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Summer vacations in July: Things to do and things to avoid doing in Rome

Summer vacations in July: Things to do and things to avoid doing in Rome

Many of you tend to travel in Rome in July. This is because either schools are closed and you can take your kids with you, or simply you like to travel during the summer months because you prefer the hot weather.

Unfortunately, this also means that you will experience waves of heat and humidity in Rome that vary from 33 to 40 degrees Celsius (i.e., 99-104 F). Make sure that you always have a water bottle with you. Luckily, Rome has about 2,000 fountains called Nasoni – (meaning‘’big noses’’) with fresh, cold drinkable water where you can fill your bottle any time. Fountains can be tempting for most of the tourists as they sometimes have the urge to bathe inside them, especially in the Trevi Fountain. Please DON’T DO IT. You will be fined 500 euro and kept in the police station for a few hours.

The majority of the Roman fountains are great works of art. Please observe the rules and help us preserve our heritage. However, there are also a few fountains where you can refresh your face and arms or simply wet your feet:

-The one at the Temple of Augustus called Ara Pacis

-The one in the Piazza del Popolo, not the central one by the Obelisc, but the other one closer to the Pincianhill, by the statue of the Roman Goddess.

-The fountain at the villa Borghese park


Take precautions for your safety

Downtown Rome is generally safe during the night and the day, but if you are not careful you might have some bad experiences. When you leave your hotel, you shouldleave your passport in the room. Take a copy with you or simply another I.D. There are teenage groups mostly gypsies, both boys and girls, that travel together in busses, trains or other crowded areas such as the TreviFountain. They will steal your wallet, take the cards and the cash and throw the wallet away. I recommend thatyou don’t keep your wallet in the backpack, but in the front of you. If you decide to carry a back pack, buy the one with a mini lock.




How to travel in the historical city center

Most people choose to take long walks which is fine if you can stand the sun. I don’t recommend a bicycle as there are no bicycle lanes apart from one at the bank of the Tiber river.

Public transportation in Rome is not great. Buses are never on time and the subway doesn’t always have AC. Most of the time the escalators are out of use. The best option would be to use Uber or Taxi. The cost for short distances would be 10 to 20 euros. Regarding the cab,you can stop one on the way or simply look for a taxi stand but the best way would be to download the app Ittaxi, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.ud.microtek.ITTaxi&hl=en&gl=US it saves time especially if you don’t know how to talk in Italian to the taxi call center.

Number to call for a taxi in Rome 0039-063570, 0039-060609

Uber is more expensive than a taxi.

If you need a taxi from Fiumicino airport to the historical center or anywhere within the Aurelian walls there is a flat rate of 50 euro per taxi, and not per person, including the suitcases. If you need to go to Ciampinoairport there is a flat rate of 31 euro per taxi. If you are staying outside the Aurelian walls, the taxi to and from the airports shouldn’t cost more than 75 euro. If the taxi driver turns the taximeter on during these routes, get offand call another taxi.


Choose carefully your cafés and restaurants

If you are tired and you are simply looking to sip a glass of wine, you have to remember that same wine will not have the same cost in different restaurants. If you happen to sit around the Spanish steps, Navona square, Trevifountain, the Pantheon or the Vatican City, the prices will be three time higher.  Generally, it is easy to guess by looking at the customers. If 99% are tourists and not Italians, it is probably a tourist trap. There are cheaper areas which you can go to, but with good food and wine instead, such as Trastevere, the Jewish ghetto and Prati.In the previous article I listed a few good restaurants where the locals go.

In the mean time I recommend you to go for groceries at the historical food markets where the romans go to buy their best fruit /vegetables/meats/cheeses and cold cuts:

Mercato Trionfale


Mercato di Testacciohttps://goo.gl/maps/6zGkscm5UKJsNuX57

There is also the market of Campo de Fiori, but it is smaller and a bit overpriced.


Bars and clubs that you would enjoy

You want to be in the center but without being ripped offand in the mean time be close to ancient ruins, go to Salotto 42 right by the Pantheon. The happy hour will start at 6.30 pm. You will find it a very cozy place. Roman celebrities and aristocrats go there too.



Terrazza Borromini, facing Piazza Navona, with a beautiful rooftop from where you can admire Rome at 360 degrees. There you can have the best cocktails and enjoy a spectacular sunset too. You need to reserve in advance. A dress code is also required.https://g.page/terrazzaborromini?share

Forum Hotel, from its roof top you can have one of the best views over the ancient city. There is nothing like sipping some good wine and tasting delicious food during a happy hour in the front of the Trajan Column.Even for only an aperitif a reservation is requested. Dress elegant too.


It is preferable to book in advance.

The Court mixology rooftop bar inside the Manfredi palace is one of the best locations in Rome with one of the best views over the Colosseum. Here they serve the best cocktails in a lounge music background. It’s the favorite place of the couples, honeymooners and for other special occasions too. Cocktail prices are not cheap, they vary between 15 to 25 euro. Dinner also can cost you between 100 to 250 euro depending on the wine that you choose.



Extraordinary archeological gems in Rome

The best way to escape the heat of July is to book underground tours in exclusive locations. It is a way to take you back in time through the tour guides expertise.


Domus Aurea/ The Golden House of Nero

You can book a visit to the Domus Aurea located right by the Colosseum, on the Oppian Hill, only with a guided tour on weekends because during the weekdays there are still restorations going on. The coolest thing about this tour is that you get to see the palace of Nerothrough VR glasses. A reservation in advance is required.



Crypta Galbi

This elegant and refined Crypt housed a Theatre, a block of four apartments and a patio. It was built in the 1stcentury Bc by a Spaniard of Cadiz, Lucius Cornelius Balbus and it was a place where the public would relax and enjoy refreshments during the intervals of the shows at the nearby theater.



The Necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica

This sacred place at the tomb of the Apostle Peter, is open only for groups until 12 people over 15 years of age. The tours are organized only by the Fabbrica/(Factory) of St. Peter at the Excavation Office, through their well-trained guides. It is cheaper than any other tour if bought through their official website, with the only downside that you need to book at least 3 months prior to the date of the tour.



The Mausoleum of Augustus

Only recently open to the public, it is the larger circular tomb in the world, measuring 87 meters in diameter. Build in the first century A.D, it used to house the urnswith the ashes of the emperor and his relatives. The urn itself was placed inside a cylinder of 40 m high with a bronze statue of Augustus on the very top. Unfortunately, it is open only a few weeks per year therefore you should check the availability in advance.



The Vatican museums

Notorious for being crowded during the high season, I recommend you visiting them during the afterhoursbetween 7 to 11 pm, on the weekends. You will notice there will be a huge difference compared to the day hours. Choose private tours with Eden walkshttps://www.edenwalks.com/ instead of big groups and you will not regret it.


Our last recommendations is to choose a guide from Eden Walks to go on a food tour in the heart of Rome, starting from Campo de Fiori and ending in the historical neighborhood of Trastevere with its endless restaurants and trattorias. There are 5 stops in total. You will be tasting some delicious foods and wine like only romans do.