Why a page about how to use Romewise? I don't know about you, but I suffer just a bit from "information overload."
There is so much (excellent) information out there about Rome, in books, magazines, from our friends, colleagues and family, and of course, in every nook and cranny of the internet. It's a little over-whelming isn't it?
This page is about how to use this website to make the most out of your visit to Rome including:
In case you haven't guessed, Romewise is an informational travel guide for visitors to Rome. I hope to make this website the one place you turn for help with your trip, and hope you find it easy to navigate and to find what you are looking for.
My name is Elyssa, and I publish the site. Romewise is based on my knowledge of Rome from a visitor's viewpoint, but also as someone with truly the inside scoop, since I live here.
I was a tourist in Rome a few times in my college backpacking days. And since 2001, I've lived in Rome, running a tourist-based business (a B&B), with my husband, who was born and raised here.
I work hard to make the site about what I think, what I KNOW, is interesting for you as a visitor - neat facts about specific monuments or historical figures, descriptions of Roman foods and customs, practical things you need to know like when things are open and how much they cost, and most of all, my own suggestions to make your visit here go smoothly.
For now, the site is mostly about how to visit Rome, what to do, practical matters like how to get around, how to avoid getting ripped off, how to avoid the lines, and especially, about places to eat.
These are the things people have asked me the most about, especially if they were staying at our B&B!
I also offer a lot of tips and things that pull it together for you, like how to escape the crowds in Rome, where to buy that thing you are looking for, what to do on a rainy day in Rome, some photography tips and much more!
I've so far not spent much time reviewing hotels, because so many people simply use TripAdvisor these days, or word of mouth. I will, however, be doing much more in this area pretty soon. So stay tuned!
The main menu at the top is divided into three sections:
I also have some specific menus for things I know people are the most interested in: skipping the line at the Colosseum, skipping the line at the Vatican, and all about the Roma Pass. Each of those menu headers will take you right to a page I've published about that.
The other menu, Elyssa's Top Ten for Rome will take you to a page that lists all my "listicles" as they are called. Like "Top Ten Must-Sees in the Vatican Museums." This is more of a fun page. Listicles are popular among bloggers because they catch your eye, and you know it's not too much info, so you tend to at least skim it to the end. Over the years, I've been making these listicles about things to see, do and eat in Rome. I am working on new ones all the time so keep checking back if you are interested!
As I said above, I think I know what most people want to know when they are either planning to visit Rome or are already in Rome.
But in case I didn't make it easy to find in the main menus at the top of each page, you can click the top right column of any page and type in what you are looking for in the search box, which is powered by Google. You can also visit my search page here.
You will see some results from Google that are NOT on Romewise. Hey that's Google, it's what they do. But just below that you will find every page on Romewise that contains your search word.
All the writing on this site is my own, unless noted and quoted. Much of the advice I give is just what I think: My opinions, ideas, suggestions.
The site also contains a lot of facts and historical data, such as on my page about the pantheon. I do a LOT of research, including reading online resources and books, talking to experts (chefs, licensed tour guides, professors, archeologists etc), and taking online university courses.
The tourist information on these pages comes in part from practical research (opening times, contact details), but mainly from having helped thousands of visitors get the most out of their stay in Rome.
This includes our B&B guests but also visiting friends and family.
When you live in Rome, a steady stream of friends and family come visit you (not a big surprise!) So I eat out with them and take them around. A lot.
You know how many times I have been to the Vatican Museums? I don't know how many. I sometimes just pop over there because I can. (Sorry, I am not boasting, just explaining why I have the experience that allows me to write with authority. Yes, I know I am lucky!)
My husband is from Rome and loves to discover with me some of the amazing things to see in Rome. We often go visit unusual things together, like the paleochristian basilica under Porta Maggiore, or the houses of Augustus and Livia.
And, with my husband, and Rome friends (expats and natives alike), and fellow Rome writers, I often go to new exhibits, or new sites that just open or have added a new feature, or new places to eat and drink.
And frankly, we often revisit some of the places we love, be it a place to eat or a touristic site.
So, as you can see, my writing about how to do things in Rome is based on years of practical experience and knowhow. And it's ongoing.
Want to know more? Visit this page About Romewise and About me.
I am the sole researcher, writer and publisher of everything on this site and all my social media, and newsletters. I do my very best to keep things accurate and up to date.
