Skip to main content

How to See Rome like a Local

When in Rome... live la dolce vita with these insider tips.


  • Step 1: Rent a moped Rent a motor scooter, or motorino. Yes, traffic can be hairy and Romans are crazy drivers. But there's no better way to zip around town. Bonus: you'll feel like Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
  • TIP: For a great, romantic view of Rome, head up the winding road from Trastevere to the Janiculum Hill.
  • Step 2: Have lunch on the go Lunch on Rome's ubiquitous street food, pizza al taglio, or pizza by the slice. Sold by weight, it comes with a variety of toppings. Speak with your hands, just like the locals, to communicate how big a piece you want.
  • Step 3: Navigate side streets Explore the streets around Campo de' Fiori, a piazza popular for its morning produce and flower market. The area is filled with edgy clothing shops, intimate wine bars, and art galleries. For bargain finds, follow the Romans to the Borghetto Flaminio or Via Sannio flea markets.
  • TIP: Savor sit-down cafes in the afternoon. In the morning, have your cappuccino or caffellatte standing up at the bar.
  • Step 4: Visit Villa Pamphili Spend an afternoon at Villa Pamphili, Rome's biggest park. You'll find residents jogging, dog-walking, kite-flying, and picnicking among towering trees, ponds, fountains, and gardens.
  • Step 5: Take a stroll Hit the streets for a late afternoon passeggiata, or leisurely stroll. Tons of locals indulge in this ritual, especially on the weekends -- window-shopping, catching up with friends, and flirting, often with a gelato in hand.
  • Step 6: Enjoy summer pleasures If you're visiting in warm weather, take a day trip to Lake Bracciano. About 25 miles northwest of Rome, it offers sandy beaches, seafood restaurants, windsurfing, and sailing. Back in the Eternal City, check local listings for open-air cinema and music festivals throughout the summer.
  • FACT: From 1968 to 2002, a man nicknamed D'Artagnan lived off coins he collected from the famed Trevi Fountain, sometimes netting as much as $1,300 a day.

You Will Need

  • Adventurous spirit

Popular Categories