APPENDIX - Abraham Lincoln - James M. McPherson

Rick Steves Rome 2016 - Rick Steves, Gene Openshaw (2015)


Useful Contacts

Emergency Needs

English-Speaking Police Help: 113

Ambulance: 118

Road Service: 116


US Embassy: 24-hour emergency line—tel. 06-46741, non-emergency—tel. 06-4674-2420 (by appointment only, Via Vittorio Veneto 121,

Canadian Embassy: Tel. 06-854-442-911 (Via Zara 30,

Directory Assistance

Telephone Help (in English; free directory assistance): 170

Directory Assistance (for €0.50, an Italian-speaking robot gives the number twice, very clearly): 12

Holidays and Festivals

In Italy, holidays seem to strike without warning. For instance, every town has a festival honoring its patron saint. The Vatican Museums close for a multitude of Catholic holidays; check the schedule at

This list for 2016 includes selected festivals in Rome, plus national holidays observed throughout Italy. Many sights and banks close on national holidays—keep this in mind when planning your itinerary. Before planning a trip around a festival, verify its dates by checking the festival’s website or TI sites ( and

In Rome, hotels get booked up on Easter weekend (from Good Friday through Monday), April 25 (Liberation Day), May 1 (Labor Day), June 29 (Sts. Peter and Paul), November 1 (All Saints’ Day), and on Fridays and Saturdays year-round. Some hotels require you to book the full three-day weekend around a holiday.

Jan 1

New Year’s Day

Jan 6


March 22

Rome Marathon (

March 27

Easter Sunday

March 28

Easter Monday

April 21

City Birthday

April 25

Italian Liberation Day

May 1

Labor Day

May 26

Feast Day of Corpus Christi

June 2

Anniversary of the Republic

June 24

St. John the Baptist Day

June 29

Sts. Peter and Paul Day


Trastevere’s Noantri Festival

Aug 10

St. Lawrence’s Day

Aug 15

Feast of the Assumption (Ferragosto)

Nov 1

All Saints’ Day

Dec 8

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Dec 25


Dec 26

St. Stephen’s Day

Recommended Books and Films

To learn more about Italy past and present, and specifically Rome, check out a few of these books and films. For kids’ recommendations, see here.


Absolute Monarchs (John Julius Norwich, 2011). This warts-and-all illustrated guide to the most significant popes in history is a readable best seller.

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Simon Baker, 2007). Baker chronicles the rise and demise of the great Roman Empire and its powerful leaders.

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction (David Macaulay, 1974). Macaulay’s illustrated book about the Eternal City will please both kids and adults.

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome (Alberto Angela, 2007). Travel back to the world of gladiators and grand banquets in this 24-hour journey through the ancient city.

Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert, 2006). Gilbert undertakes a stirring journey of self-discovery through Italy, India, and Indonesia (also a 2010 movie with Julia Roberts).

A Literary Companion to Rome (John Varriano, 1992). In these 10 self-guided walking tours, Roman sites associated with Ibsen, Dickens, Woolf, Wilde, and other great writers are explained in detail.

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (Ross King, 2003). The story behind the Sistine Chapel includes Michelangelo’s technical difficulties, personality conflicts, and money troubles.

The Pope’s Elephant (Silvio A. Bedini, 1997). Pope Leo X’s favorite pet was an albino elephant named Hanno, and his story is also an account of the end of Rome’s Golden Age.

Rome and a Villa (Eleanor Clark, 1952). This masterful collection of vignettes by the wife of Robert Penn Warren touches such diverse topics as Rome’s Protestant Cemetery and Hadrian’s Villa.

Saints & Sinners (Eamon Duffy, 1997). Everything you always wanted to know about the popes, but were afraid to ask.

The Seasons of Rome (Paul Hofmann, 1997). A former New York Times bureau chief reveals the eccentricities of Rome often overlooked by tourists.

The Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City (Corrado Augias, 2005). Augias takes readers back through 27 centuries of Roman history, secrets, and conspiracies.

When in Rome (Robert Hutchinson, 1998). A lapsed (sometimes irreverent) Catholic discovers the roots of Christianity in Vatican City.


The Agony and the Ecstasy (Irving Stone, 1958). Stone fictionalizes Michelangelo’s struggle to paint the Sistine Chapel (also a 1965 movie starring Charlton Heston).

Angels & Demons (Dan Brown, 2000). The Da Vinci Code author’s page-turner about a secret society and a time bomb in the Vatican (also a 2009 movie starring Tom Hanks).

Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (Amara Lakhous, 2006). The multicultural community of a Roman apartment building confronts the death of one of its members.

