5 things to do in Rome (to improve your Italian)
To people from all over the world, Rome is the Eternal City, the cradle of a millenary civilization, a privileged set of hundreds of masterpieces of Italian and international cinema… but it is also the most suitable Italian city for those who want to study and improve their Italian.
So here are five activities off the beaten path that will help you improve your Italian while you are discovering Rome!
1. Bargain at the Porta Portese Flea Market
Every Sunday, an entire district of Rome fills up with stalls and carts: it is the Porta Portese market, one of the places where you can catch the true spirit of the city… and make some very good deal! In addition, the music, clothes, antiques and junk stalls offer a privileged opportunity to practice the most useful communicative functions of Italian language, such as negotiating on the price, asking for directions and information or exchanging opinions on an object. The sellers are used to the presence of foreigners and will be happy to talk to you in Italian!
2. Attend an aperitif in Monti
Monti, also known as the Suburra, is one of the most characteristic districts of the city, and, in recent years, it has also become a lively meeting point for both Romans and foreigners. The vast offer of pubs, bistros, tea rooms and small bars, together with the proximity to the most important tourist attractions (Colosseum, Fori Imperiali) and shopping streets (via Nazionale, via del Corso) make Monti a priviledged meeting point for people from all over the world. It is therefore not unusual to come across linguistic aperitifs that are periodically organized by clubs or by Italian language schools for foreigners, with free participation and drinks at an affordable price. You just have to join the conversation, preferrably while sipping a spritz!
3. Watch a subtitled movie in a local theatre
Rome is the cinematic city par excellence: what better than honoring this innate vocation of the Eternal City by going to a local theatre in the city center to watch Italian films in their original language? Some small art-house cinemas offer, at set times and days, the screening of Italian films with English subtitles. But there is also the possibility of watching films in foreign languages with Italian subtitles, to improve both your listening and your reading skills!
4. Tour the city on public transportation
It may seem counter-intuitive, given the poor reputation of the Roman bus and metro lines, but one of the best ways to get in touch with the Italian language and culture during your stay in Rome is to make an extensive use of public transport! Whether by subway, tram or bus, a trip on public transport offers an incredible amount of ideas and inputs to improve knowledge of the Italian language and your competence in listening, reading and communication. Even just to dwelling on the advertisements and information messages that you can find along the way can provide you with tons of authentic linguistic material!
5. Attend an Italian Language Course in Rome City Center
If you want something done well, do it yourself: that indeed is a wise advice! But if self-study is not enough for you, you should be aware that Rome offers a large number of Italian courses for foreigners, for all budgets and levels! Italian language schools in Rome are often based in historic buildings and in ancient and suggestive districts: attending classes in the heart of the Eternal City is certainly the best way to improve your Italian!