rome like a local Vatican Garden Basilica

Rome off the beaten tracks: 5 100% local addresses

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Get away from the tourist trail and uncover these lesser known Rome attractions like a local.

Rome! It’s a city many dream of visiting – historical treasures, the Vatican City and a fantastic atmosphere combine to make Rome a place teeming with attractions and sights.

But the popularity of Rome’s lifestyle, cafes and bustling streets mean the city is extremely busy in the peak periods. It’s also easy to fall into a tourist trap – especially when dining out or grabbing lunch. You can quickly fall into an overpriced restaurant with mediocre food if you are tired, hungry and stressed from the crowds – we get it.

In addition, the main attractions – such as those at the Vatican City and the Colosseum – can have queues that last for hours ! And unless you know the secret tips and tricks needed to skip the lines, your 3 day weekend can quickly be over.

Of course, you are not going to go to Rome and miss the Colosseum, but we’re here to show you some of the lesser known places on the map. If the crowds get too much for you read our guide on how to do Rome like a local!


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Rome Like a Local: Best Local Coffee Shop

You’ll be surprised how quick local Romans drink their coffee ! In the morning especially, they pop in to the cafe, grab an espresso, drink it standing up and leave ! You can of course order a cappuccino or any other type of caffeinated beverage, but the locals like to keep it short !

In the afternoon, coffee usually follows a meal, and can be used as an afternoon pick me up. Of course – YOU are on vacation –  so you can afford to grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere.

Head to the San Lorenzo district for a quirky vibe with less tourists. Here, you will find coffee shops, restaurants and bars in abundance and a distinct artsy vibe.

Best Coffee Shop

  • Giufa Rome: This quirky bookshop come coffee shop is a little gem. With a great selection of books and excellent coffee you will be sure to be doing Rome like a local here.
  • Average coffee price  €1
  • Location – Via Degli Aurunci n.38
rome like a local Glass coffee filter

Rome Like a Local: Best Streets to take a Walk

Testaccio is a little known area of Rome which has an interesting local market brimming with cool and offbeat arefacts. It’s a place in which to lose yourself, exploring the stores and cafes.

You’ll be in great company here – most people here are locals, and the area has kept its’ unique charms ! Grab some pizza in a little restaurant and pick up some goods in the market as you soak up the vibe.

  • Metro Line B
rome like a local Roma Testaccio Ponte Sublicio

Rome Like a Local: Where to have a Local Lunch ?

If you want to do Rome like a local you have to do lunch like one ! Lunch is a sprawled out affair, and one of the most popular dishes is of course pizza. Roman pizza is thin crust, best enjoyed with a glass of wine.

If you don’t have the time to get away from the tourist hotspots there are still a few hidden gems where you can eat away from the crowds in the centre. Try La Sagrestia on Pizzeria Via Del Seminario for the best pasta and pizza in the area.

  • Average Pizza €11
rome like a local Pesto Pasta

Rome Like a Local: Best Markets

A great way to do Rome like a local is to explore the local markets ! Often, tourists just don’t have the time to look around so you’ll have a perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals.

We’ve already mentioned Testaccio market as a true gem, but there are plenty of others. The Borghetto Flea Market is one for collectors, whilst the Fontanella Borghese market is an art buffs delight. And of course, to really soak up the atmosphere head to any of the food markets across the city. The Campo de Fiori is a great choice and is open daily.

rome like a local Campo Dei Fiori

Rome Like a Local: The Best Rome Gelato

One last stop on your Rome like a Local tour! Gelato! It’s an absolute must, especially on a hot summer day. Our top tip for the best gelato in Rome – avoid the chains (which are fantastic by the way) such as Fatamorgana. Rather, have a walk around one of the neighbourhoods we have suggested –  Testaccio or San Lorenzo – and pick one of the local gelatto shops as you go buy!

We hope you enjoy our tips on how to navigate Rome like a local! If you are looking to start planning your trip why not check out a Rome City Pass or check out our guides on the best hotels in Rome ?

rome like a local Gelato