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Complete guide to Rome

Complete guide to Rome

Complete guide to Rome

Rome, the Eternal City, gives visitors a one-of-a-kind experience that's tough to beat. But, not doing your homework before visiting or picking random spots to eat and stay without checking first, can turn an amazing trip into a bit of a letdown. That's why, at GuruWalk, we're here to help all travelers who trust our platform and guides to discover the city and get the most out of their visit with this basic guide of tips to live the city like a true Roman, based on recommendations from our local experts.

Don't miss out, it's super handy!

Traveling from the Airport to the Center

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Getting from Rome's airports to the city center? There are a few options to consider. Some are quicker but more expensive, while others are cheaper but take longer. Picking the best one really depends on what matters most to you:

From Rome-Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo da Vinci)

  • Leonardo Express Train: Direct connection to Termini train station in about 30 minutes. Operates every 15-30 minutes from 06:08 to 23:23 and costs 18 euros per trip.
  • Regional Train (FL1): Connects the airport with stations like Tiburtina, Ostiense, and Trastevere. It doesn't go directly to Termini, extending the journey to about 50 minutes. However, the stops can be very convenient if staying in Trastevere or near the Vatican. Operates from 5:57 to 23:27, though times may vary on Sundays and holidays. Priced around eight euros.
  • Shuttle Buses: Various companies offer bus services to Termini station and other points in Rome. Cheaper than the train but can take longer, especially during peak traffic hours.
  • Taxi: There is a fixed fare for trips between the airport and the center of Rome, which is 48 euros. This option is convenient for reaching your destination directly.
  • Car Services (VTC): Apps like Uber allow booking rides at a pre-known price that varies with demand.

From Rome-Ciampino Airport (Giovan Battista Pastine)

  • Shuttle Buses: Connect Ciampino with Termini station. They are an economical alternative and operate frequently at a cost of about 6 euros per trip, taking around 40 minutes to reach the center.
  • Train (with bus combination): There is no direct train connection, but you can take a bus or taxi to Ciampino train station and from there a local train to Termini.
  • Taxi: There is a fixed fare for trips between Ciampino and the center of Rome of 40 euros.
  • Car Services (VTC): Similar to Fiumicino, services like Uber are available for a comfortable transfer with a predetermined fare.

Tips for Using Public Transport

One thing Romans agree on is that using public transport in their city requires a lot of patience. So, try not to lose it. Moreover, most recommend using metro line A whenever possible. It is the most efficient and accesses many tourist attractions.

Can You Drink Tap Water in Rome?

A common question among travelers arriving in Rome is whether tap water in the Italian capital is drinkable. The answer is yes. The water is safe to drink in Rome and other major Italian cities.

Culinary Tips: Pizza, Carbonara, Breakfast, Aperitivo, and Italian Gelato

To start our culinary recommendations, you should know that in Rome, a typical breakfast includes a cappuccino and a cornetto, an Italian pastry derived from the Austrian kipferl, similar to the French croissant but includes eggs in its recipe.

For lunch, there are countless restaurants and trattorias where the pasta carbonara is amazing, but here is a small selection:

Besides pasta carbonara, there are many more traditional dishes in Rome that you will surely love to try. Here are just a few of them:

  • Supplì: Tomato and mozzarella rice croquettes, fried and crispy.
  • Pizza al taglio: Pizza sold by the slice, typically rectangular and varied in toppings. Romans often grab a few slices of pizza al taglio and enjoy them in a park for an outdoor meal.
  • Amatriciana: Pasta with a tomato-based sauce, guanciale (pork jowl), and pecorino cheese.
  • Puntarelle alla romana: Chicory salad with a garlic and anchovy dressing.
  • Fried Baccalà: Breaded and fried cod, a crispy and tasty bite.
  • Carciofo alla romana: Artichokes cooked with herbs and olive oil, tender and juicy.
  • Carciofo alla giudia: Fried artichokes, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, from Roman Jewish cuisine.
  • Coda alla vaccinara: Oxtail stew with vegetables, a traditional and comforting dish.

