The beautiful Italian capital should need no introduction to the travelled tourist, as it is a destination that it is home to many well-known landmarks and sights, from the ancient Roman Coliseum and the grounds of the nearby Roman Forum to the three “music boxes” that make up the modern Auditorium complex. Then of course there is the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, in fact the list could go on and on.
Rome is not just famous for its tourist sights, but also cuisine and café culture, both of which are an important part of local Roman life. Almost every street will have its own bar, not pub-like bars as native English speakers may envisage them, but more like a cafe, where the small TV in the corner will be blaring out the latest football scores, while the regular customers will be discussing, with numerous types of hand gestures, the state of the nation or any other hot topics that relate to Italian current affairs.
Romans, and Italians in general, love their food, and why not, as after all Italy offers some of the best cuisine around. Local Roman dishes like Bucatini all’Amatriciana (hollow, spaghetti-like pasta with a sauce of bacon, tomato, oil, chilli, pepper and sheep’s cheese) and Carciofi alla Giudia (crispy artichokes cooked in hot oil) can be found on most of the menus in the trattorie and osterie. Try to go slightly off the beaten track, perhaps to an area just outside of the historic centre and eat in one of the local restaurants; the food will be authentic and much cheaper! Trastevere and the student area of San Lorenzo are great places to eat affordable and authentic Roman dishes, and usually you can eat al fresco.
When you arrive in Rome you will probably do so via train at the city’s main train station, which is called Termini. The station is located in the heart of the city and is also the main transport hub for Rome and the region. Here you will also find a metro station, in fact it is the only metro station where the two metro lines (A and B) cross. Also convenient to this area is the fact that the main bus depot is located just outside the station.
There are many hotels near Termini Station in Rome. Of course, the area has attracted so many hotels and bed and breakfasts due to the fact that there are excellent connections to the whole city. But furthermore, many of the tourist attractions are also easily accessible on foot from here, and wandering through the lanes and streets of historic Rome to your destination is a great way to discover the city’s lesser known areas, squares and public spaces.