5 Rome Tips: Our Best Rome Travel Tips For A Great Vacation

5 Rome Tips: Our Best Rome Travel Tips For A Great Vacation

Planning a trip to Rome? Make the most out of your vacation and do your research before you leave. We’ve been living and working in Rome for over 10 years and all of tour guides are local too. Here are our 10 best tips about traveling in Rome to make your next trip the most exciting vacation of your life!

1) Wear Comfortable Shoes

OK, OK – we know this doesn’t sound exciting but it’s an absolute must. Rome is incredibly busy throughout the year and sometimes it’s quicker to walk somewhere than wait on public transport. A good pair of comfortable shoes will make it easier to spend most of the day walking – browsing the stylish boutiques, wandering from cafe to cafe or enjoying the amazing relics to Ancient Rome in person. You don’t want to waste a magical trip to the Eternal City being distracted by sore feet!

2) Carry a Water Bottle & Fill Up at Nasoni

The Ancient Romans were famous for (among other things) bringing clean water supplies to housing, public baths and fountains via intricate engineering feats and aqueducts. The nasoni keep this tradition alive and kicking throughout Rome – you’ll find these striking drinking fountains from the 1800s providing clean drinking water for modern citizens all over the city. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and keep hydrated through the sweltering Rome heat at no extra cost.

Fun Fact: Nasoni is a play on the Italian word for nose – so prepare to get your fresh water from these ‘Large Noses’!

3) The Best Season To Visit Rome is The Shoulder Season

OK, we’re bias, we think Rome is beautiful 365 days a year! For visitors, things can be a little overcrowded and overheated in the summer months. Well, Rome is absolutely packed with visitors from the end of May, June, July, August and the beginning of September. Add to this the exhausting heat that settles in the city for these months and you’ve got a potent combination. The best time to visit Rome is the end of March/beginning of April (avoid Easter while you’re booking this) or the last week of September/month of October. This way, you get to enjoy Rome’s undeniable charm without the hassle of thousands of other visitors or the excessive heat.

4) Use Public Transit The Right Way

Rome’s public transport situation isn’t too bad (but isn’t too great either!). If you’re traveling by bus, make sure to stock up on tickets before you get on the bus (at news stands, corner shops and bus stops) as you can’t actually buy them on the bus. Keep in mind that rush hour can bring the city to a standstill – including the buses. Sometimes it’s quicker to jump off the bus and walk to another bus stop or finish your journey on foot.

5) See The Best Parts Of The City With A Tour Guide

Visiting Rome can feel daunting – choosing what to see, what to skip and what to do can feel like a monumental task. By securing a place on a guided tour of Rome, you get a greater insight into the city, it’s history and it’s previous inhabitants. Real Rome Tours always includes skip-the-line tickets to the most popular attractions in all of our tours – meaning you can see the best of Rome without the wait.


    Five Things To Never Do In Rome

    Five Things To Never Do In Rome

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Many visitors to Rome experience a bit of culture shock – Italy isn’t like their favorite TV show portrayed it to be! If you want to avoid nasty hand gestures or awkward sniggering, avoid doing these five things on your trip to Rome.

    1. Don’t Take a Photo With a Fake Gladiator At The Colosseum

    It might sound like a great opportunity to take a photo that will always remind you of your amazing stay in Italy’s capital, but beware the flashy fake gladiators at the front of the Colosseum! Despite their detailed costumes, they’re notorious for hassling tourists and being incredibly aggressive to get money out of visitors. Be wary of seemingly friendly ‘gladiators’ offering to take your photo for you – they have been known to demand money to return tourists’ cameras. Some even pose in unsuspecting tourists’ photos and demand payment afterwards. What they’re doing is illegal but it’s a difficult scam to stop, especially in the height of the summer season.

    2. Don’t Wear Short Shorts and a Bikini Top To The Vatican

    Summers can be absolutely sweltering in Rome – especially standing in line for hours under the hot sun. There’s nothing like wandering through the cobblestone streets in something lightweight and breezy. But beware – there’s a strict dress code at all religious sites in Rome (and there’s a lot of them!). Visitors to churches, crypts and the Vatican should choose respectful, modest clothing for their visit. Keep shoulders and knees covered (this is for both men and women) or risk being refused entry.

