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24 Mistakes to Avoid to Do in Rome

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

Every time we visit a new city or a new country, there are always some things that are better to avoid to do or things to keep in mind to make our visit easier, better planned, and save money.

Here is my list of advice for you to make sure your stay in Rome will be an incredible vacation to remember forever.

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

1. Don't forget to pack some comfortable shoes.

The centre of Rome can look not so big on the map but trust me that even if you book your accommodation in the city centre, you will walk many kilometres every day, and comfortable shoes are a lifesaver.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

2. Don't forget to prebook your skip-the-queue tickets in advance for the most important attractions.

You cannot imagine the queue to see the Vatican museums or the Colosseum. The first time I saw them, I got speechless. They can be more than a kilometre long. That means you will have to wait in a queue for more than 2 hours.

Also, some of the most visited museums cannot be visited without a reservation. That means, if you don't book it in advance, you won't be able to see them.

So take my advice, check my articles "15 Most Visited Museums in Rome" or the "27 Unmissable Places to Visit in Rome", choose what you want to see, and book the tickets in advance.

Too many tourists don't do it, and they all regret it. Get the skip-the-queue tickets at the best prices here.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

3. Don't throw coins inside every fountain in Rome.

Remember, you can throw coins only inside the Trevi Fountain. Which is the famous fountain where if you throw one coin you will come back to Rome, if you throw two coins you will meet the love of your life and if you throw three coins you will get married.

It doesn't work in every fountain, I am sorry.

How many coins are thrown into the Trevi Fountain?

The ACEA team collects an average of 8,000 euros every time they clean the fountains from coins. for an average of 25,000 euros per week and an average of 1,500,000 euros per year.

When visiting Rome, keep in mind that three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the ACEA team removes coins from the Trevi fountain. They close the fountain between 8 and 9 a.m. so you won't be able to get close to throw coins indie or take any pictures with it.

what happen to the coins inside the Trevi fountain?

What happens to the Trevi fountain coins?

All the coins collected by the ACEA team go to an Italian charity called Caritas, a Catholic charity that is headquartered in Rome and helps people in need.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

4. Don't forget to carry a reusable bottle.

A little water bottle (0.5 l) can cost you 2.50 euros or more next to the tourist sights. You will see so many water fountains all around Rome.

The water is delicious, so save some money to spend on food and refill your reusable bottle for free.

Do you want to know more about Rome?

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Rome" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

5. Don't go for a swim inside Roman fountains.

Even on the hottest days of Summer, don't do it! You will face a fine to pay if they catch you.

Just fill up your reusable bottle at the drinking water fountain and refresh yourself a bit.

Or, as I always do, get out early in the morning and then take a nap after lunch, during the hottest hours and go out again at the aperitivo time (after 5 pm) when the temperature is fresher.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

6. Don't take pictures with the Gladiators at the Colosseum:

You will see many tourists doing that but be aware that they are all doing it illegally, and only 1 picture with them can cost you a lot of money, so ask for prices first.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

7. Don't rent a car or a scooter to explore Rome.

The traffic in Rome can be crazy, and buses and the metro work perfectly. If you look at the map, you will see that most of the main attractions are all in the city centre, only a few minutes walk from each other.

There is no need to get stuck in the traffic and spend half an hour looking for a car park (that you also have to pay for).

If planning to visit the area outside the capital, renting a car is highly recommended so you will move freely.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

8. Don't leave your belongings unattended.

Rome is full of pickpockets, so always keep your belongings with you in an antitheft backpack or purse (and always keep it in front of you, never behind you).

Are you looking for some fantastic sightseeing tours?

Check these out:

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

9. Don't eat right next to tourist sights.

They are probably going to serve you tasty food because it is challenging to find bad restaurants in Italy.

Still, they will be significantly overpriced, so think about your budget before doing it. Yes, the view is nice, but you can find the same food just a 2-minute walk from there and spend a lot less.

Do you like Wine?

If the answer is Yes!

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

10. Don't forget to learn some Italian phrases.

Trust me if I tell you that Italians appreciate seeing that a tourist is trying to talk to them even if their Italian is not good. They will speak to you like it is perfect and make you feel comfortable like you are a friend.

Hello= Ciao

Good morning= Buon Giorno

Good afternoon= Buon Pomeriggio.

Good evening= Buona Sera.

Good night= Buona Notte

Can I have a coffee?= Posso avere un caffe?

Can I get the bill?= Posso avere il conto?

Can I get a ticket?= Posso avere un biglietto?

Thank you very much= Grazie Mille.

It's very good= E' Molto Buono.

I like it= Mi Piace.

Goodbye= Arrivederci.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

11. Don't be afraid to talk to people.

Italians are very friendly, so they will talk nicely to you when you speak well to them. They can give you pieces of advice about everything, where to eat, what to order, where to go, what to do etc.

