What’s really like to live in Rome

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This little dreamer called Luce decided to move to the so-called eternal city back in 2013, after living the first 19 years of her life in a small village in Sicily. By ‘small village’, I mean a place inhabited by more or less 2500 people, where you’re forced to think outside the box if you don’t want to feel depressed and where the most dynamic thing that could possibly happen is to see sheep crossing the street.

After high school, I decided to move to Rome to study at university. So I packed everything and moved here, super excited about every single thing and every single person I eventually met. But what is really like to live in Rome?

Let’s start with some negative points first, because they can easily be overcome by countless positive aspects:

Getting around.

If you live close to the metro, line A, B or C, it’s going to be way easier to get around. Unfortunately one of the very first words that you will ever learn in Italian is sciopero. Sciopero is not simply a strike, sciopero is a catastrophe. On normal non-strike days, buses are never on time and traffic jams can get really bad at rush hour. During sciopero it’s 10 times worse, so the only thing that you can do to survive and get to uni, work or the city centre on time is either wake up early and try to get there by metro before 8 am or walk until your feet bleed. Sounds so fun, right?

Rome is “the city of beggars”,

as Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in The Marble Faun. You will find them at every corner of the city, especially around Vatican City. I have no idea whether they are real or very good actors. Some of them are, of course. I know it’s a controversial opinion, but unfortunately, you will find many of them begging for money. Another thing you must be aware of is pickpocketing, especially on public transportation.

Rubbish is everywhere.

Rome’s streets are dirty and no one seems to really care about it. There’s not much to say about it, except that I’d love to see people (both Romans and non-Romans) more aware of the damage they cause both environmentally and aesthetically.

I hope I haven’t discouraged you with these three negative points, but if I did, keep reading to know how beautiful this city is.

I will start by pointing out what is obvious:

Rome is eternal.

Yes, Rome is known as the eternal city because you can see buildings and ruins from thousands of years ago. First of all, the Colosseum. I get past it every single day and I’m pretty sure I will never get sick of it. It has been there for centuries and it represents Romans: no matter what, they will always be there for you.

And again, Romans: they look like they don’t care about people, but they do. It’s easy to make friends here because you just need to start complaining about transportation or – if it’s summer you can complain about the heat.


Carbonara, amatriciana, gricia, pizza, supplì, gelato, pinsa… there are many reasons to move here, but the food is delicious here and they are all a must-try. I will soon write another article about Rome’s food scene, where to get the best food ever.

High-quality education.

Rome has three public universities and countless private university. Education at a public university is not as expensive as you might think, even at La Sapienza, known as one of the oldest university in the world. Downside: some course schedules are a nightmare if you want to attend lessons, but teachers know what they are talking about (or at least most of them). I’m still a student there and 99% of the teachers I had (and currently have) were/are amazing.

That’s all, folks. Arrivederci!

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