How to Move Around in Rome, the Eternal City
Wondering how to move around in Rome? If you are planning a trip to the eternal city, you will need to know how to get from one point to another optimizing time so that you can see as much as possible.
I know it can be overwhelming and in this post, I will do my best to understand the best way to do that.
If you wish to check it out and follow my itinerary you can click here and see my BEST PICTURES of a week spent in Rome.
How to Move Around in Rome
My favorite way to move around in Rome is on foot. Walking around Rome is like walking in an open-air museum and is breathtaking.
This is why I always suggest staying in Rome for at least a whole week so that you can take your time and enjoy exploring each area slowly stopping by a cafe’, entering a Museum, or just walking and marveling at the stunning ancient buildings.
Underground and Busses
Although some stations look a little shabby and old, the service is quite good and helps you to hop around the city attraction when you are too tired to walk. I usually use it at the end of the day when I am truly exhausted and I start dreaming of my bed, but during the day I just walk around from one place to another, you never know what you can bump into along the way. The city is literally an open-air museum, every inch of it.
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS
Tickets are available at every underground station either with automatic machines or at a ticket counter. I
n the TABACCHERIA shops or bar that has a black and white T sign outside. (that’s an Italian thing, no worries 🙂 or the newspaper stands that you will see at every street corner of the city.
WARNING– If you are at the machines just be careful if you are approached by a kind lady or gentlemen offering some help. They are not underground agents, just beggars who are trying to make their living. Once you have your ticket they will ask you for tips.
TICKET COST: 1.5 Euro and last 1h 40″ you can use it one time only in the underground and all the times you want on the tram or busses (which I prefer since you can look out in the meantime. They are just a little slower due to traffic).
You can purchase a day pass or multiple-day pass which gives you unlimited usage for the number of days you get.
USEFUL APPS- Nowadays it is easy to move around and know where you are going through many different apps.
- GOOGLE MAP – My favorite, because once you pick one distance it will offer you also the public busses options with different itineraries, bus numbers and underground lines.
- MUOVERSI A ROMA This is in Italian but understandable and a very user-friendly app. You need to insert where you are going from and to and it will give you all the available busses, and tram and it will give you real-time timing and locations.
“ENJOY” Car Share Rental
I find it a very useful
It costs 0.25€ per minute with a one-time 10 € administrative fee. Click on this link to download the app and read the instructions.
Hop-on-and-off buses are very common but they can be expensive. There are different companies that offer this service, which offer different options.
You need to choose how many days and what itinerary are interested in and that will determine the total cost. Once you have the ticket you can hop on and off the bus any time you want in the day you booked it for.
However, keep in mind that you must stick to the company you booked with as they are not interchangeable.
I don’t have a favorite one to suggest but here below I left a few options based on the most highly rated. Make sure you check what is included, and the terms and conditions, before buying your ticket.
Rent a Vespa
Renting a Vespa can be fun, a sort of Italian dream of La Dolce Vita. However you need to keep in mind that Rome is a very chaotic city, and people drive like crazy, and the roads are not always in the best conditions.
Furthermore, there are many cobblestone roads with uneven terrain and tram lines all of which may make it challenging to whizz around the city the way you see in movie.
Not to be negative, but it may end up not so well if you are not used to this scenario as I have described above, with all the obstacles included.
If you love the idea of moving around on a Vespa in Rome, you may consider booking a guided tour, which could be fun and safe at the same time.
Here below you can find some examples of highly rated tours of Rome in Vespa.
Where to stay in Rome
There are a million accommodations in Rome as you know and various prices according to quality and most of all locations.
If you wish to have more central and luxury accommodation there is plenty of choice. I loved the one in Campo dei Fiori, in fact, called Hotel Campo de’ Fiori, it’s a small and cute property with a green facade covered with beautiful green Ivy.
If you wish to have a luxury vacation in the historical centre of the eternal city here is my choice for you:
HOTEL ALDROVANDI VILLA BORGHESE
Situated in the outskirts of the beautiful garden of Villa Borghese the hotel combines the charm of the tradition with the elegance of modern architecture and comfort all signed by the Leading Hotels of the World brand. This is where I would stay for a special occasion.
