Rome: travel guide by ChatGPT
ROME – A city of ancient ruins and modern chic, Rome has long been a top destination for travelers seeking a taste of culture and history. From the iconic Colosseum to the breathtaking art and museums of the Vatican, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this eternal city. But Rome is also a city that knows how to have fun, with a vibrant food and drink scene, stylish shopping, and a lively nightlife. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to soak up the local culture, Rome has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world.
History of Rome
Rome was founded in 753 BC, and it quickly became a major power in the ancient world. The Roman Republic was established in 509 BC, and it lasted for over four centuries. During this time, Rome conquered much of the Mediterranean world, including most of modern-day Italy, Spain, France, and the Balkans.
In the 1st century BC, Rome was transformed into an empire, and it continued to expand its territory, eventually controlling much of Europe, Western Asia, and northern Africa. The Roman Empire reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and it was known for its impressive infrastructure, military might, and cultural achievements.
However, the Roman Empire eventually began to decline, and it was eventually overrun by barbarian invasions in the 5th century AD. Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 AD and by the Vandals in 455 AD, and it was finally conquered by the Ostrogoths in 410 AD.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome went through a period of decline, but it remained an important center of Christianity and a center of learning and culture. In the Middle Ages, Rome was sacked by the Normans in 1084, and it was later conquered by the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century.
Rome eventually recovered and became a major city in the Renaissance, and it has continued to be a center of art, culture, and politics in modern times.
Modern Rome is a vibrant and lively city that is known for its rich history, art, culture, and cuisine. Here are a few things that characterize modern Rome:
A mix of ancient and modern: Rome is a city with a long history, and many of its ancient landmarks, such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon, are still standing and have been well-preserved. However, Rome is also a modern city with many modern buildings, restaurants, and shopping centers.
A center of culture and art: Rome is home to many museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, and it is a center of art and culture in Italy.
A hub of politics and business: Rome is the capital of Italy and the center of the Italian government, and it is also a hub of business and finance.
A city of food and drink: Rome is known for its delicious cuisine, and it is a city with a rich food and drink culture, with many restaurants, cafes, and bars.
A city of fashion: Rome is known for its fashion, and it is a city with many stylish shops and boutiques.
Rome top sights
Here are a few things to consider when visiting Rome:
Visit the Colosseum and take a tour of the ancient Roman amphitheater. The Colosseum is a well-known symbol of Rome and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It is an ancient Roman amphitheater that was used for gladiator games and other public events.
See the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in to make a wish. The Trevi Fountain is a famous fountain in the center of Rome that is known for its baroque style and the legend that throwing a coin into the fountain will bring good luck.
Visit the Pantheon, a well-preserved ancient Roman temple. The Pantheon is an ancient Roman temple that is now a church. It is famous for its large dome, which is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture.
Explore the Vatican City and see the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world and the residence of the Pope. It is home to many significant buildings, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.
Take a walk through the historic center of Rome and see the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Campo de’ Fiori market.
Visit the Capitoline Museums, which house a collection of ancient Roman artifacts and art.
Take a food tour and taste some authentic Roman cuisine.
See the Roman Forum, a historic area that was the center of public life in ancient Rome. It is home to many ancient ruins, including the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the House of the Vestal Virgins.
Visit the Catacombs, underground burial places that were used in ancient Rome.
Take a day trip to Ostia Antica, an ancient Roman city near Rome.
Something off beaten path
Here are a few less well-known things to do in Rome that you might find interesting:
Visit the Crypt of the Capuchins, an underground burial place containing the mummified remains of Capuchin monks.
See the Cinecittà Studios, where many famous Italian films and television shows have been produced.
Take a walk through the Parco degli Acquedotti, a park that is home to ancient Roman aqueducts.
Check out the contemporary art at the MACRO museum.
Take a trip to the Appian Way, an ancient Roman road that is now a popular place for walking and biking.
Visit the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, an ancient basilica that has a peaceful and serene atmosphere.
Go to the Mercato di Testaccio, a popular local market with a lively atmosphere and lots of food stalls.
Visit the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, which houses a collection of Etruscan artifacts.
Go to the Roma Tre University, which has a modern and innovative architecture.
Museums worth visiting
Rome is home to many museums that are worth visiting. Here are a few examples:
The Vatican Museums are a must-see for anyone interested in art and history. They contain a large collection of artwork and artifacts from ancient Rome and the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms.
