What to see in Rome in three days, what a tourist needs to know, safety tips, where to stay, how to get to the Vatican and Rome museums without waiting in line. In this guide, we will share with you our “well-trodden” and proven itineraries for exploring Rome. The capital of Italy for us is one of the most romantic cities in Europe. This is a real open-air museum – the “eternal city”. The ancients said: “all roads lead to Rome.” The capital of Italy is a must-have for every traveler.

Rome is a city on seven hills: Capitol, Palatine, Aventin, Esquiline, Celius, Quirinal, Viminal.

 The city is divided into two parts by the Tiber River. The left-bank part is the place of the ancient city, the right-bank is called Trastevere, here in antiquity, visiting guests settled. On the right bank of the Tiber is also the Vatican, the smallest state in the world, the capital of the Catholic world.

Rome won our hearts with a wonderful combination of antiquity, Renaissance art, sophistication of different styles of architecture, classical music that sounds in the subway, from the windows of cars and buses (we didn’t hear chanson and pop music), romance, delicious Italian national cuisine, emotional and pleasant people . Rome has its own special atmosphere and unique energy. It is very diverse and every traveler will perceive the capital of Italy in its own way.

Arch of Constantine
Arch of Constantine

Car rental.

Do I need to rent a car. Just to visit Rome you do not need to rent a car. It is more economical and more convenient to combine public transport with hiking in the city. Car rental is suitable if you plan to travel outside of Rome. Favorably and cheaply you can rent a car on the Rentalcars website. This service compares car rental prices at reputable companies and helps you choose the best option.

st. Angelo bridge - Tiber river
St. Angelo bridge – Tiber river

Hotels in Rome

In Rome there are no problems with hotels, as a rule, you can find options for absolutely every taste. However, do not think that you will definitely live in spacious mansions. As a rule, rooms in metropolitan hotels are tiny, the atmosphere is spartan: the room will have a bed, a wardrobe, and a desk and other “excesses” are a rarity.

In cheap hotels (at a price of 60-80 euros per room) you will most likely not even be offered breakfast. However, in the Italian capital, this problem can be solved in a couple of minutes: you will definitely find a nice cafe around the corner where you can enjoy a cup of the best coffee in your life. If you want to live in more comfortable conditions – you expect that the hotel will cost more than 100 euros per night.

The concept of a “tourist center” in the Eternal City is vague. Therefore, if you are advised by some hotel, be sure to look at the map: it is likely that it is on the edge of civilization, but close to some sometimes ruinous ruins, which allows you to write in advertisements about proximity to the “historical center”.

Also, you should be wary if the travel agency offers you a hotel at the Coliseum: they try to seduce you with a loud name, but, in fact, this is not the best area to stay, because besides the ancient amphitheater there is nothing more interesting there, but far from the center.

Expensive and convenient

Do you prefer to live in the center so that in 5 minutes you can be at the Spanish Steps and the fountain de Trevi? Then search for hotels around Piazza Navona. Please note that hotel prices in this area are higher than the average for the capital – for 90-100 euros you will get a tiny, not very clean room, and more or less decent options start at 120 euros per room, there is no upper limit.

This area is full of shops (nearby the main shopping street, Via del Corso) and restaurants (sometimes designed for visitors and offering rather tasteless dishes). By the way, it will not be possible to save on food by buying food in supermarkets, they simply are not there, so you will have to constantly visit the cafe. So is it worth it to overpay and live on a tourist reservation?

A little cheaper cost of living in the vicinity of the Vatican. This region has a lot of advantages: sights, beautiful views, but there are also disadvantages – there are too many tourists, the entire service (as well as the prices) are focused on them, that is, you will have to constantly overpay for food, and all of it is Roman, not Vatican, interesting places. – far away.

pantheon
Pantheon

Cheap and unsafe

The cheapest thing in the center is to find a haven at the Roma Termini station, where hundreds of different hotels await tourists. It is convenient to get there from the airport, from there you can easily walk to the main curious places or drive 2-3 metro stations.

