Although it is very expensive, Rome has made it’s way onto my list of favourite cities. I initially planned only 2 nights in the city but ended up extending the trip to 6 nights on arrival, and 1 night on departure.
Here is my list of some of the activities that you can do in Rome:
Take a journey back in time and visit many of the ancient ruins or keep up with the present by visiting the modern day sites.
Roma Termini – They say that “all roads lead to Rome”. I would extend that and say they lead to Roma Termini, the beautiful central train station which is also a little shopping mall with many stores and restaurants.
Visit the Colloseum, Palatine Hill and Imperial Forums (a ticket to all 3 sites costs 12 EUR. Best to buy tickets at the Palatine or Forum to avoid the long queues at the Colloseum)
The Imperial Forums
For fans of Roman Baroque architecture walk up Piazza di Spagna (worlds widest and tallest staircase).
Check out Vittoriano, the National Monument of Emmunel II
Visit the Vatican City
There are may guided tours on offer in the city. I generally saw more elderly folk on the buses. It is very easy to walk to all sites on your own, or if you do not want to walk 3km from Roma Termini to the Vatican City use the Metro (EUR 1.5 for 100 minutes of travel)
Watch other tourists taking photos …
Take one of many tourist buses
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! On almost all streets you will have multiple options to try out various varieties of pizza. These pizzas are not too cheesy or saucy. I hear they bake them differently in the south (e.g. Naples) which I look forward to trying out when I am there.
Gelato – The worlds finest ice cream is found in Italy. I was referred to Old Bridge Creamery opposite the Vatican Museum which had amazing ice cream at a very affordable price (3 scoops for EUR 1.5) Try it when you are there (see their reviews on Trip Advisor)
If you are getting tired of pizza, there are multiple Halal Indian restaurants opposite Roma Termini (on the track 24 side)
There is also a nice supermarket under Roma Termini where you can purchase fruits, yogurt, bottled water or other snacks.
Talking about water, it is safe to drink the tap water in Rome. There are also multiple taps / fountains throughout the city with drinkable spring water flowing out. Just do like other locals/travellers and fill up your plastic bottles
I prayed at the Mosque of Rome, Europe’s largest mosque which requires train travel from Roma Termini (see separate blog post here) and a smaller Bangladeshi mosque (filled to capacity for Juma) in Trattoria, a few minutes walk from Roma Termini. I understand that there are 2 mosques in Trattoria.
Do some shopping
I found a nice International Bookshop (which means they have books in English and other languages) on Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando called Feltrinelli International (it’s next to the Italian-only book store). There is also another International Bookstore inside Roma Termini, but I preferred the selection at La Feltrinelli.
This place is on the street alongside the right of the Galleria at Republica (near Roma Termini).
I got 2 good books written in English on how to make Pizza and Gelato the Italian way.
Take a stroll
Or go for a run
From Roma Termini (track 1 side) run down Via Marghera, after 4 blocks turn left on Via Palestro, and after about 5 blocks turn right onto Via Nomentana which is a large street with a nice sidewalk that will take you to Park Villa Torlonia (used to be Mussolini’s Villa), and then turn back. This route should take about 45min. There are 2 fountains with spring water on the route.
Besides the main tourist attractions, there are many other activities taking place daily. Check the events in Rome on Couschsurfing.org or just Google “Rome Events”. You can also hire a bike and tour the city on wheels.
Getting around the city, and to other parts of Italy / Europe is very easy from Rome.
There are 2 major tourist airports: The is Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci) airport (mostly for international flights) and Rome Ciampino (mostly for domestic / local flights). I used Fiumicino.
Getting from Fiumicino to Roma Termini and back is easy. You can take the 30 min Leonardo Express train (for 14 Euros or cheaper if you buy it on special /earlier), the 70 minute Regional train, or by comfortable bus for 6 Euros (it took me 50 minutes in Friday evening traffic).
You can purchase a Terravision bus ticket for both airports at the Terravision café (exit Roma Termini on Track 1 side, turn right on Via Marsala)
The train system is pretty easy to use as well. At Roma Termini you can get the fast trains on the ground level and Metro A and Metro B subway lines on the underground levels – these Metro’s connect with other train lines in Rome. Remember to validate your tickets on the train if there is no machine at the station to validate it. Metro tickets cost EUR 1.50 for 100 minutes of travel or 6 EUR for an all day pass.
7 thoughts on “When in Rome…”
Thanks for the useful info on mosques and halaal food, Zaid. I’m planning to travel that way soon and it will come in handy.
Great. Hope you enjoy it there.
I also plan to stop in Rome for a day next month – that city draws you back.
I guess, all roads truly lead to Rome.
Jazakallah for all the info. I will inshallah be going there in March this year.
Glad to hear about the mosque for jumah. I checked out the info of the Grand Mosque.I am hiring a car for the 3 day stay in Rome before I leave for Florence and Venice.
Thanks for stopping by.
I don’t think it’s really necessary to hire a car. Train travel is very cheap and efficient. The taxi in Rome and Florence are also ceap, and finding parking spots is not too easy.
I visited Florence and Rome again in October. I’ll be updating my site on it again in a few months but what I have to say is try to visit the fashion outlets in Florence. It’s the best in Europe that I’ve come across. Specifically The Mall in Florence http://www.themall.it/en/outlet-italy/homepage.html and Barberino McArthur Glen in Florence http://www.mcarthurglen.com/it/barberino-designer-outlet/en/
Both outlet centers have buses near the train station that transport you directly to the shops.
There’s also Castle Romano in Rome (by McArthur Glen) but I never visit it. I got some good deals at Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans & Emporio Armani, and Prada (brands I’d never be able to afford in SA).
aslm,jazakallah for the informative post!My family and I are going to Italy in November for 2weeks.Rome,Florence and And Venice.Did you eat the pizza and the pasta because Iv been doing some research and there are some claims that pork fat is used in the pizza dough so even if vegetarian is an option the pizza base is an issue.Then there is the cheese as well? Good post
Salaams. Thanks for the feedback. I’m not sure about the pork fat. First time I heard about that. I did try the pizzas though, although the pizza in Florence is REALLY bad. Many friends tried it and agreed.
I know that in Naples the state has strict guidelines on what ingredients go into a Napoli pizza and I’d never seen any pork related ingredients in it.
If you’re worried there are many non-pizza halal options (Pakistani and Turkish food) in Rome and Florence (I haven’t been to Venice)