7 Reasons Why You Should Not Visit Rome This Spring

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Spring has long been considered the perfect time for a European city break – the weather is warm but not scalding, the streets have yet to be filled with kids getting the most out of their summer school break, and the views are to die for.

However, in an effort to get ahead of this year’s travel trends (and the chaotic spring crowds), I decided to visit Rome, one of the continent’s most fascinating hubs, before peak season even starts.

St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, Italy

And even though this was a trip that made me fall in love with the city, its jaw-dropping sights, and most importantly, its people, it also proved one thing I’ve always known to be true – no matter how beautiful or attraction-filled a destination is, it’s not going to be for everyone.

In fact, as much as I enjoyed my time in the Italian capital (and am already planning to go back again), I also realized that there are at least 7 good reasons why someone planning to visit Rome this spring might need to reconsider their plans.

You’re Bound To Experience Delays

We’ve all heard of the jokes about Italians being chronically late or generally unbothered about schedules, and, as it turns out, there’s some merit to what I’d previously assumed were just stereotypes.

For the trip from the airport to the hotel, I had to take a bus and then a train – the former came 30 minutes late, while the latter experienced a 70-minute shutdown because of a blockage.

Empty Rome train station

Now, the train delay might’ve just been a one-off thing, but when you combine all that with the fact that many cafes in major tourist hotspots opened their doors after 10:00 AM and even more of them took 3-4 hours long lunch breaks, you start to see where the stereotype comes from.

As someone who shares a similar go-with-the-flow mindset as Italians, I didn’t mind tweaking my schedule every once in a while, but if you’re someone who likes to follow a strict itinerary while traveling, Rome might not be the best choice for you.

Woman holding a map in front of the Colosseum in Rome

Long Lines Almost Everywhere You Go

This one is a drawback for every major destination around the world, and Rome is no exception.

I visited the city in February, which is a couple of months before peak season starts, and I still had to make my way through suffocating crowds and wait for hours in line to enter St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (which was hands-down the busiest attraction I saw).

People standing in line to visit St. Peter's Basilica on St. Peter's square

Trams And Busses Are Pretty Dated

Those used to high-speed trains and state-of-the-art metro systems might find Rome’s public transportation system a bit lackluster.

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of options to get around, and metros and trains, in particular, were pretty modern and easy to navigate.

Traveler With Bags Boarding The Leonardo Express To The Airport In Rome, Italy

However, busses, and especially trams, were dated and not very well-maintained, which made getting around the city a bit more stressful than it needed to be.

Not The Best Place For Outdoor Adventures

Rome is a fascinating place with so much to see that you’ll need at least a full week to take in all of the attractions the city has to offer; however, if you’re someone who’s keen on adventure travel, you’re better off traveling to less curated parts of Italy.

A Drive Lined By Cypress Trees In The Tuscan Countryside, Tuscany, Italy, Southern Europe

Instead, Rome is a mecca for history buffs, architecture lovers, and foodies, so as long as you keep your priorities in mind, you’ll be good to go.

It Can Get A Bit Pricey

While Rome is hardly the most expensive place you can visit in Europe, it can still get quite pricey, especially if you don’t do enough due diligence beforehand.

For example, things like taking a taxi at the airport or buying tickets for each attraction separately can end up wasting you hundreds of dollars – and so can going to the first restaurant you see in major attractions (where the food is twice as expensive and half as good).

Some customers enjoy an aperitif in a bar in the ancient Trastevere district in Rome

My main advice would be to research everything you plan on doing online, compare prices, check out reviews, and book everything you can beforehand so you’re less prone to overspending.

Not Your Typical Skyscraper-Filled City Skyline

When most people think of a city break, their mind immediately goes to that typical skyscraper-filled skyline, loud streets, and neon signs that fill every space you look at – that’s not the case with Rome.

Rome's skyline with mountains behind and trees in front

Buildings in most major parts of the city rarely exceed 7 or 8 stories, and most of the buildings are pretty light-colored and monochrome, whereas billboards and advertisements are remarkably rare.

Partygoers Might Feel A Bit Bored

One of the things that surprised me the most about Rome was seeing just how quiet the city got after 11:00 PM.

View Of The Colosseum At Night, Rome, Italy, Southern Europe

Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of great pubs and clubs in the city, but there just wasn’t a big nightlife scene – the Italian capital mainly caters to families, couples, and solo travelers looking to take in some of the world’s most stunning views during the day and recharge during the night.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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