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About Rome, Travel to and Around & Things to Know
What to See and Do
Rome is a city like no other. Recognizing the recent surges of migrants and refugees into the Mediterranean, it is only fitting that Rome, Italy be selected by conference organizers to host this Migration Health event. Rome is an incredible city rich in cultural heritage, historical artifacts and of course awe-inspiring sites such as The Colosseum, The Forum, and the Spanish Steps.
Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world with its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent parks. Rome is the third most visited city in the European Union after London and Paris, receiving an average of 7-10 million tourists a year.
Rome is a lively mix of modern and ancient, tradition and cosmopolitan. Restaurantes and traditional trattorias abound! Shopping is fantastic no matter if you are searching for haute couture, antiques, or a bargain.
Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain
The heart of Rome, amongst the hustle and bustle of two of the city's most popular attractions - the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, are a must see. Don't forget to throw a coin in the fountain to ensure your return to Rome. This busy area will not dissapoint, with upscale shopping along Via del Corso and beautiful views. Explore by foot and stumble across hidden treasures like the Piazza Colonna with its towering column. There are many boutiques and trattorias nestled within the tightly packed streets.
Termini and Repubblica
Famed for its location rather than its beauty, Rome's main transport hub Termini acts as a gateway into the city. The station offers easy access to some for some of Rome's biggest draws, such as the stunning National Museum and Baths of Diocletian, just around the corner. Follow Via Cavour to the historic ruins of the Roman Forum and Colosseum, or take a stroll down Via Nazionale and Reubblica to peruse the shops as you head to the centre. The area also offers some unbeatable budget options, with the Palladium Palace just minutes away.
Colosseum and Roman Forum
The two wonders of Ancient Rome can be found together. Alongside the Temples of Caesar and Julia, the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum are a spectacular sight to behold. Guaranteed to be busy, it is worth getting tickets in advance - and it's recommended, at the very least, to buy an audio guide to get the most out of the rich history of this area. Another popular spot to visit is the Circus Maximus, the oldest and largest public space whose principal function under Julius Caeser's regime in the 6th century was a chariot racetrack to host the Roman Games. This is a beautiful green district to enjoy while seeing some of Rome's best-loved attractions.
Prati and Vatican City
On the west bank of the River Tiber, you will discover a slower pace than the Centro Storico, with broad boulevards and a charming atmosphere. In the Prati district there are some fantastic trattoria and bars, especially along Via Tacito. The real draw is the world's smallest sovereign state, Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church. See Michelangelo's ceiling masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel and climb the dome of St Peter's Basilica for the best views in Rome. It is well worth pre-booking your visit, as the queues are hours-long. Don't miss the stunning Castel Angelo and the Beautiful bridge when travelling back in the central Rome. The Ergife Palace Hotel is located close to this attraction, just minutes from Saint Peter and many attractions in the Eternal City.
Discover the home to the infamous Castel Sant'Angelo, which has been a mausoleum, a papal refuge, and a prison, respectively. It now houses a museum with military exhibits, medieval firearms and paintings. Sant'Angelo was also home to the Jewish people of Rome, who in the past lived in forced-isolation in the walled ghetto. This segregation created a sense of community, whose village atmosphere is still seen on feast days. You will find some superb kosher cuisine in Sant'Angelo, like Jewish fried artichokes, delicious seafood and even kosher pizza. Tour the area and find out more about its tragic but ultimately hopeful history.
The laidback lifestyle of Trastevere will enchant you with its foodie scene and local feel. A picturesque neighbourhood with a great atmosphere, you'll find the beautiful Piazza Santa Maria here, with its 12th century church and ornamental fountain - a sight to see after dark. Take a stroll down the narrow labyrinthine streets, where washing is hung to billow between the decrepit and well-loved apartments. Alfresco dining is the thing to do in Trastevere - with many fantastic establishments serving Roman cuisine well into the night.
