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Explore Rome in a motorhome rental
Welcome to Rome, one of the most historically important cities in the world and a great place to start your motorhome hire holiday in Italy. Italy’s capital is home to iconic attractions such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon, as well as more than 2.6 million people. Once you’ve toured the ancient sites within the city, don’t forget about the countless others dotted around Italy that you can see in your own time with a motorhome hire from Rome.
What you need to know about campervan rental Rome
Places to see with your Rome motorhome hire
The Chianti Wine Route winds its way from Siena to Florence, passing quaint towns, medieval castles and plenty of vineyards. You could pass through it in a day making stops at many of the cellar doors for tastings and driving breaks.
Florence is only three hours north of Rome, and is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city is lavishly decorated with works of art, such as the Florence Cathedral, the Ponte Vecchio, and Michelangelo’s David.
If you’re after the classic photo of you holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you’ll need to drive four hours to Pisa. While you’re there, check out the other fantastic sites such as the Museum of the Ancient Boats, the Arno Promenade and the Baptistery.
The Amalfi Coast is 3.5 hours from Rome, and a stunning mix of dazzling blue waters, bright houses and rugged cliffs, so it’s a stop on the tour you can’t miss. There are many walking and boating tours you can take, or simply drive and walk in your own time.
Almost five hours southeast of Rome is a prehistoric city built directly into the rock. It’s known as the Sassi Di Matera and is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, dating back to the Palaeolithic era.
Also five hours south of Rome is Trulli de Alberobello, a small town built with many beautiful examples of trulli, a mortarless prehistoric construction style using limestone. You only need to walk through these streets to feel like you’re in a different world, just remember that these trulli are occupied.
Head underground at the Frasassi Caves three hours northeast of Rome to see a remarkable display of stalagmites and stalactites. The system was only discovered in 1971, but you can now take a 75-minute guided walk through them to see the formations lit up with dramatic lighting.
Best times of year to rent a motorhome in Rome
The weather in Rome is quite agreeable throughout the year.
Summer, from June to August, can be quite hot and humid, with daily highs from 80 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall can be a great time to visit as temperatures hover in the 50s.
Winter arrives in December but almost never drops below freezing with daily averages of around 46 degrees Fahrenheit. It warms up again in spring, which is a fantastic time to visit as it is generally less busy.
The dream camping destination of Rome
For a very long time Rome was the capital of the world. The seat of papal power; centre of the formidable Roman Empire; one of the world’s great art cities. But there’s more to Rome than history, fine art and great food. It’s a modern metropolitan, with beautiful piazzas to relax and people watch. And if all roads lead to Rome, then it shouldn’t be hard to find your way in a camper.
Where to stay
For excellent facilities as close to the city as you can get, stay at Village Roma. There’s a 2 Euro return shuttle bus to Vatican city and free WI-FI. There’s even a nice little restaurant with great atmosphere on site.
Camping Village Fabulous is to the south of the city and the food is delicious. With nice pools and all the facilities you’d expect, this is a great family camping spot. To get into the city without your camper, you'll need to get a bus to the nearest Metro station.
Camping Tiber is far enough from the centre of Rome that you’ll feel like you’re not in a big city, but close enough to do day trips. The campgrounds are beautiful, with flowers and greenery. Best of all, it’s very reasonably priced.
Eat as the Romans eat
Italian’s love their food and each district and city has its own speciality dishes. In Rome there are many foods you can’t find anywhere else, or just taste that much better.
These are the top five foods you must try in Rome:
- Pizza Bianca - Light foccacia style pizza bread. Head to Roscioli Bakery for some of the best in the city.
- Carbonara - While this is served the world over, no one quite does it like the Italians. Flavio al Velavevodetto has an amazing Carbonara with rigatoni in Testaccio
- Roman Style Pizza - Unlike Naples where the pizza is thick, Roman pizza has a super-thin crust and char around the edge. Nuovo Mondo or Pizzarium are two exceptional places to have a try.
- Quinto Quarto (offal) - It doesn’t sound appealing, but is one of the most popular foods in Rome. Try either the coda alla vaccinara – oxtail stewed for hours in a chocolate base; or la pajata – intestines served with a tomato-based sauce over rigatoni. Mordi e Vai at the Testaccio Market would be your best bet.
- Fritti - Anything fried: zucchini flowers, fish, rice balls. Of course these are not the healthiest of treats, but they’re surely delicious. Try the supplì – risotto bursting out of breaded, fried shells at 00100.
