Please beware of people trying to overcharge you for taxi fares from the airport. I booked an apartment through the website www.feelhomeinrome.com and they booked me a taxi for 65 Euros. I only found out later, when the taxi didn't turn up for the return journey and I had to hail a cab from one of the main streets, that the official charge is 30 Euros to the inner city. You can also get a bus for eight Euros to termini.
By the way, even though the apartment was good, I wouldn't recommend feelhomeinrome.com as they apply hidden charges for cleaning the apartment and work with a dodgy taxi company that is charging more than double the official fare.
If you are thinking of coming to Rome, this is just to let you know that in order not to queue for hours to get into the Coliseum, you can buy your ticket (valid for Palatine and Coliseum) at Via San Gregorio which is just few metres away from the Coliseum.
Please be aware that the “Gladiators” around the perimeter of the Coliseum will ask you some money to take a picture with them (at least you can decide if you want a picture with them or not).
There are a lot of illegal tour guides pretending to be professional ones, always ask to see their badges and to get a valid receipt of your payment.
Be aware of pickpockets, they are in the crowd pretending to be tourists like you.
Hope you will enjoy Rome and the friendliness of the real Romans.
Used to go to Italy quite often in the 70s and 80s and usually had a good time, must have been to Rome 4 or 5 times. Went there about a year ago for a few days in the new year with a Spanish friend who had never been to Italy before. Being from Barcelona we were quite prepared for loads of tourist and after all we were tourists too but never have I experienced a more unfriendly, dishonest and disreputable place or one less sympathetic to us tourists, my friend was really quite shocked.
We were continuously being ripped off, buying a cup of coffee was an act of almost total humiliation as a really creepy waiter would charge you 4,5 or more €s for a cappuccino and the food was just terrible over priced and inedible -- perhaps it was food especially designed for us poor sodding tourists. And this in a wealthy country such as Italy that simply does not have the excuse of poverty were a certain amount of hassle is to be expected. I've just come back from Istanbul. My advice is to go there, you will have a much better time.
I lived in Rome for eight years and was never robbed once. Here are my tips for stopping it happening to you.
Be aware. Yes, there's lots to see, but still, you don't have to walk around looking gormless. When you're in a crowded place have a quick 360 degree scan once in a while. If there are groups of people watching you or edging closer to you, give them the evil eye and hold your bags close to you.
Wearing shorts, t-shirts and baseball caps in the city marks you out as a tourist. OK, so you're on holiday, but leave the beachwear for Rimini. You don't have to wear a suit, just don't be a walking billboard.
You're unlikely to be robbed 'one-one-one' - much more likely is that one of a team will distract you by jostling you and apologising while another robs you in the confusion. Push them away.
Put a rubber band around you wallet. It creates friction, so it’s harder for someone to slide it out of your pocket.
If someone spills something on you then offers to clean it off, watch out. You're being had.
Shout 'Ladro!' ('thief!)and create a big scene, if you're robbed. This is no time to practice your stiff upper lip. Be Roman. Be theatrical.
Worst places to be robbed: any of the stations or the number 64 bus to the Vatican.
Not all of the Romanies you see are dishonest. Treat them as humans first and potential thieves second.
Violent robbery is almost unheard of in Rome. Feel safe. Be confident. But most of all be aware.
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