Luciano's Tips FAQ

I would say that there is no bad time to visit Rome.
For sure Spring and Autumn are the most attractive periods of the year because the temperature is between 15°C and 28°C perfect for walking around and enjoy a full day of sightseeing.
At the same time Winter is not so cold, temperature can drop around 0-5°C and a big snow is expected every 10-15 years! Winter can also be sunny with clear blue take your chance in winter as well!

Summer can be hot, that's the only problem! In particular August can be 30+ °C with high level of humidity and this can make your walks tiring especially around lunch time and early afternoon. Despite of this inconvenient there are many activities you can still do during the hottest hours of the day (museums, excursions to Ostia Antica or Tivoli, etc.) and enjoy the rest of the day/night outside!
Just to complete the overview: Summary of the temperature in Rome per month
I would say yes, Rome is safe or at least it's like any other big cities around the world!
There is a problem with gipsy and pickpocketing on some bus and metro but if you take care of your stuff everything should be fine!
Just minimize the important things you carry with you during the day and keep an eye open in crowded places! The bad areas of Rome are usually not part of any tourist itinerary so you don't risk to get into one of those by mistake.
Generally speaking the quality of food in Rome is quite good also in the tourist areas.
One of my favourite place to go out for a nigh walk and dinner is Trastevere. There are many restaurants there and you can chose based on what you like more pizza, pasta, fish, meat.
It's also very difficult to get a bad ice cream! The quality is quite consistent with picks of just enjoy it!
My favourite area is Monti and Celio because you are really in the center! But there are many other nice locations. Pantheon, Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona don't have a metro station close by, but are excellent places to stay as well as Trastevere ( here public transportation can be a problem because is a little outside the touristic itineraries) and Aventino Hill.
Aventino is a special place for me, just outside the historical center of Rome, with a lovely view of the city, it guarantees a quite, relaxing and peaceful atmosphere!
You will find out that Termini and Piazza Vittorio (china town) provides accommodation for cheaper prices. Those area are not so bad, but like around the train stations of other big cities, there might be strange people around. So I would not advice to book there, but again it is not too bad.
After 60 years I have been living in Rome, I still discover new stuff every day! A couple of hints:
  • Aventin and Palatin Hill
  • San Pietro in Vincoli church (very close to Colosseum)
  • Terma Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla) - Mausolleo Di Cecilia Metella (Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella)
  • San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul outside the walls)
  • Janiculum Hill
  • Wine tours and Castelli Romani
  • Ostia Antica
  • Tivoli: Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana
  • Walk on Via Appia Antica
  • Day trip to Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto
No, I don't think this is the best idea unless you know a specific itinerary! You can take one if you want to go around in Villa Borghese or make a nice ride on Via Appia Antica, but generally speaking Rome is not bicycle friendly because of the traffic jam, the hills and roads' status
The easiest way is on Sunday at 12:00. During the Angelus the Pope will speak from his window and the crowd will be in the square.
There are also private audiences in Sala Nervi on Wednesday but for that you need tickets because the space is for a limited number of people and I advice to check directly on the Vatican website.
Note that during August sometimes the Pope moves to Castel Gandolfo and takes the Angelus from there!
Roman numerals, the numeric system used in ancient Rome, employs combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as follows: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X.
The entire set of symbols is the following:
  • I = 1
  • V = 5
  • X = 10
  • L = 50
  • C = 100
  • D = 500
  • M = 1000
So for example 2014 is represented as: MMXIV (1000 + 1000 + 10 + 1 + 5)!
Interesting isn't it? This is an easy system to memorize and it will be very useful during your visit because you will find Roman Numbers everywhere!
The Seven Hills of Rome (Italian: Sette colli di Roma, Latin: Septem montes Romae) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.
The seven hills are:

  • Aventine Hill (Latin, Aventinus; Italian, Aventino)
  • Caelian Hill (Caelius, Celio)
  • Capitoline Hill (Capitolium, Campidoglio)
  • Esquiline Hill (Esquilinus, Esquilino)
  • Palatine Hill (Palatinus, Palatino)
  • Quirinal Hill (Quirinalis, Quirinale)
  • Viminal Hill (Viminalis, Viminale)
The Vatican Hill (Latin Collis Vaticanus) lying northwest of the Tiber, the Pincian Hill (Latin Mons Pincius), lying to the north, and the Janiculum Hill (Latin Ianiculum), lying to the west, are not counted among the traditional Seven Hills.