So, you’re planning a trip to Italy’s capital city. And like most destinations, you find yourself asking, ‘Is Rome Safe?’.
Rome is an energetic city, famed for its breathtaking architecture, significant history, and vibrant nightlife.
However, as in any other large city, safety should always be a traveller’s top concern. So, that’s exactly what we are going to be discussing today.
Let’s take a look at Rome’s safety for all types of visitors both during the day and at night. We will also discuss how you can become more safety-conscious whilst visiting the Italian capital.
I will also be sharing insights from my personal trip to Rome. So, expect a host of insider tips and tricks when it comes to safety.
Is Rome Safe?
Generally, yes Rome is a rather safe city, particularly for one that is visited by millions of tourists every year.
That being said, it’s always important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, as you would in any other major city.
This is particularly important when keeping an eye out for petty crime, pickpocketing is the most common issue reported by tourists. So, it’s important to keep your belongings close and be mindful in crowded areas.
It’s also worth noting that Rome, like many other European cities, has its fair share of scammers and tourist traps.
So, it’s important to do your research beforehand and be cautious when approached by strangers offering you deals or services.
Part 1: General Safety in Rome
Let’s begin by discussing the general safety in Rome. In this section, we will address the crime rates in Rome, compare safety in Rome to other major European cities, and explain the types of crimes you might encounter.
Crime in Rome: Is it common?
Crime in Rome is relatively low, especially when compared to many other major European cities. As mentioned already, the most common crime tourists may face is petty theft, specifically pickpocketing, particularly in crowded areas.
Personally, the only time I felt threatened while in Rome was at the train stations. It is common for gangs to hang around this area and while they don’t tend to directly speak to tourists. It does leave an uneasy feeling for visitors. I do have a few other ‘circumstance’ moments to discuss in this post but I will save that for the solo female travel section.
All in all, with a bit of caution and awareness, your trip is likely to be free of any criminal incidents.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings while exploring. Doing a bit of prior research about the neighbourhoods you plan on visiting is especially useful if you’re planning a longer stay in the city.
Rome’s Safety Compared to Other European Cities
Rome stands as a relatively safe city when compared to other European capitals.
While cities such as London and Paris have higher crime rates, Rome’s safety index is on par with cities like Vienna and Madrid.
Petty theft remains the most common crime against tourists, but violent crimes are rare. Just like anywhere, certain parts of Rome are safer than others.
As a rule of thumb, the closer you are to the city centre, the safer you’ll be. However, even the outskirts of Rome seldom present a significant danger to tourists.
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Part 2: Safe & Rough Areas in Rome
Let’s now take a closer look at Rome’s safety, district by district. Each neighbourhood has its own unique character, and safety can vary from one to another.
This section will give you a good idea of what to expect when you’re navigating the charming streets of Rome.
Is Rome City Centre Safe?
Yes, Rome’s city centre is generally safe for tourists. It’s bustling with activity, well-patrolled by local law enforcement, and filled with numerous attractions that keep the area lively at all hours.
Areas like the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona are vibrant and crowded, reducing the likelihood of serious crimes.
However, due to the high tourist flow, these regions are attractive to pickpockets. Therefore, ensure your valuables are secure at all times and be particularly cautious in crowded places.
Are Rome’s Suburble Neighbourhoods Safe?
Rome’s suburban neighbourhoods, much like the city centre, are generally safe and friendly, but they do vary in terms of safety.
The suburbs located towards the north, such as Parioli and Salario, are considered upscale, quiet, and safe.
On the other hand, areas like Tor Bella Monaca and Quadraro in the east have a bit of a reputation for being rougher, although efforts have been made in recent years to improve these districts.
Is the Vatican City Safe?
Yes, the Vatican City, despite its crowded state, is notably safe. It’s a separate city-state, known as the smallest in the world, but it’s heavily secured due to its significant religious and cultural status.
The Swiss Guard is responsible for the safety of the Pope and the Vatican City. Visitors are often subjected to strict security checks, akin to those at an airport.
So, while petty theft can occur – as in any place with large crowds – the overall safety levels are high. Nonetheless, it’s always wise to stay vigilant and keep your belongings close to you.
