Rome on a Budget – It Can Be Done!
Rome – it is one of the most famous cities in Europe, and stands alongside the likes of London, Paris and Madrid as a hotspot for culture, shopping and sightseeing. It also stands on a par with these other cities as being among the most expensive.
So it might come as a surprise to learn that not only can you visit Rome on a limited budget, but you can also see all the sights and experience everything that makes the city so special – if you know how.
Like any capital city, getting around by car is a nightmare for the uninitiated, and taxis can be expensive, not to mention complicated if your Italian is a little rusty. Some drivers speak English, but many do not.
The best purchase you can get is something called a Roma Pass. It costs you €30 and gives you free use of the city’s public transport network, plus free entry to two archaeological sites and / or museums of your choice. You also get discounted entry to all other archaeological sites or museum visits after the two free ones.
A little culture
Rome is famous for its opera, and if it is something you have never tried because you thought it was just for the super rich, think again. Tickets cost less than you think if you book them through a site such as romeoperatickets.com, and you will be guaranteed an evening like no other.
Choose from either the historic Teatro Costanzi, or for something extra special, how about a performance under the stars at the Terme di Caracalla. Even if you are not usually into classical music, you will find yourself immersed in the sheer spectacle of it and who knows, you might become an opera covert!
Meet the Pope
No visit to Rome is complete without calling in at the Vatican. Most visitors head there in the morning, so why not take your time getting there with a stroll through the city and a bite of lunch, before turning up at the security entrance at about 1 or 2 PM? You will find the queues are shorter and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to get in.
Be aware that there is a dress code, and plenty of tourists stand queueing for ages only to get turned away for wearing a short skirt, strappy top or short shorts (even the men!).
Once you are in, don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the Cupola. There is a lift that costs €7, but even if you take it, there are still an additional 320 steps to the very top. To be honest, those last steps are the most hard going, so you might just as well take the stairs the entire way, and treat it as a good work out – you will feel less guilty about that huge plateful of wonderful Italian food in the evening after all that strenuous activity. Enjoy!