Tag Archives: Rome Navigate Italy

Secrets of Rome: 5 Lesser-Known Attractions of the Eternal City

Non-Catholic cemetery in Rome, Italy

This post is a guest post written by Hanna Johnson, who lives in Rome and loves Italian culture. Previously, Hanna lived in London for two years where she completed her degree in Business Management. Now she is mom of two and loves exploring new places and special events in Italy. If you want to connect with Hanna, you can follow her on Facebook.

I’ve lived in Rome for two years now, and this city never ceases to surprise me. But there is so much more than the traditional sites like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, The Vatican, The Sistine Chapel. Why yes, Piazza Navona is gorgeous and Fontana di Trevi is romantic, but you are sure to share these locations with 5,000 other tourists in the same hour. Rome is a huge tourist destination all year round, so make sure to book your flight beforehand. For example, if you are in Milan you can easily take a train to Rome or access the city from other destinations. It is really nice travelling by train in Italy instead of booking a direct flight.

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The Unexpected Places Not To Miss In Rome

Rome (or Roma in Italian) is known as the eternal city across the world.  Not that people IMG_0727actually have heard of the city, or anything. I mean, what’s there to do in Rome, anyway?

(Insert sarcasm here.)

This past year, I really came to understand the reason why. Why? Because, it’s all there.  The streets are dripping with history, and it has everything the western world could desire. I have been coming to Rome for over ten years now.  And, every time I leave, I get that reaffirming feeling that one day I might not leave.  There are few cities in the world that beg you to set up shop and attempt to survive, or better yet, thrive amongst its people and culture.

There are many reasons people stop off in Rome…

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6 Preparations to Successfully Navigate the Intercity

The first time I tried to get from point A to point B in Rome I failed miserably.  The city was so busy and not clear marked – or so I thought – to properly direct me anywhere.  Yesterday I caught up with a friend who just spent the past year traveling the world.  Her trip was very missional in focus and she spent a lot of time helping orphanages, fighting against human trafficking, and working a variety of building projects.  During out conversation, I brought up how much I like Rome, She immediately said “I hated Rome.” I was surprised, especially after seeing a huge chunk of the world.  She said “It was too busy and it took me forever to find things I wanted to see.”

It made me realize that she was right.  I have spent so much time in Rome that I forgot how difficult it is to navigate the intercity.  As I thought about it most of the cities I visited for the first time were a headache to try and “figure out” for the first time.

Here are just a few European cities I had trouble navigating the first time through:

  • Rome
  • Naples
  • Venice
  • Munich
  • London
  • Frankfurt
  • Salzburg
  • Vienna

Most of these cities are fairly straight forward and I realize everyone’s’ struggles are different.  For me traveling came with a learning curve.

Here are 6 intercity preparations I make before traveling to a new city – or an old one.

  1. By reviewing a metro/bus map online before you arrive. Sounds straight forward but know where you need to be and how you are getting there are invaluable.  Just waving down a cab and saying “to this address.” Isn’t going to cut it.
  2. By downloading free Smartphone apps:  Most metropolitan cities have bus, metro, or tram apps available for your Smartphone. I have found a lot of them to be free. They can mean a 20 minutes difference.
  3. By asking locals opinion before you venture out.  Most locals are very proud of their city. And, if the city is visited often by tourists, they will be used to people asking questions.  They can be a great resource to double check information.
  4. By knowing what options you have available.  Not all cities offer all the same amenities; not all people prefer to travel on a train.  By knowing what public transportation is available to you before you arrive will help take the stress off of getting to your destination.
  5. By budgeting accordingly.  Most people do not even think about budgeting for metro or bus tickets; especially, when one only costs €1,50.  Most cities have website that will give you an idea of what tickets will cost and if there are any package deals available.
  6. By allotting the proper amount of time.  This one always gets people.  There are many who underestimate the amount of time it takes to get to any given destination – especially during peak tourist season. You generally know one of two of these people.  I recommend at lease an extra 15 to 20 minutes, depending on where you are headed, per location or sight.  It is always good to see 100% of all the items for that day – verses 80%.

The preparation time you have before a trip will make or break you.  These tips save time and allow for smooth navigation while traveling.

Question of the day:

In your opinion, what is the worst city to try and navigate?

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