If you are reading this because of the link on my facebook page it is very likely that you already know that I spent the last weekend in Rome. To compensate you for all the overly cute photos you had to deal with during those days of my boyfriend and me, I have decided to write some advices for people that are traveling to Rome.
- In terms of location, the best place to get a room is near the Vatican. I stayed close to the Coliseum and Termini, which I though was a great idea because I would not have to carry my luggage through the city but it was not because I had to walk a lot to get to the city centre (near the river) and it was not a very safe zone. In the Vatican area you stay close to the city centre (with all the small streets, churches, “plazzas”…), the Vatican (duh) and Trastevere and those three are the main touristic parts of town. Vatican is also a much safer zone to be at and you have a direct subway to Termini, so you don’t have to struggle much with your luggage.
- Look for restaurant recommendations in TripAdviser. This goes for most destinations, but (at least for me) one of the main reasons to go to Rome is the amazing food, so you don’t want to waste any meal there in a bad restaurant. Rome also as a lot of “tourist-trap-restaurants” so it is good to check out TripAdviser to see if you are not being fooled. I don’t have an account, but my boyfriend has one (check here to see it) and we submitted reviews and photos of the restaurants we went to. Here you have a small idea of the typical prices you can find in Rome for your meals:
- Pasta: 7 to 9 euros for pasta carbonara
- Pizza: 8 to 10 euros
- Bruscetta: Around 2 euros
- Panini: 3 to 6 euros
- Get ready to walk A LOT. The subway grid is not very good, so you will have to go almost everywhere walking what is great to get to know the city, but really bad for your feet. I took very confortable shoes but it was awful anyway because they didn’t have a lot of feet support. My advice is: no matter how hot it is… use the most confortable pair of sneakers you own!
- Another not so “hot-days” friendly advice is to always were pants (not shorts) and t-shirt (not tops). I know this sounds madness if you are visiting Rome in the summer, but because you will probably going to enter a lot of churches it is better if you cover yourself a bit more. In most churches you can see signs with a big
cross on a boy and girl with shorts and tops and a “check” sign on a boy and a girl wit
h pants and t-shirts. Some churches have fabrics to put on your legs, but don’t count on it. You may argue that you are not religious or that you are not catholic, but I guess the end point is about respect and not trying to impose nothing on anyone.
Because this post is getting too long, here you have just a few more fast advices:
- Buy water bottles in the supermarket unless you want to spend 1 to 2 euros in a bottle. There are water sources all over the city where you can re-fill them.
- Take visa/mastercard and not other kind of cards (like maestro). I took a maestro card and I could not withdraw money from most ATMs.
- Buy tickets online for the Vatican Museum. You have to pay an extra 4 euros fee but it is really worth it because you totally avoid the queues.
- Check online the schedules of the churches you plan to go because many are closed during lunch hour (no idea why) and may close early.
- Take a bag with a zipper. Unfortunately getting robbed in Rome is far too common (It didn’t happen to me but it happen to the mother of my boyfriend in one of their trips to Rome some years ago).
- Take some baby wipes with you or something to wash your hands because you will probably eat in some pizza or panini’s places that don’t have a bathroom for clients since they are almost like a “take-away” kind you restaurant.
I hope found my advices useful! If you have any other advice for people traveling to Rome, please leave a comment!