People either love or hate Rome. But I fully believe that those who do not enjoy their time in Rome did not receive the right advice or travel tips. Here’s the thing: Rome is an incredibly touristy city, where if you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up paying €7 for a mediocre coffee. It’s also easy to wander into a restaurant in the center and the worst pasta or pizza you’ve ever had. Just because you’re in Italy, you can’t assume all the restaurants and food will be amazing. Rome is one of those cities where you really need to know where to go and what to eat in order to have the most amazing time in the city.

Lucky for you, I have spent a good amount of time in Rome, around 1.5 years in total, and many visits over the past 10 years. This includes several stints working 3 months at a time as an au pair in the city. After having spent this much time here and guiding many friends and family on their travels to Rome, here’s my ultimate Rome travel guide. While this guide is technically catered to solo female travelers and first-timers in Rome, this Rome travel guide should be helpful to anyone looking to travel to the Eternal City.

Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links, which means we receive a tiny commission – at no extra cost to you. Don’t worry; this doesn’t affect our recommendations whatsoever. It just helps us keep the lights on.

What to See in Rome

The main reason to go to Rome, of course, is to see the magnificent sights. There is really no end to what you can see in Rome. You could spend an entire month here and not run out of things to do and see. It’s really an incredible city that takes your breath away. So, what are the main attractions you simply cannot miss?

Colosseum

Colosseum - rome travel

Starting off strong with the Colosseum. When you ask someone to imagine Rome, probably one of the first things they’ll think of is the Colosseum, an absolute Roman icon. The Colosseum doesn’t need an introduction. It’s an almost 2,000-year-old amphitheater located in the center of Rome. This huge structure is considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, a title well-earned.

The Colosseum is pretty breathtaking to see when you first come across it. If you want to head inside, you’ll need to buy a ticket. I HIGHLY recommend buying a ticket beforehand, as ticket lines can get very long. Personally, I found the Colosseum to be a bit disappointing on the inside, but the Colosseum ticket does also get you entry into the Roman Forum, so I recommend buying the ticket if you want to see either or both of these attractions up close!

Colosseum Photo Spot

My favorite Colosseum photo spot is located in front of Caffe Roma (but do NOT have a drink here; the drinks aren’t great and grossly overpriced). The entire area in front of Caffe Roma to the left of it, when facing the Colosseum, is the best photo spot! Or, if you can’t find the cafe, when you come out of the Colosseum metro, turn left so that the Colosseum is to the right. Then, about 50 meters in, you’ll find some stairs, which you’ll climb to get to this photo spot.

You can get a photo just like this:

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Roman Forum - rome travel guide

With the same ticket you get for the Colosseum, you get entry into the Roman Forum. This is probably one of my personal favorite things to do in Rome. I don’t always buy the ticket to enter, as you can enjoy the views from above as well. Of course, if you actually want to get up close and personal with these Roman ruins, you’ll want to walk around the ancient city of Rome. I recommend booking a tour (like this guided tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum) so that you have a better understanding of what exactly you are looking at.

Here, for a stunning view of the Roman Forum and the city of Rome, you can head up the Palatine Hill, one of the 7 hills of Rome.

Trevi Fountain

italy rome trevi fountain

Another iconic monument you absolutely CANNOT miss in Rome is the Trevi Fountain. This is a huge Baroque fountain that’s been the backdrop of countless movies over the years. I mean, every girl dreams of recreating that moment in the Lizzie Maguire movie by tossing a coin into the fountain, right?

The first time I saw this fountain, it honestly took my breath away. I heard it before I saw it, and since a friend was showing me around the city, I had no idea where we were going. And when we turned the corner and saw the fountain, my jaw literally dropped.

Nowadays, the Trevi Fountain can be pretty unbearably crowded – even during the off-season. But the fountain is still worth seeing. If you’re patient, you’ll still be able to get a good photo without many people in the background.

Top tip: Head to the fountain in the middle of the night, around 4 to 5 am, to marvel at the fountain without hundreds of tourists crammed against you.

