With its roots dating back to 750BC and once known as caput mundi (capital of the world), Rome offers its visitors some of the most stunning architecture and insightful glimpses into world history of any European city. Teeming with art, culture, fashion, ‘beautiful people’, pizza and pasta, a visit to Rome never disappoints.
The capital city of Italy, Rome is situated in the Lazio region of central Italy on the Tiber River with Italy itself located in Central Europe.
Rome – Before You Travel
Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, daytime temperatures in Rome average at around 20 degrees C in the summer months (May – Oct) and around 12 degrees C in the winter months of December, Jan and February. This is reflected in the amount of Rome tourists visiting during the summer months where the weather conditions are generally dry and humid.
Part of the European Union the national currency of Italy is of course the Euro. The best option when exchanging currency in Rome is to withdraw at ATM machines known as ‘Bancomat’. Even with bank transaction fees you are likely to get a better rate that most other currency exchange companies in Rome. Most Italian banks tend to only provide money exchange services to their existing customers and sadly Travellers Cheques are not widely accepted in Rome. If you do prefer to use the services of a Rome currency exchange you will most likely find them located in heavily populated tourist areas like the Vatican or the Roma Termini Station. Rome currency exchanges will usually identify themselves with the word ‘Change’, ‘Cambio’, ‘Exchange’ or sometimes ‘Wechsel’.
It is not usually required to have a visa to enter Rome as a tourist staying for less than 90 days however, it is advisable to have a minimum of six months remaining on the validity of your passport when traveling. Public transport in Rome tends to be plentiful however, if you do decide to hire a car please bear in mind that Rome visitors from outside of Europe will be required to also carry an International Driving Permit which is generally like a translation of your driving licence. This must be presented in the event of an accident or being stopped by the police in Rome. You can obtain the permit from your countries Automobile Association but please be aware it is only valid whilst driving in Rome if accompanied by your home country driving licence.
Also worth noting before you travel to Rome is that electricity is provided through wall sockets with three vertical pin holes so it is advisable to check if you will need a convertor plug before travel.
Rome Tourism – Vatican City
What makes Rome truly unique is that it houses the smallest Independent City state in Europe, The Vatican City. This is the centre of authority over the Roman Catholic church and home to The Pope. Within its tiny area of 0.44 square metres it houses an estimated one thousand residents. The Vatican City is a ‘must visit’ for any Rome visitor with the world-renowned St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica one of the world’s largest churches. Not forgetting the Vatican Museums and the world famous Sistine Chapel designed by the amazing talent of Michelangelo.
Rome – Highlights and Attractions
No tour of Rome would be complete without taking in the largest Amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire, The Colosseum or the stunning architecture of the Trevi Fountain. Another highly recommended sight is that of the Pantheon built in 126AD which is said to be the most well-preserved building from ancient Rome.
With so much to see and do in Rome it is difficult to pay homage to all the great attractions however, here are a few we felt deserve a special mention:
The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Trastevere region, Villa Borghese, Catacombs, The Arch of Constantine, Trajan’s Market, the Baths of Caracalla, Ara Pacis, the Mouth of Truth, Circus Maximus and Castel Sant’ Angelo.