Europe, Italy, Lesbian Travel Guide, Queer Culture, Travel

Lesbian Pro Tips for Traveling Rome with Button and Bly’s Travel Show

Hey! I’m Button of Button and Bly’s Travel Show! Yup, that’s me down below! So maybe you are interested in traveling to Italy and want to Stay in Rome (Roma) for awhile. Good choice! It’s a beautiful city with more history than you can shake a stick at! But what are some good things to know before you get there? We’ve made a video of our time in Roma and written up some things we observed during our time in Rome that’ll help prepare you. Check them out below! (Listed in order of importance)

Coffee BARS

Yes. Coffee Bars. It’s a thing. And they are everywhere. Coffee is amazing in Italy and Italians take their coffee very seriously. So seriously that they have automatic espresso machines in the train stations and coffee bars every few storefronts. There were times where we stopped for a coffee 4 or 5 times in one outing. So how do you order like a pro? Walk up to the counter like a normal bar, order your drink and slam it down in a few sips(at the bar). Pay. Walk out. (I can’t actually remember if you are supposed to pay before you get your drink or not, so just look around at everyone else and copy.)

Wondering what to order and how much it should cost? Well I got a cappuccino. Every time. But check out this guide from eurocheapo if tradition isn’t really your thing.
Pro-Tip: If your coffee costs more than 1.5 euro, you are getting played like a fiddle.

Button and Bly Italy Rome Italy-10 Tips for beginner travelers in Rome- Lesbian Travel Guide- DopesOnTheRoad.com

Culture

Roman Style: The term “Paying Roman Style” at dinner refers to the way you split the check. If you are paying “Roman Style,” the check is split evenly and everyone pays the same amount. I assume this is because every one is sharing wine and it’s just easier. Next meal out with friends, I’ll suggest Roman Style. They’ll look at me weird, but that’s fine.
Romans really respect their city and its history. You would be very wise to do the same to avoid angry looks. Pick up your trash, be respectful in public places, especially at/in religious landmarks.
I heard from multiple young Romans that it’s truly hard to be impressed when they travel because they have so much history and culture in the place they grew up.
It’s fun to ask Italians about the Vatican. Chances are you’ll find someone who has been inside it or knows someone who has worked in there. Vatican City (or more correctly Vatican State) is more or less a walled off city within a city. It is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world, weighing in at around 110 acres and 900 people. Oh, and it’s governed by the Pope.
Button and Bly Italy Rome Italy-10 Tips for beginner travelers in Rome- Lesbian Travel Guide- DopesOnTheRoad.com

Travel Tips

-Careful of getting ripped off. Rome is a big tourist city so shop owners are used to being able to take advantage.
– Most Italians don’t really care to learn English. That’s fine. Either learn some Italian or ask around until someone can talk to you.
– We’ve heard complaints that many people didn’t love Rome because it was too touristy. To that I say- go in the winter when we did. It wasn’t bad at all. And as another plus, the plane tickets are cheaper during that time of year.
– This is a town where it really pays to know a local. Seriously. If your don’t know someone already, make friends and they’ll show you around to places you’d never find by yourself.
– Take a walk around the city at night. The monuments are lit up and it is definitely something you will remember.

Button and Bly Italy Rome Italy-10 Tips for beginner travelers in Rome- Lesbian Travel Guide- DopesOnTheRoad.com

Gay Stuff

– We did not come across too much of a gay scene, although we found two small bars next to the Coliseum. I would not say that the gay scene is thriving here. Pretty strange for a city that is covered in statues of muscley naked men… sculpted by gay men. It was our experience that being gay wasn’t so much a bad thing as an unrepresented thing. Maybe I’m wrong and there’s a thriving queer community, just underground. If that’s the case, someone please correct me in the comments.

Sites

-Seriously? It’s Rome. There are famous sites in literally every direction. To plan out your trip and must see spots, download Citymaps2go when you have internet. Then you can mark the places you want to see on your map. It even downloads wikipedia info so when you get to your destination you can read about it. Oh and did I mention it’s an offline app so you don’t have to use any data or anything once it’s downloaded. Hands down the most useful app we had walking around the city.
– Also, churches. Lots of churches.
At this point, I’m about out of things to say about Rome and you are probably getting pretty tired of reading. To sum it all up, I’d say Rome is a great city. Is it topping the list of GayDestinationsEurope? No. But unparalleled in history. And it’s an amazing destination that I think everyone should put on their list.

3 Comments

  • Reply Chiara at 12:34 pm

    It is unfortunate that you didn’t get to explore the city a little more than you did – I understand time constraints and all that, but the readers of your site will deduce (sp?) from your post that Rome, LGBTQI- wise, is a city that can be skipped. Actually it is historically and strongly linked to the civil rights battle for the LGBTQI citizens of Italy and this reflects also on the amount of clubs and bars in it – granted, there’s more for the boys out there and Italy as a whole is in a bad recession, which reflects on the number of hangouts that are surviving the economical storm. Bologna might seem more lively and tolerant, but Rome is not dormant at all!

    • Reply ButtonandBly TravelShow at 1:51 pm

      Hey Chiara,
      Thanks so much for your well thought out comment. While I did spend 3 weeks in Rome and the surrounding area, I would have enjoyed a longer time there. I learned quite a bit about Italy politically through conversation, but will admit that I was not actively seeking LGBTQI civil rights history. As a visitor and a traveler, I try to portray in our videos and articles the feeling that I experienced and the information that I learned while traveling. My aim is to show the location in the most authentic way possible as a traveler and what one can expect to experience when you visit a place. Though I was looking for it, I did not come across much of a queer community and so is reflected in the video and article. I hear you about the recession and I’m sure that’s a big reason (a few of the monthly events that I heard about had recently closed because of it) but the queer people I met also agreed that it’s hard to find places to go and meet others in the community. If you have any tips for queer travelers exploring the LGBTQI civil rights movement in Rome or Italy in general please let us knowww!!! I for one am very interested and am planning a trip back to Italy soon and would love more info on the topic.

      • Reply Chiara at 5:34 pm

        Hey! Thank *you* for taking the time to reply to my comment! I don’t want to bore you to tears with the history of the LGBTQI movement in Italy, but if you are indeed planning on coming back to Italy and don’t mind unsolicited advice, I think you would thoroughly enjoy Bologna. Like, a LOT. 🙂

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