Formerly the red-light district, Monti is a fashionable neighbourhood in the heart of Rome's historic centre strangely unaffected by tourists. Sit and drink perfect cappuccinos at a café on the many piazzas, perfecting the art of dolce far niente (doing sweet nothing) watching life go by. Monti is also the perfect place for your evening aperitivo. Vintage shopping and hipster bars have popped up all over the vicinity, making clear that this is the Roman equivalent to Shoreditch or Brooklyn. You can also get a decent curry on Via dei Serpenti, which is home to many different worldwide cuisines, a rarity in Rome.
Hidden away behind Termini train station and next to the university, San Lorenzo is a hip place to be. One of the most bohemian and alternative districts in Rome, there are cool bars and cheap trattorias with students discussing everything from local politics to ancient literature. San Lorenzo is the perfect place to go to escape the grandeur and history of the centre, the graffiti art and quaint, affordable artisanal shops will not disappoint. The Basilica Papale di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura is also in the area, and considered as one of the largest and most beautiful basilica in Rome.
A working class district with a local, yet welcoming flair, Testaccio is often overlooked by tourists. While Testaccio is notoriously known for being the hub of the Eternal City's nightlife scene, it also offers many 'extras' for tourists looking to explore an area that's a bit off the beaten path. The area is filled with great mom-and-pop osterie and pizzerie and also has a fantastic open air food market.
Things To Know Before You Go …
Electricity in Italy conforms to the Eurpoean standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz. Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two or three round pins. An adapter is needed for electrical appliances using another types of current, such as the 110-volt United States system.
Dial 112 to reach services for medical, fire and police related emergencies. For immediate medical attention or to call an ambulance dial 118. Small medical emergencies can sometimes be handled by an Italian pharmacy (farmacia.) You can easily find onte that is open 24/7.
Free Wireless Internet Connection
Italy launched a nationwide free wifi app in 2017 called Wifi Italia. Available on Google Play and the App Store, this app allows users to connect instantly to a nationwide network of wifi hotspots. The ISTM is also providing free wireless internet connection within the convention center during the conference.
The general rule in Italy is "no tip." If you would like to tip, leaving a few euros or rounding up the bill to the next euro is customary. Be aware of a "servizio" charge when dining out; some restuarants add a 10-15% service charge to bills. Do not leave an additional tip if there is a servizio charge.
Italian is the official and most widely spoken language in Rome. However, Rome is a large tourist city and English is spoken at many of Rome's major touristy areas (i.e. attractions, hotels, and restaurants).
The sale and administration of distilled alcohol is prohibited under the age of 18, fermented drinks like wine or beer are permitted above 16. Bars and other licensed establishments generally serve alcohol until 2 am. Frequently, restaurants and bars in Italy are closed or have reduced hours on Sunday and Monday.
Roma Capitale authority has a tourist accommodation tax due for each night spent in Rome's accommodation facilities. Rate per night varies based on the facility accommodation. A 1,2-star hotel nightly rate is 3 euros, 3-star 4 euros, 4-star 6 euros, and 5-star hotel is 7 euros.
Italy uses the metric system. Visitors find weather temperature reports given in Celsius degrees, gasoline sold by the liter (milk and wine by milliliters, and liters) grocery items in grams and kilograms, and road speeds posted in kilometers per hour.
In Italy, as in most of Western Europe, the official currency is the euro (€). The euro is divided into 100 cents (centesimi), with two decimals after the comma. A price will often be displayed as €10,00 (ten euros); or €2,14 (two euro and 14 cents.) There are seven different denominations of the euro banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The euro coin series comprises eight different denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50.
The major banks are located in and around big cities. The better known banks in Italy are the Unicredit S.p.A., Intesa Sanpaolo, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Banco BPM, Banca Monte dei Paschi, UBI Banca and Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. Banking hours are regulated by law; banks in Italy open at 8.30, close from 13.30 - 15:00 for lunch, and close for the day at 16.00 Monday to Friday. Banks are closed Saturday and Sunday.