The Capitoline Museums are a complex of art and archaeology museums located on Capitoline Hill in Rome. They contain a large collection of ancient Roman artifacts, as well as Renaissance and Baroque art.
The National Museum of Rome is a large museum that contains a collection of Roman art and artifacts, including ancient sculptures, mosaics, and frescoes.
The Galleria Borghese is an art museum that contains a collection of sculptures and paintings by artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael.
The MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is a contemporary art museum that features works by modern and contemporary artists.
Which neighbouhoods to stay at?
There are many neighborhoods in Rome that are convenient for visiting the city’s museums, landmarks, and other attractions. Some popular neighborhoods for tourists include:
The Historic Center: This area is home to many of Rome’s most famous landmarks and attractions, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. It is a convenient location for sightseeing, but it can be crowded and noisy.
Trastevere: This neighborhood is located just south of the Historic Center and is known for its narrow streets, charming squares, and lively atmosphere. It is a popular area for tourists and is convenient for visiting many of Rome’s attractions.
Prati: This neighborhood is located north of the Historic Center and is known for its wide streets and upscale shops. It is a more residential area, so it is generally quieter than the Historic Center, but it is still convenient for visiting Rome’s attractions.
San Lorenzo: This neighborhood is located to the east of the Historic Center and is known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. It is a popular area for students and is convenient for visiting Rome’s attractions.
Helpful words and phrases in Italian
It can be helpful to learn a few basic words and phrases in Italian before visiting Rome. Here are a few examples:
Good morning: Buongiorno
Good afternoon: Buon pomeriggio
Good evening: Buona sera
Please: Per favore
Thank you: Grazie
You’re welcome: Prego
Do you speak English?: Parli inglese?
How much is it?: Quanto costa?
I don’t understand: Non capisco
There are several ways to use public transportation in Rome, including buses, trams, and the metro. Here is some information that may be helpful:
- Buses: Buses are a convenient way to get around Rome, and many of the city’s major attractions can be reached by bus. To use the bus, you will need to purchase a ticket in advance, either from a tobacco shop (called a “tabacchi”), a newsstand, or a ticket machine. You can also purchase a ticket on the bus, but this will cost more. Once you have a ticket, you will need to validate it by stamping it in the machine on the bus.
- Trams: Rome has a network of trams that serve the city center and some outer neighborhoods. Tickets for the tram work the same way as bus tickets.
- Metro: Rome’s metro system has two lines that serve the city center and some outer neighborhoods. To use the metro, you will need to purchase a ticket in advance from a ticket machine or a newsstand. You can also purchase a multiple-ride ticket or a transport card, which allows you to use all forms of public transportation in Rome.
In addition to these options, there are also taxis, ride-hailing apps, and rental bikes available in Rome. Rome’s public transportation system operates at night, although the frequency of service may be reduced.
- Buses: Most bus lines in Rome operate until midnight, and a few lines operate 24 hours a day.
- Trams: Trams in Rome operate until around midnight.
- Metro: Rome’s metro system operates until around 11:30 PM on weekdays and until around 1:30 AM on Friday and Saturday nights.
The fare for public transportation in Rome depends on the type of ticket you purchase and the mode of transportation you use. Here is some information that may be helpful:
- Single ride tickets: Single ride tickets for the bus, tram, or metro cost €1.50 and are valid for 100 minutes, during which time you can transfer between different modes of transportation. You can purchase single ride tickets from a ticket machine, a newsstand, or on the bus (for an additional cost).
- Multiple-ride tickets: If you plan to use public transportation in Rome frequently, you may want to consider purchasing a multiple-ride ticket, which offers a discounted fare. Multiple-ride tickets are available in increments of 5, 10, or 20 rides and can be used on the bus, tram, and metro.
- Transport cards: Another option is to purchase a transport card, which allows you to use all forms of public transportation in Rome. Transport cards are available for one day (€7), three days (€16.50), and seven days (€24). They can be purchased at ticket machines, newsstands, and some tobacconists (called “tabacchi”).
Taxi fares in Rome can vary depending on the distance traveled, the time of day, and other factors. Here is some information that may be helpful:
- Base fare: The base fare for a taxi in Rome is €3.00, which covers the first 1.5 kilometers (just under a mile).
- Kilometer rate: The kilometer rate for a taxi in Rome is €1.50 per kilometer.
- Waiting time: There is also a charge for waiting time if the taxi is stopped or moving at a slow speed (less than 10 km/h). The charge is €0.50 per minute.
