“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, they say. What can travelers do in Rome, Italy? The list is longer than a noodle of spaghetti. Journey to the capital of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican; behold the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; climb the Spanish Steps; imagine the days gladiators drew 50,000 people to the Colosseum; gawk at beautiful people and fashions along Via del Corso; learn about the fall of the Roman empire; sample many flavors of gelato (even from street vendors); drink wine as cheap as soda… the list goes on and on. Rome impresses and exhausts travelers with endless displays of art, history and famous sights. It’s guaranteed to take your breath away – sometimes literally as a scooter buzzes by. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it will take more than a day to take it all in.
When to Go
The weather in Rome (Roma) is hot in summer, nearly perfect in May and September, and fairly moderate October-April. Travelers save money and avoid crowds by traveling in off-peak months. When traveling in warmer months, travelers should bring shirts with sleeves and longer skirts or pants to enter The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, or other religious sights.
How to Get There
Travelers often fly into Rome before heading to Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Milan, Cinque Terre, Naples or the Amalfi Coast for a comprehensive Italy tour. Fly into Ciampiano Airport or arrive by train from someplace else at Termini Station.
Where to Stay
Choose from 4-star hotels, budget hotels or locally-owned apartments that can be rented for longer stays. Most travelers choose to stay near train stations and in the central part of the city. Roman streets are safe to stroll at night if travelers stay aware of their surroundings and avoid acting like an obvious American tourist.
Grab a map of Rome and a good pair of walking shoes; there’s plenty to see: St. Peter’s Basilica, with the world’s largest dome built by Michelangelo; Vatican Museum; Colosseum; Borghese Gallery (reservations required); the Catecombs; Pantheon; Sistine Chapel; Capital Hill; Tiber River; Trevi Fountain; Via del Corso for window shopping; Campo de Fiori for dinner; Piazza Navona for dessert; and the Spanish Steps. Leave time for enjoying gelato and chianti, savoring truly Italian food and observing the fashions for which Italy is famous. There’s little need to speak the Italian language; however, there’s no better place to learn to speak Italian and practice speaking this romantic language. For Catholic visitors, consider attending Mass at St. Peter’s; the service will be spoken in Latin.