Brendan Armstrong: Navigating Rome as a tourist; how to make the most of your time

ROME — Blasted by summer’s scorching heat, we took our first steps out of the hotel, unsure of what lay ahead in the Eternal City. 

Navigating Italy isn’t a simple task, particularly when you have never been before and are unaware of cultural norms. You might get even more discouraged when you learn that traveling in the summer means meeting blistering temperatures and humidity.

Nonetheless, I’m writing this article to you – the tourist, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your trip. 

The first thing to know about Rome in July is that temperatures will reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack light clothes, coat yourself in sunblock, and make sure to drink plenty of water. 

I lived off of the little water spouts scattered throughout the city where I constantly filled up my water bottle.

Know that some places require you to schedule a time slot in advance to enter. We were severely disappointed when we were denied access to the Pantheon on a Saturday since we needed to make an appointment for the weekend.

Italy is known for its pizza, pasta and gelato. When navigating the city, these three foods will become new staples of your diet. Bonus is that gelato definitely helps with the hot temperatures.

Rome is known as the Ancient City because of the various structures and architecture that have existed for thousands of years. Make sure to visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain and the various museums that are scattered throughout the city.

Pictured here is the Trevi Fountain where thousands gather everyday to admire the water and statues. (Brendan Armstrong)

I quickly learned that I enjoyed being outside the most at nighttime. The weather was cooler and you could really immerse yourself into the culture of Rome.

Make time for transportation needs. The metro was quite reliable, but the buses were not. If you need to get somewhere quickly, schedule time in case you are waiting at a bus stop or need to walk a little bit further than you were expecting.

Lastly, and most importantly, have fun! Rome is one of the most exciting and knowledge-packed places in the world!

As the great Roman Orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, once said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Rome itself is your garden and library.

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