What NOT to Do in Rome

in City Guides, Travel Tips

Saint Peter’s Square

Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, Italy. Photo: A. Miranda

Rome is one of the world’s great cities, but it is easy to visit and not have the best time thanks to the overpriced and overcrowded tourist attractions. Our guide to What NOT to Do in Rome will allow you to steer clear of the downsides and enjoy La Dolce Vita.

Don’t get ripped off in Rome
Rome is an expensive city and its inhabitants are notorious for trying to squeeze an extra euro or two out of its visitors. An old trick used to be to give you a continental breakfast and charge you separately for each individual item. Taxi drivers will pull a fast one if you give them any indication that you don’t know where you are going. Whatever you do don’t stay in a hotel or take a guided tour that is recommended by a cab driver or a barman – it will usually be a scam or a rip off.

Don’t go to a derby football match in Rome wearing a local team’s colours
Romans love their football and they take it a bit more seriously than they should at times. Although it can be fun to go to a football match in Rome, if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time things can go badly. Roma and Lazio supporters also have a reputation for being racist, so it is a good idea to stay clear if you are obviously foreign.

Don’t do what a policeman says unless he shows you some ID first
There is a popular tourist scam where local criminals dress up pretending to be policemen and then steal your money. Beware of conmen in general as people may try to tie wristbands on to your hand, only to demand large sums of money in payment.

Don’t visit Rome during the peak season
The summer just means more tourists and more petty thieves as a result. The prices pretty much double and you will struggle to get into a decent restaurant where you aren’t being overcharged for the food. The best time to visit Italy and Rome is early spring and late autumn.

Don’t say anything disrespectful about the Pope
Rome is home to the Vatican City and pretty much considered the spiritual centre of Catholicism in Europe and the rest of the world. Even if you don’t think much about the Pope or religion in general, keep it to yourself.

Don’t forget to get off the beaten track in Rome
This is a vast city and some of the real gems are hidden away in the outlying districts and suburbs, especially if you are looking for great restaurants, bars, cafes and nightlife. Everyone who goes to Rome sees amazing sites like the Colloseum, but few people venture into the lesser known areas. The Aventino Testaccio is a good example of a less frequented place.

Don’t forget that Leonardo Da Vinci airport is not the only airport serving the capital
Rome Ciampino airport has cheaper flights with companies Ryanair and Wizz Air and also give you a more scenic view as you fly in. Rome Ciampino is also closer to the city centre than Da Vinci airport.

Check out the most popular tours in Rome from our tour partner Viator

Find the best hotel or hostel in Rome from our hotel partner Venere and our hostel partner HostelWorld

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