How to Rent a Vespa: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever thought about renting a Vespa, but weren’t sure where to start? Here is an easy-to-follow guide that will get you on the road in no time. This article is perfect for first-time scooter riders, somebody that needs a refresher, or anybody thinking about renting a scooter in Italy. Lets get started! What documents do I need to rent a scooter in Italy? For Scooters 125 cc and Under: Standard Driver’s License Passport Credit or Debit Card Reserve your Vespa in Rome here. For Scooters or motorcycles above 125 cc: Motorcycle license Passport Credit or Debit Card The type of license you need depends on the size of the bike engine. Anything 125cc (cubic centimeters) and under is considered a small engine, so a standard license is perfect. Anything over 125cc, you need a motorcycle license. In addition, you’ll need to provide your passport and generally a credit or debit card. If you live outside the EU, we recommend an international drivers permit–which brings us to the next question… Do I really need an international drivers’ permit? The international drivers’ permit (IDP) basically translates your driver’s license into several languages, making it readable in different countries. The IDP is used by the police in case of a driving incident, and is not a required document from a rental company. Therefore, often you will find that you can rent a car without an IDP, but should you? If you are from a country outside the EU, in theory you should have one. They’re easy to get, inexpensive and they last a full year. Not having an International Drivers’ Permit means you could face a fine up to 400 euros, so we recommend just getting one. If you are from a country that is part of the EU, you do not need an international drivers’ permit. Related Article: “Unwritten Rules of the Road: How Italians Drive” What about the kids? In Italy, you must be at least 18 years of age to drive, with a valid license. As for the age of passengers, Italian Law states they must be over 5 years old and be big enough to sit in a stable, balanced way. Don’t do this… only two people allowed per vespa in Europe! Are vespas safe? Scooters are thought of as being a safer alternative to other vehicles since they are smaller, lighter, and easy to operate. While this is true, you are still sharing the road with cars and are more vulnerable to injury. The key to safely operating a scooter is to always be aware of other vehicles on the road! If you follow that one piece of advice, you will have a great and safe time on your scooter. Related Article: “Should I Rent a Scooter in Rome?” Pick out the right scooter With your phone, document any scratches or dings by making a quick video. Stay close to the bike, and focus on the front wheel, sides, and windshield. This will leave no question to the condition of the scooter prior to your rental. Check the locks on the seat and top box of the vespa, are they secure? Scooters are a popular target for thieves, so don’t leave anything of real value overnight. Is the scooter comfortable? Depending on the size, you may want a bigger or smaller scooter that fits you comfortably. Give the scooter the eye test. Are the tires full? Are the hand brakes springy and responsive? Are the lights damaged, or the seat ripped? How to ride a scooter Take the scooter off of the kickstand on the left side by blocking it with your right foot, then use your right hand to grip the handle on the back of the bike. You shouldn’t have to push too hard, just gently rock it forward and slightly upwards. Sit down on the bike. If you are short, you can lean on your foot to keep your balance. Make sure your helmet is on, and adjust your mirrors so you can see just to the sides and behind you. Turn the key to the ON position. In order to start the engine, the brake must be activated. So, using either your left or right hand, squeeze the brake, then push the starter button on the right side. The engine should fire right up! Let go of the brake, and slowly accelerate by turning the throttle slightly. Start slow until you get a feel for how your bike will respond. Keep your feet off to the side until you gain a little speed, and put them on the platform. How you turn the bike depends on how fast you are going. When going slow, use your hands and arms to turn the bike. Once you build up some speed, all you have to do is lean your hips in whatever direction you want to go. When going fast, you barely use your hands to turn, just your body weight! For braking, each handle controls either the front or back tire of the vespa. The front brake is operated with your right hand, and the left is for the back tire. The front brake will make you stop faster, and shift all of the weight from the front to the back. Try to get in the habit of using both brakes at the same time. When parking, bring the bike to a full stop and get off. Put your right foot on the kickstand, and push straight down. Turn the handlebars all the way to the left, then turn the keys to the left to lock them. If you have a chain, secure the scooter and you’re done! Related Article: “10 Essential Tips for the Newbie Scooter Driver in Rome” We hope this guide will help give you the confidence you need to ride a vespa, whether its your first time or just a refresher. Continue on with the second part of the guide: Should I Rent a Scooter in Rome?

