When NOT to visit Rome

What is the best season to visit Rome? We really don’t know…The right question should be instead: when not to visit Rome?

FALL

The sun is often there: days in September are still warm and keep that sweet taste of summer. It’s the period of the harvest and of the historical “ottobrate romane“, the Sunday trips (sometimes they took place also on Thursdays) Romans used to take until the twentieth century, but that still recall the good weather and the desire to enjoy the city. Theatres reopens and from November we are getting ready for Christmas. Lights and decorations make Rome even more beautiful and magical.

WINTER

Grey is not a common color for the Eternal City, despite the cold air and the clouds. In fact, the sun never completely leaves it, even if you can expect rain (and, very rarely, some snowflakes). Restaurants and pubs are crowded, Rome lights up and there is so much to do: exhibitions, shows, concerts, events. It’s also the perfect period to discover food and art.

 

SPRING

The beautiful season is in the air: Rome smells of flowers and rebirth. Romans organize picnics in the parks, they start to stay outside bars and restaurants. They organize walks and historical-cultural visits outdoors. The temperature is really pleasant and, although it may rain, its colors become warmer. There are still many exhibitions, events, theatrical and musical performances to choose from.

 

SUMMER

It’s hot, very hot! The whole life of the city moves outside. Some pubs and bars close and move to the Tiber river and you can eat and and drink al fresco. The music festivals fill the parks and stadiums, the Globe at Villa Borghese is full of performances and the weekend you can go to the Roman coast. Rome dresses up in every corner and its sunsets alway leave you breathless.

Ostia Beach (Photo credit: atreboroby-Instagram)

The best season NOT to visit Rome? Choose it and then book one of our  holiday apartments!

 

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Tips to avoid the tourist trap restaurants in Rome

Rome, and Italy in general, are (also) famous for food. When you visit a City for the first time, or even when it’s your second or third time in a place, unfortunately you can encounter a tourist trap. An unpleasant experience, which can turn into a waste of money and even expectations. You have to be careful if you want to eat well.

How can you recognize a tourist trap, in order to avoid it? First of all, they are often located close to the most famous monuments. These are 5 signs more you should consider.

Hw to avoid tourist traps

Go off the beaten path

When you enter a restaurant and you find all the plates and ingredients translated in 5 or 6 languages, maybe you‘ve just picked up the wrong one. Probably it’s also close to the busiest area of the city. Try to run away as soon as possible, because you’ll probably eat something you won’t like. Lose yourself in the  Eternal City, walk around in the side roads, away from the obvious places, and you’ll discover better restaurants.

You find too many asterisks in the menu

In Italy all the ingredients in the menu that are frozen and not fresh must be indicated with an asterisk. If there are a bit too many asterisks – usually used for vegetables, fish or fried food – and even the pasta or pizza are frozen, you’d better escape.

Regional dishes in the wrong place

If you go to a restaurant in Rome and you find some regional dishes from another areas of Italy- like ‘trofie al pesto’, pasta with basil pesto, which is from Liguria, or ‘pasta alla norma’, pasta with ricotta, tomato, aubergine and basil which is from Sicily- there is a problem. When in Rome, try traditional Roman dishes, like cacio e pepe, amatriciana, coda alla vaccinara…

You don’t see locals

You don’t see locals around. On the contrary, the restaurant is full of tourists like you. If a restaurant or a pizzeria offers you a “tourist menu”, there are many chances you’re going to eat in a tourist trap. A good restaurant doesn’t usually have a menù like this. Maybe has some “dish of the day”, which is a different thing. And Romans go there to have lunch or dinner.

You don’t find that restaurant in a guide

Carry out research in advance. Check the local guides, read newspapers, have a look on websites. Don’t decide at the very last moment, otherwise you’ll probably too hungry to make the correct  choice. If you can, plan your holidays but also your meals.

Rome is full of good places to eat, don’t miss them! Check our blog for tips and book your holiday apartment with us: you won’t regret it!

 

Streets of Rome: via del Governo Vecchio

This street connects Piazza dell’Orologio, whose name comes from the clock placed on the tower of the Filippini convent built by Borromini, to Piazza del Pasquino, one of the famous “talking statues” of Rome. Via del Governo Vecchio is a really characteristic street a few steps away rom Piazza Navona and Campo De’ Fiori, a place not-to-be-missed because it keeps many features of the Eternal City: history, shopping, traditional Roman cuisine.

