There is a well know legend about the founding of the Rome. The legend goes that there were twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were the sons of Mars, Roman god of war. After their birth, they were left on the bank of the Tiber River to die. They were brought up by a she-wolf and later adopted by a shepherd. When they grew up they decided to build a city of their own. They had a disagreement about which of the seven hills the new city should be founded on. In the dispute Remus was killed by Romulus who then went on to found the city of Rome on the Palatine Hill. He reigned for many years as its first king. According to the Roman analysts, the founding of the city happened on 21 April 753 BC.
The capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, it is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. After the fall of the Western Empire, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy.
Today Italy’s capital is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display.
Basic info and car hire in Rome
- Location: Rome is located in the Lazio region in the central Italy on the Tiber River.
- Population: Rome inhabitants (within the municipality) number around 2.8 million. The entire metropolitan area of Rome has an estimated population of 4.3 million people (as of 2016).
- Official language: Italian
- Currency: the official currency of Italy is Euro (EUR).
- Weather: If you are travelling to Rome in winter, you can expect cool and humid weather. However, the summers in Rome are dry and warm, due to the Mediterranean climate. In January, the average temperature is 12°C, in the warmest months – July and August, the average temperature reaches around 30°C.
- Holidays in Rome: If you are travelling to Rome it is smart to know the dates of public holidays to be able to plan your trip accordingly. For the dates of the public holidays in Rome follow this link.
- Internet coverage: Rome has numerous free Wi-Fi hotspots all around the city. Most of the coffees and hotels offer internet access, so staying connected won’t be a problem in Rome. For a map of free Wi-Fi hotspots follow this link.
- Road conditions: Rome is at the centre of the radial network of roads that roughly follow the lines of the ancient Roman roads which began at the Capitoline Hill and connected Rome with its empire. Roads are well maintained but there are traffic jams at the rush hours.
Driving in Rome
- Age limits: the minimum age restriction for driving in Italy is 18 years old. If you want to hire a car in Italy you must have held your driving license for at least 1 year (or up to 3 years, depending on the car hire agency). If you are under the age of 25 years and want to hire a car, additional charges may apply in the form of young driver surcharge. Before you hire a car check the restrictions with your car hire agency.
- International Driving Permit: An international driver’s permit in Italy is required by law if you plan to hire a car in Italy.
- Additional Papers: If you have a driving licence issued by any of the EU member states it is valid throughout the European Union, including Italy. In this case you do not need an international driving permit or a sworn translation of your own license.
- Additional requirements: The city centre of Rome has many streets marked with ZTL, which means that this is a restricted traffic area and access is only allowed for certain vehicles, like buses or taxies, and is completely restricted or is accessible to non-residents only during specific times. If you brake this law, you will get a ticked by post, since the streets are monitored by CCTV who photograph license plates. If you’ve hired a car and are staying at the hotel in the city centre, be sure to ask for a special permit to enter and park in the centre.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 3 are not allowed to sit in the front or rear seat without the appropriate child seat. Kids aged between 4 and 12 must be secured using a suitable safety restraint seat or an adaptor for a seat belt.
- Driving side of the road: Driving side of the road is right with overtaking on the left.
- General speed limits: In urban areas, speed limit is usually 31 mph (50 km/h), on minor out of town roads 56 mph (90 km/h), on major out of town roads 68 mph (110 km/h) and on motorways 81 mph (130 km/h). All speed limit signs in Italy are in km/h.
- Parking conditions: It is hard to find parking in the centre of Rome, so if you decide to drive your hired car in the city we advise you to park in the parking garages.
What to see in Rome
Being an important city for the last 2,500 years, Rome has a fascinating and rich history and the difficulty while visiting is deciding what not to do. There are so many ancient remains, churches, archaeological sites, piazzas and art to see that just one trip to Rome is not enough.
Our favourite spots
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
See priceless works of art from the Papal collections. The museums offer a collection of masterpieces from antiquity to Michelangelo’s legendary frescos. Enjoy the journey through centuries of art.
Park you hired car in in Via del Falco, just 13 minute walk away. For more parking suggestins click here.
The Colosseum is the largest structure that has remained from the Roman antiquity. This magnificent piece of engineering was constructed in the year 80 AD. It held gladiator games, festival circuses and theatrical performances. It definitely was the games from the famous ‘Bread and games’ saying.
Park your hired car at the Garage Colosseo just 9 minute's walk away. Fro more parking suggestions check this site.
Baths of Diocletian National Museum
The museum if filled with riches of antiquity – lovely mosaics and frescoes, Roman and Greek sculptures and much more. The Diocletian’s baths were once so huge that now they fit two churches, a big museum and a formidable part of Carthusian monastery.
Parking your hired car near Diocletian's Baths won't be a problem.
If you want to step back two millennia into the heart of ancient Rome, a visit to the Roman Forum remains is a must. Roman political and religious life had its centre here along with the courts, markets and meeting places. After the 7th century, the buildings fell into ruin.
There are quite a few options where to leave your hired car while appreciating the Roman Forum.
Hotels in Rome
Just 10-minute walk from Metro Station, this 200-bed hostel offer designer dorms, play area, escape room and kitchen.
Relais Le Clarisse
This historical residence is located in Trastevere district in the centre of Rome. It features a peaceful courtyard and spacious rooms with tasteful décor.
Villa Spalletti Trivelli
This villa is a beautiful boutique hotel, located just 200 meters from Quirinale Presidential Palace. If features a spa, a peaceful garden and gorgeous rooms.
This boutique Rome Hotel is located near the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. It offers a charming inner garden and a beautiful large lounge.
Drive your rental car around Rome
Rome has such a wealth of amazing sight just a short drive away with your hired car that it would be a shame if you would limit yourself to just the city itself. The convenience of a car hire is that you have the mobility to just drive to the treasures of historic sites and enjoy your holidays. If you are travelling with your family, friends or partner, the drive the town of Roca Di Papa is a thing you mustn’t miss.
Where to eat, drink and party in Rome
In the Italian capital, you will never get hungry. There is a huge variety of cafes and restaurants, for every taste. If you are looking for something tasty and traditional at the same time, take a look at our recommendations.
A restaurant that also hosts cooking classes, demonstrations and wine tastings. Prepare your taste buds for some delicious Italian food.
A restaurant with refreshingly creative and seasonal gourmet dishes. It features a splendid summer courtyard and is a fashionable must.
Located near the Spanish Steps this restaurant offers traditional Roman dishes using recipes unchanged since the 1930s.
This traditional trattoria is serving local, quality produce from the nearby farms.
Major events and festivals in Rome
The Romans, constant fun-seekers, have never needed much of an excuse for fun and games. This still holds true. Most people may not realize but Rome is much more than just a historic city with a romantic atmosphere. Each year it hosts hundreds of big and small festivals.
This beautiful festival alongside Tevere river is a favourite with families and young people. It features events from live performances to food stalls and much more.
Concerts occur on different dates which will give you the chance to see all of your favourite artists.
This festival is where you can completely immerse yourself in the world of literature. Over the day there are readings of unpublished books, film projections and much more.
Gay VillageJune – September
This LGBT friendly summer festival is located at Parco del Ninfeo. This outdoor parkland is transformed into an open-air festival.