Do you know who to ring in an emergency? What about Visas? How much do I tip? Get the lowdown before you book
Emergency Number – 112
Time Zone – GMT+1
Currency – Euro (€)
Population – 2.8 million
Size – 1,285 km²
GDP – $121.5 billion
Glass of Beer 25cl (Average Cost) – €3,50
Glass of Wine 14cl (Average Cost) – €10,00 per litre
President of Italy – Sergio Mattarella
Most visitors of European nationality will not be required to get a visa to enter Italy due to the Freedom of Movement. Some other countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil & Argentina will have visa-free entry for 90 days. To check whether you need a visa to enter France, please check here.
The currency used in Rome is the Euro (€). Denominations include €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 & €5 and coins including denominations of €1 and €2 and €0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01 cents.
The easiest way to get Euros in Rome is via the ATM machines located around the city, although you may want to check the exchange rate charged by your bank first.
If you must take your foreign currency into Rome then you’ll need to find a reputable currency exchange when you land. It’s generally not recommended to do this – Italy offers pretty poor exchange rates to those changing Pounds Sterling or Dollars. It’s best to change your money before you arrive.
Italian banks will only change money for their own customers. Instead, you will need to go to an exchange booth at the airports, the Termini train station or the Vatican. There are also official change booths at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza di Spagna.
You can check exchange rates here
Travelling anywhere in the world has its own fair share of risk attached and travelling to Rome is no different.
Many large cities throughout the world are prone to pickpockets and scams especially concerning tourists. It is always advisable to get travel insurance to insure your belongings in case of loss or theft.
Travel insurance is also advised in the event that you get ill or injured whilst travelling and you need emergency care. Company 1 & Company 2 both offer competitive rates for Travel Insurance.
Areas to Avoid
Although Rome is incredibly safe and sticking to the tourist areas should not cause you any problems, there are reports of travellers feeling uncomfortable around Termini train station at night.
There are isolated cases of domestic terrorism in Italy.
Attacks carried out by the extreme left-wing and secessionist groups have generally been aimed at official Italian targets, mainly in the form of small bombs and incendiary devices. The Italian authorities have made a number of arrests of individuals with links to Daesh and other extremist groups.
Travellers should not allow terrorism to deter them from visiting such beautiful cities but it is paramount that they remain vigilant and note local advice.
You are not expected to tip restaurants in Italy. A service charge is sometimes added to the bill, ranging from €1,00 to €3,00, or 10% – 15%. This charge must be indicated on the menu.
Some restaurants may also add an extra charge for the diner ware and extras (tablecloth, silverware, plates, bread, etc.), this is normal. But check your bill!
If the service charge isn’t included, people usually round up the bill, as in many European countries (leaving a €20,00 bill for an €18,00 meal for instance). If the service is exceptional, it is okay to give a good tip, although this is never expected.
General Safety Advice
In an emergency, contact the police, ambulance, or fire department on 112. This number is free to call – only use it in a genuine emergency.
- Only use registered taxis or a reputable company that can track you such as Uber
- Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads
- Beware of wearing headphones – they reduce awareness of your surroundings.
- In Rome, cars drive on the right. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green light is showing.
Staying safe in bars and restaurants
- Make sure you keep your property is out of sight and safely under the table.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
- Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa.
Keep your belongings safe
- Don’t leave your bag unattended anywhere in Rome – this can lead to a security alert
- Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don’t carry too much cash.
- When using an ATM, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn’t been tampered with. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number.
- Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera, and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use.
- Record details of your electronic serial numbers (ESNs).
- Inform your service provider and police if your phone or other valuables are stolen or lost. Dial 112 for the police
Books to Read
If you want to learn basic Italian or would like to brush up on your Italian speaking skills to make your trip to Rome more authentic then why not grab an Italian Dictionary or book of popular Italian phrases to help immerse yourself in Italian culture?
If a non fiction book set in Rome is more your bag then guys should check out (Author & Title) whilst ladies may like delving into (Author & title) a romantic novel.