Credits @patti_elle-Instagram

There are many clothing stores, even vintage ones, where to look for the most trendy clothes, accessories and shoes. A true paradise for all shopping addicts! But there is something more. Here you can find unique places, such as Altroquando, an artisan bookshop where you can also taste beers; Caffè Novecento, with its particular atmosphere, where you can start your day with a good cappuccino and a croissant; or CamBiovita, a pastry shop which offers organic products also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. For those who want to have lunch and dinner, they can choose from several restaurants and pizzerias. In this street you can also find historic buildings and small shops, that give it that so peculiar look. It’s the ideal place to have a walk.

You need love, but also carbonara

Via del Governo Vecchio is a place to be discovered and appreciated in all its different aspects, perhaps before taking lots of pictures at the famous (and beautiful) Piazza Navona.
Rome is full of hidden gems that help keep the charm of past times untouched, such as Via dei Coronari or Passetto del Biscione, which are located in the same area.

If you have not booked your holiday in Rome with your family or friends yet, check the availability of our holiday apartments immediately: Rome is a city that can not be missing in the list of cities to visit at least once in life.

3 non-touristy things to do in Rome

There are a lot of things to do in Rome. Places such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Fori Imperiali must be visited, even if they are “touristic” places. But there are other places in the Eternal City to discover, even if they normally remain outside the tourist tours, or typical Roman customs to be adopted. Even just for a few days!

The nightlife of Ponte Milvio

A bridge with a great view, which became famous for the padlocks that young couples used to leave here as a proof of their everlasting love. Surrounded by restaurants, bars and pubs that are able to satisfy every taste and need, Ponte Milvio is a perfect place to live after sunset, to enjoy romantic moments followed by an aperitif or a dinner. A different point of view, but always beautiful and even trendy, on the Eternal City.

Credits @seta73-Instagram

A walk in San Lorenzo neighbourhood

It is the ‘student area’ par excellence, where university students and very young boys use to spend thier days and nights. There are many places to choose from for a pizza or a cocktail. San Lorenzo maybe doesn’t have that charm of other more known and elegant areas of the city, but it is still another face left out by the classic guides about Rome. For a bohemian evening out of the box.

Credits @tamburo_-Instagram

Discovering Porta Portese

Porta Portese is probably the most famous market in the city. It’s a historic one, where you can buy everything from clothing to antiques, products and accessories for your home to vinyls and various objects. It is held every Sunday in the Trastevere area. It is a symbol of a Rome that perhaps no longer exists but that does not forget its traditions. 

Credits @mauwalauro-Instagram

Majestic, ancient, contemporary, happy and traditional: Rome really has many, wonderful faces. Each of them makes it more and more unique.

Experiencing Rome off the beaten path

The Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the spanish Steps are unique places in the world. The Janiculum, the Pincio and the Zodiac: wonderful panoramic views over the city. Stories, anecdotes and memories make these places of Rome even more special. But there are also other itineraries that can make you fall in love with the Eternal City. Unusual paths that cross neighborhoods, squares and alleys of the most authentic ‘Roman spirit‘ to be experienced.

CINECITTÀ

The name of this neighbourhood already suggests its main attraction: the famous Cinecittà Studios, where they have been filmed about three thousand movies, both national and international. That “Factory of dreams” 100% Italian that today you can visit thanks to the project “Cinecittà shows off” . But it is not the only place you can visit by going to Cinecittà. Not far away there is in fact the beautful Park of the aqueducts, which is perfect for walking, relaxing and enjoying its timeless beauty. Here you can also find nice restaurants, bars and pubs.

Photo credit: @find_the_world_and_beauty

EUR

A particular, modern neighbourhood where you can admire the famous “Nuvola” by Fuksas and the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, also called the “Colosseo Quadrato“, now the Fendi headquarters. But the EUR is also known for the amusement park that has accompanied generations of children and has recently reopened under new clothes, the Luneur Park; for the Palazzo dei Congressi – where various fairs and events take place – and for its lake which, surrounded by greenery, is a nice place to be discovered in spring. Morover, its bars, discos and restaurants animate the Roman nightlife.

Colosseo Quadrato (Photo credit: @david_conti1)

PIGNETO

Those who love the auteur cinema will surely know Pigneto thanks to the movies by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The “Bar Necci” and its street art continue celebrating the great director, who had found a place of inspiration here, but today the neighborhood is even more. It is considered among the most “cool” ones in Europe. Thanks to its lively soul, to the clubs and restaurants where you can listen to live music and enjoy traditional Roman cuisine, but also that trendy and artistic atmosphere that blends with the most authentic and genuine Rome. Its pedestrian area is the heart of Pigneto: culture, tradition, modernity and history enclosed in a single place.