Major credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are accepted almost everywhere. This can often be confirmed by credit card logos displayed on store windows and at till points. Smaller businesses might not accept card payments, so carry some cash just in case. If using your credit or debit card abroad, you should be aware of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Often you will be asked if you want to be charged in your home currency (DCC), meaning the exchange rate applied is chosen by the retailer's bank. Generally, you will receive the best rate by opting to pay in the local currency. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are known to locals as bancomat. They are widely available in cities and towns, and expats will be able to choose their preferred language at the beginning of the transaction.
No Smoking Regulations
Italy prohibits smoking in outdoor spaces near hospitals and schools, in cars with children or pregnant women or in any enclosed space that is used by the public. Smoking is permitted at most restaurants and bars in their outdoor seating area.
Most businesses, including shopping centres, are open as follows:
Shops open at 9.00, close from 13.00 to 15.30 for lunch, and close at 19.30 from Monday to Saturday. Most shops are closed on Sunday.
The standard sales tax rate in Italy is 22% on most goods and services.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the European Union begins the last Sunday in March, when all timepieces are advanced by one hour and ends the last Sunday in October, when timepieces are set back one hour.
October is great time to visit Rome, Italy, when the leaves are turning red and there's a refreshing chill in the air. At this time of the year, the average daytime temperature high is around 19° C and nighttime lows drop to about 13° C. The city experiences eight hours of sunshine each day and approximately 94mm of rainfall spread across 12 days, so be sure to bring a light jacket or coat and your umbrella.
How To Get To Rome
Rome has two international airports: Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is the largest airport in Rome and Italy, and is located 25 km (16 miles) from the Ergife Palace Hotel. Its official name is Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci. The Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) is the second international airport in Rome; this airport is located 31 km (19 miles) from the Ergife Palace Hotel. There are many airlines which fly in and out of Rome daily; some of the most prominent airlines are listed below:
Air Canada: (FCO) Direct flights from Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, London, Montreal, Edmonton, St. John's, Vancouver, Halifax, Quebec and Frankfurt.
Air France: (FCO) Direct flights from Paris, New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle.
American Airlines: (FCO) Direct flights from Los Angeles, Newark, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
British Airways: (FCO) Direct flights from London, Newark, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Delta Air Lines: (FCO) Direct flights from New York, Newark, Boston, Miami, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, and Houston.
KLM: (FCO) Direct flights from Amsterdam, Atlanta, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Paris, New York, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, and Munich
Ryanair: (FCO) and (CIA) Direct flights from London, Manchester, Edinburgh, East Midlands and Glasgow.
United Airlines: (FCO) Direct flights from Boston, Chicago, Denver, LA, New York/Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Wizz Air: (FCO) and (CIA) Direct flights from 20 destinations across Europe.
The Italian rail network connects just about every major city in Italy and are typically punctual - especially the trains on the high speed network. Travellers can choose between Italy's national rail service, Trenitalia, or Italo Treno, Italy's new private trainline. Cities commonly traveled to from this station include: Assisi, Bari, Florence, Milan, Naples, Paris, Siena, Venice and Zurich. Roma Termini (Stazione Termini in italian) is the main railway station of Rome, Italy, located in the Piazza di Cinquecento. The Leonardo Express Train connects Fiumicino Airport (FCO) with Termini station and runs every 30 minutes; it is the fastest way to get downtown from the airport. From Termini, you may take the Metro line A direction Battistini, Cornelia Stop. From Cornelia take the bus No. 246 (3 stops) to the Ergife Palace Hotel. There is a train from the town of Ciampino to the Termini Station, however it is not at the airport and you will need to take a bus (ATRAL or COTRAL) from The Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) to the train station. The Ciampino trains to Termini run every 30 minutes.
