Rome City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 19, 2008

italyFLAG200Rome is amongst the most famous cities of Italy. It is also called Roma, and this place is the capital city of Italy. It is also the largest and most densely inhabited commune of the country. It is found in the region of Lazio in central western Italy where the rivers Aniene and Tiber meet. The Vatican City is popularly known as the sovereign state of the Holy See and the world’s smallest state. It is located within the confines of this country. Rome has a rich history stretching over 2700 years. The ancient Roman structures as well as the Renaissance and Baroque architecture in the city center are testaments of its historic past. Through the millennia, Rome has acquired attachments to its name,–all of which are to indicate   Rome’s importance and impact. Rome has been called “the Eternal city”, “Capital of the World”, and “Threshold   of the Apostles”.

Today, Rome is more than ancient architectures and museums for tourists. The city still retains its status as third most visited tourist destination in the European Union and is also a historic center listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city has again evolved to accommodate change and modern living. Modern Rome has basically all the industries found in other modern cities in the world. Its thriving economy, which includes the communication, electronics, and aerospace industries, have contributed 6.7% more than other Italian cities to its national GDP.

The beauty of Rome is described in a post at the Italy Expat Forum last October 2, 2009:

I am interested in moving to Italy and was wondering what kind of profession you are in. I work in marketing and have a wide skill set. Any ideas within your organization. Also, as for places to live, it all depends on what lifestlye you wish to have. Rome is a great city, Amalfi coast is fantastic, but not a huge business center, other than tourism.

Residential Places in Rome

Residences in Rome mostly consist of apartment buildings, condos and townhouses. Tight living proximities are preferred by Italians and they rarely stretch outward to accommodate more living spaces. This preference has roots in ancient times when the surrounding cities were constantly at war and the citizens huddled together in houses behind protected city walls. The city is divided into the Modern Center, where the Via Veneto is, the Old Rome where most Renaissance structures are located, the Vatican, the Colosseo, which is the heart of ancient Rome, the North Center where the Villa Borghese is located. Many expatriates in Rome choose to live in Trastevere. It’s a district which sits right across the river from the city center. This is the reason why it was named “across the Tiber”. It is surrounded with historical infrastructure amidst the apartment buildings. Since it is located away from the city center, Trastovere has maintained the small village feel. There are numerous apartments in this area – each with its own historical value. Also there is the Aventino-Testaccio and Esquilino-San Giovanni.

An expat had given advice on living in Rome at the Italy Expat Forum last September 4, 2009:

Cost of living depends so much on the choices you make.

Choosing Rome proper instead of commuting from an outer town will greatly increase your costs.

The sort of foods you like will greatly change your food budget.

How you shop. Types of stores. Sales versus impulse buys. Do you have a car to get to the more remote malls?

If you have a car the type of car? Gasoline is 20% more expensive then diesel. My insurance company gives a 10% discount for diesel cars.

Best thing you can do is make up a budget and plug in the numbers that fit you. The bigger grocery stores have websites you can download the weekly offers.

Hospitals and Universities of Rome

Rome had been the center of culture and political power for hundreds of years. After the fall of the empire, Rome still continued to hold power and influence. It produced the world’s greatest thinkers and artists whose works and ideas still benefit the world today. For all that it had contributed to the world, Rome deserves the title of Italy’s center for higher learning. Each year, hundreds of students who want to pursue a degree or a few semesters flock to Rome. This is because Rome offers the unique experience of combining theory and direct concrete application of these theories through the city. There are numerous private universities in Rome that offer programs suited for international students. Some of these are the Lorenzo De’Medici School, Lexia International, instituto Europeo di Design, Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies or Luiss, Libera Università Maria SS or LUMSA, and the American institutions of St. john’s University, John Cabot University in Trastovere, and the American University of Rome located in Janiculum. Other learning institutions include the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas and the John Felice Rome Center.