- Surcharges: There may be additional surcharges for certain services, such as baggage handling, travel to the airport, or travel on holidays or at night.
- Tips: It is not required to tip taxi drivers in Rome, but it is common to round up the fare to the nearest euro or leave a small tip (5-10%) if the service was good.
It is generally more expensive to hail a taxi on the street than to call a taxi in advance or use a ride-hailing app. To ensure that you are being charged the correct fare, you can ask the driver for a receipt (called a “scontrino”) at the end of the ride.
Airports and how to get to city center
There are two airports in Rome: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA). Here is some information about how they are different:
- Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO): This is Rome’s main airport and is located about 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the city center. It is the busiest airport in Italy and serves as a hub for several major airlines. FCO has four terminals, and it is well-connected to the city center by train, bus, and taxi.
- Ciampino Airport (CIA): This airport is located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the city center and mainly serves low-cost carriers and charter flights. It has one terminal and is smaller than FCO. Ciampino Airport is well-connected to the city center by bus and taxi.
Overall, FCO is the larger and more well-equipped of the two airports, with more amenities and a wider range of destinations. However, Ciampino Airport may be more convenient if you are staying in the southern part of Rome.
There are several options for getting into the city from Rome’s airports. Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO):
- Train: The Leonardo Express is a non-stop train that runs from FCO to the Termini station in the city center. The journey takes about 30 minutes and tickets cost €14.00 one-way.
- Bus: The Terravision bus runs from FCO to the Termini station in the city center. The journey takes about 45 minutes and tickets cost €8.00 one-way.
- Taxi: Taxis are available at the airport and can take you to any destination in Rome. The journey time and fare will depend on your destination.
Ciampino Airport (CIA):
- Bus: The Terravision bus runs from CIA to the Termini station in the city center. The journey takes about 30 minutes and tickets cost €8.00 one-way.
- Taxi: Taxis are available at the airport and can take you to any destination in Rome. The journey time and fare will depend on your destination.
Keep in mind that prices and journey times are approximate and may vary depending on traffic and other factors.
Rome is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are many local dishes that you should try while you’re in the city. Here are a few examples:
- Carbonara: This is a pasta dish made with eggs, bacon or pancetta, cheese, and black pepper.
- Amatriciana: This is another pasta dish that is made with tomato sauce, pancetta, and pecorino cheese.
- Gricia: This is a variation of amatriciana that is made without tomato sauce.
- Cacio e pepe: This is a simple pasta dish made with cheese and black pepper.
- Saltimbocca: This is a dish made with thin slices of veal that are topped with prosciutto and sage and then cooked in white wine.
- Suppli: These are fried rice balls that are usually filled with mozzarella cheese and sometimes meat.
- Porchetta: This is a dish made with roasted pork that is seasoned with herbs and spices.
- Trippa: This is a dish made with tripe, which is the stomach of a cow. It is usually served in a tomato-based sauce.
There are many options for vegans in Rome. Here are a few examples of vegan dishes that you can try:
- Panzanella: This is a salad made with bread, tomatoes, onions, and basil.
- Verdure alla griglia: This is a dish of grilled vegetables, which is commonly available in Rome.
- Fagioli all’uccelletto: This is a dish of beans cooked in a tomato sauce with sage and garlic.
- Pizza margherita: This is a simple pizza made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. You can ask for it to be made without cheese to make it vegan.
- Pasta e fagioli: This is a pasta and bean soup that is commonly available in Rome.
- Polenta: This is a dish made with cornmeal that is often served with vegetables.
- Artichokes: Artichokes are a popular vegetable in Rome and are often served grilled or fried.
Shops and markets
Rome has many unique and interesting souvenirs that you can bring back from your trip. Here are a few ideas:
- Ceramics: Rome is known for its ceramics, and you can find a wide range of ceramics, including dishes, vases, and figurines. There are many ceramics shops in Rome, but one famous shop is La Bottega della Ceramica, which has been in business for over 100 years.
- Jewelry: Rome has a long history of goldsmithing, and you can find many beautiful pieces of jewelry, such as rings, earrings, and necklaces. There are many jewelry shops in Rome, but one famous shop is Gioielleria Ponte, which has been in business for over 100 years.
- Food and drink: Rome is home to many delicious foods and drinks, such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta, and coffee. You can bring back these items as souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. You can find many food and drink souvenirs at the Campo de’ Fiori market, which is held every morning except Sunday.
