ROME: The Best City In The World
And during Summer it is even better!
I’m Italian, and no matter where I go…Rome remains the most incredible city I’ve ever seen (and, luckily for me, lived in).
As an Italian myself, I can tell you firsthand how fantastic the country’s cities are in the summer. From funny travel anecdotes like being insulted by waiters to getting out on the open road and visiting the surrounding area, I’d like to provide insight into this immense city.
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Whether you’re on a road trip in Italy and just dropping by, or staying in the city for a while, these are some of the experiences you should take away with you (more to come, as if I get started I could write a whole book about things to do in Rome!)
Eating and Getting insulted in Rome?
Pretty weird, huh? But Italians are a bit out of the lines, and we like it that way!
Kick off the holiday by being (heavily) insulted in Italian, or should I say in Roman dialect!
One of the most famous restaurants in Rome has to be La Parolaccia. The restaurant serves dishes that are typical of Rome, based on recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE MAIN HIGHLIGHT OF THIS SUPER FUN PLACE!
There’s also entertainment at the restaurant in the form of shows and dancing. Quirkily enough, however, the waiters put on the best entertainment. They’re insulting the guests throughout the meal; comically, this is considered part of the service.
I know that it might sound weird, but Italian people (well, most of us) like to make fun of ourselves, so if you understand a bit of Italian or simply want to see what happens when people get insulted, you should try it!
If you have a nice meal in the restaurant and a staff member hasn’t mocked or insulted you, you’ve not been treated to the full experience! Watch out for those Italian hand gestures we’re so famous for (If you don’t understand what the waiter is telling you, and everyone is laughing, use the hand gesture shown in the article and, trust me, you will gain the respect of everyone!) 😉
Visit the Coliseum Afterhours
My last memory of when I left Rome is still impressed in my mind!
Long gone are the days when entering the coliseum was a rite of passage for locals, thanks to the iron gates that have been fitted at this historical attraction.
At night, the amphitheater lights up, and visitors can take a walk around after hours on Thursdays and Saturdays. Of course, it’s hugely popular, so make sure you book well in advance to avoid missing out on this special Rome experience.
Opera at… the baths?
Why not? We are in Italy. Enjoy la Dolce Vita!
The Baths of Caracalla were one of Rome’s largest public baths and were completed by emperor Caracalla, the son of emperor Septimius Severus, in 216 AD. With three main bath chambers and an outdoor swimming area, they were one of the city’s most luxurious baths and were designed to accommodate 600 bathers.
If you take a towel and some bathing attire with you today, you’ll be in for a surprise. As well as a historical site, the baths are now a venue for opera and ballet. If that’s all too cultural for you, there’s also the odd rock or pop star performing live.
Vatican Museums Fridays
Did you know?!
With the exception of August, the Pope’s museums open their doors at sunset and display their riches to the public.
Classical and opera music will accompany you as you wander along the corridors. It’s a good way to see the museums and appreciate them without being swept along by the hordes of tourists that visit Rome’s attractions during the day.
Stepping Outside Rome- Discover The beauty of Its Surroundings!
Twenty kilometers southwest of Rome lies Ostia Antica.
It’s like a mini-Pompeii, giving you a good idea of what a Roman city looked like and how the Romans lived in those times — although the locals prefer to visit the beaches than the historical site (I’d be lying if I didn’t admit they’re pretty good!)!
In this site which was once a seaport and commercial center, you can still see the gym, thermal baths and amphitheater, and if you take a look down at the floor you’ll find beautiful mosaics staring back up at you.
Calcata sits 35 kilometers from Rome and is a real inspiration and retreat for artists and other creatives, who take some inspiration and some serenity from the position of the town.
Some even live and work in caves rather than traditional flats or houses. Calcata sits on a hilltop and overlooks a wooded forest, so you might feel a little jumpy when you first arrive. Park your car up, look at the view, and you’ll soon forget about those initial jitters!
Good things come in threes, I believe the saying goes. The trio of the towns of Bracciano, Trevignano, and Anguillara is situated nonchalantly on the shore of Lake Bracciano. On a road trip, you should set aside a few days to fully appreciate them rather than cram them all in within a day.
If you can, leave Anguillara till last on the route because it has the best light in the afternoon. You might even think about taking a bicycle with you if you’re a keen cyclist and cycling along the lake from town to town.
In each of these towns, you’ll see that the locals are fond of their streets and take good care of them. They embellish them with a range of flowers, vines, and potted plants, making the towns themselves all the more endearing to visitors.
You’ll particularly like the old main street behind Trevignano, the clearest example. Bracciano has a lake view terrace that offers a lovely panoramic view. At the same time, the lakeside promenade of Anguillara is the place to go for a relaxing afternoon stroll, or, if you want to take a few snaps, head to the old town and fortress ruins on the hill.
Green and Relaxed Atmosphere
For just the price of a cappuccino — the Italian cappuccinos are delicious, by the way! — you can hop on a bus or a train and visit Tivoli.
The parks and gardens in this small town are like something out of another world. They’re so beautiful. Villa d’Este is of special note, with its many fountains and pools and its hillside location, which rewards you with a view over Rome.
Make the most of the night visits, which run between 8.00 pm and midnight from early July to mid-September, to experience the lighting at this time adds extra beauty to the park.
The other park you should call in at while you’re in Tivoli is Villa Gregoriana. Visiting the park and spending the evening in the old town is a pleasant way to pass the day.
The park sits at the foot of the Roman Acropolis and has been a source of inspiration for poets and artists. It interprets the Romantic movement’s passion for aesthetics superbly with its features.
Very Nice Article..
This post made me want to visit Rome straight away, so much beauty!
Thanks Leonore! Indeed, Rome is beauty “incarnated”. At least for me.
Rome is MAGIC! My favorite city in Italy. Some great tips in here, thanks for posting, I’ll take notes for when I’m back.
Thanks Faruk, I’m very happy to hear that this article was useful! 🙂
That place where you get insulted seems so much fun! Or am I weird? 😀
Ahahahah not at all Mirko! I love it too but some people (Italians mostly, as they get the insults!) think that it’s a “trashy” place. Totally disagree! Or am I trashy? 😀
Super helpful thank you! I love Rome too! I’ve been there twice and the Coliseum at night was one of the highlights. You don’t even have to go inside, It’s so beautiful.
Do you know if the St Peter Cupola is still open to the public? My last time in Rome was only for 3 days (in November) and I really wanted to go back there, the view is unbelievable!
Marianne! Don’t even get me started with the Colosseo at night…I couldn’t get away from its view during my last night I spent in Rome before leaving it after 3 years. It’s really magical!
Regarding the Cupola, I’ve been there at least 4 times or more, the queue is quite annoying to be honest, but as you said, it’s totally worth it! I believe it is still open to the public (unless they are restructuring something).
Wow, I visited Rome a few times but I never went to Tivoli or Calcata, now I really want to go there. I think my next trip to Italy will be around September.. Do you think the weather will still be good? I really do hope so. Love your blog, I fall in love with basically every place you mention in here 😉
Cheers from Latvia!!
Thanks Elaine! Oh you should definitely also visit the surroundings of Rome, such a pity that people only stop to the city! Another place that I love is Ariccia. If you want to go and see the REAL roman people eating and having some genuine fun, you can’t miss it. Ah well, so many places really. I will update the post at some point!