Important Things Visitors Should Know About Rome

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Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the most iconic cities in Europe. Steeped in over 3000 years of history, the city has an amazing cultural and artistic heritage, but it’s never stopped evolving and still plays a major role on the world stage.

However, navigating Rome, and finding out about a whole range of issues can be confusing and frustrating at times! This is true for both Expats and tourists, especially if you’ve only just arrived and are trying to find your feet in the Eternal City.

The following are some of the often asked questions about Rome Italy and my responses:

Does Rome Italy Have Uber?

Yes, Rome does have Uber although its service is a little different to the United States or other parts of Northern Europe. Firstly, Uber in Rome is not as cheap as it is in other parts of the continent and you will generally be picked up in a fairly luxurious vehicle. This means that you’ll usually have to pay a surcharge on top of the normal price of a taxi.

In Rome, if you want to get a cheap ride in a hurry, you’re generally better off ordering a local taxi. Uber prices are also higher than regular taxis because the drivers have to pay to get a special permit to operate as private drivers in the city, a cost that is passed on to the customer.

Essentially, the Uber service in Rome is great, and although it will cost a bit more than a regular taxi, you’ll be driven in a swanky vehicle and the driver will probably speak pretty good English as well.

Is Uber Illegal In Rome?

There was a lot of controversy in Rome, and Italy, when Uber first tried to launch in the country and, in fact, Uber was illegal at one point. However, following an appeal in the courts, Uber was granted permission to operate in Rome and Milan, so it’s now completely legal in those cities.

Even so, many taxi drivers in Rome might tell you that Uber is still illegal but this is untrue. It’s possible that these taxi drivers haven’t heard about the new court ruling but it’s more likely that they are telling you Uber is illegal because it competes for their business in the city!

Does Rome Italy Get Snow?

Although it does snow in Rome during the winter months, it’s a fairly rare event. On the occasions when it does snow in Rome, the snowfalls tend to be very light and rarely exceed about 20cm of snow, as was the case in 2012. The last major snowfall, which brought the city to a standstill, occurred in the 1950s.

Essentially, although you should expect some cold, gray and windy weather during the winter, you shouldn’t expect to have a white Christmas in Rome! By contrast, some of Italy’s Northern provinces can get a lot of heavy snowfalls during the winter, especially near the Alps and Dolomites.

Does Rome Italy Have A Beach?

There are several fantastic beaches within a stone’s throw of Rome’s city center. Each beach has its own characteristics and attracts a slightly different crowd, even so, they are all worth a visit during your time in Rome, especially if you’re an Expat.

The Best Beaches Near Rome.

The following are some of the best beaches near Rome:

  • Santa Marinella – Situated in a beautiful bay, this is one of the most popular beaches near Rome. It has lovely clear waters, clean sands, lounge chairs and nearby facilities such as an ATM and takeaway restaurants along the boardwalk. It can get quite busy on a sunny day and since there is a relatively small public area to lay down your towel it’s a good idea to arrive early. To get to Santa Marinella beach you should catch a train from one of Rome’s major stations, such as Roma Termini, San Pietro or Trastevere, to Santa Marinella. From the Santa Marinella station, it’s only a 10 minute walk to the beach.
  • Santa Severa – This stunning beach surrounds an ancient castle and is wonderfully photogenic. While you’re at the beach you can stop for lunch at the L’Isola del Pescatore restaurant for some amazing fresh seafood. To get to the Santa Severa beach you need to catch a train from one of Rome’s main stations, such as Roma Termini, Ostiense or San Pietro, to Santa Severa, which is one stop before you get to Santa Martinella.
  • Ostia – This is the closest beach to Rome and although there are quite a few Stabilimenti that require a membership, there is also a fair-sized public beach and a pleasant boardwalk to stroll on. To get to Ostia you should take the Metro B line to Piramide. Once you get there you need to catch a train to Roma-Lido and get off at Lido Centro (not Ostia Antica).
  • Fregene – This is an ultra-trendy beach and tends to attract a younger crowd. The beach hosts numerous parties during the summer and the Singita Miracle Beach Club is a real hit with locals and tourists alike. To get to Fregene you can catch the Metro A line to the Cornelia stop and jump on one of the buses that go to Fregene every 15 minutes.
  • Ladispoli – With a long, sandy stretch of coastline, Ladispoli is a charming beach that is very rarely crowded, so you’ll always find room to sit down and relax in the sun. During the offseason, in April, there is also an Artichoke festival that you can visit while you’re at the beach. To get to Ladispoli you should catch a train from Rome to Cerveteri-Ladispoli. From there, it’s a 15 minute walk to the beach.

