In times of crisis and insecurity one could do well to look beyond the Christmas Holiday shopping and to start thinking about the beginning of the New Year, when the 2021 winter sales start in Rome and the rest of Italy.Continue reading “Winter Sales Rome 2021”
This section gives an overview of practical information about Rome. How to get there and how to get around the city. What to do in case of theft. Some general information about food, including markets and supermarkets. Addresses of institutions such as hospitals, pharmacies and post offices. Continue reading “Practical Information Rome”
The Colosseum is Rome‘s major tourist attraction. The monument attracts around 6 million visitors a year. This means that on the day you visit you will share the monument with around 16 thousand other tourists. On this page you will find practical information about the Colosseum, including address and public transport, opening hours and admission. From October till March admission is free on the first sunday of the month. I have created a separate page for a short description and history of the Colosseum.
Opening hours, address and admission Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum
Address and public transport
The Colosseum is located in the center of Rome and is easy to reach by public transport. The address is Piazza del Colosseo, snc and the nearest metro stop is also called Colosseo (line B, two stops from the main railway station Termini). Sometime in the far future metro line C might reach the Colosseum as well, but don’t hold your breath. Tram lines 3 and 8 pass by the Colosseum and there are several bus stops in the vicinity.
The ticket office for the Colosseum itself is at the Piazza del Colosseo, which is easily recognizable because of the long line. Since the lines are shorter, or often non-existent, at the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum you gain time by buying your ticket at one of their entrances. For the Palatine Hill this is in the Via di San Gregorio and for the Roman Forum this is at the Largo della Salaria Vecchia. With this ticket you can then return to the Colosseum and go straight to the turnstiles. When it is really crowded and you get your ticket at the Palatine Hill, you will be given a time at which you can enter the Colosseum.
Opening hours Colosseum
The general rule for the Colosseum is that it is open every day from 08.30 until one hour before sunset. The only day of the year the attraction is closed is December 25th. On January 1st the hours are 10.00 until 16.00. The ticket office closes one hour before closing time.
The detailed opening hours are as follows:
- February 16 – March 15 – 08.30 – 17.00
- March 16 – last Saturday in March – 08.30 – 17.30
- Last Sunday in March – August 31 – 08.30 – 19.15
- September 1 – September 30 – 08.30 – 19.00
- October 1 – last Saturday in October – 08.30 – 18.30
- Last Sunday in October – February 15 – 08.30 – 16.30
Admission to the Colosseum is 16 Euros. Note that the ticket is a 3-in-1 and includes a visit to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. If you also want to visit the Arena you pay two euros extra. The last two have to be visited consecutively, so you need to either start or end with the Colosseum. The ticket is valid until noon on the day after you use it first, but can only be used once for each attraction. EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age pay 2 Euros. People younger than 18 have free entrance. Roma Pass holders enter for free, as do Omnia Card and Archaeologia Card holders. On the first Sunday of every month the Colosseum is free for everyone. There is a surcharge of 3 Euros when there is a special exhibition.
The subterranean part and the third ring of the Colosseum are only bookable by calling the reservation number (see below). Accompanied visits start at 13.40, but the guide does not provide explanations.
There is now also a Roman Forum and Palatine SUPER ticket, which does not include the Colosseum. What it does offer is access to those parts of the archeological area that are normally closed for visitors. These are the following: Casa di Augusto, Casa di Livia, Aula Isiaca, Loggia Mattei, Domus Transitoria, Museo Palatino, Criptoportico Neroniano, Santa Maria Antiqua with Oratorio dei 40 Martiri and Rampa Domizianea, Tempio di Romolo. Also here EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age pay 2 Euros and people younger than 18 have free admission.
The ticket can also be bought online or at the ticket offices of the Palazzo Altemps or the Terme di Diocleziane Museum. In case you do this, there is a surcharge of 2 Euros however. The phone number for reservations is +39 06 39967700. The website is www.coopculture.it/ticket.cfm?office=Colosseo&id=2. You will need a credit card. You can even book a ticket while queuing, by clicking on Mobile Ticketing.
