Rome is a capital city in a major country in Europe. It is also the home to a large number of political demonstrations that sometimes get out of hand. See a recent one at Corriere della Sera .
Should this concern the average visitor?
In short, no.
While the center of Rome is fairly compact (about 3.5 kilometers or 2 miles across), most of the demonstrations (especially those that might turn violent) take place in a limited number of locations. Most tourists are not in those locations at any particular time (although they could be).
When I lived in Rome in the 70s, we would get calls at the university from concerned parents that there had been a riot in Rome in which police were attacked, cars overturned and set on fire, and so on. The parents were very concerned for the safety of their children.
Our response was usually, "What riot?" Yes, the campus was outside the city center, but, truthfully, even in most places IN the City, you wouldn't have known anything was happening.
When you come to Rome, do pay attention to any warnings from the staff at your hotel, but, really, don't let the news dissuade you from coming...Rome has endured nearly 3,000 years of such troubles, and it's still there...plus there are a large number of Romans who WANT tourists to come and have a good time...
When I posted some of my initial comments about Rome on "that other major social network" a number of my friends were really surprised by the fact that my wife and I weren't big fans of Rome. There were several reasons and one of them was that even though there were many genuine places to eat in Rome, there were also a number of places like this on the "tourist trail" that I had to just really roll my eyes about.
Part of the experience of traveling I believe is to get away from home and try new and different things. Many regular VTers will say the same thing. Unfortunately when you see signs like this one at an unnamed restaurant it makes that experience just a bit less genuine.
Based on a forum discussion this morning I wrote this tip this should be a reminder to all who travel or visit anywhere.
Please be considerate of others and pick up your trash. There is really no excuse for leaving your mess around.
I'm sure that most of the people on VT are very aware of this and do a great job cleaning up after themselves. But if you are in the minority whether on the road or even in your own backyard please pick up after yourself.
The picture for this tip was from an evening at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Because I'm covering multiple corners of Italy, and because certain things to be aware of apply to virtually all of them, I've grouped those under my 'An American in Italy' pages so please visit those if interested.
Rome is certainly located in the south of Europe close to the Mediterranean Sea but that does not mean that the temperature is all the year above 20°C and that the sun shines every day.
In February this year there was snow in Rome and this month of April 2012 was till now the coldest within the last 30 years. Morning temperature of 6 - 8 °C, maximum in the afternoon of about 15°C. As soon as it would rain the temperature would drop to 10 - 12°C !
We had like many visitors to stay inside museums and churches because of the rain. Visiting the Forum in the rain and thunder is not what I like.
My photos show a sea gull perfectly at ease in that "tempo bruto" with in the back the "Torre delle Milizie" and a heavy shower approaching the Vittoriano.
If you want to know what weather to expect in Rome or Italy there is a good site on www.ilmeteo.it in several languages and good forecasts for the next 3 days and rather good for the next 7 days.
Walking with the stroller is not quite easy for mom and dad as pavements are full of motorbikes ,also my dad sometimes parks his own on the pavement...as soon as i will be able to speak i will tell him...,steps and many obstacles that make the trip quite uncomfortable and shaky.....even if i sleep peacefully anyway i notice my dad after a while panting and sweating as he is lifting the whole stroll up and down the stairs.....
August is the month when most Europeans tend to take their summer holiday and so it is the peak of the tourist season for the more popular destinations. Such as, for example, Rome. However, August is also the month when quite a few Italians go on holiday - and that includes a sizeable portion of Rome's B&B managers, shopkeepers, waiters, restaurant owners, etc. In 2011, we went right in the middle of the Ferragosto (the August holiday season) and still managed fine, but there are a number of things to keep in mind:
- if you speak Italian, buy a local newspaper - there is often a list of businesses that are open, by category
- if you don't speak the language, your hotel may be able to help - they will often have listings for Ferragosto closures
- keep in mind that queues will be longer in shops as there are fewer staff on hand. Getting a table in a restaurant may also be somewhat harder.
I took a taxi from the queue as I stepped out of the Vatican Museum. For the short trip to Piazza Navone, the taxi meter showed 21 Euros. At the piazza, I was certain I gave the driver 50 Euros. But by some sleight of hand, he showed me a 10 Euro note that he claimed was what I handed him. My wife thinks he had a 10 Euro in his right hand, received the 50 Euro with his left and then flashed me the 10Euro with his right.
Lesson: Display the note (with both hands) to the driver and declare its value before handing it over - so that he cannot claim you gave something smaller.
ITALIAN PASTA DIET
IT REALLY WORKS !! - However -- consider this comment:
Ciao Carol, I enjoyed your pasta diet but I think if I followed the diet, I would pasta out.
Copyright permission with credit to travelgourmet of VT. lol Larry
1) You walk pasta da bakery.
2) You walk pasta da candy store.
3) You walk pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4) You walk pasta da Pizzeria.
5) You walk pasta da table and fridge.
