Books, lectures, and endless assignments dominate student life. Sometimes, a trip might be the best way to get a break. One of Earth’s most impressive destinations to visit is Rome. It’s full of incredible ancient wonders and history and has a vibrant culture perfect for exploration. It’s the best place to start when you want to learn about Italian culture and lifestyle. Let’s check out some tips for making the most of your trip to Rome.

Tips for Students Taking a Trip to Rome

Conduct Research Before You Go

Rome is home to many historical landmarks, such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. However, it also has many hidden landmarks worth exploring that you won’t hear much about. You can discover these hidden gems by researching the city. Use online guides, books, and even podcasts about Rome to learn useful background information and learn about more places worth visiting.

Learn Some Italian

You don’t need to learn the whole language for a three-day trip, but you can learn some useful Italian phrases to help you communicate with the locals. Phrases such as “Grazie” for Thank you and “Per favore” for please can go a long way in helping you make your stay smoother. Furthermore, the locals will appreciate your efforts to learn their language.

Don’t Pay for Water

As a former student, I remember getting used to paying for many things, including the occasional professional to write an essay for me. But when visiting Rome, there’s one thing you don’t pay for: water. In the city, you will find many vendors selling water. You can buy it if you want, but you should know that Rome has free water fountains all over the city known as “nasoni.”

The water is clean, cool, and, most importantly, free. You will just be saving money on more important things. You can drink from the “nasoni” directly or use it to fill your reusable water bottle as you explore different areas.

Respect the Culture

When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Rome is a city with strong ties to its traditions and history. So, during your visit, respect the local culture and embrace it. For example, you should dress modestly when visiting religious sites like churches or the Vatican. This means wearing clothes that cover your knees and shoulders, which is a sign of respect.

Respecting the culture also means respecting their food. Romans take their food seriously; while you’re there, you should try to embrace their culinary traditions. So, avoid asking for major modifications to dishes; instead, trust the local chefs; your taste buds will thank you.

Pictures with Centurions Aren’t Free

With the allure of the rich Roman history comes the need to take pictures next to historical figures. While exploring the city, you may encounter some people in full legionnaire costumes asking you to take a photo with them. If you decide to do it, be prepared to pay anywhere from 80-100 EUROS, which is quite steep, even for a tourist. So, unless you really need the picture, avoid them.

Purchase Sightseeing Tickets Online

You’re a student, so time is precious. Book your tickets to the Colosseum or Vatican online to be able to skip through crowds. Rome’s most popular attractions tend to be packed, and you can waste a lot of your time waiting in line for a ticket. By acquiring your tickets online, you can skip the inevitable crowds. Even though these tickets might be more expensive online, they are definitely worth it. What if the official websites run out of tickets? Don’t worry; you can find them from resellers online.

Avoid Crowds Through Planning

As one of the most popular tourist locations, Rome is busy almost all year, meaning many sightseeing locations are often packed. However, there are some seasons where there is usually less traffic, like between April and May or September to November. If you can schedule your trip within these windows, you will enjoy the pleasant weather and a less crowded trip. Then, while you’re there, aim to visit the most famous locations early in the morning or just before closing.

Stay Safe and Alert

Rome is a relatively safe city, but don’t be complacent. As a tourist, understand that you can be a common target for petty crimes such as theft or pickpocketing, just like in many other countries. Stay alert at all times and watch your surroundings.

When walking through crowds, wrap your bag in your front to protect your valuables and make it easier to notice if anyone tries to open it. Also, be aware of anyone approaching you, whether they’re selling something or asking for donations. Learn to say “No Grazie” (no thanks) and keep moving.

Download Offline Maps and Avoid Asking Strangers for Directions

You might be a tourist, but you don’t want to advertise it everywhere you go. You should walk like you already know the place and use maps to guide you while exploring. The GPS on your phone can be useful, but you should also download offline maps in case the internet is choppy.

When walking, walk like you know where you’re going. If you move around looking lost, some people might take advantage of you. Also, don’t ask for directions from people in the streets. Some might seem eager to help but may charge you for their services later on. If you get lost, ask for directions from people working in restaurants or shops.

Watch Out for Discounts

As a student, you are entitled to discounts and sometimes even free entry, depending on your field and nationality. For example, the Vatican Museum offers great discounts to students under 25. Students studying in fields related to history, architecture, archeology, and philosophy can also get discounts or free access to some sightseeing locations like The Galleria Borghese. Note that you must verify you are a student by carrying your student ID.

Summing Up

To maneuver Rome like a local or seasoned traveler, you should first research the city before going. Also, learn some Italian, respect the culture while there, purchase sightseeing tickets online, and make use of navigation maps.

These tips will make your experience more pleasant, but the most important one is to make the most of your time there. It can be your opportunity to grow, explore a new culture, and forge some good memories. Rome is a wonderful destination, and with the above insights, you should find it easier to navigate the city and discover its rich history. So, safe travels, and enjoy your trip.