Rome is one of the most affordable Italian cities to fly into. Rome Fiumicino Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in all of Italy and offers more international flight options than any other airport. Rome is centrally located and also close to many of Italy’s top destinations. Italy has one of the best train networks in Europe, making places like Amalfi Coast, Florence and Cinque Terre all reachable within 4 hours.
Rome is a beautiful city and every year tourists from around the world come to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture. The city is like one huge living museum where you will find ancient history and fascinating places behind every corner.
If you want to see the main landmarks, you will need at least 2 days in Rome. Most top attractions are concentrated in the area between Stazione Termini, the city’s main transport hub, in the east, and the Vatican in the west.
To the south of the historic center, the Colosseum makes for a dramatic landmark, whilst away to the north, Villa Borghese is an extensive park, ideal for recharging your batteries.
Where to stay in Rome
We recommend you to stay near the main attractions. Our personal favorite area is in the old part of the city near the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and around Piazza Navona. We have listed the most romantic hotels with excellent location in the heart of Rome for you: The 10 Best Hotels in Rome.
By plane: The main airport is Rome Fiumicino Airport located about 30 kilometers southwest of the city center. Take the the shuttle train Leonardo Express from the arrival terminal directly to the center of Rome and the station Roma Termini. The trains are running every 20 minutes and the journey takes 35 minutes. The shuttle train costs 14 euros for a one-way ticket.
The cheapest solution is to take the shuttle bus from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome city center. There are buses leaving every 40 minutes and the travel time is approximately 50-55 minutes. A one-way bus ticket costs 6 euros.
By train: Rome is well connected by rail from all the major cities in Italy and Europe. The main railway station is Roma Termini. The high-speed trains, Frecciarossa, connect Rome and Florence in a little over an hour and a half and to Milan in three hours.
By bus: The bus companies Flixbus and Eurolines operate throughout Europe.
By car: The main road connecting Rome to the north and south of Italy is the Autostrada del Sole (highway E35), which connects with the ring road circling the city. The easiest way is to rent a car directly at the Airport upon your arrival. Arriving by car we highly recommend you to book a hotel in Rome with private parking.
Parking in Rome
The best option is to look for an accommodation in Rome that offers parking or has an arrangement with one. The biggest public garage is the Parcheggio Borghese under the Villa Borghese park in the northeast corner of town. This garage is open 24 hours and costs €18 per day.
To find cheap parking in Rome, you have to leave the heart of the city and park close to public transport. All car parks are located near metro lines A and B or next to bus lines. The Anagnina car park, located east of Rome, is one of them.
Getting around Rome
As most of the main attractions are clustered together in traffic-free zones, walking is the best way to discover the city. However, some places, like Vatican City, are pretty far from the central historic district, necessitating the use of the metro or a taxi. The metro, or Metropolitana, is the quickest way to get around via public transportation.
There are only three metro lines, and you will find stations scattered throughout the city marked by signs with a big red "M" on them. Buses are also available, but these are not recommended because of crowded conditions aboard and heavy traffic outside. A bus ticket costs the same as one for the metro, 1.50 euros, and these are available at bus terminals and convenience stores.
What to see in Rome
The Colosseum is the largest Roman amphitheatre and landmark of the city. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian (69 AD). The Colosseum could hold an estimated 65 000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles including animal hunts, executions, reenactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology.
The Roman Forum was where religious and public life in ancient Rome took place. After the fall of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little it was buried under the earth. Although in the 16th century the existence and location of the Forum was already known, it was not until the 20th century that excavations were carried out.
The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the most famous fountain in the world and a must see. Visit the Trevi Fountain during daytime or better at night for extra spectacle. When you throw your coin into the water, you should toss it over your shoulder with your back to the fountain.
The Baroque-style Piazza Navona is one of the most charming and popular squares in Rome. The most beautiful parts of the historical square are its three fountains, designed during the papacy of Gregory XIII: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana del Nettuno. The square is surrounded by restaurants and terraces giving Piazza Navona a lively and delightful atmosphere.
The St. Peter’s Square, Piazza San Pietro, is one of the largest and most famous squares in the world and houses over 300,000 people. It is located in the Vatican City near St. Peter’s Basilica. The most impressive part of the square are its 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints created in 1670 by the disciples of Bernini. In the centre of the square the obelisk and the two fountains stand out.
Visiting St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) is an unforgettable experience when staying in Rome. It is located in the Vatican City, is considered one of the Catholic Church’s holiest temples and an important pilgrimage site. Besides, it is where the Pope presides many liturgies all year round. Inside, visitors will find extremely impressive pieces of art, including The Pietà, a sculpture by Michelangelo and the statue of St Peter on his throne. One of the most impressive parts of the Basilica is its incredible dome designed by Michelangelo and continued by Giacomo Della Porta.
The Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina) is one of the greatest treasures of the Vatican City. All of the frescoes of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are the work of Michelangelo, who spent four years painting the vault between 1508 and 1512. If there is one thing that stands out from among the images on the ceiling, it is the nine stories from Genesis that occupy the central area: The scenes from the Drunkenness of Noah to the Separation of Light from Darkness are represented.
The Spanish Steps were built at the beginning of the eighteenth century and is one of the most famous parts of Rome. Every July, the square and the 135 steps are decorated to receive the Donne Sotto le Stelle fashion show. The staircase is a favorite spot among tourists to sit, relax and enjoy the views of the square Piazza di Spagna.
The Pantheon, completed in 126AD, was a Roman temple with a surprising oculus that is the building's main source of natural light. The Pantheon of Agrippa, also known as the Roman Pantheon, is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian capital. It is the best preserved building from ancient Rome. At its top, a 9 meter diameter opening allows natural light to illuminate the entire building. In the interior of the Pantheon the tombs of numerous Italian kings and a multitude of art works are found.
The Catacombs of Rome (Le Catacombe) are former underground burial grounds that date from the second to the fifth century and were principally used by Christians and Jews. The catacombs are subterranean passageways that were used as place of burial for a number of centuries.