6 Tips for a Safe and Successful Roman Holiday

February 13, 2015

Travelers often blame their negative experiences on the city they are visiting. They complain about situations that could either have been avoided by using simple street smarts, or by understanding cultural differences. As a traveler visiting Rome, knowing a few key pieces of advice is critical. Understand these tips and take only the best memories from your Roman holiday home with you!

6 Tips for a Safe and Successful Roman Holiday

1. Use general street smarts

I feel safe in Rome. However, you still need to keep your wits about you as the streets are always full of people. Walk tall and confidently, as well as with a sense of purpose. When exploring a new area in Rome or anywhere else in Italy, make sure you have a sense of the directions beforehand.

If you need to consult a map, move out of the way of other pedestrians but remain aware of your belongings. Use a handbag that is secure. When in larger groups, be mindful that it is easier for pickpockets to target you because it’s likely that you’ll be concentrating on things other than your back pockets or handbags.

2. Be aware of con-artists

As in any large city in the world, Rome has many people who resort to unfortunate and sometimes illegal ways of making a living. Most are not dangerous, but simply desperate. There are particular places, such as large train stations, where many do their illicit business. They will often offer to help you buy your ticket, and then demand payment for their assistance. Avoid accepting this help and reply with a firm “No, grazie.”

3. Be cognizant of the rules of the road

The true Roman way is to disregard road rules. When driving, crossing the street, or navigating traffic lights, there often seem to be no rules. When in Rome, bring an extra set of wits for negotiating the local traffic patterns in addition to following the locals when crossing the street. Pedestrians almost always get the right of way, but remember to check three times.

6 Tips for a Safe and Successful Roman Holiday

4. Know your limits with alcohol

Italians have a wonderfully balanced relationship with alcohol. They believe that alcohol is to be enjoyed and savored with food. While visiting Rome, bring a moderate approach to drinking. If you partake in any drinking-related events, opt to be part of a larger group. Unfortunately, the more you drink while in town, the easier it is to make potentially bad decisions. Moderation is key!

5. Understand the local transportation

Walking around the streets of Rome at night is a magical experience that shouldn’t be missed. Regular public transport generally runs until around midnight every night and night-buses exist as well. Taxis are also always available, but drivers can be a bit cheeky, often trying to extract more money if they know you are tourist.

There is, however, a special nighttime cab service specifically designed for women. Call 0635701 between 1am and 5am and a cab will show up as quickly as possible, drive you home and even wait until you get inside your building or hotel, all at no additional cost.

6. Understand Italian men

Italian men are usually very friendly and have a reputation as womanizers. While their open ogling might make you a bit uncomfortable at first, you are likely not the first nor only person they have done this to. This attention doesn’t usually go further than a look or “Ciao, bella.”

6 Tips for a Safe and Successful Roman Holiday

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Do you have traveled to Italy? What were your impressions? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

6 Tips for a Safe and Successful Roman Holiday

About Jade Rudnyckyj

Jade Rudnyckyj is Pink Pangea’s Italy Correspondent.

Jade is a helpless wanderluster, constantly on the move to find new and exciting experiences–anywhere in the world. A background in costume and theatre means she seeks only the most aesthetically inspirational cities, so she has found herself in the most eternal one, Rome, at least for now.

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