As you may have heard, there are no dryers except at laundry mats. If you don’t want to hang your clothes out to dry, these laundry mats located near by can be useful. Some even supply everything you may need including the soap and sheets while washing and drying your entire loads at a reasonable price.
Terms in Italian
Lavanderia, lavanderia self service, or lavanderia a gettoni, or lavanderia automatica are the terms for any self-service laundry, also called lava rapido. Dry cleaners are called lava secco.
Ondablu chain (laundry mats)
These are common self-service laundry mats scattered all throughout Rome. If there isn’t one by your location, it may be best just to look up the best laundry mats on yelp that are closest near your apartment. You should be able to find some just by walking around as well. They aren’t uncommon in Rome and again can be very useful if your clothes start to stack and you haven’t washed them yet!
Italy has a low rate of violent crime, but it’s always wise to be safe. Especially at night when it gets to a later time, please avoid walking alone. Watch out for pick pocketing! Unfortunately, this is probably the number one thing you’ll come across. It will usually happen on trams, busses, or trains, anywhere with public transportation and easy access to steal from tourists. Always keep your purse purses tight and wallets in your front pockets! • Keep a photocopy of your passport on you at all times. • Keep documents of your travel plans safe with a loved one
Italians rarely tip waiters and waitresses so don’t feel inclined to just because you’re a tourist! If the service is fantastic, usually anywhere from 5 to 10 percent is becoming more acceptable but never is a must.
The weather is constantly changing here and super unpredictable at times so be safe and purchase an umbrella to have on you at all times! Rome is extremely humid and rains more than you would think.
If you plan on staying for a while and didn’t get an International phone plan, SIM cards are very convenient. When traveling, 3G can be a life savor, especially when using maps for directions or looking things up online wherever you may be. Wind is a very good carrier here with good rates. This phone company is very useful and one that you have to go to directly to buy. There are plenty of Wind stores around and you can use maps to locate one near by your apartment! Here are three located in the areas of which your apartment may be in:
- Ostiense – Circonvallazione Ostiense, 165, Roma a. Phone number: 06-6442-0517
- Prati – Via Cola Di Rienzo, 139-141, Roma Cola a. Phone number: 06-8308-3115
- Trastevere – Viale Guglielmo Marconi, 14, 00146 Roma a. Phone number: 06-556-6688
Of course, these others have excellent plans and could also be used as well depending on your needs. Please visit their websites for more information on rates and store locaters. If having trouble finding information online, these stores are very customer friendly and should be able to explain to you all the costs of whatever plans you’re trying to get. Just make sure of all the possible hidden costs and fees because sometimes you may not fully understand and be paying more in the end!
If you plan on buying a SIM card at a Wind store or any other phone carrier, a passport is required for purchase. Don’t forget! Again, if planning on purchasing any carrier, please read everything and pay attention to what they don’t tell you. There are tons of hidden fees and costs that may not stand out to you at first so be careful when choosing.
Of course, your phone carriers at home have international phone plans as well but these most likely won’t be as useful as the SIM cards here in Rome. This is because the cost will usually be much higher and won’t give you enough data to use out and about in Rome! Depending on how long you’re staying and what the rates are for your phone carrier, they could be a good purchase. They can also be adjusted to your needs. So it wouldn’t hurt to call your carrier and ask to see which plan best fits to you. Again, if you’re planning on staying for more than a month, a SIM card is highly recommended.
In Rome, there are supermercati and mercati. Supermercati are just like what you would expect, a supermarket that’s indoors with air conditioning and lots of packaged goods like you would find in the United States. Mercati are usually open-air markets or farmer markets with mostly local produce. This consists mainly of meats, cheese, and bread.
There are plenty of open markets and stores everywhere. All are super good and cheap! You’ll find it amazing to see the prices over here and they also give you moderate amounts at a time so nothing you can’t handle to finish! Plenty of butcher shops as well with local produce, whatever you prefer! Peanut butter is hard to come by, however, stores like Simply have small amounts of it but can be expensive.
**Tip at the supermercati or “grocery stores”. When you go to buy meats and cheeses over the counter, they will either slice it up thick or thin, whichever you prefer. “Sottile” means thin and “spesso” means thick. Most of these workers will not speak English, so that’s very important to know! They also weigh by grams and anywhere from 100 to 300 grams will do just fine for meats, salamis, cheeses, etc.
**Another tip is when you pick out fruits or vegetables, you have to weigh it at the stand near by and choose the number that corresponds to the number of fruits or vegetables that you are purchasing.
