Lucky you, travelling to Rome!
With thousands of years of history everywhere you turn and world class cuisine around every corner, you are set to have the time of your life.
However, a trip to the Eternal City, even for the most seasoned of traveller, can be fraught with challenges and endless potential drama. Eek. Do not fear, all you need are Touriocity’s top 10 tips to ensure you get the absolute best out of your trip to Rome.
1. Water Fountains
There are water fountains all over the city with cold, fresh drinking water and best of all it’s completely free. So don’t keep buying overpriced water- be smart and buy a bottle and keep topping it up. Plus the water fountains, known as nasones (little noses), are really fun to use– put your finger over the spout and water will spray upwards through a hole at a more convenient drinking level.
2. Crossing the Road
Beware of the cars and motorbikes as Romans rarely stop for pedestrians. So when crossing the road you just have to be bold and make the first move. Obviously be sensible, we don’t want anyone getting run over!
3. Street-sellers & Rose-sellers
Some of the stuff that people will try to sell is quite fun and amusing — they certainly add to the character and bustle of Rome. But, if you don’t want any flowers, be cautious of the rose-sellers as they can be very persistent — just say ‘no thank you’ or ‘non grazie’ as firmly as possible.
4. Using Public Transport
When using public transport you need to buy your ticket before you board the bus or metro. The ticket machines are pretty easy to use and they have an English function. One ticket costs €1.50 and last 100 minutes or one metro journey. You can buy a bunch of tickets at once. Also make sure to check with your hotel before you leave the door — strikes happen from time to time without much warning.
Rome is coffee-drinkers paradise. When you pop into a bar for an espresso you often have to pay at a small cash desk first then take your receipt to the bar. If you’re happy to stand at the bar, then do, because it’ll be much cheaper, and whats more you will be doing it like a Roman! And, if you want to be really Italian, then don’t have a cappuccino after 11am.
6. City Maps
Don’t spend money on an expensive map before you arrive in Rome. There are plenty of tourist offices which hand out free maps which are really easy to use. And you can take as many as you like. Your hotel will probably have a few as well.
7. Monday Closures
Most museums are closed on a Monday. If you’ve already taken a tour of the Roman Forum & Colosseum, the Vatican Museums and the Heart of Rome, our other favourite places to visit are: the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, the Keats-Shelley House and the Borghese Gardens.
One of the questions we get asked the most is about tipping. Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s often a good idea to give a tip if you think someone’s done a good job. Some restaurants will add a service charge, so make sure to double check before you double tip.
9. Keep Covered in Churches
In the hot summer months make sure you carry a couple of scarves to cover your shoulders and knees otherwise you won’t be allowed into many of the churches — this applies to men and women! And there are a lot of really beautiful churches you will want to see including, of course, St Peter’s Basilica.
10. Tour Guides: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Finally, there are thousands of guides in Rome and not all of these guides will be good. When you’re walking around enjoying the sites of Rome don’t be bullied into taking a tour. Make sure that you pre-book with a reputable guide.