Visiting Rome

They/Them Travel: Piazza Barberini & Triton Fountain, Rome, Italy

We visited Rome in the spring, a couple weeks before Easter and really enjoyed the timing. You could tell the tourist season was getting underway, but it wasn’t completely over-booked and mobbed yet. The weather was 65℉ and partly sunny, so really good walking and touring weather!

We Learned Most Everything From Our Friend Michele at The Intrepid Guide

ROME TIPS AND TRICKS: 27 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO ROME “Every city has its quirks, including Rome. After living in Rome, I know how to make the most of a city that at times can seem a little backwards. I’ve collated a list of essential Rome tips and tricks that you should know before your trip.”

19 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN ROME NOT ON YOUR LIST [2023] “Don’t want the usual tourist trip to Rome? See the other side of the Eternal City with these unique ways to experience the best things to do in Rome and unique ways to see some of Rome’s top attractions that aren’t on your list…yet!”

How We Found Our Appartamento

I chose Booking.com because they had filters for “I’m looking for an entire home or apartment”, “Family Friendly” and “LGBTQ+ Friendly”. That made it super easy to narrow down the choices of over 10,000+ places to stay in Rome! If you are staying with more than 2 people and/or for more than a couple days/nights in Rome, it is probably a lot more cost effective to get a whole apartment on AirBnB or Booking.com. If you want super easy, then look for rentals near the list of attractions from our “Jet Lag Self-Guided Tour“. Piazza Barberini and the Triton Fountain are not as popular of attractions, but that is what makes it a better place to stay, in my opinion, because it is less crowded. In addition, it has a Metro stop, a couple supermarkets, and a ton of tourist-serving restaurants, bars, bistros, etc.

Roma: The Restaurants We Liked

We didn’t really venture too far out of the tourist area on our first trip, so these restaurants were still pricey, but we enjoyed them. I noticed a lot of people speaking French, so I guess we found the places the French tourists like, at least.

  • Fraschetteria Roma
    • This tiny “hole in the wall” restaurant was such an amazing find. You definitely need reservations to get a table, but that is relatively easy through their site on The Fork. I am pretty sure it was a group of locals next to us who were all betting each other on where we were from. Oddly, I don’t think any of them guessed “US”.
  • Rossini
    • This restaurant is considered part of the Albergo Ottocento, and does not have a separate website of its own. They are really accommodating and family-friendly. We went there when we just couldn’t make it until 8PM for dinner (mostly from being tired). There were local families dining there, in addition to everyone else speaking French.
  • Vladimiro
    • This is where we had dinner on the night before we left. I suspected there was a “tourists” dining room and a local’s dining room, but never got to the bottom of it! When I asked to speak in Italian, they were very helpful. The food was really yummy. Order the house wine, even though it still comes in a bottle.
  • Antica Hostaria Romanesca
    • This was from Michele’s recommendations and we second that!

Almost all of the restaurants in the tourist areas will have English translation on their menus and staff who speak English, and won’t give too much of a fuss over people who want to eat “early” at 6PM. There are just too many tourists they need to feed in one of the most visited cities on the planet! If you are in the touristy Centro Storico and there is someone out in front of a restaurant proclaiming, in English, that his wife makes all of their pasta fresh daily, keep going!

Cacio e Pepe

If you can tolerate gluten and dairy (or even if you can cheat just once), Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman dish that really can only be found in Rome. We tried it at most of the restaurants we ate at, and it was almost always delicious!

Getting Around Rome

We walked over 50 miles (80 km) in total while we were in Rome! It’s really the best way to get to know the city, if you are able. We all either already had or bought sturdy walking shoes and broke them in before we left. This was good advice we were glad we heeded – the cobblestone streets and sidewalks are really hard on your feet and shoes. And, a lesson we learned: if your walking shoes have specific or speciality laces, bring an extra pair with you!

When you need a break from walking or your next destination is just a little too far out of walking range, there is the Metro, buses, and street cars. The Metro mainly operates in central Rome, while the street cars seem to take you from the outlying Roman neighborhoods into central Rome. The buses seem to go everywhere, but we didn’t use them this time.

Taxis in Rome can be a dicey proposition. Everyone seems to have a story about being ripped off by a cab driver in Rome. I didn’t hear that Uber et al were much better, although they should be more standardized because of their apps (should be, right?).

Because there were three of us with bags, it was more cost effective to use a transfer service from the airport and back. Transfer drivers don’t really speak English, so if you are learning only “a little Italian” for your trip to Rome, I would focus it on using taxis and transfers. Transfer drivers also only accept cash.

As an alternative, you can take the express Metro train from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport to the Termini station for about €14 (in 2023).

There are electric scooters all over the place in Rome, but no one seems to be using them anymore. They seem to have fallen out of favor since public transportation re-opened during the pandemic. Scooters are expensive compared to other forms of transportation. People complain that they are uncomfortable. They don’t really look that safe since most people don’t wear helmets while using them, even though you have to ride them in traffic and not on the sidewalks.

Personal Safety

Rome is a big city and like any other city, there is crime. Even while you are enjoying the jaw-dropping art and architecture, be aware of your surroundings and keep your personal items secure at all times. We did not have too much trouble in the spring, but it sounds like the pickpockets just weren’t geared up yet.

They/Them Travel Rome Travelogue

For more details on all the fun things we did and tried in Rome, please see our Travelogue: Rome 2023 (here on this website)