Gustavo Woltmann

Living Rome like a local


“When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Italians and particularly Romans are very proud of their city of course, and I was quick to notice that. Most of the traditions and habits practised by your average Roman family have been tried and tested for decades, centuries and even millennia. With so much experience and confidence in their roots and habits, Italians are by and large the kind of people you want to rely on for your choice of restaurant, weekend attraction, hangout and whatever else. If you are a tourist like me you probably don't have an Italian family you can go to and ask for recommendation, but don't worry! I did the research for you, and I am proud to present the very best Roman recommendations for all things Rome.


Learn like a Roman

You surely know about the Colosseum, the Vatican and all things that make Rome unique. Of course, you are dying to visit them, right? But what if I told you that you can get an equally impressive experience without having to go through the nightmarish queues or overcrowded and hot corridors these landmarks inevitably bring?

After spending enough time roaming about Rome, I have found that three attractions not only offer you more convenience, but also give you a better experience for the true history of the Roman capital.

The Baths of Carcalla

These baths are located a short walk away from the Colosseum, yet you will find them empty most of the time. This architectural marvel served as one of the largest public bathing houses in the Roman Empire, and packs a series of mosaics and other interesting things.

I also went to a concert there two months ago, showing just how flexible these structures are even after so many centuries.



The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini)

After the Vatican, this is the largest collection of ancient art in the whole world. Unlike the Vatican however, you don't have to wait outside for hours or be pushed around by people.

While the Capitoline Museums are not as empty as the Carcalla baths, they are never overcrowded and are located in historical buildings including two palaces built between 1500 and 1600. On top of that, the museums have air conditioning so you can go there without suffering during summer.

Ostia Antica

Before you say this is not actually in Rome, let me explain why I would recommend taking the 30-minute train ride. This old Roman port was buried under the mud for many centuries, and its excavation is still being made.

The conditions of the river mud resulted in an impressively good condition, making the site one of the most well-preserved in the world. Over the wide lifespan of the Roman empire, Ostia Antica has been a military garrison, a warehouse and a high-end retreat for the wealthy, and you can really get a sense of all the phases of Rome by just visiting the area quickly.