Cultural Experience | Rome

Explore Roma Aeterna in a Week

Rome continues to be a popular destination for tourists all around the world. The city is filled with culture, religion and over two thousand years of history you will need more than a week to see it all.

Budget Your Expenses:

• Many people can get wrapped up in all the excitement of a new city that they forget how much they are actually spending. Eating out in Rome seems like a great way to immerse yourself in the culture but the cost can be quite expensive. Instead of eating out for every meal, opt for one of Rome’s farmer’s markets with fresh fruit and rich coffee or small convenience stores with plenty of meals and snacks to choose from.

• Often times, people are quick to pay $15-$50 for one-way trips around the city in a taxi. After traveling around, public transportation is the better option to reach your destination. A single ride is about $2 and for an all-day pass is about $15. There are also hop on and hop off buses that take you to Rome’s famous tourist spots in a 2-day pass for $30. Some of the tour companies’ offer passes with entrance fees to major landmarks. Shop around before you pick which one is right for you and keep a lookout for student discounts.

• Hostels and Airbnb are great option for low cost accommodations especially when traveling in groups and is worth it if you are looking for a local experience. However if you prefer to stay in hotels for a more luxurious stay, lookout for deals on websites like Expedia and Orbitz that offer packages and deals with airfare included. Keep an eye out for Groupon deals that offer all-inclusive tour deals with airfare and hotel which can be a better deal for those that like everything fully planned out.

Top places to see:

• The Colosseum & Roman Forum: They are the most iconic landmarks of Ancient Rome featured in countless films and literature. It is worth it to indulge in a tour as the tour guides often share stories of the battles in the Colosseum and how it was built. But if you are on a time crunch, just appreciate the outside and do not be afraid of asking nearby tour guides any questions you have. Most tour guides are nice enough to tell information about the Colosseum.
• Trevi Fountain: It is a stunning fountain so try going late at night when the fountain is lit and you can relax and appreciate what a wonder this city is. Toss a coin backwards into the fountain to insure that you will be back some day.

• Pantheon: It was the Temple of the Gods and the best preserved architecture from Ancient Rome.

• The Spanish Steps: This staircase consists of 135 steps so climb on up to get a break taking view of the city. Caution: It is illegal to eat on the steps so they can keep the area clean. (Currently under restoration probably will be open at the end of the year)

• The Vatican: Vatican City was one of my favorite spots and although tours can be a bit pricey, it is an experience one will never forget. You might get a chance to see the Pope as well.

Things to do outside of Rome:

• Take a day trip to Tivoli to visit the world heritage villas and see Emperor Hadrian’s villa.

• Jump on a train to Naples and Pompeii but make sure you have a lot of energy. Pompeii is huge and will take about 3 hours to cover all the important sites.

• Florence can also be reached in 1.5 hours by train and there is a lot to see. Make sure to squeeze in the Duomo and the Piazza della Signoria.

Tips to remember:

• Riposo is from 1pm – 4pm so many shops and restaurants will be closed. On extremely hot days, this would be the best time to head back to the hotel and take a nap.

• Keep up to date with local demonstrations and public transport as they are frequent. Walking and biking are alternative options as many things in Rome are withing walking distance.

• Research if there are any local festivals like jazz or Romics (Rome’s Comic-Con) that you are interested in.

• Lastly remember that gelato is made fresh every day so try a new flavor whenever you can.

Rhea Rupani

University of California, Santa Cruz | 1 story

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