Does Rome Italy Have A Subway System?

Yes, Rome does have a subway system that is known locally as the Metropolitana. Rome’s Metro only has 3 lines and operates a total of 37 miles of tracks making it one of the smallest subway systems in Europe, despite the city’s size and importance. Rome’s Metro first opened in 1955 but very little work has been done to expand it since then, much to the frustration of many of the city’s residents.

I like riding the Rome subway system. It is very simple and intuitive. The one problem that I have is that some of the signs are not in English but only in Italian. So before you get on the train, make sure it is heading in the right direction. You should also give yourself some extra time if you are planning to switch from one subway line to the other at the Termini station. It is the most complex subway station in Rome and it might take you a little bit of time figuring it out.

As far as tourists and visitors are concerned, the red line is the most commonly used. Get off at the Piazza di Spagna Line A to visit the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. A few stops from Spagna metro station is the Cipro metro station. This is the stop closest to the Vatican.

Does Rome Italy Have Daylight Savings Time?

Yes, Rome does have an annual daylight savings time. Each year, at the end of October, the clocks are switched back by 1 hour to standard time. Then, towards the end of March, the clocks are switched forward again by 1 hour to daylight saving time.

Which Region Is Rome Italy In?

Just like we have States in the United States and India, Italy has Regions. Rome is in the region of Lazio. Rome is the capital of the region of Lazio and the nation of Italy. Rome is located in the central peninsula of Italy on the River Tiber, roughly 24 km from the coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Rome Italy?

The ideal time to visit Rome is from April to July and from September to October. The high tourist season is considered to be June and July each year. December, during the Christmas season, is also an enchanting time to visit the city when street markets, Christmas lights and a festive atmosphere transform Rome into a magical wonderland.

The cheapest time of year to visit Rome is during February when very few tourists are in the city and hotels offer lower rates on their rooms.

How Safe Is Rome Italy?

Rome is a very safe city, considering its size, particularly when compared to major American cities or capitals such as Paris and London. The vast majority of Rome is extremely safe and is fine to walk around at night, even on your own.

However, as with any large city, there are certain neighborhoods that you should avoid at night where crime rates are higher than average. In fact, it’s entirely possible to live your entire life in Rome without being the victim of a serious crime. Even burglaries and robberies are rare, especially in neighborhoods that are dominated by local Italians.

Of course, you should still take sensible precautions, such as installing alarms in your property and locking your doors at night.

One thing that Expats and tourists do need to be aware of is the risk of pickpockets at popular attractions and in the busy Metro stations. In these types of locations pickpockets tend to operate in an opportunistic fashion and will usually only target people who look lost or are not paying attention to their bags and other belongings. Essentially, if you use a little common sense, you should be absolutely fine!

Which Airlines Fly To Rome Italy?

Most of the major airlines in the world fly to Rome. They include: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, Air France, Air India, Finnair, ITA Airways, British Airways, Iberia, Air Serbia, Royal Air Maroc, Aer Lingus, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss/Swiss International Air Lines.

Other airlines that fly into Rome from elsewhere in the world include: China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air China, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Pegasus Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Vueling Airlines, Ryan Air, Wizz Air and Eurowings.

What Are The Airports In Rome Italy?

Rome has two international airports. The Leonardo da Vinci Airport, at Fiumicino, is the main international airport that the major airlines fly into. Rome’s second airport, Ciampino Airport, is generally used by smaller, budget airlines like Ryan Air and Wizz Air.

In Rome, The Learning Curve Never Ends.

Even if you’ve lived in Rome for many years, you’ll never stop learning new things about the city, its history, the functioning of public transport and even the municipal codes that will occasionally surprise you as they infringe on unexpected aspects of your life! Nonetheless, the Eternal City is as enchanting today as it was 2000 years ago.

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