Rome is one of the most popular tourist cities in the world. According to statistics, this is the third in the ranking of popular tourist destinations in Europe. World-famous places like the Colosseum and the Vatican annually visited by more than 4 million people. Tourists attract here a large number of unique archaeological sites and art culture treasures, museums, beautiful parks and also shopping. The contribution of tourism to the economy of the city reaches 12 percent. According to tourists’ opinion polls, three out of four respondents intend to return here, in Rome, capital of Italy, the “Eternal City”.
Facts and Figures
- Founded: 753 BC.
- Population: 2.63 million people (2012).
- Area: 1.285 km2.
- Country and region: Italy, Lazio region.
- Time: GMT / UTC + 1 hour (+ 2 hours in summer).
- Telephone code: +39 (06).
- Emergency telephone number: 112.
See also - Italy regions.
Information about the city history
Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire had an enormous impact on the history of all European countries. Planning a trip to Italy, in Rome, it would be good refresh your memory some points of the Ancient Rome history.
History of Ancient Rome lasted from the foundation of Rome in 753 BC., until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD.
There are three periods in the history of ancient Rome: the royal (from foundation the city up to 510 years BC), Republican (509 BC - 30 BC), Imperial (30 BC - 476 AD).
A huge area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea was under the rule of Rome in the heyday of the Roman Empire.
The first time in the city comes to live adventurous, expelled from other cities and countries peoples, runaway slaves. They were mostly men, so in Rome was lacking the female population. To solve this problem the Romans captured by force and cheating women from a neighboring tribe the Sabines. This has caused the first war in the history of Rome.
By the first century BC, the Roman state became the most powerful country in the ancient world. Mediterranean Sea became an inland sea of the Roman Empire.
The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustus, was deposed 4 September 476. The Western Roman Empire ceased to exist.
Tourism in Rome
For many coming to Italy tourists Rome is the first Italian city and the must-see destination in the travel program. According to statistics, in 2012, Rome visited about 11.997 million people, of which approximately 70% were foreign tourists. (According “euromonitor” in 2011 Rome visited 5.9 million foreign tourists.)
Almost all coming to Rome tourists (97%), visit the historic city center. Among the most popular tourist sites in Rome are “Pantheon”, the “Trevi Fountain”, “Piazza Navona”, “St Peter's Basilica”, “Roman Forum”, “Sant'Angelo” castle, the “Basilica of San Giovanni” in Laterano, “Piazza di Spagna” (Spanish Steps staircase, Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti), “Villa Borghese” park, “Piazza del Popolo”, “Trastevere”.
According to published in the Internet information the most visited object in Rome is the Colosseum.
Below is percentage of tourists visiting some popular sites.
- Colosseum - visited by 95.8% of tourists.
- Trevi Fountain - visited by 86.3% of tourists.
- Pantheon - 82.6%.
- Spain Square (Piazza di Spagna) - 81,7%.
- St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) - 75,1%.
- The Roman Forum (Fori Romani) - 73,9%.
- Vatican Museums - 67.3%.
- Spada Gallery - 26,1%.
- Palatine hill - 24,9%.
- Borghese Gallery (la Galleria Borghese) - 17,6%.
- Catacombs (le Catacombe) - 17,3%.
- Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) - 14,4%.
- National Gallery of Ancient Art at the Palazzo Barberini (Galleria d'Arte Antica Palazzo Barberini) - 10,6%.
- National Museum of XXI Century Arts Maxxi (nuovo museo d'arte moderna Maxxi) - 9,3%.
In the sphere of interests of tourists (mostly young people) are also Rome theme parks.
- Zoomarine. It is amusement Water Park, located approximately 35 kilometers from Rome, near the Mediterranean Sea coast.
- Rainbow-Magicland. It is theme park, located in the suburbs of Rome, Valmontone, approximately 40 kilometers south-east of Rome.
- Bioparco. Large zoological park, which contains more than 1,000 animals. The zoo is located in the northern part of Rome, Villa Borghese.
- According to conducted surveys, in spending of visited Rome tourists 26.5% was spent on hotels, 17.2% of money tourists spend in restaurants and bars, 20.2% was spent in clothing stores, about 12% money was spent in museums, galleries , movies and shows.
What annoys tourists in Rome?
Approximately 14% of the tourists were dissatisfied by lots of street vendors, annoyingly offering their goods for tourists. Approximately 13% were dissatisfied with lots of vehicles on the streets of Rome. Unclean streets and inefficient public transportation was named among the negative factors, respectively, by 12.2% and 11.5% of tourists. This is average figures. Guest rating highly depends on where the tourists come from.