How to Order Food in Italy: Italian Food Rules Explained

In a country where virtually every rule is made to be broken, Italian food rules are surprisingly rigid, and followed with a borderline fanatical gusto. If you’re not careful, you could be committing a mortal food sin without even realizing it! This guide will help you avoid those awkward moments at a restaurant and to prepare you how to order food in Italy the right way. If you want to order food like an Italian, or at least avoid awkward stares or protests from waiters and Italian friends, just remember these three basics; eat your meal in the proper order, respect all of the Italian food rules, and ask for the bill when you are finished eating. If you only remember these three Italian eating customs, you will be well on your way to perfect harmony at the table! Meals in Italy are structured in a very deliberate way, with careful attention being paid to how your body digests food. Rather than having a single plate with big portions piled on it, Italians serve many smaller plates, one course at a time. The biggest and most elaborate meal of the day is dinner, so lets start there. 1. Eat Your Meal in the Proper Order CENA (dinner) • Bevande (drinks):
First they ask what you’d like to drink. This is a bit of a loaded question, because there are only two correct answers: wine and water! The sole exception is when you’re eating pizza, in that case soda or beer are the drinks of choice. The type of wine to choose generally depends on the temperature outside, if its hot then get white wine, when cold choose red. Most places have house wine served in quarter, half or full liter carafes at a good price. Water comes by the liter, and is almost always bottled so you’ll need to pay extra. You get a choice of naturale (still) or frizzante (sparkling). • Antipasti (appetizers): Once drinks are brought to the table, you get a choice of appetizers. Everywhere has a plate of antipasto misto which is a mix of several premium cold cuts, salami, cheeses, olives and other. Normally these plates are huge and good for at least three people! Depending on where you are in Italy, the rest of the choices will be completely different so don’t be afraid to try the local specialty! You can also expect a basket of bread, which you’ll typically be charged for, even if you refuse (see part 3). • Primo (First Course) The first course of dinner is going to be something with carbs; think pasta, risotto, polenta, gnocchi, and soup. In Italy, the type of pasta you are eating is more important than the sauce, so the first word of the dish is probably going to be the type of pasta that is favored in the region. These dishes are quite a bit smaller than what you’d expect in other countries, and are in single serving portions. Many Italians decline this part of dinner, opting only for the main course (especially if they’ve already had pasta for lunch). • Secondo (Main Course) The main course will feature a protein (meat, fish, sometimes cheese) on its very own plate, and unless indicated won’t come with any vegetables or potatoes. If for some reason you don’t see any vegetarian offerings, just ask as they will undoubtedly have something to choose. Don’t feel obliged to order both primo and secondo, you can choose one or the other without incident. • Contorni (Side Dishes) As stated, the secondo probably won’t come with any vegetables so if you want something you can order it along with the main dish. Think grilled vegetables, braised greens, fresh tomatoes, potatoes and french fries. Salad (insalata) is also an option, but you will literally get fresh greens with no other toppings. Olive oil, salt and vinegar is provided as a dressing. • Dolce (Dessert) Hopefully you saved some room for dessert! As expected, dolci are very regional and you won’t always find the same things everywhere you go. For example, in the north of Italy you won’t find typical Sicilian desserts from the south. Stick with the regional favorites and you won’t be disappointed! • Caffè After dinner, you will be offered a caffè. If you choose to go with one, make sure it is either an espresso or a macchiato–ordering a cappuccino at dinner is a major no-no. There are some instances where the waiter will flat out refuse to bring you one! • Digestivo (sometimes called amazzacaffè) Since Italians pay very careful attention to digestion, at the end of dinner you will be offered a small glass of strong liquor to aid in digestion. They come in a shot glass, but you only take small sips. Naturally, digestivi are regional, but you’ll always find grappa (highest alcohol content, made from grapes), limoncello (typically sweet), and amaro (herbal or bitter tasting). PRANZO (lunch) This meal is much more casual compared to dinner. Pasta, pizza al taglio (pizza sliced and charged by weight), and