Roman Culture on a Budget
Italy is home to some of the world’s
most iconic landmarks, and its capital city of Rome houses the majority
of them. The Italian metropolis is filled with monuments, statues
and cathedrals which date back many centuries, never failing to
astound travellers with its classical cityscape.
Rome – like much of Italy and Western Europe
– can be an expensive city for travellers, but a wealth of
free sights around every corner, along with a good selection of
hostels in Rome scattered across the city centre, makes Rome
a more budget-friendly destination that it might at first appear.
An amazing Italian structure, this stunning Baroque
fountain was built in 1762, but the original fountain site has been
around for many centuries. Located in the second region of Rome,
the fountain is set against the grand backdrop of the Palazzo Poli,
home to an important collection of historic copper engraving plates.
After going into slight decline a decade ago,
the fountain was renovated, culminating in the stonework being cleaned
and the old water pumps being replaced. The Trevi is free to visit,
although travellers may feel obliged to splash out a little and
toss a coin in the fountain, as tradition has it that this act will
ensure a happy return to the city or a new romance.
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Aside from its grand piazzas and famous fountains,
Rome is packed with beautiful ancient churches, from the famous
St Peter’s Cathedral to the dramatic Pantheon. One of the
best ways to experience the changing history of the city is through
these buildings, all of which are free to enter and open to the
public during the week.
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore – one of
the largest churches in the city – is not only a place of
worship, but also the home of a number of significant works of art
from as early as the 5th century. Notable pieces include the Borghese
Chapel, Salus Populi Romani and an early Christian mosaic that depicts
the events of the Old Testament.
In addition to its wealth of classical culture
and architecture, Rome is well known for its celebration of chic
style and fashion. Although the swish boutiques may be beyond the
means of budget travellers, there’s scope to pick up a designer
bargain or two on the weekends at the Porta Portese market.
Held every Sunday morning on the main road of
Via Portuense, it’s filled with clothing and accessories,
both second-hand and new, and all with low prices.
For fresh produce and Italian delicacies, head
to the Campo de' Fiori market. Dating back 140 years, it is the
oldest market in Rome and can be found in the piazza of the same
The central location proves popular with
both travellers browsing for traditional Italian foods and those
looking to pick up a bottle of wine and some excellent ingredients
for a picnic lunch or cheap dinner in a city where eating out can
easily dent your budget.