Rome may be known for its knack for la dolce vita or 'the sweet life', but it won't necessarily come easily to everyone. From language to currency, culture and more, you'll need to do your fair share of research before you can hop on a scooter and jet into the sunset. Here are some basics to get to know first.
Generally speaking, Australian passport holders looking to holiday in Italy for no more than 90 days do not require a visa. Australian passport holders looking to work in Rome must be granted visas under the Working Holiday Maker visa program. Please not that these are just guidelines and that visa requirements can change. As such, always check with the Italian embassy before you travel.
As part of the European Union, the currency used in Italy is the Euro. The Euro to Australian Dollar exchange rate changes constantly. In order to get the best rate, monitor the rate in the lead up to your trip and purchase some Euros when the time is right. For safe spending it is also recommended to bring a credit card or a travel money card. A Cash Passport is ideal for travel in Italy as you can transfer money onto them in the form of Euros and access your funds with a much lower fee than a typical bankcard.
Chances are, if you're a lover of carbs and tomatoes you'll be all too familiar with Italian food. Beloved around the world for its creamy sauces, fresh ingredients, cured meats and melt-in-your-mouth dough, Italy's most undeniably famous meals are pizza and pasta. Although the traditional form is better than anything you've ever been delivered in a box. Other highlights on the Italian menu include strong espresso, flavoursome gelato and their lovechild of affogato in which gelato is served soaked in coffee. Authentic Roman dishes to try include bruschetta in myriad forms, spaghetti a cacio e pepe (spaghetti with cheese and pepper), veal saltimbocca (veal scallopini with ham and sage) and trippa alla Romana - tripe Roman-style.
Despite all of the food comas it must create, Rome is an energetic and passionate city. The espressos commonly served probably have something to do with it. Then again, with such beautiful surrounds who wouldn't want to be out and about? The local love for their picturesque city is reflected in their style of partying - alfresco. Even in winter you'll catch locals rugged up outside enjoying a glass of wine. As opposed to cocktail lounges and rowdy pubs, Italians prefer a cafe-turned-bar where food, wine and chatter are easily found. Nightclubs are also common with some of the most popular ones surrounding the Piazza Venezia. Remember the Romans are a stylish lot, so dress to impress.