Monday, March 9, 2015

Top Tips for Visiting Rome, Italy

Pantheon Rome, Italy
I recently went a trip with a couple of my co-workers to Italy. We went to Rome and Venice. Both were wonderful cities. But Rome was my favorite of the two. Here is a quick summary of what I did in Rome and some tips if you ever need to go there!

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
A Beautiful Ceiling in the Vatican Museum
School of Athens By Raphael, Vatican Museum
Sprial Stairs of Vatican Museum
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi Rome, Italy 

Me at the Colosseum


1) Watch out for how you say Grazie. It isn't "Gratzi". Its "Gratzia", but a soft, short "eh" sound. Pronunciation looks like "GRAHTS-YEH". That is the correct way to say "Thank you" in Italian. Follow it up with "Prego" for "Your Welcome".

2) You don't need an appointment to go to the Vatican Museum. They take walk-ins and you can walk at your own pace! There are plenty of signs and plaques to tell you about the artifacts, as well as audio tours. I wish I had gotten an audio tour. There is so much there to see and learn about.

3) They serve pizza every where! If you are wanting the best, you had better research before to find it. They all claim to be best and they are EVERYWHERE, kind of like the American Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. There is one on every corner. 

4) If you are using the long-distance train to go somewhere in Italy, check prices for the trains that leave before and after the time your planned departure time. We ended up leaving Rome two hours earlier than planned and the price on the ticket was twice as much! We didn't want to pay that. However, we were already at the train station, so we had to buy the tickets.

5) Research the sites beforehand. A lot of famous sites that are not in a museum don't have very informative plaques or they are in Italian. I was walking around the Roman Ruins with so many questions.

6) In addition to researching the sites for facts, check if they are under construction. Almost everything had some part of the site under constructions because it was during low tourist season. I was able to get the construction out of most of the pictures, but unfortunately, two sites were completely down. The Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Here is what I saw at the Trevi Fountain:

Kind of disappointing right? The Trevi Fountain is my absolute favorite site in Rome. I was extremely upset seeing it this way. Oh well. That just means I'll have to go back again ;)

7) Watch out for pickpockets. Thankfully, none of us met one, but they are out there. Don't be flashing your money every where and they shouldn't bother you.

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