Rome is a fascinating cit and chaotic city at the same time. It is not difficult to get caught by the magnificence of monuments, ancient buildings and grand masterpieces that make Rome a very beautiful city, worth 14 million visits every year. Wandering in the center can be fun and also educative: in the facades of the buildings, churches, squares you will find the touch of important artists that in different styles and through centuries, have shaped the old European metropolis.
But the enchantment fades as you hear cars roaring and horning, and the noise of vendors and merchants carrying out their daily businesses. But Rome is exactly all this: an open air museum, remained unchanged through times, witness of imperial and papal eras, where everyday, three million people carry out their activities animating the roads and the squares of the lively city.
All this shouldn’t let you down.. instead, get patient and keep in mind this information when planning your trip.
What to include in the program? Visit Saint Peter, the biggest Basilica on hearth, climb the 136 meters Michelangelo’s Dome. Catch the meaning of eternity in the Vatican Museums, where you will find the story of the Creation in the Sistine’s Chapel – as bright as it was just painted. Have a walk along the road leading to the Colisseum from the Imperial Forums, admire the sumptuous “Galleria Borghese”, stroll with locals in Via del Corso in the late afternoon. Plan a nice dinner in a good tipical restaurant at least once during your stay. After sunset, have a walk from Campo de’ Fiori to the Spanish Steps, thus combining Baroque Rome with the buzz of the night life. And then, do not forget to visit Pantheon, San Giovanni in Laterano, Trastevere and Testaccio, the last two neighborhoods, once considered as popular areas, have now become middle-upper level, thus loosing a bit their original colorful dimension.
Visiting the main sites
Suggestions about tickets and reservations? The majority of sights is almost empty, whereas the ones in high demand have to be reserved in advance. Following are useful contacts to make reservations at the Vatican Museums, Colisseum and Galleria Borghese.
For reservations at the Vatican Museums, the best rates are available on the official site: http://www.museivaticani.va, skip-the-line tickets. Try to avoid the last Sunday of the month, they are the busiest and you might get disappointed by this experience.
For Colisseum and Imperial Forums: http://www.coopculture.it.
Casa Heberart sells skip the line tickets for the sights above mentioned. For further information you can directly contact our Guest House.
Tickets to Galleria Borghese can be booked by telephone at the number: 0039 06 32810.
Omnia Roma Pass, 72 hours allows you to visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistin Chapel, Colisseum and the Roman Forum – skip the line tickets – receive discount on tours and other museums, get unlimited access to public transports. You can get your tickets on-line at the official site: https://www.romeandvaticanpass.com/?aid=329.
One day tours
If your stay in Rome is more than 3-4 days, evaluate the possibility to visit places outside of the city.
Ostia Antica – Ancient Ostia, the harbour of once Imperial Rome surely deserves a visit. To reach Ostia, you can take the train from San Paolo Station – next to Piramide Metro Station, departing every 15 minutes. The trip is 25 minutes. Upon arrival, pass the pedestrian bridge and go straight till the sight. Tickets are the regular ones for Rome transport. If you are driving, take the ” Via del Mare” – the road leading to the sea side.
Tivoli, declared World Human Heritage site by UNESCO, hosts two very important sites: Adrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este, the latter famous for its sumptuous fountains and gardens. To reach Tivoli, you can take “Cotral” buses departing every 20 minutes from Ponte Mammolo Metro Station, or take a train leaving from Tiburtina Station every hour. Cost of the ticket: around 2,20 €.
The small urban conglomerates of “Castelli Romani” – “Roman Castles” are very interesting to see. Frascati hosts Tuscolano Museum, located in the ex-stables belonging to the noble Aldobrandini’s family. Castel Gandolfo is very popular as it has been the Popes’ summer residence for ages; the Pope’s Palace is in Piazza della Libertà.
To get to the Roman Castles, there are trains departing from Termini and Tiburtina Stations every hour.
For those who want to travel farther, several tour operators propose one day trip to Pompei, return. The trip includes transportation, a visit to the site, lunch at a nearby restaurant, a short tour in Naples and a drive back to Rome. Casa Heberart is an authorized reseller of “all inclusive” packages.
Casa Heberart is literally a few steps away from “the shopping triangle”, the area within Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps (see http://www.casaheberart.com/en/where-we-are/).
In Via del Corso, you will find affordable brands, whereas between Via del Corso and Piazza di Spagna – the Spanish Steps are famous Haute-Couture shops like Gucci, Armani, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Valentino, Bulgari. If you have a limited budget, “window-shopping” is worth a walk.
Via de’ Condotti is certainly a reknowned Luxury street, with Bulgari, the famed jewelry, among the most representative boutique, and one which financed the renovation of the Spanish Steps.
Markets and fairs
Porta Portese is the biggest open market in the city, where you can find clothes, antiques, kitchenware, bags and other things. Open only on Sundays until 14.00. Psst: get there early to get the best deal of the day.
Produce markets give a fun and colorful atmosphere to the city. The Mercato Trionfale in Prati neighborhood, Mercato Esquilino in Via Filippo Turati (Vittorio Emanuele Metro Station) and Testaccio market are the biggest ones.
Eating well in the neighborhood of the Dolce Vita might result challenging sometimes, in the city center you can find many touristic places, but not everyone is recommendable.
Sofia is a small elegant and intimate restaurant. It serves dishes from the local and broader Italian tradition. Address: Via di Capo le Case, 51, Tel: 0039 06 89873857.
That’s Amore has a nice atmosphere evoking the Dolce Vita in photos and musics. Surely a place where to eat local dishes. The restaurant is always crammed with tourists and locals, better to reserve in advance… Address: Via in Arcione, 115, Tel: 0039 06 679 0302.
Colline Emiliane, is a place with a history. Recently renovated, it served dishes from Emilia Romaglia – Italian Northern region, with stuffed handmade pasta and pork meat. Don’t miss the cured meat and cheeses antipasti. Better book in advance. Address: Via degli Avignonesi, 22, telephone number: 0039 06 4817538.
Antica Enoteca, is a Wine Bar with a unique atmosphere, serves more than 60 types of wine by the glass. Share a €14 antipasti dish or choose from the many options offered in the menu. Look out for the “piatto unico” of the day. Both in-door and out-door areas are pleasant. Address: Via della Croce, 76B, tel: 0039 06 679 0896.
For a stand-up meal there are several shops in Via della Croce. The mini-supermarket “Coop” is at number 48. Focacci at number 43has an enticing counter of cured meats and cheeses; Salsamenteria F.lli Fabbi prepares sandwiches with the products displayed on the counter, and price them by weight.
Venchi, at number 25 in the same street, serves ice-cream in many shapes; Pompi at the number 82, auto proclaimed the kingdom of Tiramisù, proposes the dessert in strawberry, pistacchio and classical flavors.
N.B.: for reservations to restaurants prior to your arrival, Casa Heberart is glad to assist.