Part 3: Transport Safety in Rome
When it comes to getting around in Rome, safety is a top priority whether you’re on foot, cycling, or using public transportation. The city is well-designed for all modes of transport and has implemented various measures to ensure a safe and smooth journey for everyone.
How safe are the buses and trains in Rome?
Buses and trains in Rome are generally safe and reliable. The public transport system, overseen by ATAC (Agency for the Mobility of the City), includes an extensive network of bus routes and two metro lines, A and B.
Again, while pickpocketing can be a concern, particularly in crowded conditions, the presence of security personnel and surveillance cameras helps greatly with the risk.
Are Taxi’s Safe in Rome?
Taxis in Rome are generally regarded as safe. While Rome does have the popular ride share sercice, Uber it is not used in the same way as we are used to in other major countries.
Instead, it’s best to use the ‘Free Now‘ app for ordering taxis in Rome. It’s always advisable to book a taxi via an app or to hail one from designated taxi ranks rather than picking up unmarked taxis on the street.
Do be aware of scams where the driver could stop on the side of the street for you (which is illegal) and you could be charged more than the usual fare. Fares are regulated and should be clearly displayed as you drive.
Is it Safe to Drive in Rome?
Driving in Rome can be a challenging experience for those unfamiliar with the city’s bustling traffic and unique driving customs. However, it is generally safe if you adhere to the rules and stay attentive.
Rome’s layout, with its narrow lanes and notorious roundabouts, can be complex, but it’s navigable with a reliable GPS or map. Parking can be difficult in the city centre, so it’s recommended to use public transportation or walk for local sightseeing.
Is it safe to Walk in Rome?
Yes, walking around Rome is considerably safe. I personally have only encountered minor feelings of unease while exploring the city. And again, this was around the train station rather than in the city centre.
Crime does escalate from time to time, but it is a rare occurrence and not something you should be overly worried about.
Once you mind yourself and stay alert you should have a lovely experience walking the fairytale streets of Rome.
Part 4: Is Rome Safe For Tourists?
Tourist Scams to Avoid in Rome
Rome, like any popular tourist destination, has its share of scams targeted at unsuspecting visitors. Here are a few to be aware of:
- Pickpocketing: As with any popular tourist destination, pickpocketing can be a concern. Be aware of your surroundings and keep valuables close to you at all times.
- withdrawal Try to use ATM’s attached to banks, this isn’t so much a scam as a way to save money. The banks tend to have the cheapest withdrawal fees.
- Taxi Scams: While navigating Rome, be cautious of unlicensed taxis. These might overcharge you or use unnecessarily extended routes. Always insist on using a metered taxi or agree on a fare upfront.
- Street Games: Be wary of street games like “shell game” or “three-card monte.” These games are often fixed in favour of the operator and are designed to cheat tourists.
- Fake Petitions: While backpacking Europe, I noticed that this scam is growing increasingly popular across major cities Beware of individuals requesting your signature for petitions, typically related to a seemingly worthy cause. They may ask for a donation after you’ve signed. Luckily for me, I usually respond in Irish and they leave me alone. So, a little tip for you. If you don’t want to engage in a conversation while travelling respond in a foreign language. Or, make up a few words of simlish they’ll never know if it’s a real language or not. Works like a charm every time 🤣
- Keep Personal Information Private: Be cautious about whom you share personal information with, especially on social media where scammers may be on the lookout for potential targets.
- Have Emergency Contacts: Ensure you have all the relevant emergency contact numbers for the area you are in. This includes numbers for the local police, your country’s embassy, and a trusted local contact if possible. It’s always better to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances while travelling.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. Don’t worry about seeming rude or impolite – your safety should always come first.
Part 5: Is Rome Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Ok, so as a solo female traveller in Rome, I felt safe 99.9% of the time. However, there are three occasions that spring to mind where I ended up feeling a little at ease.
The first, as I mentioned, outside the train stations there tends to be a lot of gang activity. And while they didn’t ever approach me I was extra weary of my surroundings and belonging.
I also, noticed across much of Italy, catcalling is still very much normalised. Rome was my last stop after one month in Italy. So, if I am being honest, I kind of just accepted that it was something that was going to happen. And somewhat got ‘used’ to it. But it did really make me feel less safe as a girl on my own.
Another thing I noticed is men are not afraid to tell you you are beautiful when walking by them on the street. And yes, to them this may be seen as a nice gesture, but in reality, it can be quite intimidating for a solo female traveller.