Street art (Photo credit:@lia_in_corea)

Hidden gems: Passetto del Biscione

There is always something to do, to see, to discover in Rome. There are places that preserve a rare beauty, which tell stories related to the history of the city and that often remain mostly unknown.
An example is the Passetto del Biscione, a sort of mini gallery just a few steps away from the famous Campo De ‘Fiori, which has a strong religious meaning. Despite its central position, it is little known by tourists, as well as Romans. It is an ancient passage that in the Roman era connected the auditorium of the Theater of Pompeo, that is the steps for the spectators, with the outside, and that over time has also hosted a Vespasian, a hammock and even ghosts!
Passetto del Biscione hidden treasure
Today it connects Piazza del Biscione with Via di Grottapinta and has recently been used as an exhibition space. Beautifully frescoed (and restored in 2016), it keeps a sacred image of the Madonna. Hence the Italian saying “Looking for Mary around Rome“, which means looking for someone, with a very common name, in a city as big as Rome: an almost impossible undertaking. So the image of the Madonna was so hidden that to find it they almost had to organize a treasure hunt!
The Passetto del Biscione is quite a small casket that contains a very special and unique and special corner of the Eternal City. A little gem of Roman history and traditions that is worth seeing, in order to add another little piece to the list of unusual and extraordinary treasures of the Capital. You can reach the Passetto del Biscione both from Corso Vittorio and Via dei Chiavari/Largo del Pallaro, for example before going shopping at the Campo De ‘Fiori market. Or as a nice stop between Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Navona. You have lots of opportunities to discover it!

Streets of Rome: discovering via dei Coronari

The best way to enjoy Rome and discover all its beautiful and picturesque corners is to get lost in its streets and walk the most hidden alleys.

Walking towards via dei Coronari (Ponte Umberto I)

A few steps from Piazza Navona, but also reachable from Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo and from Lungotevere Tor di Nona, Via dei Coronari shows one of the most evocative sides of the city. It’s in the heart of the Eternal City: formerly called “via Recta”, because it connected Piazza Navona with San Pietro, today it’s a place to be discovered.
Closed to traffic, this road is a small oasis of pleasure and surprise. The famous Gelateria del Teatro is located here with an adjoining Osteria del Teatro. But there are also small restaurants, bars and places for high quality street food to choose from like Fresco Coronari or Il Pastaio di Roma. You can also find a supermarket. 
But via dei Coronari is also known for its artisan shops, clothing boutiques, a special perfumery –Essenzialmente Laura– and antique shops. Walking along Via dei Coronari also means being able to buy special items and bring exclusive memories of Rome with you.
A microcosm full of beauty and history, a place to be enjoyed alone or in company, a starting point for an evening among the most popular clubs in the city. From here you can easily reach all the other streets around Piazza Navona- like via di Monte Giordano, via del Governo Vecchio, via della Pace- that host pubs, cafes, restaurants, bars for Italian aperitivo and where the nightlife is more alive than ever. You are spoiled for choice! 
When you want to enjoy the Eternal City, but at the same time stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Via dei Coronari is an option to consider, because it always offers moments of authentic delight.
  

5 Italian lifestyle habits you’ll immediately love

When traveling in a new country you can notice the differences and the common points with your culture. Then there are customs, traditions or simply particular habits that may seem strange or, on the contrary, are close to your being and you would also like to adopt.

Here are all those Italian habits to put into practice immediately if you spend time in one of its fantastic cities (including Rome!)

Gesticulate

It’s the Italian habit par excellence: they can communicate a lot with gestures, sometimes without needing to add any words. Have you ever tried to say “go away”, “come”, “are you crazy” just with one hand? There are gestures of all kinds, expressing different feelings and moods such as fear, shame, pride and happiness. Italians use more than 250 gestures. So you must learn some of them as soon as possible!

Be “affectionate”

Italians hug and kiss to greet each other or to give their best wishes; they shake hands to congratulate, they give you a pat on the back as encouragement. They are certainly very “tactile” and you don’t have to be embarrassed about this. If you don’t know someone very well, you keep a certain distance: but if you are quite close, a kiss on the cheek to ask “How are you?” is a must!

