If you have no ambition to see Rome, you have never been in love. The Eternal City is a historic jungle of some of the world’s most beautiful and timeless sights. It is a city that can ignite a flame in even the darkest of hearts, but how do you visit it and keep your wallet in check?
Funnily enough, it is easier than what some people think and here is exactly how you can experience Italy’s capital city on a budget.
The minute you step foot in Rome one has to make a mission to an information desk or bookstore and buy a Roma Pass card. This will be your golden ticket to discovering the city. The Pass comes with two options, a 48-hour ticket at the value of € 28,00 or a 64-hour ticket – the best option- which entitles you to three days of exclusive use.
This ticket allows you to unlimited public transport on the city’s bus, Metro A, which takes you to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Termini Station, B which leads you to the Colosseum, B1 and C as well as selected railway lines. But wait, it gets better!
Outside of the transport, which will get you to all the best sightseeing places in Roma and you can spare your feet some heavy walking, it also allows you free entry to two museums (if you by the 64-hour option).
The best option is heading to Colosseum and using it there, and then walking along the road where you can see the ruins of the Forum from a bird’s eye view. It is recommended to use your second free entry into the Vatican, as prices can be quite steep to enter.
Sites To See & How?
If you have three days to spare in Rome, it is recommended you divide the city up. Spend one day discovering some of the sites on Metro A first. In one go you can see some of the city’s most central and most beautiful pieces of works.
Take Metro A to the Barberini stop and get off there. From there you can walk your way up some of Rome’s most money injected streets plagued with high fashion. The Barberini station will take you to the Trevi Fountain. If you manage to get a good picture of it in and amongst the hustle of the mass crowd then you have hit gold. After that, you can make your way down ViadelleMuratte before turning onto Via Del Corso. Here, you can see some of the best shops the city has to offer, and there are outlets that won’t break the bank account too.
Head north towards Piazza del Popolo and turn into a side road called Via delle Croce. This street is buzzing all day and night and it offers tons of coffee shops and restaurants for people to sit down and refresh themselves.
Popping into Grano Frutta e Farina is highly recommended. From yogurts, pastries to sandwiches and pizza al taglio (pizza slices), the tiny nook in the wall offers some great food, and most of all, it comes at a reasonable prize. It is best not to miss out on the dry fruit they sell too, as it is perfect to help keep the energy levels up when you are walking around the city.
After that quick stop, head straight up to Piazza di Spagna with your takeaway pizza al taglio and join the tourists and locals as they take in the atmosphere, the sunshine and their lunch time snack.
After exploring the area, head up to the Spanish Steps and turn left. Continue the path along the road and you will soon found yourself in Rome’s most magnificent garden, Villa Borghese.
Entry into the Museo e Galleria Borghese is free, leaving you with a healthy dose of history and nature to enjoy. It is advised you head to the local grocery store – there is one near Via delle Carrozze – and stock up on some prosciutto and mozzarella and enjoy a sunset picnic in the gardens.
On day two, take the Metro B line, change over at Termini Station, first thing in the morning to beat the crowds at the Collosseum – you can’t miss the stop as it is titled ‘Colloseo’.
Try not to get too upset about the lines, as it does tend to move fast. You will be blown away by the colossal history and architecture you will be met with when you take in one of the biggest things that solidified the city’s history.
From there, you can either pay to go through the ruins of the Forum, but if your budget is holding you back, head back onto the main road and walk towards Piazza Venezia. Along the road you can see most of the Forum from a Bird’s eye view, before arriving at the military museum.
Once you are done seeing the Museum, take a bus trip to Piazza Navona. Enjoy the picturesque marble fountains and the prettiness of one of Roma’s finest Piazzas.
In order to spare some change, find a bar to buy a panino around the roads leading to the piazza before heading across to the Pantheon, which is also free entry. En-route to the glorious church; be sure to stop at Café Sant’ Eustachio for the best coffee in the city.
If you can manage it, don’t sit down, as the coffee shop will charge you almost double as opposed to standing at the counter (it is a standard law across the Italy). If it is a hot day, a Café Shakerato is recommended, and the entertainment value in the process of making it is worth every Euro spent. Good coffee is one thing people can’t spare change on!
Now that you have carbo-loaded with lunch, head across the bridge, Via S.Pio X and head east along Via dellaConciliazionetowards the Vatican City. It is likely that you will spend most of the remaining afternoon at the Vatican, but don’t fear, the Metro A line, station Ottaviano is around the corner and it will take you back to your desired destination.
Now that you have seen the best of Rome, you have an extra day to do what you want…
If you have some change to spare and are interested in football, be sure to check the SerieA fixture list to see if one of the two Roman sides Roma and Lazio are playing. A football match at the StadioOlimpico is an atmosphere you cannot put money on!
When travelling one is always tempted to go to a restaurant, but some of the best authentic food products can be bought at the local grocery shops, and they cost half the price. Buying a pizza al taglio or a panino will also cut costs. You can eat them anywhere: while on foot, sitting next to a fountain in a piazza, on the Spanish Steps, or in one of Rome’s brilliant gardens.
Outside of the grocery shops, the farmer’s markets in Rome are a site to behold. Close to the Colosseum is the Mercato Di CampagnaAmica, which is open on Sundays. This is a must do if you are in Rome over the weekend.
Speaking The Language:
Italian is the furthest thing form an easy language to learn, but it may be useful to learn some common sayings. It may help you get around better and it will also put you in the good books of the Romans.