- travel dates: 31 August - 20 September 2023
- accommodation: we rented apartment from Barbara on Airbnb - highly recommended!
- currency: euro
- on the first Sunday of the month museums are FREE
We use Metro and bus system - one ride is 1,5 euro valid for 100 minutes.
From Rome Ciampino airport to center - bus 520 and then metro A line.
At the time of our travel:
1 euro = 4,43 zł (PLN)
- pasta carbonara - 8,50 to 18 euro
- cannelloni stuffed with meat - 7,50 to 14 euro
- big water at the restaurant - 2,50 euro
- water 1,5l in the shop - 1 euro
- 1l local red/white wine - 6 euro
- coffee americano - 2 euro
- espresso - 1,20 euro
- pizza margherita - 6,50 euro
- suppli - 2 to 3,50 euro
- gelato - 2,5 euro
- bruschetta al pomodoro - 4 euro
- porchetta - 6 euro
- tiramisu - 5 euro
- cannollo - 3,50 euro
- maritozzo - 2,50 euro
- Castel Sant'Angelo - 13 euro
- Stadio di Domiziano - 9 euro
- Galleria Borghese - 16 euro
- Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Terme di Diocleziano - 13 euro
- Ostia Antica - 19 euro
- Museo Vaticani - 17 euro
What to do
- Palatine Hill
- Circus Maximus
- Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
- Piazza Navona
- Borghese Museum
- Borghese Gardens
- Victor Emmanuel Monument
- Capitoline Museum
- Sant’ Angelo Castle
- Nero’s Golden Home
- Baths of Caracalla
- Appian Way
- Ostia Antica
- Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli
- Largo del Torri Argentina
- Santa Maria Maggiore
- Trajan’s Column
- Trajan’s Forum
- Piazza Venezia
- St. Ignatius of Loyola
- Piazza Della Rotonda
- Column of Marcus Aurelius
- Via del Corso
- Piazza del Popolo
- Basilica Andrea Dalla Value
- San Giovanni Basilica
- Piazza de San Giovanni
- Aqueduct Park
- Mouth of Truth
- Temple of Hercules
- Testaccio Market
- Domiziano Stadium Museum
- Rome City Museum
- Jewish Quarter
- Tiber Island
- Pyramid of Cestius
- Via Dei Coronari
- San Clemente Church
- Piazza Campo De Fiore
- The Site of Pompeii’s Theatre
- Trastevere District
- Basilica di Santa Cecilia
- Basilica di Santa Maria
- Teatro di Marcello
- Portico d’Ottavia
- National Museum - Massimo
- Baths of Diocletian
- Chiesa del Monti
- Via Margutta
- Mausoleum de Augustus
- Piazza di Petra
- Via Della Scrofa
- Via di Sant’Eustachio
- 1960 Olympic Stadium
- Hadrian’s Temple
Favourite places to eat
- Trattoria Pizzeria Luzzi dal 1945 - close to Colosseum, great pasta
- Oppio Cafe - the view!
- Mimì e Cocò - carbonara and the aperitivo
- Mastrociccia Osteria Bistrot - amazing homemade pasta
- Supplizio - rustic shop for Roman street snacks
- Antico Caffè Greco - tradition, great decor, espresso for 7 euro!
- Giolitti - antic gelato and pastry shop
- Sant' Eustachio Il Caffè - best coffee in town
- Forno Cafè - our favourite, great food, delicious coffee and 5 euro aperitivo!
Venchi Cioccolato e Gelato - great gelato
The Gelatist - more gelato 🙂
Maccarone - Il Pastificio - lots of pasta
Our favourite local food
Some tips from our host Barbara:
Whether you are a Roman novice or expert, these travel trips for Rome should be followed at all times
Rome is a huge, sprawling, fantastic beast of a city. Bowls of cacio e pepe, plates of sautéed greens, huge open squares perfect for people watching, and huge, beautiful churches make it a vast metropolis, perfect for exploring (and eating). Once you’ve seen it in the flesh once, you’ll want to come back again and again. But to do that, you’re going to need to learn its rules.
