THINGS TO DO IN ROME

Soccer matches

There is no better place to experience the passion of the Italian people than the stadio. From September until late May, you can catch one of the city’s two teams, Roma and Lazio, playing nearly every weekend at the Stadio Olimpico (usually Sundays at 3pm, but big games are often played Saturday or Sunday at 8:30pm). Tickets range in price from ¤15-¤95 and can be purchased at the Lottomatica (lottery centres), at one of the many Roma or Lazio stores around the city, or at the stadium – from the box office or from the bagarini (scalpers). The cheapest and most lively seats-think coloured flares, deafening cheers, flying sandwiches-are in the curva section of the stadium. Romanisti (yellow and red) are in the curva sud, Laziali (white and light blue) in the curva nord. Roma and Lazio fans are arch-enemies, so you must choose one team and remain faithful to that team for life. Inexpensive team scarves are available from vendors outside the stadium. Going to the stadium is not dangerous, but when the home team scores, prepare to be tackled, hugged, or kissed by complete strangers. To get to the Stadio Olimpico take Metro A to Flaminio, then Tram 225 to Piazza Mancini and follow the crowds across the bridge to the stadium. You can also take Metro A to Ottaviano and then bus 32 up to the stadium, but you’ll encounter more traffic.

 

Flea markets

Open on Sundays only, from sunrise to 2pm, Porta Portese is a Roman institution and perhaps the longest market you will ever see. It has everything, both new and old: clothes, shoes, leather, bric-a-brac, carnivorous plants, kittens, and old taps. To skip half a kilometre of the junkier stalls, we recommend you arrive at Via Ippolito Nievo (where there is still a lot of junk). Try to get there before 9am to avoid the worst crowds. To get here from Termini, catch bus 40 Express or 64 to Largo Argentina, then Tram 8 to Piazza Ippolito Nievo. From the Vatican area, catch bus 23 from Piazza Risorgimento, get off at Piazza G.G. Belli (Ponte Garibaldi), then pick up Tram 8. The market at Via Sannio has mainly clothing and shoes, new and used. It is open Mon-Sat 8:30am-1:30pm. Metro A: San Giovanni.

 

Puppet theatre … for when the smaller kids can’t bear to look at one more ruin or church.

Besides supplying one of Rome’s most spectacular views, the Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo–bus 115 or 870) also plays hosts to the Teatro di Pulcinella, an open-air puppet theatre. Here, from 4pm-7pm daily, and from 10:30am-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays, you can join excited children in these free productions (a small donation is expected). The Janiculum cannon is also sounded every day at noon – warn the kiddies.