Medical Facilities

As with all Italian cities, Rome has a roster of private and public hospitals. Private hospitals are often regarded as hospitals with better facilities, although it does not necessarily provide better medical treatment than that of public hospitals. Most private hospitals have luxury hotel standards of accommodation, yet the cost of hospitalization may be more expensive.  There are a few international hospitals in Rome that have English speaking staff and doctors, such as Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Viale Mura Gianicolensi, the Rome American Hospital in Via E. Longoni, Aurelia Hospital in v. Aurelia, Aventino Medical Group in Via Sant’Alberto Magno, 5, 00153 Rome, Flaminio Health Center in Via Giambattista Vico, Grimaldi Medical Group in Via Velletri, Studio Medico Internazionale in Via Nizza, and International Medical Center in Via Firenze.

Commercial Places in Rome

Like any modern city, Rome also has dozens of shopping malls and department stores to provide convenience to its residents and visitors alike. There are a few large shopping complexes in Rome, and they are Cinecittà 2 Fiumicino. This is Italy’s biggest shopping mall with over 260 shops. On the other hand, Romaest has over 200 stores, and Le Porte di Roma boasts of 280 shops and features a bowling center, a tennis camp, swimming pools, and several gyms. It also has the usual cinemas and supermarket. There are a few more department stores in Rome. One is La Rinascente, which has several branches such as the ones in Via del Tritone and Viale Guglielmo Marconi in Trastovere. Coin is another one with branches all over the city like at VIA Castellini Gualtiero and Via Spalato in Trieste.  However, there are numerous smaller shops that specialize in clothes, shoes, bags, wine, and art. Some notable Designer shops are predominantly located in Via Condotti. These include Bulgari, Ferragamo, Gucci, and Valentino. Other notable shops in Rome are Fausto Santini for signature shoes, Davide Cenci for upscale clothing, Alfieri for Italian-made leather goods in Via del Corso, Benetton in Via Tomacelli, Buccone for its renowned Italian wines in Via Ripetta, Givenchy in Via Borgognona, Max Mara in Via Frattina,    and Profumeria Materozzoli for perfumes and cosmetics in Piazza San Lorenzo.

As for the nightlife, the Testaccio is the best place to wander about after dinner. Other places include the Roman crawls around the Colosseum near Termini and the Via Nazionale.

Restaurants, Bars and Nightclubs

Naturally, Italian restaurants abound in its native land. The district of Trastovere features dozens of these Italian restaurants, such as August at Piazza de’ Renzi, Taverna Mercanti,located near the Church of Sta. Cecilia, Tony’s in Via della Cinque, La Fraschettain and San Calistus, in Via San Francisco, and Osteria der Belli, which sits near Piazza di Santa Maria. Other restaurants are also located in other parts of Rome such as El Toulà, Enoteca Corsi, and Gusto. These are all located near the Spanish Steps & Piazza del Popolo, Al Ceppo in Parioli, and Albergo Ristorante Adriano at Villa Adriana. Other restaurants that specialize in other cuisine are Café Riccioli Near Piazza Navona which serves Asian cuisine, Café Romano at Piazza del Popolo which serves international cuisine, Hosteria Dei Pesce which is a seafood restaurant Near Campo De’ Fiori, and the French restaurant L’Eau Vive Near Piazza Navona.  Most night clubs and bars are found in Piazza Navona, Monti, Equiline, and Trastovere. Some famous clubs and bars in Rome are Bar della Pace, Vini Olio in via della Tor, Bar del Fico in Piazza del Fico, Supper Club in Via de’Nari, Salotto 42 in Piazza di Pietra, Baritto in  via Monte Giordano, Radio Londra in Via Monte Testaccio, La Maison in Vicolo del Granari, and Bloom in via del Teatro.

Rome has many other trattorias and other restoranti, pizzerias in the evening and gelaterias.

