By virtue of its historic attractions, climate and undisputable appeal, La Cittá Eterna or the Eternal City ranks high on the list of any traveller keen on the Mediterranean charm and history on every step. From the historic centre of Rome, which has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the Vatican, Rome is full of wonders that are sure to make it worthy of your next trip. Rome is also a city where you will always be happy to return because there is always something new to see or something old to discover.
Please note that as a rule of thumb, the driving style in Rome, and most usually in whole Italy, is often considered aggressive and stressful. Read more about directions and tips on driving in Italy in our guide.Traffic
As you drive into Rome, you will notice that a large ring-road (the Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA for short) circles the city. Driving along this road allows you to avoid driving through the often congested city centre. Simply get to your destination via the exit closest to it. Make sure that you plan which exit to take with a map or good GPS in advance, as the ring-road also tends to be busy with traffic moving quickly.
You should also be aware of the Limited Traffic Zones in operation in central Rome. These are called Zona a Traffico Limitato or ZTL in Italian. Two main ones can be found in the historical centre (Centro Storico) and Trastevere. Only residents with a pass or those who have registered their car for this purpose are allowed to drive within these zones which are under camera surveillance. This means that cameras make records of entering licence plates, and if you are not authorised to enter, you will receive a hefty fine. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the limited zones ahead of time, as often once you have entered a limited zone, even if by mistake, it is difficult to leave quickly due to heavy traffic, and you have already been caught on camera.
As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. The Italian capital is well connected to the motorway network leading to other parts of Italy. Destinations found closer to Rome that may be of interest include Florence and Naples. The former can be reached by driving your car rental in Rome along the A1/E45 motorway outside the city and then continuing onto the A1/E35. The travel time to Florence should be under three hours which is only 172 miles away. Naples, on the other hand is 30 miles closer so the drive along the A24/E80 and then along the A1/E45 should take about two hours and 15 minutes. Rome is also a great place for starting a road trip in the Lazio region!
Parking your car in the suburbs is a much better option than driving in the city itself. Park your car hire in Rome in the residential area outside the Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ) rather than in the city centre as parking spaces are in short supply in central Rome. Try to find a car park near one of the underground stations on the outskirts and take the metro into the city for the best experience. The majority of the places of interest in central Rome such as the Collosseum, the Vatican, the Spanish Steps and Fontana di Trevi are within easy reach from the A metro line. You could also take advantage of the metro proximity at Manzoni or Furio Camillo car parks and leave your rental car safely guarded there whole day. The on-street parking bays outside LTZ are marked with blue lines and offer unlimited stay at different parking rates depending on the area.
Flights from and to Rome are operated by two main airports; Fiumicino Airport is the principal gateway to the city, and is found south-west of Rome, about a half hour's drive away. The smaller and older Ciampino Airport is located south-east of the city - Ciampino is located closer to the centre of Rome, but the drive can last as long as from Fiumicino due to busy traffic. Many budget airlines, such as Ryanair and Easyjet operate flights to Ciampino Airport.
Fiumicino - Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO)
Website: Fiumicino Airport
Address: Via dell' Aeroporto di Fiumicino, 320, 00054 Fiumicino Roma, Italy
Telephone: +39 06 65951
Ciampino - G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA)
Website: Ciampino Airport
Address: Via Appia Nuova, 1651, 00040 Ciampino Roma, Italy
Telephone: +39 06 65951
The items on the literally endless list of sights in Rome usually have to be carefully selected and hand-picked for the best experience during a limited stay in this breathtaking city. Auto Europe has chosen several not-to-be-missed places on your next Roman holiday which complement the usual highlights and the city's landmarks such as Colosseum, Di Trevi Fountain, The Sistine Chapel, Piazza di Spagna, and Pantheon.
The Italian capital has a superb position as it combines not only a plethora of historic sites, but is also a great starting point for a road trip, a day on the beach, or a real taste of the Mediterranean.
Sunny Rome is located on the Tiber River in the Lazio region in central-western Italy. The city is host to innumerable historical treasures, as well as a wealth of influential art and architecture. Rome is also the only city in the world that has another country within its borders: the Vatican.