Rome has enough attractions to captivate you for days at a time, but there are many attractions a few hours away that should be part of your visit. Make for the beautiful island of Capri in the South. It will require a full day, but getting up early is worth it. It’s only a two-hour drive south to Naples and then a trip across the Gulf. Capri is ideal for people watching, or if you want a little more adventure head to the Blue Grotto, a cave that reveals a brilliant reflection of the emerald-coloured water.
Naples itself is a nice spot for a romantic trip to the opera, or a base to explore the archaeological wonders of Pompeii – where the catastrophic volcanic eruption of 79AD occurred. See what remains of the 2000-year-old shops and homes..
In the medieval town of Assisi you can explore Roman ruins and significant religious sites – in particular the Basilica of St. Francis. Italy’s patron saint lies here. The beautiful cathedral has exquisite architecture and walls embellished with stunning frescoes.
Gladiators and grandeur
The best way to see the city is to walk. Campo dei Fiori is the perfect place for a morning stroll, when the streets come alive with flowers and markets. Keep wandering up to Ponte Sisto and cross the Tiber River.
A hugely popular tourist attraction, the Colosseum was Ancient Rome's huge amphitheatre. Built between 70 and 82 AD as a venue for gladiatorial and wild animal fights, it is an impressive sight. Nearby you can visit the excavations on Palatine Hill, home to Roman emperors and aristocrats, also included with the Colosseum ticket.
The Pantheon is the best-preserved building of Ancient Rome. The sheer magnitude of the temple is humbling and the design is nothing short of spectacular. It does get busy, but is still worth making the effort to truly appreciate a building that's almost 2000 years old.
St Peter’s Basilica is one of the best places to visit. It’s a magnificent church and holds the tombs of many Popes. The Galleria Borghese is second only to the city itself as the best museum in Rome. Antiquities, the Renaissance and the beginnings of baroque art are all housed in only 20 rooms. You need to book, so it’s rarely crowded.
Via Condotti is a 100m stretch of cobbled road that has all of the best-known Italian designers. Via del Governo Vecchio, on the other side of downtown, has everything from fur to bathing suits. Grab a gelato from San Crispino on Via Panetteria and marvel at Trevi Fountain, completed in 1762. It’s the largest and most iconic fountain in the city. By tossing in a coin, you’ll ensure your return to Rome. Visit the catacombs of San Callist – a network of galleries about 12 miles long. This crypt holds half a million bodies and is somewhat macabre.
You simply can’t come to Rome without visiting the Vatican. From frescoes by Raphael and the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus to the famed Sistine Chapel, the museums house a comprehensive collection of artwork and historical pieces.
A southern European climate
While Rome is a beautiful city at any time of the year, if you’re worried a little rain could spoil your vacation, visit between June through August. The weather is hot and this is also the busiest season for tourists. Summer is ideal for sightseeing, al fresco dining and eating gelato, which is why so many travellers plan their motorhome trips in Italy during this time.
Picking up a motorhome in Rome
Pure Motorhomes and McRent RV Rental
Pure Motorhomes offers a full range of motorhomes for groups of any size travelling in Italy. The largest are six-berth options, which have all the comforts of a modern motorhome and are less than two years old. For groups of four looking to hire a motorhome in Rome, Pure offers both fully equipped RVs and a standard modern campervan that skips the extra features to keep costs down. The two-berth camper is the smallest hire option, with a tent feature if you need sleeping space for two extra. McRent’s smallest RV in Italy is the Group Compact Plus, a small motorhome fit for two adults and one child. The Group Compact Luxury sleeps three adults, and the Family Standard and Plus both sleep four adults, with the Plus allowing room for two kids as well. Larger groups can consider the Group Premium Plus, which has space for up to six adults. These two suppliers operate at Via Mario Sansone 15, which is 15 kilometres from the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, and 22 kilometres from Rome Airport. There are no transfers available to get you there so you’ll need to make your own way. The office is open on weekdays from 9am to 6pm, and drop offs run to 11am, while pick ups are scheduled between 3.30pm and 5pm. Don’t be late when returning your motorhome, as you will be charged 27€ per hour.
