You see quite a hump in the summer temperatures in Rome. It's no wonder Romans leave the Eternal City in July and August, heading to the beaches or to the cooler area called the Castelli Romani in Lazio.
Even if the high temperatures don't scare you, let me remind you that with all the asphalt and big stone buildings retaining the sun's heat, hot nights spent in a hotel room that's not air conditioned can feel many degrees hotter than the outside temperature. In July and August, high humidity makes the heat even more unbearable to those sensitive to it.
Without fail, Romans recommend that the best time to travel to Rome is from mid-September to October. Yes, it might rain, but the temperatures turn out to be quite nice, even if it is getting a tiny bit chilly at night. Almost no one recommends November, but I've had very good luck the last few years with weather in the first half of November.
Notice that the most rainfall occurs in the late fall and early winter in Rome.
May has almost the same temperatures as October, and April, while you're likely to feel chilly at night, is almost as good. March weather is really changeable, becoming more stable in April.
Spring and fall are the best times for visiting Rome.
Rome is notorious for unlicensed taxis that'll really take you for a ride. Find out how much a cab ride should cost, and the best ways to avoid unpleasantness: Rome Taxis.
Rome's Main station is called Rome Termini. There is a smaller station called Tiburtina. Lazio is full of things to see, many easily done as a day trip from Rome on the train. See Italy by Train to check train times or purchase point to point tickets for smaller journeys. A rail pass is only worthwhile if your trips are long.
If you're unfamiliar with Rome, you may wish to look at an annotated map showing Rome neighborhoods with recommendations one where to stay, what to eat and the local attractions: Rome Map and Guide.
Almost veryone's favorite neighborhood is Trastevere, Rome's medieval core.
Looking for a quiet sleep in the midst of some interesting attractions that most folks miss? Try the Aventine Hill. Then try rubbing elbows with the real Roman working class in the Testaccio district just to the south of the Aventine. Also quiet and "undiscovered" is Monteverde, the western part of the center of Rome, with great food (and good values in dining) as well as a villa with secret garden, Rome's largest park, catacombs and more: Monteverde Map and Guide.
If your main target is the Vatican, you should look into the Prati Neighborhood, north of the Vatican.
And you might want to explore the north of Rome: Flaminio Guide.
Rome has two airports. The largest is Fiumicino, but Ciampino handles a lot of traffic from inside Europe. The Aeroporti di Roma site gives information on both.
See a Fiumicino Airport Map.
For budget airlines that serve Italy, see: Italy Low Cost Airlines
To get to and from Civitavecchia from Fiumicino, see: Civitavecchia to Rome Transportation
To get from Fiumicino into Rome, see Rome Airport to Central Rome Transportation
Fiumicino Airport Hotels (FCO)
Ciampino Airport Hotels (CIA)
Hotels in Rome are Expensive. Our favorite places to stay are the Daphne Inn, for its helpful staff and good location, and the Hotel Residenza in Farnese [read a review] for its quiet location near the Camp di Fiori.
Prefer inexpensive? In today's hostels you can reserve private rooms. Compare prices on Rome Hostels.
Another alternative that really appeals to us, is to rent a villa or apartment in Rome. See Select Italy's List for more. It's not as expensive as you might think, and villas don't have to have hundreds of rooms, either. Apartments in Rome are less expensive, of course, than villas. Try Only Apartments for some value in a Rome stay.
You can get tickets to all attractions when you arrive in Rome, of course. Many people like to have them in advance, thus avoiding long lines, especially in the summer and fall season. Select Italy is a reputable company that sells tickets to many museums and events in Italy. Here are some sources for Rome advance tickets:
One of the most popular things to do in Rome is to enjoy a trip to the Vatican Museums. There are several ways to avoid the ticket lines.
We highly recommend The Roman Guy for interesting, engaging tours of Rome.
New! The Roman Guy gives some of the most interesting tours on the planet. Right now he's giving Wandering Italy readers a 5% discount on Small Group Tours across Rome, Florence and Venice (except for the Colosseum Dungeons Tour). Just pick one on this page and use the code: ITALYJAMES to get your discount.
You can also get information in a new and exciting way. Why not sit down with a home chef, try the food of Rome, and talk about the attractions of the Eternal City? Check out Bonappetour: Rome.