Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, no one can doubt that. Every time I look into it, I’m struck again by what a cool city it is.
It’s easy to get around on foot, the airport is quick and easy to get to the city centre, and there are so many great restaurants in the city that you won’t have time to try them all in one visit. This 2,500 year old city manages to amaze me every time I visit and I believe you will fall in love with it too.
How to get in Rome from the airport to the centre
Rome has two international airports, Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumincino) and the smaller Ciampino. Most flights from the Czech Republic arrive in Fiuminicino, from where you can easily reach Rome by train or bus. The train costs 13 euros and the bus costs 7 euros. You can also take a taxi, but expect to pay at least 50 euros.
Where to stay?
In Rome, it’s definitely worth staying in the centre, ideally close to the main station where the train from the airport stops or one of the bus stops from the airport. Rome is easy to get around on foot and public transport (although it has improved in recent years) is slow and, according to locals, unreliable.
We stayed at the Residenza Cavallini, which is five minutes from the airport bus express stop, a short walk from the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain. The accommodation was clean, the rooms were small, but breakfast was included in the price at a nearby cafe (croissant, toast and cappuccino – what more could you ask for?).
How to get around Rome?
The best way to get around is on foot, as I mentioned above, public transport is slow and often unreliable, although it has improved significantly in recent years. If you want, you can try local electric bikes or electric scooters. We borrowed them once when we were tired after walking in 30 degrees all day.ROME WEATHER
How long to go to Rome for?
A spring or autumn long weekend is absolutely perfect for a visit to Rome. If you’re not an avid visitor to museums and galleries, you can easily do Rome in a weekend. For us, 3-4 days is ideal, but you can definitely do the most important things in one full day, you just have to walk a lot. Everything is relatively close, but we still walked 20-35 thousand steps every day and spent four days in Rome on our last trip.
How to find the cheapest airline tickets?
At the moment it is cheapest to fly with Ryanair, I recommend flying with carry-on only for the weekend. In Rome, the weather is beautiful from spring to autumn, so all I needed was two light dresses, CC cream, sunscreen and a camera.
Where to eat in Rome?
If you like Italian cuisine, you won’t go hungry in Rome. You can try one of the restaurants below
- PizzaRé – although it is a relatively remote pizzeria that does not impress you at first glance, their pizzas are first class. And at great prices.
- Alto Cocktail Bar – a newly opened very luxurious cocktail bar with a beautiful view and you can watch the sunset. Just count on high prices.
- Piccolo Buco – If you prefer Neapolitan-style pizza, make a reservation at Piccolo Buco.
- Pasta In Corso – Need a quick, good but cheap meal? Go for a great pasta at Pasta In Corso.
Is it worth buying tickets in advance and online?
It certainly does. Thanks to tickets purchased online, we were able to skip the queue at the Vatican, where one usually waits for hours without a ticket. Tickets for all the sights and attractions can be purchased at Getyourguide.com, which has the widest range of tickets.
If you’re not into skip-the-line tickets, you can stand the lines. But at least for the Vatican, we strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance . Get tickets for a specific time and avoid the queue, in which you would have to stand for several hours in the direct sun without the possibility of shade.
Where’s the sunset?
Ask any Roman where they go to watch the sunset, and Passeggiata del Gianicolo will top the list.
But it’s not the only great spot, the terrace on Pincian Hill, located on the opposite side of town from Gianicolo, is another amazing sunset option.
If you’re willing to work up a sweat in search of the perfect sunset shot and have comfortable walking shoes, head to the top of Monte Mario in the northwestern part of Rome.
If you would like to take a picture of the Basilica of St. Peter, you have to go to the Giardino degli Aranci at the top of the Roman hill of Aventine.
Where to go first thing in the morning?
The first thing that pays off Trevi Fountain which tends to be packed with tourists, the Colosseum and the Vatican.
What to remember to take to Rome?
- Comfortable shoes.
- Patches for any blisters from shoes.
27 places to visit in Rome
It is said that all roads lead to Rome, and in ancient times, indeed, all roads radiated from this magnificent capital.
Cultural monuments from different periods are often linked in Rome. The pagan mausoleum is also a papal fortress and the medieval church has a Baroque façade. What should you not miss in the city?
