Rome City Guide: best things to do in RomeThere is no doubt why Rome is called “The Eternal City”. Thousands of years of history, exquisite architecture and some of the world’s most significant landmarks certainly prove the city’s significance for over centuries. According to the myth, Rome was constructed upon 7 hills, by two twin brothers - Remus and Romulus. After a glorious Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the later Fascist Era, the city today is known as the capital of democratic Italy.
Located centrally in the Lazio region, Rome is Italy’s biggest city, with almost 4,5 million inhabitants. It is divided by the Tiber River, and features many striking fountains like Trevi, along with numerous remarkable monuments. Colosseum and Pantheon are only a few of Rome’s historic sites. Being home to Vatican City and the Pope, it can also be considered as the most important city for Catholic Christianity.
Although Rome is an industrialized city like the most European capitals, it features a lovely nature as well. Here you can find flourishing oases with all the shades of green; Roman beauty hides across the hilltops, in the aromatic gardens of Villa Borghese, Orto Botanico in Trastevere and the admirable Papal Gardens. Many other verdant masterpieces can be found across the city, offering the opportunity to escape from the street noises and the hordes of tourists.
Anatole Broyard once said that Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city and it makes sense if we consider the large artistic culture of the Italian Capital. With almost 10 million visitors per year, Rome is in almost every traveller’s bucket list for a reason. Featuring incredible sites and a wistful atmosphere, in combination with mouthwatering cuisine, cutting edge fashion and a vivid nightlife scene, Rome is definitely one of the most enchanting travel destinations in the world.
Getting AroundThe best way to explore Rome is walking through its alleys. It’s like the entire city is a piece of art; when walking down the streets you’ll discover something remarkable in nearly every corner. Transportation from one side of the city to the other is easily doable by buses and trams. Additionally, the city offers a few electric buses as an environmental-friendly option, while for those wishing to explore Rome by night, the city provides several bus lines after dark. Tickets can be found usually in tobacco shops and vending machines placed at most bus stops, but a day pass can be more helpful and save you some time and money.
Moreover, there are two major metro lines that go around the historic city and cross at Termini central station. Termini is actually the nerve center of all public transport means, so it’s quite convenient to stay in the area (one of the places we love is the Alpi hotel). Like in every big city, a wide array of taxis is available, but people generally prefer other means of transportation, since taxis can get pricey due to traffic. But if you really want to experience Rome like a local, we suggest driving around town on a Vespa. Rental places are available all around the city.
Rome's Culinary TraditionItalian cuisine is one of the most famous around the world, so being in the country’s capital you have the chance to taste it in its most authentic form. With such an ancient culinary tradition, it’s easy to assume that most restaurants in Rome serve Italian or Mediterranean cuisine. This doesn’t mean a lack of variety in any case. In the eternal city you can find authentic trattorias to hip vegetarian restaurants, and from delicious street snacks to gourmet seafood. But what is literally everywhere is the amazing Italian pizza and pasta.
You probably know pizza and enjoy it regularly, wherever you come from. However, did you know that Italian pizza may differ in every city? The traditional Roman pizza has a thinner and more crunchy crust than the others, while here they also make Pizza Bianca, a pizza that doesn’t have any tomato sauce; only olive oil and garlic instead. Try this savory delight in one of Rome’s best pizzerias and see for yourself.
As for pasta, there are several famous Italian recipes, most of them named after the region where they were invented like Napoletana or Bolognese. When in Rome, go for the city’s original recipes and order a rich Carbonara, a creamy Alfredo or a super cheesy Cacio e Pepe. Choose between various pasta types like spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine or gnocchi to match your favourite sauce and prepare to be amazed.
But apart from pizza and pasta, Rome has many other local goods for you to enjoy. When you’re looking for an original Roman snack try some Suppli (deep fried rice balls), Carciofi (fried artichokes) or Fiori di Zucca (fried zucchini flowers). Rome is also a great place to taste the divine Italian Gelato: ice-cream but softer, with a lower fat percentage and a lot of flavor. If you are into trying some local pastries there are many wonderful places like Cristalli di Zucchero and Pasticceria Bompiani to please your sweet tooth. We’d recommend to order a Crostata di Ricotta, the Roman version of cheesecake; simply delicious.