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Rome

Holiday Ideas & Foreign Travel
cavebat
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Rome

#175429

Postby cavebat » October 21st, 2018, 11:13 pm

Thinking about a trip to Rome next year, assuming we can get a reasonable flight from Bristol, probably early May or sometime in October

Looking for recommendations on where to stay and how long to allow for a reasonable time there, is a week too long? We're not RC so don't need to spend huge amounts of time at the Vatican, but would like to see the normal touristy bits there.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Rome

#175481

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 22nd, 2018, 11:52 am

There's plenty to fill a week if you do a bit of homework.

A few disjointed tips:
- Just wandering the city is something to do in moderation, but the reward/fatigue ratio is not good due to the prevalence of cars ruining every view of the architecture, and the fact that in most places you're walking right among them as they have very few pavements as we know them (most that do exist are packed full of parked cars).
- The very best attractions are outside the city. Ostia Antica - the ancient port of Rome - beats Pompei into a cocked hat. And the Villa Adriana - emperor Hadrian's out-of-town residence - is also absolutely worth a day out of the town on a different direction. A third - though lesser - direction you might take is the Castelli Romani where I lived and worked: an area of ancient volcanic hills, featuring two amazing crater lakes (the Papal summer residence on one of them), lots of Roman history, amazing stately homes, etc. And you can be up in the real mountains easily within a day trip.
- Amazing renaissance art is everywhere. It's at its best in its proper context, which means you can get a better experience in a humble village church than in a big-name museum or gallery - because the latter takes it out of its proper context. Though of course in the city you can see it in its proper context in big prestigious churches, palaces, and the like.
- Autumn is probably best, with spring running it second. Early summer is fine if you like heat; later summer is oppressive as the humidity rises. Winter gets the worst of the smog (though my experience may be out of date).
- If you get proper local wine, you water it down (watch the locals). If it's served in a carafe and you get scruffy tumblers rather than wine glasses as we know them, that'll be the real local stuff (congratulations on getting off the worst of the tourist circuit). Also if you depart the tourist circuit, proper local restaurants don't have menus as we know them. You just ask for something in the standard repertoire and they'll do it for you.
- Potential shock: I found the huge piles of salt on most food quite hard going: in the case of fast-food pizza the visible pile of white powder can be as much by weight as the dough itself. When you order insalata it brings home to you that our word "salad" derives from salt.

rivershiven
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Re: Rome

#175800

Postby rivershiven » October 23rd, 2018, 4:30 pm

We, two of us, had 5 nights in centre of Rome early September this year. We did the tourist things as we were tourists & wanted to see various sites that other tourists wanted to see. Perfect length of time so far as we were concerned so as not to have to rush about but also to get to see as much as possible. There would certainly not have been time for trips out of the centre or to immerse ourselves into local life if that is what we had wanted to do. No problem with cars parked on the pavements of which there were plenty to walk on as well as pedestrian only areas.

We bought advance tickets for Colosseum/Palatine & Vatican museums as we were advised there could be lengthy queues which was the case.Other than that we did not pay for entry to any other buildings/sites. We had planned what we wanted to each day & were out from approx 9-5, walking everywhere. Went back to hotel to freshen up then out for dinner. We ate outside every evening with meals/drinks costing average €35 for two.

We booked hotel with breakfast included on Trivago for around €700. Decent small hotel which we considered to be value for money at that price. There was additional €6 per head per night tourist tax payable at end of stay. Would not have wanted to pay some of the prices that were on offer for same hotel. Booked flights separately to Ciampino & got taxi to city centre for fixed price of €35. Weather was perfect reaching a high of around 30c but not humid. It did rain on day we flew home! Our expectations of Rome after several friends & family had previously visited were high & those expectations were exceeded. A fantastic trip!

Eboli
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Re: Rome

#181200

Postby Eboli » November 18th, 2018, 9:17 am

Stayed in the NH Leonardo da vinci in Via dei Gracchi - excellent as in easy walking distance (15 mins) to Vatican and near a tube station.The parallel street - Via Cola del Rienzo - is great for shopping and restaurants.

It is essential to consider which churches you want to visit and plan things around (a) their opening time and (b) RC services (when certain areas may not be accessible). Unfortunately there is no central information site that carries these bits of information. But once you have narrowed down your choice and know the best time to visit you can then plan other must-sees around them. On the whole Rome is great city for walking though having a few train/bus tickets helps travel to some spots up hills (eg. 2 below).

With regard to major sites:

1. Definitely pre-book Colosseum and if possible get tickets that tour the underground - these are released about 4 weeks in advance and are sold out quickly but make a visit memorable because you can enter the arena (on the false stage) and see the underground pits

2. Definitely book a 2 hour slot to the Palazzo Borghese - absolutely stunning statues and art. Again do this in advance as tickets sell out very quickly.

3 The Vatican museum is a must. But if you can, visit it twice, once early when it opens and one late when it opens in the evening (forget the 'Pope's canapés even though their included in the price). On the first visit do a leisurely tour up to the Sistine and leave via the right exit into St Peter's (thus saving another queue and security check). On the second avoid the snacks in the garden and make a beeline to the Sistine and get it to yourself (or nearly so) for a few minutes and then do the other bits you missed on the first visit having them without the crowds.

4. A trip out of Rome makes for a break. Ostia Antica is about 45 minutes and interesting - though wear comfortably shoes.

5. Go to the capitoline museum on the day it opens late and beeline to the roof restaurant before it fills up. Fantastic place for an ordinary lunch with a magnificent view. Incidentally you can visit this without visiting the museum via a separate entrance.

6. If you visit on a public holiday - when most things close - then that is the time to visit the roof of the typewriter and do a walk via Piazza del Popolo (visiting if you can Ste. Maria) and walking to the Spanish Steps and then past the Trevi fountain - be warned the latter are always packed with hoards of Selfie robots.

Eb.

Scott0966
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Re: Rome

#183942

Postby Scott0966 » November 30th, 2018, 11:33 am

All good advice above. We've been a couple of times for 3 days. We stayed at this hotel https://www.hotelimperorome.com/ which is ok. First time we had the cheapest rooms which were very basic (but clean and comfortable), but then again we were barely in it. Second time paid a bit more and the room was nicer. Being near the station made it convenient for everywhere. Fill up at breakfast and then out for dinner later in the evening.

There's plenty to do in Rome so it sounds a little strange to do this, but second time around we took the (quick) train to Naples and went to Pompeii/Vesuvius for the day - we paid about £40 return, though book the latest train you can coming back.

I've always suggested taking one of the tours around the Vatican museum as we did it sort of by accident. It might be considered a little rushed but I thought it was good as it took us to the highlights and gave a bit more of a background than just reading the card by each exhibit. It ended in the Sistine Chapel so you didn't feel the need to be rushed out of there if you wanted, but we found it just the right length of time to be there. If the queues do happen to be long it can be a good way of 'jumping' them.


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