Rome: tips and information for your stay
Everything you need to know about your stay in Rome and many insider tips and information can be found here:
Arrival by car:
Rome can be reached either from the German speaking area over the Brenner, the Tauernautobahn motorway and the St. Gotthard Tunnel. The motorways in Austria, Switzerland and Italy are subject to charges. In Austria and Switzerland you will need a vignette; in Italy, the fees are paid directly at toll points. Especially in the summer months, where the highways are crowded by many tourists especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays you should expect delays.
Generally, arriving by car is not recommended, as many roads in Rome are closed to motor traffic and the availability of parking spaces in the city is not very good. If you are arriving by car then you should definitely look for a parking space at the hotel and visit Rome by public transport.
Arrival by plane:
Approximately 35 kilometres southwest of Rome is the international airport "Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino" (FCO), and 15 kilometres southeast of the city is the airport, "Giovan Battista Pastine Campino" (CIA). Both are connected with most of the German cities as well as Vienna and Zurich by regular flights. Trains and shuttle buses run regularly between the airport and Rome. The journey takes between 30 and 50 minutes.
Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino
Via dell'Aeroporto Tues Diumicino 320
Aeroporto Ciampino Giovan Battista Pastine
Via Appia Nuova 1651
00040 Roma Ciampino
Arrival by train:
Coming from abroad you will reach Rome at the Termini Station. Coming from Southern Italy or if you would like to continue there, the Tiburtina train station is the best choice. From both stations there are regular bus, subway and taxi connections into the city centre. From all major cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are direct connections to Rome.
Piazza dei Cinquecento
Piazzale della Stazione Tiburtina
Night owls and party animals will feel quite at home in Rome. Nightclubs and trendy restaurants offer - as anywhere in Europe - rollicking entertainment until the wee hours. Before that, you can meet in cafes and bars at crowded places and enjoy the beautiful evening mood in good company. Hot spots for nightlife are the Corso between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon as well as Trastevere.
Food & Drink
Since ancient times, Rome has offered a vast selection of restaurants and eateries. From small food stalls through gourmet temples to the classic "feeding points" for crowds, you can really see everything. In terms of prices you are usually in better hands the farther away you are from the centre and the large crowds of tourists. There you can find really nice little restaurants with reasonable prices and good food. As in other places in Italy in Rome dinner starts at 7 p.m. at the earliest. Breakfast is usually skipped and lunch is usually a bit smaller than dinner.
More information about the Roman cuisine and many recipes can be found at Culinary specialities in Lazio.
Festivals & Events
In Rome, there is always something to celebrate and to experience. Numerous festivals and events throughout the year enliven the streets and squares of the Italian capital and attract many tourists. Whoever dwells in Rome at the right time should definitely attend one of the highlights of the Roman festival calendar:
"Epifania” (Epiphany): Children's Festival at Piazza Navona on 6th January. The witch Befana rides on her broom in the square and distributes sweets to the good children and coal to the bad ones.
Carnival in Rome: Over 500 years old, it was revived only in the last few years and is celebrated in style nowadays.
"Santa Francesca Romana": Car blessing on 9th March in front of the Colosseum. Afterwards a chorus of car horns by the motorists takes place.
"San Giuseppe": On the day of St. Joseph, on 19th March, small pancakes (Fritelle) are sold throughout the city.
International Rome marathon in late March.
"Serrimana della Cultura": A Cultural Week in late March, in which all museums are open to visit for free.
"Festa della Primavera: Spring Festival, where the Spanish Steps sinks in a sea of azaleas.
Maundy Thursday: In the Lateran Basilica, the Pope washes the feet of 12 people.
Holy Week: Solemn worship of the Pope on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday
Good Friday: The Pope goes through the 14 Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum.
Easter Sunday: Urbi et Orbi blessing of the Pope from the balcony in St. Peter.
Birthday of Rome: On 21st April the Romans celebrate the foundation of their city. Numerous competitions, concerts and theatre performances take place in Rome. In the Piazza del Campidoglio you can admire great evening fireworks.
"Concorso Internazionale Ippico di Roma": Large, international equestrian tournament in the Piazza di Siena in the Villa Borghese (last weekend in May).
"Festa di San Giovanni": Midsummer Eve celebration at the Lateran with pork roast dinner, music, dancing and a big fireworks display on 24th June.
"Estate Romana" (Roman Summer): concerts, dance, theatre and film performances and exhibitions throughout the summer at the Piazza di Siena in the Villa Borghese.
"Festa de'Noiantri": town festival around the 15th July on the Viale di Trastevere with fireworks and pork roast dinner.
"Festival di Musica e Arte Sacra": In the Vatican, as well as the most beautiful basilicas in Rome concerts of famous musicians from around the world take place.
Christmas market on Piazza Navonna (mid-November to 6th January).
"Immacolata Concezione": papal fair in Piazza di Spagna on 8th December.
Christmas fair on 24th December in St. Peter's Basilica.
Christmas fair in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by a speech by the pope from the balcony.
Medical emergency services in Rome can be reached by using the emergency number 118.
The city of Rome is partially closed to traffic and passable only with special permits. The arrival to and departure from the hotel are excluded if they happen to be located in this zone. Generally parking spaces in Rome are very rare. In any case, you should only park in secure parking areas and respect the no parking signs. Even though the Romans usually park crisscross, illegal parked cars are still towed consistently.
Prices and discounts
Besides numerous combo tickets to several attractions, Rome offers two worthwhile tourist cards that pay off especially during an extended visit to the Italian capital. The "Roma Pass" (www.romapass.it) which entitles you to free use of public transport. In addition, you can visit 3 of the 40 participating museums for free - all others grant discounted tickets. The Roma Archeologia Card also includes important archaeological sites - including the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla.
Rome with kids
For children, there is much to discover in Rome. Numerous parks and playgrounds offer plenty of space to run around and many excavations and museums offer a lot of information for children and partly special guided tours. Also well worth a visit are the zoo and the botanical garden. The Romans themselves are very fond of children, including in restaurants.
You’ll be spoiled for choice if you wish to bring back a souvenir from Rome. Rome is famous for its fashion, which can be bought in all varieties in many department stores and boutiques. There are many high-end boutiques in Rome, antique shops and jewellers, who offer everything your heart desires. Accordingly, prices also vary. If you have a well-stocked wallet then you’ll be in paradise here.
Guided city tours
Whether you want to explore Rome on your own or prefer a guided tour - there are countless ways to do so in the Italian capital. The bus lines 64 and 40 Express ride from the train station to St. Peter's basilica and allow you to hop on or hop off at 18 or 5 stations. The bus lines 116 to 119 are the best for a small city tour through the historic centre. The Archeobus runs hourly between the main train station and the Via Appia Antica. If you prefer a double-decker open-top, bus line 110 will be the bus line of your choice.
Basically, Rome is considered to be relatively safe. You don’t have to worry any more than anywhere else and you can walk on the road safely at any time day or night. However, do not leave any valuables in your car always be alert so as to ward off pickpockets especially if you’re walking around areas with lots of people. However, should something happen, a lot of police officers in Rome are usually on hand to help.
More facts about Rome and tips for your stay in Italy can be found in the General Information about Italy.