Furthermore, we cannot discuss Rome without mentioning pizza. You should know that the typical pizza in Rome is Roman style, with a very thin crust and no borders. However, you can also find Neapolitan-style pizza in many restaurants, which has conquered much of the planet with its moister dough and thicker edges.

  • Roman pizza
  • L'Elementare - Via Benedetta (Trastevere)
  • Neapolitan pizza
  • Antica Friggitoria La Masardona - Piazza dell'Oro
  • L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele - Via Flaminia

If you're visiting Rome and want to experience it like a local, you should know it's typical to go out for 'aperitivi.' This is a small appetizer enjoyed around 7:00 PM with drinks like the iconic Aperol spritz and various starters. Here are some top spots to enjoy this snack:

  • BigStar in Trastevere
  • Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà in Trastevere
  • Al Vino Al Vino in Monti
  • Fafiuché in Monti
  • Tre Scalini in Monti
  • Hopificio on via Appia

To conclude, another must-try in Rome: Italian gelato.

The Best Party Zones in Rome

Like all major cities, Rome has various areas for enjoying a night out.

Tips for Visiting the Vatican

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No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican, the Pope's home and the HQ of the Roman Catholic Church. Here are some handy tips to save you time and money:

  1. Buy tickets in advance: Skip the long lines by getting your tickets for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel online ahead of time.
  2. Dress appropriately: The Vatican has a strict dress code for St. Peter's Basilica and the museums. Cover your shoulders and knees, or you won't be allowed in.
  3. Choose your visit time wisely: Wednesday mornings might be off-limits for St. Peter's Basilica because of the Papal Audience. Museums are usually less crowded in the late afternoon. Check the Vatican's schedule for special events to avoid closures and crowds.
  4. Consider a guided tour like those offered by GuruWalk: If you want to dive deep into the history and art of Vatican City, a guided tour is totally worth it.
  5. Wear comfortable footwear: The Vatican is huge, and you'll be on your feet for hours. Make sure to wear comfy shoes.
  6. Don't forget to bring water: Rome can get pretty hot, especially in summer. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, and refill it at the fountains inside the museums.
  7. Visit the Vatican Gardens: If you have extra time, book a tour of the Vatican Gardens. Just remember to book in advance.
  8. Explore St. Peter's Basilica: After the Sistine Chapel, you can head straight to St. Peter's Basilica without lining up again. Don't miss the dome; the climb offers amazing views of Rome.
  9. Arrive early or late: Beat the crowds by getting there right when they open or late in the afternoon. Plus, the lighting in the morning and evening is perfect for photos.

Recommended Restaurants and Pizzerias Near the Vatican

If you get hungry after your visit to the Vatican, here are some recommendations for restaurants, pizzerias, and even street food stalls.

How to Travel from Rome to Florence

Finally, we couldn't forget a classic: taking a trip from Rome to Florence for a quick getaway. So, we've added some info about the different ways to cover the 271-kilometer distance between these two amazing Italian cities.

  • Train: This is the most popular and efficient option. There are two types of trains connecting Rome with Florence: the high-speed train (Frecciarossa or Italo), which takes about 1.5 hours, and the slower regional trains, which can take up to 3 hours. High-speed trains are usually more expensive, but tickets can be found from about 13 euros depending on the day and time.
  • Bus: Generally, this is the cheapest alternative. Tickets can be found from 5 euros, but the travel time varies between 3 and 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Car: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, but you must be prepared for traffic and the costs of rental, gas, and tolls. The journey takes approximately 3 hours, depending on traffic and the route.
  • Flight: Although not the most chosen option by travelers, it's important to note that there are companies operating this route where the flight lasts about 55 minutes.

Once you're in Florence, the best way to make the most of a quick visit is to join one of the free tours offered by GuruWalk guides. In just two or three hours, you can see all the highlights of this Italian gem, then head back to Rome to keep the adventure going.

More Tours in Rome

Complete guide to Rome
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