Linguists at language learning app Babbel share with SilverKris their best tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when exploring the Italian capital.
1. Stay out of the fountains
Sure, Rome can be really hot. Which, of course, leaves one wanting to cool off – sometimes just by about any means. However tempted you may be, it’s best to stay out of the picturesque fountains. It could cost you a lot of money in the form of fines. Instead, dip your hands in, or let the water run over your wrists – cool refreshment guaranteed.
2. Cappuccinos are for breakfast only
Yes, you read that right. In Italy, a typical breakfast often consists of a cappuccino and a delicious pastry. However, locals will stop ordering cappuccinos after 11am. If you fancy a coffee after this, go for an espresso or an Americano, as having milk in your coffee in the afternoon is considered a bit of a faux pas. Another piece of advice – don’t drink your coffee on the go, it is something Italians take their time with and enjoy.
3. Skip the tips
While tipping is a must in many countries, the rules are a bit hazy when it comes to Rome. Your bill will usually come with a servizio, which means that service is included, however, most tourists will still tip. When in Rome, “do as the Romans do” and skip tipping if you want to blend in with the locals.
4. Refill your water bottles instead
Don’t buy one bottle of water after another. Take a bottle and fill it as needed at one of the nasoni drinking fountains or potable water faucets. You’ll find them at most of the well-known tourist sights like the Roman Colosseum.
5. Don’t hail a taxi
If you’ve visited other cities, you might be used to just hailing a taxi (especially in New York). However, in Italy, if you try and hail a taxi in the middle of the street, you’ll just wind up with confused looks from cabbies and bystanders. If you want a taxi, find a taxi stand.
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.