September 23, 2007

Travel Tips to Rome

Categories: web2.0

Arrived Rome 4 days ago and seen a good part of the city so far. Based upon our experience, here are some tips for travel to Rome:

  1. There are no "easily accessible" public bathrooms, even in the tourist spots. However consider eating at a restaurant, not a side-street shop, and there is a higher likelihood of finding a bathroom there.
  2. There are free flowing drinking water fountains through out the city. Some of them gives a feeling that the water may not be for drinking but I was told the water is clean and we survived :)
  3. IMHO the side-street shops sell really authentic food as opposed to big restaurants, and it’s really cheap. You can NOT miss eating pizzas (which is sold by the weight as opposed to S, M, L or XL) in this city. And they are just fantastic. A Medium size pizza can range from 6-10 Euros.
  4. The best option to roam around the city is taking a City Tour using the numerous available options. Most of them stop at the main destinations and allow to hop-on and hop-off any where in the route. The following questions will help you decide amongst the available options of buses:
    • How many buses in the fleet ? (Typically 35-45)
    • Frequency of buses – how frequently they come ? (Typically 20 minutes)
    • Does it cover all the major spots or at least the ones you want ? (Most of them do)
    • Do they have English language guide ? (All of them generally have)
    • Do they have alternate routes ? This allows you to visit different parts of the city in the same day.
    • Do they have any 2-day tickets available ? This allows you to cover all the venues at an easy pace.
    • Do NOT purchase the City Tour tickets from the hotel as they are easily available from the different bus stops. Roma Cristiana ORP (we took this one) or Bus #110 are two popular ones and have great coverage of the city.
  5. Here are some good spots in Rome that should not be missed (in no particular order):
    • piazza Navona (1/2 day of fun & shopping)
    • San Pietro in Vaticano (approx 2-4 hrs)
    • Fontana di Trevi (2 hours)
    • Vatican Museum (Timings differ on each day so check the schedule and plan for 1-1.5 hour long wait in the queue and a 4 hour trip in the museum, it’s definitely worth it)
    • Colosseo and Roman Forum (1/2 day)
    • Pantheon (2 hours)

    Each of these location is covered by all the City Tour buses.

  6. Do NOT miss the variety of ice creams here, known as Gelato in the local language. And you can mix-and-match different flavors in the same cone and really colorful ones. Just look for Gelateria banner on the shop and that’s your destination for gelatos. Of course, you can also find Spagetteria, Birreria, Pizzeria, Cafetteria and Trattoria.
  7. If you buy any memorabilia from the side street shops, make sure to haggle. At certain instances we were able to cut the price down by 50%. This may not be true every time though :)
  8. You see a more authentic part of Rome when traveling through the city streets. The stone streets and houses, accordion play by local artists, water fountains, and many other "Roamy" artifacts. Most of the tourist destinations are approachable through the streets so it’s recommended to take a city map from the hotel and walk around.
  9. I already talked about walking in the previous point, but remember it’s LOT of walking so make sure to carry a really comfortable shoe.
  10. The price of eating in and taking out is different. If you plan to sit in the restaurant then go sit and somebody will come and serve you. Otherwise in self service mode you are expected to go out of the restaurant. We were actually told at one instance to move out of Gelateria.
  11. Tipping is not expected in the restaurants.
  12. Don’t forget to charge your camera batteries and carry an extra memory card, Rome is a beautiful city.
  13. Most of the people wait for the "Walk" symbol to cross a major road. At small streets, with no Walk symbol, just cross the street like that. It’s hard the first time but then you get used to it. For me, it felt so much like Delhi so no issues in that ;-)

Here is the travel album so far:

The Sun Tech Days in Rome start later today. Read all about them here.

All my travel tips to Europe are aggregated here.

Technorati: traveltips rome conf suntechdays

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • DZone
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Slashdot
Related posts:
  1. Travel Tips to Milan
  2. Travel Tips to Beijing
  3. Travel tips for Brazil
  4. Rome to Pisa – A Day Trip
  5. Rails Conf Europe 2007 – Day 1


  1. Thanks for the tips!

    We’re planning a trip to Italy for next year, so your list is fantastic!


    Comment by Eduardo Scoz — September 24, 2007 @ 6:57 am

  2. Glad you find them useful! Feel free to ask any questions you may have while I’m still here for next 20 hours or so :)

    Comment by Arun Gupta — September 24, 2007 @ 7:05 am

  3. nice pics
    there is a back way into the vatican museum so that you don’t have to wait 1 1/2 hours – it starts over at the sisten (sp?) chapel – also you can get tickets for the coluseum at other places than the coluseum…which has a rather long wait
    - Joe

    Comment by Joe — September 24, 2007 @ 7:50 am

  4. Waiting in the queue had it’s own fun :) Sistine Chapel is completely amazing but I wish I was more aware of the history to feel connected.

    Comment by Arun Gupta — September 24, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  5. [Trackback] Here is a summary of my Europe Summer 2007 Trip Report: 6 Events Rails Conf Europe in Berlin NetBeans Day and Tech Days in Rome GlassFish Day, NetBeans Day and Tech Days in Milan 6 sessions & Booth Duties (JRuby,…

    Comment by Arun Gupta's Blog — October 1, 2007 @ 5:53 am

  6. Great tips! I’ve got a trip to Rome coming up… guess I’ll try these out!

    Comment by Traveller — November 13, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  7. The price of eating in and taking out is different. If you plan to sit in the restaurant then go sit and somebody will come and serve you. Otherwise in self service mode you are expected to go out of the restaurant. We were actually told at one instance to move out of Gelateria.

    Comment by LAPTOP BATTERY — November 27, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

  8. Hi All,
    I realise this is quite an old post, but for anyone planning a trip to Rome who comes across this page in their research, I would highly recommend taking a look at the KLM Destination Guide for travel tips on Rome.

    This online travel guide also has information on close to 100 cities worldwide – well worth a look!
    Bon Voyage – enjoy Rome!

    Comment by Rebecca — June 15, 2009 @ 6:14 am

  9. I like what you have to say about the sites, food and shopping.

    i am from San Francisco, Can u recommend a good hotel in Rome, convinient for a tourist, clean, family friendly, i have two kids.

    After Rome I want to go to PISA. How many days do we need in PISA?

    Comment by Andyji — June 24, 2009 @ 11:58 am

  10. Andyji,

    The hotel for us was chosen by Sun so had not much choice. I’d recommend to stay somewhere in the downtown, may be closer to local train station.

    We made a day trip from Rome to Pisa and that was on a slightly rush schedule. You can consider taking a day stop over at Pisa which will give you some time to look around. Read more about our day trip at:


    Comment by Arun Gupta — June 24, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  11. Hi Arun,

    Nice Tips for Rome, best one so far I have seen on Internet which suggests that Sun Guys are also good at writing travel articles.

    Comment by Mayank — August 14, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress
170856 visits from Sep 11, 2009