Best Public Restrooms in Rome
I once spent two weeks wandering the streets of Rome with a friend and her six-month-old baby. We walked and talked and drank espresso, which meant one thing: frequent bathroom breaks. Clean, easy to find bathrooms aren't easy to come by in this ancient city, but here is a list of the best restrooms we found in Rome.
1. The Vatican, right outside St. Peter's Basilica
By far the best restroom in Rome, in my opinion. For one, it is enormous. You walk in and there's actually a foyer with an attendant there to greet you. Similar to the journey to see the ancient tombs, bathroom visitors are then ushered down a staircase to the stalls. Each stall is separated by floor-to-ceiling walls, creating a sense of privacy. But, most important for families, there is also a baby-changing table tucked away in a quiet corner, away from the toilets.
2. Musei Capitolini on Piazza del Campidoglio
If you're looking for a quiet bathroom, with elevator access, full-length mirrors and that five-star hotel feeling, this is the place. And while you're there, check out the collection. It dates back to the 1400s, with most of the items on display coming from the city itself. And, for anyone who's short on Euros, there's an ATM just outside the restrooms.
3. Galleria Borghese in the Gardens at Villa Borghese
The Gardens at the Villa Borghese offer much to see and do -- from losing yourself in the secret gardens to having a picnic by the lake or renting a bike and taking it for a leisurely ride. As for the restrooms, head to the south end of the park and just off Piazzale Scipione Borghese is the Galleria, which was built in 1613 and houses some of the greatest work by the sculptor Bernini. If you'd like to see the gallery displays it's a good idea to make your reservations in advance as the building is small and the number of people allowed in at once is kept to a limit. But no reservation is needed to use the restroom. It's on the bottom floor in the same area where you buy and pick up your tickets, check your coats and get a bite to eat. The facilities are clean and, like the restroom at the Vatican, there's an attendant there to assist.
4. Rome's Termini Station on Piazzale dei Cinquecento
Who doesn't need the bathroom before making a trip -- or right after getting off a train? That's why the restrooms at this train station are just right. You will find them on the lower level, beneath the pizza joint. You do have to pay a small fee to use them - about 50 cents - but it's worth it and coins can be received from a change machine in the hall. The glass doors you move through once you deposit your fee move pretty quickly, so you should too. Once inside, there's usually no wait and the bathroom is clean.
Restaurants are always a good choice for restrooms in Rome-- even when you don't realize you need one until after you've left. We had eaten at La Taverna del Ghetto on Via del Portico d'Ottavioa in the Jewish Ghetto district. But it wasn't until later that we realized we needed to use a restroom. It was late and the synagogue was closed, so we went back to La Taverna, and I simply asked to use the bathroom (in Italian, of course). El bagno was clean and private. I will admit that it took me a good five minutes to figure out how to turn the sink on. There were no knobs -- just a faucet. Then I discovered a pedal under the sink and that did the job.
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