Five tips for your Roman holiday
There is an endless supply of handbooks, guides and how-tos that you can read when you prepare to get to Rome. YouTube runneth over with tutorials, documentaries and – mostly – videobloggers dispensing advice. Even the occasional podcast helps you transition to that which for most of you is the first holiday abroad.
Here’s the thing, though: most of the tips out there are not by locals. Sure, some pro travellers and reviewers do this for a living and have visited extensively, but they don’t have a permanent residence in Rome or Italy; they don’t know the inner workings of the country; they only see things from the perspective of their readership and they are trying to attract more of an audience by tapping into the lifestyle of the average tourist. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, mind you. On the contrary, more power to them for being able to make a living out of their passion!
That detail that they don’t have, we do: as we were born and bred here, we know the city like no other (well, except for taxi drivers…) and we can offer a different point of view – things that we ourselves do when we want to enjoy Rome… or any other city we visit, for that matter.
That’s why we decided to offer our very own short list of “metropolitan best practices“. You can make the most of these when you come in, or not – feel absolutely free not to! However, we think that they contribute to a better understanding of Rome!
Advice from the staff at From Home to Rome
- 1- Sara says: get out of the old city. “You’re staying in the center of Rome, you’re visiting the landmarks there… It only makes sense to get out and see how the other half lives!”. Indeed, most visitors only experience a small portion of the Urbs Aeterna, and never set foot outside of the Aurelian Walls. Venturing out in less central areas has obvious advantages: more must-sees but a small amount of fellow travellers; authentic restaurants and shops untainted by tourist trinkets; the feeling of being an actual discoverer… Give it a try!
- 2- Emanuele says: “Appliances don’t work like at home“. Europe’s electrical system has a different voltage than, say, the U.S. Plus, the models for most appliances, their instructions and, more generally speaking, the plugs are different. For this very reason we have detailed instructions scattered in the apartments we manage, as well as more information in our handbooks. Make sure you get informed before flying in and don’t hesitate and ask any question you might have on site, when we can direct you to a hardware store or provide you with a solution in the shape of an adapter… or help!
- 3 – Clementina says: “Enjoy the city in the early morning”. If you’re been bitten by the “jet lag bug”, use it to your advantage and make the most of Rome when it’s still sleepy & not impacted by millions of locals and foreigners alike. Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pincio Hill or Piazza Navona or Castel Sant’Angelo… they’re magical in the morning light, they’re basically empty before breakfast time and make for excellent photo opportunities.
- 4 – Chiara says: “Try local products”. This doesn’t only apply to those pasta shapes you can’t find at home! Explore Rome’s food markets or have a close encounter with a… grocery store. Pick up fresh produce, maybe varieties of fruits you don’t know, or vegetables that are seasonal and from the area. Take some time to get to know Italian brands other than the ones that get massively advertised internationally. You could be discovering something unusual that pleases your palate, or experience the joys of preparing a meal from scratch… or both!
- 5 – Marta says: “Expect… the unexpected”. Maybe you’re waiting for a bus that fails to show up. Or the restaurant you wanted to try is fully booked. And the church you meant to check out… is closed to the public for renovations. Rome may offer such setbacks and more – delays and unforeseen changes of plans are part of the daily life of the city, and part of its charm, too. In fact, you may be able to discover a great new place to eat at exactly because your original plan didn’t go through, or you may walk right into the most delightful little museum that you wouldn’t have discovered if your bus had come in on time… So go with the flow when here, and enjoy the ride!