Dress Code :
Italians take dress very seriously,
therefore smart clothing should be worn,
especially in business settings where it is recommended
that both men and women wear suits. Outside business,
casual clothing is fine, but stay tidy if you don't want to feel out of place.
Italians dress up whenever possible, so wear a jacket
and smart trousers to restaurants and theatres.
Greeting Someone in Rome :
The Italians are keen on the most enthusiastic
forms of greeting. Hugs, kisses and handshakes
are all bestowed upon meeting a friend, or even
a mild acquaintance, regardless of sex. However,
foreign visitors are not expected to join in
with these warm hellos except, of course,
for the handshake, which is compulsory both
socially and in business.
Rome Business Hours and Banking:
Italian banks are open on weekdays
from 08:30 or 09:00 to 12:30 or 13:00
and from 14:20 or 15:00 to 16:00.
Commercial officehours vary from one
industry and sector to another but in general,
most will operate somewhere between 08:30
and 18:30, Monday to Friday.
Smoking: Since January 2005,
smoking has been banned in all
enclosed public places that do not
offer sealed off rooms equipped with
smoke extractors. The controversial
new law covers bars, restaurants, offices,
public buildings, public transport and cinemas.
Smokers face fines of up to €275, whilst
businesses could be hit for €2,000.
When to Visit - Arts, Events, Weather :
La passeggiata must be the most renowned and charming
Italian social custom where each evening
and friends take an early evening stroll with the
intention of 'seeing and being seen'. In Rome,
the piazza cafes fill up rapidly as friends meet
and catch up on news.
A number of festivals take place throughout the year including 'Settimana dei Beni Culturali', which takes place in April when public museums and sites of interest are open free of charge for a week.
Weather wise, Rome is perhaps best enjoyed in spring or autumn, when the
masses of tour groups are also thinner on the ground. Rome is handed over
to tourists in August, when most Romans take extended coastal holidays and the majority
of shops and bars are closed. Peak summer months can be uncomfortably hot whilst winters are mild.
Fiera Internazionale di Roma
(Rome International Trade Fair) takes place between May
and early June. This is one of the region's most important annual fairs.
Festa di San Giovanni in June includes dancing and
singing that continues throughout the night. This saint's day finishes
with a candlelit religious procession.
Estate Romana (Roman Summer) is a lively summer festival that runs
from late June to the end of September where hundreds of cultural and musical
events take place in parks, squares and streets throughout the city. Highlights
include Teatro dell'Opera's summer season in the Stadio Olimpico, rock concerts
on an open-air stage in Testaccio, outdoor cinema on Tiburtina Island and classical
performances in the Villa Medici gardens and the Cloisters of Bramante.
Festa di Noantri in mid-July when some of Viale
Trastevere and the surrounding streets are blocked to traffic.
Filled with stalls, it stays open until the early hours of the
morning and culminates with a firework display.
November brings Tutti Santi (All Saints' Day), followed by 'La Commemorazioni dei Defunti'
(or Tutti i Morti), a celebration of mass conducted by the Pope and held at
Il Verano Cemetery.
Carnevale in Piazza Navona takes place on or around 5th
January and lasts until dawn the following morning. Visit
What's On In Rome for month-by-month event information.
1 January: New Year's Day
3 January: Bank holiday
6 January: Epiphany
25 April: Liberation Day
1 May: Labor Day
2 June: Republic Day
24 June: Florence Patron Saint's Day
29 June: Rome Patron Saint's Day
15 August: Ferragosto
1 November: All Saints Day
7 December: Milan Patron Saint's Day
8 December: The Immaculate Conception
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Feast of St Stephen
Value for Money Sightseeing
Many of Rome’s top attractions are free to enjoy, from the elegant piazzas,
ornate churches and classical museums and galleries. St. Peter's Basilica, the
Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon,
the Mouth of Truth, Piazza Navona, Appia Antica, can all be appreciated without paying.
EU citizens under 18 and over 65 are entitled to free admission to state museums
and art sites, with 50% off for under 25s, and those in education. Similar incentives
apply for municipal museums and art sites.
Rome is not the most disabled-friendly city largely due to the number of hills,
raised pavements and cobbled streets. Buses are wheelchair-friendly whilst remaining
public transport in Rome is partially accessible. Leading visitor attractions are a
mixed bag: a lift is provided to the top of the Colosseum, whilst the Vatican's Sistine
Chapel is only accessible via the long route through the Vatican museums.
Rome Tripping Advice.
Tipping is not mandatory although it is customary,
depending on whether or not you feel it is deserved.
If so, an amount between 5% and 10% of the bill should be tipped.
Some restaurants in Rome include gratuities in the bill,
as well as the cover charge.
Telephones: Public telephones accept euro coins, tokens and phone cards, sold in tobacconists, newstands and post offices. Many public phones now accept international credit cards.
Internet cafes: Rome has a growing number of net
cafes - popular venues include EasyEverthing on via Barberini and
Internet Cafe on via Cavour.
Emergencies: The military police (carabinieri) and civil police (polizia)
are contactable by telephoning 113. For medical help, call the 24-hour,
English-speaking Medline on 06 808-0995
Theft Warning: Popular tourist and shopping areas
such as the Colosseum, Via Condotti, Via Nazionale and Via del Corso invariably
attract pickpockets. Take particular care at Rome's Termini Station.
Umbrella pines. When you come to Italy,
especially Rome, you notice our unmbrella-pines.!!
With their rough textured bark in shades of caramel,
nutmeg and honey, their lofty fragrant canopies provide
homes to chittering birds in winter and spring,
chirring cicadas in summer and autumn.
These trees offer cool shade in the summer
and shelter from rain in the winter. The
umbrella pine - pinus maritimus - was a
striking feature of the Italian coast even in Roman times.
Pliny the Younger says the cloud emerging from
Vesuvius looked like an umbrella pine, ie.
a trunk-like column of smoke rising up and
then flattening out at the top.