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The 2,700-year-old city of Rome has plenty to attract a holidaymaker eager for history and culture, but the city has a life outside its ancient walls as well. By renting a car, visitors to Rome have access to even more than the bustling city: Roman roads, national parks, and lakeside hideaways. So get the most out of your holiday—hire a car in Rome and see this historic city's quieter side.

It's your choice: Where to go in Rome

There are plenty of things to do in Rome, but with the freedom of a rental car, you can look further afield for culture. On the outskirts of Rome, you'll find two protected nature reserves: Riserva Naturale della Marcigliana, and Riserva Naturale di Decima Malafede. Both parks are less than an hour's drive from Rome, and offer visitors an escape from the bustle of the city, with rolling hills, luscious woodlands, and stunning views over Rome. Why not combine your city trip to Rome with a beach getaway? Santa Marinella is only 60km from Rome, with a beautiful sandy beach and crystal-blue water. Fill up on fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants on the seafront and then take a scenic drive back to Rome along the coast.

Things to do in Rome

With so much history, there's are an infinite number of things to see and do during your city trip to Rome. Start by discovering the many ornate piazzas (squares) in the city centre. The Piazza Navona is built on the site of an ancient Roman stadium, and visitors can still see the outline of the stadium in the square's unique shape. A 2km walk from the Piazza Navona is the unmissable Vatican City. While travellers can visit Saint Peter's Square for free, it's worth buying a ticket for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, where visitors will recognise many famous Renaissance works of art, including Michaelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam'. If you're looking for a quieter afternoon, take a wander through the gardens of the Villa Borghese, the third-largest public park in Rome. Here, visitors will find beautiful landscaped gardens, a renowned gallery in the main villa, and several other buildings housing fine art.

Important info about Rome

Rome is part of the Lazio region of Italy, the second-most populous of Italy's 20 regions. By renting a car in Rome, holidaymakers can explore the Roman Campagna, the flat area around Rome bordered by the Tolfa Mountains to the north and the Alban Hills to the south. Lazio was the region at the heart of the ancient Roman Empire, and as such, there's plenty of history in the area for travellers to seek out. The small town of Cerveteri is just one of these major archaeological sites, which houses an Etruscan necropolis, a large cemetery. Cerveteri is less than an hour's drive from Rome's centre, and visitors can spend hours wandering the ancient site. Thanks to the varied landscape of the Lazio region, there are plenty of activities for travellers with a car. Lakes in the Regional Natural Park of Bracciano-Martignano attract sailors and canoeists, while those with a love of the sea can go scuba-diving in the Pontine Archipelago.

Weather in Rome
Facts
Country Italy
Language Italian
Currency Euro
Time-Zones CET
Country Code +39

Good to know

Once you've got your rental car, there are a few important things that all visitors should be aware of before setting off on your Italian adventure. Once you've stepped off your flights to Rome, visitors will see that, as in the rest of mainland Europe, cars drive on the right side of the road. If you're planning on driving in the centre of Rome, visitors should be aware that the city has laws requiring all drivers in the ZTL (zona a traffico limitato, or limited traffic zone) to have a resident's pass. If you're driving to your hotel in Rome, make sure you register your details (number plate of car and number of days of stay) with your hotel to avoid any fines. In addition, drivers in Italy must, by law, carry certain items in their vehicle while on the road. These include reflective jackets, a spare tyre, a warning triangle, and beam deflectors.

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What to taste in Rome

Italians are perhaps most famous for their love of coffee—they were the first country in Europe to open a coffee house in 1629. To drink like a local, remember that a cappuccino should never be ordered after lunch! To start your morning in the traditional way, opt for an espresso and a sweet pastry. Many hotels in Rome also include breakfast with your stay, meaning you don't have to worry about searching for a café. Before dinner, why not try an aperitivo? A classic Italian cocktail is the Negroni, made of one-part gin, one-part red vermouth, and one-part Campari. If you've taken your Rome rental car to one of the bars outside the busy centre, opt for a spremuta, a freshly-squeezed juice—try blood orange or grapefruit for the most refreshment. It wouldn't be an Italian holiday without a hunt for the best pizza in Rome! Unlike the popular Neapolitan type, Roman-style pizza is traditionally very thin and crispy, with plenty of toppings. One traditional style includes pizza bianca (white pizza), which traditionally is topped with potato and onions.

What to bring your friends from Rome

If you've rented a car in Rome, you'll be able to explore the surroundings of this ancient city. Why not take a trip to a vineyard and bring back some fine wine for your family and friends? The Lazio region produces beautiful white wines that pair perfectly with traditional dishes such as gnocchi, fresh cheese, and fish. For the coffee lover in your life, there's nothing better than fresh Italian coffee beans. Popular brands in Italy include Lavazza and Illy, so bring some back for your friends and recreate your Roman holiday at home.