Do as the Romans do. Tips and advice citizens of Rome usually give to friends and visitors from other cities and countries.
Which type of clothes are recommended while visiting Rome?
Comfortable, flat shoes are essential. Many historical streets and pavements are made in stone and make it difficult to walk with high heels. In summer, we suggest wearing open shoes because it is very hot. From November to March you need heavy coats. In spring and autumn we suggest to dress in layers to adapt to the variable weather. From June to the half of September the sun is very hot: we suggest you to wear light, cotton clothing, and hat or little umbrellas to walk under the sun.
Where can I find tickets to public transportation?
You can buy bus tickets in many Tobacco shops and some bars, more sporadically you can find them in distribution machines next to the stops or even on the bus. We suggest you to buy many tickets at the beginning of the day. Metro and train tickets can be found in the stations. Same stations have a ticket office and all of them feature distribution machines. We suggest you to keep a supply of coins because the distribution machines don’t always accept credit cards. Be mindful of pickpockets while using distribution machines, they get close to you by offering you help to buy tickets especially in those stations which are more frequented by tourists: Termini, Spagna, Colosseo.
How can I find a taxi cab? How can I distinguish an authorized one from an abusive one?
To call a taxi you can utilize the little green columns placed in the taxi stations; call number 060609 to find the closest taxi cab to you; call one of the authorized taxi companies. Taxi service in Rome can be given only by those drivers who possess a license. The authorized cabs are exclusively white and feature the emblem of the Municipality of Rome (the red shield with “SPQR” written in yellow ) on the car doors. They also feature the word ‘TAXI’ on the car roof. You never have to negotiate the price with the drivers: authorized taxi cabs have a taximeter and mandatory fees. They also can’t refuse a destination and at the end of it, they will give you a receipt. Trips from and to the airports have a standard price which is written inside the cab.
How do I have conduct myself next to the monuments and the pedestrian areas?
You are allowed to sit on the monumental staircases and the marble seatings when they’re not protected by barriers but it’s forbidden to eat meals and make camp by the monuments. We suggest that you search for a bench or a garden nearby if you want to eat take-away meals. It’s forbidden to climb monumental fountains to drink water: you can drink from all the fountains that have nozzles. It’s forbidden to get in the tanks of monumental fountains to wash or refresh yourself. We suggest you to pay attention on the pedestrian areas: they could be crossed by authorized vehicles or drivers who don’t respect the prohibition. We suggest you to pay attention on the pedestrian areas as though they weren’t.
Can I take a picture of monuments, streets, people and buildings?
Rome is a touristic venue and its monuments can be photographed freely. Some historical buildings are headquarters of institutions and representatives of foreign States so it’s not a good idea to photograph them because you could be at risk of violating the rules established by the authorities. We also suggest you don’t photograph policemen while at work or in the monitoring stations. As far as people are concerned there are general rules: photos of people are allowed if they’re in the background of a touristic picture, instead for close-up shots it’s recommended to ask for permission to avoid discussions or complaints. Inside of churches and museums, there are different rules: some of them allow photos, other prohibit them or allow pictures without flash. There is usually a sign at the entrance to inform the visitors.
How much does it cost to take a picture with the gladiators at the Colosseum?
The presence of people in costumes next to the Colosseum is sometimes tolerated and other times prohibited by the Municipality of Rome.We suggest that tourists not feed this unauthorized exchange of photos that can cause unpleasant discussions. There aren’t any fees but gladiators and other street-artists will ask for a voluntary donation to those who photograph them or take a picture with them. Requests are between 1 or 2 euros or even 40 euros in the most resounding cases. However, nobody is forced to pay them for the pictures , especially if they didn’t pose or if they haven’t been photographed with the surrounding context.
Are the stalls which sell food and beverages authorized? Do they sell safe products?
Trucks which sell sandwiches, drinks, snacks and so on are generally authorized to stay and sell next to the monuments and places of interest. The products they sell are as safe as those sold by traditional shops. Prices are usually higher , especially drinks which can be excessively high in the summer. We suggest that you ask in advance how much the product you are buying costs to avoid misunderstandings or frauds. We also suggest that you think twice before you buy something that you could pay much less for in a different place. You should avoid vendors that walk around selling water bottles or use temporary stands to sell products next to the major monuments : they are absolutely unauthorized and the origin of their products cannot be verified.
I need to go to the bathroom but I’m far from my Hotel. Are there any public toilets
Public toilets in Rome are rare and not very well pointed out. They are automatic and you can enter by inserting coins A possibility that few tourists are aware of is to make use of bars’ toilets since the bartenders must let people use them if they ask for it. It is polite to buy something (even only a coffee) in return for the service, but it’s not mandatory. It has to be pointed out that some impolite bartenders say that the bathroom is out of service as not to let people make use of it. Bartenders also must give a free glass of water to anyone who asks for it. Obviously, we suggest that you don’t overuse this possibility because you’ll often find a public fountain in the surroundings.
My bag was stolen containing my passport, money and personal effects. What can I do? Who should I talk to?
You have to report the theft to the closest police station (call 113) or Carabinieri station. (call 112)
Then you’ll have to contact the Consulate of your home country to get a copy of your documents.