Signs, Signals & Superstitions, Rome
Do you want to come back to Rome because of fate? Then chuck a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand. If you throw one coin in, you will have a speedy return to Rome, chuck in two coins and you will fall in love in Rome, and after three coins the wedding bells begin to ring.
Italians have unique opening hours. As you make your plans you have to bear this in mind, else you may end up in disappointments for failing to visit a particular sight or for not obtaining dinner when you may want it. Most shops still close for 2-4 hours between 12 or 1 and 3 or 4. Most are open until early evening, at least 6, often 7 or later. Restaurants open for lunch from Noon to around 2:30p.m. Some open as late as 1:00, not closing until 3:30. They reopen for dinner from around 7:00p.m. to 8p.m. or 8:30p.m.. Bars and sandwich shops are open most of the day.
Most sights are open by 9:00 a.m. and closed by 19:00 hours
Most shops in Italy are closed from around 12.30 to 4.30 every afternoon. They are also usually all closed on Monday mornings. Grocery shops however are open on Monday mornings, but are closed on Thursday afternoons and don't re-open until Friday morning. Apart from grocery shops on Thursdays, most other shops are open every weekday evening until about 9.pm. They often have late night shopping one night a week.
Money is never directly handed to a cashier or server. Almost every shop or restaurant cashier, will have a dish next to them. Place the money there, and they will return your change there. It took my room's favorite barista, Giuseppe, explaining it to put our minds at ease. It's not because they are rude, it's just the way that it's done. :)
The abbreviation S.P.Q.R. comes from the expression Senatus PopulusQue Romanus (Latin: the Senate and the People of Rome) and you can see it everywhere around the Eternal City.