Rome. The word alone gives us chills. So much history, so much meaning. The city of Rome, like Athens, is one of the epitome of Western culture. The ideas that came out of it, the people who ruled it, the armies that fought on it and the artists who created it, all greatly influenced the world as we see it today. This is what makes it one of the most wonderful destinations for an outside visitor. You will find everything in it, from historical sites, Jewish and non-Jewish, among the oldest in the world, to nightlife and a vibrant art scene, to a warm population that will make your visit unforgettable.
Considering the way Rome was built and its history, it is easy to understand why the two areas where tourists are concentrated are the city center and the Vatican area. Most of modern Rome was built after World War II, so beyond residential neighborhoods and shopping centers, there isn’t much of interest in these parts. You can get around in it using an extensive network of public transportation, which includes subway and elevated train, buses and taxis, but sometimes you will find that relying on it can cost you dearly.
One of the great advantages of Rome is the short distance between most of its tourist sites. Choosing the right hotel or guest house will allow you to move around the city almost without needing the public transportation services, which are often understaffed. In Rome, as in Rome, you can find a wide range and a huge variety of accommodation, from crumbling motels to top-class luxury hotels. Many of the guesthouses are concentrated in the city center, but if you are looking to save money or want to stay in a specific area (for example near the Chabad house), you will not have a hard time finding excellent places there either.
As in any city, the choice of accommodation may greatly affect your experience in it. Staying near Fontana di Trevi will guarantee you immediate proximity to most points of interest in the city, but will cost you quite a bit and put you in one of the busiest areas of Rome. Staying in the trendy Trastevere neighborhood, on the other hand, will force you to walk a little further but will expose you to the local art and bar scene.
The city center of Rome covers a fairly large area, and includes famous historical sites such as Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, the Esquilino Hill and the Fontana di Trevi. Depending on its central location, the costs of accommodation there will be relatively high compared to other areas of the city. The range is wide, so you can find accommodation at any desired level, but the price of an average hotel will be more expensive in the city center than in another neighborhood.
If you want to save a little but still be close to the center of things, you can find a guest house in the neighborhood of Trastevere, which is on the other side of the Tiber River out of the city. The neighborhood is a short walk from the Jewish quarter and the city center, and is full of stone buildings from the Middle Ages and climbing plants that paint the neighborhood green. Here it will be more difficult to find luxury hotels, and most accommodation will be guesthouses and boutique hotels. Trastevere is a sort of Roman port of justice, so if you’re looking to be close to pubs where rolling Italian will accompany your beer, this is the place.
Of course, you can also settle in other neighborhoods, depending on the purpose for which you come to Rome or according to your needs. If you are interested in being close to synagogues and the Chabad house, it is recommended to find a place to stay in the Piazza Bologna neighborhood. On the other hand, you can also find many places to stay in the Vatican area, as well as in the other neighborhoods of the city.
The well-known saying claims that all roads lead to Rome, so that in every season of the year when you arrive there you will find legions of tourists touring its length and breadth. It will be difficult to find quiet Rome, whether you are equipped with an umbrella or sunglasses. However, even in a popular city there are ups and downs in the number of tourists. In general, as in any European city, the peak of tourists (and the lowest of residents) comes in the summer months. In July-August the city is full of them, so the hotel prices rise accordingly. On the other hand, in the cold winter months (November to February) there is a noticeable decrease in the number of visitors, which is also accompanied by a significant decrease in prices, with the exception of an increase during the Christmas period. However, Rome is not considered a city with a particularly lively Christmas atmosphere, so the increase during this period is not as significant as in other European cities.
If you fear the winter weather, you can relax. In Rome, the weather is similar to Jerusalem, so it almost never goes below zero and the city rarely gets snow. The rains are also usually concentrated in the evening and night, although this is not a sure rule. Either way, with appropriate clothing and proper equipment, a vacation in Rome in winter will prove to be a romantic experience with few tourists, along with being significantly cheaper than its summer counterpart.