A ramp at the Roman Forum entrance provides wheelchair acces, although once inside it might be difficult to reach all the parts. The groundfloor and the first floor (with a lift) of the Colosseum are also wheelchair accessible. For the upper floors you will have to go to the entrance in order to ask for assistance, since the lifts need to be opened with a key. Both at the ground and at the first floor there is one wheelchair available. There are special toilets.
Because of obvious reasons handbags and backpacks are scanned at the entrance. You can enter with small bags and small and medium-size backpacks, but not with big items of luggage. Bottles and glass objects are not allowed and neither are sharp objects.
The latest news about Rome, with lots of public transport problems (partial closure of metro line B and the Barberini stop on line A closed indefinitely), new exhibitions (Canova, Michelangelo) and other plans to remove the famous Roman cobblestones from some streets and reuse them in other ones.
Latest News Rome
14 December Evening Openings with Music Rome Museums
For the eleventh edition of Musei in Musica on December 14th, the city museums of Rome remain open until late in the evening. The public can visit the permanent collections, admire the temporary exhibitions and enjoy a rich programme of concerts and live performances.
Rome Metro line B partially closed September to December 2019
After months of inconvenience on subway line A in Rome, it is now the turn of subway line B. From 9 September to 7 December 2019, part of line B will close earlier than normal. In addition, during several weekends part of this line will be completely closed.
Baldo degli Ubaldi metro stop closed for three months
Maintenance work on the 12 escalators and 7 lifts in the Baldo degli Ubaldi metro station will take about three months. During the closure, the frequency of bus line 490 will increase. Most tourists will not even notice, as the stop is not near the historical center of the city.
Barberini stop on metro line A closed
In March 2019 the Barberini stop on metro line A was closed because of problems with the escalators. Those problems still have not been solved. Apparently in the meantime the station has been taking over by rats.
Michelangelo Exhibition in Piazza Barberini
The exhibition in the Palazzo Barberini showcasess reproductions of a number of drawings by Michelangelo himself, together with paintings by some of his most important followers. The exhibition started on October 11th and will continue until January 6th, 2020.
Cobblestones to be Removed from Main Thoroughfares
Several streets in the historical center of Rome are paved with sampietrini, the typical Roman cobblestones. Among these are some of the most important streets of the city, such as the Via Nazionale and the Via IV Novembre. Although considered a symbol of the city, the cobblestones are also slippery when it rains and hard to maintain. The mayor of Rome has now decided to take the sampietrini away from the main thoroughfares and place them in the pedestrian streets in the historical center instead.
Tarpeian Rock Restoration Paid by Gucci
In June 2019 the fashion brand Gucci has pledged 1,6 million Euros for the restoration of the Tarpeian Rock. The works will include the installation of a new lighting system. The path around the cliff will be cleared and the gardens around it will also be restored. Work is supposed to finish in 2021. In the days of the Roman Republic condemned criminals were thrown off this 25 meter high cliff.
Canova Exhibition October 2019 – March 2020
An exhibition of the Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova is planned in the Museo di Roma (Palazzo Braschi) for the autumn of 2019. Canova (1757-1822) is known as one of the greatest of the neoclassical artists. His most famous sculptures are Amore e Psiche, Tre Grazie and Paolina Borghese. Those who would like to see some of his best work, but are not in Rome during the exhibition, can visit the Galleria Borghese or St. Peter’s Basilica.
It is not unusual for there to be several strikes per month in Rome (and the rest of Italy). One good thing about Rome is that the city center is very compact and that it is very easy to reach most tourist attractions on foot. As an indication, even though our Little Italy B&B is located at the edge of the tourist area, the Colosseum is only a 10 minute walk away and the Vatican around one hour. The Italian word for strike is scioperò.Continue reading “Public Transport Strikes Rome (2021)”
After the Roma Pass and the Roma 48 Hours Pass there is now, for the first time, a pass combining Rome’s religious and secular tourist attractions. The Vatican City and the Vatican-run Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi have joined forces and created the Omnia Vatican & Rome card. The card is valid for 3 days and costs 95 Euros for adults and 65 Euros for children aged 6 to 12 (although sometimes 10% discounts are offered).
