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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Rome

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Rome each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)

January 6 : Epiphany (Feast of Befana, national holiday)

For all Italians, the 6th of January is the day when the benevolent white witch Befana, who predates Santa Claus in Italy, arrives on her broomstick with presents and candy for all children who have been good during the year. In Rome, Piazza Navona is converted into a huge playground for the occasion.

Une semaine avant Pâques : Semaine Sainte (national)

Pendant une semaine avant Pâques a lieu la Semaine Sainte au cours de laquelle de nombreuses manifestations religieuses se déroulent à Rome, dont une messe célébrée sur la place Saint-Pierre.

Week of Easter : Holy Week (national holiday)

In Rome, Holy Week begins with a large mass on Palm Sunday. On Good Friday, the pope leads an outdoor mass at the Colosseum, with a Way of the Cross procession. The week's events culminate on Easter Sunday, when the pope delivers his Urbi et Orbi blessing in Saint Peter's Square.

Sunday in late March or early April : Rome Marathon (local event)

Certainly one of the loveliest marathon routes on the planet, passing in front of the Colosseum and the Vatican, among other landmarks. The starting gun sounds at 9 a.m. outside the Colosseum, on Via dei Fori Imperiali.

May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday)

June 2 : Republic Day (national holiday)

Celebrations include a military parade on Via dei Fori Imperiali, after which the marvellous gardens of the Palazzo del Quirinale, the residence of the Italian president, are opened to the public.

Mid-June to late October : Estate Romana (local event)

Rome's huge summer festival involves everything from dance and theatre performances to concerts and book fairs, open-air cinema, puppet shows and late-night museum openings.

August 15 : Assumption Day (Ferragosto, national holiday)

To celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary as well as the middle of summer, Rome's Gran Ballo di Ferragosto fills the city's squares with live dance performances, with a different type of dance in each square.

Late September–early December : Romaeuropa Festival (local event)

This avant-garde international festival covering a wide range of disciplines (music, modern and classical dance, theatre, opera) offers events at various venues throughout the city, from public spaces (squares, train stations) to theatres, concert halls and museums.

November 4 : National Unity and Armed Forces Day (national holiday)

This day commemorates the victory over Austria-Hungary in 1918 during World War I. Events in Rome include a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

A midnight mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve by the pope at Saint Peter's Basilica.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Rome

Rome has a temperate Mediterranean climate close to that experienced by Italian cities in coastal regions. Winters tend to be mild, although on occasion a cold snap can sweep down from the Appenines. However, major snowstorms are very rare in Rome. Summers are hot and dry, although the proximity to the sea moderates temperatures somewhat. Rain falls mainly in the spring and autumn, especially during the months of November and December.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 3/37 12/54 70/2.8 Not the best period to go
February 3/37 13/55 70/2.8 Not the best period to go
March 5/41 15/59 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
April 8/46 18/64 79/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
May 12/54 13/55 59/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
June 16/61 28/82 31/1.2 Good period to go Good period to go
July 19/66 31/88 22/0.9 Not the best period to go
August 19/66 31/88 29/1.1 Not the best period to go
September 16/61 27/81 67/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/54 22/72 98/3.9 Not the best period to go
November 8/46 16/61 112/4.4 Not the best period to go
December 4/39 12/54 99/3.9 Not the best period to go
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Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport

Rome's Fiumicino Airport is located about 32 kilometres (20 miles) south-west of the city centre and is easily reached by car, taxi, train, bus and shuttle.

  • Four terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3
    • Terminal 4

Getting from the airport to Rome and back
  • By car
    • Four types of parking facilities are available: multi-level Comfort parking garages marked with the letters A, B, C, D and E perfect for short-term parking; a long-term Economy covered and uncovered parking (4,000 spaces); the Executive parking area on the second level of multi-level garage E; and covered motorcycle parking with a separate entrance on the ground level of multi-level garage A.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in Torre Uffici 2, easily reachable via the pedestrian tunnels connecting the terminal buildings to the multi-level Comfort parking garages.
  • By rail
    • Leonardo Express
    • Connects Roma Termini station to the airport every 30 minutes, with a travel time of 30 minutes. The first train leaves the airport at 6:23 a.m. and the last at 11:23 p.m, while the first train leaves Roma Termini station at 5:35 a.m. and the last at 10:35 p.m.
    • Tickets are EUR 14 per person.
    • FL1 Line
    • Connects the airport with other stations in Rome, including Roma Tiburtina, with departures every 15 minutes on weekdays and a travel time of about 50 minutes.
    • Tickets are EUR 8 per person.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available outside Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Fixed fares set by the City of Rome are charged for a maximum of four people with luggage: EUR 48 to the Aurelian Walls and EUR 55 to Roma Tiburtina station.
  • By bus
    • Cotral buses connect the airport with central Rome, running eight times per day with a travel time of 45 minutes and a fare of about EUR 7 per person.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +39 06 65951
  • Website: http://www.adr.it/fiumicino

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GETTING AROUND Rome

Walking is often recommended for getting around Rome, but when distances are too great public transport is the best option. Although the city's underground rail system only has three lines, its bus, tram and light rail networks over excellent coverage.