Pantheon

Pantheon - rome travel

The Pantheon is a Roman temple that was converted into a Catholic church. This structure boasts some of the most incredible architectural feats. Plus, this is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman buildings, as it was continuously used (instead of forgotten) over the years. What makes the Pantheon so unique is the rounded dome (which, surprisingly enough, is the largest unsupported dome in the world) that features the eye of the Pantheon, or oculus. The Pantheon is also the burial place for several famous Italians, including Rafael, Vittorio Emmanuele II, and Annibale Carracci.

While entry to the Pantheon used to be free, it now costs €5.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps - rome travel guide

The Spanish Steps may not be as old as the Colosseum or Pantheon, but it’s still one of the main things to see in Rome. These iconic steps start at Piazza di Spagna and head up to Piazza Trinità dei Monti.

At the Piazza di Spagna, you’ll find the Fontana della Barcaccia. What I love about this fountain is that stunning as it is, it provides clean drinking water. Simply grab your empty water bottle and fill it up with the water flowing from the fountain!

Piazza Navona

piazza navona - rome travel guide

One of the most stunning piazzas you’ll find in Rome is Piazza Navona. The piazza famously features three fountains, all three of them gorgeous. These fountains, along with the colored buildings dotting the sides of the piazza, make this square a perfect picture spot. The piazza also features the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.

The fountain in the middle is called Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. I’ll share my favorite fun Rome fact (or, rather, legend) that I like to spout when taking friends to this fountain:

Bernini, who designed the fountain, was jealous of Borromini (the architect of the church). So, Bernini apparently created the statue that represents one of the rivers with his hand in the air to cover himself as if to protect it from the church.

Campo De’ Fiori

Campo de Fiori - Rome

Just south of Piazza Navona, you’ll find Campo de’ Fiori. While this piazza may be unassuming at first glance, this is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. In the mornings, the entire square turns into an outdoor market, with locals selling everything from fruits and vegetables to souvenirs. And in the evening, Campo de’ Fiori turns into a hangout spot, with restaurants and bars bringing out outdoor tables. The entire square will be buzzing with people eating and drinking.

Near the square, you’ll also find Galleria Spada, one of my favorite art galleries in Rome.

Castel Sant’Angelo

italy rome castel sant angelo

While definitely not as popular or famous as St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo, located right near the Vatican, is a super awesome monument you’ve got to see. This castle was built by the Tiber River by Roman Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD! While it was originally a mausoleum, it was used as a fortress and a castle in later years. Inside, you can find gorgeously frescoed rooms and the most stunning views of the Vatican at the top!

I would recommend booking tickets beforehand if you can.

In my opinion, Castel Sant’Angelo is definitely worth the money to enter and is one of the top things to see in Rome! You can book a guided tour or walk around on your own.

St. Peter’s Basilica

St Peters - Rome travel

There are two parts of the Vatican: St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. As with all churches in Rome, St. Peter’s Basilica is actually free to enter. But I say the word “free” loosely, because you do have to line up for ages in order to enter! I recommend heading to St. Peter’s Basilica first thing in the morning if you want to avoid the crazy crowds.

Once you enter, you’ll be almost immediately greeted by Michelangelo’s Pietà on the right. The Basilica also hosts 91 tombs of Popes and other important church figures. It’s definitely one of the most incredible churches you’ll see in Rome.

If you want, you can also buy a ticket to climb the dome all the way to the top. I recommend only doing this if you are relatively fit and are not claustrophobic! Even if there is an elevator route, you still need to climb 320 steps, and the staircase gets narrower and shorter as you reach the top.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

vatican - rome travel guide

The other part of the Vatican is the Vatican Museums. The Vatican Museums hosts an incredible collection of art across more than 50 galleries, hallways, and courtyards. You’ll find works by some of Italy’s most famous artists, including Raphael and, of course, Michelangelo. The highlight of the museum is Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

I highly recommend booking tickets in advance to see the museum. Or if you want a better understanding of what you are looking at, a guided tour could be a great option, too!

Campidoglio

campidoglio views - rome travel
Capitaline Museum - Rome Travel guide

You won’t generally find Campidoglio on lists of what to do in Rome, as it’s not a main attraction. But I highly recommend heading up to the Campidoglio for two reasons:

  1. The Capitoline museums
  2. The views

The Capitoline museums are some of my favorite museums in Rome. Here, you can see some original bronze statues like the Capitoline She-Wolf and the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius.

