Books and travel go together naturally; both are journeys: one…
If you have been to Rome a few times or if you have been staying on vacation for a few days you probably can muster a few words, at least to order your coffee or cappuccino in the bar in the morning just like the locals.
However romans will still spot you from a distance and notice at a glance that you are a “turista” (tourist) or “straniero” (foreigner). So if you want to get unnoticed and get mixed in the roman crowds while cruising trendy Dolce Vita Via Veneto the trick is to learn the local habits.
First tip is to learn about the traffic, which seems unruly and oh so different from home : motorini zooming out of nowhere and cars shooting in front of you showing no sign of stopping to let the pedestrian cross. Just spot a roman crossing the road, you will notice right away by the nonchalence in the step and stick right behind and you will get safely to the other side. Else if no one is in sight just walk in an authorative way holding hand in a threatening way if necessary and all will be fine and you will reach your central Rome Hotel, Yes Hotel or Des Artistes hotel Rome, safely.
Talking with the hands : when in your favorite Roman restaurant you may want to get understood without having to speak english you will notice that with a lot of cutting and swooping movements you will surely end up getting your favorite roman dish. In restaurants service is not hasty so be prepared for some waiting between the courses and upon asking the “conto” (bill) : Advice is that you must have plenty of time for a leisurely meal, not a plane to catch. However if you really have to leave and the bill still has not been delivered just stand and gather your things and illico the bill will arrive !
Romans love looking around for something or someone excentric and out of the ordinary so do not get spooked if you find yourself in the centre of the attention : The natural curiosity makes them inquisitive and knowing you are foreign they will stare at you in an open manner.
Romans are well known for their grooming and they always manage to look good around the clock and high heels and make up are good for any occasion and so are suits and shiny trendy shoes. Natural look never really appealed to the roman ladies and accessories are a must. Too much is never too much so go for it and walk on the Via Condotti catwalk !