Here is a link to plenty of supermarkets in the city center:
Another useful link:
Markets in Rome Rome has some of the best markets in the world. A trip to a local market can be one of the best Roman experiences. These markets are generally open during the weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There are some that are open and only open on the weekends as well. These markets are a must if you plan on purchasing the BEST local produce and the freshest of fruits or vegetables. They also have clothes and other flea market goods, including original gifts you can take back home. Here’s a list of some of the best:
• Mercato Campo de’ Fiori
• Mercato Trionfale
• Nuovo Mercato Esquilino
• Mercato di Piazza San Cosimato
• Mercato di Testaccio
Pulled from Forbes Travel Guide, there are plenty of others too! Look up the best open-air markets in Rome and you’ll be sure to find lots of others.
Here below, I have given you a few lists of fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats that are translated to help find what you need!
|Arance||Oranges (best starting in November)|
|Avocado||Avocado (best starting in November)/td>|
|Fichi||Figs (hard to find after September ends)|
|Kiwi||Kiwi (best starting in November)|
|Mandarini||Mandarins (best starting in November)|
|Mirtilli||Blueberries (hard to find after September)|
|Pesche||Peaches (best until end of September)|
|Uva||Grapes (best until end of October)|
|Buses||5:30 am to midnight|
|Metro lines A, B, and C||5:30 am to 11:30 pm, until 1:30 am on Saturdays|
|Trams||5:30 am to midnight|
**If taking taxi, look for official metered white or yellow ones.
**Times are not always correct especially for busses. Busses will run later throughout different areas in the city but plan on no later than 12:30 to 1:00 a.m.
Public transportation in Rome includes an extensive bus network with an even simpler metro system to follow. There are trams that are easy to follow as well with trains for farther destinations! Bus stops, departure schedules, and route information are all easily accessible on signs within the city.
Time stamps (bus tickets) can be 75-minute tickets, 3-day, weekly, and monthly tickets. The monthly is called éRoma.
More info can be found online at www.atac.roma.it
The monthly pass is a highly recommend purchase if planning on staying longer than three weeks. The monthly pass is called éRoma but just ask for the monthly pass when purchasing and they’ll understand. Online there are many different options which can be a little confusing to understand them all but they give you plenty of different options to choose from. Again, if staying for a long period of time then the éRoma pass is the best bang for your buck.
Other cards permit tourists and residents free admission for two museums/archaeological sites while any of these visited after are discounted. It’s important to note that once admitted to the first museum or archaeological site of choice, you’ll have just three days to use again for your second free admission. These Roma passes can be used for discounts on any events, exhibitions, and other tourist services.
Please visit www.romapass.it for more information.
- 38 € free transportation for a month with some discounts
- 36 € three day pass on museums with free transportation also for just three days. Discounts also included.
- 28 € two day pass on museums with free transportation also just for two days. Discounts also included.
Where to buy
Tabacchi shops. These are basically 7-Eleven looking type shops that are open past midnight. If not purchasing a Roma Pass, you can buy transportation tickets that cost 1.5 € for 75-minutes of bus, tram, or metro. Train cost is dependent on the destination. For all of these tickets you can purchase at newsstands, bars, or vending machines as well. Exact change is also accepted at metro and major bus stops!
You can also buy international phone cards and postage stamps here as well. Some of these shops and even newsstands also can recharge your SIM card if you plan on purchasing one!
You can use www.tuttocitta.it online to find these shops that are closest to you. Type in the city “Roma” and your address and then click on “Fara la spesa” to get a list of local shops on the map!
It’s best advised to purchase your train passes ahead of time so the cost will be much lower than waiting until the last minute. These three websites are the standard ones to use online:
- Flumicino (Leonardo da Vinci)
Flumicino is Rome’s main airport and is connected to the center of Rome by an express train. These one way passes should cost around 9 euros. The Roma Pass does NOT include the train pass to the airport unfortunately.
**There are busses that go straight to the airports for super cheap! Check out Terravision and bus shuttle in Rome. If running late at all, there is also the Leonardo express train that costs more but gets there faster and is always on time!
Here is a list of museums that are included in Roma Pass:
*Colosseum is included!
- Accademia Nazionale di San Luca
- Museo Carlo Bilotti a Villa Borghese
- Museo della Repubblica Romana e della memoria garibaldina
- Museo delle Mura
- Museo di Casal dei Pazzi
- Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco
- Museo Napoleonico
- Museo Pietro Canonica a Villa Borghese
- Villa di Massenzio
These are the pharmacies that have all your needed medicine. You can locate these by a GREEN CROSS right above it. These pharmacies also have doctors there in case you run into any health issues. Most pharmacies will give out over the counter medicine to American tourists because they assume they’re not under an Italian health plan. However, it’s always safe to be covered so we recommend applying for health insurance by going to one of these pharmacies if your university doesn’t already cover you.
They usually have the same opening hours as regular shops.
Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
You’ll find some open on the weekends but most are only open on the weekdays.