By bus

Buses run frequently throughout the day and some lines also operate in the evening (one bus every half hour). Tickets may be purchased at kiosks, newsstands and from the self-service machines within the Rome Metro system. They cost EUR 1.50 and are valid for 75 minutes on any mode of transport, but including only one trip on the Metro.

By rail

The Rome Metro (called Metropolitana by Italians) has three lines: A, B and C. Line A, with 27 stations, runs from Battistini in the west of the city to Anagnina in the south-east, passing close to many of Rome's popular tourist sights. It is crossed by Line B, with 26 stations, including Colosseo (Colosseum), connecting Laurentina in the south to Rebibbia in the north. Line C has 21 stations, all of which opened in 2014 and 2015, with three additional ones currently under construction. However, this line does not pass through Rome's historic centre and is therefore of little interest for tourists.

By tram

Rome has six tram lines, all running very frequently during the day, which should therefore not be neglected as a mode of transport. Rome's trams use the same tickets as the Metro and buses.

By taxi

It is easy to find taxis at Roma Termini station, near the city's main squares and at the major tourist attractions and landmarks. The base fare on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. is EUR 3.00, with an additional EUR 1.10 per kilometre (0.6 miles) for short trips. At other times, the base fare is higher (EUR 6.50 between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and EUR 4.50 on Sundays and public holidays). The first piece of luggage is free and every subsequent piece costs EUR 1.00.

By bicycle

Although traffic in Rome is very often chaotic, bicycles are an excellent way to get around the city. There are many bike rental shops.

On foot

Rome is a city built on a human scale and is very pleasant to visit on foot.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Rome, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Azienda di Promozione Turistica del Comune di Roma

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address : Via Parigi 5
  • Telephone : +39 06 48899253 / +39 06 48899255
  • Website : http://www.turismoroma.it
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday

Punti di Informazione Turistici (tourist information kiosks, known as PITs)

At various locations throughout the city, Rome's tourist board operates these kiosks where you can obtain information and recommendations for your visit to the city and its surrounding area. Listed below are the main addresses for the PITs in Rome, with their opening hours:

  • PIT Navona, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona), from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (off Via del Corso), from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • PIT Termini, Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34, inside Office F – Platform 24, from 8 a.m. to 18:45 p.m.
  • PIT San Pietro, Largo del Colonnato 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Further information available online for visitors to Italy

The official website of Italy's national tourist board (Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo, ENIT) provides a wealth of information on Rome.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Italy is the euro (€).

1 CHF = 0,87 EUR

1 EUR = 1,15 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Italy.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Rome.

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Administrative formalities

For a stay of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay in order to enter Italy.

As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Italy for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.

For further information, visit the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Italian phrases that will make your stay in Rome a little easier:

Good morning: Buongiorno

Good evening: Buonasera

Good-bye: Arrivederci

Yes: Si

No: No

No, thank you: No, grazie

Thank you very much: Grazie mille

I don't understand: Non capisco.

Could you repeat that: Può ripetere? (polite form) / Potete ripetere? (plural form)

Please: Per favore

What time is it: Che ora è? / Che ora sono?

Excuse me: Mi scusi (polite form) / Scusatemi (plural form)

Airport: Aeroporto

Train station: Stazione

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel / Albergho

Hospital: Ospedale

Bank: Banca

Telephone: Telefono

I'm (…): Sono (…).

I'm looking for (…): Sto cercando (…).

How much is it: Quanto costa?

Do you have (…): Ha (…)? (polite form) / Avete (…)? (plural form)

Where can I find (…): Dove si trova (…)? / Dove posso trovare (…)?

Where can I buy (…): Dove si compra (…)? / Dove posso comprare (…)?

I'd like (…): Vorrei (…).

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Good to know

00 39
+ + phone number (calls to Rome)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday in the morning only
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
At restaurants that have waiting staff, a 10 to 15 percent service charge (servizio) is usually included in the bill. If the service is exceptional, you can certainly leave a few euros more. Some restaurants also apply a cover charge (pane e coperto, literally “bread and cutlery”), which is not considered as a gratuity, but is instead a set, nominal fee you will need to pay regardless of what you eat. You should therefore be wary of the very attractive prices posted in the windows of certain restaurants, because they may not include either the servizio or the pane e coperto!