Located in the heart of Italy is the beautiful city of Rome. The city of Rome is full of grand palaces, historic monuments and artistic treasures. With it long and varied history Rome has always been on my list of places to visit.
Getting There: Rome is the capital city of Italy. It is located in the Lazio region of central Italy and sits along the Tiber River. Rome is very easy to travel to from London. Flights take around 2 and a half hours and can cost as little as £30 if you travel off-peak. We travelled during the Easter holidays and so flights were quite pricey at £180 on Alitaila from London Heathrow to Rome’s main airport, Fiumicino airport.
If you are looking to travel through Europe you can also travel to Rome by train or drive.
Visa: For now British tourists do not need a visa when travelling to Italy. Alhamdullilah it is one less expense to consider in your budget 😀
Accommodation: Like most popular cities Rome has a range of accommodation options depending on what you are looking for and your budget. We ended up staying in a lovely AirBnB apartment. The apartment was in an area called Valle Aurelia. Although it was not in central Rome it was in a great, sociable residential area close to Vatican City. I would highly recommend this place – lovely design, very clean and great service 😀 If your interested in the apartment you can check them out on AirBnB, booking.com or Instagram @roma_flowers_suites
Weather: The weather in Rome is generally good year round. During the summer months temperatures reach around 30 degrees and in the winter go down to about 4 degrees. We visited Rome in April and had a few days with lovely sunshine and then a day of rain but we did not let the rain ruin our plans – we still continued to of course have gelato in the rain 😀
Language: Italian is the official and most widely spoken language in Rome. However, Rome is a large tourist city and many people speak English so we did not have any problem trying to communicate with people in the city.
Currency and Price: The currency in Rome is the Euro. Prices for food varies with places near tourist attractions being quite high compared to local stores. We visited during the Easter break, which is one the busiest times in Rome and so found the prices of flights and accommodation to be high. The prices of attractions are pretty similar to the UK with a few places that are free to visit.
Safety: I personally felt very safe in Rome, even when out late. Of course like any busy city be careful of your belongings when out and about and also pick pockets.
Transport: The best way to get around Rome is by foot. The cobbled streets and scenic routes are best explored by walking. Joining a free walking tour is a great way to see the city’s main sites by foot.
Some of the main sites are quite far from one another and so you may need to use public transport. Rome’s public transport includes the metro, busses and tram. A Single-use Metro tickets cost €1.50 each and can be used for 75 minutes from when you validate the ticket. You can buy the tickets at Metro stops, tobacco shops and newsstands. You can also use these tickets on the trams and busses.
As with most popular tourist cities Rome also has the sight-seeing tour bus.
Food: Italy is of course famous for its food and there are so much great food in Rome. The city is full of delicious eateries and cute cafes selling pizza, pasta, pastries and of course coffee!
There are also so many delicious sweet things to eat in Rome from pastries to puddings and of course gelato 😀
In terms of Halal food I personally found most people working in the restaurants and eateries to be very aware and accommodating of Muslim dietary requirements. People informed us of food having pork or alcohol in it so we could avoid it. We personally were happy to eat vegetarian food and so did not look for Halal food in Rome. When walking around Rome we saw a few Halal places serving Turkish or Indian food.
Masjid: There are a few different Masjids around Rome. We were able to find places to pray when out and about in small local Masjids using Google Maps. We also took some time out to travel to the Grand Mosque of Rome. It is said to be the largest mosque in Europe, in terms of land area. It was completed in 1994 and can accommodate 12,000 people. The planning phase for the Masjid took more than 10 years and with the blessings of Pope John Paul II the Masjid was built. The location of the Masjid is a little out of the way from the city centre but it is definitely worth a visit. The design and interiors are stunning Mashallah
There is so much to say about Rome – check out part 2 of my Rome blog series to read all about the incredible places to visit and things to see in Rome 😀