NH COLLECTION PALAZZO DEL CINQUECENTO
NH is always a guarantee of class and comfort. This property is located in a historical palace close to the beautiful church of Santa Maria Maggiore and to many other historical places, including Roma Termini station, Piazza Barberini, and many restaurants and shopping areas. The hotel counts with every facility and a beautiful rooftop terrace.
If you love small hotels, this would be your perfect choice. Signed by The Small Leading Hotels of the World, the elegant and modern boutique hotel is located at only 500 mt from Piazza di Spagna and all the most important luxury clothing brands of via Condotti and Via Vittorio Veneto.
See more hotel and apartment options in Rome
Where to eat in Rome
Food and eating habits are part of one culture and in Italy, it also characterizes the identity of one city, let alone if it is the capital. In the same way, when you travel you love to try the local specialties.
Many people say that Italians speak about food all the time and it might be certain or not, but for sure the culinary experience is an important element of who we are. We have a tradition with food and every region has its own specialty to show off, Rome is no less.
Of course, the variety of restaurants is countless.
AVOCADO BAR – I believe it is the first avocado bar in Italy or at least in Rome – it certainly offers a healthy choice of avocado base foody options, but I was disappointed because there was no sitting space.
It’s a takeaway only and located Via della Madonna dei Monti, 103
BAR SANT EUSTACCHIO – Coffee shop famed for its home-roast beans, blended with water from an ancient aqueduct. It is one of the most famous coffe’ in Rome for its old tradition and you will see it yourself for being to crowded.
GELATERIA – There have been attempts to list the best gelato shops in Rome. To me anywhere that says PRODUZIONE PROPRIA or GELATO ARTIGIANALE is a guarantee of a great product.
There is a saying that is as many Gelaterie as Churches in Rome. I am not sure whether it is true or not but for sure it will be easy to find one and whatever it is, you won’t be disappointed.
VIA DEL PIGNETO – This is a quaint and newly revamped neighborhood located at 10 minutes walking distance from us. It’s a pleasant place to have an evening stroll while looking for the perfect restaurant.
And you have quite a big range of choices, from vegan to typical Roman cuisine offering fish or meat, pasta or pizza, wine bars, and so forth. Also, it seems that here you have one of the best pizzas in Rome at “Ciak si mangia” (thin and crunchy Roman pizza)
TESTACCIO – it’s a very interesting neighborhood which, like via del Pigneto, has a history of renovations over the past 20 years. Before 2000 it was the place of the housing project which was then sold and privatized which made the popular neighbor what it is right now, vibrant and interesting, and safe to walk around.
In fact, it is full of lovely bars and restaurants via di Monte Testaccio, but one, in particular, blew my mind in the picture below.
The place is called ANGELINA; it is located in an old butcher house that has been refurbished and finely decorated. The food is local and delicious.
For further reading: At the time of the Roman Empire this area was a river port ( PORTO FLUVIALE), used for the shipping of food and different goods contained in huge amphorae. The broken amphorae were left in a specific place that is now called Monte Testaccio which is an artificial mountains made of sedimented pieces of terra-cotta. You can read here the full history.
CAMPO DEI FIORI – It’s a very peculiar square in the heart of the historical center. In the morning is full of fruit and vegetable market stands and in the late afternoon, it transforms in a quaint cool spot for dinner and aperitif.
The bars and restaurants surrounding the square layout their tables and chairs for the tourist to enjoy the cozy atmosphere, a few flower vendors bring some colors and the music plays from random artists performing in the middle of the open space.
Right close to there is also worth mentioning Piazza Farnese where Palazzo Farnese dominates the scene with its beauty, one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces of Rome was started in 1514 by Antonio Sangallo, continued by Michelangelo, and completed by Giacomo Della Porta. (sources Tourismo Roma)
VIA DEI CORONARI I discovered this quaint narrow road because I was walking from Piazza Navona to Castel Sant’Angelo, one of my favorite spots to take pictures at night. It used to be known as the street of antiques and very frequented by many antique lovers in search of that rare piece of furniture or book.
Now since that market has diminished significantly, the area has naturally turned into a fancy lane full of little wine bars and cozy restaurants.
