Piazza Navona, Rome. Photo credit: Italian State Tourist Board.
Amanda Ruggeri wrote this guest post on green travel in Rome.
Ruggeri is the writer behind Revealed Rome, a blog featuring tips, tricks and things not to miss in the Eternal City. She also blogs for Walks of Italy, a responsible travel company that offers walking tours, day trips and authentic experiences across Italy.
Rome is a city that boasts ancient ruins next to hip boutiques and new local-food initiatives alongside age-old artisans’ shops.
There are tons of ways for travelers to support what makes Rome so unique.
Luxury boutique hotel The Inn At The Spanish Steps. Photo credit: The Inn At The Spanish Steps.
Here are some tips for traveling greener, and more sustainably, in the Eternal City:
SLEEP: Check out one of Rome’s hundreds of private boutique hotels like The Inn At The Spanish Steps (above) or B&Bs. One favorite is the Guesthouse Arco de’ Tolomei, where the owners have outfitted the medieval palazzo’s six homey rooms with their family’s antique furniture. For budget travelers, The Beehive Hotel, a mixed budget hotel and hostel, is a great “green” option: Think organic and locally-sourced breakfast, cleaning with all natural products, and yoga and massage.
A Roman artichoke, one of the best dishes you can order in Rome… as long as it’s in season! Photo credit: Amanda Ruggeri.
EAT: Ideally, Italian food is fresh, local, and in season—and that’s not only the best for your taste buds, but for the environment and local farmers, too. Support that system by shopping at farmers’ markets, not grocery stores, and by knowing what’s in season and when. For example, Roman artichokes (above) are in season from February to May only. Two restaurants that serve only seasonal, local ingredients are Palatium, a restaurant and wine bar run by the Lazio Regional Food Authority, and Urbana 47, which also serves many organic and free range foods.
One of Rome’s most popular and largest parks is the Villa Borghese. Photo credit: Amanda Ruggeri.
PARKS: The Villa Borghese (above), Rome’s answer to New York’s Central Park, isn’t just a gorgeous green space—it’s also chock-full of things to do. Check out the Villa Giulia, a museum filled with amazing Etruscan finds. And don’t forget to book to see the Galleria Borghese, one of the best art museums in Rome.
SHOP: Want to support local artisans? Vote in the most fun way possible: with your wallet. Shop at stores like leather workshop Armando Rioda, which has handcrafted goods since 1949, or the Cotton Club where artisans make jewelry for excellent prices. Foodies should look no further than the Mercato di Campagna Amica di Circo Massimo, which sells only local cheeses, jams, olive oils, and other goodies directly from the farmers.
GET AROUND: Walking is the number one way to take in Rome’s centro storico. If you can brave the traffic, you can also rent a bike through the city’s bike sharing scheme. (Be warned: in the Rome traffic, walking is the safer option!). When you have to move faster, the metro is fast and relatively reliable. Rome also has a plethora of buses: the #3 is a great way to get to some of Rome’s best restaurants, while the #571, #46 and #64 all zip from Rome’s center to the Vatican. Or opt for one of the short electric buses (the #117 zips around San Giovanni in Laterano, the Colosseum, and the Spanish Steps), or a tram.
Read more Green Guides.