There are many aspects of Rome which continue to lure millions of visitors from across the globe every single year. Some are drawn to the rich ancient history and jaw-dropping architecture. Others prefer to spend their time gorging on the very best of Italian cuisine in the city’s many celebrated restaurants.
For some, the idea of a perfect trip to Rome involves dropping fistfuls of euros at Fendi, Gucci, and Versace, in one of the great epicentres of Italian fashion. Whilst shopping, dining, and culture are by no means in short supply in the Eternal City, many of the best experiences to be had aren’t catered to tourists at all.
Rome is a thriving, electric, sexy metropolis of almost 3 million people, where the pace and style of everyday life are unlike anywhere else on Earth. The best way to experience the city is like a true local, so read on to find out the truly quintessentially Roman activities you need to try out on your next trip.
Try Pizza the Real Roman Way
One of the sure-fire things that will mark you out as a tourist will be is you dare to sit down in a restaurant and order a pizza. True locals know that the best Roman-style pizza can only be found at the small bakeries which adorn virtually every street corner. They will typically come in squares, cost little more than 2 euros, and will be absolutely delicious. There are countless pizza bakeries that are worthwhile, but our hot tip of the day is Forno, a family-run joint on the Campo de’ Fiori.
Party Like a Local
Too many visitors pass through Rome without ever getting a taste of its legendary nightlife. This is a city that has known how to party for millennia and is a place where all of your hedonistic needs can be met as long as you know where to look. First off, it’s important to know that most nights out in Rome start off as low-key affairs, with a little aperitivo and some food to line the stomach. Start your evening late, never wear high heels, and always ask a local where the best parties are.
Try Some Street-Side Gaming
The vibrant street culture of Rome is one of its most enduring charms. Here you’ll find people of all social classes and ages taking part in various forms of gaming on the street, whether its playing chess, poker, or even furiously scratching away at some Lotteria Italia scratch cards with a beer in hand. Of course, many of the younger generations are more inclined to play online rather than on the street, so if you are new to online scratch cards read this guide here to ensure you can keep up with the local players.
Know When to Get Out
A true local knows when to avoid the city. If you make the mistake of arriving in August, you’ll find that a large chunk of the local population has cleared out of the city, making a beeline for the cooler coastlines along the west coast. High summer in Rome can be a nightmare, with the streets swarmed with tourists and the mercury regularly pushing above 30 degrees. For the true local experience, make sure to visit Rome pretty much any time that isn’t July or August.
One of the best things about Rome is the people. Try out these activities to see if it teaches you something about what makes living here truly great.