The following are a few things we learned about visiting Rome, Italy that you may not find anywhere else…
1-Bathrooms are very hard to find. We discovered the liquor store/bars were the best places. In restaurants, they were mostly down some narrow steps leading to the basement level. Heed this warning – the majority of the toilets have no seats/lids.
2-Churches require knees and shoulders to be covered. It is warm out, so if you choose a sleeveless shirt, take a shawl.
3-Buy a skip the line pass for the Vatican Museum. The lines are really long. Two blocks away is a Hop On Hop Off Bus office that will sell the passes. This does not mean there will be no line, just a much shorter line. The museum is packed and full of tour groups. Try to stay together to avoid pickpockets.
4-When in the Vatican Museum, take as many pictures as you want, except in the Sistine Chapel, for some obscure reason, photos are not allowed here.
5-The streets are cobblestone, dirt, uneven with narrow alleys. Be sure to wear good walking shoes. Do not avoid the alleyways, here is where you will find the best restaurants. Try not to talk to the street vendors as they will not let you get away.
6-Take the Free Walking Tour. Our guide was terrific and full of knowledge. They take you to areas that buses can not get to. You are asked to tip the guides at the end of the tour.
7-Be sure to get a tour guide while at the Colosseum. It is a large area and nothing is marked. Without the guide you will just be looking at old stones and rubble.
8-Look into renting an apartment and not a hotel. They are cheaper and closer to the sights. We rented one 2 blocks from the Vatican. Our host was terrific and we had lots of room. They even included croissant & coffee for breakfast.
9-Be sure to bring European AC converter plugs and USB phone chargers.
10-Contrary to what has been portrayed in many movies etc, you are not allowed to get in the water at the Trevi Fountain. Seriously, the Trevi Fountain area is a haven for pickpockets and other thieves. Beware of anyone trying to randomly talk to you or distract you in any way.