Rome: A Guide to the Eternal City
Rome, Italy: Travel and Tours of the Eternal City
Few cities in the world evoke as much awe and wonder as Rome, Italy. Once the capital of the vast Roman Empire, the city of Rome is a sprawling, amazing collection of historical ruins, incredible artwork, glorious churches, beautiful people and delicious food. Rome is a city which will catch you by surprise, no matter how much you thought you knew about it or were prepared for her beauty before you arrived. Of course, Rome is so large, and full of so many attractions to see, that a visit to the city requires careful planning - and the knowledge that you will simply have to return in the future to see more of what you will have missed the first time.
Read on to learn more about the unique sites, scenes, tastes and adventures to be found in Rome, Italy, a city like no other place on Earth. Whether you will be on a tour of Rome for one day or staying in Rome for a week or more, you'll find information to make the most of your visit.
Touring Rome, Italy: Plan and Be Prepared
How to Make the Most of Your Rome Travel Experience
Rome can be intimidating, frustrating and challenging to the unprepared tourist. There are many scam artists out there on the city's streets, ready to con you out of your travel money - especially near top tourist destinations like the Colosseum. Some museums require advance ticket purchases, others are closed at odd hours and days of the week, and the same is true for many of Rome's historic churches. You need to make a definite itinerary before visiting Rome and be ready to face certain challenges. Check out my detailed 10 Travel Tips for Enjoying a Roman Vacation article and you'll be well on your way to enjoying a great visit to the city.
Top Tourism Guides to Rome, Italy - Books (and Maps) You Shouldn't Leave for Rome Without
Although the internet is a great resource for learning out tourist destinations like Rome, there are still many reasons to purchase at least one or two travel books to take with you. Having a good pocket guide to museums, historical sites, and handy maps will make your life easier when you can't get internet service or don't want to pay high wifi fees! These are some of the best books on Rome to take with you on vacation.
A good map is essential when walking through the streets of Rome. This laminated map will hold up to hundreds of foldings and openings, and fits nicely into a coat pocket or purse.
Easy to read and full of great practical information, you simply must get - and read - Rick Steves' Rome before you go to Italy. Learn how to maximize your time visiting the Vatican, Borgese Gallery, and other historical sites while discovering unique facts and helpful tips. A definite must-have.
Get Rick Steves' guide for all of Italy if you're planning to visit areas beyond Rome during your vacation.
The "Top 10" guides are great for travelers who may be short on time and don't want to miss any highlights of a city. Lists for Top 10 museums, attractions, dining destinations and more!
For a more learned guide to Rome, check out the DK Eyewitness Guide. This book is full of historical information and great detail on the evolution of the city and how to explore it today.
Dining Out in Rome, Italy
Enjoying the Restaurants and Food of Rome
Because Rome is such a popular destination, it is easy to get suckered into eating less-than-stellar food in overpriced tourist traps throughout the city. But that would be a true shame as Rome has much to offer from a culinary perspective, if you know where to look for it. The city is well-known for its pasta, Jewish Italian cuisine, and creative uses of organ meats. For more information, check out my guides to Authentic Dishes to Enjoy in Rome and Dining Out in Italy. You might also want to check out my Rome restaurant reviews for details on some of my favorite restaurants in the city. Your stomach will thank you for it!
Museums You Must Visit in Rome, Italy - Top Destinations in Rome for Art and History
Rome is full of fantastic museums, palaces and historical collections of art, sculpture, and archaeological artifacts. These are some of the museums and galleries to put near the top of your itinerary list.
- Vatican Museums
Line up early to get first entry into the Vatican Museums. Speed to the Sistine Chapel, but then take your time exploring the rest of their impressive collection of art and sculpture.
- Borghese Gallery
Be sure to purchase tickets in advance to visit the Borghese Gallery, home to an incredible collection of art and sculpture including great works by Caravaggio, Titian and Bernini.
- National Museum of Rome
The National Museum contains some of the most amazing archaeological artifacts and exhibits in the world. Marvel at ancient sculpture, jewelry, mosaic artwork and coin collections.
- National Gallery of Modern Art
Rome is also home to an impressive modern art museum. Visit and see important works by artists including De Chirico, Guttuso, Kandisky and Czanne.
- Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico
For lovers of surrealist art, the home of Giorgio de Chirico is a must-visit when in Rome. See his studio and home preserved just as it appeared when he died, with many original works of art on display (advance reservations required.)
- Villa Farnesina
Art lovers should be sure to visit this 16th century villa built for Agostino Chigi. Decorated with frescoes by Raphael, Baldassare Peruzzi and Sebastiano del Piombo it is a stunning work of art, and home to a unique "perspective room" sure to deligh
Sculpture in Rome, Italy
Important Works of Sculptural Art Worth Seeing
Rome is an amazing city for experiencing truly incredible sculptural art. Even if you have never really appreciated sculpture as an art form, you will be amazed by the work you see on display in this city's various museums, churches and public piazzas. Be sure to check out my guide to 10 Sculptures You Must See In Rome, Italy for a list of some of the most important works on display in Rome.
The Best Rome Travel Links - Tour Rome Prepared with the Best Information
Get the most out of your Roman holiday by exploring the resources and information available at these sites. They will help you find the best deals and city tours, as well as information on how to see Rome as the Romans themselves do.
- Roma Pass
Save money and skip wasting time in lines getting in to some of Rome's most popular attractions. Buy a Roma Pass in advance and get included admission to two included museums, reduced admission to others, and free use of the city's public transportat
This great web hub will get you information on everything you need to know to maximize your visit to Rome.
A Great Book to Read Before Your Tour of Rome, Italy
This non-fiction book is an easy read which will give you a flavor and taste of Rome before visiting the city. The author spent a year in Rome, experiencing the city through all four seasons and while raising newborn children. It's also a fun read AFTER you visit Rome, as you will be familiar with the streets, sights, areas and way of life in the city.
The Churches of Rome, Italy
Seeing Rome's Religious Sites Beyond The Vatican
Everywhere you turn in Rome, you will be confronted by stunning churches, both large and small. Go on and step inside, whether you are religious or not. These churches are worth visiting for their beautiful architecture and artwork, from stunning ceiling frescoes to elaborate marble tombs. Important religious artifacts can be found in many of Rome's churches, and they provide an important perspective on life in Rome, particularly during Renaissance times.
Keep in mind, please, that there are certain rules of courtesy and etiquette to follow when visiting historic churches in Italy. Dress modestly and be mindful of those who are there to worship, not just to sight-see.
The Protestant Cemetary and Pyramid Cat Sanctuary of Rome, Italy
A Unique Tourist Destination Off the Beaten Path
Do you need some quiet, peaceful time when exhausted by the tourist crowds in Rome? Spend a reflective afternoon in the tranquil beauty of Rome's Protestant Cemetery, located in Rome's Testaccio district. Beautiful grounds await visitors here, where several notables are buried including poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.
Visiting the cemetery is also a must for cat lovers as the grounds are the home to the Pyramid Cat Colony. Cats have come to the Cemetery and nearby Cestia Pyramid for shelter since around 1850, and today the colony of nearly 80 cats survives on volunteer care and donations from visitors.
More photos of the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, ItalyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Is a Holiday in Rome in Your Future Plans?
Are you planning a trip to Rome in the future?
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - Visiting this historic district of Rome is a life-altering experience.Click thumbnail to view full-size
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Please let me know if this guide has been helpful to you in planning a trip to Rome - or remembering one you've already enjoyed!