Insider tips: Rome

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Our insider tips on accommodation, free wi-fi, ordering coffee, and museum and transports passes, for the perfect Roman holiday:

Getting settled

If you want to secure a room in one of Rome’s funky B&Bs or good value hostels, then you’ll need to think ahead. For the Beehive, Pensione Panda or Daphne Inn plan to book one month in advance.

Staying connected

Free wi-fi spots cover much of central Rome. To log on, open your browser and fill in the registration form, which will ask you to enter your mobile number. After making a quick call to verify the number, you’re entitled to one hour of free internet access per day. See www.romawireless.com.

Coffee, how it’s done

To do as the Romans do, you have to be precise about your coffee needs. For an espresso ask for un caffè; if you want it with a drop of milk, order an un caffè macchiato. A long black coffee is caffè lungo or caffè all’american and an iced coffee is caffè freddo. In summer cappuccino freddo (iced coffee with milk) or granite di caffè (frozen coffee, usually with cream) top the charts.

Food fashion

Young Romans have embraced the Milanese import of the aperitivo. Not just a drink, this is the array of hot and cold snacks that bars, restaurants and even some shops offer from around 6pm to 9pm. Some of the best spots for aperitivo are Fluid, Freni e Frizoni and Société Lutèce.

The Art Pass

The Roma Pass (€30) includes free admission to two museums or sights (from a list of 38), reduced entry to extra sights and events, and unlimited public transport. If you use it for more expensive sights such as the Capitoline Museums, it’s real value for money.

Getting around

The best way to get around the historic centre is on foot. Otherwise, the city’s bus network, run by ATAC is your best bet. Its website features a journey planner and downloadable transport maps. Public transport tickets are valid on all modes of public transit. A single BIT ticket (€1) is valid for 75 minutes and one metro ride. If you intend staying a couple of days and exploring different neighbourhoods you’re better off with a daily BIG (€4) or multiday BTI (€11) pass.

Further information

Roam Lonely Planet's latest Rome city guide.