The Most Common Rome Travel Advice you Should NOT Take

It all starts after you book that flight.

You start telling your family and friends —

I’m going to Rome! It’s my first time! I’m so excited!

The tips start pouring in. Go here. Do that. Don’t do that. See this. Eat that.

Rome is one of those places where you are sure to know people who have been there, done that. Suddenly everyone is an expert. As local romans, the staff here at the EcoArt travel blog wants to help you sort through the faff. With that, ladies & gentlemen – we have compiled a list of the most common Rome tips & travel advice we suggest you *NOT* take.

You have to see the “_____insert anything here_____”

Sit down. It’s time you head the truth – plain and hard. You are never going to see all of Rome’s “must-see” sights. It’s impossible. You can be born in Rome and live a full happy life here going from sight to sight and that would still be an impossible feat. If you worry about “seeing it all” you’ll only end up disappointed. Choose the sights that look most interesting to you. Don’t worry about the ones you miss. Rome will still be here and open to explore should you come back, they don’t call it the “Eternal City” for nothing.

Don’t bring your kids. It’s not a kid-friendly city.

It makes sense. You think, culture, wine, museums, ruins… Rome ain’t no country for young kids. It’s just not true. Plan your trip well (avail of skip the line services to keep boring wait times to a minimum, hire kid-friendly guides, plan lots of gelato breaks) and you’ll be happy you brought them.

Use TripAdvisor to find the best restaurants.

The TripAdvisor restaurant ranking algorithm has a problem. It leans towards more chain-y, mass-market type places. It makes sense, more seats, more turnover, more reviews, more exposure. And good for those kind of restaurants. But the most memorable eats you’ll have in Rome are in those hole-in-the-wall type places that you pretty much have to fall into by chance. Want to up your chances? Talk to the locals.  Which brings me to my next point:

Ask “where to visit/where to eat” advice of your concierge/taxi driver/tour guide etc.

These figures — who are those who are most commonly in contact with visitors to Rome — likely have commission agreements with a limited selection of restaurants/tourist sites and might exchange a genuine recommendation for a quick buck. This doesn’t ring true of everyone but it’s best to take advice received here with a grain of salt. Try asking the lady walking her dog, the postman, or just the first Roman you run into. Most speak some level of English and ALL would be happy to share their favorite restaurant/site to visit recommendation.

Have a good amount of cash on hand.

This is a big no for a variety of reasons. Like it or not, petty crime (pickpocketing in particular) is an issue in Rome – and travellers are an easy target. The most cash you have on hand, the more you stand to lose. By law, Italian businesses should always allow you to pay by bank card or credit card. If you see a “cash only” sign, avoid the place – the same way they are probably avoiding taxes.

You *need* skip the line tickets to “insert site here”.


This is a blanket statement, and the truth is… it isn’t always true. Even at the Vatican Museums, where the lines can reach infamous lengths — there are times of day/times of year where a Skip the Line ticket isn’t going to save you time. Do your research and make sure you really need a Skip the Line ticket before you purchase one – and shop around too, mark-ups for skip the line passes can vary wildly.

 

With the plethora of resources with the “ultimate tips” and “best advice” for making the most of your visit to Rome, we hope you have enjoyed our little list of advice *not* to take. Need some specific advice? Feel free to write us and ask – we promise we won’t make a commission.

 

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