Approximately 10% of travelers say that nothing needs to be changed, that “Rome is beautiful, as is”. Approximately 80% of respondents said Rome's most beautiful city in Italy. 75% of tourists visiting Rome are going to return here again.
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Useful information for tourists
“Roma Pass” card
This may be helpful for tourists to buy a “Roma Pass” card, which will make your stay in Rome more comfortable and cheaper. The card is valid for three days (until midnight of the third day from the date of activation).
“Roma Pass” card allows:
- Free access to the first two museums or archaeological sites. (Including the exhibition held at the museum.) For the cardholder has a separate turnstile to enter the Colosseum.
- Reduced prices on tickets to museums (archaeological site) after that.
- Free travel on public transport the territory of community of Rome (buses, trams, trolley buses, metro, regional train Roma-Lido, Roma Flaminio Piazza del Popolo-Viterbo, Roma-Giardinetti).
- Reduced prices for tickets to the exhibition and some other services for tourists.
Attention! The card is not valid in the Vatican Museums. The card is not valid for travel to the airport.
Card can be purchased:
- In museums.
- In the underground ticket offices.
- At the tourist information point.
Roma Pass card can also be purchased online (cards, payment through Visa or Mastercard).
From 05/01/2013 the card cost is 34,00 €.
On the back of the card should be filled full name and date of validation (activation). Cardholder must carry an identity document.
Card is activated during first use ( visit the museum's or first trip on the city's public transport), and it must be used within the first three days after activation. It expires at midnight of the third day from the date of activation.
Card works contactless (RFID, Radio Frequency Identification). Card must touch the scanner yellow to get the bus (subway). The green light indicates that the card is recognized.
Tourist information points
Tourist information in Rome (Punti Informativi Turistici, PIT):
- PIT Fiumicino, Airport Leonardo Da Vinci, arrival area of international flights (Terminal 3).
- PIT Ciampino, Aeroporto GBPastine, arrival area of international flights, baggage claim.
- PIT Termini, Station Rjma Termini - street Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34.
- PIT Castel S. Angelo, Lungotevere Vaticano (Piazza Pia).
- PIT Cinque Lune, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona).
- PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner to Via del Corso).
- PIT Nazionale, Via Nazionale (Palazzo delle Esposizioni).
- PIT Fori, Visitor Center - Via dei Fori Imperiali.
How to get to Rome
The most popular types of transport for foreign tourists are airplane and train. Most tourists travel to Rome by air.
- Rome-Fiumicino International Airport named after Leonardo da Vinci is located near the sea shore, about 30 kilometers south-west of the center of the Italian capital. Most foreign tourists arrive in Rome via this airport. The Leonardo express train connects the city with the airport. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
- Rome-Ciampino Airport (Aeroporto di Roma-Ciampino) is the second largest airport in the region of Lazio. It is located about 15 kilometers southeast of the center of Rome.
You can find flights and buy tickets online.
Residents of some European cities come to Rome by rail. The Termini station is Rome's main train station. Trains from many Italian cities, as well as from Munich, Geneva and Vienna arrive regularly at the train station. Tickets for the train can also be bought online.
Rome Cruise Terminal is located at Port of Civitavecchia, at a distance of about 80 kilometers from Rome. Cruise ships passengers can visit Rome.
Things to do
- Look at the most famous sights of Rome: the Colosseum, the Capitoline Hill, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, St. Peter's Cathedral. Take a stroll around the neighborhood. (The ticket for the tourist bus Roma City Tour will be very useful.)
- Visit a museum. For example, the Vatican Museums. In the museums of Rome you can see unique exhibits.
- Look at the works of local artists in Piazza Navona.
- Do shopping on Via del Corso and the nearby streets. Here you can buy the most fashionable clothes and shoes.
- Enjoy Italian food at local restaurants and cafes. Food, wine, cheese and pizza in Italy are some of the most delicious in the world.
Where to stay
In which part of the city is it best to book a hotel when traveling to Rome? In most cases, the most convenient for living tourists can be considered the central part of the city and hotels located in the Vatican area. Living in the historic center of the city you can visit the sights and interesting places during the day, visit the shops and cafes in the evening.
It can be hotels (hostels, apartments) in the area between the area of Venice in the south, the area of Spain in the north, the station Roma Termini in the east and the Tiber River in the west.
More about good places for tourists to stay in Rome.