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Cheap Right Now gives a snapshot of a cheap weekend getaway each month.

September in Rome is unmatched. The evenings are becoming cooler, making that glass of red wine on the cafe patio after dinner a little more inviting, but the days are still warm enough to encourage gelato indulgences. Harvest time gives way to festivals honoring the grape, and fall wines are becoming more prevalent. The tourist crowds of summer are subsiding and the Romans are returning from their holidays. Fall is in the air and the city is coming alive again.

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Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Plane, train or automobile: When visiting Rome, you’ll likely fly intothe Leonardo Da Vinci Roma – Fiumicino Airport. It’s 16 miles outside the city and connected to Rome by rail and by road. You can hop a train, grab a taxi (make sure it has a meter or it could be a scam) or grab a bus, but the cheapest option is the Terravision bus. It departs from Terminal 3, costs 4 euros one way and will deposit you at Rome’s Termini Station near the city center. If you are coming into Rome from another city, take a train into Termini and see the countryside. It should be beautiful as summer nears its end. 

Courtesy of Giovanni.

Courtesy of Giovanni.

Cheap local transit: Once you get into Rome, your cheapest and best mode of transportation is going to be your feet. There is history literally everywhere, and you won’t want to miss a single step of it. Take your time traversing the city and soak in all the sights, sounds and delicious smells wafting out of every cafe and restaurant you pass. If your feet can’t take it any longer, you can resort to Roma Bike Share, but the system has largely been viewed as a failure, according to many reports. If your budget allows it, swing by a bike or scooter rental shop to see the city like a true Roman.

 

Courtesy of Maria Eklind.

Courtesy of Maria Eklind.

Wander with wine: If you’re doing Rome right, there will rarely be a moment when you don’t have either a cup of gelato or glass of wine in your hand. It’s no secret that the wine in Italy is unmatched, but there’s another key fact that makes Roman drinking so great: it’s cheap. Indulge in a carafe of house wine during your meals to experience different standards. Indulge in a bottle, some burrata and people watching one afternoon for a cheap lesson on life in Roma.

Spanish Steps at night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Spanish Steps at night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Take a free tour: Multiple companies operate in the city that give free tours of the city. They’re given in English, last about two hours, and dish out history on some of the more famous landmarks—such as the Spanish steps and Trevi Fountain—but also take you through unassuming alleys and buildings chock full of history. Go online to book or swing into one of the local travel agents once you arrive in town to find out a start time and location and just show up. Maybe your tour guide can point you toward his favorite nearby pizza spot. 

Sagra dell'uva 2012. Courtesy of Brunifia.

Sagra dell’uva 2012. Courtesy of Brunifia.

Foray in the forum: Each September, Sagra dell’uva is held in the Basilica of Constantine in the Forum. It’s a festival honoring the grape, and an honor it deserves, as all the delicious wine offerings will quickly remind you. There are bushels of grapes for sale for those wishing to make their own, and plenty of samplings for others who don’t want to wait that long.

 

Trevi Fountain by night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Trevi Fountain by night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Tango with the Trevi: Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and it is said you will return to Rome again soon. The fountain lies at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of an aqueduct that supplied water to ancient Rome. Legend has it that a young girl led thirsty Roman soldiers there for a drink in 19 B.C. It is that scene depicted in stone on the fountain. The only cost you’ll incur enjoying thefountain is the coin you threw into its waters. Tip: Get some gelato from a nearby store and enjoy it by the fountain.

View of Saint Peter's Square from the dome of the basilica. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

View of Saint Peter’s Square from the dome of the basilica. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

 Stroll through the square: Saint Peter’s Square, or Piazza San Pietro, expands in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It’s where people often gather when the Pope speaks, and it’s especially beautiful at night. Grab a bird’s-eye view of the piazza from the top of the dome of the basilica.

 

Courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon.

Courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon.

Partake in pasta: It goes without saying that some of the best food in the world can be found in Rome. Any cafe or restaurant will do, but for the authentic tastes that go beyond stereotypical spaghettis and run-of-the-mill rigatonis, go off the main streets. Duck into an assuming cafe off an alley and experience the way Italians really eat, not just the things they make for tourists. Eating off the beaten path will keep the prices lower, too.

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Tagged: Cheap of the Month, Cheap Tips, City, Family, Festivals, Food & drink, Holidays, International, Last minute travel, Seasonal

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