Faint heart never won fair lady…
Rome in many ways is an old and sophisticated lady, only when you prepare for everything, she will show you the best. Without a doubt, it’s a game, but you are sure to win it after reading my following tips and trip itinerary. But there is one thing I have to be very honest with you, this itinerary is very intense, the goal is to see Rome in 6 days, we usually got up at 8 am and start the day, surely we could do this and count on an early start since we had jet lag, but if you are a more leisurely traveler, I will suggest you do this plan for about 8 days or more. 🙂
(click below to see individual posts for stories and tips)
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)→ Pantheon & Fontana del Pantheon→ Obelisco Della Minerva (Elephant and Obelisk)→ Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi dei Francesi) → Largo di Torre Argentina→ Capitoline Museums
Tips for traveling in Rome (Roma), Italy
I highly suggest Roma Pass, it helps us save money especially we are first-timers and huge about seeing museums and ruins. we bought the 72 hours (three-day) pass right at the Rome airport, there is a tourist service center around the shuttle pick up area.
Roma Pass includes the first two museums entry fee for free, the other museums can have a deduction entry fee, usually is less than half the price, which is amazing! the other good thing is you can take the bus by it no limitation within three days, you only need to put the pass close to the top of the yellow reader machine on the bus, then you are good to go, simple as that! it will be validated as the first time you start using it at a museum or on a bus. we used it at Maxxi museum, Capitoline Museums, Baths of Caracalla, and Castel Sant’Angelo [BONUS TIP] don’t throw it away even though it’s over three days… just say it 🙂
Vodaphone sim card for wifi
Wifi seems so important these days, we always buy the sim card at the destination just in case if any emergency. we bought a Vodaphone sim card about 25 EU at a shop around Capitoline museum, there are many mobile shops you can access in downtown, but the key is: bring your PASSPORT no matter which store you pick. they take it seriously to register the name of the users with it. that’s the rule in Rome, so don’t forget it!
Booking tickets online & tour guide
It is the main thing about Rome if you care about to see any major ruins! please don’t take it lightly if that’s your first time to visit Rome, you need to plan it well, get up early or book a tour. you can see the full detail of which ticket you should buy at this post, and this one especially for Domus Aurea, Nero’s party house! It’s a huge rewarding by the time the plan paid off!
Same as the previous note, these two major attractions Vatican museum and St. Peter’s Basilica take quite a time to get in, however, the museum of the Vatican is way more friendly if you visit on weekdays. St. Peter’s Basilica is all about timing. if you visit at weekday early morning or afternoon is better than 9 am. I know that sounds weird but it’s all about human behavior… To get the full tips and experiences, please check these two posts: Vatican museum & St. Peter’s Basilica!
Tourist attractions open and closing hour
This thing is also worth talking about it, most museums have last entry time, which is often 1 hour earlier than the closing time. but it depends on the museum. Also, please always remember to check the open hour beforehand, some of them have the closing day, and some of them open extended hours at summertime, be sure to take advantage of it.
Tipping in a restaurant
Always tip in cash, no credit card. Usually, we follow the rule of the internet says, tipping 1-2 EU at a restaurant, since Roman service people do not rely on this for a living. however, we always very carefully read the bill first to determine how it works. If the service fee is included, often is 10-15 %, then we don’t tip. If that is not listed on it, and it’s a regular small store, we tip as the common rule 1-2 EU. However, a fancy place with excellent service, even the bill doesn’t include a service fee, we still tip 10 % as gratitude. we found that’s best for us and to the service people. Also, in a restaurant, it’s better to tip the service person directly. The owner also likes this way too.
Public drinking fountains that you absolutely should use. They often look like small old-time faucets which produce a constant stream of cold water. The water is brought into the city like it has been for centuries via Roman aqueducts, and it’s safe to drink. Mostly they will be located at the major ruins, or plaza, or close by bus stations. bring a portable water bottle is very useful in Rome!
It’s so important to put yourself at the center of the city! so highly recommend you book your stay at center Rome, neighborhoods such as around Pantheon or Spanish Steps. You will on your foot to the major attractions all the time.
Also, an interesting observation is, the room size in Rome is pretty small. Don’t expect a bigger room since most of the central hotels are used to be ordinary houses, our hotel is in a building that has to connect to the normal house on different floors, and different hotels… btw, Rome don’t put a giant sign for their business! hehe, so please remember your name of the hotel, and expect it’s more casual than regular chain hotel style. personally, don’t feel bothered by any room size issue, but I did suggest you book a room with a view, or balcony that you can enjoy the morning view!
The weather is pretty beautiful in Rome in general, but the temperature changes from day to night dramatically, especially after sunset. we visited in springtime, which is pretty chilly at night. So I highly suggest you bring a lightweight jacket, a scarf in your Rome trip, and layer style dress up is always a win.
It’s undeniable Rome is like the other big cities in Europe, with notorious pick-pocket, thief, scam sales issues… therefore we did our best part of securing our personal belongings, however, I actually found the situations are not as bad as people said, maybe I got lucky or I avoid the dangerous areas, but I noticed that people were much more relaxed than we imagined. Not concerned about pick-pockets. Not so sure it’s about low season visiting. but no matter what, we all should be well-prepared to prevent any money lost problem. avoid walking in a dark alley or staying late at an unknown place. Do not bring too much money or passport with you all the time.
Eating in Rome
It’s just amazing to eat in Rome, the worry-free foodie capital if not much so. Roman take their food seriously and we enjoyed it a great time! This post is all about the restaurant we recommend and ranking with budget-friendly to fancy restaurants. Spoiler: the BEST PIZZA in Rome is in the super budget-friendly list, who will guess it? be sure to check it out and take note!
It’s indeed a fashionable place to show off your style, we spot many fashionistas everywhere we go, they are much more daring of dressing in bold colors, special, unique prints yet still effortless. Local girls wear no-makeup makeup and nice lip shade, they surely know how to flatter their faces and figures in my opinion. however, most importantly is the dress code in Vatican city, if you intend to see St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican museum, cover your shoulders, and knees are the key, it may be hot in summer but bring a lightweight shawl or scarf can solve it!
Alright, that’s it, feel free to let me know your questions, I will be glad to help!