Omnia Vatican & Rome Card 2020
Their website says:
With OMNIA you have a unique portfolio of services that permits you to visit basilicas, religious and cultural monuments, and it also gives you access to the Roma Cristiana Open Bus and the city’s public transportation system.
The Omnia Vatican & Rome card includes the following:
- Fast-track access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
- Fast-track access to St. Peter’s Basilica, or to the Vatican Gardens, plus a panoramic tour by Minibus and audio guide.
- Fast-track access to the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and cloister with audio guide
- Fast-track access to the Mamertine Prison and multimedia tour
- Fast-track access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum with audio guide
- Entrance to one of the museums or archaeological sites included in the Roma Pass circuit.
- Visit Rome with the Roma Cristiana Open Bus and Minibus Experience
- Easy access to Rome’s public transportation system included in the Roma Pass.
- Two information leaflets on museums and information on the Roma Pass.
- 4 itineraries with audio guide to visit the city individually
- City center map of Rome
Is the Omnia Card worth it?
Some of this sounds better than it is in reality, though. The fast-track access to the Basilica of Saint John in the Lateran would be great if not for the fact that there is never a queue anyway. The same goes for the Mamertine Prison. The two (wow!) information leaflets on museums and information on the Roma Pass can easily be found on the internet. A visit to the Vatican Gardens is definitely an added pleasure to the usual Rome tourist itinerary, but that would mean forfeiting your fast-track access to Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The price of the Roma Pass is 34 Euros, the price of the Omnia Pass is 95 Euros, so basically you are paying 61 Euros for fast track access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (20 Euros normally), fast-track access to Saint Peter’s (which in itself is free) and to the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran (free), the Mamertine Prison (10 Euros for adults, but would you normally have visited this?) and the Roma Cristiana Open Bus tour (18 Euros for adults, but would you normally have done this tour, apart from the fact that you might be running out of time by now?).
You can purchase the Omnia Vatican & Rome Card online or at the ORP Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi offices and the Tourist Information Kiosks. If you buy the pass online you will need to exchange your voucher at one of the ORP offices. The Tourist Information Kiosks do not exchange the vouchers.
Every district in Rome has at least one post office, but they don’t all have the same functions. Smaller offices do not usually send larger parcels. For stamps it is not necessary to go to a post office anyway. If you want to be sure that your postcards, letters or parcels reach their destination, you should use the postal service of the Vatican City . It is not recommended to use services such as Globe Postal Service and Friend Post.
Post Offices Rome
Stamps and Post Offices Rome
One of the frequently asked questions is “Where is the nearest post office?” Usually the real meaning of the question is, “Where can I buy stamps?” You can get these of course at post offices, but it is far easier and less time-consuming to get them from tobacco shops. Just show the destination address and you will get the right stamp. The Italian word for stamp is francobollo. Tobacco shops (tabacchi) are recognizable by an exit sign with a white letter “T” on a dark background.
Opening Hours Post Offices Rome
To find out the opening hours of a post office in Rome, please visit the official Poste Italiane website. You will need the street name. Different offices often have different opening hours.
Letterboxes in Rome have two slots where you can drop your mail, “Roma Città” (The City of Rome) and “Tutte le Altre Destinazioni” (All Other Destinations). Remember to use only the red Poste Italiane letterboxes.
Receiving mail in Rome
Sometimes people want parcels sent to their hotel, bed and breakfast or hostel. We do not recommend this, as the Italian mail service is not really trustworthy and parcels can sometimes arrive torn, empty or not at all. It is better to pay a little more and use services like FedEx or UPS.
Sending packages from Rome
Not all post offices do this. If you have a hotel or bed and breakfast in the centre of Rome, you should go to the branch at Rome Termini, on Via Marsala. Another large post office that has this function is that on the corner of Via delle Terme di Diocleziane, also close to Termini.