Termini will appeal to enthusiastic shopaholics, as he begins Via Nazionale – another popular “shopping street”. Most hotels in these places are inexpensive. You can easily find a room for 55-70 euros, but, of course, in such a room you will expect a minimum of furniture and amenities.

Carefully read reviews about hotels so that your temporary home does not have at least mold and cockroaches, which, alas, is not uncommon.

Obvious minuses: this is not the cleanest area, besides it is considered not very safe, there are many colored people, emigrants, the Roman “Chinatown” is located here, so with the onset of dusk you may be uncomfortable there. The most disadvantaged quarters are located south of the station, towards the Coliseum, we definitely do not recommend living there.

An alternative for budget vacation lovers is to look for a hotel in the suburbs of Rome. As a rule, they manage to find options for less than 50 euros per night, but you should immediately add the fare, because you will have to get to the center by train or by bus. The long journey will be especially difficult in the evening, when after running around the museums I don’t feel like spending an hour hustling in transport.

Reasonable compromise

You should not put an end to all the surroundings of Termini, not far from the station there are pretty good places – towards Republic Square.

Thrifty tourists can take a closer look at the San Giovanni area or, on the other hand, at Piazza Bologna. You can find good value-for-money hotels near Via Veneto, from where you can walk to the Trevi Fountain in less than a quarter hour.

Those who love bohemian areas with an active nightlife, lots of bars and restaurants will enjoy the Trastevere district, which is located in the narrow “typically Italian” streets, not far from the Vatican, on the banks of the Tiber, opposite the main attractions. Prices are average, reasonable hotels cost 70-120 euros per night, but there are many cafes working “for local” around where you can eat tasty and inexpensive, although you will have to walk about 30 minutes to the center.

Trevi fountain
Trevi fountain

Public transport in Rome.

In the capital of Italy it is convenient to travel by public transport: buses, metro, trams, commuter trains. At the stop of the tram or bus there is a board with transport numbers and points of its route. It is difficult to get lost))) From Fiumincino airport to the center of Rome, simply get by train or bus. Travel time is about 35-40 minutes.

The metro in Rome has 3 lines: A, B and B1, C. Outside of Rome, for example, the underground metro line goes to the beaches of Lido di Ostia. We cannot say that the subway in Rome is beautiful. It is decorated simply, without designer frills, is perceived as a regular means of transportation.

Metrebus (or BIT) Rome public transport tickets are valid for all its forms. The metro, bus, tram, as well as the Roma-Lido, Termini-Giardinetti and Roma-Civitacastellana-Viterbo commuter trains make up the ATAC transport company. Company website http://www.atac.roma.it – ​​there are current prices and transport routes. A ticket for 100 minutes costs 1.5 euros, it can be used to take the metro once, including transitions from branch to branch, and many times during this limited time change to different bus and tram routes.

altar of the fatherland
altar of the fatherland

Ticket price with an unlimited number of trips: for 1 day – 7 euros, for 48 hours – 12.5 euros, for 72 hours – 18 euros and for a week – 24 euros. The ticket must be validated, from this moment the countdown of its action begins.

Useful advice: It is advantageous to purchase tickets for an unlimited number of trips for any type of public transport in Rome. We bought 72-hour tickets at the metro ticket office and traveled 3 days in Rome by metro, buses and commuter train to the town of Lido di Ostia to swim in the sea. In our case, when the hotel was on the outskirts of the city, this is an economical option.

But, if your hotel is close to the center, then there is no need to buy a travel card with an unlimited number of trips. After all, Rome is a compact city convenient for tourists. You come to one “point”, inspect everything around on foot and drive back.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus buses also run in Rome (tickets from 24 euros per 24 hours). There is also such an offer – Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour “Museum Express” – a blue bus that passes through the most popular museums in Rome. The price depends on the route and time of action (24, 48 or 72 hours). As for me, it makes sense to take such a bus if you plan to visit Rome for only a few hours or one day and want to quickly see the main attractions of the city. Walking and using public transport is also a great opportunity to see Rome. After all, it is always interesting to find out what real Rome lives in, and not a showy one – tourist.

