Rome sites A-Z - Description of sites in Rome
Italy sites A-Z - Description of sites in Italy
Readings - what we suggest reading before you arrive
Study in Italy - American Colleges and Universities in Italy
Libraries in Rome - Borrow a book while in RomeRome Historical Shops - Shops in Rome from the turn of the 19TH Century
Fashion Stores in Rome - Location of the famousThe Euro € Currency - The banknotes and coins
Tourist Information Offices in Rome - Where to find them in town
The Vatican - The Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the gardens, the Radio
Worship - English Churches of Rome - with mass in English - If you wish to attend mass while in Rome
Advices and more...
• WATER • The water which issues from Rome's drinking fountains is very good. It comes from deep springs and is as pure as mineral water and can be drunk without fear. By obstructing the end of the pipe with a finger the water is diverted and sprouts from another hole above, facilitating drinking.
• TOILETS • As you will realise there are not many public toilets in Rome. You can, however, ask to use the ones in bars, restaurants, fast food, etc., ... just do as we Romans do and don't feel obliged to buy anything.
• PICK POCKETS • When you are walking, Please Hold on Tight to Your Bags! Be especially careful in Via dei Fori Imperiali; Via degli Annibaldi (a side street of Via Cavour); around Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican. Children, normally in groups of 4 nr 5, are expert criminals. While one of them tries to divert your attention by showing you something, even a piece of cardboard, the other pick your pocket. Try to avoid them if you see them coming. If you are forced to walk by them, just let them see that you know what they have in mind and they will leave you alone. However the children can be easily spotted. More threatening are the pic-pockets that operate on the buses. Be especially careful on number 64 (Termini-Vatican) and 660 (to the catacombs on the Via Appia Antica) which are used mostly by the tourists.
• TAXI • Beware of unauthorized TAXI Drivers! They normally accost you at airports or train stations. They are there to take advantage of your good faith and empty your pockets! Queuing for a legal taxi is always advisable. Unauthorized TAXI are just ordinary looking cars. A real taxi has a TAXI sign on the roof and a plaque, near the number plate, saying ‘servizio pubblico’. It may help avoiding discussions if you know about the tariffs: There is 5.000 lire extra to pay at night (10pm-7am); if they drive you outside the ring road (double for the extra distance) and 2.000 lire extra per piece of luggage. Authorized taxis can be called at the following numbers: 3570 / 4157 / 4994 / 6645.
Legal Taxi's distinguishing marks:
The yellow sticker certifies that the taxi is authorized by the Comune di Roma.
Stickers also promote telephone numbers to call a taxi
A legal taxi has always the sign on the roof and and a taxi meter inside
A legal taxi always has an identification number by the number plate. The same number is also to be found usually on the inside of the back left door. Legal taxi can be white or yellow. Remember to check always for your belongings before leaving the car - forgetting objects in taxis is very common. It can be a good habit to note down the ID number of the taxi for eventual further need of identifying it. Tip is not customary and it's up to you.
• HORSE CARRIAGE • A Safe tour on La Botticella (The Carriage)
If you are thinking about taking a ride on a Botticella Romana pay attdmption to there few guidelines which will help you avoid any potential unpleasantness: the prices, established by the Town Council, range from 50.000 lire for a 30 minute tour to 85.000 lire for a 1 hour ride. The coachmen should display the list of charges and are obliged to issue a receipt. Each ‘botticella’ has an identification number. Note this when you get on as to be able to recognize it in case of any problem. If the coachmen asks for a ridiculous amount of money (like 500.000 lire or one million - as they sometimes do to tourists), refuse to pay and call the police (the Vigile Urbano). Coachmen risk a heavy fine and I’m sure that if you threaten to call the police, they will be more reasonable! Of course unpleasant situations are not necessarily the rule but at least you are in the know now.
• KIOSKS • It would be better not to buy food or guidebooks from kiosks and the stands, found around thd main monuments. Go instead to Bars, Alimentari shops, Book-Shops, you will save a lot of money! At the Bar if you sit at the table you’ll often pay much more! There are two sets of prices. Make sure that you ask for the right list before make your order to avoid unpleasant surprise.
• POSTAGE • In Rome you can use both the Italian and Vatican mail services. Italian Postage stamps can be bought from Post Offices and Tobacconists. Letters can be posted in the red mail boxes around town. Choose "Tutte le altre destinazioni" box to send your letters out of Rome. For parcels one needs to go to the post office.
The Vatican Post Offices are situated around Piazza San Pietro. It is said that Vatican mail travels safer and faster, perhaps because blessed by the Pope. However, it is slightly more expensive. Letters with the Vatican stamps must be put in the blue Vatican mail boxes, again situated around Piazza San Pietro and the Vatican.
Also you may like using Vatican Aerogrammes - fast and unexpensive.