We visited Rome twice. The first one was in January of 2015 only the two of us and the second one was recently, in February, during the Carnival season and we were 9 people.
Rome is a wonderful city and with immense monuments to see, it even looks like an open-air museum. For those who like to take great walks it is a perfect city, because you end up seeing many more squares, fountains, churches, sculptures .. that are not even on tourist routes, than anyone who walks by public transport and only visits the most famous monuments of the City.
Tip 1- Where to stay if traveling as a family or group?
As we have already told you, we were 9 people. In order not to stay in separate hotels, with the possibility of being far away, we chose to rent two apartments, which were exactly in the same building.
Another advantage of staying in an apartment is that we can make one or another meal at home, saving some money, which can be useful to us to get into more monuments or attractions of the city.
We rented the apartment through Booking
The apartments were called “Colle Aventino Home” and were very pleasant, had all basic conditions and were within 10/15mins walk from the Colosseum. Also had a Metro station within 5min. For those traveling in groups, we advise this type of accommodation. Per person we paid € 50 each for three nights, including cleaning fees (which is variable) and Rome tourist tax per night (flat rate).
Tip 2 – Location
The location is definitely a very important factor. Try to stay close to the downtown area, at the foot of Via del Corso or even near the Colosseum. We stayed next door to Circo Maximo and enjoyed it very much, because we were close, but away from the tourist masses.
Tip 3 – Cost of public transportation tickets
One worry when planning a trip is how much you will spend on transportation.
We left at Ciampino airport and did not book early in any company because we did not think there was a need. As soon as you leave the airport there are a few buses and just look for what it says “Termini”, which goes to the terminal station of the center of Rome. The ticket has the cost of 9/10 € to go back and forth.
Metro Ticket Cost
In Rome a normal metro ticket costs € 1.50 and lasts for 1.30h after validation, meaning during that time you can enter and leave the metro without problem.
For those who are thinking of going on public transport to get around, the metro may not be the best option because there are not many metro stations in the center, nor close to all the main attractions.
Cost Combined tickets (Metro and bus)
A combined public transport ticket for one day costs € 6. In case of being for three days, it has the cost of € 18 and for 7 days, it costs € 24.
In all the options you can go in and out as many times as you want.
Tickets are bought at tobacconists scattered throughout the city, or on the subway.
Tip 4 – Colosseum, Palatine and Roman Forum
Tickets for these monuments are purchased together, that is, just a ticket to visit the three monuments. The coliseum, being the best known, generates more queues at the ticket office, our advice is to get the ticket at the ticket office of the Palatino, which is 5 minutes from the Coliseum.
We went to Rome at the Carnival season and there were many more tourists than usual, the queue for the ticket office at the Colosseum was around 1.30am and we took about 15 minutes to get our ticket.
You can buy the tickets online for a further € 4 per person.
Tip 5 – Best view of the Colosseum
If you enter by the queue of the Roman Forum, turn right and again to the right, in the background you will get the best view of Rome to the Colosseum.
Tip 6 – Do not despair when you get in line to enter Saint Peter’s Basilica
Most likely when you get to St Peter’s Square you have to stand a huge queue to enter the Basilica, do not despair and be sure to visit it, as it is well worth it and admission is free.
The queue is only generated because there has to be a inspection at the entrance, as a security rule, but it is advancing quickly. Take the opportunity to breathe the environment that is felt in the place and observe all the details.
Tip 7- Pay attention to the times and days when the monuments are closed
A very common mistake is not to make a planning for your trip.
Keep in mind the days that the monuments are closed and the schedules, so as not to risk spending money on transport, take a huge walk, waste time and “bang your nose at the door”.
Tip 8- Panoramic view of the free city
The climb to the first floor of the monument of Victor Emmanuel is totally free and you can have a panoramic view of the city. The entrance is made by the street that goes against the coliseum and has to climb a small staircase, but believe me … it’s worth it!
Tip 9- Eating well and cheaply in Rome is possible
Rome is an expensive city when we talk about meals, but it is possible to eat well and take into account the city.
Look for “pizzza al forno” or “pizza al taglio”, here you can eat pizza slices or weight.
Another economical method is to look for restaurants with menus, so you know immediately what you will eat and what you will spend. If you have several options give preference to the most complete menus.
We went to one near the Phanteon which we liked a lot, it’s called “L’insalata Ricca”, the menu was € 12 per person, with starter, main course, drink and coffee.
Tip 10- Beware of scams to tourists!
All cities with many tourists tend to be more conducive to scams to tourists and Rome is no exception.
There are many ways to fool a tourist in Rome. Learn to say .. NO!
1– Near the Coliseum there are people masked gladiators to take a picture with you, no matter how much they say they do not want money, in the end they will always want to make you pay;
2– Never take hold of any object or souvenir that you want to try to sell;
3– Always pay attention to your suitcase or backpack in public transport, if you have a backpack, put it on your chest and your suitcase always;
4– Even if they say it’s an offer, do not accept flowers! They will always ask for money;
5 – If you are asked to take a picture, pay attention to your things, sometimes there are pickpockets to make this kind of mockery.
Tip 11- Breathe the urban life of the city
Rome is a city full of life. There are many locals, tourists and artists that give the city its environs.
It is common to be walking and seeing a flood of people making a circle around a street performer, there are singers, musicians, painters, graffiters ..
Let yourself be carried away by urban life and feel the moments!
Tip 12- Pay attention to churches, fountains, and sculptures that are not found on tour itineraries
When we walk through the city, there are several churches, fountains and sculptures that appear to us in each alley and are not on tourist routes. Also enjoy these small monuments. Enter the churches and be dazzled by the paintings, ceilings, columns and statues, each church has its uniqueness.
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