Okay, it's almost impossible to blend in. First of all you have that darn map out every five seconds. The streets start then stop then become another street. You look for the Trevi Fountain and find the Pantheon instead. Well, at least you don't look like these guys. Haha.
Italian Bureacracy - part 2
Another time, one of my students received notice that a replacement camera that his parents had sent him was in customs at Fiumicino (Rome's main airport). We went to go get it. While in the office waiting for the paperwork to be typed up, I noticed that the import tax to be levied was over 200,000 lire (about $250 dollars). Surprised, I turned and asked my student just how expensive this camera was. He said it was cheap, so I asked the Italian in charge how this figure was arrived at - it turns out that his parents had insured the camera for $500 (probably 4 times what it was worth) because it never occurred to them that anyone would actually use the figure.
By this point, the student was somewhat hysterical - since he probably didn't have $250 this late in the semester. The Italian office manager and I continued talking, and he finally asked me if the camera was used. Well, I had no idea, but, yes, the student thought that it probably was used. "Well, why didn't you say so?" he exclaimed.
A whole group of people (Italians love a good show) followed the office manager and the student and myself over to the customs vault, where all the stuff waiting to be claimed. The office manager rooted around in the vault, came up with the box, pulled out the camera, and voila' (excuse my French), the camera had a scratch on it, so it was officially determined to be "used".
Oh, the import price? 2,000 lire - about $2.50.
In any case, talk to the bureaucrats, treat them like people, pretend to be a some dumb foreigner who needs their help, and I think you'll be surprised how often they'll help you. Yes, sometimes a (monetary) tip after the fact (not before!) is warranted - but given how much time they may save you, it's well worth it....maybe I'll tell you about the experiences with the post office some time...
Go on a coach trip of the city.
Go on a coach trip of the city,so you can be told the history of the monuments and buildings.Gruppo Garrani tours at Via Veneto,Orlando,Rome were brilliant.They had a choice of tours around different monuments and churches,3hr tours,morning or evening.They also done tours to Naples, Sorrento,Venice and Pompei.The 3hour tours were good because you had plenty of time to do other thongs as well.They were around £18 per person. Do go to the gardens in Rome .In the heart of Trastevere,near Farnesina palace,is the botanical garden.It is peaceful and romantic and only known by locals.It is open from 8-6pm mon-fri and sat-8-noon.
Despite being so close to Termini, and having a three day transport pass given to me (part of the package for MrL's work that had taken us to Rome), I didn't really use public transport all that much. Rome's such an easy city to get around on foot, we took the Hop on Hop off bus option to combine transport with sightseeing and we used taxis for some more out of the way places - but still, we did go out to Ostia Antica on the train and we had to get out to the Nueva Feria and back a couple of times - all of which involved the metro and the overground Ferrovia Metropolitana. We didn't use a bus or tram at all, though tickets are interchangeable for all these forms of transport.
You can buy tickets at any time, it's only once they're validated on the bus or metro that they become operative. Once the ticket has been validated you can continue to use it on all buses and trains for the duration you've paid for ( single journey - 75 minutes, 1 euro; full day - unlimited use, valid until midnight; three days - unlimited use ). Do be sure to validate it though - fines are stiff if you are caught with an invalid ticket.
As a tourist, you'll probably find , like me, that the metro isn't all that much use. It's a very restricted network, with limited proximity to the centre of the city.
There are two metro lines through the city, known as Linea A and Linea B, with a third, Linea C, being built. Trains run from 0530-2330 on weekdays and Sunday, the last train on Saturday is at 0030 (ie Sunday morning). The only interchange between the two lines ids at Termini - the main railway station. The lines are identified by the last station in each direction, so you need to know where line you want to use terminates when looking for the right platform. Trains run at intervals of 10-15 minutes.
The Ferrovia Metropolitana 1 is a cross-city line that terminates at the Fiumicino. It doesn't pass through Termini - to access it you need to take the metro (Linea B) to Piramide and walk through to Stazione Ostiense. You need a different ticket from the one journey 1 euro one.
We also had to go to Piramide to get the train to Ostia Antica, though in this case we had to follow the signs to Stazione Porta San Paolo to catch the train for the second leg of the journey. The 1 euro single ticket will get you to Ostia Antica.
great home made pasta and bolognese souce
Many people know the Restaurant called "Bolognese" located right on the Piazza del Popolo Square, but this is also very good and much less expensive and more quiet being smaller.
Manager Marco Graziosi is top class, knowledgeble and patient.He speaks good english and will help choosing from the good(not huge) wine list. Here you have to try any of their fresh, home-made egg pasta dishes(tortellini,tagliatelle,ravioli ....) and the famous "Bollito", several kind of meats boiled and served either with green souce or original fruit "mostarda".
These are all recepies from Emilia Romagna Region(See Bologna).
Also desserts are home made