If you're look for a quick and easy break to get away from the city, you might consider taking a day trip to Ostia Antica. Compared to Pompeii but much closer to Rome and far less crowded, you'll witness ruins and elics that date back to the 4th century B.C. and ancient mosaics that date back to the 2nd century A.D. There's also a lovely amphitheater that truly captures the richness of this magical ancient city! According to ancient legend, the town of Ostia was founded by the fourth kind of Rome, Ancus Marcius. Though no archaeological finds dating back to this period have been uncovered to date. Rather, the 'Ostia Antica' as we know it today dates back to the 4th century B.C. Ostia means "mouth" in Latin. As it was positioned at the mouth of the Tiber River, Ostia served as a seaport of Rome.
In Rome, nothing is more romantic than the 'passeggiata' - a leisurely stroll. And Trastevere is just the neighborhood for it. This quarter prides itself on its authenticity and devotion to Roman culture. Narrow streets lead to quaint homes that display gardens on roofs and spacious piazzas. The original inhabitants of this area across the Tiber have their own version of the Roman dialect and their own defining cuisine. This is the place to experience true Roman dining. Though the ambience here during the day is fairly quiet, when the sun goes down the atmosphere becomes beyond lively. TRAM: 8, BUS: H.
Built in the third century as part of Rome's defense system, this massive fortification wall is a must see. The wall was commissioned by the Emperor Aurelian after the city's previous structure was in ruins. The wall has undergone significant restoration, and the best-preserved gate is that to the Via Appia, or Appian Way, known as Porta San Sebastiano. If you visit the Museum of the Roman Walls (at 18 Via Porta San Sebastiano, Tue-Sun 9am-2pm) located in the gate you can usually gain access to the wall and get a matchless view of the surrounding area, little of which has changed from when the Apostle Peter traveled through Rome on foot. The Appian Way is the Roman Republic's oldest highway, with sections still in use today. BUS: 118 from Circo Massimo metro station or the hop-on hop-off Archeobus from in front of Stazione Termini (see www.trambus.com)
Walking up from the Roman Forum from Via dei Fori Imperiali, you reach the Palatine Hill. The ruins here are left from Domus Flavia and Domus Augustana, and were built around the first century. It is believed that it was on this very hill that Rome was born and where Romulus and his brother Remus, are believed to have been born. Emperors August, Tiber, Domitian also had residence here. From atop the hill, you have an incredible view of the city and you can look out across the Circus Maximus and the Alban Hills. Access ends about one hour before sunset. BUS: 85, 87, 175. METRO: Colosseo. TRAM: 3
Local Aromas is a Rome-based tour company created by sisters Valeria and Benedetta Bianchini who have the simple mission to make you fall in love with Italyï¿½'s food and wine. From 90-minute tours and tastings across the Eternal City, to family-friendly cooking classes held at a spectacular panoramic location near the Vatican, the catalogue of over 20 different culinary experiences are run by expert guides, chefs and sommeliers. Whether you want to explore Romeï¿½'s markets, take a tour totally dedicated to pizza, street food or gelato, learn to cook like a Roman or discover local wines, there is something to suit all timeframes, interests and budgets.
Gourmet food and wine experiences. Memories to last a lifetime. What more could travelers to Italy want? Run by Eleonora Baldwin and Gina Tringali, Casa Mia is a boutique tour operator specialising in a selection of private food and wine tours and experiences. Their motto: When visiting a city, connecting with a local can deeply transform your travel experience, making it more exclusive, authentic and original. The company delivers the majority of their tours and operations in Rome with a wide additional wide offering that spans the Italian peninsula including (but not limited to) the regions of Tuscany, Campania and Sicily. The variety of their tour products is also diverse ranging from a focus on different neighbourhood to themes and their strong selling point remains their expertise and capacity to customise tours to suit needs, desires and budgets. Whether it's a market walk, a wine pairing experience, gelato tour or pizza tasting, Casa Mia have got you covered. To book your very own food or wine experience in Italy with Casa Mia, visit their website for contacts and more information.
Dubbed the central park of Rome, Villa Borghese is a favorite for tourists and the locals. The resurrection of the park was commissioned during the 17th century and used by the Borghese and Bonaparte families. Though, it's not the largest park in Rome it is the most popular thanks to its central location and its beautiful scenery. Villa Borghese is also famous for its historical buildings and world-class museums such as the Galleria Borghese, a children's cinema, and a place where you can rent bikes. There are many places to sit and take some time out or have a picnic, but along the banks of little late are some of the prettiest. BUS 495, 490, 88. METRO: Flaminio.
Rome's number #1 rated food tour and only one of its kind, runs daily except for Sundays in two real Roman neighborhoods (Testaccio and Trastevere). On this four hour journey through the streets of Rome, you will get to enjoy about 10 authentic tastings (from tiramisu to buffalo mozzarella to pizza) at gourmet food stores, bars, a restaurant & fresh food market. You will get to know the Rome through its people, culture and cuisine in a truly unique way and the best part of the tour (aside from the unforgettable food!) is that it takes you to the parts of the eternal city that you wouldn't have ordinarily stumbled upon.
This area is not easily accessed by public transportation, but the walk up to the top on Via Giacinto Carini is well worth it. You are surrounded by lovely views of the Alban Hills. Make sure that you go to Villa Lante before you leave the area, where you can get the best view of the city. The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola (dubbed the 'fontanone' by Romans, which means big fountain) is located at the point where Via Garibaldi and the Janiculum walk begins and is a stunning example of baroque design. BUS: 115 or 870 to the top or 44 and 75 to Via Giacinto Carini
If you feel like visiting quintessential Rome, there's no better place to do it than at the Campo de' Fiori open air market or mercato all'aperto. Taking a stroll through this market, gives you a glimpse of Italian culture. Once inside, you'll witness the vendors take center stage as they turn the art of selling a tomato into an off-Broadway performance. By day, the Campo de' Fiori market sells all types of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meats and even fish. There's also a lovely flower market in the far corner of the piazza. The Campo de' Fiori Market is open Monday through Saturday from 7.30am-1.30pm. BUS: 40, 64, 46. TRAM: 8.