Know before you go: Rome Edition

Sunset it Rome Italy for travel blog Brad's Backpack

1. Plan your visit in advance

Map of the world with camera and travel plans

Rome is a city with a rich history and countless attractions. Plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time and ensure you don’t miss out on must-see sites. If you want to book any activities to make it even easier I have included a widget with Get Your Guide below! Showcasing some of Rome’s top activities.

2. Dress appropriately for religious sites

Sunset over the Vatican, Vatican City Italy

This is true for all religious sites, especially when visiting churches or the Vatican. You must make sure you dress modestly. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, or miniskirts. There are signs saying to cover your shoulders and knees to show respect. At the Vatican, you won’t even be allowed past security if you don’t adhere to their dress code.

3. Use public transportation

Fiat 500 on italian streets for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

I found Rome’s public transportation system efficient and easy. Utilize the metro, buses, and trams to navigate the city. I just used the underground to get about, preferring to walk instead and take the slow route so I didn’t miss anything. You can purchase a Roma Pass for unlimited travel. discounts, and skip-the-line access to some attractions.

4. Beware of Pickpockets

Woman in a city with a bag for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Like any major tourist destination, Rome has its share of pickpockets. A friend of mine has been pickpocketed at Termini Station on both of her visits. Stay vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places such as public transportation, tourist attractions, and markets.

5. Visit the local markets

Roman Food market for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Rome has vibrant local markets where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and taste fresh produce, regional specialities, and artisanal products. If you want an authentic Roman experience, then markets like Campo de’ Fiori, Mercato di Testaccio, and Mercato Trionfale are worth exploring. Each offers locally sourced produce and gifts, so you can treat yourself with souvenirs or treat your tastebuds.

6. Respect photography restrictions

Street photography for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

While it’s tempting to capture every moment in Rome, be aware of photography restrictions in certain places. Some churches, museums, and attractions may prohibit photography or have specific guidelines. Respect these rules to avoid any issues and to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage.

7. Stay hydrated and carry sunscreen

A plastic water bottle for travel blog Brads Backpack

Rome can get hot, especially during the summer months. It’s good practice to carry a water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the day. Rome is full of fountains with a dedicated tap so you can refill for free. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. You don’t have to be on a beach to get burned.

8. Learn a few basic phrases in Italian

Group study for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Although many people in Rome speak English, learning a few basic Italian phrases can go a long way in communicating with locals and showing respect for their culture. I love learning a few little phrases, you don’t have to be fluent, but make the effort to at least know your please and thank you’s, as well as hello and goodbye. It’s just basic manners and can lead to more positive interactions with locals.

9. Be prepared for crowds

Spanish Steps for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Rome is a city beloved by thousands, resulting in tourists flocking to this city in droves. That means you will be competing for the best views. So if you want a bit more space, go for early morning walks. In some places like the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum, you can visit 24 hours a day, so there’s always the chance of a sunrise photoshoot.

10. Enjoy “la dolce vita”

Wine glasses La Dolce Vita for Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Italians have a phrase “la dolce vita” meaning sweet life. Rome is a city to be savoured, so don’t rush through your visit. There’s so much more on offer in Rome if you take things slowly and savour the senses. Take the time to explore its charming streets, enjoy a leisurely meal at a local trattoria, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the Eternal City. 

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