Rome, Italy, a Bucket List Destination
Rome is the capital city of Italy, and with that title comes endless history and culture. It is a major modern city, but it is also the former seat of the Roman Empire, not to mention the home of the Vatican and therefore the headquarters for the entire Catholic Church. Filled with museums, markets and seemingly endless scoops of gelato, Rome is a bucket list destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Use this guide to explore everything that Rome has to offer and to prepare for the trip of a lifetime.
Your Guide to Getting to Rome
They say all roads lead to Rome, but most travelers won’t arrive in their own vehicles. Instead, most international travelers arrive by plane. If you are planning to arrive via air travel, you will most likely land at the largest of the two Roman airports, the Fiumicino Airport. This airport is very popular with major airlines, and it is well connected to the city thanks to numerous forms of public transport. However, some local European flights also land at the nearby Ciampino International Airport. If you are cutting costs and flying a budget airline to Rome, Ciampino may be where your flight arrives. Fortunately, this airport is even closer to the city center, and there are many affordable taxis and public transport options to get you to your downtown accommodation.
Another way to travel to Rome is by train. This may be a good option if you’re already in another Italian city or even further afield in Europe. Roma Termini is the major train station in the city, and there are several transport connections from the station. Whether you’re arriving by train or by plane, it is important to understand that sidewalks, elevators and even airport terminals in Rome are not always flat. It is worth investing in the best spinner luggage you can afford so that you can handle changing terrain or even a few cobblestone streets.
The Swissgear 7788 20″ Expandable Carry On Hardside Spinner Luggage is a wonderful choice for traveling. This light weight hard case luggage glides across the airport effortlessly as you go through the TSA checkpoint. Each of the eight wheels is designed to spin a full 360 degrees, showcasing how spinner luggage makes it so much easier to push or pull on uneven ground. The telescopic handle is ideal as you navigate the city streets or just the various levels at the train station. The hard side construction protects all your belongings, making it one of the best spinner luggage options on the market. Plus, travelers will appreciate features like its expandable size and the tie-downs, both of which let you fit more into the suitcase. Hardcase suitcases are also sold as luggage sets on sale. If you’d like to keep some personal items close, bring a long a small carry on travel laptop backpack that you can store some snacks in, as well as keep your travel documents secure.
FAQ: Weather, Transport, Currency, When to Visit and More
Like many major European cities, Rome is a bustling metropolis throughout the year. While the summer months are certainly the busiest thanks to international crowds, there is plenty to do and see all year long. If you’re concerned about the climate, rest assured that Rome is a relatively mild destination. Even in the coldest winter months, it is very rare to see the temperature go below freezing. In the summer, be prepared for heat and sunshine. In the fall, expect cool days with bursts of sunshine. Winter can get more rain along with colder, shorter days, but spring offers a lovely thaw and increasing sunshine.
Rome is part of the European Union, so their currency is the Euro. Although some international currencies might be accepted at major hotels or souvenir shops, virtually all cash transactions use Euros. If you want to plug in any electronic devices, you’ll need a European plug.
Fortunately, the Swissgear Worldwide Adapter Plug is the perfect accessory for traveling. Simply plug it into any outlet in Rome, and then you can charge your own electronic devices. Having an adapter on hand takes up almost no space, and this plug is incredibly lightweight. Plus, it doesn’t just function in Italy. On future trips throughout Europe, Asia or Africa, you can take advantage of the electronic adapter plug and its safety lock, a surge protector that better protects your expensive devices and its enlarged faceplate. Whether you need to charge a camera battery before a sightseeing tour or recharge cell phone batteries while on the go, this adapter plug is a valuable asset.
Historical Landmarks and Attractions
One of the best things about visiting Rome is that there is so much to see throughout the city. In fact, savvy travelers know that the best way to explore Rome is on foot. This allows you to see the lesser-known sights in between the major attractions. The Swissgear 1651 City Pack Backpack is the perfect day backpack for your Roman walking tour. The spacious main compartment can hold your camera or a jacket, and there are plenty of smaller accessory pockets for electronics and essentials. Even a water bottle pocket on the side lets you stay hydrated, and bottles can be refilled at any number of free water fountains throughout the city. The best day pack will also be stylish, and this day backpack is sleek, attractive and suitable for cosmopolitan exploration.
With the best day pack strapped onto your back, head to Old Rome. The historic district is packed with impressive architecture, starting with the Ancient Roman Pantheon. Admire the world-famous roof and then make your way to the famed Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica and the incredible Colosseum. Even if you’re not religious, it is worth spending a few hours at the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel. If it is summer and you’re worried about long wait times, get there as early as possible to beat the crowds. Rome is home to a staggering number of amazing museums, and there is no way any traveler could see them all in a single holiday. Some of the top picks to add to your itinerary are the Borghese, the National Gallery of Rome, the Vatican Museums and the Castel Sant’Angelo.
Day Trips Outside of Rome
You could fill days and even weeks with sightseeing and adventure without ever leaving the city of Rome. However, it can also be fun to explore beyond the city limits, and day trips are the ideal way to see more without leaving your home base behind. Whether you set off on a short train ride or a longer journey, make sure the luggage you bring along for the day is marked. On some trains, you’ll need to store your backpacks in a specific area, and every bag should be marked as your own.
The Swissgear Personalized Luggage Tag Set is the ideal accessory for trips outside of Rome, not to mention air travel to and from Italy. These luggage tags work as a backpack ID as well as a durable luggage ID for suitcases. They are compatible with many pieces of luggage, and they can also be strapped on thanks to the flexible tie strap. Each tag can be personalized with details like your name, address, phone number and email. With luggage tags to keep your bags secure, you can have peace of mind on day trips.
For those who like ancient history, a three-hour train journey will take you to the amazing ruins of Pompeii. Many travelers are also surprised to learn that it takes just 90 minutes to get to the city of Florence by speed train, making it the ideal day trip destination. Finally, you can get off the beaten path by to heading to Frascati, a smaller town known for its remarkable wine and relaxed way of life.
What to Eat, Drink and Buy in Rome
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that Rome is a culinary capital. While Rome offers all kinds of Italian and international fare, there are a few dishes that you won’t want to miss. To start the day off like a local, enjoy a cappuccino and a cornetto, a type of croissant. For lunch on the go, try a panino, or stuffed sandwich. For dinner, find a traditional Italian eatery and dig into the pizza, which is thicker in Rome than in Naples, deep-fried zucchini flowers or a hearty oxtail stew. Round out the day with a scoop of gelato from a gelateria.
Wine in Rome is a given, but many travelers don’t realize that the house wines in local Roman restaurants are usually very high quality. Although they are cheap, they are delicious. If you’re not sure about the quality of a wine, look at the label for the letters D.O.C., which signifies that it is both produced in Italy and is a quality wine.
As you wander through the streets of Rome, you’ll come across numerous souvenir shops selling generic items plastered with photos of iconic Roman landmarks. If you really want to bring home a memorable souvenir, however, look for something a little more authentic. Consider buying a local bottle of olive oil, a handcrafted Italian glass ornament or some locally made art from the Porte Portese Flea Market or the Mercato Monti Urban Market.
With this guide in hand, you’ll be ready to prepare for a trip to Rome. With so much to see, do and explore, Rome is a destination that you’ll never forget.