My favorites are the ones around Piazza dei Coronari, especially in the summer sunset, it’s so refreshing to sit at the outdoor tables and sip your glass of wine while resting from your daily marathon around the city. (see picture above)
VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN TRAVELERS
On this thorough guide, you have your ultimate vegetarian guide in Rome and I am sure you will find great vegan options too.
I realized that deciding where to go and what to see in Rome can be a little overwhelming especially if you have little time available and many interests. My suggestion is to check out what’s on and plan in advance and yet leave some spare time for resting or wandering around in case something pleasantly unexpected should come up. I will leave you here with some links to the (English) sites that I found useful for my planning.
ROME ACTUALLY – A great blog from a fellow blogger and journalist. Here you will find everything you need to know about Rome.
The most important tourist attractions are bookable online so that you can avoid wasting time on the line and save it for another visit or resting in one of the cute little cafes’ you will find.
Here are some links -(click on the names to get redirected to the booking sites).
VATICAN MUSEUMS Here you can purchase your entrance ticket with or without a guide at a specific time. The pre-booking has a cost of 4 Euro but to me, it would be totally worth it.
VATICAN STATE – This is the official site of the Vatican state, for sure full of great interesting information.
ROMA PASS Here you can purchase a card for 48 or 72 hours it includes unlimited transportation and a certain number of museums, but before purchasing it make sure to verify what museums or places are involved in the initiative. It might be that what you want to see is not among those.
TICKETSROME on this site you can book different museums and places with or without guides. It looks quite interesting and useful
HISTORY OF ROME- if you are passionate about history, this site is what you need to have an intense brief on ancient Rome and the Roman Empire .
GENERAL INFORMATION on the city and its history and sites can be reached at Turismo Roma and Rome.info
Zonzo FOX application – it’s a new app useful for different Italian cities Rome included, it gives you suggested itineraries and a little briefing on what you are seeing.
USEFUL RANDOM INFORMATION ABOUT ROME
CURRENCY: EURO – in Italy we accept credit cards but for small expenses, you should have some cash with you, and also if you go shopping in the markets
CLIMATE IN ROME – Rome I have to say has a very fortunate climate, with four seasons, the summer in July and August is hot but bearable ( with some exceptions, like this year, when the heat was above any imagination) Winter is normally mild with temperatures between 10 to 15 ºC Spring and Autumn are normally the period of times with the best climate but…. see below.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ROME- Normally Spring and Autumn are considered the best season to visit because of the best climate, with mild temperature. However for this reason ROME is packed full and always about to explode. Therefore my suggestion is to pick another season like full summer and winter and enjoy the relative tranquillity of the city, almost empty museums where you can find relief either from the heat or the cold, depending on what you need.
WATER– Tap water is generally drinkable and not bad. The city is full of water fountains, not the ones like Fontana di Trevi or in Piazza di Spagna, (where I would like to remind you it is not allowed to swim in) but the small ones, where you can easily drink from. So you can refill your water to carry with you during your walks.
MARKETS – there are many interesting markets, where you can browse for fun stuff. The most popular is PORTA PORTESE on Sundays until 2 pm. Just be careful with your bags. Thieves have become quite smart.
IF YOU ARE A CAT LOVER you should visit:
1)the cat Sanctuary in Largo Argentina a beautiful square where you can admire roman ruins and at the same time visit the Cat Sanctuary located just beside it. A group of volunteers are taking care of a colony of more than 100 cats.
2) ROMEOW – a Cat bistrot located just outside the neighbourhood of Porta Portese located in VIA OSTIENSE, you can pay a visit when you visit the area including the GIARDINO DEGLI ARANCI, on the Aventino hill. You can go to the bistrot for an early dinner and then head to the garden to admire one of the most amazing sunset I have ever seen.
I am sure I am missing something out since when you know a place you tend to take everything for granted, therefore if you have any question or suggestion please do not hesitate to ask. For now ENJOY ROME!!
FOR FURTHER READING
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- 19 Things to Know Before Renting a Car in Naples in 2023
- 17 Things to Know Before Renting a Car in Milan Italy (2023)
- Best Places to Visit in Italy in October 2023
- Florence 2 Day Itinerary: What to See, Do, not to Miss