Rome, Italy

Once the center of the world for centuries, Rome is the birthplace of Caesar and home to the Catholic Church.  This city is the motherland for history.  There’s no place like Rome.  You can walk through the city next to modern buildings and there are ruins dating back thousands of years.  The city is full of life, beauty and so much charm.

MUST GO TO PLACES

Activities – Most attractions will cost around 12-20 EUR to enter.  Guided tours may offer a discount if you reserve multiple excursions with them.  City cards are also good investments if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.  This card offers many discounts to museums, tours, and attractions.  Wine tours will cost 60-80 EUR.  A suggested daily budget is 40-60 EUR ($50-70 USD).

Transportation – The public transportation system is very expensive in Rome.  They consist of buses, subways, trams, and trolleys.  A 75 minute ticket will cost around 1.50 EUR.  A one day pass will be around 7 EUR, 2 day pass is 12.50 EUR, 3 day pass is 18 EUR, and a week pass is 24 EUR.  Avoid taxis due to being very expensive.  Uber is available in Rome and cheaper than taxis.

  • Vatican City – You could spend a half a day here, and it is super easy to visit.  Visit the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.  All these places are 16 EUR for entrance.
  • Go to all the churches – There are so many beautiful churches here.  Explore as many as possible.  They all have amazing art, sculptures, decorations, and stained glass.
  • The Pantheon – Travel back to almost 2,000 years ago, this place looks nearly the same today.  It is marvelous with marble floors, a plethora of history, and it is one of the best-preserved buildings in the world.
  • The Colosseum – One of the most famous sights to see in all of Italy.  It’s nearly 2,000 years old, and it is the largest amphitheater in the entire Roman Empire.  If the line is too long, head to the entrance of the Forum where you can buy a combo ticket for both sites.  Admission is 12 EUR. It’s open 8:30am until one hour before sunset.
  • The Forum and Palatine Hill – Discover the seat of Ancient Rome and experience where the Roman empire began.  Next to it is Palatine Hill where the Roman aristocracy lived.  Combine your visit to the Colosseum with Palatine Hill.  Admission is 12 EUR and includes entry to the Colosseum.
  •  Spanish Steps – These are a long and grand staircase in Rome to the Piazza di Spagna at the base and it is a perfect place to hangout.  It was built in the 1720s.  It has become a social gathering for locals and tourists.  It’s also popular for crawls too!
  • Trevi Fountain – The most famous fountain in the entire wold.  It is crowded, especially at night due to all the couples taking romantic pictures.  See it before lunch to avoid the large crowds.  And DO NOT forget to throw 2 coins in (one for love and one to return to Rome) over your left shoulder.  Who knows, you may get your Lizzie McGuire moment!
  • Trastevere – One of the best places to explore in the city.  This is also known as the student neighborhood so options will be cheaper in this area.  The winding alleys are picture perfect and there is amazing food here.  Few tourists come here.  It is definitely the place to get the true Roman experience.
  • Castel Sant’Angelo – Built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian at the end of the 1st century.  There’s a passageway that runs to the Vatican.  Admission is 7 EUR and is open daily (expect for Mondays) from 9am – 7:30pm.
  • Catacombs – There are 3 major catacombs open to the public in Rome.  There are the Catacombs of Praetextatus, the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, and the Catacombs of San Callisto.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Hostels are pretty inexpensive in Rome.  Expect to pay around 13 EUR for a 4-6 bed dorm room.  Check Hostel World, Booking.com and other sites to see if you can score better deals before you book with the hostel itself.

  • Yellow Hostel – The longer the stay, the bigger the discount.  They offer tours around the city, cooking classes, yoga classes, and many more.  They have many events.  This is no ordinary hostel.  Stay here for 8 EUR per night.
  • Generator Hostel – The interior is a tapestry of Roman heritage with 75 intricately styled rooms. Set over seven floors, they include a bar and a chill-out lounge.  Beds start at 18 EUR for a small shared room per night.
  • Hostel Alessandro Palace & Bar – There are 2 locations for this hostel, the original, The Palace, and The Downtown.  Rates start at 12 EUR per night.
  • Four Seasons Hostel – Upon checking in, you’ll be offered a complementary glass of champagne.  Staff is available 24hrs.  11 EUR per night is the starting rate.
  • Freedom Traveller – The hostel is surrounded by supermarkets, restaurants, bars, basically everything you might need.  They offer amnesties a modern hostel provides.  Rooms start at 13 EUR per night.
  • Youth Station Hostel – One of Rome’s newest hostels, they provide private bathrooms, air conditioning/heaters, cupboards with locks, and WiFi connection in every room and offers very high quality standards together with a wide range of internal services.  Rooms start at 9 EUR per night.
  • Hostel Beautiful 2 – Situated in the historical center of Rome, they offer a common room, luggage storage, and 24 hour reception.  A night stay here will cost 11 EUR per night.
  • M&J Hostel – It is one of the most popular hostels in Europe, and it is known for its friendly atmosphere and closeness to all of Rome’s greatest attractions. The hostel offers internet, has no lockout, and offers all travelers a memorable social experience. The staff is friendly, the people are fun and breakfast is also available!  10 EUR for a night stay here.

