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Tom's Rome Tips

PACKING LIGHTLY - Spending more time on organising your suitcase can help you to realise that the first time you pack, you have probably taken too much. When you have selected the clothes that you think you would like to take, lay them out on the bed, and try to cut this amount down by half.

PACK SMARTLY - As opposed to folding your clothes when you, pack, roll them. When you arrive at your hotel, hang your clothes upright in the bathroom, the steam shold make the creases fall out.

TAXI -It 's always a pain after a flight, when you have to stand for what seems like an eternity in a queue waiting for a taxi. It's likely that the rest of the people from your flight, and many other flights, also are waiting in the same queue, so instead, go to the departure area set-down to get your taxi instead, and get on one in which has just dropped somebody off

TRAFFIC - Traffic in Rome is notoriously bad. Because of this, you should be abnormally vigilant when crossing roads. Pedestrian crossings are mostly invisible to drivers. Tom B.,

WATER - Nearly every street in Rome is equipped with its own drinking fountain. For this reason it is unnecessary to buy mineral water. The best thing to do is to use an empty bottle and refill it when needed. Tom B.,

EATING OUT - - One tip I think is worthwhile knowing is that when in restaurants, sometimes you are expected to pay at the cashier's desk before consuming. Check out what you want, and then pay. After that take your receipt and head to the bar, placing a small denomination coin on your receipt will get the bartender's attention. If you would prefer to sit down and take your coffee, it will cost you at least double, in my experience. Doing this, you do not need to pay first. Just sit down and the waiter will eventually come over to take your order. Liam S., Darlington

CHURCHES - Some of the greatest and prettiest churches in Rome have the plainest front facades that almost divert attention away to the better-known attractions in town. Do not be fooled by outward appearance! If you see a church door open anywhere, at least poke your head inside. You might be surprised and you might not, but a quick survey only requires an instant. Liam S., Darlington

WANDERING - - I suggest that when in Rome, you go on as many wanders as possible, get lost and find your way back! One of the wilder walks I took while in Rome was from the Baths of Caracalla to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian on what is more commonly known as the Appian Way or Via Appia Antica. Much of the road where I walked, especially around the catacombs, was flanked by impressive ancient monuments. Liam S., Darlington

CONVENIENCES - It's not really that easy to find that many public toilets in Rome. One way to get around this is to go a cafe and buy anything so that you have an excuse to use their toilet. Two suggestions: Bring toilet paper with you as you may not find any in the stall. If you're near to the Piazza di Spagna, go to the McDonads nearby (It's got free toilets). John R., Rugby

TAXI's - At Rome's Termini station, if you want to get a cab, make sure you go to the place where the real cabs are. My brother and I got into a cab that wasn't, because we were desperate. The guy didn't know where he was going, and we were charged 25 euros to go about 1/2 a mile. Make sure you get the right cab.

FAKE GOODS - Despite the fact that street sellers sunglasses and hand bags seem either authentic or good quality, chances are, within a month of buying them, they will rip or break, don't bother with them.