If you chose Italy as your next destination, you made a very good choice! Italy is famous for its wonderful cities, good food and a vivid lifestyle. Rome and Milan are the favourite destinations for people from many countries but the question is: which one is the best? Milan, the capital of fashion and important economic centre, or the ancient and charming Rome?
Here are a few reasons why you should choose the Capital!
Rome is known all over the world as one of the most beautiful cities for its ancient monuments and the evocative atmosphere. You can walk along “Fori Imperiali” to visit Colosseum and easily imagine the Roman times. On the other side, if you’re a fan of the Renaissance, “Basilica of Saint Peter” or “Sistine Chapel” should definitely be on your list. It is impossible to list all the number of town attractions and museums so we suggest seeing for yourself!
Rome and Milan are known to be expensive cities but the first offers make it a little easier to live on a student budget. Accommodation, restaurants and also public transport is cheaper. For example, a general ticket in Rome costs 1,50€, and you can take the subway, buses and tram to go wherever you want. Rome only has one zone, unlike Milan. In the capital of fashion you find tickets at different prices depending on the zone.. Regarding accommodation , you can find cheaper solutions in Rome if you choose a zone a little further from the centre but always close to a subway stop.
The Capital is located in the centre of the peninsula so it is a good starting point if you want to visit the main cities of the south and the north of Italy. If you have a sudden craving for pizza you can reach Naples, in the south, in an hour by train from Rome main stations like Termini and Tiburtina. That’s the same amount of time it takes to reach Florence, in the nord. If you want to visit meridional regions it is for sure more convenient to start from Rome, as well.. Want to travel outside of Italy? Civitavecchia Port is 80 km away from Rome and has ferries to Sardinia, Sicily and Spain amongst destinations. If you chose Milan, the closest port is in Genoa and that’s 150km away!
It isn’t a secret that Roman citizens are known to be cheerful and welcoming with everyone. It’s simple to meet new people and to make friends. If you go to a bar, restaurant or meeting point it is easy to approach strangers because people are generally friendly. Many students of La Sapienza University usually meet in Bologna square, to take a “spritz”after lessons especially during warmer months. Roma Trestudents do the same near Basilica San Paolo. Milan citizens are more reserved and serious, Romans are more relaxed and they know how to have fun!
When you want to spend your free time outdoors, go for a swim and sunbathe nothing is better than the seaside. Rome is located near the coast, which is easily reachable. Ostia (about 30 km away), very frequented during the weekends. Anzio (50 km away), is ideal if you want to relax. Fregene, famous for its summer discos and aperitifs on the beach (“Singita”and “Blanco”are the best). Also other other zones, like and Sperlonga, famous for the clean water.
Ostia is the most accessible by public transport. You can take a train from Piramide MB or Magliana station. Get off at “Stella Polare”station, the closest to the beach. In front of the station there is a bus stop if you want to take a bus to reach the seaside.
Rome is known for its culinary tradition! You can’t live without trying Carbonara, Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe, Gricia and other typical dishes of this city. If you want to eat a good dish of pasta or high quality food we suggest you to try Trattoria. A small restaurant, usually modest and unassuming, where you can eat big portions of great food with a good bang for your buck. We will tell you a secret, old trattorias are the best ones, especially restaurants located in little alleys of Trastevere district, Testaccio and Garbatella!
The climate factor must be considered to judge liveability of a city and Rome has pleasant weather. The winter is short and mild, without excessive cold or much rain. It is usual to find sunny days also during the coldest months. Spring and summer are the best periods even if summer months are usually too warm.
Milan climate is totally different, winter is long and it often rains; you can forget the sun during winter, the city is generally “grey”.
We hope we have convinced you Rome is the best choice to do your Erasmus ! The “eternal city” is fascinating and unique even if the transport system is a bit chaotic. The good thing about this is that you’ll have to walk around and discover the city on foot, which is always the best option to get to know a new place.Thanks for reading this post ! If you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.