When studying abroad, you want to make the most out of your experience. School is, of course, very important and your timetable may be packed with classes. But there are plenty of thing to do during your free evenings, the odd free morning, and everyone’s favourite time of the week — the weekend. If you’re going to study abroad in Rome, make sure you make the most of it! To help you, local Italy Travel Expert The Roman Guy has created the ultimate Study Abroad Bucket List for Rome. Check it out!
Take a day trip to the Castelli Romani
When you think of small Italian towns, many think of Tuscany. Although Rome is near Tuscany, the region of Lazio (where Rome is situated) has plenty of beautiful places to visit too. Hilltop towns in the Castelli Romani are popular day trips for Italians. These cute little towns hold food and wine festivals at different times of the year, and most are easily accessible by train.
Frascati is a great place to visit if you and some friends want to go wine tasting. For just €2.10 on the train, a 30-minute ride will take you high up on a hilltop town, sipping local white wine and overlooking the city of Rome.
Make the most of student discounts on tours
Tours are great. Not just because they bring ancient Rome back to life, but your sightseeing is condensed into 2 or 3 hour slots, meaning you can conquer the Colosseum and ancient Roman Forum in 3 hours and tick it off your list. Also when friends and family come to visit, you can impress them with your knowledge of Roman history by rattling off some classic one-liners you’ve picked up from your guide.
There are also plenty of cheap tours out there that can get you behind the scenes at attractions, like a Colosseum Arena Floor Tour. With student prices offered by many Rome tour operators, you won’t break the bank while making the most of experiencing the real ancient Rome.
Reach Florence in only 1h30
Not many people realise how close Rome and Florence are located and how easily accessible each city is from the other by fast train — or by FrecciaRossa (red arrow), as the Italians call it.
In just one hour and a half, you can go from Rome to Florence. With Florence being such a small city, you can easily hit the highlights in a day trip, or take an overnight and really soak up the Renaissance capital of the world. Top Tip: travel on Saturday with a friend and get buy-one-get-one-free with Trenitalia.
Find an internship
Even if it’s just for a few hours a week, studying abroad anywhere is always made more fulfilling when you find an internship. Rome is a hub for tourism and many tour operators looking to take on students who are studying abroad to help them out for a semester. You can add skills to your CV while learning about Rome at the same time!
Make an Italian amico/a
Learning Italian will only enrich your experience! It’s all too common that students return home from a few months abroad in a foreign-speaking land and can’t recall how to use the foreign language. But then again, languages don’t always come easy to people. Some learn better in class with a textbook, while others learn better through immersion.
Trust me, you can do it! Don’t give up! Italian can be hard at times, but if you find yourself a good Italian-speaking friend, then I guarantee you’ll progress in no time. Don’t be worried about embarrassing yourself by making mistakes, don’t overthinking it, and you’ll be on your way to being an Italian-speaker.
Explore the Roman parks
Rome isn’t all ruins and dust; there are vast amounts of green spaces to explore in the city, and they’re great places to escape from the crowds. Below are a list of some of my favourite parks to escape to:
- Villa Doria Pamphili: walk in from Gianicolo hill after watching a cannon being fired at 12pm each day;
- Villa Borghese: take a rowboat out on the little lake and lie by a shady tree;
- Parco Regionale Appia Antica: best for cycling if you hire a bike;
- Parco degli Acquedotti: great for a bike ride and a picnic under ancient roman aqueducts.
Enjoy Rome at sunrise
Sleeping in is great, and you’ll feel like you may need it sometimes after a long day studying or an evening out with friends, but you can sleep in anywhere in the world — why Rome? You have everything at your fingertips and the best time to see it all is at sunrise when the city is at its quietest.
You’ll get the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon all to yourself. The streets will smell like fresh baked goods and coffee. You’ll get first pick of the pastries and your photos will be the best you ever take. Just before the sun rises, grab a friend, grab your camera, a few euros for breakfast, and be an “am” tourist. Trust me, it’s worth it.
There is no such thing as Italian food; food in Italy is regional. Lazio has its own dishes, as does Tuscany and Puglia. While you’re in Rome, make sure you taste the city’s mot popular dishes listed below:
1. Pasta Carbonara (pasta with egg, cheese and pork sauce)
2. Bucatini all’Amatriciana (pasta with tomato, cheese and pork sauce)
3. Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with cheese and black pepper)
4. Carciofo alla Romana (Roman artichokes)
5. Carciofi alla Giudia (“Jewish-Style” fried artichokes)
6. Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal with prosciutto and fresh sage)
7. Pizza Romana (Roman-style pizza)
8. Maritozzo (cream-filled sweet bun)
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What other rites of passage do you think students studying in Rome should go through? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.