From LAX, Alitalia offers nonstop service to Rome. Delta, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and US Air offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $836.
To call the numbers listed below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 39-06 (country and city codes) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Bramante, 24 Vicolo delle Palline; 68-80-64-26, www.hotelbramante.com. Small, tasteful hotel about halfway between Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's; doubles $225 and up, including breakfast.
Hotel la Rovere, 4-5 Vicolo di Sant'Onofrio, 68-80-67-39, www.hotellarovere.com. Tucked on the flank of the Janiculum Hill just south of St. Peter's. It has quiet rooms, some with private terraces; doubles start at $248, including breakfast.
Residenza Paolo VI, 29 Via Paolo VI, 68-48-75-00, www.vaticanaccommodations.com. A sister hotel to the nearby Palazzo Cardinal Cesi and steps from the Bernini colonnade around the Piazza of St. Peter's. It has elegant rooms and a terrace bar with an incredible view of Vatican City; doubles start at $345, including breakfast.
WHERE TO EAT
Touristy restaurants and cafes line Borgo Pio from the Vatican east to the Tiber River, but the area is not known for cuisine. One exception is Sor'Eva, 108 Piazza della Rovere, 68-75-797, a small, no-nonsense trattoria with terrific pasta and other Roman specialties; two courses, about $30.
TO LEARN MORE
General information about visiting Vatican City is available at www.vatican.va. Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums-Sistine Chapel tours: 69-88-46-76, Scavi tour: 69-88-53-18.
Italian Government Tourist Board, (310) 820-0098, www.italiantourism.com.