I’m a pale Irish girl who definitely stuck out in the crowd so perhaps this is why I encounter more circumstances like this. And yes, that is no excuse but it may not be the norm for all solo female travellers. Other than these types of experiences, I loved my time in Italy. I just wished I felt a little bit safer at times.
Tips for staying safe as a solo female traveller in Rome:
- Keep your belongings close: A small backpack or cross-body bag is a smart choice as it allows you to keep an eye on your stuff and know that it is always close by.
- Trust your instincts: If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut. If a place or person makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to remove yourself from the situation. Your safety is more important than anything else.
- Use earphones when using Google Maps: When navigating the streets of a new city alone Google Maps can become one’s best friend. But, looking down at your phone at maps makes it obvious that you are alone. Instead, have the map instructions play through your earphones and walk with confidence.
- Don’t tell others you are a solo traveller: Be mindful of who you tell you are travelling alone. It is ok to make up white lies like ‘I’m waiting for my boyfriend’ or ‘My friend is back at the hostel’.
- Share Your Location: Sharing your location with a family member or friend is always a good idea when you are travelling alone.
- Make Up a Language: Sounds strange, but it works like a charm. If someone approaches you and makes you feel uneasy, respond in a way that they will not be able to comprehend. I luckily, have the Irish language to fall back on but they don’t know that it is an actual language. So, any random words will make someone back off.
Part 7: Food and Drink Safety in Rome
When it comes to food and drink safety in Rome, it’s generally quite high. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth culinary experience.
- Stay Hydrated Safely: Rome’s tap water is safe to drink. You’ll find numerous public water fountains, known as ‘nasoni’, where you can refill your bottle for free.
- Dine at Popular Local Spots: Places that are bustling with locals are usually a safe bet for good quality, safe food. Avoid the tourist traps where prices are inflated, and the quality of food may not be as high.
- Be Careful with Seafood: While seafood is generally safe to eat, be extra cautious during the summer months when high temperatures can affect freshness.
- Allergies and Dietary Restrictions: If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, learn to communicate them in Italian. Most menus indicate common allergens, but it’s always best to ask.
- Beware of Counterfeit Alcohol: Stick to ordering alcoholic beverages at reputable bars and restaurants to avoid counterfeit alcohol, which can be harmful.
Top Places to eat breakfast and brunch in Rome
- Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria: Located near Campo de Fiori, this café offers a delightful array of Italian pastries, artisanal bread, and high-quality coffee. It’s the perfect place to start your day on a sweet note.
- Marigold: This bakery-cum-restaurant in the Ostiense district is known for its organic, locally sourced ingredients. Their brunch menu features dishes like sourdough pancakes and homemade sausage that pair perfectly with their freshly baked bread.
Top Places to Each Lunch/Dinner in Rome
- Trattoria Vecchia Roma: Known for its traditional Roman dishes, Trattoria Vecchia Roma is a must-visit for food lovers. Their signature pasta dishes, like cacio e pepe and carbonara, are particularly beloved by locals and tourists alike.
- Da Enzo Al 29: Located in the heart of Trastevere, this restaurant is renowned for its authentic Roman cuisine. Highlights of the menu include carciofi alla romana (Roman-style artichokes) and tiramisu for dessert.
- Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci: For pizza lovers, a visit to Pizzarium is mandatory. This trendy spot offers a variety of unique toppings on its famously crispy and fluffy crust.
Part 8: Is Rome Safe at Night?
Rome, a city famed for its timeless beauty and lively nightlife, is generally considered safe for tourists even during late hours. As previously noted, the city maintains a comparatively low crime rate and instances of violence are rare.
It’s always wise to stick to well-lit areas, avoid wandering alone late at night, particularly in secluded or less populated areas, and be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded places.
Should you decide to explore the city’s nightlife, it’s recommended to inform someone about your plans.
While indulging in Rome’s evening entertainment, remember to consume alcohol responsibly and be aware of your limits to prevent any potential negative scenarios.
Tips for Staying Safe at Night in Rome
- Keep your belongings secure. Don’t leave your bags or wallets unattended. It’s better to keep them close and secure.
- Know your limits. Enjoy your drinks, but remember not to drink too much.