While you’re up there, you’ve got to see the amazing free views of Rome. To get to this viewpoint at the Campidoglio, go behind the Altare Della Patria (to the left when facing it head-on; or if heading here from the Colosseum, you’ll find a pathway on the left passing by the Central Museum of the Risorgimento) and climb slowly for stunning views like on the way:

campidoglio views rome travel guide

What Else to See in Rome

Beyond the basics, there’s really no end of things to see in Rome. Here are some other top sights I recommend.

Piazza Venezia

piazza venezia - rome travel guide

Although not my favorite piazza, Piazza Venezia is an iconic square of Rome. While the square may not be as pretty as others scattered around Rome, this one is famous for its huge monument, the Altare Della Patria, a monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy.

The Altare Della Patria holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame. If you head up to the terrace, you can get some good views of the city.

Largo Di Torre Argentina

largo di torre argentina - rome travel guide

Largo di Torre Argentina has long been one of my favorite sights in Rome. Many do not know this, but this is the site where Julius Caesar was killed! But the reason I always loved this, beyond its historical significance, is the cat sanctuary. There’s a cat sanctuary located here, which means you’ll always see happy cats around the area!

This is also super close to Piazza Venezia and my favorite gelateria, Gelateria La Romana.

Gianicolo

gianicolo - rome travel guide

Rome is made up of seven hills, and I’ve named a few already. But a hill that’s not as common for tourists to visit is Gianicolo. Here, as with the other seven hills, you can get some stunning views of Rome. For the romantics, this is actually a make-out spot for locals as well!

Giardino Degli Aranci

rome keyhole, giardino degli aranci rome travel guide

Giardino Degli Aranci is also located on a hill of Rome, which means you’ll get some great views. If you come here in the spring or summer, you’ll also smell the sweet aroma of oranges in the garden!

Right beside the garden, you can also find a keyhole. You can look inside this keyhole for a perfect view of St. Peter’s Basilica. While this used to be a more hidden spot, this has since been discovered. So, the last time we went, we ended up waiting a whole hour for our turn to look through the keyhole, so you can determine whether or not that’s worth it for you!

Villa Borghese and Borghese Museum

villa borghese rome guide

One of my favorite places in Rome is Villa Borghese. This huge park in the middle of Rome is a great place to chill and have a picnic! Just head over to a supermarket nearby, grab some supplies, find a spot, and bask in the sun! It’s certainly a vibe.

At Villa Borghese, you’ll find the Galleria Borghese, one of the most incredible galleries in Rome. They only allow a limited number of people to enter, so make sure you reserve far in advance in order to see this gorgeous gallery!

Rome Churches

santa maria maggiore - rome travel guide

A free activity to do in Rome is to visit as many churches as possible. The churches in Rome are absolutely stunning, and you can find some absolute gems. While there are countless churches in Rome, here are the main churches I would recommend (besides St. Peter’s)!

  • Santa Maria Maggiore: A huge and stunning church that is a must-visit when in Rome
  • The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola: This is the church that’s gone viral for the mirror with a view of the stunning frescoes on the ceiling.
  • Chiesa del Gesù: If you don’t want to wait in line for the above church, this church also features a gorgeous mirror that looks up to the ceiling.
  • Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi: Here, you can take a look at some Caravaggio paintings for free!
  • Santa Maria in Trastevere: This is one of the oldest churches in Rome and is absolutely stunning.

Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars

If you’re not museum’d out yet, a museum completely different from anything else you’ll see in Rome is the Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars. Here, you’ll learn all about the Capuchin Friars with the help of the audioguide that you get when you pay for your ticket. But the highlight of this museum is by far the long corridor of five tiny chapels featuring the remains of the Capuchin Friars arranged as art. It is an incredibly eerie and cool museum that’s worth visiting!