Emergencies and medical supplies
24-hour helpline phone number is: 06-22894
If that number should not work, find other useful numbers here:
List of local pharmacies
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 343 - tel. 06 68801408
Corso Italia 100 – Trieste - tel 8553118
Piazza Barberini 49 - Center - tel 4825456
Via Arenula 73 – (Nearby Largo Argentina) tel 68803278
Via dello Statuto 35a - tel. 06 4465788
Piazza della Repubblica 67 - tel. 06 4880410
Corso Rinascimento 50 - tel. 06 68803985
Piazza dei Cinquecento 51 - tel. 06 4880019
Via Nazionale 228 - tel. 06 4880754
Piazza Bologna 18/19/20 - tel. 06 44291150
Trastevere – Testaccio - EUR
Viale Trastevere 229/229a - tel. 06 5882273
Via Ostiense 168 - tel. 06 5750143
Via Cola di Rienzo 213/215 - tel. 06 3244476
Piazza Risorgimento 44 - tel. 06 39738166
Largo Donaggio 8/9/10 - tel. 06 35507559
Largo Cervinia 23 - tel. 06 35343691
City Historical Centre
Vatican Pharmacy - Via di Porta Angelica (St. Anna) Tel: 06 68 64 146
Farmacia Internazionale Apotheke - Piazza Barberini 49 Tel: 06 48 71 195 / 06 4825456
Farmacia Trinità Dei Monti - Piazza di Spagna 30 Tel: 06 6790626
Termini Train Station
Vatican Pharmacy - Via di Porta Angelica (St. Anna) Tel: 06 68 64 146
Farmacia dell'Opera - Via Torino 21 Tel: 06 4881625
Farmacia S. Pietro - Via S. Pio X 49 Tel: 06 6861427
San Giovanni - Piazza Re di Roma - Appia
Farmacia Torresi - Via Cerveteri 5 Tel: 06 70494504
The first thing you should do is find one of the major banks in Rome. There are plenty of major banks and you’ll find even more local banks around. However, these local banks aren’t your best bet because they may charge more than those of major banks.
If you brought US dollars and are looking to exchange, Unicredit is a good bank that charges just 5 euros per exchange while the rate of exchange is only a few cents higher than the conversion rate. For instance, if the rate of exchange is 1.12, the conversion rate at Unicredit should be around 1.15 when exchanging US dollars to Euros. Because the rates of exchange fluctuate constantly, this could lower or higher depending on what changes in the future. It’s important to add that it may take awhile to find one that actually exchanges money. That’s why Unicredit is highly recommended because it’s a major bank and one that also that exchanges for relatively cheap, especially when compared to airports!
If you’re planning on going to another, here below is a list of more major banks that could have a cheaper exchange rate or may just be one that’s more convenient for you to access.
1. ABI - Associazione Bancaria Italiana
2. Banca Credito Italiano - Unicredit Group
3. Banca d'Italia
4. Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena
5. Gruppo Bancario Banco Di Napoli
6. Banca Nazionale Del lavoro - BNP Paribas
7. Banca Popolare Di Bergamo
8. Banca Di Roma - Unicredit Group
11. Gruppo Bancario Banco Di Napoli
12. SanPaolo IMI
UniCredit banks to EXCHANGE money:
1. Ostiense – Via Ostiense, 105, Roma
a. Phone number: 06-8782-5300
2. Prati – Via Lepanto, 4, Roma
a. Phone number: 06-8782-4804
3. Trastevere – Viale di Trastevere, 95, 00153 Roma
a. Phone number: 06-8782-0306
Most banks are only open during the weekdays anywhere from 8 to 1:30 pm and then from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Be wary of public holidays for these days drastically change the hours from being open earlier or later depending on which holiday occurs.
In Italy, ATMs are known as Bancomats. Bancomats operate the same as ATMs in America so they should be easy to follow. There’s usually a language choice at the very beginning to change to English for those that don’t know any Italian!
Please contact your bank and/or credit card company to see which banks in Rome if any are compatible and if there are any foreign transaction fees. For example, American Express can be used as credit at major places in Rome for no extra fee of charge. On the contrary, Bank of America charges a 3% international fee whenever used, regardless of withdrawing or paying for something.
This 3% charge Bank of America has is obviously super high, so call your bank and ask them what you can do and if there is any “correspondent bank” that could potentially waive the fee or reduce it. For example, Bank of America’s is BNL.
If pulling out of a Bancomat (ATM), Barclays is a great one because it’s literally the price of the euro with no additional fee. Other Bancomats could be free charge as well so scope around or look up these Bancomats online.
SAVE YOUR MONEY!! Remember not all debit cards are compatible, so make sure to contact your bank and possible ask of ATMs that work with your card.
Use this to locate ATMs: http://faro.pattichiari.it/index1.phtml