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Tips on Avoiding Rome Tourist Traps

Rome Tourist Traps

Even in a city as enchanting as Rome, Italy there are tourist traps that you need to be aware of, and some to avoid. Here’s the scoop:

Don’t Pose with Gladiators!

Don’t think you’re getting a freebie if you’re approached by ‘Roman Centurions’ or ‘Gladiators’ while in the vicinity of great Roman attractions. These disguised charlatans dress up and ask you to pose for pictures or take selfies with them, but beware!  They are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts; they want money, and will sometimes forcefully demand money for each photograph, sometimes 5 euros per shot! Keep an eye out at the Colosseum, The Forum, Pantheon, and other hot spots.

Avoid Getting Ripped Off by Taxi drivers

Many tourists complain of taxi driver rip offs and rudeness. Some sense meters have been tampered with, others know they’ve being taken ‘the long way’ around. Heed this advice and it won’t happen to you:

  •  Be sure to only take cabs that are city-authorized. These cabs each have a “SPQR” city coat of arms on them, and a “TAXI” sign on the top.
  • Radio Taxi companies have clearly-marked phone numbers on the doors, so you know they’re legitimate. These belong to a radio cooperative and thus are honest. Plus, you have some recourse should you experience problems.
  • Write down the name and license number of the driver or cooperative. You’ll find this on a card on the inside back door.
  • Have a sense of where you are going; consult maps.
  • Yell! Threaten to call the carabinieri, number 112.
  • Never get into a car without a meter.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps in Rome.

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