Rome Warnings Or Dangers Tips by monica71
Rome Warnings and Dangers: 506 reviews and 219 photos
line in front of Vatican Museum
Everybody heard about the long lines in front of the Vatican Museum and every tourist hopes to find a short line when getting there. I can say that we were not among the lucky ones and when we got there the wait was more than 2 hours.
Most guidebooks tell you to go there around 1pm in the afternoon on Wed and Thu in order to find shorter lines. I guess now the tourists really pay attention to what the guidebooks say and the lines are getting longer and longer on these days too. I could not capture all the line since it was going around the building 2 times, but imagine that the line you see in my pictures is not even half of the actual line we would have had to stand in.
Since we really did not want to spend 2 hours in line, we decided to book a tour and get inside the museum in about 15 minutes instead of 2 hours. We went with VoxTours (booked the tour when we got to Vatican and saw the lines) and paid 20 Euros per person (plus 5 Euros deposit for the headphones). The tour lasted 2 hours and it pointed out all the important pieces you should not miss while visiting the Vatican museum. You are free to stay longer in the museum if you want and you can also break away from the group if you feel like wandering inside by yourself.
beggar on the main boulevard
You will see beggars all over the town: in front of all the attractions, on main boulevards and anywhere you can think of. There are not too many of them when the weather is bad, but they show up in cohorts when the sun is shining and there is no rain in sight. Just ignore them and they will leave you alone.
BTW: the one that was always asking us for money (in the Pantheon area) was not more than 24 years old. He pretended to have trouble walking and holding things. We saw him on a daily basis, rain or sun. One late evening when we were checking out emails in one of the Internet Cafes, we saw him walking in there with no problem. He sat down at one of the computers and started to browse the web. So if you really want to help the poor, put more money in the boxes you will find in all the churches you visit or throw more coins in the Trevi Fountain (the city collects the money from there and use them to feed the poor).
pedestrian only street
In the old town almost all the streets are pebbled and narrow. You need to wear a comfortable pair of shoes (flat or orthopedic soles are the best) since you will be doing lots of walking and you really need to focus on the buildings around you instead of every step you make. They can become slippery when raining.
Traffic is limited in the old part of the city, but you will still see some cars and scooters on the narrow streets. Several times during our vacation we had to find a spot on the narrow street where we could walk forward since there were several cars and scooters parked and blocking the street.
If you are in Rome and you want to buy Murano glass pieces (and who doesn't?) make sure you get the genuine stuff and not the "made in China" one. There are not too many shops around that sell only genuine Murano glass pieces. You will notice the pieces made in China are way cheaper than the genuine ones, so make sure you know what you get before buying Murano glass pieces at a bargain price (the pieces sold in Campo de Fiori by street vendors are all made in China!).
All the reputable stores who carry both, genuine pieces and the ones made in China, will have a sign in the window indicating the genuine Murano glass pieces.
There are also few good stores in Rome that sell only genuine Murano glass pieces. You will easily identify them by the elegant look, their prices (don't let this stop you from checking it out; you will be able to find here pieces that start at 25 Euros) and lack of tourist crowds.
If you go to Rome you will most likely run into friendly people that offer you flowers or anything you can think of. They come straight to you and push a flower, for example, very close to your face. They will give you a big smile and say "this is for you, please". Once you take the flower from them, they will ask anywhere between 5 and 10 Euros for it. Just say "No, thank you" and keep walking. They will follow you for a while and give up eventually.
I have to admit that I got pretty frustrated at one point during our vacation (by the Trevi Fountain) when I was followed and offered the flower for about 5 minutes. We had to shout "carabinieri" at one point in order to get rid of this person that kept insisting to offer me a red rose.
Public bathrooms are hard to find in Rome. All the tourist places have them, but you really do not want to use them unless you are desperate. They are not very clean and they do have a strong unpleasant smell. If you have to use them, prepare for long lines (especially at Colosseum and Vatican Museum). Make sure you have toilet paper with you (just in case they are out of it) and a hand sanitizer lotion.
Most restaurants have clean bathrooms that you can use ONLY if you are a customer. They do turn tourists away, so don't be surprised if this happens to you.
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