Even More Things to See in Rome!

bocca della verita rome travel guide

Do you still have time? Here are some other things to see in Rome I highly recommend:

  • Pyramid of Cestius: Did you know that Rome has a pyramid that’s older than the Colosseum?
  • Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs: At this church, you’ll find holy stairs that Jesus is said to have once ascended. You can climb these stairs on your knees.
  • Galleria and Villa Doria Pamphilj: At the Villa Doria Pamphilj, the largest park in Rome, you’ll find the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, which is a stunning gallery worth visiting.
  • MAXXI: Looking for something more modern? Check out the MAXXI museum, which features 21st-century art.
  • Circus Maximus: This was the chariot-racing stadium of ancient Roman times.
  • Santa Maria Del Popolo and Piazza del Popolo: Piazza del Popolo features many events over the years. Whilst here, I recommend visiting one of my favorite churches, Santa Maria Del Popolo, which features a couple of well-known paintings by Caravaggio.
  • Baths of Caracalla: These were the second-largest public baths of Roman times.
  • Testaccio Market: If you want to visit a Roman market, head to Testaccio’s glass-roofed market, where you can eat everything your heart desires.
  • Ara Pacis: This altar was built in 9 BC and is held inside a glass-walled museum. Hot tip: You don’t necessarily need a ticket to see it as you can see through the building.
  • Appia Antica: Visit the ancient paved road of Rome.
  • Bocca Della Verita: Live your Roman Holiday dreams by visiting the Bocca Della Verita. In my opinion, it’s not worth buying a ticket, as you can see it even without paying. But if you want to stick your hand inside, you’ll need one!

Areas of Rome to Explore

trastevere - rome travel guide

Besides seeing the sights, there are some areas of Rome you should explore and get to know. These areas are great for walking around, finding bites to eat, having a coffee break, and more.

  • Monti: Located right by the Colosseum. You can find plenty of cafes, bars, and artisanal shops. 
  • Trastevere: One of the cutest areas of Rome. This area has really cute streets, cute restaurants, and cute bars. A great place to explore in the evening as it gets super lively.
  • Quartiere Coppede: A tiny area of Rome that features the most incredible architecture featuring mythological symbols. This area looks almost like a fairytale book.
  • The Jewish Ghetto: This area of Rome features a synagogue, amazing food, an island, and an ancient market. To not miss: Isola Tiberina.

Day Trips From Rome

If you want to explore some places outside of Rome, these are the most amazing day trips you’ve got to check out!

  • Tivoli: Tivoli has two absolutely STUNNING villas you’ve got to check out: Villa d’Este & Adriana. (50 minutes away by train)
  • Florence: You can take a day trip to Florence, which is one of the most gorgeous cities in Italy. If you want to go to Florence, some of the highlights you’ll need to see are: Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and the Uffizi museum. (1.5 hours away by train)
  • Civita di Bagnoregio: A village founded in the 7th century at the top of a hill, which you can only get to via a pedestrian bridge. It’s a pretty incredible sight! (1 hour 20 minutes by train)
  • Naples: Why not visit the birthplace of pizza? While you can totally stay in Naples as well, if you’re short on time, you can simply organize a day trip to eat as much pizza as possible. Alternatively, you can head straight to Pompei.

Where to Eat and Drink in Rome

Suppli Rome

I’ve met one too many people who have told me they’ve had some of the worst pasta and pizza of their lives while visiting Rome. While Roman food is amazing, if you end up in a tourist trap, you’re going to end up severely overpaying for mediocre to terrible food. So, it’s important to know exactly where to go and what to look out for.

Here’s my general guide on what to look out for:

  • Do NOT eat near the tourist attractions. Most places near the attractions will take advantage of the fact that they can draw in tired and hungry tourists.
  • Even if you’re tired and hot, you should always check Google reviews beforehand.
  • Avoid any restaurant where there’s a guy outside, luring tourists inside.
  • Avoid any restaurant with a giant menu.

Top tip: Make dinner reservations beforehand, if possible!

Here’s a list of some of my favorite places. And the best part? All of these are economical!

