Featured, Italy, Travel Advice

Rome Travel Tips

16 Comments 09 April 2012

Colosseum basement

Peer into the Colosseum 'basement' where the animals & gladiators were held

I was given few directions; Rome was pretty much up to me. I had asked Bethany months ago what she wanted to do in Rome and she replied, “Eat pasta.”
“Ok, I like to eat, but what do you want to do beyond pasta? What do you want to see in Rome?” I probed further.
I don’t know, what is there to see in Rome?” she replied.

plate of pasta

Bethany with a plate of pasta...happy.

I went out immediately and bought her a guidebook and told her to look through it and see what there was to do in Rome and get back to me.

A few weeks later she came to me with a rough idea of things she wanted to see including the Colosseum, the Vatican, and Pompeii – and eat lots of pasta. Now I had something to work with. I used these as anchors and filled in the rest with Eating Tours and plenty of free time to eat pasta.

At the same time Go with Oh was collecting Rome travel tips for the blogging campaign I was working on with them. Twitter followers sent in tips, and I could choose the ones I wanted to do. I was sent some amazing tips for Rome on the best places, the non-touristy places, advice on how to avoid scams, and ways to save money. You can see all of them here at the Go with Oh Rome Travel Tips.

Armed with Bethany’s wishes, and the Go with Oh tips, we took off to explore Rome for 4 days!


@itsme__jessi – Buy tickets for the Colosseum at the Palatine Museum down the street to skip the long lines & walk right in.

skipping colosseum line

Bethany walking in past the line with our tickets we purchased earlier

inside colosseum wide angle

Inside the Colosseum

View all of my Colosseum Photography

Trevi Fountain

@TourAbsurd – Visit the Trevi Fountain at midnight. It’s romantic and a lot less crowded.
@CailinONeil – My tip for @ottsworld while in Rome is to throw a coin in Trevi fountain, they say if u do u will come back!

trevi fountain night

Our visit to the Trevi Fountain at night

Spanish Steps

We didn’t get any tips for this landmark, but my best advice is to go late or early – the crowds are crazy. If you want to be alone on the Spanish Steps, go in the middle of the night!  Clearly we didn’t take this advice!

crowded spanish steps rome

Bethany and I at the always crowded Spanish Steps


@Heathercowper – The View from the Dome of St Peter’s in #Rome @ottsworld @GowithOh crowded, claustrophobic & unmissable

We didn’t get to the dome, but we did take a wonderful and informative tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter and skipped the lines at all of them with a reserved ticket!

Cemetery Visit

@eur0peanne – On a pretty day, visit the Protestant Cemetery near Piramide, and then have lunch at Felice. Cacio e pepe is divine!

This was my favorite tip of all and the winner of the Go with Oh contest.  View Non-Catholic Cemetery Photo Documentary

How to get around:

@grantbton – if bad with maps follow long paving slabs (running in middle of cobbles) – marks route from trevvi to piazza navona via pantheon

path from trevi fountain to pantheon

We followed this path from Trevi fountain to Pantheon - easy!

Eating & Drinking:

@CitySmackerels – For a truly wonderful meal, go to Taverna Lucifero located on a small sidestreet off Campo de’ Fiori #Rome

restaurant rome

The first night we had dinner using this tip! It was near our apartment.

@gfreefun Get lost in Trastevere and find an inexpensive place to sip vino outside in the late afternoon.


laundry trastevere

Wander around the Trastevere neighborhood

glass of red wine

We stopped for a glass of wine in Trastevere

@eur0peanne – Go to Volpetti (short walk from Piramide) and bask in the cheeses, meats, olives. They’ll give you samples. :)


Volpetti salami - delicious - worth a visit to Testaccio neighborhood!

@MhnParee – in Rome bars and cafés, table-service prices are generally at least double what you pay if you stand at the bar.

ordering coffee rome

Ordering and ejoying coffee in Rome - the local way

Culture tips:

@acooknotmad – Drink the water, from the tap, the fountains, everywhere, it’s all safe to drink and delicious

rome water fountains

Bethany drinking from the water fountains in Rome

This was just a few of the tips we did, but here’s the full list of  Rome travel tips I received.

