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Observations and Tips

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somewhere out there
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Observations and Tips

Hopefully some of there will help some of you in your trip planning.

* I never once felt unsafe or as though someone wanted to rob me.

I saw no gypsies and only a few beggars at the doorway of churches.

The only ‘problem’ I had was a man who entered an ‘open sided’ shop I was in and tried, persistently, to sell me socks—I had to get tough with him and he went away.

* I came prepared for anything; carried my money in a zippered, pinned purse in my front pant’s pocket. I carried some small change, my bus pass, Archaeologia pass and camera in a tiny, across-the-body type bag. I carried my water bottle and miscellaneous other bits in a mini backpack that zips against the back not front.

* Don’t forget the sunblock; I found it necessary even in March. Sunglasses too.

* Buy one bottle of water and fill it at all the water fountains in Rome—all are drinkable, the few that aren’t say ‘aqua non potabile’.

* I ate lots of pastries and pizzas from the myriad forno around town. Fruit, cheese and olives from the markets/supermarkets. It makes a good ‘on-the-go’ lunch that saves money and time.

* All the toilets in museums were remarkably clean given the number of people using them; all the museums had a toilet as did most of the churches—you just need to ask. I used McDonald’s once and they were the only ones without paper; I kept a supply in my bag.

Bars ( which are more like coffee shops) have toilets too, if you don’t want to buy a drink then buy a candy or pastry( very yummy !) and use their facilities.

Keep a supply of hand wipes—better than sanitizer lotion as wipes clean hands as well as sanitize. I also took Shout wipes in case I dirtied a shirt or jacket.

* Romans aren’t ‘rude’ but they are ‘brusque’ and not friendly like Florentines.

Everyone I came into contact with was polite—a few were friendly.

I did see how they could be perceived as rude: American person asking for items in a shop S L O W L Y and L O U D L Y, the shopkeeper was visible irritated.

Learning a few words and numbers will carry you far, as will a smile.

A bus driver who saw us running for the bus waited for us.

A man at the station, late at night, carried one of our bags,up and down stairs, from one platform to another.

* Clothes. I went in March, having checked the weather daily for two weeks prior. I took clothes for that weather. The last two days it turned to winter and I froze and got wet feet in torrential rain. If you go in fall/spring, take warm as well as light clothes plus a hat scarf, gloves and waterproof shoes—the sidewalks and streets turn to rivers in the downpours and can be slippery. Don’t forget an umbrella.

* Research is everything. Many places don't have info board and some are only in Italian. I printed out sheets and sheets of information and maps about churches, sights, the forums and it all served me well.

* Take public transport, it’s cheap and fast, safe and clean. Study the online maps –I printed them out and took them with me—to know what bus goes where.

* Buy the Archeologia card if you are planning to see the Coloseum, Palatine and any of the Roman museums ( does not include the Vatican/Borghese), it’s a great buy.

1* Please make donations at churches. I didn’t leave money in the general boxes but in those that says ‘per la fabrica’—for the fabric.

* Visit some of the smaller, less touristed museums. Most of Rome’s museums are worth visiting and many have recently been re-furbished and have wonderfully interesting exhibits.

* Visit some of the lesser-known churches, they are all beautiful and you will often find a little treasure tucked away isomewhere and have it all to yourself—makes it all the more special!

* It’s not ‘like home’ so don’t expect things to be the same. Rome is an ancient city and a modern city in one; the ancient functions with the modern. It’s not ‘quaint’ or ‘cute’ but tough, gritty, vibrant and surprisingly beautiful.

* Take time out to relax and enjoy tranquility in a park or piazza.

* An open mind is a useful tool. So is a smile and a sense of humour.

coxs creek, kentucky
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1. Re: Observations and Tips

Anemone, I couldn't have said it half as good, myself. Everything you have said, I wholeheartedly agree with. Everyone should print this out as a daily reminder to use before their trip.

Of course, being your twin in some previous lifetime, I really appreciated the tip about visiting even the smallest Churches.

Bravissima bella..............

Rome, Italy
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2. Re: Observations and Tips

Well done, you couldn't do better: it's pure wisdom!

Ciao Daniela

San Antonio, Texas
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3. Re: Observations and Tips

Nice post, anemone! Great practical tips, thanks!

Topeka, Kansas
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4. Re: Observations and Tips

With two weeks to go, that was much needed advice.

Wish us luck!


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5. Re: Observations and Tips

Good advice!

6. Re: Observations and Tips

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