When you’re making a trip to Italy, it makes sense that you take the time to stop by the capital city, which is Rome.
Rome is both culturally and historically significant as a city. There are plenty of spots available in the city that you should stop by, but you have to prepare for the trip for a smoother travel experience.
On that note, here are ten tips and tricks that you should apply when planning a trip to Rome:
1. Always carry cash with you
Before going to Rome, make sure that you have a sufficient amount of cash around with you.
Italy is a country that uses cash for all of its transactions. You might encounter a place that doesn’t use debit or credit cards. Therefore, you should always carry some money in your carry-on or at least get ready to exchange your currency there.
2. Get “skip-the-line” tickets
Since Rome is a popular tourist destination, you have to expect that you will get many crowded tourist spots when you’re there. Sometimes, it can take you upwards of four hours if you want to get into certain sights in Rome.
You don’t want to be stuck waiting in line for four hours, especially if you aren’t in Rome for a long time. For this reason, some of these popular tourist spots offer “skip-the-line” tickets.
You’ll be able to skip the lines without disrespecting or ignoring human courtesy. Of course, these tickets will be much more expensive than the standard tickets.
But if you value your time a lot, the ticket price will be worth it for you.
3. Tipping is optional but appreciated
The tipping culture in Rome is that they don’t expect you to tip. Sometimes, restaurants or cafes include the service charge, which goes to your service staff.
You don’t have to tip restaurants, especially if there’s a service charge. However, if you had excellent service there, your service staff will appreciate the tip that you leave them.
4. Order coffee at the bar
When ordering coffee anywhere in Italy, the coffee culture is that you order coffee at the bar.
When you order coffee at the bar, this means that you won’t be lingering for too long there. You’re going to sip your coffee, typically a Caffe (a shot of espresso with crema), while standing at the bar and then go about your way.
However, if you want to sit around for a bit more, you have to choose a table, and you’re going to have to pay more for the table service.
5. Don’t order a cappuccino after noon
Speaking of the coffee culture, if you’re a fan of cappuccinos, make sure you don’t order it from noon onwards.
Italians don’t drink cappuccino once the clock strikes noon. They believe that the milk plus foam’s heaviness will inhibit your digestion and make you replace your meal.
Thus, you should stick to ordering a cappuccino in the mornings.
6. Buy bus tickets ahead of time
Using public transportation is always a good idea if you want to save money while also experiencing another unique side to a country’s culture. However, make sure that you buy your bus tickets ahead of time.
7. Be mindful of your bag
Although Rome is a safe place, you still should be aware of your surroundings. Moreso, when you’re boarding public transportation.
If you’re in tourist attractions, make sure that you keep an eye on your bags and belongings. Petty crimes are very much present still, especially in tourist spots.
8. Dress modestly in church
Since you’re going to Rome, you have to expect many famous tourist spots there will be churches. Therefore, you should respect religious practices and dress modestly before heading in.
It would be best if you had covered shoulders and knees when you’re going into these famous churches because that’s what they require.
9. Wear comfortable shoes
Rome has plenty of ancient sites, and the streets can be quite cobbled depending on where you go.
Cobbled streets are frequent enough to be inconvenient for you if you wear any uncomfortable shoes when you’re walking around Rome.
Therefore, before you head to Rome, make sure that you wear comfortable shoes when walking around.
10. Free museums on first Sundays
If you manage to be in Rome sometime during the first week of any month, you should use the Rome Free Sunday initiative.
This program allows everyone to visit many sites and spots in Rome, like museums, for free during the first Sunday of every month. If you want to save some money, you might want to time your trip to make use of free visits.
Any trip will benefit from a bit of research and preparation beforehand.
Since Rome is such a culturally relevant and popular tourist spot, you’ll benefit from knowing a bit about how to navigate this curious city.
Before you go on your trip to Rome, make sure that you apply the tips and tricks on this list so you can focus on enjoying your time there. Good luck!