The Trevi Fountain should be your first point of interest as it fills up quickly with tourists, so it is advisable to visit it first thing in the morning. The magnificence of this fountain is breathtaking, I am always surprised by its majesty.
Although I am not a big fan of the Baroque, this gem by Nicola Salvi is bound to enchant anyone. It was built in 18. century and compared to the small square on which it stands, it looks like a huge stage. If you are a fan of older films, you may remember it from the movie La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life, Frederico Fellini), where children frolicked in the fountain.
Roman Forum – Forum Romanum
I recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the midday sun, which can make your visit unpleasant. Here you can imagine the hustle and bustle of a great imperial city at its greatest glory.
The swampy area of the Forum, surrounded by the hills of the Palatine, Capitoline and Esquiline, used to be a commercial centre and the pride of the Roman metropolis with its white marble temples and golden roofs. After the invasion of the barbarians, however, it was completely filled in and only in the 19th century. century were uncovered by the excavation of a number of ancient buildings.
On the spot we learned that tickets can only be purchased online at . Only if you don’t have a phone, you can buy them on the spot.
Please note, the online offer includes the option to either send the ticket home or pick it up on the spot. The pick up button didn’t work, so we were advised to choose send home and the tickets should arrive.
We didn’t get anything in the mail, so we had to go to the kiosk anyway. But it’s all sorted out. Shopping through intermediaries such as GetYourGuide works much better.
It is listed in the tips on what to see, separately, which can be confusing as it is included in the Forum Romanum ticket. It is the most important of the Seven Roman hills, where the original settlement of Rome began 1,000 years BC and from here the city gradually grew to its present form.
The Palatine Hill is considered an archaeological jewel because of the large number of remains of ancient buildings, public spaces and sports grounds, and is the best preserved of all the hills after the Capitol.
The Colosseum (Colosseo) is probably the most characteristic building of Rome, although I have to say that it is not that interesting for me. But you won’t want to miss it, and frankly you can’t miss it if you visit the Forum Romanum.
The elliptical four-storey amphitheatre was built between 72 and 80 AD and can accommodate up to 50,000 spectators.
Tickets can only be purchased online . Again, beware, you can only choose to send the ticket home or pick it up on the spot on the website.
Most people start their tour here, because the main traffic arteries converge here and there are bus stops.
The dominant feature of the square is the monument to Victor Emmanuel (Vittoriano); locals have a number of unflattering nicknames for the monument, such as “wedding cake” or “false teeth of Rome”. However, the monument provides one of the best views of the city, so if you have time, you can take the elevator up to the viewpoint.
The surrounding buildings are much more interesting, for example the Palazzo Venezia was Rome’s first great Renaissance palace and in the 20th century it was the first of the great Renaissance palaces. century, it served as the headquarters of Mussolini’s Guard. Currently there is a museum of medieval and Renaissance furniture, weapons, tapestries and ceramics.
One of my strongest childhood memories of Rome is associated with the Pantheon. I remember we were walking through the narrow streets and suddenly we came out and in front of us was the huge structure of the Pantheon.
The Pantheon is truly magnificent, located in Piazza della Rotonda and admission is free. Don’t expect anything interesting inside, but be sure to enter. It is only when you enter it and look up that you realise the massiveness of the whole structure.
Originally built by Marcus Agrippa in 27 AD, the Pantheon was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD. V 7. century was converted into a church.
In the past, the Pantheon was home to statues of the gods of Olympus, but nowadays you won’t find them inside. However, you will find the Renaissance tombs of the sculptor Raffaello and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. There are also the remains of the first Italian king.
From the Pantheon, you can head straight to Piazza Navona, a place of rest and relaxation since 79. The Emperor Domitian had the athletic arena Circus Agonalis built here, giving the square an oval shape. In the Middle Ages, tournaments were held here and from the 17th century onwards. to 19. century, the square was the site of spectacular water festivals.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – Fountain of the Four Rivers
The Fountain of the Four Rivers is located in Piazza Navona. It was designed by the Italian Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His technical versatility, compositional inventiveness and amazing skill with marble ensured that he was considered a worthy successor to Michelangelo and far surpassed other sculptors of his generation.