The Decameron (Giovanni Boccaccio, 1348). Boccaccio’s collection of 100 hilarious, often bawdy tales is a masterpiece of Italian literature and inspired Chaucer, Keats, and Shakespeare.

The First Man in Rome (Colleen McCullough, 1990). The author of The Thorn Birds describes the early days of the Roman Republic, in the first of a best-selling series of historical fiction.

I, Claudius (Robert Graves, 1934). This brilliant history of ancient Rome is told by Claudius, the family’s laughingstock who becomes emperor himself. The sequel is Claudius the God (1935).

Italian Journey (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1786). In his 18th-century collection of writings, Goethe describes his travels to Rome, Sicily, and Naples.

Lucrezia Borgia (Maria Bellonci, 1939). In this historically based tale of court intrigue, a daughter of Pope Alexander VI navigates passions, plots, and controversy in Renaissance Rome.

Pompeii (Robert Harris, 2003). The engineer responsible for Pompeii’s aqueducts has a bad feeling about Mount Vesuvius in this historical novel.

The Roman Spring of Ms. Stone (Tennessee Williams, 1950). A wealthy American widow and former stage actress haunts the Eternal City in the years after WWII, seeking purpose amid its grandeur.

A Soldier of the Great War (Mark Helprin, 1991). A young Roman lawyer falls in love with an art student, but World War I rips them apart.

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana (Carlo Emilio Gadda, 1957). This detective story about a murder and a burglary in an apartment building in central Rome shines a harsh light on fascist Italy.

The Woman of Rome (Alberto Moravia, 1949). This classic tale of obsession and betrayal set against the backdrop of Mussolini’s fascist regime follows a young model who attracts destructive passions.

Film and TV

Ben-Hur (1959). At the height of the Roman Empire, a Jewish prince is enslaved by a friend, and later seeks revenge in a stunning chariot race (the film won a record 11 Oscars).

Bicycle Thieves (1948). A poor man looks for his stolen bicycle in busy Rome in this inspirational classic of Italian Neorealism.

Caterina in the Big City (2003). A teenager whose family moves to Rome from a small town is the focus of this bitter comedy about the crisis of contemporary Italian society.

La Dolce Vita (1961). Director Federico Fellini tells a series of stories that capture the hedonistic days of early 1960s Rome.

Gladiator (2000). An enslaved Roman general (Russell Crowe) fights his way back to freedom in Ridley Scott’s Oscar winner.

The Great Beauty (2013). This thoughtful movie, named best foreign film at the 2014 Academy Awards, showcases Rome in all of its decadence and splendor.

Massacre in Rome (1973). Richard Burton and Marcello Mastroianni star in this historical drama, which recounts one of the bloodiest events during the Nazi occupation of Rome.

Mid-August Lunch (2008). A broke Roman bachelor gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to take care of an elderly lady during a summer holiday to pay off a debt.

Quo Vadis (1951). A Roman general falls in love with a Christian hostage in this epic that includes the burning of Rome, the crucifixion of St. Peter, and the madness of Nero.

Rome, Open City (1945). Roberto Rossellini’s war drama is set in the Eternal City during the WWII Nazi occupation.

Roman Holiday (1953). Audrey Hepburn plays a princess who escapes her royal minders, falls for an American newspaperman (Gregory Peck), and discovers Rome on the back of his scooter.

Spartacus (1960). In this epic directed by Stanley Kubrick a gladiator (Kirk Douglas) leads a slave revolt in the last days of the Roman Republic.

A Special Day (1977). On the day of Hitler’s visit to Rome, the wife (Sophia Loren) of a militant fascist has a fateful meeting with a persecuted journalist (Marcello Mastroianni).

Conversions and Climate


✵ Europeans write a few of their numbers differently than we do. 1 = Image, 4 = Image, 7 = Image.

✵ In Europe, dates appear as day/month/year, so Christmas 2016 is 25/12/16.

✵ Commas are decimal points and decimals are commas. A dollar and a half is $1,50, one thousand is 1.000, and there are 5.280 feet in a mile.

✵ When counting with fingers, start with your thumb. If you hold up your first finger to request one item, you’ll probably get two.

✵ What Americans call the second floor of a building is the first floor in Europe.

✵ On escalators and moving sidewalks, Europeans keep the left “lane” open for passing. Keep to the right.


A kilogram is 2.2 pounds, and one liter is about a quart, or almost four to a gallon. A kilometer is six-tenths of a mile. I figure kilometers to miles by cutting them in half and adding back 10 percent of the original (120 km: 60 + 12=72 miles, 300 km: 150 + 30=180 miles).