View All Rome Photography:

Disclosure: Go with Oh hosted my apartment lodging in Rome. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!

Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. Jess C. says:

    Great tip about following the paving slabs, I’ll have to remember that one!

  2. We just arrived in Rome today so thanks for the timely advice, particularly the Colosseum tickets.


    Larissa and Michael

    • Sherry says:

      Check out all of the Go With Oh tips – as some are awesome. Also – I’ll throw my own tip in – if you like travel photography – go check out the Steve McCurry exhibit at the MACRO museum in Testaccio neighborhood. Enjoy!!

  3. Mark H says:

    I love the boundless energy in Rome – a zest for life that seems to emanate from every pore of every ancient building.

  4. Wendy says:

    You are filling up my “vacation” folder with great ideas! Love it! We visited Rome in 2003 and hired a professional guide to take us through the Vatican Museum – this was amazing. The woman had been an art student in college and gave her perspective as we wandered through all the fab art. I don’t have her contact info anymore… wish I did… we’ll head back to Rome in 2013. Thanks for all the great tips!!

  5. Just perfect. We’re off to Rome for the first time in a couple of weeks and as we’ve only got two days (eek!), we need all the tips we can get. Bookmarking this post to take with us. Thanks. :)

  6. Adam says:

    Definitely plan to look back here when I finally visit Rome for the first time in June. Thanks!

  7. Mark S says:

    One of the things I like to do when going to Italy and want to find a couple nice places to eat close to my hotel is. I will use google maps and type in restaurants near then the address of where I will be staying and google will give me a map of all the restaurants close to my hotel. Most often not only will they show there location on the map but will also have all the restaurants with web sites listed. Then I will go on the site and see if they have there menu on line, that way I will know if it is a place I want to go to.

  8. Miles says:

    Thanks! These are some great tips for Rome. I enjoyed just wandering a little the first time I was there. I eventually stumbled across an amazing piazza, buzzing with life, fountains and cafes…Just magical and I was ever so pleased with myself. I only found out later it was the hugely famous piazza navona!

  9. Rigor says:

    Thank you Sherry for sharing such fantastic information.One think that I would like to share that I used this fountain waster and got diarrhea. So it is advisable to use only mineral water if you have to stay for a couple of days.
    I have also been visiting the world but at a very low pace because I have not yet retired from my corporate life. I have suggested thirteen sites at travelgeeze.com/what-to-do-in-rome/ that should not be missed while visiting Rome.

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks for your comment Rigor. Sorry to hear you got sick in Rome – but I also have drank from the fountains and have been absolutely fine. Each person is different and each person should decide for themselves. I found the water in Rome to be safe for me.

  10. Lynn Chou says:

    Now I wish I’d taken @CailinONeil’s advice and toss a coin in Trevi fountain! Another Rome travel tip: avoid high season! My friend and I went in the winter of 2010 and it was wonderful. We even got to see the first snow of that year! :)

  11. Funny and useful suggestions (above all, the first one).
    My personal advice is to visit Capitolini Museums just immediately after you visited the Roman Forum. You’ll see an incredible collection of ancient art, and you’ll enjoy a panoramic view over the Roman Forum from the Tabularium, so a reverse angle of view, perfect for marvellous pictures.
    This is our site, hoping that can be interesting for you:
    We organize private Guided Tours in Rome and Vatican.
    I hope that I’ll be able to increase your knowledge with some secret place in Rome, unknown to you…Think about it for you next holiday in Rome…:)

  12. Very well drafted article : )
    I love “Fontana di Trevi” I was there many moons ago and cannot wait to go again!!!


  13. Mike says:

    The coliseum is by far one the main reasons I went to the Rome in 2010. The history in Rome is just amazing. Also the ice cream is delicious and worth a visit alone

  14. Really cool Sherry! Glad I am coming across so many great tips I can use in Rome! Thanks 😀

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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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