Dear Non-Italians, Here's What You Should Know Before Moving to Rome

NOTE: It is not my intention to discourage anyone coming to Rome. If something, I'm preparing you to understand what you will have to be prepared for to not be disappointed by it.

I've noticed all over the Internet a lot of people imagine Rome to be this dream city where everything is awesome. While this might be true if you are a tourist who's staying for a couple of weeks, it won't be true at all if you are going to live there.

I'm not gonna say what are the pros and cons of living here, but just saying what are the worst things you will experience, so that everything else will be a joy in one of the most beautiful (from an artistic point of view) city in Italy.

NOTE 2: Most of those things are just true in Italy in general.

Public Transportation is incredibly inefficient

I meet a guy on a Language Exchange website from L.A., who was saying that public transportation there is really uncomfortable and inefficient, and started making examples.

Good. Multiply that for 1000 times, and on a much larger scale, and you can start to guess what is how to actually moving around in Rome.

Dear non Italians, what should you know before deciding to move in Rome.

See that green line? That's under construction. SINCE 2007.

There are just two different (finished) metro lines, which are positioned like an X and they are quite short too, so for taking any kind of direction which is not near those, you will have to reach the Termini Station (only place where the two lines meets), going to one or the other line, stop to a specific metro station, take a bus from there, then take another or a tram, and then finally you've arrived where you need. Normally, this would take just an 1h30 (for something like 7 km....) but with the excellent system that ATAC (transportation company of Rome) offers you, the odds of buses being any less than 10-15 minutes late are reaaaaaaaally low. Being an hour late for a bus is not big deal, here. We get angry, but we know it happens. FREQUENTLY.

Why not take a car, you might think?

That's why. 24/7.

Administration is a pain in the ass

Now now, speaking of bureaucracy, Italy is well known for being just ridiculous, but Rome is just the worst of the worst. Being a student in La Sapienza, I daily see how things could be easily easier by cutting a lot of passages between offices, which can even be distant in time AND space, for doing one single thing. Also, most of the time, people who have such positions, have no idea what they are actually doing, and it has happen a lot of time to me to be force to go back and forth several times to the same office to do the same thing because each time they forgot to tell me to bring some specific document or some module.

Yes. GO back and forth, physically. Italy is not such an advance country, and most papers need to be brought by hand. Now, that would not be a problem, if there wasn't A SINGLE office opened 3 morning per week for 3 hours for EVERY SINGLE LAZIO (region where Rome is located in) INHABITANT (around 6.000.000). Add to that... do you remember about transportation? Yeah. Terrific mix.

Don't know who wrote this, but that's quite explanatory.

Rubbish. Literally.

This is the great piece of art that I can daily admire in front of my University.

There is very few things to say, but that wherever you will turn your head, such an image is in front of you. Rome is dirty, tremendously dirty.
A lot of Italians are ignorant about what they have and do not value the environment and just throw everything from their windows everywhere. Add to that Rome being, as every big city, very chaotic, and that's it.

That's was pretty much it. If Something else comes to my mind, I'll let you know ^^


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What Girls Said 3

  • Lol dude, if that's yr idea of "dirty" then Rome is doing fine. Try walking around anywhere in lower Midtown, NYC, on a weekday morning -- the east-west streets are literally lined with PILES of giant trash bags. Literally, freaking *pyramids* of them, sometimes several bags high. And ohhh the smell...

    Public transportation is crowded and smelly just about everywhere in the world... so, meh.

    Some things I'm surprised you didn't mention:

    • You can actually eat at restaurants at night (most places serve full dinner until at least 1 or 2 AM).
    Italy -- along with most of Europe -- gets this right: Smaller breakfasts, bigger dinners. That's the best way to eat if you don't want to be fat and diabetic. (The American tradition of a huge breakfast is the world's most horrible idea, unless you actually go out and work in the fields all day like most Americans did in the 19th century.)

    • Posted business hours? Hahahahahahaha... businesses *might* be open. If the owners feel like it. LOL

    • Even the stuff that's never supposed to close, closes.
    When I lived in Italy for a year, I was supposed to take this one flight out of Florence -- like, I had a ticket and everything -- but I couldn't because THEY CLOSED THE AIRPORT FOR 3 MONTHS.
    Yep... they just closed the whole fucking airport. For three months.

    • Oh, and, sometimes the trains actually leave EARLY.

    • The food is every bit as amazing as you think it's going to be.

    • Live music is just about everywhere. Especially where there are large numbers of Senegalese immigrants.

    • There really are ancient ruins RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING. Like, the Colosseum is literally right in the middle of downtown. You can be walking around a modern part of the city, go a couple blocks, and... bam! Ancient ruins! It's really cool, actually.

    • Rome is surprisingly small (it's WAY smaller than London, Paris, Buenos Aires or NYC). You can see most of what's worth seeing in a relatively short trip.

    • I got the sense that it was pretty safe, too, even walking around alone at night. (I lived in Milan, which felt *much* less safe. Still not bad -- I never felt personally endangered in either place -- but I could see naïve tourists getting into trouble much more easily in Milan than in Rome. Lots of bags sliced open by robbers in broad daylight, etc.)

    • All of what you said is super-duper true as well ^^ But living in a small town, much cleaner than ANY big city, for me Rome is disgusting. I visited Milan, I visited Florence, nowhere as dirty, and that was just a random pic I found. Cigarettes everywhere on the ground, Rome is simply a trash holder to me.

    • Eh. I like grit, though. I like places that are "real", if you get me.

      Ironically, that was one of my favorite things about Milan, was how its cityscape is so uniformly... drab and gritty. It makes a great backdrop for photographs, especially if you are wearing bright-colored clothes that contrast with the bleakness of the cityscape itself.

      I couldn't STAND living in a small town. That whole idea of neighbors who get into all yr business? Nope.

    • I think that depends on how you are used to. Exactly on the opposite, I couldn't stand living in a place where people hardly greet each other. Not that there is anything wrong in super privacy, is just that I'm not used to it.

  • damn it, thanks for ruining my plan to move to rome. now i have to unpack all these suit cases

  • Sounds like where I live in UK.


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