As a traveler, it’s hard to keep up with changes – especially in larger cities like Rome. I often keep track of changes for clients and readers, and write posts like this one. If you’re planning a trip to Italy this year and want to find out what’s new in Rome travel for 2018, here are three things you might want to know before you go.
Pantheon Admission Charge
It will no longer be free to visit the Pantheon in Rome. Beginning in May of 2018, it will cost €2 to enter. Reportedly, the collected fees will go toward upkeep of the monument, which I can certainly appreciate. I would imagine this will affect lines and wait times since up until now, you have been free to come and go as you please. Plan your visits accordingly.
VIP Lounge at Termini Station
Termini, the main train station in Rome, has never really been a well-liked destination in the city. It’s also notorious for taxi drivers that want to overcharge or rip you off. Most travelers want to get in and out of the hub quickly, not finding any good reasons to hang around.
Until now. A welcome respite exists between Track 24 and 25 — The ItaliaPass/Leonardo Express VIP Lounge. The tiny space offers comfy chairs, free wifi, snacks, concierge services and even a meeting room. You must be an ItaliaPass member to access the lounge for free; Trenitalia ticket holders can purchase a day pass for €20. Travelers with Leonardo Express (the rail service that connects Rome to Fiumicino airport) tickets can use the space for a €6 fee. If you find yourself with extra time – give it a go!
It was announced last month that residents and tourists won’t have to travel to the coast to visit a beach this summer if all goes as planned. Inspired by Paris’s version of the beach called Paris Plage, which I’ve written about before, Rome’s version of temporary beach will be located near Marconi Bridge, and will include a sports arena and outdoor bars – but no word yet on swimming (which I would do at your own risk). But since Paris has been doing this for fifteen years, I’m not sure Rome will be able to nail it right off the bat. We will have to wait and see. Si? It could be the perfect spot for aperitivo on a hot summer’s day after sightseeing!
Milan to Umbria on High-Speed Train
No, this one doesn’t involve Rome – but it’s such an exciting development, I had to include it! In February, it will get easier to visit Umbria. Milan is generally the most affordable airport to fly into from the United States. And now a high-speed train route from Milan to Perugia means you can get to the green heart of Umbria in about three hours. Umbria is like Tuscany’s less expensive, less crowded, cousin. And I happen to work with fantastic local guides that offer wine, olive oil, cheese, and truffle tours and amazing cooking classes – so get in touch if you’re planning to visit Umbria in the new year.