approximate 10 minute walk from the arrivals terminal. The direct train journey takes approximately 32 minutes with departures every 15 minutes. The destination is the Roma Termini (main Rail Station in central Rome), which has good local bus and metro links to locations throughout the city.
FCO Airport Shuttle Bus services: Bus services depart from outside the arrivals terminal at Fiumicino Airport. Services run to the Roma Termini (main rail station with metro links). Departures are approximately every 30 minutes and operate from 05:45hrs until 23:00hrs. Night shuttle bus services with a reduced timetable operate a 24hrs service.
FCO Airport Taxi: Taxis are available from directly outside of the arrivals terminal, airport taxi services operate a flat fare (fixed rate) charging system that's governed by the City of Rome. The fixed rate is valid for up to four passengers and their suitcases, it's valid to and from the airport and a city centre location (inside the Aurelian Walls). You should not be charged over the fixed fare rate, if you are don't pay it.
Top Tip: If it's your first time in Rome take a Taxi from the airport to your hotel. If possible avoid the airport Train or Bus services into the city, they will take longer than planned and the city's main bus and rail station (Roma Termini Station) can be very busy and very confusing - at first.
FCO Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at Rome FCO airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
Easyjet provide low cost short break flight tickets to Rome Fiumicino Airport FCO.
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