When in Rome … Roam

July 27, 2009

Rome is one of the most memorable cities you will ever visit. Even though most consider Paris to be the most romantic city in the world, I would argue that perhaps that distinction should belong to Rome.

If you are planning to visit Rome, I recommend finding accomodation in a very specific area. First, most of what Rome has to offer to tourists, lies within a 3 mile radius so if you are farther out, you will find yourself cabbing back and forth at least twice a day to and from your hotel. Second, with all the gelatos, the pasta and bread you will be consuming during your stay, staying close to the action means you will be walking to all the sites, hence burning off your intake to allow for more intake later.

On my very first visit to Rome, I stayed at the Eurostars International Palace on Via Nazionale. This proved to be an ideal location and I would recommend it to first time visitors to Rome. If you have been to Rome at least once before, then I think bed and breakfasts might be a better option on your following visits. While B&B’s are cheaper and include breakfast, they also often lack the service and hospitality of some of the larger hotels. The hosts often don’t speak english so that might be an issue.

One of the things I noticed during that stay was that it was amazing how much you can discover when on foot. For example, we walked four blocks west from our hotel and ran into the Vittoriano monument. Most people don’t even have this place on their radar, but it is an amazing looking building. A few blocks south of here are the ruins of ancient rome – the Forum and the Colliseum, while a few blocks north of here lie the most of the other places on your checklist. Indeed, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Campo dei Fiori and even the bridge to cross over to Vatican city, all lie within a few minutes walk of each other. While it might be worth while to get to the Vatican via a cab ride (since its the farthest), all the other sites are best covered on foot. Along the way, there are many popular cafes, gelatarias, restaurants and historic sites to discover. All you need is a map and the right attitude.

Planning a trip to Rome? Check out Vayama.com for cheap international airfares.

Stay tuned for my List of Things to Do in Rome!

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