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- Walk through the city’s coolest neighborhoods like Prati, Trastevere, Monti, and more, with color-coded stops and turn-by-turn directions
- Find your scene with top ten lists for restaurants, famous film locations, nightlife, and more
- Get to know the real Rome: Wander along winding side streets and find traditional artisans, rare antiques, and trendy boutiques. Walk past the designer displays on Via dei Condotti or take a romantic evening stroll through the Villa Borghese. Admire world-famous works by Bernini and Michelangelo, tour the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, or throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Mingle with locals at a Sunday market, find the best neighborhood pizza al taglio, and discover innovative restaurants, trendy wine bars, and the city’s most popular nightclubs
- Escape the crowds at locally-loved spots and under-the-radar favorites
- Explore on the go with foldout maps of each route and a removable full-city map, all in a handy guide that fits in your pocket
MOON ROME WALKS
Step off the plane and head straight for the newest, hippest coffee joint in town. Find out where you get the best fish in the city or where they have locally brewed beer on tap. Local authors share with you genuine highlights of the city they love. This way, you can skip the busy shopping streets and stroll through the city at your own pace, taking in a local attraction on your way to the latest and greatest concept stores. Savor every second and make your city trip a truly feel-good experience.
You’re about to discover Rome! According to legend, Rome was built in 753 BCE, yet almost 2,800 years later the city is still very contemporary. Ancient theaters have found a new life as restaurants, and worker districts are now hip yuppie neighborhoods. The Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican, and the Spanish Steps are just a few of the numerous monuments that award Rome its moniker “Eternal City.” On every street corner you can explore something from a different era, and in between all that history is the here and now: strong Italian coffee, ice cream in all imaginable flavors, wine from Lazio, pasta á la Roma, and hidden-away independent businesses. Follow us, and we’ll unveil all the secrets of the Eternal City!
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In this book, our local author shares with you the genuine highlights of the city she loves. Discover the city by foot and at your own pace, so you can relax and experience the local lifestyle without having to do much preparation beforehand. That means more time for you. Our walks take you past our favorite restaurants, cafés, museums, galleries, shops, and other notable attractions—places we ourselves like to go to. So who knows, you might even run into us.
None of the places mentioned here have paid to appear in either the text or the photos, and all text has been written by an independent editorial staff.
The six routes in this book allow you to discover the funnest neighborhoods in the city by foot and at your own pace. The walks will take you past museums and notable attractions, but more importantly, they’ll show you where to go for good food, drinks, shopping, entertainment, and an overall good time. Check out the map at the front of this book to see which areas of the city the routes will take you through.
Each route is clearly indicated on a detailed map at the beginning of the relevant chapter. The map also specifies where each place mentioned is located. The color of the number lets you know what type of venue it is (see the key at the bottom of this page). A description of each place is then given later in the chapter.
Without taking into consideration extended stops at any one location, each route will take a maximum of three hours. The approximate distance is indicated at the top of the page, before the directions.
Next to the address and contact details of each location, we give an idea of what you can expect to spend there. Unless otherwise stated, for restaurants the amount given is the average price of a main course. For sights and attractions, we indicate the cost of a regular full-price ticket.
WHEN IN ROME
Your idea of efficiency will probably be challenged when visiting Rome. So relax and don’t worry too much when you can’t find an up-to-date timetable. There may be a restaurant that opens later than its sign says or a museum that closes sooner than listed.
Eating is a vital part of Italian life. Romans tend to eat a late dinner. Lunch is usually from 1pm to 3pm, and only the most touristy restaurants open their doors before 8pm for dinner. Avoid restaurants where waiters stand outside praising the menu. Instead, visit a Roman trattoria, osteria, or family restaurant with no pretense. Romans are not good with change, but slowly and steadily more trendy restaurants and bars are opening. At these trendy places, it’s more about seeing and being seen than the quality of the food. For truly good food, choose basic places with fluorescent lights and paper table covers. An enoteca is a wine bar where you can enjoy small bites and light fare, while in a ristorante you’ll sit down to an elaborate meal—often chic and with service some other places lack. On the bill you’ll generally see a cover charge of two to three euros per person, listed as coperto or pane. If you see this charge listed, don’t tip unless the service was exceptionally good. If there is no cover charge on the bill, a 10 percent tip is customary.
