If this is your first trip to Rome be ready to for a bit of shock and awe.
Definitely buy the guided tours, they are good value and will make your Roman experience.
The first thing that you will be told on a guided tour is to keep your bags in front of you because this is Rome, the land of pick pockets and thieves. But what they don't tell you is that the real pickpockets and thieves are the restaurants and gelato stands in all tourist locations.
You will notice that most of these places DO NOT post prices. Beware. At the top of the Spanish stairs I made the mistake of buying two small gelatos for the kids without asking the price first. After the kids had already dug in, the merchant demanded 10 euros. The following day we passed by the same stand, and when I asked how much a small gelato cost, the answer this time was 3 euros each.
Always ask for the price before buying anything at the stands, unless of course the prices are posted.
At a restaurant near Borghese Villa, a 70 euro meal turned into 90 euros. When I inquired about the additional charge, the proprietor said that it was table tax. Other restaurants add cover charges, charges for bread that are normally included in the meal, etc.
Before you sit at a table at any restaurant ask if there are additional charges over and above the cost of food.
As for the hotel, you will have a very good experience with the staff. The breakfast food is terrible and by 9:30am the buffet is pretty much empty, but then again, since there are only tourists in old Rome, the food is overpriced and terrible everywhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Contemporary Hotel in traditional 5-story building situated in historic & commercial area of Rome, opposite Opera House. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Mondial
- Best Western Rome
- Rome Best Western