Useful Tips and Tidbits of Advice for a Holiday in Rome
Rome is definitely one of my family’s favorite holiday destinations. It is likewise my most favorite topic to write and story to tell since my childhood years. Just a few weeks ago I and my whole family had a wonderful holiday in Rome. I actually have gone to Rome a couple of times already. However, I still feel the excitement every time I step on the city’s main aerodrome, the Rome Fiumicino airport. I have this feeling like there are still a lot about Rome that I have to see and experience.
Despite being on a holiday trip, it is very hard for a travel enthusiast, just like me, to just stop working. Needless to stay, I have written down some important notes on every detail of our trip while at the same time enjoying the holiday. Part of the things I had jotted down is some tips that I specially wrote to share with you. Here are some tips and tidbits of advice that I have learned from my last Rome visit. I hope you can find them valuable and helpful. Also for more tips checkout this website about Rome Sightseeing.
Note some of the tips on this page are taken from so this free e-book on planning a weekend in Rome has a lot of extra useful tips, free walking routes and help you plan a great holiday.
All about money
If you need to have your bills exchanged, go to the nearby authorized money changers. If you meet some individuals on the street claiming that they are authorized money changers and offering a better exchange rate, try not to entertain them. Authorized money changers with shops generally do not try to drag tourists off the street. Most of those found on streets are unreliable money changers. They will give you a good deal but eventually end up cutting as much as 10% commission from your money. So beware of them.
If you find authorized money changer shops too busy with long queues, you can choose to just have your money from the ATM machine. Most of the ATM machines in Rome accept all major international debit and credit cards. You can easily find a cash machine around the historic center of Rome.
Always keep cash on your pocket specially if you are shopping and roaming around the city. Most of the shops, specially the smaller restaurants and shopping establishments, accept only cash payments. However, some large scale businesses accept major credit card as payment for huge bills and purchases, for instance hotel bills.
Tipping, especially on restaurants, is actually not necessary in Rome. Even Italians are not fond of giving tips. However, you are always welcome to give tips especially if you are well satisfied with the food and service you received. On our last visit in Rome, I learned that a considerable part of my restaurant bill covers the payment for the cover and bread charge and the extra charge for dining outside, not to mention the additional 10% service charge. Upon learning such, I find it rather insignificant to leave a tip to the bill tray.
Dining and food trip
Some restaurants in Rome can be overwhelming especially when we talk about prices. Dining outside can be a bit pricey but it does not have to go that way always. You can definitely taste authentic Roman and Italian gastronomy without draining your wallet. Just be a bit creative with your location. If you are, at the moment, standing at the mainstream shops near the major attractions where most tourists flock, walk a little further. At a short distance you can find plenty of shops offering great tasting sandwich and sliced pizza. With this you can taste each and every pizza flavor you want without having to buy the whole serving and without having to pay for a huge sum of money. You can likewise find inexpensive and better restaurants just a short walk off the historic center where most locals dine.
Always bring with you a tumbler or bottle of water especially if you have planned to explore the city by foot. Just in case you run out of water, you can easily refill your bottle on the public faucets that you can see around Rome.
Do not buy bottled water from the street food carts, bars and shops that are located near the major attractions as it is priced higher than you expected. Instead, buy a bottle of water or refreshment drinks and some other finger foods or picnic items from stores off the city center as they are less pricey.
If you crave for an ice cream or gelato, never buy a cone from street vendors without asking first the price. Most of the vendors mark higher rate especially if they notice that you were not that attentive to the rate per cone. To be sure you get the worth of your money, only buy ice cream or gelato at the nearby store.