Sometimes, however, things change and I don't realize it. For example, the cost of a ticket to a church underground might go up. Or, a restaurant may have new hours, or even close down. Sometimes readers bring this to my attention and sometimes I find out on my own. Then I correct it on the site.
The bottom line is you should use the ideas on this site to help you plan your trip, but you may want to double check with the place in question for hours and exact costs.
If there is anything you spot on my site that may be inaccurate, I welcome being corrected.
Romewise is not a blog per se. I think when people think "blog", they are looking for a personal account of something like daily life in Rome. The website is not really going to give you this.
The scope of the site is to be a one-stop informational guide to help you get the most out of your stay in Rome.
However, since I do live in Rome and go around so much, and since I do need to be on social media as part of publishing this website, I have inadvertently created some Romewise blogs in those environments.
When I was establishing my various accounts across social media, and began publishing there, the content started to divide itself up naturally. So if you want something more like a blog, published by me/Romewise, you may want to follow me on these social channels:
On Facebook, I publish a lot of blog-type entries. There I often publish a grouping of photos of a place I visited that week, or someplace I ate. This info is often not (yet) on the site.
I also do a lot of impromptu live video. Sometimes the video is a little snippet of information, like why the Colosseum has holes in it. Other times it's just to show you something like a cool running water fountain on a hot summer day, or how empty Piazza Navona can be if you know when to go. Here's a little sample:
On Instagram, I publish one photo a day. The photos are always my own. Mostly the photos are of beautiful things I see in Rome, big and small. Once in a while they are of food, or a place outside of Rome.
I also publish Instagram stories, which is another format of "blogging", since you can only publish photos you took within the last 24 hours.
On Twitter, some of my tweets are in English and some are in Italian.
I have managed to become involved in a group of Italian speaking people who all love posting beautiful photos of Rome and Italy.
My tweets are either about a new page I just published, some interesting Rome news I find out, and often, just lots of beautiful photos of Rome. Here you will find things I don't have elsewhere, simply because of this extra connection to Italian speaking Twitterers (Tweeters?)
On Pinterest, I've started making boards of some of the same topics you will find on this site. And of course I collect pins from other sites too. I have lots of photos of the pantheon, but I love getting photos from others so you get an even more complete collection.
I am on GooglePlus (G+) but don't publish there as often. Are you on Google Plus? Do you want to see more Romewise stuff there? Would love to hear from you!
In the Romewise newsletter, which I currently publish once a month, I send any current news topic/tidbit, such as when they were finally done cleaning the Trevi Fountain.
Every newsletter contains two things not (yet) on the site:
A special thing to do in Rome - where I show you photos, and explain how to see it. For example, a church in Trastevere that just re-opened, and its hidden cloister.
Restaurant of the month - I pick a restaurant that's on my mind, someplace I recently tried and want to share with you, or a place I think you might like because it's special for one reason or another. These range from Roman trattorias, to upscale restaurants, to pizza by the slice to ethnic food to gelato!
So as you can see, if you want Rome blog stuff, you can follow me on social media, and subscribe to my newsletter.
I will also be publishing a page soon, where I recommend lots of great Rome and Italy blogs I know and follow myself!
Did you know that all the information on this site is free for you to use? Yep! I also answer questions via email and through social media, for free. I am happy to help!
How is that possible, you might ask. You may have noticed that on most of the pages on this site, I have what are called affiliate links. That means that if you click that link and buy something, I make a small commission, at no cost to you. In other words, the company getting the sale compensates me for having brought you to them as a buyer/customer.
I am very discerning as to what links I place on my site, and only work with companies whose products I know, approve of and/or have used. For example, when I suggest you pack certain things, like a hat with sun-screen, I actually use that, or one like it. I'm not looking to sell you something for the sake of it, but rather, because I think it will be useful for your trip. And if I earn a bit of money from that sale, well, I hope you will agree and understand that making money from all the work I put into this site is ok.
So if you are happy with the site, and want to "pay it forward", I appreciate your buying stuff here, like Roma Pass, Vatican tours, travel gear, etc.
Other than all the information I provide on this site, I am also available to help arrange your trip, special tours, and more. Please contact me for details about these services.
Are you interested in having me sell or promote your products or services on Romewise? Come on over to this page, dedicated to this topic.