1 foot = 0.3 meter

1 square yard = 0.8 square meter

1 yard = 0.9 meter

1 square mile = 2.6 square kilometers

1 mile = 1.6 kilometers

1 ounce = 28 grams

1 centimeter = 0.4 inch

1 quart = 0.95 liter

1 meter = 39.4 inches

1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds

1 kilometer = 0.62 mile

32°F = 0°C


In the US, you’ll see Roman numerals—which originated in ancient Rome—used for copyright dates, clocks, and the Super Bowl. In Italy, you’re likely to observe these numbers chiseled on statues and buildings. If you want to do some numeric detective work, here’s how: In Roman numerals, as in ours, the highest numbers (thousands, hundreds) come first, followed by smaller numbers. Many numbers are made by combining numerals into sets: V=5, so VIII=8 (5 plus 3). Roman numerals follow a subtraction principle for multiples of fours (4, 40, 400, etc.) and nines (9, 90, 900, etc.). The number four, for example, is written as IV (1 subtracted from 5), rather than IIII. The number nine is IX (1 subtracted from 10).

Rick Steves Rome 2016 would translate as Rick Steves Rome MMXVI. Big numbers such as dates can look daunting at first. The easiest way to handle them is to read the numbers in discrete chunks. For example, Michelangelo was born in MCDLXXV. Break it down: M (1,000) + CD (100 subtracted from 500, or 400) + LXX (50 + 10 + 10, or 70) + V (5)=1475. It was a very good year.

M = 1000

XL = 40

CM = 900

X = 10

D = 500

IX = 9

CD = 400

V = 5

C = 100

IV = 4

XC = 90

I = duh

L = 50


First line—average daily high; second line—average daily low; third line—average days without rain. For more detailed weather statistics for Rome (as well as the rest of the world), check




Europe takes its temperature using the Celsius scale, while we opt for Fahrenheit. For a rough conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit, double the number and add 30. For weather, remember that 28°C is 82°F—perfect. For health, 37°C is just right. At a launderette, 30°C is cold, 40°C is warm (usually the default setting), 60°C is hot, and 95°C is boiling.


When shopping for clothing, use these US-to-European comparisons as general guidelines (but note that no conversion is perfect).

✵ Women’s dresses and blouses: Add 30

(US size 10 = European size 40)

✵ Men’s suits and jackets: Add 10

(US size 40 regular = European size 50)

✵ Men’s shirts: Multiply by 2 and add about 8

(US size 15 collar = European size 38)

✵ Women’s shoes: Add about 30

(US size 8 = European size 38-39)

✵ Men’s shoes: Add 32-34

(US size 9 = European size 41; US size 11 = European size 45)

Packing Checklist

Whether you’re traveling for five days or five weeks, you won’t need more than this. Pack light to enjoy the sweet freedom of true mobility.


Image 5 shirts: long- & short-sleeve

Image 2 pairs pants or skirt

Image 1 pair shorts or capris

Image 5 pairs underwear & socks

Image 1 pair walking shoes

Image Sweater or fleece top

Image Rainproof jacket with hood

Image Tie or scarf

Image Swimsuit

Image Sleepwear


Image Debit card

Image Credit card(s)

Image Hard cash ($20 bills)

Image Money belt or neck wallet

Documents & Travel Info

Image Passport

Image Airline reservations

Image Rail pass/train reservations

Image Car-rental voucher

Image Driver’s license

Image Student ID, hostel card, etc.

Image Photocopies of all the above

Image Hotel confirmations

Image Insurance details

Image Guidebooks & maps

Image Notepad & pen

Image Journal

Toiletries Kit

Image Toiletries

Image Medicines & vitamins

Image First-aid kit

Image Glasses/contacts/sunglasses (with prescriptions)

Image Earplugs

Image Packet of tissues (for WC)


Image Daypack

Image Sealable plastic baggies

Image Laundry soap

Image Spot remover

Image Clothesline

Image Sewing kit

Image Travel alarm/watch


Image Smartphone or mobile phone

Image Camera & related gear

Image Tablet/ereader/media player

Image Laptop & flash drive

Image Earbuds or headphones

Image Chargers

Image Plug adapters

Optional Extras

Image Flipflops or slippers

Image Mini-umbrella or poncho

Image Travel hairdryer

Image Belt

Image Hat (for sun or cold)

Image Picnic supplies

Image Water bottle

Image Fold-up tote bag

Image Small flashlight

Image Small binoculars

Image Insect repellent

Image Small towel or washcloth

Image Inflatable pillow

Image Some duct tape (for repairs)

Image Tiny lock

Image Address list (to mail postcards)

Image Postcards/photos from home

Image Extra passport photos

Image Good book

Italian Survival Phrases




Good day.

Buon giorno.

bwohn jor-noh

Do you speak English?

Parla inglese?

par-lah een-gleh-zay

Yes. / No.

