Crossing the Street in Rome
For those of you who have already been to Rome, you must know for sure the reason why we are covering this topic. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
To all those who are planning their trip to Rome instead, we strongly advise you to keep on reading. As strange as it may sound, crossing the street in Rome is not always easy for visitors. As locals born and raised in Rome, we will share here the best tips and tricks to guide you through Rome beautiful streets as safely as possibile!
Crossing at the Green Traffic Light
Keep in mind one basic rule: it’s always advised to cross the street where it is allowed, meaning you should always cross on the white stripes or at the traffic light. Do not cross randomly, you could get a fine or – worst – cause an accident!
Let’s cover how to cross the street at the traffic light first. The green pedestrian light at the traffic light means it’s your turn to cross. However, the green light lasts just a few seconds. Should you encounter the yellow light, you can still cross the street. The yellow light in Italy generally lasts longer than the green light (about 10 seconds). You can wait for the next green light if you do not feel comfortable, but if you decide to cross with the yellow light, do not hesitate and proceed at a fast pace.
If there’s no traffic light, always look for the closest zebra crossing.
When on the zebra crossings pedestrians always have priority, and drivers have no interest in hitting them. We know it may look dangerous, because drivers do not always stop immediately when they see pedestrians are about to cross, and you should always pay attention.
First, be careful at the speed drivers are going and pick the right time to cross. It’s important you maintain a constant speed. Vehicles will adjust their speed to yours. Do not hesitate and don’t get scared if drivers keep going in front or behind you (especially motorcycles). It’s just a way to let the traffic flow.
When you get off the bus at the bus stop, never cross the street going in front of the bus. Wait until the bus has moved away. Cars and motorcycles tend to overtake buses at the bus stop and it can be very dangerous to cross when other drivers cannot see you.
Our last advice on this matter, is to try to follow the lead of locals.
How to walk through Rome narrow streets
The city of Rome rises on a urban plan conceived more than 25 centuries ago. Especially in the historic center big streets with wide sidewalks are pretty rare. Most of the paths are made by narrow, cobblestone streets leading you from one monument to the other.
These streets are not closed to traffic and you will encounter several vehicles, from cars, to motorcycles.
When there’s no sidewalk it’s important you walk in line, as close as possible to the buildings. Drivers are used to pedestrians walking along the sides of streets and they will not hit you. Do not get scared and don’t turn every time you hear a vehicle behind you. Just keep walking at a normal pace. In Rome, drivers and pedestrians go their own ways as parallel lines.
Moreover, be aware of the paving. The typical cobblestones covering the streets of Rome are fascinating, but they can also be pretty tricky. From time to time you must look down to avoid tripping or – even worst – falling.