Rome, the Eternal City, the town that spawned the phrase “la dolce vita”, is one of the world’s most walked cities and for very good reason.
First off, it’s a history lover’s dream town, with ancient monuments standing tall as if frozen in time. Second, it’s a simply gorgeous city, full of charming lanes, ornate piazzas, sumptuous architecture and amazing food!
Rome is, of course, a tourist town, so that means there are going to be a few must-dos and must-don’ts when visiting: places to see, food to avoid, that kind of thing.
They all combine to make your trip even more magical, so let’s take a look at them below:
DO visit the top sites
Sure, you could go to Rome and live out your Audrey Hepburn fantasy, meandering down cobbled lanes as you make your way from cafe to restaurant to bar, but trust us – you do not want to miss out on Rome’s great sites.
Come on, it’s Rome! The city was once the centerpoint of an empire, the place that controlled much of the world at one stage. So, even if you’re not the biggest history buff going around, surely you don’t want to miss the stunning grandeur of Rome’s great landmarks?
Do visit the Colosseum: it’s sprawling and majestic. Do visit the Vatican City: it provides a charming respite from the city’s hustle. And, among others, do visit the Roman Forum: it’s full of ancient wonders and unique sites that make it a fascinating place to see.
DON’T eat near tourist sites
Seriously, the “traditional Italian” food served in tourist-trap restaurants close to the Colosseum and Vatican is not worth the chequered tablecloth it’s served on. If you end up at one of these conveniently located eateries, be prepared to overpay for a soggy mess that barely passes as pasta or pizza.
Maybe this isn’t the case at all restaurants in close proximity to major landmarks, but if you see a menu with pictures explaining the food, keep walking in the other direction to the landmark.
DO walk Rome at night
Rome is just as gorgeous at night as it is in the day. The city and its elegant buildings light up and illuminate the streetscape, creating a charming backdrop for an evening stroll.
Grab yourself a gelato, stop for a glass of wine – the night is sure to enchant you.
DON’T underdress at religious sites
Whether you agree with it or not is fine, being non-religious I personally couldn’t care less, but attempting to override this simple rule will only get you stopped at the (typically grand) entrance.
The general rule is that men and women cover their knees and upper arms – that’s it, nothing hectic – and it will save you from missing out on, say, the incredible beauty of the Vatican City, so it’s not a huge ask.
Related article: What should I see in Rome, Italy?