Enjoy Rome City Guide – Practical Things:
Note: the following text is originally written in English, in other languages is an automatic translation
For information, a map, to book a tour, or just some ideas on what to do next, drop into the Enjoy Rome office at Via Marghera 8a. We’re open from 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-2pm Sat. Around town, try Rome City Council Tourist Information Points (Punti Informazione Turistico, or PIT):
- PIT Castel S. Angelo, Lungotevere Vaticano (Piazza Pia). 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT Ciampino, Aeroporto G.B.Pastine – International Arrivals, baggage claim zone. 9.30am – 6.30pm
- PIT Cinque Lune, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona). 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT Fiumicino, Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci – International Arrivals (Terminal 3). 9.00am – 6.30pm
- PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner with Via del Corso). 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT Nazionale, Via Nazionale (Palazzo delle Esposizioni). 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT S. Maria Maggiore, Via dell’Olmata. 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT Termini, Termini Station – Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34. 8.00am – 8.00pm
- PIT Trastevere, Piazza Sidney Sonnino. 9.30am – 7.00pm
- PIT Ostia, Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli, corner with Piazza Anco Marzio. 9.30am – 7.00pm
Don’t be paranoid, but do be careful. Despite the horror stories you might hear of “gypsies” throwing their babies at tourists before relieving them of their wallets, the pickpocket situation in Rome is much improved although unfortunately not eradicated. However it is not any worse than any other major city. As you would in London, Paris, Barcelona or New York, always make sure you know where your wallet/phone/camera is, and keep your bag in front of you in busy places and on crowded public transport (when using the Metro it’s usually best to walk along the platform and get on at the carriages towards the ends of the train; the ones in the middle are usually a scrum and where the unscrupulous target their victims). Remember also that despite what you might hear, not all pickpockets are “gypsies”.
Rome is one of the world’s safest capital cities, and the city centre is a safe place. There are no real “no go” areas, although some areas around the station can be a little unpleasant at night. In the centro storico the police you see all over the place are guarding government buildings, embassies, and the Prime Minister’s house. They are more an exercise in over-kill, than indicative of an imminent uprising.
You CAN drink the water (and very good it is too). Drinking fountains run constantly and abound throughout the city, which can save you a fair amount of cash, especially in the heat of summer. Romans tend to drink mineral water because they believe it has digestive properties and/or they like the bubbles, and while restaurants don’t serve tap water, mineral water is usually cheap at about €2 a litre. However the tap water is good, cold, and FREE. Roman aqueducts have been bringing spring water from the hills around the city for over 2000 years, the city’s tap water today mostly comes from the natural reservoirs of the Appenine mountain range.
Crossing the road. There are apocryphal tales of visitors to the city coming and leaving having only seen everything on one side of Piazza Venezia, such is the daunting prospect of crossing the vast mass of traffic. Follow these simple rules and you won’t be one of them.
1/ Stand on the kerb, looking in the correct direction of oncoming traffic. When there is a decent break (i.e. enough for whoever’s coming to brake),
2/ Make sure they have seen you,
3/ Step out decisively and, maintaining a constant and regular pace, walk across. As if by magic the cars and scooters will weave around you.
DON’T stop midway, go backwards, or run across screaming, that confuses everybody, and don’t wait in ever-growing frustration for everyone to stop, it’s never going to happen.
Embassies in Rome
Here is a list of embassies and consular offices of some English-speaking countries, for a full list look in the telephone directory under Ambasciate, or at www.paginegialle.it.
Australia via Antonio Bosio 5, 06 852721, www.italy.embassy.gov.au.
Britain via XX Settembre 80A, 06 42200001, www.britain.it.
Canada Consulate: via Zara 30, 06 854 441, www.canada.it.
New Zealand via Zara 28, 06 441 7171, www.nzembassy.com.
Republic of Ireland piazza Campitelli 3, 06 697 9121, www.ambasciata-irlanda.it.
South Africa via Tanaro 14, 06 852 541, www.sudafrica.it.
United States of America via Vittorio Veneto 119, 06 46 741, www.usembassy.it.