Are you planning a trip to Rome this summer? Rome is one of the greatest cities in the world. There’s so much to see and do, and no matter what your interests Rome has something for you.
Unfortunately most travelers to Rome just hit the same handful of sites – the Colosseum, Vatican, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Many find the city overwhelming because they’ve only experienced the places that are overloaded with tourists. I need everyone to love Rome, so have a new book coming out at the end of March that is all about 101 amazing things to do in Rome that pretty much no one knows about. Its fabulous!
If you want to be on the advanced list to get notifications about Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome, as well as early bird pricing, you can join the Private Members Newsletter List here.
I’ve put together a list of 7 tips for traveling to Rome. This is especially helpful if you’ve never been before, but still worth looking over if you are going back anytime soon.
1. Stay Central
Most of the things you want to see and do in Rome happen within a couple of miles radius of the historic center of the city. There is loads of affordable accommodation close to the center of Rome, and you don’t have to be on a loud or busy street.
2. Rome is a Walking City
The very best way to see and experience Rome is on foot. Rome is an incredibly beautiful city, full of little piazzas, ivy walled side streets and little hidden neighborhoods that are to die for. You miss all of this if driving past in a bus or a car.
Use the GPS service on your phone to get you back on track if you get lost, but in the meantime hit the street walking!
3. Wear Good Shoes
Make sure you pack good shoes that you can walk all day in. Rome is full of gorgeous cobble-stoned streets that photograph amazingly but can be hard on your feet. This is not the city to wander around in flip flops or sandals that don’t support your feet.
4. Dress The Part
If you plan on going inside any of Rome’s 900+ churches or religious sites your shoulders and knees need to be covered. Keep a scarf in your handbag to throw over your shoulders if they are bare, and wear hemlines that touch your knee.
This past year (2018) women were being turned away from the Pantheon because their shoulders weren’t covered. Companies that lead guided tours through the Vatican will automatically disqualify anyone with bare shoulders or hemlines above the knee, regardless of whether you have already paid for your ticket or not. It’s not worth the hassle or the drama – just plan your wardrobe ahead of time!
5. Wear A Cross-body Bag
It’s a good idea to wear a cross body bag in any major European city. Wherever there are large groups of tourists there are also large groups of gypsies and scammers, just waiting to separate you from your cash and valuables.
The best thing to do is keep your bag across your body with the side that opens against your body. Never leave your bag open and never hang it over a chair in a restaurant or cafe.
Travelon Bags are super popular for travel. They have RFID blockers built into them, are slash-proof and even have a cable running through the strap so it can’t be cut.
6. Purchase Tickets Online
Don’t waste hours standing in line to get into the big attractions – pre-purchase your tickets online. This year the Colosseum is doing timed tickets that only give you a 15 minute entry window, so plan on being in line with your pre-purchased ticket 30 minutes before your entry time.
Many of the smaller places are also only doing pre-purchased tickets now too. Make sure you research them before leaving for Italy.
7. Walk The Monuments At Night
All the major monuments are lit up at night, and are absolutely beautiful! Many places such as the Forum and Trajan’s Market have multimedia displays happening at night, and they are wonderful to see!
The busloads of tourists are all gone for the night, so the city becomes quite mellow. You will get an entirely different perspective of the various monuments that were crowded all day long. You just can’t beat night-time photos of the Colosseum or St Peters square!
Rome is a safe city to walk at night. The locals are out everywhere, there are lots of great little bars and cafes to stop into for a glass of wine as well as endless trattorias to stop in for dinner. You will love Rome at night!
BONUS CONTENT: Would you like to know my favorite rooftop bars in Rome? Each of them is in the heart of the city, is easy to get to, and has a spectacular view. I’ve made a PDF (with photos) for my 7 Best Rooftop Bars In Rome. If you are already on my Private Members List it’s already on its way to you. If you are not on my list you can download your PDF here.