  • Pastificio: This is my favorite place for lunch in centro storico. It’s literally right by the Spanish steps, and you wouldn’t think you could find cheap food here, but it’s just €4.5 for a giant thing of pasta. They have two pasta options every day (with one always being vegetarian), and they feature a new menu every day.
  • Freni e Frizioni: If you come here after 7 PM, you can get aperitivo in the center of Trastevere. Just order a drink, and you can eat all you want from their vegetarian buffet for an extra €2.
  • Da Enzo al 29: This is the place to go if you want some classic Roman foods. Unfortunately, you cannot book ahead of time, so you will likely wait for an hour to sit. But the good thing is, you can order drinks while in line.
  • Supplì Roma: This is my absolute FAVORITE place for lunch. While you can’t go wrong with anything you order here, this to-go restaurant is famous for its supplì and its drool-worthy marinara pizza.
  • Trapizzino: You’ll find this chain scattered around Rome. The best way I can think to describe it is that it’s like a pizza burrito. It’s amazingly good and saucy.
  • Gelateria La Romana: Looking for a good gelato? Go to Gelateria La Romana. Here’s my top tip when looking for a good gelateria: Avoid any gelaterias with big mounds of gelato or super colorful gelato. Gelato should not look fluffy or flashy. Bonus points if the gelato is covered (but not necessary). I highly recommend trying the pistachio flavor! It’s life-changing!

What to Eat in Rome

Amatriciana-Rome Travel Guide

While the above list is a great start when looking for a place to eat, the next challenge is to figure out what to eat. Here are some Roman classics you’ve got to try during your stay:

  • Carbonara: A rich creamy pasta made with eggs, pecorino romano, and guanciale (pork cheek).
  • Cacio e Pepe: A creamy pasta made with cheese and black pepper.
  • Amatriciana: A red-sauce pasta with guanciale (pork cheek).
  • Alla Gricia: Similar to a carbonara, minus the egg.
  • Aglio Olio e Peperoncino: Garlic, olive oil, and pepper flakes pasta.
  • Supplì – A fried ball filled with mozzarella and risotto.
  • Carciofi alla Giudia – Fried artichoke. This is seasonal, so may not be available. A great starter.

Drinking in Rome

aperol spritz - rome travel guide

In terms of drinking, the best areas to go out are Trastevere and Monti if you don’t want to venture too far out.

Here are some of the most popular alcoholic drinks I recommend trying:

  • Aperol Spritz
  • Campari Spritz
  • Negroni
  • Limoncello Spritz
  • Prosecco
  • Wine – some of my personally favorite Italian wines: Chianti (red), Nero D’Avola (red), Vermentino (white), Pecorino (white), Ribolla (white)

If you want to go to a club, note that Rome clubs are subpar—especially compared to other European destinations. Roman nightlife is more about drinking in the piazzas and having a chill time. While there are some clubs in Rome, you would need to drive to most of them. And even once you’re there, you’re never guaranteed entry. The only club I would recommend is The Sanctuary Eco Retreat. Otherwise, I would just walk around Trastevere and dance in the bars. The bars may be small, but the vibes are great!

When drinking, be careful of the cobblestones – especially if you’re not wearing sensible shoes. I know someone who slipped and broke an ankle and another friend who fell and broke her wrist. The cobblestones are no joke! To be on the safe side, always travel with travel and health insurance. This one offered by SafetyWing is a lifesaver (literally) and is cheap!

Coffee in Rome

coffee- rome travel guide

The coffee culture in Italy is not going to be anything you’re used to. First of all, you don’t always get table service. Most locals will go up to the bar (as cafes in Rome are also bars), order a coffee, quickly drink it at the bar or banco, and then pay and leave.

If you do decide to sit down, you will generally need to pay higher prices for a coffee and/or pay an extra service charge. So, keep that in mind.

If you’re not sure how to order a coffee and you want to sit down and chill, always ask before you sit. Many cafes don’t have table service, and they may not come to serve you if you sit down without informing anyone.

Here are some standard Roman (or, rather, Italian) coffee orders:

  • Caffe: A single espresso shot
  • Caffe Doppio: A double espresso shot
  • Caffe Latte: A latte (do NOT simply order “latte,” as you’ll just get an order of straight-up milk)
  • Cappuccino – A cappucino
  • Caffe Freddo – A cold espresso

Basic Italian for Rome

You should easily be able to get by without having to know any Italian in Rome, but some Italian can still come in useful. Plus, it’s always fun to immerse yourself in a new language for the full experience! Here are some basic phrases to know:

  • Buongiorno – Good morning
  • Buonasera – Good evening
  • Grazie – Thank you
  • Quanto costa? – How much?
  • Per favore – Please
  • Arrivederci – Goodbye
  • Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the bathroom?

