Public transport

\There are three main options for public transport in the city center: buses, trams, and the metro. All three run from around 5 a.m. until midnight and cover the whole of the city.

Paying for your travel is easy too.You can buy tickets and passes from Tabacchi stores, newsstands, Metro stations, or machines at major bus stops. Tickets cost €1.50 and can be used on buses, trams, subways, and overground trains, and must be stamped as soon as you get on the bus/tram/metro/train to be considered valid. Once the ticket has been stamped, it is valid for 100 minutes of travel.Random ticket checks are frequently carried out, and an unstamped ticket will come with a hefty fine should you get caught out. A monthly travel pass can also be purchased by those with a codice fiscale.

Crossing the road

Where there is a green man indicating that you can cross, be aware that cars may still be entitled to turn onto the road and cross where you are happily walking. Where there are no lights, crossing places are indicated by white stripes (zebras). As a pedestrian, you have the right of way here, but you should always remain alert, particularly in wet weather when roads may be slippery. Make sure that the drivers in approaching cars have seen you and that they have a reasonable stopping distance – and then walk.

Be prepared to wait...

From the government or local council to the Post Office, be prepared to queue. Best practice: book your appointment where possible, always aim to make these appointments as early in the day as you can.

Don't buy water

Rome is very good with water and always has been. By the first century A.D., thanks to the amazing engineering of aqueducts, the city had roughly 1,000 liters of water available per person, per day. Nowadays, not so much – but still around 500 liters per family.

You'll want to drink a lot of water here, especially in the summer months, but all you need to do is buy one bottle at the beginning of your trip and then refill it regularly from one of the 2,500 fontanelle (little fountains) that are scattered around the city. The water that flows constantly from these roadside fountains is safe, fresh, and super-cold. Can't see a fontanelle from where you're standing?(others are available) for iPhone to see them all marked on a map.

Leave your high heels at home

There is little point in trying to wear high heels in Rome. There are simply too many cobbles. Unless you’re taking a taxi from door to door, it's sensible to wear flat shoes.

You can buy pretty much anything at a Tabaccheria

Apart from selling the obvious, tobacco, they also sell stamps, top-up for your phone, you can pay your bills there, get your monthly transport pass, buy lottery tickets… If you need something but you don't know where to get it from, it's most likely that you can get it from the Tabaccheria.


Italy’s gift to students on a budget. For €6-10 you can enjoy a drink and a variety of food, usually from 7 until 10 pm. It’s a cheap dinner and an excellent way to catch up with your friends! Some places offer a buffet with all types of pasta, vegetables, cured meats, pizza, etc, and others may bring you a charcuterie board with a few different options. It all depends on which venue you choose!

Don't go shopping at lunchtime

While Rome is far more like a traditional northern-European city than some of those in the south, you're still going to find that many shops close at lunchtime and re-open in late afternoon, especially in the summer.