Rome and surroundings

Like every day, I can see tourists in the streets of Rome, who look helpless. In their hand, they often hold a mini-city plan, which should help them, but actually it doesn’t work. Everything looks so close! But it's not!

It begins with finding the "Metropolitana" (subway) and you can realize,  that we have actually  in Rome only two lines. But the third subway line is under construction! The buses are often overcrowded and it can happen  that you  cannot hop on or off.  Even the tram (streetcar) is not connecting every area in Rome.

If you are looking for a  restaurant near Piazza del Popolo or near San Pietro, it can happen that you will  go to one especially made for tourists (that means  overpriced and bad food) and where a Roman would never ever enter to have a meal. How often did you eat better in your own country, maybe around the corner in the tiny Italian restaurant?.

Shopping is also such a question! You have two options: you can find easily cheap Chinese fashion where ever you go in Rome, or you can dig deep into your wallet and go shopping in Via Frattina, Via dei Condotti or Via Borgognona. But do Romans  really spend so much money for clothes?

I've set up this blog to  give you advices and hints about Rome  and to let you know something about the way of life of the “eternal city”.

A good planning and information about Rome is helpful

How often did I hear from  tourists that they  booked hotels, guesthouses or Bed & Breakfast, without knowing in which area they would be located. Often you will find written in the roman hotel advertisements  “located close to the city centre” . Logically, everything can be close to the city center, but don’t forget,  Rome is very huge but has unfortunately  not such a good and punctual public transport system. The metro currently has only two lines: A (Battistini to Anagnina with 27 railway stations) and B (Rebibbia to Laurentina with 21 stations). Sooner or later, also we will have the third subway line. Here, the subway plan, so you can  get an idea


The buses run often, unfortunately for us, when they want. But when they finally pass, they are often completely overcrowded!  But beware, in this case  it can  happen that the bus driver does not stop, so that you will be unable  to hop on or  off when you desire it (actually it happened to me in some occasions).

Attention! Please, pay attention in Rome above all  to pickpockets  who are targeting mainly tourists  in the subway, the bus or .the streetcars.

Even the streetcars (tram) could be crowded . Especially  line 2 from Piazza Mancini to Piazzale Flaminio,  line 3 direction Piazza Thorvaldsen and line 19 from and to Station Trastevere to Piazza Risorgimento towards Porta Maggiore, which should be of interest for you.

Therefore, before booking a hotel, have a look on  Google maps and find out where the hotel in question is really situated. Should you still have some  questions concerning the districts in Rome, let it me know. I will try to help!

Arrival in Rome
If you decided to come to Rome by car or if you have the intention to rent a car for your holiday trip , you should have no fear. Take a deep breath, wide awake  and go into the traffic. The Romans drive in a chaotic way. Yes, they will stop with  the red traffic light, but sometimes it can  happen that they will overlook traffic signs like stop, give way or crosswalks . So don’t wonder, if you drive  on a three-lined main street, and the Romans will turn it to a  five course main street. I forgot the beloved park! Here in Rome it is quite common to park the car in the second or third row because they have to take  quickly a coffee  or  to go shopping in the supermarket. How many times I had been waiting  for at least 40 min ,attending the return of the vehicle owner . Sometimes he returned with his heavily shopping bags. But don’t expect a "Scusi!" You can wait as long as you want. So it can happen that you will become really, really angry! My advice, park your car in the garage of the hotel,  discover Rome by  foot and  take the car only to drive to e.g. Frascati or Tivoli.

If however you arrive by plane at Rome Fiumicino or Ciampino, you should know , that the taxis of the city of Rome are white and  they are marked "Comune di Roma" on the left and right side. You will pay  for a trip  from the airport Roma Fiumicino to every place situated in the inner circle of the Aurelian wall 40 € (up to four  persons, luggage included). However from the airport Rome Ciampino you will pay 30 € (always to the inner circle of the Aurelian wall). Below is shown a map of the Aurelian Wall, where you can see that it surrounds the entire historical center.

 Datei:Plan Rome- Aureliaanse Muur.png

If your hotel, however, is placed outside the Aurelian wall, you can pay less or more. It depends on the distance. Last year (1. October  2010) this fixed price was established by the city of Rome . However, if you travel with more luggage or you will be more than four people, it is also worth to select a ncc (noleggio con conducent) . This is a chauffeur with car  booked in advance. He will attend you at  your gate, bring your luggage to the car  and drive you (e.g. six persons)  for about 65 € in the center (e.g. Good to know: the  ncc  have always fixed price for the various districts here in Rome . So check it out before, made your reservation in advance communicating to them your day of arrival, hour and flight number.  If you have any questions or if you should be unable to find  a ncc ,  please ask me! Especially when once again Rome will be   faced by a strike regarding taxi or public transportation,  NCC will be the best choice for you!

Another day with 40 degrees in the shade. I heard this morning that we will have this kind of heat  here in Rome for at least other three days.  I already saw tourists standing in the queue in front of the Vatican Museums this morning at 10 am.  My suggestion: instead of standing in the queue for three or four hours under the burning sun or under the rain, take your entrance ticket in advance online ( It is true that you will pay 4 €  more for each ticket online , but on the other hand you have the possibility to  book them  up to three months in advance  and you will be able to go straight ahead to the entrance of the Vatican Museums without wasting your time.

From  2 September to 28 October 2011 the Vatican Museums will also be open for e special event:  "Musei Vaticani sotto le stelle" (Vatican Museums under the stars) every Friday  from 7:00 pm to 11:00pm (last admission at 9.30pm). Reservation is mandatory!


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