The Roman kitchen is famous for its simple dishes, such as pasta alla gricia (with pork jowl) or cacio e pepe (with cheese and black pepper), fried specialties such as stuffed zucchini flowers or baccalà (salted cod), and hearty meats of lamb shank or oxtail. Italians like to drink wine with their meals and usually start with an aperitivo (appetizer) with a few small bites. After a hearty meal, they order a digestif: a distilled drink such as grappa or limoncello that “massages” the insides.
Romans don’t have elaborate breakfasts. They tend to have a cappuccino and a cornetto (croissant) at their neighborhood bar. Pay at the checkout first, then take your receipt to the bar to collect your order. Within two minutes you’re out. You can be served at a table, but you will be charged slightly more.
GOOD TO KNOW
Most shops close for lunch—roughly between 1:30pm and 3pm—and they are closed all day Sunday and Monday mornings. Many shops and restaurants close for the entire month of August. This is less common in the city center, but don’t be surprised at how quiet it can be in other neighborhoods. Museums often close their ticket windows an hour before the official closing time. Are you under 18 or a student under 26? Take your passport or student card with you when you visit a museum. You’ll get a discount but only upon identification.
If you want to visit churches, keep a modest dress code in mind. Bring a light scarf to cover your shoulders on warm summer days, and make sure bare legs are covered. Skirts or shorts that fall below the knees are often okay.
Museum tickets used to be free for seniors 65 and older, but because of a new policy that took effect in 2014, seniors must now pay full price. Only kids 18 and younger and (in some cases) teachers have free entrance. Students under 26 get a discount.
As compensation, “museum nights” are organized twice a year, which feature a €1 entrance fee. Major attractions like the Colosseum remain open until 10pm every Friday night. And all museums are free the first Sunday of every month.
This policy change was decided by Minister Dario Franceschini of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism) to honor the value of Italian heritage. Before this change, more than one in three visitors had free admission to museums, which made the minister feel as though he was “sitting on a gold mine.”
August is the main holiday month in the whole of Italy. Therefore, many shops and restaurants in Rome are closed for vacation (chiuso per ferie), even if there are no particulars mentioned in this guide at an address. Besides Easter Monday, Italy observes the following public holidays:
January 1 > New Year’s Day
January 6 > Epiphany (La Befana)
April 25 > Liberation Day
May 1 > Labor Day
June 2 > Republic Day
August 15 > Assumption of Mary (Ferragosto)
November 1 > All Saints’ Day
December 8 > Immaculate Conception
December 25 > Christmas Day
December 26 > St. Stephen’s Day (Santo Stefano)
Shops and restaurants in Rome come and go somewhat regularly. We do our best to keep the walks and contact details as up to date as possible. We also do our best to update the print edition as often as we can. However, if, despite our best efforts, there is a place that you can’t find or if you have any other comments or tips about this book, please let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A taxi from Leonardo da Vinci Airport (Fiumicino) to the center of town is €48, and from Ciampino it’s €30. Do note—this rate is available only within the walls of Aurelius (the historic center). At both airports there are many unofficial taxi drivers who scam tourists, so be sure to get into only a white car with a taxi meter. You can also take the shuttle bus to central station Termini (www.sitbusshuttle.it, www.terravision.eu). One way on the Leonardo Express train from Fiumicino to Termini costs €14, and a train to Trastevere station is €8.
For now, Rome has two subway lines (A and B) that cross each other at Termini station and pass by all the major sights. Construction on the subway line C is in full swing, and because of that there are regular changes to the schedule for lines A and B. Normally the subway runs from 5:30am until 11:30pm (Fri & Sat until 1:30am). The bus takes you to all the places where the subway doesn’t go, but buses are usually jam-packed and are a favorite spot for pickpockets. With the subway and bus numbers 40 and 64, you can cover most of the center. Tickets for the subway, bus, tram, and train are €1.50 and valid for 100 minutes. You have to stamp your ticket when you get on. Please note, you can use one ticket to ride more subway lines, but you have to stay within the area where you started. Tickets are for sale at tobacco shops and subway stations. You can choose from one-day tickets (€7), two-day tickets (€12.50), three-day tickets (€18), and one-week tickets (€24). Between midnight and 5am there are night buses. For more information, check out www.atac.roma.it.
A Roma Pass is valid for three days and costs €36. You can use it for public transportation and free access to two museums. The pass costs €36, and you can get it at several tourist information sites, all participating museums, and a few subway stations. You can find more information at www.romapass.it.
