Top Ten Travel Tips: Rome – Italy
Italy: a country bursting with so much passion and romance, few can resist its charms. It holds a special spot in my heart – a place where I fell in love with Alberto, all over again. Romance aside, the plethora of historical sights and cultural experiences Rome has to offer is endless.
From Roman Gladiators to Renaissance artists, Rome’s streets are crammed so full of history that it’s often impossible to fit everything into one weekend break – and that’s before we get started on the delicious Italian food that no visit to the city is complete without tasting. Luckily, Hotels4U.com resort manager, Gregg Walker is an expert when it comes to the Eternal City. From ice-cream to the Illuminati, his top tips will ensure that you have an incredible Roman holiday.
1. Follow The Path of the Illuminati
If you’re a fan of the books or films by Dan Brown why not follow the path of the Illuminati and take an Angels and Demons tour around Rome? On your tour you can step into the shoes of Robert Langdon and attempt to crack codes and solve mysteries at the Altars of Science, whilst learning behind-the-scenes information on some of the historic buildings and monuments mentioned in the book.
2. Shop For Unique Food and Souvenirs
The flea markets are a great place to find original gifts and souvenirs. Here you’ll find almost everything under the sun and can practice your haggling skills. Browsing the famous piazza, Campo dei Fiori, means you can taste delicious and authentic Italian foods, cooked right in front of you. This market is where most Italians like to stock up their kitchen cupboards.
Flickr image by Storm Crypt
3. Discover The Bones of 4,000 Monks
For something a little more unusual, visit the Capuchin Crypt, which is located underneath the Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione Church. This small space houses the bones of 4,000 monks, which have been artfully arranged to decorate the walls of a few tiny chapels. It’s open Friday through Wednesday from 9:00am until 12:00 noon and again from 3:00pm until 6:00pm, but it’s closed on Thursdays.
4. Skip the Queues at the Coliseum
No trip to Rome is complete without a trip to the Coliseum, but if you want to avoid the lengthy queues skip the ticket office and buy your ticket from the Forum instead, where the queues are much shorter and admission includes access to both attractions.
5. Make Like Audrey Hepburn
Pretend you’re Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (or Gregory Peck) and hire a scooter to transport you around Rome. This way you can avoid public transport, give your feet a rest and enjoy the freedom and excitement of seeing the City of Fountains in a different way.
6. Give The Pope a Wave
Why not go and say hello the Pope? Well, you probably won’t get that close, but you can catch a glimpse on Wednesday mornings, where he holds a general audience in St Peter’s Square; otherwise it takes place in the Sala Nervi audience hall. Be sure to tour the Vatican too.
Flickr image by Juan Rubiano
7. Discover the World’s Best Art
Have your breath taken away by some of the most stunning paintings in the world. Go to the Capitoline Museums (housed in palaces on either side of the city) to be acquainted with incredible creations by old masters such as Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Caravaggio, and Bernini’s infamous statues.
8. Eat Italian Gelato
While you’re in Italy, you need to eat some ice cream, and not just any ice cream, but the tastiest in Rome. To sample some of this infamous gelato, make a turn for Il Gelato di San Crispino. Some say it’s the best ice cream in the world!
Flickr image by mtlin
9. Don’t Worry Over Your Taxi Transfers
Travellers worried about airport transfers to and from their Rome hotels can breathe a collective sigh of relief – taxis now have fixed fares to and from the airport which you can ask for upfront to ensure you are not getting overcharged.
10. Enjoy a Free Night Out
In the summer and during the Christmas and Easter periods there are many free concerts, so research what’s on before planning expensive evening activities.
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