Top 10 Tips If You Are Visiting Rome For The First Time
If you are traveling to Rome, you will find useful all the following tips that come from our friends at Quora and our own expertise. Here is a list of things you should be careful with when going to the eternal city:
#1 Be careful when you take a taxi from the airport:
When you are at the airport of Fiumicino, you will see a sign saying that a trip inside the Aurelian walls should cost 48 euros. If you are at the airport of Ciampino, the cost of taxi to get you to the center of Rome is supposed to be 30 euros However, many taxi drivers might tell you that the area you are going to is outside of the wall and will try to charge you with 60 or 70 euros. The taxi drivers do not speak English that well, so you may end up paying much more than you should. You could just take the express bus to Rome, which is around 6 euros per person. Take the Leonardo Express from Fiumicino which runs every half an hour or the Terravision shuttle service from Ciampino. You can also get the train, which costs 12 euros. If you decide to take a taxi, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the cost by asking the taxi driver.
If you want to find out which areas are considered to be inside the Aurelian walls, have a look at the PDF of the Airport of Rome here. The official document says that all the following areas are considered to be inside the Aurelian walls:
Areas Inside the Aurelian Walls: Piazzale Flaminio, Viale del Muro Torto, Piazzale Brasile, Corso d’Italia, Piazza Fiume, Corso d’Italia, Piazzale di Porta Pia, Viale del Policlinico, Piazza della Croce Rossa, Viale Castro Pretorio, Viale San Martino della Battaglia, 5 Piazza Indipendenza, Via Solferino (carreggiata sinistra direzione Largo di Villa Peretti), Viale E. De Nicola (carreggiata sinistra direzione Largo di Villa Peretti), Piazza dei Cinquecento, Via Giolitti, sottovia della Stazione Termini in corrispondenza di Via Alfredo Cappellini, Via Marsala, Piazzale Sisto V, Via di Porta S. Lorenzo, Piazzale Porta S. Lorenzo, Piazzale Tiburtino, Via di Porta Labicana, sottovia in corrispondenza di Viale dello Scalo di S. Lorenzo, Piazza di Porta Maggiore, Piazzale Labicano, Via Casilina, Viale Castrense, Piazzale Appio, Via Sannio, Via Farsalo, Piazzale Ipponio, Via Ipponio, Piazzale Metronio, Viale Metronio, Via delle Mura Latine, Porta San Sebastiano, Viale di Porta Ardeatina, Largo G. Chiarini, Viale di Porta Ardeatina, Piazzale Ardeatino, Viale di Porta Ardeatina, Piazza di Porta S. Paolo, Via Persichetti, Piazzale Ostiense, Viale del Campo Boario, tratto di Mura Aureliane fino a Lungotevere Testaccio, Largo G. Battista Marzi, Lungotevere Testaccio (fino a Piazza dell’Emporio), Ponte Sublicio, Piazza di Porta Portese, Piazzale Portuense, Viale delle Mura Portuensi, Largo Bernandino da Viale A. Saffi, Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi, Via G. Berchet, Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi, Piazzale Aurelio, Via di S. Pancrazio, Via Aurelia Antica, Via di Villa Betania, Via N. Piccolomini, Via S. Lucio, Via S. Adeodato, Via Sabiniano, Via S. Damaso, Via Gregorio VII fino a Via S. Silverio, Via Gregorio VII, Piazza Pio XI, Via Anastasio II, Via Cipro, Via Frà Albenzio, Piazza S. Maria delle Grazie, Via Vittor Pisani (da Piazza S. Maria delle Grazie a Piazzale degli Eroi), Piazzale degli Eroi, Via Andrea Doria, Largo Trionfale, Viale delle Milizie, Piazza delle Cinque Giornate, Ponte Matteotti, Lungotevere A. da Brescia, Via Luisa di Savoia, Piazzale Flaminio
Moreover, you can find out the fixed fees from the airport of Rome (Fiumicino, not Ciampino) to different areas of Rome here. For example, the prices as of 2016 are:
From- to Fiumicino Airport- Ostiense Station 45 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport-Aurelian Walls 48 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport- Tiburtina Station 55 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport-Civitavecchia Harbor 120 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport-Magliana Castle 30 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport- New Rome Fair 25 euro
from- to Fiumicino Airport-Ciampino Airport 50 euro
#2 Stay away from the restaurants near the main tourist attractions if you want to taste some good food:
We are biased towards the food in Rome. We believe that it is the worse you will find in Italy. The restaurants are hunting for tourists and do not offer the same quality as other places of Italy do. If you choose to eat in the restaurants near the main tourist attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Colosseum, you will most probably end up disappointed. Moreover, you should do your homework and learn about the four main pasta dishes you can eat in Rome: amatriciana, gricia, carbonara, cacio e pepe.
