Rome is a city that runs on its sort of controlled chaos, based on some unspoken rules and customs. The city can do a lot to you – it can show you ethereal chapels and Renaissance frescoes, or it can push you into the midst of a massive traffic jam – either way Rome is bound to overwhelm you. Here’s how you can strategize and make the most of your trip.
Skip the Vatican Museums
The Vatican is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city and is always teeming with long lines and crowds, which hardly makes for a pleasant experience unless you’re willing to wake up at the crack of dawn to avoid the rush that is. Instead of getting lost in the crowds, go to the Capitoline Museums and Galleria Borghese. The former boasts antique marble sculptures, statues, and paintings, while the latter is home to the works of Rafael, Bellini and the like.
Don’t order a cappuccino after breakfast
Italians are known for making some of the best coffee in the world. Breakfast for Romans usually consists of a cappuccino, and a pastry consumed standing up at a bar. It is the only time of the day when it is considered appropriate to order a cappuccino; after breakfast follow up with an espresso or a caffe macchiato. Also, make sure not to order a latte as it is just milk.
Try wines other than Pinot Grigio
Use where you are to its best and go beyond the familiar and try white wines from Campagna like Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, and Falanghina. Sicily produces some of the best reds like Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese. If you are unsure about your selection, ask the sommelier for suggestions.
Be careful when picking hotels
Although the historic part of Rome is pretty compact, the city as a whole is enormous, and the last thing you want to be doing on vacation is waste time and money commuting via night buses and taxies. Find a location of preference and a hotel in its vicinity. Business people would find Le Méridien Visconti in Prati apt, while stylish budget options are available at the Generator Hostel near Termini Station.
Rome is not just historic
The Eternal City is about more than just ancient history – it is a fine meld of antiquity and modernity working in symphony. Discover Rome’s contemporary side with museums like MAXXI and MARCO, and the galleries of Monti. Get a look into the artsy side of the city with a street art tour in the neighborhoods of Ostiense and Pigneto.