Roman forum
Roman Forum

Maps of Rome, guides, phrasebooks.

Maps of Rome, as well as the schedule of upcoming events in the city, can be taken for free at any tourist office.

Useful advice: We noticed that in any country they are very friendly to tourists who speak or at least try to say a few words in the local language.

Before going to Rome, we stocked up with an Italian phrasebook. He helped us on this trip, although in the city center you can easily ask for directions in English.

Also purchased a guide to Rome with a map. He helped us with our itineraries in Rome. In it, we added the necessary places or coordinates with a pen.

navona-square
Navona square

Food and water in Rome. Restaurants in Rome

Bravo! Benissimo! Fantastico! Wa Bene! – And many more such words I want to say in honor of Italian cuisine. This is my favorite cuisine: pizza, lasagna, ravioli, pasta, risotto, minestrone and dessert tiramisu, panakota, gelato, Italian coffee, fine wines and liquors, different types of cheeses.

Where to eat in Rome. There are no problems with this in the capital of Italy. There are many restaurants, cafes, osteria, trattorias, pizzerias, gelateria. It’s better not to go to a tourist place, but to the place where the majority of locals are. Usually they are a little further from the center. Prices are cheaper and the food is delicious authentic. Restaurants in Italy are expensive and prestigious places, cafes are usually self-catering, trattorias, pizzerias and osteria are places with affordable prices and Italian cuisine. (although you need to be careful, sometimes expensive restaurants can be called Trattoria or Osteria). Usually, when entering a cafe or trattoria, a menu with prices is posted.

Useful advice: In Italy, an unwritten rule applies: If you drink coffee at the bar, then the price is one. But as soon as you sit down at the table and the waiter serves you, the invoice for the order increases almost 3 times. After all, the fee for serving and serving is included in this bill. For example, a cup of coffee latte in the castle of St. Angel at the bar cost 1.5 euros, and at a table in a romantic setting and with views of Rome – 3.5 euros.

Useful advice: In Rome, you can drink water from fountains. It is absolutely safe and very convenient. The only thing is that the water is very cold. You can always freshen up, get water in a bottle and wander on, getting to know this unique city.

Interestingly, in ancient Rome, a real water supply was built. Fountain – means “source.” Once the fountains served only to supply the Romans with water and did not jet up. From the hillsides along the long aqueducts, water was supplied to Rome. At the same time, it underwent a triple filtration: it was cleaned with coal, sand, and then herbs. Therefore, the Romans did not suffer from gastric diseases due to poor-quality water. In the 4th century, there were more than 800 fountains in the city, and a hundred more worked.

сoliseum
Coliseum

Shopping in Rome.

Italy is one of the trendsetter countries. Rome is a city where acquaintance with unique historical, cultural and architectural sights is perfectly combined with shopping. Boutiques of famous designers can be visited while walking along the streets of Rome. In addition, the capital of Italy has large shopping centers and outlets in the country.

Schedule of shops in Rome from 9-00 to 19-00 or 20-00. In many, except for outlets and shopping centers, there is a break from 13-00 to 15-00 (siesta)) and a day off (or short day) on Sunday.

The inscription “Skonti” means “discounts” in Italian. The season of big discounts for the most economical purchases happens in the winter in January-February, and in the summer in July-August. 

During the sales period, prices fall by 50-70%. In stores labeled Tax Free, foreign buyers are entitled to receive a VAT tax refund for purchases from 155 euros and above. For this, a special ticket is issued. At customs, in a special window for tax free payments, it is provided with a check and unpacked purchases. (It is better to arrive at the airport earlier, because there can be a large queue of people who want to). Sometimes, right in the shops, the owner or seller immediately makes a discount.

Expensive and respectable boutiques are located next to Plaza de España (Spagna Metro Station) on Condotti, Gregoriana, Babuino, Borgognona, Frattina. Brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Tods, Trussardi, Dolce & Gabbana and many other famous fashion houses are represented here.

