The 14 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Rome

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In case you’re questioning concerning the largest errors to keep away from in Rome, don’t do what I did on my first journey to the Everlasting Metropolis.

My errors weren’t main. I didn’t get thrown in jail or despatched to the hospital.

However I wasted time and money, and missed out on wish-list  experiences comparable to Roman dishes I wished to try to sure work I wished to see.  

Rome's buildings without the crowds in October.
Rome with out the crowds in October. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

I’ve since returned to Rome many occasions and every time I study one thing new about what to keep away from and what to do as an alternative. 

Listed here are the most important errors to keep away from if you’re visiting Rome.

Preserving them in thoughts will assist you might have a  extra pleasant, more cost effective and hassle-free expertise.   

1. Not Reserving Your Rome Museum Tickets in Advance

Michele Peterson on balcony in front of Villa Borghese Park at Parco dei Principe Hotel in Rome.
With out a ticket, that’s as shut as I may get to the work within the Borghese Gallery.

You probably have a restricted period of time in Rome and bucket record of issues to see and do, you don’t wish to go away something to probability. 

Ebook tickets upfront. 

I do know EVERY guidebook recommends this. However if you’re within the last-minute flurry of packing and making an attempt to get to the airport in time, typically it’s tempting to postpone issues till later.

In my defence, I did test the reserving web site for the Gallery Borghese upfront.

However once I noticed that dates had been extensive open for a number of weeks, I made a decision to attend till we arrived in Rome to really buy a Borghese Gallery Entrance Ticket.

We had been staying at Parco dei Principi Grand Resort & SPA , immediately throughout from Villa Borghese Park and Borghese Gallery.

So I believed arriving in Rome three days upfront can be loads of time to get tickets. Fallacious!

By the point we arrived in Rome, each ticket for the following few weeks was gone.

No quantity of tipping the concierge, begging at ticket cubicles or arriving early on the gallery, hoping a ticket holder can be a no-show, may get me inside and past the reward store.  

Titian’s “Sacred and Profane Love” and  Caravaggio’s “David with the Head of Goliath” had been past my attain. This time I’ve booked my museum tickets upfront.

Two important paintings by Rafael and Guido Reni at the Barberini Palace Rome.
The haunting portray of Beatrice Cenci by Guido Reni at under-the-radar Palazzo Barberini in Rione Trevi. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

If you end up shut-out of the Borghese gallery, an excellent various is Palazzo Barberini. Tickets are a lot simpler to get. 

This spectacular seventeenth century palace includes a beautiful staircase by Bernini in addition to La Fornarina, a portray of Rafael’s mistress.

Verify costs and availability of a Borghese Gallery Entrance Ticket on

2. Lacking Free Sights

Painting titled The Inspiration of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio, 1599-1600.
The Inspiration of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio within the Contarelli Chapel of the San Luigi dei Francesi

One other of the most typical errors to keep away from in Rome is focusing solely on paid excursions and overlooking free sights.

Many church buildings and piazzas are free to enter and provide beautiful structure and artwork.

For instance you may see Caravaggio work in situ throughout the church for which they had been commissioned, slightly than inside a gallery.

The church of San Luigi dei Francesi close to Piazza Navona (Google Map) options three jaw-dropping work, all depicting Saint Matthew.

Along with being free, this selection has one other benefit. The lighting and drama of the work are offered in the way in which the artist supposed them to be.

The work are set in shadow, which makes it potential for viewers to understand Caravaggio’s highly effective use of illumination as an emblem of a miraculous drive within the battle between good and evil.

3. Ignoring Gown Codes

Some church buildings and spiritual websites in Rome require modest clothes, so be ready with acceptable apparel.

Usually knees and shoulders should be lined. Carry a easy scarf or scarf to drape throughout your shoulders or round your waist. 

Hats ought to be eliminated earlier than coming into a church. 

4.  Lacking Out on the Greatest Meals in Rome

Carpaccio di Pulpo on a white plate at Osteria der Belli in Rome.
Because of Consuming Italy Excursions we found this tasty Carpaccio di Pulpo at Osteria der Belli in Rome

If it’s your first journey to Rome you don’t wish to waste your time on mediocre meals (and so they do exist in Rome)  or get caught in a vacationer entice. 