Mediterranean climate allows for moderate winters and quite warm summers. January experiences the coldest weather, when the temperature during the day averages 12°C. However, the warmest months, July and August, see temperatures rise to or even over 30°C. The best time to visit Rome will depend on your personal preferences. To avoid crowds, opt for a trip in late autumn, winter or early spring as summer is high season in Rome. Bearing in mind that Rome is one of the most popular places to visit in the world all year-round, the streets of Rome will not be empty, but only less busy than in the summer. Rome in winter can be cool and wet but temperatures do not usually dip below zero. Holidaymakers with greater expectations and enough time to spend a day or two on the beach should obviously consider visiting Rome in the summer. Even though the city is packed with tourists, you could drive your car rental in Rome to the nearby beach Ostia Lido and spend a lazy day on the sandy beach.
According to popular legend, Rome was founded by Romulus and Rem, abandoned twins raised by a she-wolf. A small Iron Age hut settlement on the river bank surprisingly grew to become one of the most powerful empires in the world's history. Over the course of time, Rome expanded to embrace a large part of continental Europe, England, islands in the Mediterranean, as well as countless territories in the Middle East and North Africa. The long lasting repercussions of the mighty Roman Empire are still more than evident in the European identity, legal system, development of social institutions, and languages of Romance origin spoken worldwide. The Roman Empire continued to rise at a fast pace. At its peak, the empire had to be divided into the Western and Eastern part because its expanse made it difficult to rule from one centre. The eastern part was ruled from Constantinople or modern day Istanbul, the city Constantine named after himself. Over time, the west started to decline in money, power and influence while the east began to thrive. Even after the fall of the empire - which actually refers to the western part - Byzantium continued to exist for several more centuries. Various barbaric tribes of Germanic origin attacked and ravaged the western Empire for years. The weakened empire eventually fell in 476 AD when Odoacer, who was the leader of Germanic tribes, overthrew Romulus, Rome's last emperor, and took over the rule in Rome.
The Rome urban area is covered with a network of buses, trams, trains and three metro lines. As access to some of the central districts in Rome is prohibited to motor vehicles, it is a good idea to use the city's public transportation when visiting sights that are located within those districts. The transportation system is managed by ATAC, and tickets must be purchased in advance of boarding. They are sold at metro stops and major bus stops, as well as newsstands and vending machines, the latter accepting only exact change.
For a city of its size, the Rome metro system (the Metropolitana) is relatively small, making it easy to understand. There are currently three lines in operation, the A line, which is indicated with a red-orange colour, and the B line, marked in blue, and the new line C which is of little use to tourists. The A and B lines cross at Termini Central railway station and do not operate through the night.
The tram network consists of six different tram lines. For the most part, they run in areas not frequented by tourist. However, there are two tram lines that you may find particularly useful. Line 8 connects the nightlife hub Trastevere with Torre Argentina, Rome's historic centre. You can catch a train to Fiumicino Airport from Trastevere railway station. The line connecting the northern part of the Vatican with the eastern river bank is tram 19, which also runs past the famous Villa Borghese.
Many bus lines operate throughout Rome, making them a viable option, though they can at times get quite crowded. Termini Central and Piazza Venezia are the two main bus stations. The usual bus lines do not operate at night, but there are night buses that do. An option to consider for travellers is also the hop-on/hop-off buses that have routes circulating the main attractions.
Termini is the main railway station in Rome, with the highest daily number of passengers in Italy. The station has many connections to local areas as well as destinations farther away in Italy. Roma Tiburtina is the second busiest station in Rome, and is planned to become a connection point for high-speed trains.
The wonders of Italy; its culture, history, gastronomy and amazing landscapes await you. Travelling around Italy by car is fun, but if you wish to do so at a leisurely pace and in comfort without changing accommodation, then check out Auto Europe's numerous campervan offers in Rome. We have a large selection of motorhomes to choose from and all at competitive prices.