    3. Don’t Go Selfie-Crazy In The Museums

    Generally museums around the world don’t allow flash photography inside their premises, due to the flashes damaging the priceless works of art on display. This rule is enforced within the Sistine Chapel above the normal level. Due to extensive (and pricey!) restoration work undertaken in the 80s, the Vatican sold exclusive photography and videography rights to a TV network in Japan. Despite the deal expiring many years ago, they’ve kept the ban on amateur photography. As to be expected, there are plenty of photos, books and souvenirs to browse through in the gift shop – so you can always pay a little bit extra for professional photography of Michelangelo’s masterpieces.

    4. Don’t Order A Cappuccino After Breakfast and Don’t Even Think About A Vanilla Latte!

    Italians are notoriously passionate about their coffee. Forget ordering a Triple Venti Half Sweet Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato. In Italy, it’s believed that milk will interfere with the digestion of your main meals if enjoyed after breakfast. You’ll get away with ordering a cappuccino with your breakfast but after 11am, you’re going to get some funny looks for ordering anything milky. As for those special orders from your local coffee chain – forget it. Vanilla/hazelnut/flavored lattes aren’t on the menu in Italian coffee bars.

    Pro Tip: Most Italians drink coffee standing at the bar. If you want to sit down, it will cost 20-50% more to have waiter service. Don’t try to skip the fee by ordering at the bar and seating yourself – you’ll be met with an unhappy cafe owner!

    5. Don’t Say “Ciao” To Everyone

    The first word everyone learns in Italian is Ciao. It’s short, it’s simple, it’s sweet. It’s also incredibly informal and usually only used by close friends, kids or family. It’s not like the English ‘hi’, it’s more like a ‘yo’ or a ‘hey’ – best used sparingly among those nearest and dearest to you! Want to be friendly (and appropriate) to those you meet everyday? Try a more respectable ‘buon giorno’ or ‘buona sera’

    And there you have it! Avoid these common social faux pas on your visit to Rome and you should do well. To see Rome with a real local, book in with one of our professional tour guides and get a taste of the real Rome!


      How To Make The Most Out Of One Day In Rome

      How To Make The Most Out Of One Day In Rome

      Iconic, romantic and timeless, there’s so much to see in The Eternal City it’s hard to choose just one day’s worth of sights to see! Whether your visiting Rome for the history, the art, the food or the nightlife, you’ll be kept mesmerized and entertained.

      One Day Itinerary for Rome

      There’s a few absolute must-do things all visitors to Rome should experience! These include:

      • Visit the Vatican: You’ll need to start early to beat the crowds and it’s best to buy your tickets online in advance (queues are known to be in excess of two hours otherwise!). You can admire the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and the Belvedere Courtyard.
      • St. Peter’s Basilica: Be stunned by Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s baldachin at the largest church in the world and the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture
      • Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps (yes, there’s 135 steps!) are a great place to take a seat, sample some local gelato and watch the world go by.
      • Trevi Fountain: Throw a coin in the iconic Trevi and legend has it that one day you’ll return to Rome. Featured in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, the fountain was built in 1732 and shows Oceanus and his seahorses.
      • The Pantheon: The Pantheon is the oldest-surviving temple from Imperial Rome, standing un-touched for over 18 centuries.
      • Villa Borghese: Absolutely gorgeous, this sixteenth century villa now houses the world-famous gallery Borghese. Featuring works from Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, Canova and others.
      • Roman Forum and Colosseum: Simply iconic.

      Fancy something a bit more unusual Try these off the beaten track sights to see:

      • Trastevere: A picturesque medieval area, Trastevere is the 13th, and one of the oldest, districts of Rome. The heart of Trastevere is Piazza di Santa Maria, a pedestrianized square piazza lined with restaurants, bars, faded palazzi and the church of Santa Maria. Despite being in the center of Rome, it has a beautiful small village feel to it.
      • The Jewish Ghetto: The ghetto of Rome was a Jewish ghetto established in 1555 in the Sant’Angelo district. It’s a hidden pearl between the Tiber river and Venice Square and is a vital cultural reference point for the entire Jewish community.
      • Basilica of The Holy Cross in Jerusalem (in the Esquilino quarter, not Jerusalem!): Consecrated in 325, the original chapel on the site was built to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ, which were brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. Originally, the chapel’s floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, hence the name!
      • Case Romane: These houses contain more than four centuries of history. The frescoed rooms were originally shops but were transformed during the 3rd century AD into an elegant upper class residence. Within the rooms, you can admire some of the most beautiful frescoes of Late Antiquity.

      They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you sure can see a lot of it in one!

      If you’d like to pack as much in as possible and learn the fascinating history surrounding all these sights, consider booking in for our most popular tour: Rome In A Day Private Tour.