- Clothing: Rome is known for its fashion, and you can find many stylish clothes and accessories in the city’s markets and boutiques. You can find many stylish clothes and accessories at the Via del Corso, which is a shopping street in the city center.
- Books: Rome has a long literary tradition, and you can find many books about Rome’s history, culture, and art. You can find many books about Rome’s history, culture, and art at the Libreria Antiquaria, which is an antique bookshop.
- Art: Rome is home to many art galleries and artist studios, where you can find paintings, prints, and other artworks. You can find many art galleries and artist studios in Rome, but one famous area is the Campo de’ Fiori, where you can find many paintings, prints, and other artworks.
There is a flea market in Rome called the Porta Portese market, which is held every Sunday. At the Porta Portese market, you can find a wide range of antique and vintage items, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, and collectibles. Here are a few examples of the kinds of things you might find at the Porta Portese market:
- Furniture: You can find many antique and vintage pieces of furniture at the Porta Portese market, such as tables, chairs, chests, and desks.
- Clothing: You can find many antique and vintage clothes and accessories at the Porta Portese market, such as dresses, suits, hats, and shoes.
- Jewelry: You can find many antique and vintage pieces of jewelry at the Porta Portese market, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, and brooches.
- Collectibles: You can find many collectible items at the Porta Portese market, such as coins, stamps, postcards, and books.
- Art: You can also find many antique and vintage artworks at the Porta Portese market, such as paintings, prints, and sculptures.
Rome with kids
Rome is a great destination for families, and there are many activities that kids will enjoy. Here are a few ideas:
- Visit the Colosseum: Kids will love exploring the ancient Colosseum and learning about the gladiator games that took place there.
- Go to the Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is a beautiful fountain in the center of Rome, and kids will enjoy tossing coins into the fountain and making wishes.
- Visit the Vatican Museums: Kids will love exploring the Vatican Museums, which are home to many works of art, including the Sistine Chapel.
- Go to the zoo: Rome has a zoo called the Bioparco di Roma, which is home to many animals, including lions, tigers, and gorillas.
- Go to the park: Rome has many parks, including the Villa Borghese, which is a large park with gardens, fountains, and a lake.
Day trips from Rome
Yes, there are many interesting day trips that you can take from Rome. Here are a few suggestions:
Pompeii: Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. It is located about an hour’s drive from Rome, and you can visit the excavations and see the well-preserved remains of the city.
Tivoli: Tivoli is a town located about an hour’s drive from Rome, and it is home to the Villa d’Este, a Renaissance palace with beautiful gardens and fountains.
Ostia Antica: Ostia Antica is an ancient Roman port city that is located about an hour’s drive from Rome. You can visit the excavations and see the well-preserved remains of the city, including the theater, the forum, and the baths.
Orvieto: Orvieto is a town located about two hours’ drive from Rome, and it is known for its beautiful cathedral and underground tunnels.
Castelli Romani: The Castelli Romani are a group of towns located in the hills south of Rome, and they are known for their beautiful castles and wineries.
Rome is a beautiful and photogenic city, and there are many spots that are popular for taking pictures for Instagram. Here are a few suggestions:
The Colosseum: The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, and it makes for a great backdrop for photos.
The Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is a beautiful fountain in the center of Rome, and it is a popular spot for taking pictures.
The Pantheon: The Pantheon is an ancient temple that is now a church, and it has a beautiful dome that is perfect for photos.
The Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps are a famous staircase in the center of Rome, and they are a popular spot for taking pictures.
The Piazza Navona: The Piazza Navona is a beautiful square in Rome that is home to several fountains, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
Rome has many local festivals and events throughout the year, including music festivals, LGBT parades, and sporting events. Here is a list of some of the festivals and events that you might want to consider visiting:
Rome Film Festival: This is an annual film festival that takes place in October and features screenings of international and Italian films.
Roma Folk Fest: This is an annual folk music festival that takes place in June and features a variety of folk music from around the world.
Rome Marathon: This is an annual marathon that takes place in March and attracts runners from around the world.
Rome Pride: This is an annual LGBT pride parade that takes place in June and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
Rome Biennale: This is an annual contemporary art exhibition that takes place in odd-numbered years and features works by artists from around the world.
Festa de Noantri: This is an annual festival that takes place in the Trastevere neighborhood in July and features music, food, and other entertainment.