International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

Tiny Travel Story: Italy

What's Rome Like?

Roma, the Eternal City, the City of seven hills, Caput Mundi (head of the world) - whatever you call it, one thing is for sure, Rome's beauty quickly overtakes all who enter its ancient walls. With its sunny climate, stately umbrella pines, and an unparalleled wealth of history around every corner, Rome conjures up vivid reminders of its rich cultural heritage and glorious past. From the open-air food markets of Campo de' Fiori to the Botanical Gardens in Trastevere that overlook the city, Rome has countless adventures to offer.

Despite the excessive traffic and not having a large metro system - due to the fact that there are ancient ruins everywhere they dig - Rome's public transportation system is very efficient and allows you to travel just about anywhere in Rome in about forty-five minutes. Take advantage of all that Rome has to offer and you will quickly become comfortable and familiar with your environment and better understand Italian customs and culture. Be prepared for a wonderful adventure that brings you towards an understanding of Italy and its people, as well as a new understanding of yourself and your American heritage.

View of Castel Sant'Angelo and the Tiber River

Region and Population

Italy is divided into 20 regions, each with its own capital city. Rome is the capital city of the region of Lazio. It is also the political capital of Italy and is home of the Vatican City, the center of the Holy Roman Church.

Rome's population is approximately 3,000,000.


During winter months, heating in the apartments generally operates from 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. and then again in the evening from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. The hours in between heating are what you call "Roman room temperature," which is slightly warmer than the temperature outside. By Roman ordinance, heating systems are turned on by November 15th and turned off on March 15th every year.

Summer months can get hot, however air-conditioning is not as prevalent in Italy. While offices and stores are typically air-conditioned, most Italian homes and apartments are not. Keep cool the Italian way - during the day Italians traditionally keep their shutters and serande closed against the heat of the sun. In order to cool the apartment you might also consider buying a fan.

Average monthly highs and lows (degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall (inches) in Rome.

Avg. Rainfall1.491.471.

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Bonus Video

Check out what Rome is like!