On my day off the other week I decided to…
The city of Rome was born – or, according to an ancient Roman legend, founded by a mythical hero – on seven hills on the two sides of a river. The river Tiber, Tevere, was very significant to the develpoment and growth of the city, as was the case of most of the important historical cities of Europe. For more than two thousand years, the river was the most important means of transportation and therefore of an enormous importance to the city’s economy.
Nowadays, the river has long ago lost its importance as a transport passage, but it is still vitally characteristic of the city: the two “Lungotevere” are amongst the most important streets of the city center: they are very long, just changing names every once in a while but always beginning with “Lungotevere”, “along the river”. These streets – and the river itself – are two of the main arteries dividing the city. For example one of the oldest areas of the city, Trastevere, bears a name meaning literally “on the other side of Tiber”, because in the times it was first inhabited, theneighbourhood was new, and the until then most of the city had been on the other bank of the river.
An interesting way of seeing the city from this historically important point of view is to take a boat tour of Rome. There are tours with different contents to choose between: you can pick a simple guided tour that lasts a little over one hour and includes just the guidance and information about all you see. There are also dinner criuses available, with the perfect romantic atmosphere and dinner on board – ideal for honey mooners! Another way of pampering yourself is to take a Wine bar cruise with appetizers included. The Ostia Antica cruise will show you the ancient port of Rome as well as the nature of the delta area. The cruises start at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, the bridge near the Castel Sant’Angelo, and you can book the tours on line. For example from the Termini station you can easily get there by bus: the express bus number 40 will take you right there.
Be sure to book your accomodation somewhere weel connected, such as the newly opened Yes Hotel near Termini, or the budget hotel Carlito’s Way, also near the Rome Termini station. Other options for different budgets are offered by the Hotel and Hostel Des Artistes.