Rome changed my whole life! With a total of 9 visits to the Eternal City since 2015, I have explored so much about the magical capital city of Italy. Rome is amazing, rich in history, culture, arts, and amazing architecture! A place that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime! Speaking of which, here are the most important things to know before visiting Rome, Italy!
Things to know before visiting Rome, Italy
So, if you’re preparing for a trip to Rome, you might want to get some information before hitting the road! Within these things to know before visiting Rome, there are some highlights that might surprise you and might trigger a negative reaction. Italy is a very popular tourist destination, and since Rome is one of the main attractions in the country, you can rest assured that people in Rome are very much prepared when it comes to tourism! So without further due, here are the 8 things to know before visiting Rome, Italy!
1. Taxi – fare prices
As in each big city, a taxi ride can be very expensive in Rome. If you want to save some money, especially if you’re on a budget trip, choose public transport! The fares vary around the days of the week. The normal start tariff is €4,00 and on Sundays €6,00. The price/km is about €1,50 and if the distance isn’t big, the traffic can bring up that price easily! There are places in Italy where taxi costs much more than Rome, such as in Sardinia, but anywhere you go, in and outside of Rome, the below story is always to remember!
My first experience with a taxi in Rome
Back in 2017, I’ve been to Rome with my friend. After a very long day, she wanted to take a taxi instead of waiting for a night bus. When we got to the taxi stand, we found a single cab there. I asked the driver in Italian if he can take us to the hotel? He told me he just finished working (yeees, sure…) so he can’t put the taximeter, and he will charge €25,00 for the ride. I knew he’s overcharging us but my friend was insisting to take the deal. The next day I asked my Roman friends, about the fares and it turned out that I was right. We paid €15,00 more than we should’ve.
So that’s it… If you really need to take a cab, always tell the driver to turn on the taximeter! Don’t allow yourself to be fooled! This is the first essential of the things you need to know before visiting Rome, be aware of scammers!
I have used cabs many times since, and I’ve paid usually between €8,00 and €16,00, depending on the ride. But each time, I knew exactly what to watch out for, not as the first time! Let’s see some more things to know before visiting Rome, Italy!
2. Food and beverage – The unreal Roman dishes
Each Roman neighborhood has numerous bars, restaurants, and pubs. One of the most popular in the area of Piazza Navona, then the Trastevere neighborhood when it comes to eating in Rome! Now, here are some things to know before visiting Rome, Italy!
Never go to places where you can’t see at least 1-2 people eating. This is a rule all around Italy! But, also, try to avoid the crowded hotspots in Rome, such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, Piazza Venezia, or Piazza Navona. It’s not that touristy places wouldn’t do great food, and maybe for the views, you’d want to stop by too! However, the best places to eat in Rome are always the local places where Italians go to eat!
As Italians love to eat, you will actually be overwhelmed by the restaurants in Rome. If you want to take one of my favorite restaurants in Rome, take this:
Have a look at my TOP FAVORITE RESTAURANTS in the area of Piazza Navona! These places are super nice, clean, serve real Roman food, and that food is amazing! However, even these places are a bit tourist-focused, I’m telling you right now! But the food is spectacular and the prices are absolutely fine too!
If there’s one thing I’d highlight for food and things to know before visiting Rome, then I’d say to look for taverna and osteria type of restaurants. These are usually where locals go to eat!
3. Street Vendors – IGNORE THEM
Street vendors in Rome are very annoying and sometimes very stressful. Be prepared for them! Another important highlight of the things to know before visiting Rome, Italy is to keep yourself away from street vendors. If you engage with them, they will keep pushing you to buy their products, and some of them are very aggressive too!
The best thing to do when you see a vendor is to not look at him, try to avoid him! If you see one when you’re sitting on a terrace, ask the waiter to not let him come to your table. If they assault you to sell something, without thinking say NO GRAZIE (no thank you) and walk away. You will still meet some who will still try to approach, but it’s still better if there are just a few than all of them, right? Let’s see the other things to know before visiting Rome, shall we?