- Watch your drinks. It sounds like common sense, but it’s worth repeating. Be sure no one can tamper with your drinks. If you do leave your drink unattended, it’s better to get a new one.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or a place feels uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your gut and remove yourself from that environment.
Places to Visit in Rome at Night
When the sun goes down, Rome really comes to life. Let’s explore some of the best that Rome’s nightlife has to offer.
This vibrant square becomes all the more enchanting as night falls. Filled with lively street performers, bustling restaurants and cafes, Piazza Navona is the perfect spot to enjoy an Italian gelato or a glass of wine under the stars. The Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Four Rivers, both illuminated in the evening, add an extra touch of magic to the scene.
Often referred to as the beating heart of Rome’s nightlife, Trastevere is a bohemian paradise brimming with eclectic bars, vintage shops and charming piazzas. As the sun sets, the streets come alive with locals and tourists alike, making it an ideal place for a late dinner or a bar hop.
The Spanish Steps
An iconic sight in the Eternal City, the Spanish Steps provide a peaceful spot to rest and soak up the ambience of Rome at night. The surrounding area is rich with high-end shops and eateries, and the steps themselves offer a wonderful view of the city lights.
The Colosseum is MAGIC at night, all lit up and with a fraction of the crowds that visit during the day. You can walk around it, admire its majesty and take some amazing photos without any distractions.
One of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain is a must-visit night attraction in Rome. Under the moonlight, the marble structure glows with an ethereal radiance, making it a perfect backdrop for your travel photos. It’s a tradition to toss a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder; it is said this ensures a return trip to Rome.
Part 9: Safety for Different Types of People day and night
Is Rome a city that embraces diversity? Is it suitable for all types of travellers? In this section, we discuss just that.
Is Rome Safe for Families?
Yes, Rome is generally a safe city for families to visit. It’s full of family-friendly attractions and tours suitable for kids that are sure to make a lifetime of memories for both adults and children.
Things to Do in Rome for Families
- Visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: Marvel at the extensive collection of art and historical artefacts. Don’t forget to look up and appreciate the breathtaking ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
- Explore the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: Walk back in time and immerse yourselves in ancient Rome. These sites offer a glimpse into the lives of Rome’s former citizens.
- Take a gelato tour: Italian ice cream, or gelato, is an absolute must-try. Visit multiple gelaterias and find your family’s favourite.
- Have a picnic in Villa Borghese: This large public park offers beautiful views, boating opportunities, and even a puppet theatre.
- Participate in a pizza-making class: What’s more fun than eating pizza? Making it! This can be a great interactive activity for the whole family.
Is Rome Safe for People With Disabilities?
In this section, we will discuss the accessibility and safety of individuals with disabilities who are planning to visit Rome. The city’s ancient infrastructure, while captivating, can potentially present certain challenges. However, Rome has been consistently working towards becoming more accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities.
- Accessible Tour of the Colosseum: Many tour companies in Rome offer accessible tours of the Colosseum. These tours are specifically designed to accommodate individuals with mobility issues.
- Rome Wheelchair Rental Services: For individuals who may require them, there are numerous wheelchair rental services available throughout the city.
- Accessible Vatican Museum Tours: Just like the Colosseum, there are also accessible tours of the Vatican Museum. These tours ensure that guests with disabilities can enjoy the rich history and stunning art of this iconic site.
- St. Peter’s Basilica: This religious site offers wheelchair access and provides special assistance for visitors with disabilities.
- Accessible Taxi Services: Rome has a number of accessible taxi services that feature vehicles equipped with ramps and lifts.
- Time Elevator Rome 5D Show: This immersive show is wheelchair accessible and provides an entertaining overview of Roman history.
- MAXXI Museum: The National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is a fully accessible museum that offers contemporary art exhibitions.
Is Rome Safe for Members of the LGBTQ+ Community?
Rome is generally safe for members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, as with any locations, it is not guaranteed that everyone will be accepting and open-minded. The city has a thriving LGBTQ+ community with numerous bars, clubs, and events. The annual Rome Pride event draws large crowds and promotes equality and inclusion.
Things to do for people in the LGBTQ+ Community in Rome?
- Coming Out: Known as one of the best LGBTQ+ bars in Rome, Coming Out is situated right across the Colosseum and is a hot spot for both locals and tourists.
