(Last Updated On: February 15, 2024)

Rome is the Eternal City, and I don’t think you can read enough Rome travel tips before you visit. There is so much to see, so much history, culture, food and downright coolness in which to immerse yourself! Let me fill you in on my best travel tips!

Gushing about how cool Rome is

I’d visited Rome once before with my parents almost 40 years ago. The thing I remember most about that visit was walking down the street, past random shops, banks, corner markets then turning a corner and there was the Colosseum in all its huge, ancient grandeur! How could such an old, priceless icon just be out in the open with cars whizzing around it, people living in apartments right across the street, everyday life still just happening right next to it?

That impression stuck with me, and I am happy to report when I finally returned to Rome recently (throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain worked!) I had the same feeling. In fact, the whole city of Rome (the central historic district that is) left me feeling that awe over and over. Walking down a street and turning a corner… there’s the Pantheon! Getting lost down more charming streets and turning another corner…. the Trevi Fountain! Just so much fun and so COOL!!

Rome Travel Tip: Here’s a fun idea… a group selfie with the Colosseum! Lay your phone on the ground with the timer set then lean in!

posing with the roman colosseum

Lodging

We stayed in a vacation rental apartment in the Monti District. The Monti District is great location to base yourself. Central to all of the sights, with lots of restaurants and cool shops.

Our rental was right down the street from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. There were 6 of us visiting Rome so we got this 3 bedroom apartment called Elder Statesman thru Plumguide. It was a clean, blessedly air conditioned place with 3 bathrooms(!), a small kitchen, living room and washing machine. The bedrooms were comfortable and I could see the Forum out my bedroom window!


Book Recommendation

Dog with Book Glam Italia Rome

Check out this book for an excellent and fun detailed guide to Rome! “Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things to do in Rome by Corinna Cooke” is my favorite book for planning visits to Rome!


Transportation

I hired a car to drive us to and from the Rome Fiumicino Airport. I used an app called Welcome Pickups, and everything went smoothly. It cost about $60 each way, and felt very worth it to me (for the 3 of us). Next visit to Rome if I’m traveling alone I will probably try taking the train, as that sounds like a pretty easy and much less expensive way to go (@ $15 each way).

While we were in Rome a taxi strike was going on! Rome has Uber, but with the taxi strike on the Ubers were swamped and hard to get. On a couple of occasions we ended up walking much further than we’d planned on. Other times we branched out and tried the Lime app to rent scooters and ebikes. While I admit both of them were fun and exciting, I would be pretty wary of doing it again because I didn’t have a helmet! It was especially scary on Rome’s busy cobblestone streets.

What I learned so you don’t have to:

Fiumicino Airport Shopping

If you’re running behind on picking up souvenirs or gifts don’t fret! Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (Terminal 3) had one of the best shopping centers I’ve seen! “Made in Italy” olive oils, wine, pasta, chocolate, clothing, sunglasses, make up, knick-nacks and Rome/Italy souveniers! There’s even an Eataly! I was thrilled to find Chanel #19 perfume, as it is no longer sold in the USA. My mom used to wear Chanel#19 so it brought back wonderful memories, and how cool is it to have perfume from Rome! (even if it is from the airport!)

Tourist Scams

Though I don’t feel like Rome is any more or less dangerous than many other large cities it is always a good idea to be cautious and to read up on some of the common scams going on.

I saw many instances of men handing out roses near tourist attractions. They would hand them to a woman, who’d accept, and then they would relentlessly harass her or her husband for payment. Friends of mine were approached by a man who said he was done for the day and he put his roses in my friend’s hand. He then proceeded to follow them, demanding money, even after they’d tried to give him back the flowers and then put them down on the ground! DON’T accept a flower or bracelet from strangers! It can ruin your evening!

Plan for miserable conditions before you go

Look up what the weather and crowd levels are supposed to be like before you go on your trip. Also, be sure to check for local holidays when things might be closed. That way you can get in the right mindset in advance, instead of facing disappointment and even ruined plans once you get there.

My last visit to Rome was in mid-July. I would never have chosen that time to visit, but I was in Europe for a family member’s wedding, so that was the time that I ended up there. After researching I knew in advance it was going to be HOT and CROWDED! So here is what I did:

  • Made sure my lodging was air conditioned.
  • Booked tours as early in the day as possible to miss the heat.
  • Paid more than I normally would have for private tours (that skipped the line) so I could minimize the crowds I was in. How awful it would be have to wait in line for last minute tickets, then stand in another long line to get into a mass tour during the hottest hours of the day!
  • After morning tours/sightseeing, enjoyed a leisurely lunch then relaxed/ napped in the air conditioned room during the hottest hours of the mid-late afternoon.
  • Headed back out refreshed in the evening to see beautiful Roman sights lit up, and enjoy more food and gelato!

Where to eat

Click here are all the best spots for delicious Roman food!

What to see

Click here for the top 7 must see sights!