I first went to Italy when I was 13 years old. I then went again to go to school there for 3 months when I was 16. I was in Verona and although the language was completely alien to me, everything else felt strangely familiar as if from another life, I was born there. I don’t look remotely Italian or feel remotely Italian, but there is something about the culture, the history and beauty that gets right inside me. Italy has had a profound effect on my life ever since and I will be eternally grateful to the old place. Anyway enough lamenting, now down to the what this post is supposed to be about.
No doubt summer is a great time to go, if you can handle hot weather. The weather in Rome can be overbearing on certain days and nights, but it was never as bad as people made it out to be. So, if you hear people talk about how crowded Rome is and how hot it is, that is because they are not prepared for it. If you are smart in Rome during the summer your stay will be wonderful as any other time of the year. Here are my tips for your trip.
1: Don’t get a taxi from the airport – they will try and rip you off. Get the bus or train in, it is much cheaper.
2: Make sure your room has air conditioning. Most hotels have this but make sure, you need to sleep well after your long days of touring, drinking and dining.
3: Do your Vatican tour in the afternoon. Everyone thinks the morning is the best time, but they are wrong. The Vatican is a much more pleasant place in the afternoon and your guide will be able to show you so much more than in the morning. We do our tours in the afternoon and we skip the line so if you are interested in finding out more about our tours, you can find out here.
4: Never have lunch in a restaurant on a main square or a busy tourist street. The prices will be twice what you would pay around the corner and the food will be the same quality.
5: If you want to eat the finest pizza in Rome, you need to visit the family run Da Francesca. Great value for all the family and staff extremely friendly.
6: If you want to see how the well to do Romans enjoy their evenings, enjoy a nice cold beer or gin and tonic in Cafe Della Pace. Also great for a drink during the day and doing that very popular Italian past time – people watching. See below.
7: This last tip is derived directly from my experience. If you are traveling on metro and it is very busy, do not have bumbags showing. The metro in Rome is safe 90% of the time safe but you need to not stick out like a tourist and have all your things in bumbags. Be smart and keep it closer. You do not want to be trekking up to the American Embassy (beautiful as it is) to explain how you got your passports stolen.