Italy uses the euro currency (EUR). Chances are that it will still be its currency when WSDM will take place. The easiest way to obtain euros is from an ATM (called bancomat in italian).
Most restaurants accept VISA and MasterCard.
See how to reach us.
Rome is served by a metro, which has 2 lines, line A (red) and line B (blue), and can take you to several touristic areas. They meet at the main train station, Termini. The metro is open until 23.30 every day, except for Friday and Saturday night, when the last train leaves at 01.30. The stop closest to the conference venue is the stop Manzoni (Museo della Liberazione) of line A.
Here is a map of the metro.
The city center and the area of Trastevere (see below) are not accessible by metro (too many antiquities underground) but if you don't want to walk you can access them by buses. The most convenient one is #87, which stops next to the conference venue (stop: Merulana/Labicana) and you should take it until the stop Argentina. There are also other buses going to Argentina, which leave from the Termini station.
For after hours (roughly after midnight) there is a network of night buses (marked with the letter "N" in front). You take one of the many buses to go to the Termini station, and then either walk or take the bus N1 (unless the metro is still open) to stop next to the metro stop Manzoni. Get prepared to wait though, as the night buses are not very frequent.
You can find various pdf maps for all the buses at the transportation web site. The main ones are the:
There is a unique ticket for all transportation and costs 1.50 EUR. It is valid for 90 minutes from validation time but it cannot be used for more than one metro ride. Tickets can be bought by the machines at the metro stations, from tabaccherie (stores selling tabacco, marked with the letter "T" outside), and from some bars (which in Italy are the coffee shops). Also some buses are equipped with machines selling them (exact change required), and the latter still have to be validated.
There are also longer term tickets: Daily (6 EUR), 3-day pass (16.5 EUR), and weekly (24 EUR), which can be bought from the machines at the metro stations.
Taxis are also available from several points in the city. The most central ones are the following.
You can also try to stop them at the street, but they are not very frequent. Make sure that the driver turns on the meter. Note that taxis are rather expensive at Rome, expect to pay about 15-20 EUR if returning home at night from the city center or Trastevere.
Rome is generally a safe city, and it is safe to walk around the conference area or the city center. Of course you should be more cautious if you walk late and you are alone, although even then it is safer than many other large cities.
However, you have to be very careful about pickpockets, as Rome is (rightly) notorious for petty theft. Be very careful of your belongings at all times and especially when visiting touristic areas and when traveling on the metro or the bus (#64 is infamous). Be alert if someone (no matter how old, elegant, etc. he/she looks) talks to you or distracts you (bumping into you accidentally, spilling something, etc.), as often the accomplish will perform the theft. Have your bag/purse in view in front of you, and prefer to have your wallet in your front pocket and covered with your hand.
If you want to do some sightseeing in Rome, get ready to walk a lot. You can find plenty of information online. We recommend to walk around the neighborhoods we show below. Some more ideas for sightseeing are the following, which are only a small sample of what you can see in Rome:
View Sightseeing and neighborhoods in Rome in a larger map
Rome is beatiful for strolling at the streets. Some of the main areas are the
Night strolling, restaurants, and pubs
The following two areas are mostly frequented by students and tend to get busy rather late (after 11pm).
We are in Rome and we take food very seriously. Our main recommendation is to follow the well known saying: "When in Rome do as the Romans do." Have dinner at a trattoria, and walk around eating a gelato. In this experimental paper you can find a lot of information to guide your search in the many neighborhoods in Rome. Except for the classic Italian dishes (spaghetti alla carbonara, bucatini all'amatriciana, etc.) you should try also some of the Roman cuisine (cucina romana).
Given that this is also a data mining conference, we suggest 2-3 quick features that allow you to avoid sure tourist traps:
In addition to the suggestions in the paper, there are some more good restaurants around the conference area:
View Restaurants and stores close to WSDM in a larger map
Despite the time of the year, you can enjoy a gelato:
Coffee shops (called bar in Italy) are available in every square. Italians usually drink coffee on foot at the bar. They have a huge number of ways of having their coffee, but the main types of coffee are:
Note: It is forbidden to have cappuccino after lunch. At most, you can ask for a café macchiato.
If you want to go for a drink, check the neighborhoods above. Generally bars and pubs close at 2am. If you just want a beer close to the conference venue we recommend:
In the map of the restaurants above, we have also marked three nearby grocery stores and two pharmacies.
Tipping is generally not required. Usually you will leave a couple of euros at dinner for small parties, more (5-10 EUR) for larger groups of people. For taxi you can round up the change.