The Pros and Cons of Living in Rome, Italy

Rome, the eternal city, a place where history merges seamlessly with modernity, offers a plethora of experiences for travelers and residents alike.

From its stunning architecture to its rich history, delicious cuisine, and vibrant culture, Rome captivates visitors with its charm at every turn.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the various aspects of Rome to help you get a better understanding of what this iconic city has to offer and help you decide if it’s a good place to live.

Watch Our Video About Scouting Iconic Rome, Italy

The Pros of Living in Rome, Italy

This astounding city has a lot going for it and here’s what we love:

Rome Is Gorgeous!

View of the Roman Forum from Rome, ItalyWe were awestruck by Rome’s beauty. The architecture is stunning and the shocking amount of iconic ancient monuments, statues, and fountains scattered throughout the city really surprised us!

We also loved all the trees, greenspaces, and picturesque parks. We walked to Parco della Caffarella, which is an incredible park with a lot of different walking trails, 2,000-year-old ruins, and even a flock of sheep! It felt like we left the city entirely and were in the countryside.

Parco Villa Borghese, located north of the historic center near the neighborhood of Parioli, is another beautiful, must-visit park, especially if you’re in the mood for a relaxing stroll.

Incredible History & Things To Do

The Baths of Caracalla in Rome, italyHistory buffs will find themselves in paradise in Rome!

It was well worth paying to access these incredible places, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Baths of Caracalla, and the Roman Forum.

However, you don’t have to pay to experience many of the sights. You can see so much just walking down the street and of course, you can appreciate the structures from the outside.

Rome Is Safe

While petty theft and pickpocketing can occur, the city is generally safe for visitors.

We felt comfortable roaming around day and night but we were extra mindful of our belongings in the crowded areas and on the Metro.

Rome Has Great Food & Restaurants

There’s no shortage of great food in Rome, from affordable street food to high-end restaurants.

Grocery shopping is easy thanks to the variety of small grocery stores, organic stores, and specialty stores in each neighborhood. You can easily find gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and gourmet products.

Buying produce in the mercatos is always an enjoyable experience for us. We like to buy local as much as possible and everything we bought was full of flavor and affordable.

Solid Infrastructure

Rome has good infrastructure, with well-maintained roads, reliable electricity, and widespread 5G cell coverage.

While the tap water may look unusual when boiled due to mineral content. It contains calcium-carbonate, which becomes insoluble at high temperatures making boiled water cloudy, but it’s safe to drink.

Public Transportation in Rome

Navigating Rome is easy thanks to its efficient public transportation system. The tram and metro are affordable and convenient, providing quick access to major tourist destinations and the airport.

Additionally, buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Uber are available, but traffic is congested and slow so rail options might get you there faster.

Rome Is Walkable

The Roman Forum in Rome, ItalyRome is a pedestrian-friendly city with wide sidewalks and drivers who generally stop for pedestrians.

Since we walked almost everywhere we appreciated the yellow walk lights and countdown walk timers.

Romans Are Friendly People

Despite being a bustling metropolis, Rome retains its charm with friendly locals who are often willing to help.

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning Italian can enhance your experience and help you connect with the community on a deeper level.

Rome Is Centrally Located in Italy

Rome’s strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of Italy and other countries.

With the availability and convenience of high-speed trains, you can easily travel to other cities such as Florence and Naples.  You can also take an international train to France.

Rome has two international airports with direct flights to numerous countries, including the U.S. and Canada.

The Cons of Rome, Italy

No place is perfect and that includes Rome. Here’s what we didn’t love:

Rome Is a Big City

As with any major city, Rome has its share of urban challenges, including traffic congestion, graffiti, and occasional crime. There are some areas to avoid and you always need to be aware of your surroundings.

Bad Traffic in Rome

Traffic congestion is a common issue in Rome, especially during peak hours, which can result in longer commute times and increased costs for taxis and ride-sharing services.

We decided to use Uber to take us to our Vatican City tour because we thought it would be faster. Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic and we almost missed our allotted entry time! It was stressful and we would have been better walking or taking the metro.

Rome Is Crowded

Rome’s popularity as a tourist destination means that certain areas can get overcrowded, particularly around historical landmarks and tourist attractions.

At times we felt overwhelmed trying to navigate through the crowds and it wasn’t even high season!

Housing Issues in Rome

Rome Italy Centro HistoricoFinding affordable housing in Rome can be challenging, with high rents and landlords often preferring long-term leases of 3 years or longer.

Additionally, a lot of condos have been converted to short-term stays and listed on sites like AirBnB, reducing the supply for long-term rentals.

Therefore, purchasing property may be a better option for those planning to stay long-term.

Cultural Differences Are a Challenge

While we didn’t experience a lot of culture shock, we were surprised by the amount of smokers and that we couldn’t flush the toilet paper in some places, including our apartment rental. Consequently, we’ve embraced the bidet!

Tourist Scams

The Colosseum in Rome, ItalyTourist scams are a reality in Rome, with aggressive vendors and individuals attempting to exploit unsuspecting visitors, including us. We got hit up by these scammers multiple times and it was very off-putting and irritating.

Some common scams include offering a free gift or asking you to sign a petition and then trying to guilt you into giving them a “donation”.

As a general rule, don’t accept anything for free and if someone asks you to sign their petition, just move on, because more than likely it’s a scam.

In these situations, the best thing you can do is try to ignore the scammers by avoiding eye contact and not stopping or acknowledging them when they try to get your attention.

Weather In Rome

We visited Rome in December and we needed to wear our warmer coats, gloves, and scarves. The temperatures were above average for the time of year and, even though we had some sunny days, we were still pretty chilly!

Summers can be painfully hot and, in July of 2023, Rome experienced a record-breaking heatwave.

Final Thoughts

Rome is an amazing city and we’d absolutely love to spend more time there. While it has its challenges, the city’s beauty, history, and friendly atmosphere made us sad to leave.

Although we wouldn’t want to live there long-term, it would be a great place to live for a few months or even a year.

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