Rome and Latium
Intrigued with ancient civilizations? A Colosseum tour will paint you pictures of how it was there for gladiators and spectators. Walk through the Roman Forums and imagine shopping at markets there during the Roman Empire.
Art museums showcasing every period abound. The Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s basilica and Sistine Chapel, and the stunning Villa Borghese galleries with works by Caravaggio, Bernini and more, top most art lovers’ lists.
Rome is full of bustling piazzas. The grand Piazza Navona attracts tourists, locals and art vendors. Three flamboyant Baroque fountains give the piazza a unique personality.
Rome is a shopper’s heaven with everything from high end designer to mid range stores, to street stands selling five pairs of socks for five Euros.
If you like wine and seek a respite from the chaotic city in the countryside, go to the Castelli Romani hills south of Rome and explore wine towns like Frascati.
If you like the Etruscans, visit the Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia in Rome. Then visit Tarquinia’s outstanding museum and ancient tombs.
To escape to sandy beaches, commercialized, flat Ostia is close but seaside Sperlonga has more charm in its medieval centre.
Typical dishes: artichokes Jewish style, flattened and fried golden, Bucatini all’Amatriciana with a sauce of pancetta, tomatoes, garlic, and hot pepper, roasted baby lamb with garlic and rosemary, sheep cheese Pecorino Romano and ricotta.
Lazio is not known for its fine wines. In the Castelli Romani and Bolsena Lake areas, they make popular white wines.
March. Eurochocolate week. 500 stands, Chocobookshop, Chocofarm and a chocolate-flavored film competition.
Late June to early September. Estate/Summer Romana Festival. Jazz, rock, and classical music, film, sport, theater and children’s fun.
First Sunday in October. Wine Festival in Marino, a Castelli Romani town, where wine flows from fountains instead of water.
Winter December: 5-14 C, 41-57 F, January & February: 3-13 C, 37-55 F
Spring March 6-15 C, 43-59 F, April 8-18 C, 46-64 F, May 12-22 C, 54-72 F
Summer June 16-26 C, 61-79 F, July & August 18-28 C, 64-82 F
Fall September: 16-26 C, 61-79 F, October: 12-22 C, 54-72 F, November: 8-17 C, 46-63 F
Best times: April, May, June, September and October, usually sunny and warm.
Poor time: July and August are usually stifling hot so you stay inside mid day. Romans leave town and especially in August, many businesses close.
In quiet November to February, the weather can be unpredictable with heavy rain and a few cold winds. Bring a warm coat, umbrella and rain boots. Good time for museums and shops.
Getting There & Away
Rome’s big Fiumicino airport is a 40 minute train ride from the city centre. Buy a ticket at the airport train counter—just follow the signs. From the central train station, if you have more than one suitcase or don’t like walking with luggage, take a taxi to your hotel. Otherwise, walk up and down in the subway station to reach your train platform.
The Metropolitana (subway) is the fastest way to get around Rome. Taking buses or enjoying long walks punctuated by gelato stops allow you to see the sights.
To travel elsewhere in Italy, catch trains at the central train station. If you’re going a long way like to Sicily, check airfares. It’s faster and often about the same price to fly.
Mama Margaret’s Tours in Rome and Latium
None! Rome makes a great gateway, an easy train ride to our Italian cooking school and wine tours in Tuscany or Sorrento. For our Sicily cooking tours, the flight is just one hour from Rome. Easy access!