Rome, La Dolce Vita
Rome was the centre of power, culture, and religion for a thousand years, and has continued to exert its influence across the globe. Its historic city centre is plush with palaces, churches, monuments and fountains, with an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan feel.
Important information about travelling in August
The best time to visit Rome is between April and October, however it is helpful to note some important dates. The Rome Marathon usually takes place on the last Sunday in March. Also, Easter processions between Maundy Thursday and Palm Sunday are important to note when planning your visit to Rome, particularly if you plan to attend Sunday Easter Mass at St. Peter's Basilica as it will be very busy. June 2nd is Italy's national holiday with military parades and events, so be aware of this when planning your trip. Another important date to note is June 29 as this is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
There are numerous festivals throughout the city during the summer months as well, including Rock in Roma. Lastly, try to avoid visiting during December and January, as the weather can be unpredictable.
Important information to know upon arrival in Rome
For two weeks in August many Romans take advantage of the summer heat to do some travelling themselves. Therefore, you might see 'chiuso per ferie' (closed for holidays) signs on many shops and restaurants. Also, restaurants charge cover coperto for the use of plates, cutlery, etc. Bread also often has an extra charge, so be sure to ask. It is not customary to leave a tip.
Be aware of Rome's no-smoking policy in all restaurants, bars, and on public transit. Also, be sure to take advantage of cheap (and delicious) food while in Rome - whether it be in a supermarket or restaurant.
Important local information about Rome
There are a number of ways to get into the city centre from both Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA) airports. From FCO, take the Leonardo Express to Termini station. This costs around EUR 14 and takes about 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can take local express train FL1 for around EUR8, or the bus shuttle Terravision for around EUR4. These each take about 1 hour. From CIA take the express train TL4 or the Terravision to Termini station. Since CIA is much closer to the city centre, the times and costs are significantly lower.
Guests houses and hostels are available for around EUR 15 per night, and 3-star hotels start around EUR 35 per night/person.
To get around Rome, you can buy a single public transit ticket for EUR 1.50, which is valid for 100 minutes. There are also day passes available for around EUR 6, and week passes for around EUR 24. Taxis are also an easy way to get around Rome. They charge roughly EUR 7 for 3km, and around EUR 1/km thereafter.