Place your self within the trusted palms of meals execs who know the place (and when) to eat. Taking a strolling meals tour is an efficient starting.  

I additionally adopted the suggestions from Consuming Italy Meals Excursions and dined at Osteria Der Belli (Google Map), a seafood restaurant within the Trastevere neighbourhood.

It was among the finest meals we had in Rome. Do your analysis and make restaurant reservations.  

5. Relying on Free Public Wifi  

Don’t depend on utilizing solely free wifi in Rome. Speeds will be gradual on public networks and hackers can entry your private information and gadgets.

You actually ought to use a VPN (Digital Personal Community) for safety if you happen to plan to make use of public wifi spots. I exploit NordVPN however there are a number of dependable VPN suppliers.  

Whereas it may be enjoyable to go exploring, you probably have a dinner reservation you don’t wish to miss, having an Italian SIM card in your good telephone can scale back your stress ranges. 

 With an e-sim card you may lookup an deal with in your good telephone if you happen to get misplaced in Rome’s winding streets. Or name the restaurant to inform them you’re working late with out incurring roaming prices.

Roam-Like-House plans provided by Rogers and different native suppliers in North America can value $15 CAD a day in Europe.

Evaluate this to the Italy esim card provided by for $10 USD for 30 days and you’ll rapidly see how a lot cash it can save you. 

It’s effectively well worth the funding. 

6. Consuming Close to Main Vacationer Sights 

Colosseum in Rome Night Tour
Plan forward and don’t eat close to vacationer sights on a whim.

Eating close to main sights tends to be overpriced and decrease in high quality. And you may’t depend on a packed restaurant being an indication that the meals is sweet.

One of many errors I made in Rome was grabbing a meal at a restaurant close to the Colosseum. I used to be drained and I checked out how busy it was and thought ” How dangerous can or not it’s?”

It was one of many worst meals I’ve had in Italy. A number of individuals at neighbouring tables really walked out. 

Generally getting meals to go is usually a higher choice.

For instance, if you’re close to the Spanish Steps and also you desire a moveable snack slightly than a meal, I extremely suggest getting mini-sandwiches to go from Canova Bar at Piazza Del Popolo (Google Map).

And whereas it’s expensive to take a seat outdoors on the cafe overlooking the Basilia of Santa Maria del Popolo, the workers on the take-out counter will pack up some scrumptious finger meals. 

Then you may get pleasure from a tasty DIY Afternoon Tea at  your lodge (we stayed at close by Resort d’Inghilterra situated inside a sixteenth century palace as soon as frequented by poet John Keats).

An excellent spot to eat close to the Spanish Steps  is Al Vicoletto di Piazza di Spagna, a tiny restaurant tucked in an alleyway at Vicolo Belsiana 46-47.

Not solely is it quiet with loads of shade — no selfie stick distributors in sight both — however they provide chilled beer on faucet and excellent spaghetti alle vongole  (spaghetti with clams).

🌟 Foodie Tip: Additionally take a look at these really helpful three eating places in Rome for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

7. Not Taking a Meals Strolling Tour 

Questioning if a meals tour is value it? Through the Style of Testaccio, a 4-hour strolling tour with Consuming Italy Meals Excursions in Rome bitter small group loved a full morning exploring the market and sampling suppli (rice balls fried to golden crispiness), truffled pecorino and dreamy Sicilian cannolo at tavola calda and meals outlets in certainly one of Rome’s most genuine neighbourhoods.

Assembly the store house owners and distributors was an expertise I’d by no means have been be capable of do by myself. 

Enjoy authentic Roman cuisine and enthusiasm at cafeteria Volpetti Piu Photo credit - Eating Europe
Don’t miss the Style of Testaccio strolling tour. ( Picture Credit score: Consuming Italy Meals Excursions)

Examine this scrumptious meals tour in my Overview of Two Consuming Meals Strolling Excursions in Rome. Subscribe to our weblog and also you’ll additionally get a 15% low cost on all Consuming Europe Meals Excursions!

Along with their well-liked meals excursions in Florence, Consuming Italy Meals Excursions in Rome presents three totally different strolling excursions of Rome, led by native consultants.

You’ll get pleasure from 4 hours exploring Roman neighbourhoods with an area professional, tasting Roman delicacies, experiencing the traditions and historical past at stops alongside the strolling route.