4. Transport vs walking – things to know before visiting Rome, Italy
Rome is beautiful, especially in the historic center of the city! There are so many things to see and do, and so many places to explore! If you need a Rome itinerary to know all the best things to do in Rome, check out my 3 day Rome itinerary for some tips!
You can see numerous fantastic buildings, fountains, street artists, and breathtaking spots! If you’re taking a bus or subway every time you want to get from one place to another, you will miss out so much, and you’ll never experience and discover the real vibes of this magnificent city!
Make a plan, open the map, and hit the roads! Believe me, you’ll be grateful if you’ll spend your time wandering around and walking, as you’ll discover so much more! A little tip here: You can use my Rome eGuide to plan your day-to-day walking tours!
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5. Footwear! Essential tips for Rome!
This is one of the most important things to know before visiting Rome, Italy. Pick your shoes wisely!
Not just because of the many miles of walking – however, that can be really painful on its own-, but because in Rome most streets are covered with cobblestones, and walking on them all day long can be a real nightmare!
I learned this the hard way on my first trip there… Now, I’m always wearing comfortable shoes, and I’m always trying to find places where I can sit down and rest from time to time.
On my first holiday there, I didn’t care about this, and I ended up every day with my legs being in so much pain, that I had to cut my tours shorter. I couldn’t walk after a while and I missed seeing so many things because of it. So since this happened, shoe choices are the top factors in the packing stage before visiting Rome.
6. Planning out your trip before visiting Rome
If you choose Rome for a city break of 3-7 days, before going, remember to make a plan! Research everything that you want to see or try. Get a map and make a daily plan of when and where you want to go. As I have mentioned, you can always check out my 3 day Rome itinerary for some ideas!
Even if Rome is not that big as London, or New York, there are plenty of places to see, plenty of things to do, and without a plan, it’s easy to skip many important sites. Since Rome is like a museum, there’s something to explore on every corner, so you won’t be bored while walking around the city!
And with this, let’s see my last highlights of the things to know before visiting Rome, Italy!
7. Tips for Rome: Skip the long lines at the attractions
Here is another important factor to know before visiting Rome! If you’re not prepared, you might end up spending hours in lines to finally enter to places like Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican museum, or the Saint Peter’s basilica.
How to skip the lines in Rome the cheapest way?
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First, if you have on your list the Vatican Museums, then you can book and buy your tickets online here. By buying it online, you will save money and at least 3 hours in line. Colosseum and Forum Romanum? You can buy your ticket online here.
Everything else which has free entrance: Just make sure to get there early!
8. You’ll need a map in Rome!
And here’s my last highlight for the things to know before visiting Rome, Italy! Rome has a pretty confusing street network in the historic center. These streets are narrow, very old, very beautiful, aaaand you can get lost anywhere in seconds! One of my most important tips for Rome is to have a map!
Getting lost in Rome is fun, and I did it many times, in this way, I found many hidden beauties. But, if you have a long TO-DO list, and limited time to visit everything, then you need a map! You can still get lost easily, even with a map! Don’t worry if that happens, just ask someone for the advice! People in Rome are very friendly and helpful.
Before you go
So now that we went through all the major things to know before visiting Rome, let’s see another essential!
When I wasn’t speaking Italian, I started to use many different apps to help me communicate. One of these apps, that I’ll keep using in the future too, is the Italian Translator Dictionary + by Vidalingua. I do speak the language now, but there are every day new words, and the app dictionary comes really handy!
To help you too in communication, you can download Vidalingua’s apps for free!
Conclusion about things to know before visiting Rome, Italy
Again, the most important: shoe choices! Then, make a plan and use your map! Also, don’t forget about transportation!
Keep in mind to avoid the street vendors, and to look around before buying food!
To get some more information about the Italian capital, visit this article about Rome, the Eternal City. There are about 10 articles linked to all the great places to see, explore, restaurants, accommodations, cultural insights, and more.
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