Si. / No.

see / noh

I (don’t) understand.

(Non) capisco.

(nohn) kah-pees-koh


Per favore.

pehr fah-voh-ray

Thank you.



You’re welcome.



I’m sorry.

Mi dispiace.

mee dee-spee-ah-chay

Excuse me.

Mi scusi.

mee skoo-zee

(No) problem.

(Non) c’è un roblema.

(nohn) cheh oon proh-bleh-mah


Va bene.

vah beh-nay




one / two

uno / due

oo-noh / doo-ay

three / four

tre / quattro

tray / kwah-troh

five / six

cinque / sei

cheeng-kway / seh-ee

seven / eight

sette / otto

seh-tay / oh-toh

nine / ten

nove / dieci

noh-vay / dee-ay-chee

How much is it?

Quanto costa?

kwahn-toh koh-stah

Write it?

Me lo scrive?

may loh skree-vay

Is it free?

È gratis?

eh grah-tees

Is it included?

È incluso?

eh een-kloo-zoh

Where can I buy / find...?

Dove posso comprare / trovare...?

doh-vay poh-soh kohm-prah-ray / troh-vah-ray

I’d like / We’d like...

Vorrei / Vorremmo...

voh-reh-ee / voh-reh-moh

...a room.

...una camera.

oo-nah kah-meh-rah

...a ticket to ____.

...un biglietto per ____.

oon beel-yeh-toh pehr ____

Is it possible?

È possibile?

eh poh-see-bee-lay

Where is...?



...the train station stazione

lah staht-see-oh-nay

...the bus station stazione degli autobus

lah staht-see-oh-nay dehl-yee ow-toh-boos

...tourist information

...informazioni per turisti

een-for-maht-see-oh-nee pehr too-ree-stee

...the toilet toilette

lah twah-leh-tay


uomini / signori

woh-mee-nee / seen-yoh-ree


donne / signore

doh-nay / seen-yoh-ray

left / right

sinistra / destra

see-nee-strah / deh-strah


sempre dritto

sehm-pray dree-toh

What time does this open / close?

A che ora apre / chiude?

ah kay oh-rah ah-pray / kee-oo-day

At what time?

A che ora?

ah kay oh-rah

Just a moment.

Un momento.

oon moh-mehn-toh

now / soon / later

adesso / presto / tardi

ah-deh-soh / preh-stoh / tar-dee

today / tomorrow

oggi / domani

oh-jee / doh-mah-nee

In an Italian-speaking Restaurant




I’d like...



We’d like...


vor-ray-moh reserve...



...a table for one / two.

...un tavolo per uno / due.

oon tah-voh-loh pehr oo-noh / doo-ay


Non fumare.

nohn foo-mah-ray

Is this seat free?

È libero questo posto?

eh lee-bay-roh kwehs-toh poh-stoh

The menu (in English), please.

Il menù (in inglese), per favore.

eel may-noo (een een-glay-zay) pehr fah-voh-ray

service (not) included

servizio (non) incluso

sehr-veet-seeoh (nohn) een-kloo-zoh

cover charge

pane e coperto

pah-nay ay koh-pehr-toh

to go

da portar via

dah por-tar vee-ah

with / without

con / senza

kohn / sehn-sah

and / or

e / o

ay / oh

menu (of the day)

menù (del giorno)

may-noo (dayl jor-noh)

specialty of the house

specialità della casa

spay-chah-lee-tah dehl-lah kah-zah

first course (pasta, soup)

primo piatto

pree-moh peeah-toh

main course (meat, fish)

secondo piatto

say-kohn-doh peeah-toh

side dishes













minestra, zuppa

mee-nehs-trah, tsoo-pah














frutti di mare

froo-tee dee mah-ray

fruit / vegetables

frutta / legumi

froo-tah / lay-goo-mee




tap water

acqua del rubinetto

ah-kwah dayl roo-bee-nay-toh

mineral water

acqua minerale

ah-kwah mee-nay-rah-lay




(orange) juice

succo (d’arancia)

soo-koh (dah-rahn-chah)

coffee / tea

caffè / tè

kah-feh / teh




red / white

rosso / bianco

roh-soh / beeahn-koh

glass / bottle

bicchiere / bottiglia

bee-keeay-ray / boh-teel-yah





Cin cin!

cheen cheen

More. / Another.

Ancora un po.’ / Un altro.

ahn-koh-rah oon poh / oon ahl-troh

The same.

Lo stesso.

loh stehs-soh

The bill, please.

Il conto, per favore.

eel kohn-toh pehr fah-voh-ray







For more user-friendly Italian phrases, check out Rick Steves’ Italian Phrase Book & Dictionary or Rick Steves’ French, Italian, and German Phrase Book.