You have just landed in Italy. The sun is shining and you are stuck in a noisy traffic jam: welcome to Rome! To enjoy this beautiful city, you should know at least these 10 tips for visiting Rome, to go around with as every local knows how to do. This basic list will make your holiday peaceful and memorable.
Rome is full of ‘nasoni‘ (‘big noses’) – public fountains that distribute cool water for free. Unfortunately, you might be told that this water is not drinkable by vendors trying to sell you expensive bottles of water, but don’t trust them! The water from Rome’s public fountains is healthy, and available 24/7.
The cobblestones of which the streets are paved with are called sampietrini. Are you planning to wear high heels to go out when visiting Rome? Well, this is not a good idea.
The space between the cobblestones makes them dangerous. Consider wearing wedge heals instead.
3) DRESS CODE
Cover your knees and shoulders when you visit a church, otherwise church officials might ask you to exit the building. It’s a matter of respect.
Take a scarf or something similar when walking around the city, just in case.
4) COUNTERFEIT GOODS
Don’t buy fake designer’s goods from the street sellers; it’s illegal. Even if they are “working” in the heart of the city and seem to be allowed to do so, the police could give you a fine as the buyer anytime.
5) ROMAN SOLDIERS
Be careful not to take pictures with guys dressed as Roman soldiers, they come to you in a friendly way, asking to take a picture with them but it is NOT free! Usually, they will ask for a payment of around 20 euro a person. Just say “No, grazie.”
Be sure to take only registered taxis. Taxis licensed by Rome City Council are white and have a sign bearing the word “TAXI” on their roofs. The symbol of Rome City Council is clearly visible on the front doors and the license inside the back left side. Especially in Termini train station, there is a long queue to take a taxi. Just cross the street, walk some meters (5 minutes) and call a taxi by phone. It’s an easy way to skip the line. Phone: 063570; 060609; 060645. Many places in the city are walkable and you may not need to take a taxi.
Requesting help from a Prontopia Local getting to your hotel or tour meeting point easily with in-person help is a convenient alternative.
Casual Rome restaurants are called “trattorie”. They have a loyal clientele and don’t need to invest too much in decor or upgrades. The food is genuine and simple.
Do you want to learn how to make your own genuine Roman food? Book a class with our partner, Sublime Tours.
Don’t do pic-nicks close to the artistic places (for example, in the Spanish Steps). It is not allowed to eat on the steps of churches or monuments.
(From 2019, people are also not allowed to sit on the Spanish Steps, at all.)
Rome is a “safe” place. The only problem you might come across is pickpockets. Keep your eyes open especially in the underground!
Last but not least: don’t be shy and smile! People in Rome are friendly, but if you need any help with logistics and orientation, contact a Prontopia Local: they will love to help you out on getting around Rome!