When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Seriously, do. They know how to party. And eat and drink and think and breathe and just do everything with style basically. So follow their lead and avoid being a tourist as much as you possibly can.

Population: too many to count

Language: Italiano

Nationalities: Italian, Roman, Greek – plus hordes of tourists

Surf report: in tourist season you can surf in a crowd of selfie-sticks, does that count?

Cookie-cutter must see’s: feeling serious? Here’s the serious sights:

Colosseum + Roman Forum – despite the huge amount of tourists that barge into you to get the best selfie spot, you can’t go to Rome and not see these two sights. The Colosseum is the site of ancient gladiatorial battles and the Roman Forum is a collection of ancient ruins. Picturesque, dripping with history and unmissable.  

Pantheon – free entry and absolutely beautiful, both during the day and at night. This is an ancient temple that was dedicated to the pagan gods of Rome and is one of the most important buildings in Rome.

Fontana di Trevi Trevi Fountain – sit on the edge of the fountain and chuck a coin over your shoulder into the water. Superstitious folk say one coin means a return to Rome, two will lead to a new romance and three to a marriage. Skeptics say save your pennies and spend ‘em on a slice of pizza instead.

Spanish Steps – climb up these bad boys for a super stunning view of Piazza di Spagna.

Circus Maximus – pretend you’re a gladiator and fake sword-fight your way around this huge ancient chariot racing stadium / mass entertainment venue.

The alternative cool shit: feeling avant-garde? Here’s the Stoke choices:

Pub crawl between the sights – Grab a carton of beers or a bottle of sangria and drink your way from site to site. Note: a map and a good sense of direction are pretty essential if you don’t want to end up drunk and lost.

Fiesta Roma – about a 20 minute metro ride from Termini station, this outdoor dance club goes absolutely bonkers at night time. Flirt with the security guards for free entry otherwise it’s 10 euros but 100% worth it.

Park Borghese – pack a picnic and chill out in the tranquil gardens (also a good hungover napping spot).

Under no circumstances does Stoke recommend: (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Going coin diving in Trevi Fountain – you’ll get a free trip to the Roman prison added to your itinerary.

Not booking accommodation and picking up a local instead. Save money + have a good time, why not? What could go wrong?

Stealing from a living statue – let’s be honest, we’ve all been tempted to check the pockets of those super still street performers before…

Smoking in restaurants – do as the Romans do, right?

Finally, head to the Vatican and ask for forgiveness from the Pope for all these nasty ass sins of yours.

No seriously, Stoke does not recommend: tourist traps

Booking a full tour of the Vatican – expensive, time consuming and pretty overrated to be honest. If you really want to see the Vatican city or museums we recommend either walking around the outside or booking a shorter, cheaper walk-through tour.

Buying a ticket for the Colosseum from a seller amongst the crowd – “skip the 2 hour wait in line, I have a good deal for you” 100 euros later…

Buying food from any shops near the tourist sights – they double the price of food just because they can. Have lunch beforehand and/or pack snacks when heading to the touristy areas.