Rome is generally safe
As a general rule, the centre of Rome is fairly safe if you follow all the usual rules of staying safe while travelling. If you go to the outskirts of the city, this is where you might find some of the sketchier areas.
...but you should be careful in certain areas
You will probably want to avoid places like Tor Bella Monaca and the Trullo district, and places like the Piramide Metro at night. These are places that are slightly more unsavoury and have more homeless people in the area for example. As a tourist, you will have almost no reason to go to places on the outskirts of Rome as there is nothing of note to visit, and there are not really any accommodation options.
Even though the city centre is generally considered safe, even at night, it is important that you are aware of your surroundings. Rome is a very touristy city and people who are not aware of their belongings will be easy targets for the many pickpockets that are in the city.
Tips for staying safe in Rome:
Avoid accommodation next to Roma Termini
While it is tempting to take advantage of the cheap accommodation next to Rome's central train station, if you are trying to avoid unsafe areas it is probably better to find accommodation away from here. Most of the time it is fine, but the area is known for being a little bit sketchy with pickpockets and prostitutes (especially at night when you would be returning to your accommodation).
Avoid being duped by street vendors
You may encounter a variety of vendors and people on the street that could make you feel uneasy. You will find many forceful street vendors (especially around the touristy areas) and you should make clear that you are not interested. You might also encounter unofficial tour guides who are wanting to practice, and you are not obligated to pay anything other than a tip (if you want to go with them you should establish if any fee is involved first). Around the Colosseum you might also see people dressed up as gladiators- don't take photos with them unless you are willing to pay them!
Avoid restaurants around touristy areas
As a general rule, if you want good food that is not too expensive, you should not eat at the restaurants that are close to the main tourist attractions. These will often have very expensive prices and the food will not always be the 'authentic Roman cuisine' that is promised.
Avoid taking unmarked taxis
If you find yourself needing to take a taxi, avoid the many unmarked taxis that look to take advantage of people. Registered taxis will have a meter, and if it does not you need to make sure you negotiate a price BEFORE getting in the cab. In the same way, you should avoid paying for taxis that go to and from the airport. In general these are wildly overpriced, and there is a train called the Leonardo express that will take you to and from the centre of the city.
Rome by day is not dangerous but at night it can also be in central areas such as Trastevere and Campo de Fior.
The areas a bit more dangerous at some times of the day are:
- Termini, Piazza Vittorio and the station area in general.
- Some areas of Testaccio and San Lorenzo
- Some areas of Trastevere
The advice is to be alert when walking down the street on your own, especially if you are a girl, and tend to avoid it. The Romans, however, only very attentive and supportive as they feel that someone asks for help.
It’s no good to go to San Lorenzo area if you are alone, especially during the night.
It’s no good to go to Magliana area if you are alone, but don’t worry, it’s far to the main attraction of Rome, so it’s difficult you go over there.
As in any city all over the world, it’s not recommended to walk under bridges or subways, especially during the night.
Gardens in the night
As in any city all over the world, it’s not recommended to walk into the gardens (also main gardens) during the night or when there is no people.