#3 Buy your tickets online to save time from queueing:
Rome has countless tourists, and there are often long lines in the main attractions. On the other side, these attractions have shorter lines for the visitors who have bought their tickets online. Online tickets are also cheaper than the ones you purchase on the front desk of the attractions. Just be careful that in some cases, e.g. in Colosseum, you have to print your online ticket and bring it with you – they cannot just scan your ticket on your smartphone.
#4 Try to Learn some basic Italian for Tourists:
Italians in Rome do not communicate fluently in English, so it will be helpful if you also learn some phrases in Italian.
#5 Bring a comfortable pair of shoes with you:
Rome is a vast area with many attractions, and you will do much walking. Bring some cute sneakers with you. However, Romans pay much attention to fashion, clothes, and shoes, and you should try to blend in. Especially, when you visit Cathedrals, you should take care of your attire, or you might not be allowed to enter. The signs at cathedrals inform visitors that women need to have their shoulders completely covered to be allowed to enter. This means that women should wear at minimum a t-shirt sleeve length. Moreover, the signs say that knees should be covered too for women. Of course, the Italian merchants, are inventive and resourceful, and you will often find vendors outside of the cathedrals, selling long scarfs to women who have forgotten about the dress code. Scarfs will do the job.
#6 Do not rent a car:
Rome is a difficult city to drive through. Metro, taxis, and walking will help you get everywhere. Don’t rent a car. If you do, most probably you will end up paying a lot of money in parking fines and will lose a lot of time to navigate your way in Rome.
#7 You cannot hail taxis on the road.
Taxis in Rome are not allowed to pick up passengers from the road. So, you cannot find a taxi easily in Rome, through hailing it on the road. You can get them in taxi piazzas, or taxi queues which are scattered.
#8 Do not visit Rome during August.
During August, everyone is on holidays in Rome. Most of the shops, bars, clubs, and theaters are closed. Yes, the attractions are still there to visit and see, but you will not get the real feeling of the town. Go in June or July if you need to be in Rome during the summer. April, May, September and October are also excellent months to visit Rome as the weather is still warm.
#9 Keep your eyes open.
Rome is among the top 5 cities in Europe to get pickpocketed (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3423066/The-five-European-cities-likely-pickpocketed-avoid-victim.html ). No matter if you are at the airport, or in the city center, always keep your eyes on your luggage and your stuff.
#10 Try to Fly to Ciampino and not Fiumicino Airport.
The Ciampino airport hosts all the low-cost airlines, but the reason we recommend that you fly to Ciampino is that it will take you only 35-45 minutes to get to the center of Rome. If you fly to Fiumicino, you may need up to 90 minutes to reach the center of Rome.
#11 Do not get scammed. Do not let people give you roses on the Spanish steps. You may think that it is for free, but it is not. Moreover, once you accept it, they will ask for money and will not accept it back. If you try to return the rose, you will see the whole gang coming at you and asking for money. Don’t accept “presents” such as wristbands from strangers. They will come back asking for money, and you will lose 5 – 10 minutes trying to give the “presents” back to them.
#12 Try the Gelato.
Rome may not have the best restaurants in Italy but serves the best ice-cream. Try as much Gelato as you can. In the touristic area, the best places to try the ice cream are Il Palazzo del Freddo di Giovanni Fassi,http://www.palazzodelfreddo.it/,Giolitti, (giolitti.it) and Il Geltone, http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d1495451-Reviews-Il_Gelatone-Rome_Lazio.html