Shops in the middle price range with more affordable prices can be found Via Nazionale (- on this street there are many shops with a good selection of leather goods and fur coats), Via del Corso, Via Barberinini, Via Vittoria, next to the Vatican and Ottaviano- Via Cola metro station di Rienzo.

For shopping in Rome, the large shopping centers Oviesse, Coin, Euroma, Upim, La Rinascente, Galleria Alberto Sordi are also popular. They work on Sundays, and there is no break for a siesta in these shopping centers. As well as in outlets.

Outlets in Rome are entire towns outside the city. You can call here almost half a day.

Outlet “Castel Romano” is located 25 km from Rome. It presents last year’s collections of elite and mass-market brands with discounts: Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Fendi, Armani and other well-known brands. A bus runs regularly from Termini train station and from Risorgimento Square to Castel Romano.

Outlet Valmontone is popular among the local population, located 40 km from Rome. It contains goods of the middle price range, but at the same time of excellent Italian quality. 

Such brands of clothes and shoes as Baldinini, Twin Set, From By Vestebene, Kocca, Feyem, Manila Grace are presented. The bus to Valmontone Outlet also leaves from Termini Railway Station.

The Techer Outlet is conveniently located in the center of Rome. It is close to Piazza di Spagna and Via del Corso. In this outlet, the brands are actually the same as in Castel Romano. In Techer, you will find discounts on clothes, shoes and accessories from such well-known brands as Armani, D&G, RoccoBarocc, Gigli, Fendi, Versace.

street in front of the Spanish Steps
street in front of the Spanish Steps

Safety in rome

Do not carry all money, cards and documents with you. Leave in the hotel safe. Always make photocopies of passports and visas at home. Travel with photocopies of documents in your backpack. Do not just put the bag over your shoulder, but at the ready — over your neck and shoulder so that it’s impossible for passing or running “scammers” to remove your bag on the go.

How tourists are bred for money is a separate issue. For example, gladiators near the Coliseum. We read about this before going to Rome on many sites and decided not to deal with such “photo-gladiators” at all. You do not have time to look back, but already have a good amount of money for a photo with arrogant “legionnaire muzzles”. How does this happen? Agree on the price of one photo. During the filming, the “gladiator”, while you are in the “tourist nirvana”, quickly changes your poses, hands you a sword, a shield and … bills for several photos, instead of one. The second type of “gladiatorial” divorce – during the photo session several more “legionnaires” run up to you. Now you have to pay extra for each photo separately.

And such a “divorce” for money was already observed near the Coliseum. We approached the fountain in the Roman forums to drink water. Here we look a man draws water in half-liter bottles. There were 10-15 pieces. We think, probably, he is trying for his entire tourist group. Well done))) BUT … when we approached the Coliseum, we saw how this “caring” peasant was selling vengeance water from the freezer in the same bottles. The heat is unbearable, tourists are happy to buy bottles of ice. This is a business !!!

We read a lot about the fact that Roman taxi drivers cheat and require significantly more money for travel than we agreed at the beginning. We have not encountered such a phenomenon. On the contrary, taxi drivers not only didn’t tip, they even made a discount for us, but along the way they also talked about the city.

And yet – do not buy tickets to the Coliseum (with a promise to go without a queue) from the hands of illegal guides in the Coliseum. I wrote about this below in the first day route.

stone pine tree
stone pine tree

Sights of Rome

The capital of Italy was pleasantly surprised by its compactness. Attractions are located at every step and close to each other. This is very convenient for the traveler, because to see the most interesting you do not need to go from one end of the city to the other. We enjoyed wandering around the picturesque Roman streets and beautiful squares with fountains, enjoying the atmosphere of the “eternal city”.

And when the brain already refused to perceive the architectural masterpieces and ancient sights of Rome, it’s time to treat yourself to delicious Italian dishes, pizza, lasagna, pasta, wines or gelato ice cream.

