Rome is the famous city built upon seven hills, built, as the myth goes, by Romus and Remus, the birthplace of the Roman Empire. But many of the guidebooks promise and suggest the same old thing: to take in the sights, to eat a pizza, to visit the Vatican. Every single one of these things is a must, but there is a different side to Rome that many tourists don’t appreciate.

There is a side to Rome that offers the sea, a side that offers delicious food without have to compete with hundreds of tourists to get a seat, a side of Rome, that if you just read you guidebooks, won’t see you sharing an elevator with a lion as you are transported up to the Coliseum. So bear our advice in mind and you’ll be able to come back having not just tramped around Rome for a week, having done something so much more satisfying than eating cold expensive pizza in the baking hot streets.

Eurogarden Hotel Rome, on Salita di Castel Giubileo offers cheap rates and isn’t so far from the city as to be a problem. Plus, being a little way out of the city, you get to experience some of Italy’s countryside while spending the days in its streets.

But if you’re looking for a cheaper option then the Hotel Lella offers rooms from just £14 per night, which will give you more money to spend taking in Rome’s sights, food, and wine.

You may think it’s pizza that you’d eat ‘When in Rome,’ but if you’re eager to do as the Romans do, you’d be better off with a pasta dish. There are so many places doing pizza, and only the very best do pizza well, but you’ll find a thousands terrific pasta joints such as at Ditirambo. Ditirambo is a tiny restaurant that has kept its authenticity and traditionally atmosphere.

It serves as a speciality, a terrific pasta dish, which is stuffed with sheep’s cheese, but the fondue is also very done. With costs averaging at €30 per person, it’s not cheap, but compared to Rome it’s a good price, and the wine isn’t so expensive, so that more than makes up for it. That is until you see the desserts, and you’ll immediately have to break the bank

Riding around Rome on a Vespa is a must. It’s how many of the young urban-types get around, but it’s certainly not something for the faint-hearted — Rome is notoriously busy and plagued with traffic problems, but that’s just part of the city’s charms. Plus, a Vespa will allow you to get seriously lost — a must for anyone keen to really get to know the city.

The brand-spanking new must-see that the guide-books are probably not updated fast enough to include in their tours is the “3D Rewind Rome Virtual Museum” which enables visitors to Rome who which to enjoy a little of Rome’s incredible history to take a multi-media voyage into Rome’s history. Some visitors have remarked that being in a lift that takes animals up to the Coliseum — to fight the gladiators — is simply too frightening.

When in Rome, you’ll easily forget, amid so much history and good food and terrific cheap wine, that the city is on a coast. But just as Barcelona’s tourists often miss the terrific beaches in southern Spain, visitors to Rome similarly miss the beautiful beach.

After days of wander around the City of Light, get some sunshine by taking a train from Rome out to Santa Marinella. You’ll be able to sample the sort of seafood that’s just not so fresh (or so cheap of course) as in Rome, plus you can cool have an have an unusual experience that most tourists to Rome would completely miss.

Avoid the height of summer, and choose and late summer season holiday — just as it starts to get cool at home, Rome remains hot, and with the locals back in town, you’ll be able to experience the place as locals experience it — rather than with a hundred thousands tourists marching through sweltering streets trying to catch a glimpse of authentic Rome.