Mi chiamo Julie (my name is Julie), and I have been studying, working, and exploring Rome for about three months now. Here are some tips for living like a local, but first… I would suggest finding a way to record all that you do while you’re here—my personal favorite is to write in a journal with a pen. Whether you are writing down your experiences or keeping voice memos, make sure you have a way of processing all the places you’ll get to see!
1. Get ready to walk around a lot: comfortable but fashionable sneakers. I wear my New Balances almost every day and occasionally my Nike sneakers when I am exercising, which I have been doing a lot in red and orange zones (gave me an excuse to go outside!) Here is a link to updates on the zone changes in Rome, Italy: https://www.romeing.it/italy-covid-19-new-restrictions/
2. Before traveling to Rome, look into credit cards (Example: Discover credit card is not primarily accepted) and inform your bank when you plan to be away.
3. Make sure to experience the many different ways you can navigate Rome:
• By feet
• Buses (Even though they are usually late)
• A Vespa!
4. Don’t be afraid to learn the language and interact with locals:
• Come ti chiami? What is your name?
• Come stai (informal) or Come sta (formal) How are you?
• Buongiorno! Good morning!
• Buona giornatta! Have a good day!
Simple phrases like these can show that you are trying to learn.
5. Visit a wine vineyard to learn how wine is made and try different kinds out! I visited Frascati and took my friends on tour for 65 euros per person. This included transportation to the vineyard and a tour around the vineyard. The cost included multiple wines to try, lunch at a restaurant, piazza bianca to snack on, and a tour around Frascati.
6. Try to research restaurants/ places to eat before visiting a specific area (to prevent wasting time on deciding where to eat).
7. Don’t be afraid to spend money on quality tours to educate and experience a place with a guide. Thankfully, Temple University provided multiple guided tours around the Colosseum, Villa Borghese, and different neighborhoods.
8. Learn how to make pasta from scratch, especially the typical Roman pasta dishes such as Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe and other dishes such as Porchetta and Supplì.
9. Watch a movie that is based in Rome! Personally, I found it exciting to find places/scenes from movies when I am roaming around Rome. Some are:
• Eat, Pray, Love
• When in Rome
• Roman Holiday
• La Dolce Vita
10. Try cooking something with fresh produce from the markets! Some of my favorite markets are Mercato Testaccio, Mercato Esquilino (multicultural market), and Mercato dell’Unità!
11. Take in the sun at one of the many parks in Rome. Some of my favorites are Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Borghese, and Parco degli Acquedotti.