Rome Travel Tips

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Where should I stay in Rome?

Rome Hotels

The best Rome hotels fill up quickly, so it's a good idea to book your hotel room as soon as you begin planning your Rome vacation, that way you can ensure the best room possible. Rooms in hotels closer to the center of city tend to be more expensive, with the price gradually decreasing the farther out you get. As a general rule you want to look for hotel rooms east of the Tiber River and west of Station Termini.

One huge bonus of booking a hotel room in the center of town is that you can walk to most of the Rome tours and attractions you might be interested in seeing. While there is public transportation in Rome it can often be much quicker and easier to walk to attractions if you're staying in a hotel nearby.

When should I plan my Rome vacation?

When to plan a Rome Vacation

Most people choose to plan their Rome vacation during the Spring and Fall making those months very crowded in the city. Rome is very busy from Easter through October of each year. So if you decide to travel to Rome during those months go prepared to spend a lengthy time in lines and be surrounded by a substantial amount of other tourists.

Many of the locals will leave town for vacations during summer months, making it the perfect time to travel to Rome, while the city is less crowded. Keep in mind, however, that a good deal of restaurants and shops in Rome are closed during the month of August. If you do decide to travel to Rome during the summer, you should know that the city will be extremely hot. The best way to deal with the heat is to start your day very early (before the sun is up) and then take a break at the hotel in the early afternoon, when the sun is its hottest, before heading out again in the evening.

If you're very interested in shopping or trying out a variety of restaurants then you may want to plan your trip before or after August so the majority of the places you want to visit are open for business. Christmas can also be a great time to visit Rome, as not many tourists are in the city during the winter months, which can make it the perfect time to visit museums and sites without having to wait in long lines. Not a bad way to spend the Holidays, is it?

What can I see at the Pantheon?

Pantheon Tours

The Pantheon was originally built in 10 B.C. as a temple. The word Pantheon actually means "Temple to all the Gods" in Greek. The original temple was burned down in 80 A.D. and was replaced by Domitian. The second temple burned down 40 years later in 120 A.D. and was replaced by Hadrian.

From the outside the Pantheon doesn't look all that impressive. Inside, however, there is a spectacular dome with an opening at the top called the Oculus (meaning eye in Latin) that is exposed to the sky. The Pantheon was given to the Christian church in 609 A.D. and has since been taken care of by Popes who have kept it in very good condition.

There are a good deal of Pantheon tours available for Rome travelers, and the average tour will take half an hour to complete. Some hotels offer its guests Pantheon tours for free!

What can I see in ancient Rome?

Touring Ancient Rome

Touring ancient Rome can usually be done in a day's time. The tour is usually better done in the late afternoon so you can avoid the crowds and the heat. The majority of the museums in the area will stay open until 9pm and the city monuments are magnificent site after nightfall.

Rome's capital hill Campidoglio is a great place to start your tour of ancient Rome. The hill is the home of Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio and Palazzo Senatorio, the ceremonial city hall. Your next stop in ancient Rome should probably be the Musei Capitolini, a museum holding a great deal of sculptures and Baroque paintings. The national church of Italy, the Santa Maria di Aracoeli is also in ancient Rome and is worth a visit. A trip to ancient Rome would should also include a trip to the Roman Forum. Before you visit the forum you can get a great view of it from Belvedere Tarpeo where prisoners were dispatched in ancient times.

No tour of ancient Rome would be complete without seeing the Forum and the Colosseum. Try and allot at least an hour of time to spend in the Forum so you can explore everything. The Colosseum tour can usually be done in a half hour or less.

How do I tour the Vatican?

Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tours

A Vatican tour can often take longer than just one day to do properly and can also involve a great deal of walking. The best plan of action when planning a Vatican tour is to break your trip into two parts and visit over two days. If you do decide to do all of your touring in the same day, start as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to see everything you're interested in.

A Vatican tour usually starts with the Vatican Museums. The museums have an extensive collection of displays, and audio tours are available for visitors to explain everything in the museum. A Vatican tour then usually moves on to the Sistine Chapel and then to St. Peter's Basilica. The lines at the Sistine Chapel can often get very long. If you happen to arrive at a time when the wait is long you may want to visit St. Peter's first and then return to the Sistine Chapel to avoid the lines. The Vatican Gardens are also an important part of any Vatican trip.

The Vatican has a dress code that you will need to keep in mind when planning a trip there. Vatican visitors are not allowed to wear shorts, sleeveless tops or shirts that have words or images printed on them that may be deemed offensive. Women are also not allowed to wear miniskirts or other clothing that could be classified as “revealing.” There are custodians placed outside of the doors of the Vatican to monitor who enters. If you arrive wearing inappropriate clothing you will be asked to leave and will not be permitted to enter.

How should I plan my Roman Vacation?

Planning your Rome Vacation

There are tons of things to do and places to see in Rome. So planning your activities in advance is a good idea. With so many (seemingly endless) attractions, it can be easy to accidentally miss out, especially if your trip to Rome is a short one.

Make a list of the Rome tours and attractions you and your travel companions would like to see, and try to plan days around attractions that are close together. Many can look like they are close on a map, when they are actually far apart. Grouping together your tours can help you not squander your day walking between different locations.

If you're not good about planning, take advantage of the different Rome tours you can sign up for that will plan days out for you. In some cases tour guides will pick you up from your hotel and take you from attraction to attraction. These tours are especially helpful for first time Rome travelers. Tour guides can often tell you things and show you sites you might have otherwise missed. A ride in a tour bus can also be a lot more comfortable than walking, especially on hot summer days.

How do I travel to Rome?

Traveling to Rome

There are two airports that fly into Rome. The Leonardo da Vinci, which is also known as Fiumicino and Ciampino. If you are flying in internationally, chances are you will fly into Ciampino. Much like traveling to other areas of the world, booking your trip early can save you a great deal of money. Many websites will offer Rome travel packages that can give you discounted plane tickets and discounted Rome hotel rooms for your stay.

If you're traveling to Rome from within Italy then you will probably fly into Leonardo da Vinci. There are a few domestic flights that fly into Ciampino, but those flights are usually limited. When traveling to Rome from within Italy, you may also want to consider taking the train into the city. There are regular train routes into Rome from most major cities within Italy that can be purchase at a reasonable rate, often considerably cheaper than a flight.

There are also a considerable amount of bus routes within Italy that will bring you to Rome. If you are reasonably close to Rome the bus may be a good choice. Otherwise you may want to take a quicker train or plane ride into the city.

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