1. Order coffee at the bar
You might notice people in Rome tend to order an espresso and drink it standing up, before even leaving the bar. That’s the way things are done. Italians don’t order coffee from the table and have it brought to them, and in fact, that’ll likely slap you with service charge and (some) almost double your bill. Do as the Romans do, and neck that espresso before you go anywhere.
2. Don’t order a cappuccino after noon
Have you guessed the Italians are quite particular about their coffee yet? Coffee etiquette actually makes up a fair few of the biggest culinary crimes you can commit in the capital. This one? Don’t you dare order a cappuccino after noon 🙂 Cappuccinos are thought of as heavy drinks more suitable for breakfast, and paired with a cornetto. If you’re craving one in the afternoon, order a caffè macchiato instead (but, really: do as you like!)
3. ...but gelato is acceptable any time, any season
Great news for gelato lovers. You can order one of these bad boys anywhere, anytime. Before lunch, after lunch, whatever you desire. The gelato world is your oyster in Rome, and their flavours change seasonally, so you’ll never get bored. Gourmet gelato is big in Rome. Delicious.
4. Buy bus tickets ahead of time
Rome’s public transportation may sometimes leave something to be desired, but it is still the best way (read: less stressful) to get around. Tickets are €1.50 each, or opt for a 24-hour, 48-hour or weekly ticket for a discounted price. Tickets are valid for all forms of public transportation in Rome (bus, metro, tram and local train).
You can buy tickets at any tabaccheria in the city, little convenient shops that are designated with a large T, or newsagents.
Each ticket last 100 minutes, during this time you can use as many buses you want but travel only once on trains or metro.
Please remember that you can’t buy paper tickets on the bus but you tap your credit card (one ticket per card) on the red validator on board. Paper tickets can be validated on board on the yellow validator.
Just tap your credit card, it’s the easiest way
PUBLIC TRANSPORTION INSIDER TIP
Google is your friend but www.atac.roma.it is even better.
Public transportation in Rome is known to boast little liability and buses’ gps are not always turned properly on, so Google is not always right
Use the official public transport company website at www.atac.roma.it, choose the english version > status update > forecasts < type in the bus stop number (you will find it in the left bottom corner) > get the schedule
5. Take your bus ticket straight to the beach
Speaking of public transportation, your €1.50 ticket is also valid on the local commuter trains in Rome, including a line that goes straight to the beach. You can catch a train at the Piramide Metro Station that will take you directly to Ostia Lido, Rome’s local beach. Ostia enjoys 17 km of beach clubs and free beach (the so-called “cancelli”, reached by a bus from the metro station) and is perfect for an inexpensive day trip, with some sunshine and fresh seafood.
On the way, you should also stop at Ostia Antica and visit the - amazing - archaeological site. You’ll love it. You can also pair the visit with a meal at the nearby ‘borgo di Ostia Antica” that features a couple of good restaurants.
6. Free museums on first Sundays
Rome’s state-owned museums, galleries, archaeological sites, parks and gardens are free on the first Sunday of each month, so be sure to drop by and soak in some art if you’re in town these days. Lines quickly form outside the main attractions, so plan to show up early or visit a lesser-known destination (warning: you’ll still need to pay a fee to browse through special exhibitions)
The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of each month.
7. Buy Vatican/Colosseum tickets online to skip the line
Housing one of the world’s greatest collections, the Vatican Museums are one of Italy’s most popular attractions, visited by over 5 million people annually. Though you’ll inevitably face a crowd, you can skip the long lines by purchasing your museum tickets on the Vatican website. The extra Euros for booking online are well worth the time you’ll save by not waiting in line.
8. Note museum closures
Many of Rome’s city and state-owned museums, like Galleria Borghese and Palazzo Barberini, are closed on Mondays, so plan your schedule accordingly. The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays instead, so they’re very crowded on Saturdays and Mondays; if you can, try to visit Tuesday through Friday.