panini (sandwiches) are the norm. Often the lunch menu will be written on a board or the wall instead of an actual menu, so keep your eyes peeled. COLAZIONE (breakfast) Italian breakfast is served in a bar (cafe) which you can find on virtually every corner. The most popular morning drinks are espresso and cappuccino, which are taken standing up at the counter and paired with a cornetto (croissant). Don’t worry if the place looks packed, this is the only Italian meal that is eaten quickly! You wont find eggs, sausage or anything else savory, but in a pinch you can order a “toast”, which is a sandwich filled with ham and cheese. If you’re American, you’d probably call it a panini back home as the sandwiches are pressed and have those classic grill indentations on both sides. APERITIVO (Happy Hour) Its impossible to talk about eating in Italy without mentioning aperitivo. After work, but before dinner there lies the magical Italian custom of aperitivo; which is like a food-infused happy hour. For the price of one drink, you get a buffet of little Italian tapas; peanuts, olives, potato chips, mini-sandwiches, meats and cheeses. Along with these snacks they have specially made drinks, like an Aperol Spritz, Negroni, or Bellini. You could also get a cocktail, beer or prosecco (Italian champagne) if you wish. 2. Respect Italian Food Rules These are the rules you must follow when ordering food in Italy. They probably seem silly to you, but in Italy they are taken seriously! We break it down by dish to make it easy to remember. Coffee Rules: Never drink a cappuccino with a meal after 11am. Cappuccino is only for breakfast! Don’t sit down to drink your coffee, you’ll probably be charged extra. If you ask for a latte, you’ll get a glass of milk. Instead, ask for a macchiato. Don’t ask for a big takeaway cup, they won’t have them. Pasta Rules: Don’t ask for non-Italian dishes like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Fettuccine Alfredo, or any type of pasta with chicken. They aren’t Italian! Never add cheese to a seafood dish! 99% of seafood dishes are eaten without cheese. Don’t ask for parmesan cheese unless it comes out along with the dish. Never cut your spaghetti, or twirl it on a spoon. You never eat pizza and pasta in the same meal! Bread Rules: Don’t ask for butter or expect oil and vinegar with the bread, it is for after the meal or to be eaten with the antipasti. Never eat bread at the same time as pasta. Garlic bread doesn’t exist, if it did it definitely wouldn’t come with pasta! When the plate is finished, you are encouraged to wipe it clean with the bread, which is called scarpetta. Pizza Rules: Pizzas come in one portion size, so you don’t share with the whole table. Even children get their own! Don’t drink wine with pizza! Soda or beer are the preferred pairing in addition to water. Don’t ask them to slice the pizza first. You cut your own slices and eat each one by hand. If you want a pepperoni pizza, order pizza diavola or salame piccante. Otherwise you will get a pizza full of peppers! (peperoni, with one p) Miscellaneous Rules: You should never drink alcohol without food, in Italy this is unthinkable! You won’t find many drinks with ice except for cocktails, as they say cold drinks are bad for digestion. You can ask, but be prepared for three or four cubes. Don’t eat eggs for breakfast, Italians consider eggs on their own unhealthy and suggest eating a maximum of 3 per week! Don’t eat dinner before 7pm. In fact, most Italians consider 8pm a little early! 3. Ask for the Bill When Finished Eating Since dinner is a savored event in Italy, you won’t have a waiter rushing you or hovering around ready with the bill. When you are ready to go, ask for il conto, or if its very busy you can walk right up to the cash register to pay. Don’t worry, this is not considered rude! If you don’t ask for the bill they won’t bring it, even after you’ve finished dessert. Don’t be surprised if you see extra charges on your bill, as restaurants in touristy areas usually charge a few euros per person for pane e coperto (bread and cover charge) even if you don’t eat the bread. It should be written on the menu how much they charge. Also, don’t feel like you have to tip, as it is optional. If you have a very high bill and lots of people, paying an extra 5-10% is appreciated. On a smaller bill it is typical to leave whatever change is left over from the bill for the server, but is not expected. And finally, don’t expect everywhere to accept credit cards, if they do there likely won’t be a line to leave a tip for the server, so leave some change if you wish. Many restaurants are cash only, especially ones that are out of the city center! There you have it, now you can order food like a local anywhere in Italy! What other food rules have you discovered that we missed?