Do you want to see everything Rome has to offer and save money at the same time?
You won't regret it!

12. Don't say Ciao to everyone.

In Italy, ciao is for people you know, like friends, relatives, or someone you have already talked to a few times, and you feel the friendly vibe.

Otherwise, while entering a place, restaurant, bar, hotel, or museum, always say Buon Giorno (good morning) or Buon Pomeriggio (good afternoon) e Buona Sera (good evening).

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

13. Don't go into churches or other religious buildings wearing shorts and uncovered shoulders.

It is essential always to cover your legs and shoulders. They will not allow you to enter (like the Basilica di San Pietro or the Vatican).

During summertime, I usually wear light trousers or long dresses to have my legs covered and also carry in my purse a light scarf to cover my shoulder if I have to.

More Destinations Travel Guides and more Travel Tips are added regularly, so hit the subscribe button at the end of this article to be always updated about new articles (and get all the giveaways).

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

14. Don't sit at a table to drink a coffee if you don't want to pay more.

If you drink at the counter, the price will be lower. There will be the "eat-in" price to pay, even for a coffee if you sit.

Remember: Italians always drink their coffee at the counter. You won't find an internet cafe' like everywhere else in the world where they will allow you to spend the whole afternoon at a table only by ordering one coffee.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 15 Things to Don't Do in Rome

15. Don't order a cappuccino or a latte after 11 am or during lunch and dinner.

I am not saying that it is illegal. Of course, if you usually drink it with your lunch, who am I to tell you to don't do it?

But Italians never drink more than an espresso or a macchiato (with a drop of milk) after having breakfast. Absolutely not during lunch or dinner. During meals, they only order water, beer, or wine.

If you want to do it in the Italian way, order an espresso or a macchiato when you feel the need to wake up a bit after lunch or dinner.

16. Don't see only the main tourist attractions:

Rome is a very big city and has plenty of tourist sights, but if you have some spare time, try to also visit fewer tourist places. Get lost and have fun. You never know which fantastic places you can find.

mistakes to avoid in rome

17. Don't forget to book a walking tour:

A cheap walking tour in Rome is a must, to learn more about Italian culture and places you won't probably find by yourself.

There are walking tours for every price and length of time you should check on Tiqets.

If you plan to explore Rome by yourself but still want to listen to an audio guide, check out here on Wegotrip, where you can find very cheap audioguides for Rome and many other cities around the world.

Use the widget below to check out all the audioguide available in Rome.

cooking classes in rome to book

18. Don't forget to book a cooking class in Rome:

Do you love Italian food and want to learn how to make some delicious recipes? Maybe you should have a look at the cooking classes available in Rome here.

In Rome, there are cooking classes for every to learn everything you want. Pasta, pizza, gelato, tiramisu and much more.

using the metro in rome

19. Don't avoid using public transport:

Buses and metro in Rome are excellent and very cheap. If you have to reach a place far from your accommodation and don't want to walk too much to reach it, using public transport is going to be a great option. They are also very easy to use and clean, so give them a try.

20. Don't let anyone help you purchase a ticket:

Some of my Roman friends told me about this new scam so be aware of it.

These scammers usually stand near the ticket machines, ask you if you need help to purchase your tickets and while you are looking for the money, they steal your belongings.

21. Purchase your train and coach tickets in advance:

To go to Rome from the airport and back check out "All the Ways to Reach Rome from Every Roman Airport" where you will find all the details to plan the perfect trip to Rome.

Or to explore some other cities in Italy, the best way is by purchasing your coach and train tickets in advance on Rail Europe. Use the widget below to get some amazing discounts.

what to don't do in rome

22. Don't eat at the wrong places:

Eating real Italian food when in Italy is one of the best experiences you can have.

Make sure to eat only in local places, where they DON'T SERVE you food for tourists, like pasta alfredo, pizza with pineapple, shining colours gelato, pasta with giants meatballs and other non-Italian food.

To have a better idea about what to eat in Rome, you should definitely check out "28 Delicious Food and Drinks to Try in Rome".

Best places where to eat in Rome:

23. Don't expect to eat an American breakfast in Rome:

You won't find places where to have eggs and bacon for breakfast. We love to drink a cappuccino or a fresh orange juice with a pastry like a cornetto (croissant), yoghurt with muesli or break butter and jam (or even better with Nutella).

24. Don't use a random cash machine:

Always enter a bank to withdraw your money.

In this way, you will be far from the street so you will withdraw your money in a safe place, but you will also be sure that if the machine broke and keeps your credit card, there will be someone there ready to help you get it back in a coupe of minutes.

Did you enjoy my article?

I have plenty like this one about visiting Rome.

Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Rome.

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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.


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