Our travel notes
Traveling to Rome
The capital city is located in the middle of "boot-shaped" Italy. Though "All roads lead to Rome", as the saying goes, flying there remains the easiest solution.
Rome has two international airports; the largest is Leonardo da Vinci, best known as Fiumicino. As for Ciampino airport, it welcomes more interior flights and is a major hub for low-cost airlines. Fiumicino is roughly 30 km from the centre; an express shuttle will take you there in 30 minutes for 14€, while a bus will take 45 mins to 1 hour for 8 €. Ciampino is closer to the centre (12 km); it will cost you 4€ to get there.
You can also take the train to Rome if you live in France and Switzerland, using for instance with the Thello service; however, the night ride is long. Driving is another interesting budget alternative if you live in the Swiss and French border regions. The regular Eurolines buses can take your group there as well, if you cannot charter a whole bus.
Hotels of all standards for all kinds of groups
WIth 3 million inhabitants, Rome is the biggest Italian city; it also among the largest European capitals, together with Moscow and London. Not all areas in the megalopolis have the same charm or standards; here is a quick description, so that you find your bearings.
Capitol Hill is the heart of Rome; it harbors the antique city, culminating with the Colosseum and the Forum. If you continue along the Tiber River, you reach the Ghetto and Tiber Island, with the remains of the ancient Jewish quarter. Farther down the river, you get to the Field of Mars ("Campus Martius") and the lovely Piazza Navona. This area is one of the major tourist attractions, with its little streets and artistic jewels. Continuing down the river, the Pantheon district encompasses ancient monuments and institutions. Eastwards, you will find Quirinal and Trevi districts, hosting other tourist firm favorites - like the Trevi Fountain and the Quirinal Palace, which crowns this hill.
The Vatican and St Peter's area is located on the other bank of the Tiber River. It is of course home to Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican museums and the affluent residential districts of Prati and Clodio. On the left bank of the Tiber, North of the ancient centre, the Piazza di Spagna and Villa Borghese area is a posh one, featuring luxury and antiques shops. Eastwards, you will find the more down-to-earth and affordable districts of Monti, Esquilin and Viminale. In the South-West, Trastevere is a trendy place with its brightly colored streets, hosting many foreign artists. As for the business district, it is located outside the inner centre, in the World Expo district. Its architecture is a reminder of the Italian fascist period.
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