Rome is a city with plenty of attractions to visit. Worldwide famous attractions include the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon as well as the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Most of Rome's historical sites are within walking distance of one another, which makes it easier to walk around, whilst taking in the city's rich architecture and culture.
Before you get there
Italian is the official language. English is also understood.
Entry requirements for Americans: United States citizens must have a passport, but a visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: British passport holders, endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizen, or British Subject do not need a visa to visit Italy for up to 90 days. Other passport holders require a visa.
Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians must have a passport, but no visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for Australians: Australians must have a passport, but no visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans need a passport and a Schengen visa to travel to Italy.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport, but no visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
Passport/Visa Note: The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. Travellers are advised to have a return or onward tickets, all documents required for their next destination and sufficient funds to cover the period of intended stay in Italy.
New Year's Day, Epiphany (6 Jan), Easter Monday (Mar/Apr), Liberation Day (25 Apr), May Day (1 May), St Peter and Paul (29 Jun), Assumption Day (15 Aug), All Saints' Day (1 Nov), Immaculate Conception (8 Dec), Christmas Day, Boxing Day (26 Dec).
In Rome it can be very hot from the end of June with temperatures soaring regularly to 40°C by August when the city empties and many shops and restaurants shut. Winters are mild, with occasional cold snaps and rain is possible any time of year. The chilliest months are January to March, but even during these months temperatures rarely drop below 6°C. The most pleasant time to enjoy sunny, warm weather in Rome is during the spring or autumn months.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use including the European-style two-pin plug
The international access code for Italy is +39. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). All numbers must be preceded by 0, whether originating in Italy or out, unless calling a mobile phone. City/area codes are in use, e.g. 06 for Rome.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency. ATMs are widespread and banks are closed on weekends.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in September).
Getting Around – Transport
Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) – The airport is situated 19 miles (30km) southwest of central Rome.
Giovan Battista Pastine Airport (CIA) - The airport is situated nine miles (15km) southeast of Rome.
The River Tiber goes south through the city centre, with the Centro Storico (historic centre) on the left bank and Vatican City on the right bank. The Centro Storico is home to the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Piazza di Spagna, which is partly pedestrian-only. If you do need to catch a bus, the main traffic hub lies on Piazza Venezia, further north while the most convenient metro stations are Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo and Colosseo. West of the Centro Storico, on the right bank, there is the Vatican and Trastevere and to the north there is the parkland of Villa Borghese whilst to the east there is Termini train station.
Metro - The metro only has two lines, but is the easiest and fastest way to get around and is convenient for several attractions.
Taxi - You can queue for a cab at one of the numerous orange taxi stops dispersed through the city centre, or else they are best ordered by the hotel concierge or at restaurants. Taxis are notoriously expensive and display a list of surcharges.
Bus - Rome's buses are the most reliable method of getting across the city. In fact, the bus service is cheap and reliable, although it can be slow due to traffic congestion. The 110 Open is a bus service that stops at all the city's main sights, departing from Termini Station square every 20 minutes.
Foot - The most efficient way of getting around Rome is on foot, especially across the Centro Storico.
Tram - Rome's trams mainly serve suburban areas. The useful express service No 8 links the centre (departing from Largo Argentina) to Trastevere.
Transport Tips - The network of buses, trams, metro and trains covers the whole city from 5.30am to midnight (metro operates until 11.30pm) and night buses take over until about 5am covering the main routes. Tickets cover all forms of transport and must be pre-purchased (must be bought before boarding from stations, tobacconists or newspaper kiosks) and validated at the start of every journey (ticket must be stamped in the yellow machine when you board).
There are daily tickets valid for unlimited rides or standard tickets valid for one metro ride or 75 minutes on buses. Alternatively, one-day and three-day passes are available and include travel on the mainline trains to the beach in Ostia.
Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
The Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City
The Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums
Basilica di San Giovanni
Rome, being a popular city with tourists, can be quite expensive as a shopping destination. However, one can find some bargains in markets located in central Rome (operate Monday to Saturday from 7am to 1pm). On Sundays,the popular Porta Portese flea market operates from the Trastevere district.
Rome offers boutique stores for brands like Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Fendi, which can all be found in Piazza di Spagna. Rome's best jewellers, including Bulgari and Martinelli, can be found in Piazza San Silvestro, whilst in Via del Corso one can find, in addition to an assortment of clothing department stores, the flagship stores for Ferrari and Swarovski.
Food and Drink
There are three main types of restaurants in Rome. An 'osteria' offers an informal atmosphere, serving basic spaghetti meals and some wine, 'trattorie' offer large meals in a homely setting, whilst a ‘ristorante’ offers a more formal atmosphere. All three can be found in the popular Roman districts of Centro Storico, along Via Cavour and around Stazione Termini, whilst the Borgo district near the Vatican offers the cheapest options in Rome.
As in most Italian cities, a typical meal is accompanied with a delicious bruschetta and cheeses, and the most popular dishes are pastas and pizzas.
Nightlife in Rome is an informal, laid-back one, whereby people like to sit at cafés or restaurants enjoying lots of food, wine and coffee. Campo dei Fiori, the Piazza Navona area and Trastevere are some of the best places for bars and cafés, while the Testaccio and Ostiense districts are better for nightclubs.
For more information on nightlife in Rome, check out Roma C’è and TrovaRoma (free with La Repubblica newspaper).
Villa Adriana, Tivoli
Villa d'Este, Tivoli
Gardens and medieval town of Ninfa
United States Embassy, Rome: +39 06 46741.
British Embassy, Rome: +39 06 4220 0001.
Canadian Embassy, Rome: +39 06 85444 1.
Australian Embassy, Rome: +39 06 852 721.
South African Embassy, Rome: +39 06 852 541.
Irish Embassy, Rome: +39 06 697 9121.
New Zealand Embassy, Rome: +39 06 441 7171.
Rome Emergency Numbers
Emergencies: 112 (Police); 118 (Ambulance)