15 of the Best Pools in Rome

Summer is here, and now is the perfect time to relax by the pool! Luckily, Rome is full of hidden pools that aren’t too far off the beaten path. This guide is for those sticky summer days when sitting in gridlocked traffic to the beach sounds like too much to bear. So where are these pools, and which ones are the best? The best pools in Rome are Aldrovandi City Suites, Rome Cavalieri, Grand Hotel Gianicolo, Palazzo Naiadi Roma, Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel, and Spa and Radisson Blu. These luxurious pools are offered by upscale hotels in the city center, many with lush gardens, rooftop views, massage treatments and relaxing spa options. Off the beaten path there is Belle Arti, Club Lanciani, Piscina delle Rose, Aqvi Blu, Rome Marriott Park Hotel, and QC Terme which offer sporty, affordable family-type pool setting. If you have young children, you might want to treat them to a day at the water park. Rome has three quality options, each bringing something different to the table: Hydromania, Zoomarine and Luneur Park. Please not that many pools in Rome, (especially public pools), require that you wear a swimming cap for entry, which you can purchase there for a few euros. Related Article: Beaches in Rome: The Ultimate Guide Continue on to see pictures, full pricing and special amenities of each pool. Quoted prices are for the weekend only, weekday visits you can expect a significant discount! Aldrovandi City Suites Tucked away on the perimeter of posh Villa Borghese, this stylish 5-star hotel oozes luxury. This secluded pool is partially shaded by palm trees, bouganvillaeas and cream-colored parasols. The cost of entry will also get you a free drink, towel, lounge chair, access to dressing rooms as well as bar-to-lounge-chair drinks service. Via Ulisse Aldrovandi, 11 Price: 60€ Rome Cavalieri – Waldorf Astoria Hotel In addition to three outdoor pools (one exclusively for children), Rome Cavalieri boasts an ancient Rome themed, glass-enclosed indoor pool with intricately tiled columns, spa treatments and steam rooms. Widely known as the best spa hotel in Rome, pamper yourself by reserving a cabana where you will be waited on hand and foot. Entrance fee includes use of outdoor pools, a towel and lounge chair. Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101 Price: 80€ / 115€ (depending on the month) Grand Hotel Gianicolo Located just outside of Trastevere, this fully equipped swimming pool offers a great view of the city from Gianicolo Hill, and at a bargain price considering its part of a 4-star hotel. One of the great draws is the poolside restaurant and bar, which is perfect for a quick bite and a cold drink. For only 35 euros, you get a lounge chair, towel and access to the locker room. Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi, 107 Price: 35€ Palazzo Naiadi Roma Check out this stunning rooftop infinity pool at the 5-star hotel Palazzo Naiadi. Known mostly for its lavish spa treatments and massages, you can also have a meal or have poolside service with a view of the beautiful Piazza Repubblica fountain. Entrance cost is pretty steep at 150 euros, but consider you start out with a 50 minute, full body massage. Well worth it, as it is also in the heart of the city center! Piazza della Repubblica, 47 Price: 150€ (includes 50 min massage) Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel and Spa Another 5-star hotel built right next to Villa Borghese gardens, Parco dei Principi offers a respite from the rigors of the city. Amazing gazebos, landscaped gardens and a large area for sunbathing are some of the highlights, as well as unique seafood dishes available at the restaurant. Towel, lounge chair and umbrella is included in the price. Via Gerolamo Frescobaldi, 5 Price: 80€ Radisson Blu Es. Hotel Conveniently located in the center of Rome right next to Termini station, Radisson Blu has two roof-top pools that will make you forget all about the bustle of the city below. Stop by here to also gain access to the spa and rooftop restaurant, which is frequented by tourists and Romans alike. 