Service Establishments of Rome

Over 43 telecom companies exist in Italy as communication and it is one of its major industries. One of its biggest telephone service providers in Italy is Telecom Italia. It has a wide coverage and offers fixed lines, mobile services, Internet connection via ADSL, and TV broadcasting. Digitel is a popular telecom company in Rome that also provides consumer services and coverage. This company provides fixed line services and internet connection. Easytel is another provider of International Public Access Numbers, and Energit   is a company that provides broadband Internet access. Elitel is also a provider of phone and broadband internet services, while FASTWEB provides Internet connection and TV broadcasting services. The mobile service provider Omnitel and Internet service provider Ultranet are also amongst the most popular companies in the city that provide phone and Internet services. There are several energy companies in Italy that provide nation-wide services. One of these is Edison S.P.A., which is Italy’s second largest energy company. One of its operations involves the distribution of electricity and natural gas. Enel is another energy company that is also involved in providing electricity and natural gas. It is a semi-private company and has its headquarters in Rome. Enel serves 8 other countries in Europe, 6 countries in South America, Russia, and the United States.

Security in Rome

Public safety and Law enforcement in Italy is done by five separate police forces. Each police force has its own set of duties—the military police, financial and customs police, state police, penitentiary police, and forestry police. The state police, or Polizia di Stato, is responsible for criminal investigations, law enforcement, securing railways or airports, and patrolling the expressways. These police officers are often seen patrolling on foot or on bicycles.

Embassies in Rome

In Italy, most embassies of other nations are situated within the confines of Rome. Some embassies are located in a single area. These countries are Albania and Tunisia located in Via Asmara, Belgium and Denmark located in Via dei Monti Parioli, Austria and Canada located in Via G.B. de Rossi,  Chile and Germany located in Via Po, Bulgaria and Poland located in Via Rubens, Macedonia and China to be found in via Bruxelles, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic located in Via Colli Farnesina, Israel and the Netherlands situated in Via Michele Mercati, India and Great Britain located in Via XX Settembre, France  and Lithuania situated at Piazza Farnese, and the United States and Uruguay located in Via Veneto.  The other nations with embassies in Rome are Algeria (in Via B. Oriani), Angola (in Via Bernardini Filippo), Argentina (at p. dell’Esquilino), Australia (in Corso Trieste ), Bolivia (in via Toscana), Bosnia (in Herzegovina), Brazil (at p. Navona), Colombia (in via G. Pisanelli), Croatia (in Via Luigi Bodio), Cuba (in via Licinia), Ecuador (in via G. d’Arezzo), Egypt (in via Salaria), Ethiopia (via A. Vesalio), Finland (Via Lisbona), Greece (in via S. Mercadante), Guatemala (in via Colli della Farnesina), Hungary (in via dei Villini), Iran (in via della Camilluccia), Ireland (in Largo Nazareno), Japan (in via Q. Sella), Jordan (in via G. Marchi), Jordan (in via Icilio), Korea (in Via Conca Sebastiano,), Lebanon (in via G. Carissimi), Libya (in via Nomentana), Luxembourg (in Via Ardeatina), Malta (at Lungotevere Marzio), Mexico (in Via Lazzaro Spallanzani), Monaco (in Via Bertoloni), Nicaragua (in via Brescia), Norway (in Via Terme), Pakistan (in via della Camilluccia), Panama J(at Viale Regina Margherita), Paraguay (in Via dell’ Alpinismo,), Peru (in Via Siacci Francesco,), the Philippines (in via S. Valentino), Portugal (in Via Pezzana(, Romania (in Via Tartaglia), Russia (in Via Gaeta 5), Thailand (in Via Nomentana), Russia (in Via Gaeta), Saudi Arabia (in Via di Grotta Rossa), Serbia (in Via Monti Parioli), Slovenia (in Via Pisano), South Africa (in Via Tanaro), Spain (in Via Garibaldi), Sweden (in Piazza Rio de Janeiro), Switzerland )in Via Oriani), Syria )at p. dell’Ara Coeli), Tanzania (at via G.B. Vico), Turkey(in Via Palestro), Uganda (in via E.Q. Visconti), Ukraine(in Via Castelfidardo), Venezuela (in via N. Tartaglia), and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Via Panama.

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