A great place to start is by chatting with one of our ToursByLocals guides, whose mission is to make their visitors’ trips to Rome personal, memorable and unique. Roberto (a third generation guide in Rome!) wrote us a few days ago with some tips for people planning a trip to his city in 2012. If you’re headed here anytime soon, tuck these into your pocket (or save on your iPhone) and you’ll be one step ahead of your fellow travelers!
Avoid the lunchtime tourist crowd: Don't eat at the tourist restaurants in the major piazzas. Head to Sora Rosa (74 Via Tor Carbone) for the best-prepared chicken in town. This restaurant is on the Appian Way; here you will eat in a wonderful lush garden where the locals go.
Find real artisinal Gelato: You can’t come to Rome and miss out on the best gelato in town! Be warned that Rome is full of faux artisanal gelato shops in the heavily trafficked tourist areas. If you want to enjoy exquisite hand-made gelato, head to Gelateria al Teatro on Via Dei Coronari, near the Piazza Navona.
Find a quiet Piazza: To experience the great atmosphere of a Roman piazza, head to Piazza del Fico, where the locals play chess.
Go inside a Church: Be sure to visit San Clemente and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.
Enjoy the surrounding area on a day trip: There are wonderful experiences to be had outside of the city too! Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio are lovely towns to explore, and enjoy good food and wine. Definitely a day to remember and not too far from Rome.