We built our acquaintance with the capital of Italy according to this principle: we arrive by metro to one point in Rome and inspect everything that is nearby. These routes turned out for three days.

spanish steps
Spanish steps

Route walks in Rome. The first day.

Colosseum Square – Palatine Hill – Roman Forums – Amphitheater Colosseum – Partnership Forums – Venice Square – Capitol Hill

The route takes all day. Starts from Colosseo Metro Station and Colosseo Square and ends on Capitol Hill. It is dedicated to ancient Rome.

The famous Colosseum amphitheater impresses with its scale, grandeur and … a huge winding line of tourists to the box office. Here, besides the “gladiators”, illegal guides may come up with an offer for denyuzhku (in addition to the ticket price) to visit the Colosseum without waiting in line. Another deception of gullible tourists.

Useful advice: How to get to the Coliseum without waiting in line

The secret is simple. Single tickets are sold to the Palatine Hill, the Roman Forums and the Coliseum. The cost of 12 euros. The ticket is valid for 2 days, but on it you can visit these attractions only once. At the box office of the Coliseum is the largest line. A single ticket can also be bought at the box office of Palatine, the box office of the Roman Forums, and can also be booked online at the Colosseum website -www.coopculture.it/en/luoghi.cfm. (but on the site the surcharge for booking is 2 euros).

We bought single tickets at the box office of Palatine and began our walk through the antiquities of Rome from this hill. It’s easy to find the Palatine ticket office: follow the Arch of Constantine in the Coliseum, follow Via di San Gregorio following the signs for Monte Palatino. Before us at the box office Pilatino was only 5 !!! person. (at a time when the queue at the Coliseum totaled about a hundred tourists). Ticket offices of the Roman forums are located on the street. Via Sacra and on the street Largo Romolo e Remo.

roman aqueduct
roman aqueduct

The route is very interesting. A sea of ​​impressions for lovers of antiquities and history. One of his drawbacks is “overload” at the end of the day.

Palatine Hill. It is nice to wander through the ancient ruins to the loud singing of cicadas. Pini- Italian pines create a special flavor.

Roman forums. View from the Palatine Hill. The forum was the center of the cultural and political life of ancient Rome.

Coliseum. It is very interesting to see this building from the inside.

Geographical maps with the history of the Roman Empire. Placed on the wall of the Basilica of Maxentius. This is on the back of the forums. You can find them by moving along Via dei Fori Imperiali from Coliseum Square to Venice Square.

Imperial forums. Trajan’s market and the tower of the Police.

Venice Square and Altar of the Fatherland. This monumental building, Italians are often called “typewriter” or “wedding cake.”

Capitoline Square. The Palace is the Senatori. Here is the city hall of Rome.

borghese gallery
Borghese gallery

Route walks in Rome. Second day.

Vatican (St. Peter’s Basilica and Museums) – Castle of the Holy Angel – St. Angel’s Bridge – Piazza Navona – Pantheon

An all-day full-day walk in Rome.

Useful advice: How to skip the line at the Vatican Museums.

The answer is simple! This will help online booking of tickets on the official website of the Vatican Museums – www.mv.vatican.va, on this page – www.biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking. Buy a ticket in advance. This can be done 60 days before visiting museums. Enter all the people who plan to go to museums with you, select the date and time of the visit. The price is 16 euros + 4 euros for booking, i.e. only 20 euros. You pay by credit card and immediately after that you will receive a voucher with a QR code on your email. Entrance to museums by e-mail vouchers. 

In an hour !! before the scheduled time, go to the right of the main line and the main entrance, present a printed voucher (you can also show your QR code on a tablet or phone, the main thing is that the code is well read) and an identification card. After scanning the code, you are handed a standard ticket to the Vatican Museums. Come out of turn.

the baths of caracalla
the baths of Caracalla

How to skip the line in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is free. (Paid – a museum inside the Cathedral and the ascent to the dome). But at the same time, to get to St. Peter’s Basilica, you need to defend a long line at any time of the year. She “curls” around St. Peter’s Square. It moves fast, but with so many people, it will take at least two hours to defend. But here there is an opportunity to go without a queue. There is a paid service – “Visiting St. Peter’s Cathedral without a queue.” The cost of saving your time is from 15 euros. The price includes an audio guide.

