When in Rome…Live Rome like the Romans do

When holidaying in Rome, it is important to sample the local delicacies, talk a bit of the language and mingle with the locals. Here you will find a guide which shows you how when in Rome, to do what Romans do…

In terms of places to go and see, one attraction that is totally free, and in which you can join the locals, is the ritual known as “la passaggiata”, the evening stroll. After smartening up in one of the Rome hotels or Rome apartments and dining in a fantastic restaurant, tourists and residents alike promenade the piazzas. Their dress is usually more suited to an evening out, than what they were touring in during the day. Two of the most popular hangouts, are the Via Condotti from Piazza di Spagna to the Via del Corso, and the Piazza Navona.

The Piazza Navona was originally built as a stadium in the first century for athletic contests and chariot races, but now, the Piazza Navona is lined with luxurious cafes and Baroque palaces and is the home to three lavish fountains. The Piazza is a lively, modern place, where both locals and tourists tend to gather, and is also full of local artists and artisans. At night the square buzzes with people but if you want to really appreciate the beauty of the square itself, it’s best to go in early morning to avoid the crowds. Make sure you stay as close to the heart of Rome as possible by renting Rome accommodation, so that you not only sample Rome´s buzzing atmosphere during the day, but its fantastic bars and restaurants at night.

Italians are proud of their artistic heritage. Museums, churches, courtyards and statues all over the country proudly display to a watching world the treasures of some of the greatest artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, to name just a few. As well as this, Italians enjoy a night at the opera, dressing up generally, and although jeans can very occasionally be glimpsed at the theatre, a certain degree of smartness is expected. Evening dress is often worn to first nights, which can be glittering, paparazzi-attended occasions. Whatever you choose to wear to a performance, you are unlikely to feel over-dressed. One of the most popular theatres that Roman´s visit is Rome´s leading theatre, known as the “Teatro dell´Opera” or “Teatro Costanzi”, an attractive opera house, which puts on extravagant opera productions, interspersed with ballets. The Teatro dell’Opera has its own orchestra and ballet company, both of a very high standard and the outdoor theatre at the Baths of Caracalla, with the Roman ruins as the backdrop, is the venue for the opera company’s summertime presentations in Rome.

Prices vary depending on the production: opera is more expensive than ballet, first nights are more expensive, and the summer season can be very cheap as few Italians go to the theatre. Box office opening hours are generally Tuesday – Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-1:30pm, opening again one hour before performances.

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