8. Losing your Time Standing in Line on the Colosseum or Vatican 

St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican, Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican, Rome. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Usually, I like to spend a number of days in a brand new metropolis wandering round, popping into sights when the inspiration hits.

Whereas it’s potential to do that in Rome (see Barberini Palace above), it’s not a smart concept to do this for sights just like the Colosseum or the Vatican.

That is the time to e book a Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Guided Tour and skip the road.

By having fun with fast-track entry, you’ll unencumber a whole lot of your priceless time in Rome and never waste a minute standing in crowds.

Throughout our escorted tour with Uniworld, I breathed an enormous sigh of reduction as we breezed previous lineups like this one on the Colosseum.

It’s also possible to save time by buy a Mixture Ticket (for the Colosseum, Roman Discussion board, and Palatine Hills sights) on the Palatine Hills because it’s bought the smallest line-ups.

Among the best ideas for visiting the Vatican is to be versatile about timing.

Some excursions provide the chance to go to the Vatican after hours. This implies not solely will you skip the line-ups however you’ll keep away from the crowds.

You possibly can select from Breakfast on the Vatican  (exploring the Vatican museums earlier than they open to most of the people) or visiting the well-known museums after hours.

Taking a VIP After-Hours Tour of the Vatican is definitely among the finest issues to do in Rome at night time.  It’s a outstanding expertise to see the Sistine Chapel with out being rushed. 

And timing is every part! There are all the time bigger crowds in the course of the Jubilee Holy Yr of Mercy for Catholics.

This can be a large draw for Catholic pilgrims. An estimated 20 million additional guests had been obtained in Italy in 2016.

9. Visiting Rome Solely in Excessive Season 

Standing in line at the Colosseum Rome
Ebook upfront and keep away from standing in line on the Colosseum Rome. 

One other large mistake many individuals make when planning a visit to Rome is to trip when everybody else does.

The preferred months to go to Rome are Could, June, July, August and September. 

Summer season in Rome — identified for its weeks of scorching warmth — is full of individuals in search of sunshine and gelato. It’s value visiting effectively outdoors the summer time and even shoulder seasons. 

It’s a mistake to disregard the winter months due to the priority that the climate gained’t be good.

With the basilicas and museums empty of vacationers, they’re extra nice to go to. It’s additionally simpler to seek out seats within the trattorias of the historic middle.

In December and January, Rome comes alive with festive Christmas markets. Classical music and jazz concert events ring out in church buildings. As soon as the Christmas season is over, the month-long winter gross sales start.

Briefly, winter, thought-about off-season, is usually a good time to plan a visit to Rome.

10. Neglecting to Plan for the Climate

Given the benefits of visiting Rome in off-season, it’s nonetheless essential to arrange for climate situations within the winter months.

To start with, whereas it’s very uncommon for it to snow in Rome it’s potential to get days which can be damp, moist and chilly. Layering is vital when packing clothes for winter in Rome, because it means that you can alter to altering temperatures. all through the day.

A heat jacket is a should. Puffy packable jackets are helpful. Pack sweaters and fleece that may be layered over shirts or underneath your coat for additional heat. 

Equipment like scarves, gloves, and hats will assist hold you heat. You possibly can’t go flawed with waterproof footwear with good traction, and a compact umbrella. 

However total, Roman winters are gentle and simply endured. You’ll see individuals having breakfast and lunch sitting outdoors within the piazzas.

11. Overpaying for Rome Lodging  

Casa Maria Immacolata Convent Stay in Rome.
Get monetary savings by staying in a convent lodge comparable to Casa Maria Immacolata. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

One other mistake you don’t wish to make in Rome is overpaying on your lodge. Rome will be very costly if you happen to’re not savvy. 

One choice to contemplate (particularly if you happen to’re travelling solo) is staying in a convent or monastery in Rome.

Not solely are these no-frills visitor rooms situated close to main sights such because the Spanish Steps and the Vatican however they’re very economical.  

And it can save you cash on lodging by staying in areas past the touristy middle, like Monti and Termini, which supply a extra native expertise.

Previous to becoming a member of the Perception Holidays Luxurious Gold Tour, I stayed at Resort Mediterraneo, an Artwork Deco lodge close to Termini Station.

