When one thinks of Rome, perhaps one thinks of Caesar, the Colosseum or pasta alla carbonara. But there is plenty more that should spring to mind. From fine art to fiori di zucca fritti (deep-fried courgette flowers, a traditionally Roman recipe), vintage markets in Trastevere and tiny bars with big atmospheres, Rome should be experienced through a local lens. The Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the tourists that trample on them…whilst worth a visit, there are many more places to spend your time in the Eternal City. When in Rome, one should at least try to do as the Romans do. So, with that in mind, trundle through our testimonials from those who did exactly that before you plan your trip.
It has manicured gardens. It has a fine art gallery. It has a temple dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Medicine, which supposedly gives this park healing qualities, so head here when you have a sore head. Relax in this regal paradise, bask in the sun next to the lake, and take a break from the city in its centre.
Perfect for normal people. And by that, we mean fans of Connell and Marianne from Sally Rooney’s novel. Take the train from Flaminio station (which runs every four hours) heading towards Sant’Oreste, and you’ll be there in just over an hour having spent €2 on a ticket. Stay overnight in the actual Airbnb that the episode was filmed in, for just £31 per head per night. Che bello!
Porta Portese Flea Market
This sprawling flea market takes place in Trastevere on the Sabbath and is a diamond mine if you’re prepared to dig through everything on offer. It can only be described as bustling, and you must be ready to hustle: bargain with the vendors for the best price as you immerse yourself in the real spirit of Rome.
Every pasta dish – and there are only two to choose from each day – costs just €4. You can add wine for €1. It’s a no brainer, especially when trying to avoid the tourist-traps surrounding the Spanish Steps.
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It’s easy to get around Rome on foot, but public transport is also very efficient and affordable
As for taxis, Uber is extortionate and should be avoided at all costs: use FREENOW, which is essentially the same thing, but much cheaper.
Students can get a travel pass for €35 a month, but there’s a catch: it is only valid from the first day of the calendar month to the first day of the next one. For example, if you buy it on the 15th June, it’s only valid until the 1st July. Journeys on the metro and bus cost €1.50 for 100 minutes. It functions as a one-way ticket and you can only complete one journey in this time. Remember to validate it when you board your chosen method.
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Get in touch with one of our ambassadors who have spent an extended period of time in this place. They have great advice!
Barcelona is mostly a fairly flat city, where it’s always sunny, so getting around by bike is a very good option. Barcelona has its own version of Boris bikes called Bicing. Also apps like Yego where you can rent mopeds all over the city for around 20 cents a minute.
It is also a good option to buy a T-10 card. With this card you will have 10 trips on all public transport, otherwise it’s €2.20 per ride. The metro runs 5am to midnight Sunday to Thursday, till 2am on Friday and 24 hours on Saturday.
Avoid Uber if you can. It’s a very small city, so its very easy to walk places. FreeNow is a reliable taxi service around the city.