Keeping cool in Rome #1

Some like it hot? This year Rome is approximately seven degrees fahrenheit cooler than last year, and nine degrees fahrenheit cooler than two years ago, but she can still work up a mid-afternoon sweat. Not everyone thrives in what can be scorching rays of Italian sunshine, especially in late August. So what is the best way to spend all day sightseeing in Rome without having to endure the woes of heat exhaustion?

Street water taps are easy to find in the city centre, so carry an empty bottle in your bag and refill whenever necessary. The water is cool, clean, and it tastes much better than more or less any bottled spring water you’ll pay for in a shop or supermarket. The bottom line is don’t pay for bottled water, just leave your hotel with an empty container (500ml).

Fountains. Again, they are plentiful in the city centre so while you would do well to refrain from taking an impromptu bath or shower, or worse, drink from the pool per se (ingesting pigeon droppings and tiny bits and pieces of litter in some popular fountains like the Trevi is something we do not recommend), you can drink directly from source without fear of an upset tummy. The best course of action is to sit on the edge of a fountain and enjoy cool water droplets in the air around you.

Gelato. From experience, a mix of citrus flavours when it’s getting hot does wonders for the constitution if you can forget about the calorie intake. Lemon and lime or orange and melon are cool and refreshing combination flavours.

Alcohol, beers and ciders. Stay away! They quench your thirst temporarily at best and at six euros a pot in most pubs in Rome, you’ll just be throwing away your hard-earned cash. Finnegans Irish pub next to Cavour Metro station on Via Leonina is one of the most expensive, but it’s a welcome refuge for weary tourists after a day traipsing around ancient Rome. Sponsored by Celtic FC at some point, Finnegans is two parts Italian one part Belfast, and frequented by as many rowdy expats working for the UN as a regular Italian rugby crowd. Finns comes highly recommended, despite the incoherent ramblings of random Manchester City and / or Liverpool fans on match day.

It can get extremely hot in and around the Vatican City, so if you’ve booked Vatican tours, make sure you head over there with plenty of water.

Eating in the heat. Better to wait until the evening when pizza ovens are ready to bake after a big breakfast.

About Rome #1 (Roman Rain)

They are an electronic band from Moscow and possibly a film company in Rome too, but when it rains here, it pours. The original Roman rain. All sense of sensibility disappears down the drain and drives us all to distraction. Deserted streets, soggy trainers pounding to the nearest bar, oversize umbrellas sheltering just one Italian, flailing through the never with no notion of consideration for fellow pedestrians, while the rest of us begin to behave in exactly the same way as those upon whom we frown, barging our impatient way through the despondency. It’s a matter of survival.

So how do we go about selling Vatican City tours to drenched tourists in and around Piazza Risorgimento? Having crossed the Piazza several times this morning, and it was as populous as Mare Imbrium on each occasion, we really ought to be praising those who managed to gather a good number of customers for our late morning Vatican tour.

Only torrential rain could dampen the eternal appeal of Rome. The narrow streets which lead towards high Vatican City walls look particularly unappealing beneath a hood of grey clouds. Between the months and warmer climes of May – August, when the annual visitor count creeps up towards the 5m mark – that’s alot of Rome tours and even more Rome B&B bookings – drier Rome becomes another city. For now, and it’s still raining hard, the vast majority of tourists in search of a good quality, licensed tour operator are making their way to our premises on Via Sebastiano Veniero 21.

Those who are left behind in the swirling wind and wetter than wet conditions are welcome to do the same, we still have some bright red When In Rome Tours umbrellas in need of a home 🙂

If this horrid weather persists, we’ll be ordering branded wellies and raincoats in the very near future! For the very best Vatican and Rome tours come rain or shine, visit us at

Helicopter tours from Rome

It’s another new and exciting tour from When In Rome Tours which in truth has very little to do with Rome at all, bar the fact that our heliport is located a few kms north of the city. Strange as it may seem, helicopter tours of Rome do not hover directly over the city centre due to air traffic control restrictions, however, with the rest of Italy immediately accessible, it’s never been a problem! Our prices are far from prohibitive. For perhaps  twice the cost of seeing Rome on a private tour over one or two days, you can experience the entire country from a helicopter with family, friends or clients. Perhaps the olden days of sightseeing in Rome on foot, by carriage, segway, pedalo, you name it we’ve probably seen it etc. are over? Well, not quite. Vatican tours and other walking tours in Rome are simply necessary and that will never change, but what better way to experience such a beautiful country than from up above clouds? Of course, on one of our helicopter tours, Italy’s great cities can be visited too. Wherever you land, a private local guide will always be on hand to pick you up and show you the sights and sounds of Venice, Palermo, Genoa, Turin, so on and so forth – there really are no limits on this tour, just your imagination!

If you are looking for an expedient and cost effective way of seeing Italy – all of Italy – in one day, or even half a day, our helicopter tour services fit the bill perfectly. In the coming weeks we’ll be listing new tours to the volcanoes of south Italy and Sicily, which will incorporate connections by helicopter. If you are interested in seeing Italy from the air with a focus on perhaps Sicily, and more specifically, Mount Etna or Stromboli, let us know!

Sightseeing in Rome

For the majority of visitors to Rome, an afternoon spent in the labyrinthine Vatican Museums is the absolute highlight of their stay. The Vatican tour they take must be as complete and fulfilling as possible, which is something we strive to achieve by offering four different Vatican tours. But what about sightseeing in Rome? Away from the vast collections of major works of art within the walls of the Vatican City?

A boat trip along the river Tiber from Isola Tiberina to the bridges of Duca d’Aosta and Milvio beside the Stadio Olimpico costs a couple of euros, and if you’d like to spend more time on board, two hour trips to the ancient port of Ostia can be taken from Marconi. Free time on terra firma is made available to see fine examples of ancient Roman life from as early as 1,400 BC, until the eventual decline of Ostia in the 5th century.

There are some beautiful historic gardens in Rome. In the stifling heat of summer when streets are packed with tourists, where better to go? Of course Villa Borghese in the city centre is known to all, like Zappion Gardens in Athens and Regents Park in London. In June and July, the landscaped gardens and wooded parkland around the Borghese Gallery and museum can become as busy as the city streets nearby.

Villa d’Este in Tivoli boasts perhaps some of the finest gardens in Italy, but distance from Rome is perhaps a stumbling block. Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine hill, the Pincio overlooking Piazza del Popolo or the expansive Vatican Gardens, be sure to see all of them when in Rome.

Rome is a vibrant and culturally diverse city as much today as she was in the Imperial age. There is a constant flow of events for each and every one of us to become a part of.

In the coming weeks, When In Rome Tours will publish a ‘What’s On In Rome’ guide and news section, to make sure that the pastime of sightseeing in Rome, for our customers at least, is a memorable and enjoyable experience.