- My Bar: Located in the Trastevere, My Bar is famous for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere..
- Beige Bar: A chic venue known for its cocktail selection, Beige Bar is a popular choice for those looking for a stylish night out in the LGBTQ+ scene.
- GIAM: Known for its fun theme nights and live DJs, G I Am is a staple in Rome’s gay club scene.
Is Rome Safe for Italian Speakers?
Yes, Rome is generally safe for non-Italian speakers. English is commonly spoken, especially in tourist areas, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Most signs in Rome, including street signs and information signs at tourist attractions, are also available in English.
However, knowing basic Italian phrases, like thank you and please can be beneficial in certain situations and is appreciated by locals. Here are some common Italian phrases phonetically spelt out for easy pronunciation:
- Hello: Ciao (Chow)
- Thank you: Grazie (Gra-tsee-eh)
- Yes: Si (See)
- No: No (No)
- Excuse me: Mi scusi (Mee Skoo-see)
- I don’t understand: Non capisco (Non Ka-pee-sko)
- Where is the restroom?: Dov’è il bagno? (Doh-veh eel Bahn-yo)
- Goodbye: Arrivederci (Ah-ree-veh-der-chee)
There are also numerous language translation apps available that can assist in bridging the language gap if needed. I recommend downloading the Google Translate app. This allows you to take pictures of menus and signs in different languages and translate them. Honestly, it’s a lifesaver when travelling.
Part 11: Safe Places to Stay in Rome
- Luxury: For a luxury stay in Rome, check out the Palazzo Dama, a five-star hotel located near the historic Piazza del Popolo. With its elegant rooms and rooftop pool, this hotel offers a luxurious stay in the heart of the city.
- Mid-Range: Hotel Artemide is located in a 19th-century building on the busy Via Nazionale. Despite its central location, rooms are quiet, and amenities include a rooftop restaurant and bar, a small fitness area, and a mini-spa.
- Budget: For budget-conscious travellers, the Termini area in Rome offers a range of affordable guesthouses and budget-friendly hotels. While not as charming as other areas, it is conveniently located near the central train station and provides easy access to public transportation. Some popular options include YellowSquare Hostel. This is where I stayed and love it. It was one of my favourite hostels in Europe.
Part 12: Things to do in Rome
Visit the Colosseum: Considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Colosseum is a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Romans.
Stroll through the Roman Forum: Once the heart of the Roman Empire, the Forum is now a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and includes the Arches of Septimius Severus and Titus, the Temple of Saturn, and the House of the Vestals.
Climb up the Palatine Hill: Offering a panoramic view of Rome, the Palatine Hill is steeped in legend and is one of the most ancient parts of the city.
Explore Vatican City: Pay a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, admire the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling painted by Michelangelo, and wander through the Vatican Museums.
Throw a Coin in the Trevi Fountain: According to tradition, throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain ensures a return to Rome.
Wander around Piazza Navona: Known for its beautiful fountains, colourful buildings, and street artists, Piazza Navona is a vibrant square in the heart of Rome.
Explore the Pantheon: Visit the Pantheon to see one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings, admired for its massive dome and oculus.
Walk the Spanish Steps: Climb up the Spanish Steps, a monumental stairway of 135 steps, and enjoy a beautiful view over central Rome from its top.
Vatican City: The smallest independent state in the world, Vatican City is home to some of the most iconic and impressive sights in Rome. From St. Peter’s Basilica to the Vatican Museums, this tiny city-state is a must-visit for any tourist in Rome.
Indulge in Italian Cuisine: No trip to Rome would be complete without trying some authentic Italian dishes. From pizza and pasta to gelato and espresso, there is no shortage of delicious food to try in the city.
Eat Gelato: Speaking of gelato, Rome is the perfect place to indulge in this frozen treat. With countless gelaterias scattered throughout the city, you can easily find a delicious scoop (or two) of gelato in any flavour imaginable.
Conclusion: Is Rome Safe?
All in all, Rome is a generally safe city to visit. It has some wonderful world-famous attractions and is a once-in-a-lifetime place to explore.
However, as with any popular tourist destination, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure a safe trip.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas, and always research any potential scams before travelling. As long as you use common sense and exercise caution, Rome can be a beautiful and enjoyable city