18 things you should know before going to Rome

When in Rome do as Romans do! This way you get to know a city better. Because if you think Rome is just old, ancient and boring, then you are completely wrong! The Eternal City developed throughout the past years in a cosmopolitan, vibrant city with something magical in the air that makes you literally feel la dolce vita. It really makes you begging to be explored, because the food, the sound, the people and the culture gives you a special feeling. This city just should be on everyone’s bucket list. But before you go to Rome, learn more about Romans, the Italian mentality and the city itself.

Before going to Rome, Old Buildings

18 travel tips before going to Rome

  1. Who knew Rome can be so hilly? So don’t forget to bring comfy shoes. You will walk a lot!
  2. Rome’s landmarks are very spread out. You can walk to most of the sights, but there is also no way to get around without public transportation to see it all.
  3. Vatican City is an own independent country with an own post office. It’s faster to send postcards from there than from Rome.
  4. The historic center of Rome has the most numbers of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. This includes the Vatican, the Forum Romanum, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and many more.
  5. Rome used to be the most powerful city in the Western world and has more than 900 (!) churches. But don’t forget to take a scarf if you wear tops and shorts.
  6. Rome is the 8th most populous and 7th most visited city in Europe. Rome, What you need to know, StreetsSo you can bet that it will be very touristic. An empty Colosseum would be a dream, so be prepared for the crowds.
  7. Actually the Spanish Steps, one of the top attractions in Rome, was financed by the French. The name simply comes from the nearby Spanish Embassy.
  8. Want to make a wish? The Trevi Fountain is the perfect spot. Approx. 3.000€ (3.510$) in coins land each day in the fountain. The money goes to support Rome’s poor.
  9. You can use the little public drinking fountains that you will find throughout the city. They are free, safe and refreshing after a long walk. So always bring an empty bottle.
  10. When it comes to food, you have to be patient. It’s usual and kind of an Italian food ritual that the waiters let people take their time to order something.
  11. Tipping is rarely done in Italy. Therefore you find a table service on the recipe which is usually 10-20%.
  12. If you think you eat late for dinner, then you haven’t been to Rome yet. Usually Romans head to restaurants at 10pm or later.
  13. The pizza in Rome is very thin, so don’t expect American Style.
  14. Pickpockets are everywhere. Be alert and never sign or accept anything. Otherwise you will be charged.
  15. Get lost! Rome is the perfect place to not just go to the tourist spots, but also wander around and see beautiful little side streets.
  16. Stores may close for siesta. This affects usually the period from 1pm-4pm.
  17. Rome can be so hot! If you love 40°C (104°F), feel free to go during summer, but as the best travel time I suggest April/May or September/October.
  18. The word “ciao” means hello and bye at the same time. So don’t be irritated.

I hope now you are well prepared for your next trip to Rome. If you have any other things you have experienced, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking forward to your stories. Now I wish you lots of fun and a great time in Rome!Verena, Postcards from Vpinterest, rome, travel tips, postcards from v

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  • Ironically I was in Rome just a few days ago for an overnighter. During the summer it’s great to go to Lungo Il Tevere and enjoy the famous river as it comes to life. And one thing I found is that while August is hot and miserable, the locals do escape for vacation so the city is more empty and easier to enjoy. Nice article.

    • Thank you so much for the tips! Didn’t know that August would be a great month to visit the city, but it totally makes sense.

  • I wish I had read this before my first trip to Italy. I would have been much more patient and less annoyed with the slow speed of the waiters. Also, I would have been more prepared to eat dinner so late. This was super helpful and accurate!

  • Great tips for Rome, especially the advice to bring comfortable shoes, those hills make for some aching calf muscles!!! I didn’t know it was the most visited city in Europe, had assumed that would be Paris, so that’s a very interesting snippet. The public fountains are a great way to stay hydrated and better than buying and disposing so many plastic bottles as well.

    • Yeah, Rome can be very hilly what many don’t know. And you’re right! The little public drinking fountains are a great alternative to avoid so many plastic bottles.

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