Where to Stay in Rome

where to stay in rome travel guide

Rome is a HUGE city, so choosing the right area to stay is important, especially if you want to make the most of your trip. Staying anywhere in the centro storico (city center) is ideal. But you can extend your search to surrounding areas as well.

Besides centro storico (near Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, etc.), other great areas to stay:

  • Trastevere: Across the river; not as central but still very walkable; this is my favorite area of Rome
  • Monti: Close to the Colosseum; very central
  • Prati: Close to the Vatican; fancy area

I would avoid staying near the Termini train station, as the area can be a bit sketchy at night. But don’t worry; it’s perfectly fine during the day.

where to stay in rome

If you want to find even cheaper accommodation, take a look at accommodation further from the city center, but make sure it is near the metro line. While there are buses and trams, these are NOT very reliable. Some areas further out that I would recommend are Ostiense and Piramide/Testaccio.

Most of your tourist activities will be centered around the centro storico, Vatican, and Trastevere areas, so staying somewhere close to these areas would be ideal.

Public Transport in Rome

rome tram travel guide

I’m not going to lie… Rome’s public transport can be iffy. While it does exist and is a great way to get around the city, it doesn’t come without its issues.

Rome has buses, trams, and the metro. In my experience, the metro is the most reliable. Trams are less reliable but still work (just not always on time). And as for buses, while they work, you may sometimes wait up to an hour for a bus.

Use Google Maps to find public transport routes.

However, with all that said, it’s important to note that Rome’s public transport has strikes relatively often, so keep an eye out for that!

You can pay for Rome public transport using a credit/debit card. You can use one card per person. Just get on and tap. If you transfer buses, get on and tap again. When transferring from bus to bus or tram to bus and vice versa, you will be charged just one ticket as long as you use the same card. One ticket costs €1.5 and is valid for 75 minutes.

However, if you use the metro, the ticket is valid for just one ride. So, if you ride a bus afterward, you’ll need to pay for that again.

How to Get to and From the Rome Airport

More likely than not, you will arrive and/or leave from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. The best way to get to and from the city is to take the train, which goes to/leaves from Roma Termini station, the main central station of Rome. The journey is around 35 minutes and costs €14 each way. This train is called the Leonardo Express.

At the airport, you’ll find signs leading you to the train station. And then, you buy a ticket.

Once you buy the ticket, you must VALIDATE the ticket before boarding. More on validating in the next section!

If you are heading to or coming from Ciampino, on the other hand, several companies offer shuttle buses. Some of these companies are SitBus and Terravision. These buses will take you to Roma Termini.

Taking the Train in Italy

train ticket italy - rome travel guide

If you want to travel anywhere outside of Rome, like on a day trip or to your next destination, you’ll have to take the train.

The main train station in Rome is Termini, so don’t book anything from Tiburtina! Most other destinations should have just one train station, but always check beforehand that you’re going to the right one.

There are three types of trains you can book:

  1. Regionale
  2. Frecciarossa
  3. Italo

For any regional excursions, such as to Tivoli or Civita di Bagnoregio, you will take the Regionale. For any train rides outside of Rome and the Rome region (Lazio), you will either take the Frecciarossa or the Italo.

Top tip: If you book in advance, Italo is often the cheapest option, as they sometimes have a 1+1 deal!

Always book trains using the official websites or apps for Trenitalia (Regionale or Frecciarossa) and Italo. Tickets can also be bought in person on the day of for regional trains.

Finding the Platform

To find which binario (platform) to go to, check the board and look for where it says “BIN” or “binario.” If there’s nothing there, don’t worry; it will appear. You’ll find plenty of people just standing underneath the boards waiting for the platform to update for their train.

Keep in mind that trains are listed by their final destination, and your destination may not be the final one, so just look for the train number.