Go out for a walk in the city center

In Italy you can go out even just for a walk downtown, in order to look at the shop windows or to meet people. It’s a way to socialize and have a chat.

(Foto M4rco_ -Flickr)

Eating together

Italians always eat together. In family, with friends, with relatives. Every opportunity is good to share a lunch or a dinner: sometimes it is normal to organize even at the last moment, without a formal invitation. 

Take a coffee break

Coffee is a symbol of Italian culture: it’s probably a part of life. It’s perfect for every kind of break. Everywhere and anyway. But never have a cappuccino in the afternoon: this is a rule!

Rome, despite being a big city, still keeps many of the genuine and traditional aspects of a town. Romans still go to the market, they know each other in the same neighborhood and they often go out just to admire the beauty of their city.

5 reasons to fall in love with Rome

Beyond the beauty and its wonderful monuments. There are some aspects of Rome that will make you fall in love with the Eternal City: not only its magnificence, but also the habits and customs of those who live there. Because Rome is always a great surprise and experiencing the city means being able to appreciate what makes it unique.

(Foto flickr)

JOY

“Dear” and “darling” are very common words to greet those you know, even if you are not close friends: in a shop, at the hairdresser’s, at the bakery. If you are having a bad day, don’t worry: there is always someone who makes you smile with a joke or a nice word.

FUN

There is always something to do. An event, an exhibition, a concert, a theatre, a special evening in a club, a new restaurant to try: in Rome you do not risk getting bored. Never!

(Foto flickr)

DISCOVERY

From Rome you can reach many beautiful places: it is close to the sea, the lakes and the mountains. In addition to the surroundings of the city and the many cities of Lazio,  you can choose Abruzzo, Tuscany, Umbria and Campania for your trips. Florence, Milan and Bologna are easily reachable by train. You only have to decide where to go!

WEATHER

The weather is truly enviable. Winter is usually mild, spring is a triumph of colors and scents, autumn is a bit cooler than summer and summer is very hot, but you can go to the beach or choose one of the many pools open in the city. The sun often shines so bright and Rome with the sun is wonderful!

(Foto flickr)

CHOICE

There are so many shops to choose from for shopping: there are deals on every corner. From the most popular brands to craft shops. And the choice also concerns food: starred restaurants, but also traditional restaurants, pubs, street food and pizzerias. Every desire can be easily satisfied.

 

“In Rome it seems as if there were so many things which are more wanted in the world than pictures.” George Eliot

7 eating habits that make you look like a tourist in Rome

Food in Rome and throughout Italy is a serious matter. And there are not written rules that everyone knows. When someone breaks one of them, this question immediately raises: “Is that a tourist?”
You don’t want to do this fool, do you? These are the 7 eating habits that make you look like a tourist in Rome (and in Italy as well)!

Ask for variations on Roman dishes 

Roman cuisine is delicious, but it is also very peculiar. Maybe you might not like some traditional dishes or some ingredients, but better not to ask for variations. You could give the kitchen a hard time, but above all you could lose those details that make it famous in the world. Choose something else instead.

Putting parmigiano on seafood pasta

Never! You can eat delicious fresh fish in Rome and it would be a pity to alter its taste with parmesan, which can be used for other kind of food. 

Asking for tap water during a meal

At the restaurant you have to order bottled water, you can’t have tap water. In Rome as well as in Italy tap water is very good, but in general you can’t have it at the table. The only exception: the glass that accompanies coffee when you have it at the bar.

Drinking cappuccino during lunch or dinner

Cappuccino is allowed only at breakfast. Romans (and Italians) don’t have it for lunch or dinner. Wine, water and soft drinks: everything is fine, but not just the cappuccino!

Mixing the courses in one dish

Each course has its own dish and they are never mixed. The only exception is the “complete mail” (piatto unico in Italian).

Ordering drinks but not food

When you go to a restaurant, trattoria or pizzeria, you order food and drink. If you do not want to eat, choose another place or ask if in that restaurant you can only drink something (some of them have an area to drink and eat a snack). Otherwise you can choose to have only an aperitif, without having dinner.

Cutting pasta

In Italy you can find pasta of many shapes, which often go with as many types of sauce. Pasta, and spaghetti in particular, should be eaten as they are, possibly “al dente”. You can roll them up, but don’t cut them: can you figure out a carbonara or an amatriciana all in pieces? The only exception is for very young children.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”: a great piece of advice!