He was able to perfectly integrate his works into the environment in which they were located. His ability to synthesize sculpture, painting and architecture into a coherent conceptual and visual whole was described by the late art historian Irving Lavin as “the unity of the visual arts”.
But back to the Fountain of the Four Rivers. It symbolizes the great rivers of the four continents: the Americas (Rio de la Plata), Europe (Danube), Asia (Ganges) and Africa (Nile). Try to walk around it and see which statue belongs to which continent. A little hint: Bernini’s frequent disdain for other artists led to the claim that the god of the Nile was covering his head so he wouldn’t have to look at Borromini’s Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, and the river god of America was going to capture the church in case it collapsed. It’s really just a joke, the church was actually built after the completion of the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
Market on Campo de Fiori
V 17. century, public executions took place here, and today it is a place where you can find markets with fruit, vegetables and flowers. It is said to be one of the most authentic places in Rome. We stumbled upon it just when we needed to freshen up. And nothing refreshes on a hot, steamy day like sliced melon chunks. It was just a bit too little for our taste at three euros.
From Campo de Fiori you can head southeast towards the former Jewish quarter. Today there are restaurants offering distinctive Roman-Jewish cuisine. There is also the Turtle Fountain (Fontana delle Tartarughe) from the 16th century. century, located in Piazza Mattei. It depicts young men lifting turtles up to a marble slab.
If you love Holiday in Rome with Audrey Hepburn, you’ll definitely want to sit on the Spanish Steps. Don’t do that. As of 2019, the penalty for this is a fine of between €160 and €400, or between CZK 4,100 and CZK 10,300.
A short walk from the Spanish Steps around Piazza di Spagna is the most elegant business district. Today, you will find the most luxurious brands there, but it was also famous in the past and aristocratic travellers used to stop here. In the house of Romanticism, famous artists such as Keats, Byron, Balzac and Wagner headed here.
Piazza del Popolo
One of the most visited squares in Rome and the starting point for some of the main streets in the centre of Rome, today it is surrounded by cafes, shops, restaurants and hotels and is always lively. But this was not the case before. According to legend, the place was cursed, and even in 1100 the inhabitants demanded that it be subjected to an exorcism of the devil.
To the east of Piazza del Popolo you will find the gardens. Climb up to the monumental rows of terraces, where you have a beautiful view of Piazza del Popolo and the surrounding area. The sunsets from here are also beautiful.
If you walk along the Pincean promenade, you’ll reach the Villa Medici, built in 1564 and purchased by Napoleon for the French Academy in Rome, which is now home to young French artists who come to Rome on scholarships.
The Galleria Borghese is the perfect place to hide from the sun and rain, boasting valuable collections of Renaissance and Baroque art.
National Gallery (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, abbreviated GNAM)
A short walk from Villa Borghese, the National Gallery houses the largest collection of modern art in Italy. Here you will see works of art by Van Gogh, Klimt and Cézanne.
The Mouth of Truth – Bocca della Verita
Another place made famous by the film Holiday in Rome: The Mouth of Truth. Weighing over a tonne, the marble mask of the face of a likely pagan god is now a very popular tourist attraction.
It is also the subject of many legends, the most popular of which, as heard in the film Holidays in Rome, says that it served as a lie detector. If the liar put his hand in the hole where his mouth was, it should have been bitten off.
Castel Sant’Angelo is a monumental building with a rounded ground plan, which connects Rome and the Vatican with a wall. The castle was originally built as the mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian and over the years has served as a refuge for popes, but also as a prison where Giordano Bruno was imprisoned. At 13. century, a tunnel was built in it, which connected the castle with the Vatican.
Set aside one full day for the Vatican and you won’t regret it. We recommend to come here first thing in the morning to avoid the biggest crowds.
The city-state of Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign ecclesiastical city-state, an enclave within Rome, and with an area of approximately 49 hectares is the smallest state in the world. It has been ruled by the Pope all his life and is considered the centre of Christianity.
Basilica of St. Petra
The poet Goethe once reportedly said that to enter the Basilica of St. Peter is like entering eternity. During your visit, don’t miss the rather strenuous hike up to the dome of the Basilica of St. Peter’s Square, which offers one of the best views directly over St Peter’s Square and the Vatican Gardens.