Although I do think the warning signs are a bit more scary than they need to be, use some caution around the doors on Metro Trains. They don’t stay in the station very long at the most crowded times to keep the flow of people going. If you have small children and/or bags or a wheelchair you need to position yourself firmly near the door. If you can’t get to the door in time, just ride to the next station and come back. I did this once but then realised it was actually a short and pleasant walk back above ground!
Be careful when getting a cab from the airport to your hotel. The prices we were quoted at the airport were much higher than the 40 euros we expected to pay. Try to find a group of people to ride into Rome with this way your fair will be split and much less expensive. The cab drivers are pretty aggressive so don't let them bully you into paying too much!
I've never thought of myself as directionally challenged (by which I mean both that I can usually navigate well, and I can read), but the rental car return at the Rome airport nearly did me in and came close to costing me a large sum of money. The problem is that the signage isn't especially clear, and our rental contract did not highlight which of the FIVE multi-level parking structures was the appropriate one. So we took a turn marked "Rental Car Return" and found ourselves driving up and down the multiple levels without seeing anything which looked remotely like a drop-off point. So we went to the exit gate which had a button to push if you needed help. We did. We pushed. Not surprisingly, the answering voice was Italian. We tried to explain (my companion speaks a little Italian). The voice told us to put in our credit card; she would let us out, but it would be thirty euros for the ten minutes or so we'd be meandering through the parking structure. My friend remonstrated -- she's a law professor, and does this very well -- and finally the voice relented. We went back and carefully rechecked all the signs as we drove around the airport. No luck. We tried another parking structure which looked promising. No luck there, either. In complete desperation, we parked the car and exited the structure on foot, and ultimately got to the rental car return agency from a skyway. The attendants there insisted that we bring the car from wherever it was to them (wherever THEY were). At this point, exhausted and frustrated, my friend announced that she'd pay twenty euros to any parking attendant who would go and retrieve the car. One volunteered. Off they went, leaving me as hostage to the agency. Apparently this time the voice wasn't quite so helpful, even though it was a rental car agency person who was attempting to get a waiver of that thirty euro charge.
I've seen lots of posts from people who advise against DRIVING in Rome, but I hadn't realized the problems extended to the usually benign process of returning a rental. Maybe we were the exception? But I think if I ever have to rent again, I'll return the car in some less challenging area than Fiumicino.
We went there because our favorite guide book writer - Rick Steve - recommended it in his latest Italy 2010 book. He is usually very good with his suggestions, but he was not with Trattoria Der Pallaro.
You pay 25 euro per person and get a five course Roman dinner: wine, appetizers, pasta, meat dish, desert and tangerine juice.
Excited we came and sat, surrounded by only american tourists. No locals ever came, and very soon we found out why.
First of all, the wine was not good. We`ve eaten at a few places around Rome, ranging from cheap to moderate, and our wine experience was always good, except on that day at Trattoria.
Appetizers were OK, nothing special or too tasty.
Pasta dish was so! small. Just 10 penne pieces or so.
Meat dish came with.. chips, not even real potatoes!
Desert was a dry and mediocre cake.
Tangerine juice was good, but it came in a small shot glass, just enough for 2 sips.
We then were rushed out by the turban lady-owner and I vouched to write about this sh*t hole everywhere for people to avoid.
Sorry, Rick Steve. I believe the place was good, when you came, but the owner must of gotten greedy and changed the menu or something.. She should be taken out of the guide book!
To prevent theft, I put my money/passport in a money belt then you can still carry a purse that goes across your body. I just keep a hand on it in a crowd, but if I were to lose it there's nothing I can't afford to lose, like a sweater, pashmina, sunglasses, etc. Also, don't set your purse or camera on the table or on a chair next to you.
Everything was nice except that I had to pay 5Euro for each hot chocolate with additional 15% service charge. The so-called Ristorante, Pizzeria and Bar Bella Napoli at 135, Via del Trafono or http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=135+Via++del+traforo&sll=41.902273,12.486481&sspn=0.000555,0.001321&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Via+del+Traforo,+135,+00187+Roma,+Lazio,+Italy&ll=41.902232,12.48624&spn=0.000555,0.001321&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=41.902369,12.486072&panoid=Z_jgCEPqy-cj2Frb7-KOEw&cbp=12,146.5,,0,5.01. There was a BIG postal written HOT CHOCOLATE 2Euro in front of the window of the bar. The place is not so big, more like a bar than a restaurant or pizzeria. Me and my boyfriend went inside, sat and took 2 cups of hot chocolate and a croissant bread. Nothing special about the chocolate, the floating cream is just made of normal whipped cream from the spray. We were surprised when we were receiving the bill. It cost around 14Euro because the cost for a cup of hot chocolate for sitting is 5Euro and 2Euro is only for standing :(. They never mention about it earlier and with the misleading poster of 2Euro. We were arguing about the price, but no avail.
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