9. Watch your bags
Always be mindful of your bags on public transportation and around key tourist attractions. The city is safe, but petty crime is a matter of fact, especially on crowded buses and metros. Thieves in Rome are stealthy, so
always keep your bags zipped and held in front of you; wallets should ideally be tucked in your inner jacket pockets. Some thieves also snatch bags, so keep them in close reach at all times.
10. Carry a little cash
Italy largely functions on card, however, some small cash may come handy here and there (at the market, for instance). Coins, or spicci, are especially welcome at cafés small shops so hold on to your euros – they’re a precious commodity here.
11. Tipping is not obligatory, but it’s appreciated
Tipping has not traditionally been part of the Italian culture, as service charge is generally included in the bill as the coperto (cover) or breadbasket, but leaving a few extra coins at the table is often appreciated. Depending on the final price of your meal, the level of service you received and the number of people in your party, you can leave anywhere from 5-10% on the table.
12. Dinner starts late
Drinking and dining are important rituals in Italy, and meals start later than normal (and last longer) than in other countries. In the evenings, Italians usually meet friends or colleagues for an aperitivo around 7pm, which consists of a drink and some light snacks, before going to dinner around 8-9pm. However, most restaurants welcome guests anytime, especially in the city center
13. Relish the simplicity of Italian cooking
Italian food is beloved throughout the world for its simple, nutritious and delicious ingredients, but you may feel like something is missing. There are no fancy condiments at the table, no complicated sauces and few foreign ingredients. In Italy, simplicity reigns supreme, so enjoy your meal the way it was meant to be tasted: without asking for alterations or extra ingredients.
14. If you need vegetables, look under the “contorni” portion of the menu
With pizza, pasta and pastries around every corner, Italy is a veritable carb-lover’s paradise. But, sometimes, you need a break from starchy foods. Italians are masters at preparing vegetables, too, so get your fix of sautéed greens and braised Roman artichokes under the “contorni” (or side dish) portion of the menu, which is usually listed in the back. Although large mixed salads haven’t caught on in the city, you can order a few side dishes at once if you’re trying to eat healthily. Btw: artichokes are in season throughout the winter till Easter, more or less; just for you to know in case you end up disappointed
15. Order house wine
Local house wine is one of the greatest things about dining out in Rome and across Italy. Not only is it extremely affordable, but it’s also usually quite decent. House wine is available in red or white, and you can usually order a quarter, a half or full litre of wine for under €10.
16. Dress modestly in church
Rome has over 900 churches that house some of the city’s most beautiful works of art, so don’t miss stepping inside to marvel at their treasures, whether you’re devout or not. Just be sure to dress appropriately to enter these holy spaces: women’s shoulders should be covered, and skirts should hit at or below the knee, while men should wear pants or shorts that extend to the knees. Linen pants are a great option for the summer, and a scarf is a perfect last-minute cover-up if you’re wearing a tank top.
17. Greet owners in small shops
There are many family-run artisan workshops and small boutiques in Rome, and you’ll often find the owner manning the cashier as you peruse the store. In Italy, it’s customary to greet the owner when you enter and leave the shop: they love it. When you enter, you can say “Buongiorno” until lunchtime and “Buona sera” in the afternoon and evening; when you leave, you should say “arrivederci.”
18. Wear comfortable shoes
One of the most charming aspects of Rome’s urban typography is its cobblestone streets, but uneven stones can take a toll on your feet. Wear comfortable walking shoes so you can avoid pain or injury. If you wear heels, skip the stilettos, which can get caught between the cobblestone grooves.
19. Enjoy free-flowing water
Rome may be famous for its monumental fountains like the Trevi Fountain and the Fountain of the Four Rivers, but the city is also filled with drinking fountains everywhere you look. These small fountains are affectionately called “nasoni,” or little noses, because of their curved shape. They deliver free-flowing water, gratis, so save your empty water bottles and fill them up all around town.