90 euros will get you a towel, chair and access to the locker rooms. Via Filippo Turati, 171 Price: 90€ Aqvi Blu – Sheraton Roma Aqvi Blu has very good value for what you get in return. Its a little bit out of the city center while still being easily accessible by metro. For 35 euros you get access to a huge, modern pool, lounge chair with umbrella and surrounded by a sunny garden. Brunch options are also available and well worth it! Viale del Pattinaggio, 100 Price: 35€ QC Terme Roma QC Terme Roma is overall the best place to go for a spa trip. Set in a 5-star spa and wellness hotel near Fiumincino, this very modern location offers all types of unique treatments; including waterfall rooms and water massage pools. Via Portuense, 2178 Price: 54€ Club Belle Arti For the sporty types, this pool is heaven! Olympic sized lap pool lined with lounge chairs, there is plenty of space you can just relax. You also have access to water based workout equipment and bikes. This location isn’t too out of the way either, as its tucked behind a church on Via Flaminia. Via Flaminia, 158 Price: 25€ Club Lanciani Fitness buffs rejoice, because Club Lanciani is full of engaging activities to get into. There is sort of a country club vibe going on, and has a huge pool at the center that is perfect for the summer heat. In addition to the pool, they have tennis courts, soccer fields, squash courts, and a full gym. This place is a rare value for the amount things you can do! Via di Pietralata, 135 Price: 17€ Piscina delle Rose No nonsense Olympic sized pools here, this is another great place to get in a workout. They also have an extensive program for your children, and a full restaurant is available. Swimming and canoeing lessons can be booked prior to arrival as well. Viale America, 20 Price: 16€ Hydromania Rome’s largest dedicated water park, you’ll find several water slides, wave pools and tiki-style beach themed bars. Vicolo del Casale Lumbroso, 200 Price: 22€ adults / 17€ kids Zoomarine Zoomarine is sort of like Sea World with carnival rides. Dolphin shows, roller coasters, and an enormous shallow pool are all available just ouside Rome. Via dei Romagnoli Price: 27€ adults / 20€ kids Luneur Luneur is Italy’s largest and oldest amusement park which also features a smaller waterpark. Dolphin shows, falconry, and many roller coasters are available. Via delle Tre Fontane,100 Price: 12,50€ / 22,50€ (12.50 for splash zone, 22.50 for splash zone + unlimited rides) All prices listed are for the weekend. If you go during the weekday, you can expect a deep discount! And there you have it, a list of the best pools Rome has to offer! Remember, pools aren’t the only way to beat the heat–if you have the time you should visit one Rome’s nearby beaches. Check our article Beaches of Rome: The Ultimate Guide Which one of these pools do you want to try first? Comment below!

The Beaches of Rome: Ultimate Guide

Beating the heat in Rome is no easy task, especially in the middle of a heatwave! In times like these, what you really need is a day-long trip to the beach. But where exactly are the best beaches in Rome? Choosing the right beach is a snap. If swimming, crystal clear waters, and amazing photo ops are what you love, then choose a beach in a city further from the capitol: Sperlonga, Anzio, Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo, Terracina, and Gaeta are all well worth the trip to get there. If you are short for time and want to be around a lot of people, with the beach serving more as a backdrop, then beaches closer to Rome are perfect. Santa Marinella, Ostia, Fregene, Capocotta, Santa Severa and Maccarese each have unique reasons to go, just note that the water and coastline will not be as pristine as when you get further from the capitol. Related article:15 Best Pools in Rome For those of you truly committed to the beach life, spend at least a night or two in Ventotene or Trevignano on Lake Bracciano to experience amazing water sports, such as scuba diving and snorkeling, or to explore beautiful farmlands and ancient ruins in a beach setting. What you Need to Know Before we get into the best beaches of Rome, its important to note that while there are many stretches of free of charge beaches (spiaggia libera), most of them are divided into private beach areas called stabilimenti. In these areas, visitors will pay a fee which typically covers access to a lounge chair, umbrella, a changing room, and toilets. It also ensures that the beach area is kept clean and gives you a nice area to swim. More often then not, there will be a restaurant or bar situated nearby with waiters able to bring you food and drink. Prices vary depending on the season, but will be between €10-30 euros per person. Compared to a hotel pool in Rome, this price is a bargain. Beaches with a Blue Flag destination typically have the biggest amount of free of charge areas to choose from. If in doubt, just look for people that aren’t using a chair or umbrella and plant your blanket next to them! The Best Beaches in Rome The first group of beaches on this list are the cream of the crop, and they have the certification to prove it. Tested by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), they grade the quality of water, monitor recycling and waste management practices of the beach, check for the presence of lifeguards, and note the extent of pedestrian paths and green areas. Everything is tallied up, and a Bandiera Blu (Blue Flag) designation is awarded only to the best beaches in Rome that score the highest in all categories. Please note that all of the beaches in this section will take between one and two hours to get to by public transportation, and are well worth it if you have time! Renting a car will take about as long, but will end up saving you the hassle of waiting for a train or bus. Sperlonga
