Rome is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. History, art, culture and entertainment combine in this city giving life to a truly unique setting. The climate, the landscapes, the views are some characteristics traits of a city that includes the famous “seven hills”, developing thus on different gradients and not all on the same level.
Having the chance to live and reside in Rome for some time is a great opportunity to literally travel back in time and at the same time learn Italian beside the country’s traditions. If you have already been to Rome you will have undoubtedly noticed that this city’s life is unique in the true sense of the word! How to orient yourself in this big city, with its neighbourhoods, its narrow streets, its habits as well as the less pleasant aspects related to its urban life?
- Rome and traffic. Like any big city, Rome too is not immune to traffic. So, lets say you have an appointment and have to use the public transport net. Try to plan ahead, especially if you have to cross the city. This rule applies even more if the weather threatens rain or if it’s pouring. In this case, arm yourself with patience and determination and if you can’t really do it, perhaps calling Noah with his ark might be the idea! Seriously, remember Termini station is the connecting point for the subway lines and, in general, the area from which the main connections depart. If you have to take the car, leaving early is a must. Rome is a city where traffic, especially in the middle of the day, could prove unmanageable. So, consider well whether it is better to drive or use public transportation, or even, why not, rent a nice bike to move around!
- Coffee! How could you not surrender to the allure of a good espresso in Italy? Remember then, that in Rome, an excellent coffee is essential break in the day, as well as a widespread habit among all Italians. Let the scent of coffee beans guide you towards a characteristic café where to stop. How much does a coffee cost? Starting from around 80 cents, depending on the café or bar where you happen to find yourself. If you ask for “un caffée”, you will be served the classic cup. So if you prefer your coffee “long”, “macchiato” (with milk), or if you want a “cappuccino”, always specify at the counter the type of coffee you want.
- The traditional cuisine. The authentic culinary dimension of a city is almost always discovered in areas not overly touristic but in rather typical trattorias, perhaps in some nice historic alley. Famous are some Roman dishes such as the Carbonara, the Amatriciana, two very well-known first courses, or the famous Jewish-style artichokes. If you are in a trattoria, you will never be denied advice from the staff, on the contrary! Romans are very helpful and of a sunny disposition; let the chef himself recommend you a nice dish!
- Areas to be avoided. Saturday evening is here and we would like to go out after a week of work or study. What to do, but especially, which neighbourhood should we avoid, especially if staying out late? There are certain neighbourhoods that are less popular and after a certain hour may get a little dangerous, as with any city in the world. The advice is to call a taxi and ask to be dropped close to home if we realize that it’s already pretty late. Remote peripheral areas, located at the terminals of the subway, or on the outskirts, are a bit more critical. The area surrounding Termini train station could be risky if you are alone and it is late. Unfortunately, one can encounter some ill-intentioned person any where in the world. The same advice that we should follow in any big city is applicable. Prudence, especially in the dead of night.
- Relaxing. You have studied all week and worked hard. You need to regenerate, to walk, go for a run in the park, admire a beautiful landscape. You might climb up to the Terraces of the Pincio, explore Villa Borghese or Villa Torlonia, where you will be able to walk in beautiful green areas and see some very characteristic architectural ruins, linked to the historical events of this timeless place.
Well, these are just a few brief suggestions meant to help you the best possible way during your stay in Rome, from practical management of city life to the more relaxing moments. Let your instinct guide you, discover the places that instil you with positive emotions and feel free to ask your new friends or language course teachers for advice, and get ready to live an unforgettable experience!