The Vatican is the smallest state in the world. Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

In St. Peter’s Basilica. Greatness, beauty, spirituality.

Vatican Post Office. Be sure to send a postcard home from the Vatican’s unique mail.

Castle of the Holy Angel. It is named after Archangel Michael, who, by his miraculous appearance on the top of the castle, informed the Romans of the end of the plague.

Capitoline museums
Capitoline museums

St Angel’s Castle offers stunning views of Rome.

And in the distance – the Altar of the Fatherland in Venice Square (a wedding cake, as Italians say)

Bridge of the Holy Angel. It has 10 statues of angels.

Navona Square The atmosphere here is amazing. Although there are a lot of people around, I just want to sit on a bench by the fountain or at the cafe table and enjoy the surrounding beauty, not in a hurry. Three beautiful fountains adorn Navona Square: the River Fountain, the Moor Fountain and the Neptune Fountain.

Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and Elephant Statue. In this unique Gothic church in Rome, the trial of heretic Galileo took place. Here the scientist said his famous phrase: “And yet it turns!” Bernini’s elephant, holding an obelisk column on its back, which in the 6th century BC Julius Caesar brought from Egypt as a trophy.

The Pantheon is an ancient Roman temple of all gods. Now it is a national mausoleum in which worthy citizens of the Fatherland are buried.

The dome of the Pantheon is colossal. Its diameter is larger than the diameter of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (43.5 meters. “Eye of the Pantheon” – the hole in the dome has a diameter of 9 meters. Through it, sunlight penetrates the temple.

corte suprema di cassazione
corte suprema di cassazione

Route walks in Rome. Day Three

Trip to the sea in Lido di Ostia – Pyramid – shopping on Via Nazionale – Plaza de España – Trevi Fountain

This all-day route is very diverse: the sea, shops, architecture, the romance of evening Rome and the unique color of the city.

On the Tyrrhenian Sea to the town of Lido di Ostia, we took the metro train from the Basilica San Paolo station. Go 35-40 minutes. The ticket price is the same as for any public transport in Rome. We went on a ticket for an unlimited number of trips, which we bought for 72 hours. Lido di Ostia is a typical Italian resort town. By the way, it is very similar to the resort town of Rimini, on the east coast of Italy. Read about this town here:

The same small family hotels, beaches across the road, boutiques and many vacationers. The sea is wonderful. At the bottom there are large stones, it is convenient to swim away from the coast and relax, standing on them. The sand on the beach is dark and hot. After an eventful two days in Rome, a seaside vacation is a great solution. Half a day we just swam and sunbathed.

In Lido di Ostia there are free beaches and paid – for 3 euros per person. They differ in that for free there are no sun loungers, umbrellas and much more people. Showers, toilets, bars with water, beer, sandwiches are on all beaches.

trevi fountain front
Trevi fountain front

In Lidodi Ostia, as on all beaches of Italy, there are traders of various clothes, bags, scarves. Here, “walkers” do not sell corn, seeds and other food. Only the Chinese sell chopped coconuts.

The pyramid in Rome is an unusual building in Italy. Located near the Pyramid metro station. Built by praetor Gaius Cestius in the 12th century BC. from marble. He thus sought to surpass the greatness of the Egyptian pharaohs. The height of the pyramid is 35 m, but partially it has already gone into the ground.

Plaza de España and the famous Spanish Steps. There are a lot of people here, but very comfortable and romantic. It’s nice that we met here with friends, colleagues.

Trevi Fountain – one of the most romantic places in Rome. Especially in the evening! To return to Rome, you need to throw a coin in the fountain. In this case, standing with your back, throw with your right hand over your left shoulder. But there are so many people that one can’t easily break through to the fountain. 

villa-borghese
Villa Borghese