Author Topic: Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome  (Read 4248 times)

tardis

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Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome
« on: September 07, 2014, 06:01:34 AM »
After eight hours in a plane, I have arrived in Rome and will be living here until mid December.  I have an apartment sorted out already and am in the Trastevere neighbourhood. I have a comprehensive list of significant places to see and when best to do so courtesy of my program and classmates, but was wondering if there was any advice from more seasoned travelers or those who have previously visited for more day to day mustachian tips.  Things like buying groceries, clothing, sim cards etc.   In this one day I have already noticed that one roommate/travel companion in particular automatically responds to challenges while traveling by throwing money at it to get the easiest possible solution, be it finding food, transportation or anything else, so advice on how to politely decline or provide alternates is also welcome.  Thank you!

basd

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Re: Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 12:13:47 AM »
First of all: don't spoil the experience by being too cheap to do fun things. Rome is wonderful.

Having said that, Rome is relatively expensive compared to the rest of the country (of course) but from what I remember it isn't too bad compared to other major western European cities. Eating out can be done for relatively cheap.

Some random tips:
* If you're under 30, TIM (an Italian telecom provider) offers 200 minutes + 1000 texts + unlimited calls to other TIM clients + 1GB data (4G lite, whatever that means) + some music streaming service), prepaid, for 14 euros per months. I think that's a great deal. See http://www.tim.it/tariffe/chiamate-sms-internet or stop by a local Centro TIM.
* I'm not sure about supermarket prices in Rome itself but in Italy in general I found the prices to be very reasonable, except maybe for meat (but that's pretty expensive everywhere). Fresh produce and good wine are cheap. Try and find a good butcher (macelleria in Italian), it might be a lot cheaper.
* NO cappuccino after 11AM. Don't. Just don't!

Have fun, I'd kill for an opportunity like that. I haven't been to Trastevere yet but have heard many good things about it.

Basenji

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Re: Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 06:14:53 AM »
OMG, have fun! Try to live like a Roman! So much free glorious walking and seeing to do.

Lis

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Re: Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 01:30:15 PM »
I spent two weeks in Rome for a travel seminar in college, and it was the best experience of my life. I'm so jealous of you right now! Most expenses we incurred were covered by our tuition, but here are some random things I remember...

- There are water fountains all over the city, and they taste better than bottled water. Carry a reusable bottle and refill when necessary. Your roommate has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to the water! (Plus, some of them have holes at the top, meant of course for you to drink directly from. It's fun when you cover the bottom opening and squirt someone unexpectedly. I only fell for that twice...)

- We did a quick grocery shopping for snacks and such... I only had a 20 euro and I bought about 6 euro worth of goodies, and the check out lady refused to make change. I don't know if it was because I was a dumb American and something was lost in translation, but try to carry small bills with you. Also - get a reusable bag... I THINK (don't remember for sure) they charged us for plastic bags.

- The Metro system was pretty simplistic when I was there. I know they planned on construction, but I don't know if they started yet. The buses were also very easy to navigate (coming from someone who didn't really speak the language and has zero sense of direction). But honestly, the best part of staying in Rome was walking around. It's a very pedestrian friendly city (except when crossing the street into oncoming traffic... whoops...). Of course you'll want to see all of the big name monuments in Rome, and there are plenty of them, but there are plenty of small shops, sights, museums, off the beaten path that you may not find so easily on the internet.

I loved Trastevere. My friends and I still say we'll move to Rome one day, and Trastevere is the place to go. Again, so jealous! Do you have a blog or something to keep track of your travels? I'd love to live vicariously through you!

tardis

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Re: Living in Rome for 3 months- advice welcome
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 10:52:56 AM »
Sorry about not responding earlier Lis.  Rome was a blast!  Life was too crazy while I was there to manage blogging, but I'm going to start a blog for my travel drawing/painting I think, so I would start posting with the Italy sketches.  I can let you know when I start that up if you like.

I found the metro to be alright, thought if I used transit it was usually a bus, and because you have to get to a modern major street for that, it was usually faster to just walk rather than the  "walk to street, wait for bus, take the bus, walk to where you actually want to be" process.  Grocery shopping was fine.  I loved that the veggies were actually seasonal and "local" (Italy/Spain) which is possible given the climate.  No issues other than the fact I look Italian and having people try to speak to me in Italian all the time there.  Trastevere was cool, though like most of central Rome only more so, it's really only tourists living there.  It also gives you a real feel as to why live way back when was so shitty.  Imagine that neighborhood, but with open sewers....  I don't think I would choose to live there if I were to go back.  Very expensive rent, lots of theft, loud, crowded.  I'd go for somewhere in the Testaccio area- now all trendy/artsy with the locals, more modern construction (with all the infrastructure for plumbing that implies), not a tourist hotspot and near the pyramid metro station so you can get into and out of town easily.  Think of all the trips to the beach at Ostia 30 minutes door to door!