Validating Your Train Ticket

binario rome travel guide

If you have ASSIGNED SEATING (this will be the case for Frecciarossa and Italo), you can simply board. You’ll find the car and seat number on your ticket. A worker may come around in the middle of your ride to ask for your ticket, and you show it to them. In other words, there’s no need to worry about validating your ticket beforehand.

However, if you book a Regionale train that does NOT have assigned seating, you MUST validate the ticket before you board the train. You can validate your ticket by sticking your ticket in one of the above machines.

Hold onto your ticket for the duration of the ride!

Other Rome Travel Guide Tips

While I’ve already gone over much of everything you need to know about traveling Rome, here are some additional tips you’ve got to keep in mind in order to make the most of your Roman holiday.

Drink Water From the Fountains

rome nasoni

The “nasoni” (Italian for big nose) are little fountains that have free, flowing water. You can place a finger or two underneath to block the spout and then water will come shooting out the hole at the top for you to drink. You can also use it to fill up your water bottle. These fountains are VERY clean and have VERY tasty water. In fact, the city tests the municipal water 250,000 times per year for purity. That’s nearly 700 times per day! You can even drink the water from the fountain in front of the Spanish steps.

Bring a Water Bottle and a Hat

When in Rome in the summer, take it easy. It gets HOT. And, unfortunately, you won’t always find AC. So, always bring a water bottle with you as well as a hat, as shade is pretty hard to come by as well.

Beware of Pickpockets

There are quite a few rules to avoid getting your phone or wallet stolen. Here are my tips:

  • Do NOT keep anything in your pockets – especially your back pockets. Instead, keep everything in your bag in front of you, and keep a hand on it at all times. This is especially important when you are in crowded spaces!
  • With a backpack, you can keep it on your back most of the time (always be cautious, however), but whenever you are anywhere crowded, wear it on your front.
  • Always be particularly careful on public transport.
  • Do not use a shoulder bag, as when you walk on the streets, someone could easily wizz by with a scooter and snatch it.
  • When at a table drinking coffee or eating food, do NOT put your phone on the table.

Beware of Scams

There are a few common scams in Italy. For one, if you see paintings on the floor, do not step over them; go around them instead. If you accidentally step on it, they will make you pay for ruining their painting.

The bracelet scam is another common scam. If someone approaches you with a bracelet and says it’s free, it’s not. Just tell them to go away.

Ignore the Catcalling

Here’s the thing: You are pretty much guaranteed to get catcalled if you are a lone female. The best thing to do? Just ignore them. They are mostly all bark and no bite. But if they are persistent, be aggressive and firm.

Cover Yourself for Churches

When visiting churches, keep in mind that there is a dress code to follow. Wear clothes past your knees and cover your shoulders (you can bring a shawl) in order to enter the churches, including the Vatican.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Do not bother wearing heels. The cobblestones are no joke. Plus, you’ll be walking 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day. Wear comfortable travel shoes! You’ll thank me later.

Enjoy Rome!

Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations for a reason. It’s an incredible city to visit, with so much to see, do, and eat. While it’s easy to fall into the tourist traps when visiting Rome, with my guide, you should be able to enjoy Rome to the fullest.

FAQ

When Is the Best Time to Visit Rome?

I recommend visiting Rome outside of the peak tourist season, which is from June to August. April is a great time to visit Rome as it’s right before the intense heat arrives in full-force. So, you may be able to enjoy Rome without sweating more than you ever have. Plus, April tends to be on the quieter side, with fewer tourists. You can also come in the fall or winter if you don’t mind the weather being a bit chillier.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Rome?

This is completely up to your itinerary, but in my opinion, you should spend at the very least 3 full days in Rome in order to see the main sights without being pushed for time. But, as you can probably tell from the sheer number of things to do in the city, you can easily spend weeks in Rome without running out of things to do.

Is Rome Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Absolutely! While you may come across cat-callers and pickpockets, this is the case whether or not you are traveling alone. Just be mindful and keep your belongings safe. You can even safely go out at night in Rome, especially in the city center, where you’ll be spending most of your time.

Should You Do Guided Tours in Rome?

A guided tour is a great option if you want to gain a fuller understanding of what you are seeing. If you want the full experience and have limited time in Rome, I recommend booking a guided tour so that you can get the most out of your experience.

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