Hiring a car in Rome

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Hiring a car in Rome

All roads to lead to Rome, meaning that once you’ve got your rental car, it’s easy for you to visit anywhere in, or outside this history-drenched Italian capital.

60-second guide to Rome

In its own head...

"Rome was the cradle of western civilisation. People owe it to themselves to come here."

...but more realistically

History aside, Rome is one of the must-see cities of Europe. You’ll find superb dining, arts and shopping experiences here.

The vibe

History weighs heavy in these parts, but Rome is a modern, lively city that seems to exist in a state of perpetual chaos that'll leave you exhilarated, and in need of an occasional sit-down to let it all pass you by.

The natives

They're a noisy and exuberant bunch who will welcome you to the city with gusto.

The weather

Most locals head out of town in August - and if they can't handle the heat you might struggle. Booking a rental car with air conditioning will help remedy that.

The local speciality

Rome is not city for the calorie conscious. Food is part of the daily joy of living for the locals, so do as they do - eat well and savour every mouthful.

The celebrity

Heat magazine would have had a field day here if it'd existed 2,000 years ago. All Antiquity's big names were in Rome - Julius Caesar, Nero, Virgil and all those hunky gladiators.

Did you know?

The Romans had a knack for construction. All the road networks they built headed towards the capital city, hence the phrase, 'All roads lead to Rome.'

They say...

"When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall; and when Rome falls - the world." - poet Lord Byron.

5 to see in town...

1. The Colosseum

Yes, you're likely to be sharing the experience with hundreds of other tourists but no visit to Rome is complete without a trip to the Colosseum.

Where to park:

There is a large underground car park on Piazzale dei Partigiani, which costs €0.77 per hour. The Colosseum is two Metro stops away, or you can walk and enjoy the other major archaeological sites in between.

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2. Sistine Chapel

Most people paint their ceilings with a roller, hoping to get a coat on in time to watch the football. Michelangelo, though, used a brush on the Sistine Chapel, and it shows.

Where to park:

The multi-storey Terminal Gianicolo is conveniently located for the Vatican. Underground passages take you to St Peter's, and from there it's a short walk to the Sistine Chapel.

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3: Trevi Fountain

If you throw three coins into this baroque fountain good luck is guaranteed. You have to throw them over your left shoulder with your right hand - obviously.

Where to park:

Parcheggio Ludovisi on Via Ludovisi is a five-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain. It costs €2 per hour for up to five hours, cheaper thereafter.

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4: Spanish Steps

There are 138 steps leading from the Piazza di Spagna to the Trinita dei Monti, so you'd better do this one in the morning while you've got some energy.

Where to park:

With room for almost 2,000 vehicles, the multi-storey ParkSi at Villa Borghese is Rome's safest parking choice. The first three hours are €1.30 each; any additional hours are €1.

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5: The Pantheon

The Pantheon has aged remarkably well. It's over two millennia old but still manages to pull in more people than any of the younger domed structures in town.

Where to park:

The Pantheon is well within the ZTL (restricted traffic area), so you won't be able to get anywhere near it by car unless it's en route to your hotel. Walk there from the Trevi Fountain instead.

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and 4 to drive to...

1: Viterbo

If Rome hasn't sated your need for historical sustenance, head to Viterbo where there's plenty more ancient and medieval sights to feast your eyes on.

How to get there:

Head north out of Rome towards the SS2, then on to the SP1. Viterbo is about 57 miles from Rome.

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2: Frascati

The pace of life in Rome can sometimes be a little tiring. But the nearby hill town of Frascati operates on a lower gear and provides a welcome breather.

How to get there:

Frascati is about 13 miles south-east of the city centre, along the SS215.

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3: Ostia Antica

In its glory days, a long, long time ago, this town on the River Tiber was Rome's major port. Its impressive ruins illustrate how important it was to the empire.

How to get there:

Travel south-west from the city centre on the SS8, which brings you to Ostia Antica after about 15 miles.

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4: Tivoli

When Hadrian wasn't building walls in Britain he could be found relaxing in the luxurious surrounds of Villa Adriana, the ruins of which you can stroll around in Tivoli.

How to get there:

Take the A24 eastwards from the city centre then follow signs to Tivoli. It's about 22 miles away.

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