BARS & RESTAURANTS

Italy is the most famous place in the world for it’s fresh pasta, bread, tomatoes, pizza, gelato, and wine.  It is also the gluten capital of the world.  Most restaurants will cost around 25 EUR per meal.  Touristy spots will obviously cost 10 times more.  There’s also a “coperto” (a sit down fee) for 3 EUR.  This covers service and bread.  Quicks eats/snacks cost around 5-7 EUR.  For cheaper foods, head over to the Trastevere, the student neighborhood.  You can also hit the local markets to make your own food and save more money.  60 EUR will get you a weeks worth of groceries.  Discount grocery store like Eurospin, In’s Mercato, LD Market, Lidl and Penny Market will save you more money.  Also, make sure you know how to communicate your allergy to your servers.

  • Pandali – Near Largo Argentina, this bakery is entirely gluten free and it is certified by the Italian Celiac Association.  at in or take away pizza, arancini, sandwiches, salads and sweet things including cookies and cakes are available. There is a small selection of flours and pasta for sale.
  • Fatamorgana – A small chain of artisan gelaterias has gluten free gelato and cones.
  • Il Viaggio – Their motto, “La buona cucina non deve essere un lontano ricordo per chi soffre di intolleranza al glutine,” or “good cuisine doesn’t have to be a distant memory for those who suffer from gluten intolerance.”  The orgional menus is identical to the gluten free menu.  Traditional Rome dishes, carbonara and tiramisu‘ are available.  The restaurant also uses separate utensils and cookery when preparing gluten-free meals. In addition, Il Viaggio offers gluten-free cooking classes!
  • Sans de Blé – A charming bakery that offers gluten free pastries that pair perfectly with a cappuccino.
  • La Scaletta – Their menu features classic Calabrese and Roman dishes and gathers fresh ingredients daily from local markets.
  • ‘O Masto Pizzeria – Both gluten free and original pizzas are avialable.  While thick crust Neapolitan pies are their specialty, you can also choose a thinner, crispier crust.
  • La Piazzetta di Roma – Their gluten free carbonara is amazing.  Also, try their fritture.  Located at Piazza dei Visconti 8, 00164.
  • Mama! Eat – The staff is friendly and they offer “senza glutine” pasta, panini, pizzas, fritte, and beer.
  • Ristorante dai Sandri di Trastevere – Located in the student neighborhood, this is the best place for gluten-free pizza, pasta, and various well-known Italian meals.  You can pick various courses from the Bel Paese, and still taste classic Italian flavors while eating a gluten free meal.  Located at Via Roma Libera, 19.
  • La Soffitta Renovatio – The have gluten free pizzas and other plates served in this AIC-accredited restaurant.  It is the perfect place to find fried food, antipasti, and amazing desserts.
  • Le Sorelle – Located near the Spanish Steps, it is famous for their monkfish in saffron sauce – enriched with slices of pumpkin in autumn, and various Roman recipes such as savor meats.  Located at Via Belsiana, 30.

MONEY SAVING TIPS

  • Avoid town center – If you stay on the outskirts of Rome or the countryside, you’ll be able to save a lot of money on accommodations.  Food outside of the city is also cheaper.  It’s super easy to train into Rome for sightseeing.
  • Eat cheap – Instead of lavish meals, choose a sandwhich or a slice of pizza.  Pizza is mainly priced that is determined by it’s weight.  Trastevre,across the river, will be the cheapest place for food.
  • Tourist card – If you plan on hitting a lot of museums, buy one of these cards.  Roma Pass, Archeologia card, or the Biglietto 4 Musei are great budget card.  Just pay a flat fee for all the attractions.
  • Skip on the bread – This is an obvious option for us gluten free people but sometimes GF bread is offered.  It will automatically be sent to your table and then it’ll appear on your bill when the check comes.  Send it back so you won’t be tempted.
  • Chose tap water – Ask for tap water or you will automatically get bottled water that will also be included on you bill.  Bring your own water bottle.  There ate plenty of fountains to fill up around the city.  The tap water is fine to drink.
  • Buy your own wine – Head to a wine store and buy your own wine for 4 EUR.
  • Couchsurf – Using Couchsurfing is a way to stay with locals for free.  It’s a great way to save money and see the city from a locals point of view.
  • Free walking tours – This is a great way to see the city.  Rome Free Walking Tours has tours that show you what to see and go to in the city.

SPECIALITY EVENTS

Partake in La Settimana dei Beni Culturali – This is a 10-day event that occurs every May. During this time, all governmentally owned and operated landmarks, museums, and archeological sites are free of charge to enter!

Picture credit

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