6 Things to Know before Moving to Rome


Updated on Mar 27 • 6 minute read

Are you thinking of making the move to Rome? If so, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

While it's undoubtedly one of the best cities in Italy, Rome can also be quite challenging to live in. From knowing how much funds you'll need to navigating the complicated public transportation system, here are some tips to help make your move go as smoothly as possible.

The cost of living in Rome

First things first- Is Rome an expensive city to live in?

Overall, the cost of living in Rome calls that the minimum monthly income you’ll need to get by in Rome is at least €1,900. To live comfortably in Rome, you'll need to earn more than €2,500 a month. As a student in Rome, your monthly living expenses would be cheaper, with a minimum of €1,500.

As per HousingAnywhere’s Rent Index, the rental expenses you can expect are the following:

Accommodation typeAverage price

Apart from your rental expenses, you should be ready to spare at least €790 per month on groceries and leisure time activities. However, it isn't impossible to make do with less when living in Rome! It all depends on your lifestyle and ability to budget!

You need Italian to thrive in Rome

In order to live in Rome, you'll need to learn at least some basic Italian. While English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, it's not as prevalent in other parts of the city. This can present some challenges if you're not familiar with the language. However, with a bit of effort, you can easily pick up the basics and be on your way to living like a local.

Knowing basic Italian will probably be most helpful when dealing with the notorious Italian post offices!

Everything seems to be done through the post office

The post offices in Italy offer a wide range of services to the public. Most notably, they're responsible for handling the mail and parcels that come into the country. They also provide a number of other services, such as Codice Fiscale applciation handling, registering new residents in Rome and issuing passports.

Even though the post offices in Italy seem like the ultimate public service machine, they also have their drawbacks.

Here are a few reasons why you’ll find post offices in Rome dreadful:

  • They're always crowded. Whether you're trying to mail a letter or simply pick up your mail, you'll likely have to wait in line for a long time because there's rarely enough staff to help everyone.
  • They're frustrating. Dealing with the post office is often a frustrating experience. The staff is often unhelpful and unprofessional, and the whole process can be confusing. Even simple tasks like mailing a letter can become a headache.
  • They're always changing their rules. Just when you think you've figured out how the post office works, they go and change the rules. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes, and it's often difficult to get reliable information from the staff.

The long list of neighborhoods in Rome

If you're planning on moving to Rome, you'll want to choose the right neighborhood to call home. Read on to find out which areas are the best to live in and which ones you should avoid.

Best neighborhoods to live in Rome

Trastevere is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Rome among both locals and expats. It's located on the west bank of the Tiber River and is known for its cobbled streets, quaint restaurants, and lively nightlife. While it can be a bit noisy and crowded, it's also an incredibly vibrant and welcoming community.

Monti is a historic neighborhood located just north of the Colosseum. It's much quieter than Trastevere but still has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, and cafes. This neighborhood is perfect for those who want to live in a more traditional Roman setting.

San Lorenzo is a student-friendly neighborhood located east of the Termini train station. It's filled with cheap eateries and lively bars, making it a great place to socialize. It's also close to many of Rome's major universities, making it an ideal choice for students or young professionals.

Areas to avoid

As with every other city, some of Rome’s neighborhoods aren’t popular for being too welcoming.

Here are the neighborhoods in Rome you may want to consider avoiding:

Ostia Antica is one of the worst neighborhoods in Rome for expats. It's located in the southern part of the city, and it's known for its high crime rates. There have been reports of pickpocketing, mugging, and even sexual assault in this neighborhood. If you're an expat living in Ostia Antica, you should be extra careful and avoid walking around alone at night.

Quartiere Coppedè is located in the north-eastern part of the city, and it's known for its high levels of pollution. The air quality in Quartiere Coppedè is some of the worst in Rome and it's also home to a lot of rats and other vermin. If you're thinking about moving to this neighborhood, you should be prepared for a less-than-ideal living situation.

Ponte Milvio is the third-worst neighborhood for expats in Rome. This neighborhood is located in the north-western part of the city, and it's known for its high rents. This means that the cost of living here is one of the highest in Rome, and it can be difficult to find affordable housing.

The public transport isn’t reliable

Despite having one of the best public transport networks in the world, the public transport system in Rome is notoriously unreliable. If you're planning to use public transport in Rome, it's important to be aware of the potential disruptions that can occur.

One of the most common causes of delays on public transport in Rome is strike action by workers. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile strikes by transport workers, which have caused significant disruption to services. Strikes can happen at short notice and often last for several days, so it's important to be prepared for them if you're using public transport in Rome.

Another cause of delays in public transport in Rome is bad weather. In winter, heavy snowfall can bring public transport to a standstill, while in summer, severe thunderstorms can cause disruptions.

Finally, another cause of disruptions to public transport in Rome is equipment failures. This can include everything from trains breaking down to signal failures.

It's common for the residents of Rome to either own a scooter or rent one through the ride sharing services for the sake of getting around quicker.

The most essential apps to download

There’s a list of apps that you must have on your phone when living in Rome.

  • URBI consolidates Rome's plethora of car sharing, scooter sharing, bike-sharing, and cab options. They collaborate with firms such as Enjoy, ShareNow, Lime, eCooltra, Helbiz, Acciona, and others. You must have an account for the applications with which you wish to book a ride, but Urbi combines everything into one map, allowing you to make faster selections!

  • MYCICERO allows you to buy and save transportation tickets and pay for parking directly from the app. When needed, simply launch the app and confirm your ticket in seconds. You can purchase public transport tickets for 90 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or even a month. The app also has a feature that allows you to buy tickets for the regional train system thanks to integration with Trenitalia.

  • MEETUP is the ideal companion for meeting like-minded folks in Rome. All you need to do is make an account and indicate your interests. Once you finsih setting your account up, you’ll get notifications for all events that may interest you in your area. The featured events include weekend excursions, social meals, photography classes, dog walks, wine, and cuisine sampling.

The city freezes during “Riposo”

Riposo is an important part of the afternoon that serves the same purpose as the Spanish siesta. It starts at around 14:00 and finishes at 16:00. During those two hours, the whole city seems to go to a standstill. Businesses close, shops shut their windows and your neighbors will expect you to keep quiet so they can recharge before continuing with their day.

Riposo is a time for families and friends to come together and relax, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. If you find yourself in Rome during riposo, there are still plenty of things to do. As widely accepted Riposo is, many museums, galleries and restaurants remain open.

Now that you have an indication of what you must be ready to deal with when moving to Rome, you’re all set to pack your bags and plan the rest of your checklist for relocating to Italy.

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