The main access routes from the north are A1 (Autostrada del Sole) from Milan and Florence, and the A12-E80 highway from Genoa. The principal route to or from points south, including Naples, is the A2. All highways connect with the Grande Raccordo Anulare Ring Road (GRA), which channels traffic into the city center. Be warned: parking in Rome can be a nightmare. The situation is greatly compounded by the fact that private cars without permits are not allowed access to popular destinations designated as Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL) areas. There is limited free parking in Rome; most parking is metered, on a pay-by-the-hour basis. Spaces with white lines are free parking, yellow lines indicate handicapped only. Spaces with blue lines are paid parking. All other color-coded spaces are ususally reserved for residents, disabled drivers, or carpooling and require special permits.
Travel Distances from major Italian Cities
Milan: 573 km (356 miles)
Florence: 279 km (173 miles)
Genoa: 500 km (311 miles)
Naples: 227 km (141 miles)
Getting Around in Town
The most convenient and economic way of getting around Rome is by Public Transit Bus service. Buses run 24 hours a day and cover the entire city. Bus tickets and subway metro tickets are interchangeable within the time validity of the ticket. Check out this excellent online map of Rome's public transportation system, Azienda per i Trasporti Autoferrotranviari del Comune di Roma (ATAC).
Rome has an excellent, if crowded public transport system that is very affordable. 1, 2, 3, and 7 day passes give unlimited bus, metro and some train rides. Rome public transport passes are easily purchased once you are in Rome, but almost unobtainable before you arrive to the city. Tickets can be purchased from tobacco shops, bars, or vending machines at Metro stations and major bus stops.
Rome's bus network is intricate and can be handy for getting around the city. It takes a bit more to figure it out than the Metro, but once you get the hang of it you'll feel like you've got a special pass to see the city. Bus stops are marked by signposts topped with large placards bearing the number of the buses that stop there. Next to the list of bus stop names you'll see an arrow pointing down, which tells you which direction the bus is going. Note, official bus timetables are more of a formality in Rome and buses are rarely on time. When using the bus system, it is recommended to allow time for late buses and transfers.
Rome's Metro uses the same tickets and passes as the bus. The metro isn't very extensive which is why the bus system is preferred. There are two main lines (the orange line "A" and the blue line "B") that etch a rough "X" on the city map, with Stazione Tremini train station at the intersection. Unless you happen to be heading to the area immediately around the Spanish Steps, the bus is a far better choice than the Metro, as Rome's subway system doesn't really serve the core of the historic center but rather skirts its edges.
Taxis are a convenient way to travel in and around Italy, even if they are a bit expensive. Official licensed taxis are either white or yellow with a "Taxi" sign on the roof and an ID number and Roma Capitale on the sides. Passengers traveling by these cabs are charged per the meter. Visitors should avoid taking taxis that don't have a meter as those are unregulated. You can hail a taxi, but it's often easier to wait at a rank or phone for one. There are taxi ranks at the airports and main attractions and Piazzas throughout the city. Uber is perfectly legal in Rome and you can freely use the app while you are in Italy. Italy only allows the more expensive, Uber Black (and Uber vans).
Car and Motorcycle Rentals
Driving around Rome is not reccomended. Parking is difficult to find and most of Rome's historic centre is closed to unauthorised traffic (ZTL) during most of the week. Riding a scooter or motorbike is faster and makes parking easier, but Rome is no place for learners so if you're not experienced it's not recommended. Hiring a car for a day trip out of town is worth considering. All EU driving licenses are recognised in Italy. Holders of non-EU licences should get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany their national licence. Most italian cars have manual gear transmission.
Cycling to get around the city of Rome is not recommended. Car traffic in Rome is hectic and most of the city center and streets are very narrow, so riding a bike in Rome should be attempted only if you're experienced in these circumstances. There are several bike rental companies and the cost is pretty standard, allowing rentals by the hour or day. Part of the historic city center - that includes spots like Panteon and Castel Sant'Angelo - are closed to traffic and are great spots to explore by bicycle.