Although we weren’t there on our last visit, I still remember that the actual climb up to the dome was very impressive as you walk through the interior, which was beautifully decorated. You have to climb a total of 551 steps.
If you go to the Vatican, St. You won’t miss Peter. What is certainly worth mentioning is that it can accommodate up to 400,000 people. A unique architectural masterpiece by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656-1667, the centre of the square is dominated by a 331 ton obelisk, 25 metres high, decorated with two fountains from the 17th century. century, it has stood here since the reign of Emperor Caligula.
The Vatican Museums are visited by 6 million people a year, so with that in mind, be sure to buy your tickets in advance. The easiest way to buy it online is via Get Your Guide which is what we did. A number of people wrote to me on Instagram that you didn’t have tickets and spent several hours in a 35 degree queue. So avoid that.
We chose the afternoon hours, when we wanted to escape the heat. There is air conditioning in the Vatican Museums, but it didn’t run too much, so maybe it would have been better to go first thing in the morning.
The Vatican Museums have huge collections of artwork, we probably liked the rooms that were covered in maps and the Raffaello rooms the best. We opted for the audio-guided tour only and although we were determined to listen to everything at first, we soon found out that it was not in our power because we would have to spend about ten hours there.
It’s only accessible through the Vatican Museums, but if you’re only interested in those, you can buy an express ticket through Get Your Guide. The most famous frescoes on the vault are those by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who spent four years here, but if you love art like me, you will also notice the frescoes by Botticelli. There are also frescoes by Ghirlandaio, Perugini, and Rosselini.
You cannot take photographs in the Sistine Chapel.
What is the purpose of the Sistine Chapel? It is a chapel whose original main function is the assembly of the College of Cardinals, who meet here for special meetings and also hold the election of the Pope (conclave).
If you’re a fan of archaeology, you can also visit the Baths of Carcall, built between 212 and 216 at the instigation of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, they became the largest and most lavish in the world at the time.
It’s fascinating what they contained. Caracalla’s spa had indoor and outdoor pools, a calidarium with hot water and eight saunas, and a frigidarium. The Frigidarium was a large and lavishly decorated basilica, with changing rooms, gymnasiums, libraries and even grocery stores.
Although you must imagine it today, back then they were magnificently decorated with frescoes, mosaics, statues and marble. There were stone tubs made of a single piece of granite or other mineral. In its heyday, Caracalla’s baths were resplendent with colour. Every single Roman, including women, could spend almost a whole day in the baths. It was the emperor’s gift to the Romans.
They are a bit off the traditional tourist routes, so they are not very popular.
Visit the Roman Catacombs
The Roman catacombs are a system of extensive underground burial grounds used since the 2nd century. to 5. century. At that time, Christians and Jews were not allowed to bury their dead in churches and cemeteries, so they built a vast labyrinth of passages. There are more than 60 catacombs under the city, only five are accessible:
- Catacombs of San Sebastiano,
- Catacombs of San Callisto,
- The Catacombs of Domitilla,
- Priscilla Catacombs,
- The Catacombs of Sant’Agnese.
If you want to see where the President of Italy resides, you’ll find his residence in the Quirinal Palace. It is not Prague Castle, but it still stands out among Roman palaces.
It is the largest palace in the Italian capital, called Palazzo Quirinale in Italian, and stands on the square and hill of the same name.
Map with points of interest on your phone
Save a map of the best places in Rome directly to your phone. After purchase, you will receive a link to a non-public Google Map, which you can save by clicking ”Follow/Follow”. This will copy it to your Google account and display it on all devices where you use Google Maps.
Tips and tricks for travelling in Italy
What to pack
Take a look at our travel packing guide to help you prepare. Choose the right travel backpack, check out the travel gadgets and don’t forget anything important at home.
Where to get tickets
We commonly use a grader RentalCars.com to help us choose a car provider.
Reservation of accommodation
Don’t forget about insurance
Travel insurance is an absolute must. For shorter journeys, choose AXA ( 50% discount ) and for longer journeys the British insurer True Traveller . Take a look at comparison of all insurance companies and choose the one that suits you best.