Who wants to travel to Rome, the oldest and most popular city in Europe? I know I do!
Exquisite art, stunning architecture, impressive fountains, and yes, even delicious pizza all await you in this perfectly sized Italian city.
While Rome may be a sightseeing paradise, it’s still a city where visitors should be mindful of their surroundings and aware of cultural norms when enjoying the plentiful sights it has to offer.
Travels with Bibi is pleased to host Raheela James, a guest writer who recently returned from a globetrotting adventure in Italy. While there, Raheela spent time in Rome and created tips to help make her trip more enjoyable. She shares those five tips with us in the post below.
Italy has long been on my own wander list, so Raheela’s post speaks to my heart and soul. I hope you find these tips to be helpful on your Roman adventure!
5 Tips To Make Visiting Rome More Enjoyable
This summer my husband and I, along with our 4 children, spent 3 weeks in Italy. We stopped in Rome for 1 week and then moved on to Florence, Venice and Milan. We had set up our budget, our checklists, and our itinerary to have a stress-free time while we were visiting Rome. It was important for us to enjoy our visit to Rome because it would set the tone for the rest of the vacation for the children.
Rome is a city that everyone has heard of, seen in movies and wants to visit. There is no shortage of historical sites, monuments and churches.
For a fun off-the-beaten-path adventure, you might try visiting Via Appia Antica!
When we were in Rome, it felt like a dream had come true to me. For the most part I could not believe that I was walking on the cobblestone streets that Rome is famous for.
From the moment we arrived in Rome, I wanted the kids to have lots of experiences, and learn as much as they could about the history. The kids wanted to eat all the pizza that they could. They wanted to eat at fast food joints that they ate at in America so that they could compare between American and Italian fast food places. The kids unanimously voted that the Italian McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King were better.
We had prepared ourselves for the fact that Rome is a very old and busy city. However, in spite of that, we were unprepared for how dirty it was. It may have been the heat or the fact that there were so many people everywhere. The buildings and metro cars were painted with graffiti. Trash in the streets was not uncommon. People were smoking in public places.
The children could not help notice the environment. We were grateful that the main tourist attractions like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City and churches were not filled with graffiti and smoke. We really enjoyed our visit to Rome when we were at these sites.
While in Rome, we were able to follow these five tips to make the trip more enjoyable.
- Watch your belongings: The pickpockets in Rome are world-famous. On our 2nd or 3rd day in Rome, I became a victim to the famous pickpockets. In spite of my best efforts, I lost track of my bag for a little while.
We were in a very busy metro train and I was concerned about getting separated from the children. We were in the train for less than 20 minutes. I was wearing my bag across my body but by the time I got out of the train, my wallet had been stolen. I didn’t lose much money because we had spread our money among my husband and I and our 2 older sons.
When you travel in Rome don’t carry a lot of cash in one place. Spread your cash out in different pockets or maybe even in your shoes. If possible use bank or credit cards; ATM machines are readily available for cash withdrawal. Keep your wallet in your front pocket with your hand on top of it when travelling in the metro trains.
If you are carrying a bag, then make sure to keep your wallet at the bottom of your bag and put some clothes on top of the wallet.
- Beware of the street vendors who are walking about: You will see numerous street vendors walking about near the tourist areas. I don’t mean the vendors who are selling stuff out of a stall. Those stall vendors are safe.
The street vendors walk about in front of the sites and will hound you to purchase their product. They usually sell only one cheaply made product. The street vendor will start to offer the product at a high price and when you say no, he/she will drop the price.
Don’t accept anything from these vendors even just to look. They will try to make you pay for the product even if you were just looking.
- Wear proper shoes: When visiting Rome, you are going to walk a lot and climb a lot of stairs. The streets in Rome are paved with uneven cobble stones, and if you are not wearing proper shoes, you will end up with foot pain.
Wear closed toe, well-fitted shoes that give your toes plenty of wiggle room. Avoid sandals because the cobblestones will hurt your feet.
- Women, keep a wrap or a sweater in your bag when sightseeing: When visiting Rome, you will see a lot of beautiful churches. Italians are very traditional and women and young teenage girls are not allowed to enter churches with uncovered shoulders or legs.
There are staff members at most churches who will tell women to cover up their arms and legs. Men in shorts may be stopped as well. We observed this several times during our trip. I was stopped at one church but luckily, I had my trusty sweater.
Some churches offer you wraps but those are not readily available. This rule is strictly enforced at the Vatican City, so don’t wear clothes that expose your shoulders or legs. Otherwise, just carry an extra wrap or sweater.
- Take numerous breaks: Though we loved Rome, the hustle and bustle would get to us. My husband and I needed the breaks as much as the children did. You can find little cafes, or piazzas where you can sit down and rest. Have a gelato or drink some coffee.
The breaks are pleasant because you can people watch (there are plenty to watch). You can cool off and be ready for your next round of walking and sight-seeing.
Visiting Rome was definitely one of the best things that we have done as a family. I say this in spite of the heat and all the people, the trash and graffiti and losing my wallet. We were prepared before we went to Rome and continued to follow the 5 basic tips to keep the trip fun and enjoyable.
Raheela’s Bio: Raheela James is a business blogger who blogs at Mommy’s Business 101. She empowers and teaches people to use business techniques to run their lives and households efficiently. Raheela lives in San Francisco, California, USA with her husband and 4 kids, where she runs her life and household using business techniques. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @bizmom101
Raheela has shared some great tips to make travel to Rome more enjoyable! Do you have any other travel tips we should know about? Let us know in a comment below.
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