Taxis are not allowed to stop on the street and can pick up customers only at a taxi stop. Make sure your driver sets the meter. If you have luggage you pay extra, and after 10pm and on Sundays and national holidays prices are higher too, starting at €5. You do not have to tip, and you can order a taxi by calling (39) 06 3570.
If you’re adventurous enough, rent a motor scooter (about €40 a day). You need a driver’s license, and you have to wear a helmet. Go to Treno & Scooter on the Piazza del Cinquecento, which is in front of Termini station (www.trenoescooter.com). Rome’s center is not very big, so you can easily explore on foot. Be careful, though, because traffic is rather chaotic.
Do not be surprised if you find a bike path that stops after a hundred yards: this happens all the time and is an example of vain attempts of cyclists to make the city more bike friendly. The rows of potholes, where until recently there were poles with rental bikes attached, are silent witness to this too.
Yet, in recent years there have been more cyclists in the city. Rome is built on several hills, so not every district is easily accessible on a bici. But many highlights in the historic center are on flat terrain, such as the neighborhoods around the Vatican, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Piazza del Popolo, Trevi Fountain, Campo de’ Fiori, and the ghetto.
There are relatively few bike paths in Rome, especially in the center. On www.piste-ciclabili.com you’ll find an overview of all the paths (green lines). Want to go for a proper bike ride in the heart of the city without constantly having to navigate the busy traffic? Go down to the riverside and ride the lungotevere—a long path running along the river bank. In the rest of the city, you have to be vigilant. The average Roman driver is not very attentive to people on bikes. And in case your bell doesn’t work, shout attenzione! (“watch out!”). There are basically two rules to follow: wear a helmet and don’t be in a hurry.
For bike rentals and tours, try Topbike Rental & Tours in Via Labicana 49. This is an organization of enthusiastic Dutch people who love to show you Rome and its rich history. Have a look at their website at www.topbikerental.com or call them for more information, (39) 06-4882893. On the Internet you’ll find many alternatives, such as Bici & Baci (www.bicibaci.com) and Roma rent bike (www.romarentbike.it).
Bici Roma (www.biciroma.it) is one of the organizations that wants to push the political agenda for more new bike paths. Once a year, a large bike tour is held in the city in collaboration with the Dutch embassy in Rome.
Italy is one of the top five countries in the world with the most cars, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to chain your bike to a drainpipe in front of the Pantheon?
TOP 10: RESTAURANTS
1 Go to L’Arcangelo for a creative dinner > here
2 Lunch with the locals in Hostaria Romana > here
3 Choices, choices in Roscioli > here
4 L’Asino d’Oro’s lunch menu is really good > here
5 It’s a cozy feel in the long and narrow Cul de Sac > here
6 Every day a different dish at Felice a Testaccio > here
7 Vegetarian food in the modern Il Margutta Ristor Arte > here
8 Grappolo d’Oro Zampanò is an innovative trattoria > here
9 For kosher food go to Ba’ghetto > here
10 Always busy at Taverna Pretoriana > here
TOP 10: SUNDAYS
1 After Mass, the pope wishes all a good lunch at Piazza San Pietro > here
2 The Palatino and the Roman Forum in old Rome > here
3 Walk through ancient Ostia Antica > here
4 View the impressive Etruscan art at Villa Giulia > here
5 Brunch is served at the Chiostro del Bramante > here
6 Romans love to swim in Lago di Bracciano > here
7 Many great market finds at Porta Portese > here
8 In summer, operas are staged at Terme di Caracalla > here
9 Climb up to the Vittoriano and enjoy the view > here
10 Beer is increasingly popular at Open Baladin > here
TOP 10: FILM LOCATIONS
1 Cinecittà is one of the world’s important film sets > here
2 Anita Ekberg bathed in the Trevi Fountain in La Dolce Vita > here
3 La Bocca della Verità was important in Roman Holiday > here
4 In Quo Vadis, Jesus showed himself to Petrus in Via Appia Antica > here
5 Tom Hanks looked for Angels & Demons on Piazza del Popolo > here
6 The Godfather Part III features Vatican statues > here
7 The Talented Mr. Ripley has a date at Piazza di Spagna > here
8 La Grande Bellezza opens at La Fontana dell’Acqua Paola > Via Garibaldi
9 Many scenes in To Rome with Love are set in Trastevere > here
- On Sale
- Dec 17, 2019
- Page Count
- 152 pages
- Moon Travel