Vatican Post Office
The Vatican City has its own postal service, with its own stamps and a service that works much better than the Italian postal service itself. This service has offices at St. Peter’s and in the San Giovanni in Laterano Basilica (inside the giftshop). You have to make sure that you do not use Italian stamps but stamps from the Vatican itself. (Note: Letters or postcards with stamps of the Vatican cannot be thrown in Roman mailboxes either.)
Friend Post and Global Postal Service
When you buy stamps you should first check that they are from the Poste Italiane. Nowadays there are a number of private companies that deliver mail, but they are more expensive and the mail often arrives late or not at all. The best known are Friend Post and Global Postal Service. These companies have special mailboxes, often in the shops where the stamps (stickers, really) are also sold.
There are several railway stations in Rome, but Roma Termini, in the rione Esquilino, is the most important and central one of these. All daytime Intercity and Eurostar trains arrive in Termini and Termini is also the only point where the two underground lines of Rome meet. Most of the important bus lines leave from Termini as well. Continue reading “Roma Termini”
The Roma Pass is a combined public transportation and museum pass for Rome, Italy. From the moment it is validated the Roma Pass gives unlimited access to three days of public transportation in Rome. The first two museums or monuments visited (but note that the Vatican Museums are not included) are free, and the following attractions can be seen at a reduced admission price. The pass also allows you to skip the lines at various tourist attractions. The price of the Roma Pass for 2020 is 38,50 Euros. For people who visit Rome for less than 3 days there is an alternative pass (as of April 1st, 2014) called the Roma Pass 48 Hours.
Roma Pass 2020
The Roma Pass used to consist of two different parts. There was one public transport pass, while a different pass was to be used for the tourist sights. Now you just need one card, which becomes valid from the moment you use it first.
A big advantage of the Roma Pass is that at the first two museums or monuments visited it allows the visitor to skip the line. You can bypass the ticket office and go directly through the turnstiles. Especially at the Colosseum this can save you several hours of queuing. (If you don’t have the Roma Pass, visit our Colosseum opening hours page to learn how to skip the lines).
For sights visited after the first two you do need to line up in order to get your discounted ticket.
With the Roma Pass you also sometimes pay reduced prices at certain special events and exhibitions.
Is the Roma Pass useful?
The Roma Pass is less useful than it may seem. Many of the main attractions, and that includes Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon, are free anyway. The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are not included. Many of the other principal Rome tourist attractions are squares, fountains and picturesque alleys and streets, which are also obviously free.
The historical center of Rome is relatively small and there are only short walking distances between sights. This means that you do not need public transport as often as you would expect either.
The Roma Pass is superfluous for Europeans younger than 18 or older than 65, since they get free entrance to all of Rome’s tourist attractions anyway. European visitors between 18 and 25 get discounts at all these attractions, so it is highly debatable whether or not the Roma Pass is worth their while.
Where to get the Pass
The Roma Pass can be bought at the museums and monuments of Rome themselves. However, this would mean having to line up again, so it is better to get them at the Rome tourist information kiosks near the major attractions. In theory tobacconists and newspaper stands also sell them, but in reality they often seem to have just run out of them.
Together with the pass you will get a Roma Pass Kit, which consists of a map of Rome and a list of the museums an monuments included. Roma News, a small magazine describing the various exhibitions, concerts and other events the Roma Pass will give you a discount to is also provided.
After the first time the Pass has been used, the holder needs to write his/her full name and date of birth in the apposite space. Identification is also required.
As of 2010 holders of the Roma Pass needing medical assistance can phone a call center, which will supply medical help in various languages. Note that you can also go to the Pronto Soccorso at the nearest hospital, which will give you free help anyway.
When you make a hotel reservation in Rome, make sure that you ask whether or not the Roman tourist tax or city tax is included in your room rate. This tourist tax (contributo al soggiorno, in Italian) was introduced in January 2011 and upped in September 2014 and is meant to get more money into the pockets of the mayor of Rome. This money is to be used to improve on the city’s infrastructure and thus should contribute to tourists’ enjoyment of their Rome holiday. Continue reading “Tourist Tax Rome 2020”