In-built 1936, it sits on high of Esquiline Hill, the very best of Rome’s Seven Hills. Positioned near sights and transportation, it’s a helpful location for sightseeing in addition to travelling by practice to Puglia, to Civitavecchia the cruise ship port and past. 

12. Not Exploring Past the Metropolis Heart

Testaccio's Pyramid of Cestius is an often overlooked treasure
Testaccio’s Pyramid of Cestius is an ignored treasure you’ll see in Testaccio. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

One other mistake many guests make when visiting Rome for the primary time is just not exploring past town centre.

Certainly one of my favorite neighbourhoods is Monti. Positioned close to the Colosseum, it’s turning into stylish however is just not but full of tour bus crowds.

Meals followers will love the Testaccio neighbourhood. You possibly can pattern genuine Roman dishes on the Testaccio Market, marvel on the Pyramid of Caius Cestius (relationship to 12 BC) and dine in a cave restaurant inside Monte Testaccio, a hill product of historic pottery from tens of millions of discarded amphora relationship to the Roman Empire. 

And the Ostiense space has remodeled right into a hub for modern artwork and tradition. Go to the MACRO Museum and take a look at the road artwork on Ostiense’s partitions.

13. Not Studying Fundamental Italian Phrases

Studying a number of phrases like “hiya” and “thanks” in Italian can go a great distance by way of politeness and communication.

It’s additionally sensible to study some fundamental Italian phrases for vacationers so you may grasp the fundamentals comparable to asking the place the washroom is or the right way to discover your method to the practice, taxi  or bus station.  

This turns into more and more essential if you happen to journey outdoors Rome to villages in Salento, Puglia that see few international vacationers. 

14. Not Validating Tickets on Public Transportation 

Whereas each Uber and taxis can be found in Rome, utilizing public transportation like buses or the metro every time potential can save each money and time.

In case you use public transport, bear in mind to validate your ticket within the machines supplied. Failure to take action can  really end in fines! 

If it’s your first journey to Rome, one other cool method to see Rome in two days is by taking buses, vespas and bikes.

15. Ignoring the Siesta

Many outlets and eating places in Rome shut within the early afternoon for siesta. So plan your day accordingly to keep away from disappointment.

16. Overpacking 

Lost luggage in a storage area.
Heavy and outsized baggage additionally tends to get misplaced or broken. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Packing an excessive amount of could cause hassles, particularly when navigating cobblestone streets and public transportation.

In case you’re staying in pedestrian zone throughout the Trastevere district even taking a taxi may not get you near your lodge.

Hauling a heavy suitcase throughout cobbled streets or up steep stairs will be exhausting, can injure your again and even expose you to pickpockets who goal distracted travellers.

Overpacking baggage may end in extra baggage charges. As an alternative, pack frivolously and convey a collapsible duffel bag to hold residence souvenirs.

🌟 Professional Tip: In case you’re on a two or three day itinerary in Rome and plan to take brief day journeys, hire a storage locker. Stashing heavy baggage at a storage depot or in a locker is  surprisingly cheap. 

17. Ignoring Pickpocket Dangers 

One other one of the crucial essential issues to know earlier than going to Rome is that like many different main cities, Rome has pickpocketing points.

So be vigilant in crowded areas, use anti-theft luggage and hold valuables safe.

Nevertheless it’s a mistake to put on a cross-body bag, stash your valuables in a cash belt and assume you’re protected. 

Italy’s well-known scippatori (scooter thieves) don’t have any method of realizing your bag isn’t full of goodies so you could possibly very effectively be a sufferer of a bag snatcher. They’re quick and brutal. 

I travelled with a pal who was dragged behind a decided scooter thief for half a block earlier than the strap broke on her bag.

She was badly injured from abrasions and spent a complete day within the hospital.

So put on cross physique luggage in your shoulder, skip the faux Rolex and flashy imitation diamond jewelry and hold a low profile. 

Ultimate Ideas on Widespread Errors to Keep away from in Rome 

By following the following pointers for travelling in Rome and avoiding these frequent errors many first-time guests  make, you may improve your expertise and profit from your go to to this lovely metropolis.

Extra Rome Journey Inspiration and Suggestions