Via Salette, 219, 04029 Sperlonga LT, Italy Perched atop a seaside cliff, the ancient city of Sperlonga has it all. With crystal clear water and immaculately clean beaches, Sperlonga has earned the Blue Flag designation 17 years in a row! When the sun starts to go down, you can retreat to one of many restaurants or bars for some incredible food and refreshing drinks. The little town itself is super photogenic, all of the houses are painted white and chock full of twisting, narrow alleyways and wide open piazzas. You can even visit the ancient villa of emperor Tiberius for an extra dose of history. The only real downside to Sperlonga is the dominance of private beaches, where you’re required to pay for each chair. However, there are small strips of free areas so go there early to claim your spot! How to get to Sperlonga: Take a regional train from Rome’s Termini station to the Fondi-Sperlonga stop, which takes about an hour. At the Fondi-Sperlonga station, you have two options; take a taxi at the station in order to avoid a long wait (15 minute taxi ride), or wait to take the bus (about 30 minute ride). Sabaudia Strada Lungomare Pontino, 63, 04016 Lungomare di Sabaudia LT Sabaudia is well known by Romans, as it is full of free beach areas, amazing food and perfect water. Here you will find 15 kilometers of beach that boast the coveted “Bandiera Blu” designation, without all the people! Sheltered by the protected Circeo Forest, easy access is provided by a boardwalk along the entire coast. The main reason for there being a lack of people for many months of the year (besides August) is because they lack a direct train station that stops in Sabaudia, so it takes a bit of planning ahead of time. The town is known for it being created by Benito Mussolini in the early 1930s. The main area of the city in Sabaudia is characterized by having many examples of fascist architecture. It is also full of incredible open-air markets and has special festivals and events going on nearly every weekend of the summer: at the end of July, every year is host to the Sunset Jazz Festival. Getting to Sabaudia by train will require a little bit of extra planning, but if you have a rental car this is a no brainer. How to get to Sabaudia:  From Roma Termini, take the train to Priverno-Fossanova, about 50 minutes. Then, take a COTRAL bus to Sabaudia, about 40 minutes. COTRAL buses tend to only run a few times a day, so you must check the schedule before you go! You could also take a taxi from Priverno-Fossanova, but this will probably run you around 30 euros. Anzio 00042 Anzio, Metropolitan City of Rome, In addition to the breathtaking beaches and turquoise water, Anzio is best enjoyed due to its old-school fishing town vibe. The port is full of amazing seafood restaurants and ancient villas. This used to be the playground of Emperor Nero, he built several theaters opera houses. You can also visit the ruins of his ancient villa. More recently, it was where British and US forces landed in 1944 to liberate Rome from German occupation. You can visit the expansive American Cemetery where nearly 8,000 Americans are buried. How to get to Anzio: Take a regional train from Termini to Anzio-Colonna station, a ticket will only cost you €3. From here, you’ll need to either grab a taxi or take a 15 minute walk to the beach. San Felice Circeo
Via Domenico Maiolati, 8 04017 San Felice Circeo San Felice Circeo is on the other side of the mountain opposite of Sabaudia. From the old town, on top of the mountain you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the coast and many family owned restaurants. On the actual coast Stabilimenti are the norm at this beach, so look for the free area next to the port for the best spot! How to get to San Felice Circeo: Cotral buses leave for Circeo from the Laurentina metro station in Rome. Get off at the last stop, via Domenichelli, and take a 10 minute walk to the beach. Terracina Piazzale Lido, 20 04019 Terracina LT Located just 10 km north of San Felice Circeo, Terracina has an equal amount of free beaches and paid ones, which are both kept very clean. The city itself is great, full of nice shops, well kept museums (Tempio di Giove is definitely worth a visit!) and quirky restaurants. There is a huge fish market by the port, where you can find fresh fish for great prices! At night, it turns into a huge restaurant frequented by locals and visitors alike. It strikes a nice balance of size, as it is a bit larger of a beach town but still keeps a small-town vibe. This is a great destination for families as well.

