5 Things To Know Before You Go To Rome

Rome, is the city of ancient ruins and historical monuments. Travelers from all over the world come to see the preservation of what the city holds for them.

My first time visiting Rome was in May, 2022. Before my travel, I had no clue what to expect from the country nor did I have any idea how to blend in with the locals. After returning from the capital of Italy and living like the Romans do, I’ve listed five essential must-knows before venturing into the streets of the Eternal City.

Things to know before going to Rome:

1. Dress code.

5 things to know before going to rome
Gates of Rome. Photo: Precious Vue

Be mindful of the dress code. The Romans dress luxuriously, lose yet comfortable, and refrain from showing anything too revealing of skin. It’s best to opt for something covering the shoulders or carry a light cardigan. Dresses and shorts are acceptable but must not be too short. Some exhibits prohibit men and women from wearing shorts. Be sure to do research beforehand. Specific museums and churches like the Vatican Museum and Saint Peter’s Basilica will make travelers cover up before entering. Do not create a big fuss and respect the instruction to change attire. Rome and its people take high account to the ancient city and its customs. Travel with respect and openness.

2. Buy a public transportation pass.

5 things to know before going to rome
Photo by Marco Chilese on Unsplash

To live like a Roman, one must travel like one. The main transportations within the city are: metro, buses, tram, urban trains, and taxis. Walking is always an option because landmarks in Rome are closely located, but it will become tiring after the first few days. Not to mention additional walking just within the visiting site. Purchase a Roma Pass and get unlimited access to public transportation. I suggest the weekly pass – it’s an unlimited seven-day transportation pass on all transits for €24 ($24.10.) This style of traveling within the city allows travelers to commute like a local and indulge in the city life.

3. How to order iced coffee.

5 things to know before going to rome
Caffe Shakerato. Photo: Unsplash

Iced coffee is not common in Italy. Italians tend to favor a hot cup of cappuccino even in the midst of summer. Most of the time there will be coffee bars and glasses of espresso shots. There will be no option for a cold coffee drink unless requested. To order an iced coffee, say: “Voglios un caffe shakerato per favore” (I want a shaken coffee please.)  Caffe shakerato is espresso with sugar shaken over ice – an Italian iced coffee.

4. Dinner doesn’t start until 8 p.m.

5 things to know before going to rome
Aperitivo Time. Photo: Precious Vuev

Many restaurants in Rome are not open for dinner until 8 p.m. Do not be surprised that most eateries are not open around 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mealtime in Europe all run differently. Italy is one country that begins dinner the latest. 6 p.m. may be the normal time for the world but 6 p.m. is aperitivo time in Italy. Aperitivo is basically a pre-meal drink. It’s a time for family and friends to gather after the long day is over – to lounge, drink wine and snack on cheese with bread and thinly sliced meat. The Italians say that it is a tradition meant to open the stomach after work and before dinner.

5. Everything in Rome is scenic.

5 things to know before going to rome
Precious in Rome. Photo: Precious Vue

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve traveled to. There’s a balance of nature, full sights, historical monuments, modernized street art, complex architectural buildings…and more. Just driving from the airport to the heart of town was eye-pleasing. The city does well in preserving its rich and overflowing history. Every street, corner, and turn are filled with the beauty behind that ancient moment. Even seeing locals doing everything is a prepossessing sight. It is almost impossible to keep fixated on one scene

Precious Vue

Contributing Editor

Precious is a Hmong-American from Minnesota. She utilizes traveling to recognize humanity within differing world cultures. Precious is made of the memories through her travels in Europe and North America. Her favorite countries so far have been France, Germany, and Italy. When she is not traveling, she is either reading or finding ways to enter Mount Olympus.

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