As some of you may know, I have recently been to Rome for a weekend get away (and I will be posting a full blog on my trip along with my vlog this weekend – hold tight for that!) and I picked up some pretty handy tips whilst there which I wanted to share with you all before I post my full blog!
So if you’re planning on visiting Rome any time soon, take a look at these tips as some of them seriously helped me. In my full blog post which I will post this weekend, I will include a full break down of what we did and where we went as we did some really cool things I am dying to recommend!
1. WEAR COMFY SHOES! No it does not mean get out your ugly trainers (unless if they’re the only comfy shoes you own…) – There is no point getting a taxi around Rome, the roads are tiny and it’s such a beautiful city that you really need to go and explore it by walking around. Because of this, you do A LOT of walking! Laurence and I have a stepz app on our phone that records how many steps you do a day and we were walking around 20,000 a day! (FYI that’s around 10 miles). So make sure you pack some comfy boots or if it’s summer some Birkenstocks (I used to hate Birkenstocks but I’m starting to like them quite a bit, despite the fact that they enhance my very wide feet).
There’s also a lot of cobbled roads in Rome so another good reason to wear comfy shoes… thin soled pumps are not suitable.
2. USE THE METRO – Two years ago Laurence and I went to Russia and got completely scammed by a taxi driver who charged us 3 times the cost we should have for our joruney. Very silly of us but when you arrive in a country and the meters running and you’re not sure of the currency it can be easily done. So since then everywhere we go we now take the public transport, which works out way cheaper and is always a cool experience – you really get to see the real people of where you’re traveling.
3. IGNORE THE STREET SALESMEN – There are lots of them around, especially near to the touristy areas and who can blame them really, they’re only trying to make some money and I actually admire them for always being so upbeat! But they can be very sneaky, lots of them sell roses and they will force them into your hands and then try and charge you for it. Just completely ignore them, don’t make eye contact and walk on. Don’t even say no to them – just keep on walking. Feels mean but there is so many of them that it does get super annoying.
4. TAKE A WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU – It was really warm in Rome and you end up drinking lots, which if you’re buying bottles it can really add up. Although you can’t drink the tap water in Rome, they do have lots of public drinking water fountains around the city where you can fill up your bottle.
5. TAKE A COVERUP – This is mainly for the ladies. It’s so easy to chuck on a strappy top or summer dress when you’re away on holiday. However some of the churches can be pretty picky about letting you in if your shoulders aren’t covered (some also don’t allow shorts or short dresses so I always opt for a floaty cool maxi dress or skirt). So keep a thin cover up in your bag to put over your shoulders when going into the churches. To be honest a lot of them don’t really mind, even though there are signs that say not too, however out of respect I say cover up.
6. AVOID THE LINES AT THE COLOSSEUM – Your tickets for the colosseum come as apart of a package to also get into the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Colosseum lines can take around 30 minutes HOWEVER a great little tip for you, go to the Palatine box office on Via di S. Gregorio 30. There are NEVER any queues there and you can then wander straight into the colosseum with that ticket. It’s a really handy tip to give you more time exploring and less time queuing.
7. GET YOUR SELF ONTO A SEGWAY OR VESPA – We have taken to doing segway tours when we go somewhere as they are the ultimate lazy tourism and perfect for if you’re only there for a short weekend as you can burn around the city seeing all the landmarks in a matter of hours. Although we opted for a slightly more interesting form of lazy tourisum in Rome… Vespas! There’s a great company called My Vespa Tour where you can rent a vespa and burn around the city. Also if you’re not confident riding yourself thats fine – you can ride on the back of your tour guides bike!
8. BARTER – If you do end up buying anything from any stands or even from the street salesmen DO NOT go for the price they say. On our last day we did end up buying a toy for Laurences nephew from one of the streetsellers and he originally wanted 4 euros for it, however I simply said no but I will buy one for 1 euro… he of course excepted – 3 euros cheaper! It’s always worth trying your luck because the odds are that they are playing you big time.
9. BE AWARE OF PICK POCKETS – As with any new country you’re visiting, be aware of pick pockets. Rome is pretty crowded and streets are full of people so keep your belonging close to you, Rom is well known for pick pockets.
10. STAY AWARE FROM THE GLADIATORS/STREET PERFORMERS – They will get you to have a photo with them which is all fun and laughs and your kids will probibly love it… however they WILL charge you for it. Let’s face it, knowone wants to pay 5 euros for a photo with a sweaty man in a rubbish gladiator costume…
Fingers crossed this helps you with your planning and prepping if you’re going to Rome. Follow my blog for more tips on visiting Rome as I will be posting my full blog post on our trip.
Also subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will be posting my vlog on our trip and also putting a tips video together! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvlPWliHbAPurj9iYiYH8MQ