Exploring the historic treasures of Rome
Well known for blending its past and present seamlessly, the city of Rome is an irresistible wonderland filled with archaeological and artistic treasures. The charming metropolis is characterised by majestic villas (parks), unique traditions and captivating panoramic views. A trip to the Colosseum located east of the Roman Forum will capture your imagination. This amphitheatre is regarded as one of the most prominent works of engineering and architecture. The elliptical structure rivals the famous Vatican museums in terms of popularity. When you venture far away from the teeming major attractions, Rome reveals its more conservative and intimate side. These areas highlight the city's real charm distinguished by tranquil parks, fading ochre-coloured palazzos and the labyrinthine backstreets.
When to travel
Depending on your preferences, the Eternal City is a year-round destination whose peak periods revolve around spring and autumn. The metropolis is usually bursting with Vatican pilgrims during the Easter holidays. Mid-January to March is a great time for visitors seeking lower hotel rates. The period is widely regarded as the city's shoulder season since it bridges the gaps between the low and high peak periods. Rome experiences pleasant weather in April and October, although temperatures are usually high in August. The bustling metropolis hosts a number of exciting events throughout the year, including the Rock in Roma (July), Festa di Noantri (July), the White Night of Rome (September), and many more.
What to know before you go
To enjoy the sights and sounds of Rome freely, it is prudent to buy a city map prior to arrival. This helps you travel with confidence and plan your activities well. Tourist information offices dotted around Rome are also a good source of visitor guides. The majority of the centres are open between 8am and 7pm. This is in addition to toll free phone lines. Although crime is very low, it is advisable to stay vigilant, particularly on crowded buses, subways and streets where pickpocketing is common. On the other hand, public drinking and moving around bare-chested is not permitted. Taking note of current taxi fares can be useful since local cab drivers often overcharge tourists.
Useful local information
International flights to Rome land at the Fiumicino airport located 26 kilometres southwest of the city centre. The Leonardo Express offers a direct train service and can be accessed on track 24. Tickets are sold at Termini newsstands and the counter for 11 Euro. You pay more if you buy the tickets at the departure platform. Taxi fares from Fiumicino airport to the city centre are fixed eliminating the need to negotiate with the driver. The Terravision Shuttle Bus also serves this route; you can find the bus terminus on the ground level near the arrivals terminal. Rome has an extensive array of accommodation options to suit all pockets and personal preferences. The standard hotels are rather pricey particularly during the peak seasons, such as the Easter holiday. Rental apartments and B&Bs are a cheaper alternative when you want to save. Some visitors even opt for convents and monasteries. Rental agencies for self-catering apartments usually collect 30 percent of the total booking amount as deposit fee.