Oeste da Europa
, yes it is very traffic-laden. But the Colosseum, Palatino, Via del Corso, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain are worth it! I hit Rome during the big Saldi and I bought tons of clothes for very good prices! Trevi Fountain was so beautiful at night. I just sat there and spoke with the locals. I learned a lot of Italian that night. Plus, being serenaded by a charming Italian man is always a plus! Dirt, dirt, dirt, who cares? There is plenty of dirt in every American city as well. After all, they are cities! But Italian dirt is so much more charming, LOL : )
This city is amazing. Theres so much to see, I could have happily stayed there for months. Make sure you're wearing trousers and shoes however when you visit St Peters, guards in FBI disguise snatch you from the crowd and send you away in the typical Italian way. I find the Italians extremely rude and unwelcoming; however they didnt spoil my time in
. I guess I would be like them if my city was invaded all year round by the hoards of amazed tourists. Strangley enough I also found Rome to be the worst place I've ever been to for pizza, or indeed anyfood. The prices were sky high, the service was rude and even mean and the food was awful. I obviously had a bad time of it when looking for food but I would suggest Rome is not the place for good food.
Most hostels in
are located near the train station. It's a very touristy area, but it's a reasionably central area in the city and it's nice to be able to walk directly to your hostel from the train station. If you stay somewhere not near the train station, there's also a metro stop at the train station, so you can usually get to your hostel that way.
Rome is a fantastic, brilliant city but one that, like most large and popular cities, offers traps for the unwary. There are lots of pickpockets (and they are very good at their jobs), but just pay attention and don't flaunt your valuables. On the plus side, Rome has a very low serious crime rate for such a large city and is generally safe (with all the usual provisos). You can also be ripped off (however, not as badly as I've been ripped off in London, Paris, or New York) and pay too much for bad food but that is usually only if you eat at tourist spots and don't wander off the tourist path (it doesn't take much wandering -- usually just a street away). Eat at local places, drink your coffee standing up, and generally try to get the feel of the place and you will have a much much better time. People are not mean or pushy, but nor will they fawn and grovel at your feet -- Italians (
ns especially, who can be a bit old fashioned) people respond to politeness and attempts to at…
Rome is a fantastic city to live in, but from a tourist perspective -- especially if you aren't comfortable with a city that is as chaotic as Rome -- it might not be so great. I myself hated Rome the first time I visited, but came back and looked at things from a new perspective and saw all the great things it has to offer, and now live here. There are also numerous opportunities to meet people from all over the world all over the city if you are social and talk to people. The Spanish steps are a great place for tourists to hang out, listen to some locals play the guitar and sing, and meet new people. Rome is not a dangerous city if you don't make yourself a target. That means not wandering around with a map in your hand or wearing obviously touristy clothing (fanny packs for instance). Also, attempt to have an air of confidence about where you are even if you're totally lost. You can still ask for directions, but don't make it obvious that you're lost. As far as
ns not being…
is cool, don't stay too long because you might get abducted by the vatican gaurds who dislike you because you clothes are not appropriate, but they are wearing something you would see at disneyland. Go here to party in pubs and peep the ruins. Watch out for the drunk dude at the pantheon with his box wine.
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