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Essential Tourist Facts about Rome Italy

    • Facts about Rome Italy: Italian Currency     • What to bring    • Holidays, Embassies
• Phone, Emergency Nos, Electricity      • Tourist info        • Roma Pass

As with most tourist destinations the same facts about Rome Italy apply, that is to say, the best time to visit Rome is in the off season. However...

Call me a masochist (I've been called lots) but I love Rome In August!
The temperature can be unpleasantly hot and a cool breeze as foreign as an honest politician, but with the mass exodus of Romans to the coast Rome is manageable. Rome tourist attractions are open as usual and everything is a little more accessible!

Vittorio Emanuele monument,
Piazza Venezia, Rome Italy.piazza venezia facts about rome italy


Facts about Rome Italy: Italian Currency

The Italian currency is the EURO. Even after most of Western Europe changed to one currency in 2002 there are still plenty of currency exchange bureaus or automatic exchange machines.

A word of caution about exchange machines: check, in case of a glitch, that the machines have an emergency call option, and that the number listed is to the bank and NOT to the supplier of the machine!
You guessed it! One of these machines swallowed my money and it's only because my mother in law works for a bank that this story has a happy ending.

Banks still tend to offer the best rates but wear comfortable shoes for the wait and do some hand stretching exercises for the forms to fill in - one of those facts about Rome Italy!

Credit cards: All major credit cards are known and accepted throughout most establishments although smaller restaurants may not have facilities or may have a policy of a minimum charge. Anyway it's a good idea to carry a little cash at all times.


Facts about Rome Italy: What to bring

Comfortable shoes, cap, sun glasses, small back pack, sun screen, do I need to mention the camera?
Take a small bottle along, there are plenty of drinking fountains dotted around Rome (about 2000!) In case you were wondering, the water in Rome is indeed drinkable (potabile) and in fact because of its calcium and other mineral content it's better than most bottled mineral waters. My wife's grandfather, who was a doctor, would always take a couple of bottles back to his hometown in Abruzzo.

Note:Trastevere, Campo dè Fiori, Pantheon and other areas of central Rome are covered with hungry cobblestones waiting to devour the stilettos of those fancy high heeled shoes.



fact on italy piazza venezia



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Facts about Rome Italy: Rome tourist attractions:

For Rome tourist information about museums, concerts, theatre, cultural events etc. the phone number 060608 and web address www.060608.it, are very handy.

Roma Pass is the best tourist card to buy! For just 25 Euros, valid for 3 days it has fantastic benefits:

  • Visit first 2 archeological sites/museums for free. (No waiting in loooong queues outside the ancient roman colosseum!)
  • Discounts on successive museums, sites and monuments.
  • Free public transport .
italian phone directory

You can purchase the Roma Pass at all major Archeological sites (Roman Colosseum, Roman forum etc) travel agencies, tourist information points (APT tel. 06 488 991), newsstands, tobacconists (La Tabaccheria) and some museums and hotels.
Info at +39 060608 and www.romapass.it



Facts about Rome Italy: Telephone or fax

The international code for Italy is 0039 (+39). The city code for Rome is 06 and must be dialed with local calls. Local and long distance calls can be made from public phones. Public phones only accept phone cards, these can be bought at Tobacconists and Newsstands. (Jump to the italian phone directory.)


Italian phone directory

The Italian phone directory, like in most countries, is divided into either:

  • the Italy whites pages (Pagine Bianche) www.paginebianche.it
  • or the Italy yellow pages (Pagine Gialle) www.paginegialle.it

The Italy white pages list private phone numbers and addresses and the Italy yellow pages list business contact details.

Italian phone directory contact numbers:

  • Italy white pages tel.1240
  • Italy yellow pages tel. 892424

The Italian phone directory also has a multi-lingual information call center for requests on any information relating to Italy. This service is connected to the Italy yellow pages at the same number 892424.


Emergency numbers

The Red Cross 06 5510
Ambulance 118
Carabinieri 112
General emergency (police) 113
First Aid 118
Fire brigade 115
Traffic police 06 67691
Automobile club of Italy (free service for breakdowns) 803116


Electricity

220V AC. Plugs are either 2 or 3 prong. Most hotels have hairdryers or shaving points. Adaptors can be bought at the airport or hardware stores (Ferramenta).


Facts about Rome Italy: Tipping

Foreigners are "expected" to tip because they started the trend. Italians themselves have shorter arms.
In restaurants check that a 10% service charge is not already included in the bill. In bars and cafes tipping is less frequent, some leave a few coins.



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Facts about Rome Italy: Rome Tourist info

rome tourist info museums

Rome call center: For general enquiries and bookings of cultural events - Tel 060608 (English speaking.)
Comune di Roma: For enquiries about Theatre, Art, Music and other cultural events in Rome. www.comune.roma.it - Tel 060606
Main tourist office: www.romaturismo.it - Tel 06 488 991. Open Mondays to Saturdays 9:00 Am to 7:00Pm (Also in Fiumicino Airport Terminal B).

Rome tourist info points (open every day 9:00 Am to 6:00 Pm):
Via del Corso (Spanish steps area), Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, Via Nazionale (Trevi fountain area), Piazza Cinque Lune (by Piazza Navona), Piazza Pia (next to Castel Sant' Angelo), Piazza tempio della pace (Across from the Roman Forums), Piazza Sonnino (Trastevere area), Via dell' Olmata (Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore), Termini Station.


Facts about Rome Italy: Embassies and consulates.

US Embassy Rome Italy: Via Vittorio Veneto 121, Tel 06 46741 www.usembassy.it

Australia Embassy Rome: Via Antonio Bosio 5, Tel 06 852721 www.italy.embassy.gov.au

Canadian Embassy Rome: Via Zara 30, Tel 06 85 444 1 www.canada.it

New Zealand Embassy Rome: Via Clitunno 44, Tel 06 853 75 01 www.nzembassy.com

UK Embassy Rome: Via XX Settembre 80A, Tel 06 4220 0001 ukinitaly.fco.gov.uk


National holidays in Italy

The national holidays in Italy are the:

  • 6th January (the end of the 12 day period of Epiphany starting form Christmas),
  • Easter Monday,
  • 25 April (Liberation day),
  • 1 May (Labor day),
  • 2 June (Republic Day),
  • 15 August (Ferragosto - Assumption Day),
  • 1 November (All Saints' day),
  • 8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception),
  • 25 December
  • 26 December (Feast of St Stephen.)
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