How to get to Terracina: From Termini station take the hourly regional train for Naples and get off at Monte S. Biagio. From there, take the bus for about 20 minutes until you reach the beach. Gaeta Via Marina di Serapo, 39 04024 Gaeta LT Gaeta is a quaint medieval town that has a lot to offer, with clean beaches and turquoise water. Home of some of the best mozzarella, olives and tiella (typical savory Italian pie stuffed with various ingredients) in the world! How to get to Gaeta: From Termini station, take any one of the frequent trains headed towards Naples and get off at Formia. Then, take the bus from Formia station for another 25 minutes until you reach Gaeta-Piazza Libertà. Nearest Beaches to Rome Sometimes you just want to get to the beach, and fast! These locations are the nearest beaches to Rome, each one providing a unique and fun activity besides just frolicking in the sea. The waters aren’t quite as beautiful, but it will only take 40 minutes to an hour to reach these locations easily by public transport. Do as the locals do and take a scooter to the beach! You may have some reservations about renting a scooter in Rome, but it is well worth it. Each of these locations are the perfect distance for a nice ride on a breezy vespa. Click here to check availability! Santa Marinella – Well Rounded Beach SS1 Via Aurelia, 318 00058 Santa Marinella RM We start with the best overall of the group, Santa Marinella. Public transportation is probably easier than taking a car here, as the stop is about an hour away from any major train station in Rome. While the beach didn’t quite earn the Blue Flag status, the water here is still pretty good! Due to how easy it is to get here from Rome, it’s a great place for people watching and grabbing a lounge chair at one of the stabilimenti. If you want a quick and easy beach without sacrificing too much on water quality, and don’t mind paying a bit more for a chair, this is your best bet. How to get to Santa Marinella: Take the train from Roma Termini (or any major station, for that matter) to S. Marinella. The beach is a five minute walk from the station. Ostia – Ancient Ruins and Restaurants Lido di Ostia RM Ostia may not be the most beautiful of the bunch, but she is the closest! The beaches are full of trendy (and expensive) stabilimenti that often require a membership to enter. Ostia really shines when it comes to nightlife and restaurants that are situated right on the beach. You’ll see people come here just to order perfect Roman seafood dishes, such as spaghetti con le vongole (pasta with clams). On your way back it is definitely worth stopping at at Ostia Antica, which are the ancient ruins just two stops before you get off at Lido Centro. How to get to Ostia Lido: Take the Metro Line B to the Piramide stop in Rome, then take the Ostia-Lido train toward Cristoforo Colombo. You use the same ticket for both. Make sure you get off at the Ostia-Lido Centro stop, and not Ostia Antica, unless you want to visit the ruins first. Fregene – Nightlife Via Silvi Marina, 223/a 00054 Fregene RM Fregene is a trendy area just north of Ostia, and offers water that is pretty good, but not great. Most young Romans like to go in the late afternoon for a few hours of sun and aperitivo, then stay until the wee hours partying at the trendy clubs that line the beach. The most popular clubs are Gilda on the Beach (Lungomare di Ponente, 11), Blu Fregene (Lungomare di Ponente) and Singita (Villaggio dei Pescatori), which is famous for its chic sunset aperitivo. How to get to Fregene: Not the easiest place in the world to get to by public transport, but you still have some options: Take the Metro A to the Cornelia stop (towards Battistini). Then hop in one of the small buses that go to Fregene, which pass every 10-15 minutes. Or, you could take one of the Cotral buses that depart from Rome’s Valle Aurelia metro stop (line A). Plan ahead as this bus only leaves a few times a day. Capocotta – Nude Beach Via Litoranea Km 9, 400, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM While every beach in Italy allows for topless sunbathing, there aren’t as many “naturalist” beaches to choose from. This is where Capocotta comes into play! Not far from Ostia, the whole beach is part of an official nature reserve, and nudists have been baring it all for more than 