The Italian capital is one of the most popular and sought after travel destinations in not only Europe, but also the world. With such a huge demand from tourists, there is no shortage of Rome tours and travel options that take a lot of the guess work and stressful planning out of your hands.
Even so, there are some tips from locals that ought to help make your trip to Rome the best it can possibly be. I’ve compiled some of the best tips from the locals who know the city better than anyone below.
1. You don’t need to tip in Italy
That’s right, tipping in Italy is not necessary. Of course, if your experience was phenomenal, sure, it’s good to leave a little something. For example, if it’s a birthday dinner with a lot of guests, leave a tip. Often your bill will arrive with a service charge (servizio) included meaning the tip is already taken care of.
2. Avoid asking for peperoni on your pizza
The peperoni in Italy is not the same pepperoni you expect to find on your pizza. Peperoni in Italy are actually the bell peppers (capsicum) you might put in a salad so unless you want peppers on your pizza avoid asking for peperoni.
However, if you want pepperoni (notice the difference in spelling) on your pizza simply ask the waiter for salami picante!
Another tip: avoid asking for a cappuccino or a spaghetti carbonara… you’ll get a nasty look otherwise!
3. Take the metro or walk
Taxis will charge you a fortune in the city. The drivers can spot tourists from miles away and your short journey will end up costing a lot more than you had anticipated. Instead, try jumping on a bus or walking. Or for something slightly more healthy, try renting a bicycle and going around the city that way. You’ll see more to Rome than you thought and it’s cheaper!
4. Don’t sit on a terrace
If all you’re in need of is a quick drink then one thing to avoid doing is ordering something at a terrace. You will be charged a lot of money for the privilege of sitting outside. When you’re in Rome, you’ll notice that most people (most locals at least) are crowded around the bar in the cafés. Now you know why everyone basically does everything standing up in Rome.
5. Go early to avoid lines
This one may seem like a no brainer but in fact many people forget that if you want to get into somewhere free, the price you pay is a few hours of waiting in line. The right thing to do to avoid waiting hours upon hours is to go as early as possible to beat the queues or go late when they queues have all died down. After all, who really want to spend two hours in a line? No one!
6. Try something off the beaten path
Yes, Rome is home to some of the world’s most recognizable monuments. They’re absolute must-sees but there’s a whole lot more to the Italian capital than its monuments. Try something off the beaten path in Rome whether it’s horse riding in the countryside or hiking along the Appian Way, there’s always something to discover away from the noise of the tourist hustle and bustle.
7. Eat gelato like a local
Coming to Rome and not eating the famous gelato should be a crime. The city is known for ice cream however there’s no better excuse to take part in the Italian gelato culture than taking a cooking class. Learn how to make this tasty treat the real way and you’ll go home having learned something a little unique to tell your friends!
8. Don’t go during summer
OK, so Rome during summer is busy. Very busy. The climate is hot and everything looks beautiful in sunshine. However, this also means prices rise. If you go in late summer and early autumn you will be surprised at the savings you could make on your hotel and your flights. Sometimes it pays to go when there’s no tourists around.
Article written by trip4real. Trip4real connects people from across the globe with local people offering truly unique & authentic travel experiences.
Have you been to Rome? What are your insider tips?