Exploring Rome

Rome is full of interesting things to do, details of which are easily found on the internet. Just use Google search or Google Maps or TripAdvisor.  For bob's tips on dining in Rome go here.

(Window) Shopping?

Museums?

When the heat strikes, museums provide an airconditioned escape!

Churches?

Tourist gathering spots

Book in advance the Coliseum and Roman Forum on the internet but you can also walk by on a tour of classic Roman sights starting from the Metro B Colosseo stop. Besides the Spanish Steps already mentioned in the shopping section:

Other?

Public Transport?

Bus/Metro single travel tickets are 1.50 Euros for 90 minutes. Buying individual tickets is probably the most efficient way to go, but you can get tickets for 1, 2 3 or 7 days. Look for the big T sign for "Tabacchi" shops to buy tickets. The phone app Moovit will help you use the transit system if you have internet on your phone. The city transit system has a website:
http://www.atac.roma.it/index.asp?lingua=ENG. [mobile version]

Day Trips?

Palaces? [Art dense]

Music?


Naples is nearby!

1 hour 10 minutes by fast train from Rome, cheap if booked months in advance! Even a day trip is feasible. 9.90 Euros each way if you plan early.

For Pompei transfer to a 35 minute (?) local train at Napoli Centrale.

You can wander around "old Napoli" = Quartieri Spagnoli = Spaccanapoli and nearby, and see great stuff.

Capri is a hydrofoil away. 40 minute ride. Prepare to be ripped off to have a coffee or gelato in the main square up in the Capri village, but it is a once (usually) in a lifetime experience. We fondly remember a lemon pasta lunch dish off the main square decades ago.

The Regia di Caserta is Italy's answer to France's Versaille, only a 30 minute train ride north of Napoli. [Facebook views, Wiki]

Pompei is 30 minutes south of Naples by local train. The Archeological Museum in the city has some of the artifacts from there.

The rest of Italy?!


Hmm, what is this?

2019.
Through theoretical physics (black holes no less) I ended up having 40 years of regular visits to Rome, after marriage just in the summer (when I am not teaching at Villanova) but since Ani bailed out of Big Pharma, we have spent the last 11 summers together in Rome, traveling around Italy to visit the many friends we have accumulated over all these years (but doing academic research work that justifies our presence).


There are many questions and comments already in this stream. I will try to touch on some. Rome, Florence and Venice are the big three. Venice is unlike any other city, Florence is romantically walkable, Rome is Rome, so much to see. Naples and the Amalfi coast and Capri are also worth consideration but it depends on how much time you spend on your trip.

Climate is also key to enjoying Italy. July August can be brutal if excessive heat strikes, but even the normal heat makes tourist work hard since you cannot sacrifice the hottest hours of the day to a nap to escape it, tourists have to see as much as possible every day! June is better. Even late June early July or late August if school summer vacation is an important consideration.

For Rome, I have some generic advice but the Borghese Museum is the one jewel that people are often not aware of and should not be missed---it requires advance reservation of a time slot. And for trains, if you plan your movements a few months in advance, you can get really big discounts on the fast comfortable trains; Italo is a private network of high end trains that connect the major cities from Naples to the north and offers the best deals.

Coffee enthusiasts who like chocolate should look for the marocchino espresso with foamed milk and cocoa, but the cappuccinos are almost universally better than nearly every American product.

 

list compiled by bob jantzen in summer 2018, later updated.