30 years. In 2000, officials set aside a special section just for them, with over 250 meters being nude friendly. Admission is free, umbrellas and chairs are available for a fee, and you’ll have access to restaurants/bars and public toilets. It’s also the most famous LGBTQ friendly beach in Rome. How to get to Capacotta: From the Metro Line B from the Piramide stop in Rome, then take the Ostia-Lido train toward Cristoforo Colombo. Once at the Cristoforo Colombo Station, take one of the buses that leave every 20 minutes to Litoranea/Varco 4. The beach is just a few minutes walk from there. Santa Severa – Family Friendly and Relaxing 00058 Santa Severa, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy While hipsters and trendy people head off to Ostia and Fregene to party, families and couples looking for a quiet spot to relax head over to the seaside town Santa Severa. Here, the beach is a deep brown and the water tends to be a lot cleaner. You’ll find windsurfers and plenty of families riding their bikes along the lungomare. Santa Severa also has an enormous castle parked directly on the beach, with hidden alcoves peppered throughout, giving you dozens perfect and unique photo opportunities! 

How to get to Santa Severa: Take a train from any major station in Rome (Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro) to Santa Severa. The beach is a 10 minute walk from the station. Maccarese – The Dog Beach Via di Praia a Mare, 4 00057 Maccarese RM Did you bring your dog with you on vacation? Reward him with a trip to the beach! Bau Beach has been allowing dogs to come here for years, and offer many amenities to help keep your furry friend happy and clean. Very close to Fregene, it is an extremely popular place for people and dogs to hang out, so get there early! How to get to Maccarese: If you have your dog, taking him on public transport is frowned upon, although not totally uncommon. If you just want to see some puppers, follow the Fregene directions and take a taxi. Weekend Getaways From Rome For those that really want a weekend getaway from Rome and have an extra day or two, these spots are perfect! You’d be hard pressed to accomplish these trips in just one day, so do yourself a favor and spend the night in the area. You’ll be rewarded with Blue Flag waters, scuba, snorkeling, and boating excursions, centuries old farmlands and more amazing experiences. Ventotene Ventotene is part of the Pontine Islands, a chain forming off the western coast of Italy between Rome and Naples. If you are a lover of the sea, this small island will be heaven for you. Scuba diving, snorkeling, free diving, and boat excursions are a staple of this area. Rent a boat on your own, go on a fishing tour, or explore underground caves in sapphire blue water. You will not even need a car, as the island itself is only about two miles long and you’ll walk everywhere. Originally a prison for high-profile Roman prisoners, the prison still stands today off the coast of the main island. Having only about 700 residents, the community is tight-knit and everybody is quite friendly and knowledgeable about whats going on in town. How to get to Ventotene: From Termini Station, take one of the trains to Formia-Gaeta which departs every 30 minutes. Once in Formia, walk about 10 minutes to the Port Ferry area and hop on the boat to Ventotene. Make sure to book the ferry in advance. Trevignano on Lake Bracciano The only lake in Lazio to be awarded the Blue Flag, Trevignano on Lake Bracciano is made for nature lovers. The whole area is a national conservation, with lush farmland, beautiful lakes and forests to hike till your hearts content. The region is also known for its incredible agriturismo, which are basically heirloom farms that offer seasonal fresh food and a place to stay. The town itself was home to Etruscan royalty for centuries before Romans. You can also lounge on the grass overlooking the sunset with stunning views. Worth the trip! With this comprehensive list of beaches in Rome, you’ll be able to choose the perfect one that fits into your vacation plan. Do you want to stay in the city center? Read our article 15 Best Pools in Rome to find out where to go! Also Read: Roman Heatwave: Ways to Beat it (that actually work) Tell us about the best beach in Italy you’ve ever been to in the comments below!