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10 Avoidable Tourist Traps While Traveling in Rome

Tourist Traps in Rome

Italy is a magnificent destination rich with some of the most culturally intriguing attractions in the world and the destination attracts millions of tourists each year. Major cities packed with historical sites and opportunities for exploration have become central hubs for visitors, all of whom clamor to catch a glimpse of some of the wondrous places to go and things to see. When you rent a car in Rome you can grant yourself unrestricted access to all the experiences such a large central location has to offer, but wise travelers will be wary of how to avoid mishaps and get the most out of their trip abroad. Check out the list below to learn how you can travel like a pro on your next vacation in Italy!

Here are 10 easily avoidable tourist traps in Rome:

1. Go to Church, but Don’t Pay

Rome CathedralItalian churches are historical and beautiful. Many tourists enjoy seeing the architecture and are willing to hand over money in order to enter a church. A suggested donation is okay, but tourists should never pay a mandatory fee to see inside. To avoid entrance fees and to see a church like a local, attend Mass. An even better option is to find an English-language Mass to attend. That way, you can understand the service at hand!

2. Hop on- Hop off Bus

Although extremely touristy, the Hop on-Hop off buses are NOT a trap; they are actually quite a good value! Buy a ticket on your first day and see the main Rome tourist attractions in a 90-minute round trip ride. The ticket is valid for 24 hours, so after your first time around, decide where you want to hop off.

3. Save Your Coins

Save Your Coins at Trevi FountainAlmost all of the fountains in Rome have coins, but don’t make the common tourist mistake of tossing a coin into every fountain you see. The only fountain in Rome that you should throw a coin in is the Fontana di Trevi. Don’t forget to make a wish!

4. Avoid Menus That Have Several Language Options

Tourist Trap Restaurants in RomeAfter a long day of sightseeing, many tourists are too tired to practice their Italian. So, they choose an easy restaurant, usually one that has a translated menu.

Although tempting, avoid these places. Restaurants with menus available in multiple languages accommodate for tourists, meaning that they will probably charge more for food that doesn’t necessarily represent the authentic local cuisine.

5. Overly Enthusiastic Waiters and Vendors are up to no Good

Rome is full of con artists. Avoid being the victim of a scam by staying alert. Always be wary of overly enthusiastic strangers. From the persistent waiter with the cute smile and good English to the precious old lady selling flowers at the Spanish Steps, you should always be suspicious, when in Rome.

6. Check out Smaller Piazzas

Piazza Navona is a magnificent, cosmopolitan square and a popular tourist attraction in Rome. However, be warned that the square is full of tourist traps. For example, the restaurants in Piazza Navona are expensive and the food is low quality. Don’t buy anything in Piazza Navona. Instead, walk through and enjoy the square; then, continue walking another 3-5 minutes until you get to Campo de Fiori. This is a smaller, more intimate plaza with restaurants that offer better food and cheaper prices than Piazza Navona’s restaurants.

7. Don’t Take a Gladiator Picture at the Coliseum

Rome, ItalyFirst of all, a Gladiator Picture in front of the Colesseum is a tacky souvenir to remember a glorious trip to Rome. But, if you insist on a photograph, settle on a price before snapping the shot. You shouldn’t pay more than 10 euros. However, if you wait until after the picture is taken, the Gladiator can charge you whatever amount he thinks he can get from you. Thus, if you look like a sucker, you might be handing over 40 euros for a picture with a man who just conned you.

8. Gelato from a Cart is Non Bene

Italy is known for making fantastic ice cream and Romans know that tourists want to taste authentic gelato. Unfortunately, this means that gelato vendors are one of the biggest tourist traps in Rome. Don’t pay 5 euros for a single scoop that came from a cart. Instead, head to a shop in a non-touristy area. You’ll pay less for actual, homemade, Italian gelato.

9. Spend the Money to Avoid the Crowds at the Vatican

The Vatican is free on the last Sunday of every month. While this sounds like a fantastic deal, it is not worth navigating through the massive crowds. In general, Sunday is the most crowded day at the Vatican. On free admission day, these crowds are even larger and more unbearable. So, pay the admission fee and enjoy visiting the Vatican during a weekday, when there aren’t as many people there.

10. Shop at a Supermarket

Shop at a SupermarketDon’t eat at a restaurant across from the Coliseum or any other major attraction. Those types of places are tourist traps in Rome, and there are two options to avoid them. First, venture off the beaten path and find a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a non-touristy area. Trastevere, Testaccio, and Coppedé are three beautiful quarters in Rome that are not infested with touristy restaurants. The second option is to buy food from a supermarket or market, which is sometimes easier to find than a restaurant with reasonable prices and non-aggressive waiters. Once you’ve purchased your food, have a picnic in a park. In Rome, there are several big city parks, such as Villa Pamphili, Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, and Villa Torlonia.

Planning Your Very Own Tour of Rome

Use these tips as a guide you’ll be able to navigate your holiday in Rome with confidence and ease, but you’ll still need a way to get around! Save yourself the hassle of expensive taxi fares and crowded tour buses; rent a car in Italy or right from the Rome Airport with Kemwel for the easiest, most convenient, and most affordable transportation available! Kemwel offers some of the best travel deals available so you can save plenty of cash for spending on the rest of your fantastic trip. Browse our rates online or give us a call toll-free at 1-877-820-0668 and discover just how much you can save on your travel transportation needs!

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