If you’re looking for an Italian summer break why not head to the beautifully historic city of Rome?
“With its unparalleled history, Rome is the third most visited city in Europe and the fourteenth worldwide. It attracts visitors from all over the world who are impatient to discover the city’s impressive monuments and archaeological sites; not to mention its renowned cuisine and its lively atmosphere”.
If you are thinking of heading to the Italian capital this summer we’ve put together a short list of tips and tricks to help you fully enjoy your trip.
Prepare for the Heat:
Our trip to Rome was at the end of June and while we were expecting the weather to be fairly decent, we didn’t expect the whole of Europe to be experiencing a record-breaking heat wave.
In the week leading up to your trip be sure to check the local weather forecasts and don’t forget to pack your summer essentials such as suntan lotion, cool clothes and a hat. As briefly mentioned earlier Rome if filled with beautiful and impressive monuments and buildings. You can spend large parts of your day jumping between shadows and shade, but there are parts of the city, especially around tourist attractions, which are completely exposed to the sun. In theory this may sounds great, but in reality it’s extremely dangerous. Obviously there’s the threat of sunburn and all the consequences which can follow, but there’s also an incredibly high threat of dehydration, which leads nicely onto our next tip.
Water bottles: All over the city you will find fountains which produce clean, cold and clear running drinking water. One of the most important tips I can give you is to buy a large water bottle and continue to fill it up throughout the day. Not only is reusing one bottle kinder to your bank balance (trust me, the mark up on bottles of water is criminal), but it’s also kinder to the environment.
If you happen to be visiting the Colosseum or the Roman Forum be sure to keep an eye out for a marquee in between the two sites where free bottles of water are handed out to visitors and passers-by. The water is a little warm but it’s free and it can help massively if you’re struggling with the heat.
Check your dates:
If you’re looking to visit all of the main attractions I would suggest checking your dates before booking. We were in the City between the 25th and the 28th of June. Our accommodation was situated on the edge of Vatican City and while we were happy to view the Vatican from the outside, we hadn’t planned to go in or visit any of their museums and it was a good job we didn’t.
On Saturday 29th of June locals celebrate the City Festival of Saint Peter and Paul which in result meant the Vatican was closed to visitors. Again this wasn’t so much an issue for us as we were flying home Friday, but the footfall around the area had drastically increased and queuing times were on average around 4 hours. Our guide for the Roman Forum advised us that the Vatican had seen around 45,000 people over the course of three days, which again, leads to another important tip.
Beat the massive queues, beat waiting in the exhausting sunshine and pre-book your activities! This will drastically reduce your waiting time, reduce your risk of buying fake tickets from the dozens of scalpers and will hopefully save you money. There are tonnes of websites online where you can book activities but my best suggestion would be heading to either the official Rome Tourism and Travel Guide website, or ask at your accommodation for advice. They may even be able to offer you discounted deals with partnered tour guides.
Just as with any popular tourist attraction you need to keep your wits about you. There are signs dotted all over the city warning of pesky pick-pockets and thieves. There are so many people at these destinations, it’s not hard to see how easily the thieves can work their way through the happy and oblivious crowds just trying to enjoy their holiday. If you can wear clothes with zipped pockets and keep a constant eye or hand on your belongings. I’ve never exactly been a fan of bumbags or fanny-packs, but for holidays like these I imagine they are one of the most useful and safest things you could possibly own.
Rome is a wonderful city full of history and beauty and I would honesty advise anybody and everybody to visit at least once. As you wander through the city you cannot help but feel as though you’ve taken a step back in time, that is if you can ignore the other tourists and their selfie sticks.
Have you visited Rome in the past? Or are you perhaps planning a trip in the future! We’d love to hear from you! To share your love or perhaps your tips for anybody visiting soon you can comment below, Tweet us or head to our Facebook page.
I hope this article can be of some use and if you are heading to Rome soon have the best time and stay safe!
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