Rome is the Eternal City, once the Capital of one of the most glorious and long-lived Empire; Rome, whose name is enough to evoke art, monuments, culture and magnificent food; Rome, seven hills, seven Kings and one word: beauty.
Millions of tourists visit it every year, trying to get the most of it. Rome isn’t just big, it is full of monuments, masterpieces, everywhere: it an open-air museum. Ecotourism trend is getting more popular among people visiting Rome, but it is still not enough. Monuments and palaces need constant maintenance, because of the smog and pollution deposits. Anyway, strolling around the narrow streets and alleyways in the historic centre, it is possible to find peace, relax and genuine images of typical roman life. Order spaghetti all’amatriciana, a coda alla vaccinara or an abbacchio a scottadito and puntarelle with anchoves, listen to the people chatting in a loud roman accent and enjoy a sweet and slightly sparkling Romanella wine. At night, enjoy a drink at Campo de’ Fiori, linger on the Lungotevere and then walk through the deserted, magical alleyways, until you reach Trevi Fountain..illuminated.
Getting around in Rome
Rome is well connected by train with other Italian cities, like Verona, Milan, Turin, Bologna and Florence (high-speed train can connect Rome to Milan in three hours); Ryan Air and Easy Jet are the low-cost carriers which allow to reach Rome from almost any other destination in Europe.
Rome has two airports: Ciampino, for low-cost flights, and Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci); taxis form both of them are very expensive and it is easy to get scammed, so the best and safest option is to take a train form Fiumicino to Termini or Tiburtina train station; Terravision shuttles and Cotral/Schiaffini buses provide connection from Ciampino to Termini.
Rome is a big city, and moving around on foot is a wide choice, but only if limited to historical centre; getting to different places could be demanding also for strong walkers.
A double decker bus is still the most popular choice, but is better to consider it an addition to these:
– Segways rental: a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric, ecologic vehicle
– Bicycle (recommended for areas with less car traffic) or electric bicyle
A Tiber River cruise, which allows to discover the Capital from another point of view, avoiding traffic.
City discovery and ecotours
Pantheon, Colosseum, Santa Maria Maggiore Church, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Trevi Fountain, Imperial Fora: where to start from? What to see first? Unless you are a Roman history passionate, or you know some local who can guide you through the beauty of the Eternal City, explaining what is beyond any ancient stone and how August, Caesar, Nero and the other emperors made the history, you could consider to be a part of a tour. An ecotour.
Spaghetti Adventures offers a very funny, entertaining and informative tour of Rome. Starting from Villa Borghese, a mini electric car will guide you to some of the most significant attractions, like Traiano Bath, Circo Massimo, Domus Aurea, Palatine Hill, Campidoglio and Roman Forum.
Andante Travels organizes an archaeological tour (8 days) in Rome; a series of tours (half day, full day and night tour) are designed around disabled persons by Black Rooster Tour, senior citizens and people with walking problems, in order to avoid architectonic barriers and provide everything needed.
Rome is not suitable for bike? That’s not totally true; in fact, it is hard and dangerous to cycle along the roads, as traffic is very consistent and drivers are are not used to respect the rules; but the project called ‘Itinerari ecoturistici tra il Tevere e il Mare’ (Ecotouristic itineraries between the Tiber and Sea) is meant to promote three paths, for cyclists, pedestrian and horses (along with trains and ferry connections) which allow people to reach the littoral.
Green accommodation in Rome
Rome has all sort of accommodation a tourist could look for, included green accommodation for eco-minded travelers. Eco B&B Marela offers nonallergic pillows and mattresses, pure cotton linens and breakfast is made with biological product.
Eco World Hotel is a precious website with information on green oriented hotels in Rome. Hotel Boccaccio is located close to Barberini Square and cares about environment applying separate collection of rubbish and energy saving.
Eco Hotel, in the posh suburb of Prati, helps environment with energy saving politics and territory recovering of the Valle dei Casali Natural Reserve.
The Beehive is popular between travelers, close to Termini Station, and with reasonable prices. Biological breakfast are included in the price.
Organic food and vegetarian dining
Italy, and so Rome, is famous for its excellent cuisine, but vegan and vegetarian travelers can always find a place to meet their needs.
A very recommended restaurant is Ti Dir?: the food is macro and vegan and the atmosphere is unique, friendly and warm.
Margutta Ristorarte is a vegetarian restaurant, in the centre of Rome, whose reputation is getting more consistent over the years; the dish ‘6 different ways of eating artichokes’ is original and very interesting.
But being organic oriented doesn’t necessarily involve vegetarianism; Sana Caf? is elegant, the food is great, healthy, fresh and a wide organic wine selection is available. Dishes are very well presented.
Photo Copyright by Michael Foley Photography