Gregarious and convivial, Romans enjoy their city. They love hanging out in its piazzas and speeding around the streets in small cars; they like to dress up and they adore going out. They know theirs is a beautiful city, but they’re not jealous and everyone is welcome.
A picturesque district full of bars, cafes and trattorias, Trastevere has long been a foreigners' favourite. But Romans love it too, and amid the tourist bustle you'll find some characteristic city haunts.
With its disused factories, authentic trattorias and university campus, Ostiense is home to hot clubs and hip bars, as well as several cultural gems.
Pigneto, a former working-class district southeast of Termini, is one of the capital's coolest neighbourhoods, a bar-heavy pocket frequented by bohemians, fun-seekers and trendsetting urbanites.
Down by the Tiber, once-proletarian Testaccio is a local foodie hotspot with its market stalls, traditional Roman trattorias and ever-popular Pizzeria Da Remo.
Drink Like a Local
Prendere un caffè (having a coffee) is one of the great rituals of Roman life. As a rule, locals will stop at a bar for a coffee in the morning before work, and then again after lunch. To fit in with the crowd, ask for un caffè (the term espresso is rarely used) and drink standing at the bar. Also, never order a cappuccino after lunch.
Early evening means aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) in many of Rome's fashionable bars. Hotspots include Gatsby Café, a chic new cafe-bar on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, and Momart, a popular bar off Via Nomentana. For a classic Roman drink, try a Negroni.
Football at the Stadio Olimpico
Football is a Roman passion, with support divided between the two local teams: Roma and Lazio. Both play their home games at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome's impressive Olympic stadium. If you go to a game, make sure you get it right – Roma play in red and yellow and their supporters stand in the Curva Sud (South Stand); Lazio play in sky blue and their fans fill the Curva Nord (North Stand).
Passeggiata on Via del Corso
The passeggiata (traditional evening stroll) is a quintessential Roman experience. It's particularly colourful at weekends when families, friends and lovers take to the streets to strut up and down, slurp on gelato and window-shop.
To partake in the spectacle, head to Via del Corso around 6pm. Alternatively, park yourself on the Spanish Steps and watch the theatrics unfold beneath you on Piazza di Spagna.