Spaceships is a brand known around the world for its bright orange and affordable campervans. The Rome depot is located at Via Tiberina, Km 1,400, which is about 21 kilometres north of the city. Spaceships doesn’t run a transfer service, so you’ll need to make your own way there. To do this, you can take the FC3 to the Prima Porta station then jump on the free shuttle that travels to and from Camping Tiber. Spaceships has a fleet of four simple vans to choose from. There’s the newest and most popular model, the two-berth VW camper car with cooking basics and minimum branding. The classic models are the Alpha 2 Berth and the newer Beta 2 Berth - the latter with side awning, ABS brakes, air bags and a dual side door. The largest campervan in the Spaceships fleet is the four-berth Voyager, a Ford Transit Custom with loads of room for small groups. None of these campers have bathroom facilities, so you’ll need to stay in campgrounds or caravan parks during your trip. Each hire comes with 24-hour roadside assistance, unlimited kilometres, no extra driver fees and standard third party insurance. Office hours are from 9am to 5pm daily.
Motorhomes Italy groups its fleet of RVs into A, B, C, and D. Group A is your standard motorhome with space for three or four people to sleep comfortably. Group B is comprised of six-berth coachbuilt RVs with rear bunks and small dinettes. Group C is also six-berth, but adds a little more comfort with a rear double bed rather than a bunk. Group D is the largest and most luxurious, with space for six or seven to sleep comfortably, and a double dinette. Group A and D are Ford Transit models, while B and C are Fiat Ducatos. The Motorhomes Italy Rome branch is found at Via G.L. Squarcialupo 50. The depot is open from 9.30am to 12.30 pm, then again between 3.30pm and 6.30pm, all on weekdays. If you need to pick up or drop off on a weekend or Bank Holiday, you can arrange this for a fee of 50€. Note there are no transfers offered to or from any airports or hotels.
Freedom Holiday campers is located Via Cristoforo Colombo n° 2339 KM 23,500. There are transfers available between the depot and Leonardo da Vinci International Airport during business hours of 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 1pm on Saturdays. While pick up times are from 4pm to 6pm and drop offs are made between 9am and 12.30pm, you can arrange another time for a fee of 50€. Freedom Holiday campers cover all sizes of motorhome, but even the smallest has all the features of a large RV. The two- to four- berth campervan is spacious, well-designed and has a kitchenette and bathroom, and there is an option for a four- to six- berth RV for groups who’d like more room. There is also the option for a large seven-berth motorhome, and another that has a small garage for storing equipment such as bikes, tents, and other outdoor activity gear. Option extra features for hire include GPS, bike racks and bikes, child seats, insurance and cleaning.
Van Italy Rentals
Van Italy offers three van hire options from Rome. There’s the Volkswagen Westfalia California, a standard van with bed space for four and no extra frills to keep the price down. There’s also a Mercedes Westfalia Marcopolo, and Carthago Malibu, both of which also sleep four and skip the added features. Note that with any of these hires, you’ll need to stay in campgrounds or caravan parks to use the kitchen and bathroom facilities. Van Italy includes unlimited kilometres and insurance on all rental vehicles. The Van Italy depot operates from Via Angelo Olivieri, 59\b, Lido di Ostia, which is only 10 kilometres from the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. There are no transfer services on offer so you’ll need to make your own way there. The office is open from 9.30am to 1pm, and from 4pm to 7pm Monday through Saturday, but is closed on Sundays and public holidays. If you need an after hours return, you may be able to arrange this through prior written agreement.
Big Sky Motorhomes
Big Sky motorhomes does not have a depot in Rome, so any pick ups and drop offs will likely happen at the airport where a company representative will meet you in the arrivals hall to talk you through your rental. If you prefer, you can arrange the pick up for a city location, such as a hotel. Normal hours of operation are between 10am and 1pm, and between 4pm and 6.30pm on weekdays, and from 10.30am to 1pm on Saturdays. If your flight gets in earlier or later than this, you may be able to arrange an out-of-hours pick up. Big Sky’s fleet of motorhomes includes everything from basic two-person vans to deluxe RVs. The Big Sky A is a van with a poptop that allows for two adults and two children to travel comfortably, while the Big Sky B is a standard van for two with a toilet and shower. From there, the motorhomes only get bigger and more luxurious. There are RVs for groups of four, five, six or seven, many of which are late model vehicles and all of which are fitted with modern features.
If you'd like to check out other countries, you may opt to pick up RV rental deals in Australia like Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne. It is also a good option to get motorhome rentals in New Zealand or USA. The choice is yours.