Whether or not you’re a shopaholic at home, one of the things we tend to do when we travel is go shopping – either for souvenirs or gifts to bring home to family and friends. In Italy, it’s easy to get caught up in the whole shopping thing, especially when you see fashionable Italians strutting their stuff everywhere you go. You might think of Milan as the fashion capital, but Rome does more than hold its own, and of course there’s plenty else besides clothing and shoes to buy in the shops in and around Rome.
It’s been said that one could easily spend weeks (if not months) in Rome and still not see and do everything. The Italian capital excites and educates at every turn, offering something for every kind of traveler. If you want to make the most of a brief trip to Rome, however, there are several great day trip options you can consider.
For all the justifiable reasons that people love Rome, there’s one thing that surprises many visitors – this is a city that wears you out. There are large and sprawling cities in other parts of Italy (Naples, anyone?) as well as Europe, but in other places either you can focus on just one small part of the city so as not to get overwhelmed, or public transportation is convenient and easy to use. In Rome, the major sights are spread out all over the city, so you’ll need to get well-acquainted with the public transit options in Rome before you walk yourself to exhaustion.
The Italian capital city of Rome is not always easy on the wallet, but luckily you can eat quite well in Rome without spending a fortune. Sometimes all this requires is a sense of adventure, sometimes it means shifting your dining habits a bit, and it may even involve cooking. Here are some tips to help you eat on a budget in Rome.
Savvy travelers know that the shoulder seasons are usually the best times to visit popular places – and that’s also true in Rome. The city is never really “empty” of visitors, since it’s so incredibly popular, but visiting Rome in the Spring can be a good way to experience a slightly less crowded city that also is neither roasting hot or bitterly cold. Here are some ideas of things to do in Rome in the Spring.
When visiting a new city for the first time, one of the best things to do is take a relatively quick city-wide guided tour. This helps give you a lay of the land, an understanding of local history, and a better idea of what you’ll want to spend more time on and what you feel comfortable skipping. In Rome, there are a few hop on/hop off tours to choose from that will help accomplish all three of these goals. What’s more, you can – just as the name suggests – hop on and off as you like, spending more time on certain sights so you don’t need to backtrack later if you’d prefer not to.
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Rome is also among the most popular sights in the entire country – the Colosseum. This iconic Roman theater is a must-see when you’re in the Italian capital. Unfortunately, one of the things visitors to the Colosseum also see are the long lines snaking out from the entry doors around the curved walls. The lines are especially bad in the high season, as you’d expect, but even in the height of summer there are ways you can avoid waiting in hours-long lines just to get in to see the Colosseum.
You’ll repeatedly hear that eating your way through Italy is a must – but in a city as popular as Rome, you’re as likely to run into overpriced and not-very-good restaurants hoping to take advantage of ill-informed tourists as you are to find a real gem of a restaurant. One way to avoid falling prey to a bad food experience is to take a culinary tour in Rome early in your stay. Then you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to make educated eating decisions – and the tips from your expert local guide.