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Watching your wallet in Rome – figuratively and literally

No visit to Rome should be a litany of admission-charging sights or expensive restaurants, especially in the age of the weak dollar. Besides a few key museums, most of Rome’s greatest assets are available for free (or pocket change) to anyone with the energy to take them in. And don’t feel you have to make every meal a sit-down affair. At lunch, grab a sandwich and a can of Fanta ($6 total) from the nearest alimentari (deli). For dinner one night, try a pizzeria, where you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than about $15 per person. As for literally watching your wallet, gypsies and pickpockets are an unfortunate reality in many European cities, including Rome. All it takes is one moment of inattention for your credit cards, cash, passport, and camera to disappear. The best defense is keeping an eye or hand on your valuables at all times, especially on public transportation or in crowded tourist areas.

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