Top Things You Must Do While Studying in Rome, Italy

Surrounded by over 2,000 years’ worth of history, it can be difficult to decide what to do and experience the “Eternal City” in such a short period of time. While taking International TEFL Academy’s On-site Rome TEFL Certification Course or studying elsewhere in Italy like Florence or Sardinia, experiencing Italian culture is an important factor in fully enjoying the most out of your course. 

Though you won’t have a ton of free time for the duration of your TEFL studies due to the course’s intensive nature, you should still have time to do things “as the Romans do.” Whether it is sipping on a cappuccino at an outdoor cafe and observing Rome’s best-dressed city dwellers, or exploring one of the city’s many churches or museums, you’re bound to find unmatched history (and delicious food options) at every corner. Not sure where to begin exploring Rome? We’ve compiled a list to get your adventure started in the City of Seven Hills. 

Go Further: Requirements for Teaching English in Italy 

Things to Do While Taking Your TEFL Course in Rome

1.    Eat Your Way Through the Four Traditional Roman Pastas

After a long day in class, there is no better reward for your hard work than a plateful of perfection that is Roman pasta. Starting with the most simple, cacio e pepe, with a mix of pecorino cheese and pepper, these four dishes each have their own distinct flavoring by adding to that cheesy and seasoned base. Adding guanciale, deliciously fatty pork cheek, creates pasta all gricia.

Then, adding a tomato sauce on top of that creates pasta all’amatriciana, or adding eggs instead creates a creamy pasta alla carbonara. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients, as these pastas have everything one needs for the ultimate meal. Try them all to see which one is your favorite, and join the decades-long debate among Romans on which one is the best. Our favorite places for pasta include Armando Al Pantheon, Pommidoro al 1896, and Roma Sparita. 

Pastas of Rome

2.    Check Out a Gallery 

For a Rome first-timer, we of course recommend checking out the top spots like Vatican City, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum. However, due to its history as the center of a vast empire and eventually the headquarters of Roman Catholicism, the city’s wealth over the years has led to a high concentration of Western art and artisans. The old palaces of Rome’s famous families now house some unbelievable galleries that beg to be seen. Galleria Borghese is home to some of the most famous sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and light-filled paintings by Caravaggio, while the Galleria Colonna offers a gilded Baroque gallery once featured in the film “Roman Holiday.” Though many public art museums in the United States can boast a collection of centuries-old art, not many can also boast that their museum buildings are historic treasures themselves.


3. Join in on Aperitivo Culture

If you decide to get dinner right after class finishes, you probably won’t be sitting around many locals. Most restaurants probably won’t even be open for dinner yet. This is due to most city-dwellers eating later than your average American, closer to 8 p.m. So what do people do in the meantime? They enjoy Aperitivo!  Considered a way to prepare your stomach for the meal ahead, Aperitivo usually consists of a drink like an Aperol Spritz and small bites. Many places in Rome will have deals where if you purchase a drink, it will usually come with salted chips, olives, or breads. You should be able to find bars offering Aperitivo close to class so you shouldn’t have to go far, though one of our favorite spots for this pre-meal adventure is Bar Meccanismo in the Trastevere neighborhood. 

4.    Sip Your Way Through a Coffee Capital

While many things in Rome may appear relaxed to the foreign visitor, there is one thing locals are quite serious about: their coffee. Before work, Romans line up at the bar for a quick shot of espresso or indulge in a foamy cappuccino. Join in on this tradition on your way to class or, if you have more time, you can grab a seat and watch as the city begins to hum and bustle. Just note, at a lot of coffee shops you’ll need to pay a little extra for table service compared to just standing at the bar. Our favorite coffee places include Caffe San Eustachio, La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro, and Bar San Calisto.  

Click here to receive your TEFL & Teaching English in Italy Guide Learn how to get TEFL certified and find a job teaching English in Italy. Everything you need to know is in this free Italy TEFL Guide.

5.    Explore One of Rome’s Many Neighborhoods

It’s easy to realize once on the ground in Rome how massive the city really is, and how much there is to explore. While the main old center on the Tiber carries a lot of the popular attractions, try to venture out to other neighborhoods like Trastevere, Testaccio, or San Giovanni where you’ll be taking classes. Each area has its own unique flavor and holds a lot of fantastic restaurants and places that only the neighborhood really knows about. If you want to get to know the authentic Rome and the daily life of its people, discovering these areas off of the usual tourist path will be worth your while. In Trastevere, go on a weekend morning to check out the Porta Portuense Flea Market, and after bargaining for a special Roman souvenir, rest your legs at a local favorite Bar San Calisto for an espresso and indulge in a creampuff-like maritozzi. 

teach English in Rome, Italy

Planning on studying or teaching English in Rome and Italy? ITA highly recommends you consider taking the Online Italian Culture Orientation Course. Whether you’re curious about Italian culture or want to fully prepare yourself for living in this country, this orientation will give you the confidence you need to adjust to daily life in Italy. By enrolling in this course, you’ll get insider tips and insights into how to live in Italy like a “local” in all aspects of living the Italian lifestyle, from shopping to even dating.

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Contact International TEFL Academy today to speak with an advisor to find out about accredited TEFL Certification courses for teaching English in Italy or request a brochure to learn about TEFL training courses and a comparison of the most popular countries to teach English.

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