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Old 04-26-2007, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default It's Official :: I'm off to Roma!

I did it. Finally. Booked my trip to Roma, Italia in November! I'm so excited!

Just wanted any pre-travel advice you guys might have...

Where to stay?
What to do? (dumb question I know, but perhaps a little insight is good)
What to avoid?
Good advice in terms of learning some Italian?
Costs for stuff like food, monuments etc...?
Restaurants?
Bars?
Taxis?
Buses?
Trains?

I have for the last 5 years been addicted to all things Italian. It is truly my dream trip. For that time I've immersed myself in Italian culture and history, so for me this is huge. HUGE!

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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When I was there it was rather brief only a few days, and the biggest problem with that was that there is so much to see and learn and appreciate but there is never enough time to do it…I guess my advice is take everything slow…taking everything in its an amazing city…little statues on the side of the road have been around longer than Canada just the thought of that always blows my mind…and one other word of advice…even if they say they are free DO NOT take a rose
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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My recomendations from when I was there (although it was part of a whirlwind trip, so I wasn't there long)
-walk places instead of taking the train - there are all sorts of little fountains and interesting things to see that you just come across.
-Spend some time in the massive park. It was really nice, and there were some interesting busts in it of famous italian people.
-Try to get out of the tourist areas for some of the meals. Cheaper, and better food. It doesn't take much, just a few blocks are enough. Try some of the different kinds of pizza. I highly recomend potato.
-If you're there long enough, take day trips to florence and pompei. Florence isn't that far away, so you can get most of the day at the museums there are worth it. Pompei is a long day to get there and back but I believe there are tours that you can take. I didn't have time and I really wish I had been able to make it.
-Explore at night as well. I didn't go back to the colosseum at night and I wish I had.
If you want specifics, I can probably find a bunch of the tickets from things like the colosseum when I get home (I'm a bit of a packrat, so I still have alot of that stuff). Was a while ago I was there, but should give you a general idea.
Also, something to keep in mind, in Italy, public washrooms you often have to pay to use, however McDonalds are everywhere and don't chanrge for the restroom (nothing like having to pay to use a toilet without a seat).
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:09 PM   #4
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When you go to the Coliseum be careful with the guys that dress like gladiators for pictures. They will accost you and they have a tendency to steal your stuff.

Locke.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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When you go to the Coliseum be careful with the guys that dress like gladiators for pictures. They will accost you and they have a tendency to steal your stuff.

Locke.
Watch out for the string people around there and at all the tourist sites too. Don't know if they are a problem for guys, but for us one would come up to you, and a bunch of others would try to gather round. Don't actually know what they did with the string (I think is was one would make a bracelet while the others tried to steal your money) but they were really pushy. Pretty sure I was sworn at in italian when I was uninterested.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:58 PM   #6
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How long are you going for? Everything would hinge on that. How much are you interested in art? Architechture? If you are in Roma for a weekend it is different than if you have a week or more to spend.

I just spent 3.5 weeks there last summer, have been to Roma and Italia 4 times. Like you, I love it there. I could give you lots of advice, PM me if you like.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

I'm there for two glorious weeks. Defenitely want to go to Florence, maybe Pompeii....
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:15 PM   #8
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Are you going to rent a car or not?
Roads can be exciting, but if you want to see many things in that two weeks, a car will get you to where you want to go, when you want to go.
Be sure to book in advance many of the big attractions. Although going in November this will not be as much of a concern. However to avoid standing in unnecessary lines; book the Uffizi Gallery in Florence for example.
In two weeks I would think Venice is out of the question, as well as the beautiful northern lakes (eg Como, Garda), but Florence and Pompeii are both easy from Roma. Try to see at least one Tuscan hilltown, take your pick they are all fabulous and sometimes familiar. The big ones would be San Gimignano and Montepulciano; and both are on an indirect line between Florence and Roma. Most people miss, but you should try to hit, Orvieto. It's beautiful. The cathedral is a wonder, and the chapel frescoes well worth a long perusal. Also Lucca if you have a half day to spend is very nice. No matter how much time you devote to Florence, it won't be enough. There is so much to see. On my last trip some highlites would be: The Uffizi Galleria, tombs at Santa Croce, Palazzo Medici (must check out the high tech room explaining the Gozzoli frescoes, very cool), The Medici chapels in San Lorenzo (everyone sees those, but try also to see Michelangelo's library upstairs) the Palazzo Vecchio, and just sitting anywhere eating Gelato.
I like Firenze more than Roma, but both are filled with wonderful things. Roma it takes longer to get around as there are so many sights over such a large area. Firenze in contrast, is relatively compact.
Stayed at a very nice, INexpensive hotel near Termini station in Roma. I would recommend to anyone. Clean, English speaking, did I say cheap?
Roma: see the obvious, the colosseum, forum, Pantheon, Vatican (esp. the museum). For the first time this year I took a guided tour of the Palatine hill. I thought I was very knowledgable and was humbled. The tour guide was full of information and trivia. The forum and Palatine hill can be confusing and disappointing if you do not know what you are looking at. As to the negative harrassment by street vendors. They were especially present at the colosseum, Spanish steps and Trevi fountain. I found a hard look and firm No thank you worked well. Could help that I back it up with some size!
Anyway, I am rambling on and will stop now. Again will provide any info you require.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Flames Fan View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone!

I'm there for two glorious weeks. Defenitely want to go to Florence, maybe Pompeii....
Make sure to check out the piedmont area around Torino for some great food and wine. Quite a different culture in that area too as opposed to the big cities. Beautfiul countryside.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:01 AM   #10
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For me, The Pantheon was the most intriguing. Built in the 2nd century AD, and an unbelievable sight at night. There's some great tourist trap restaurants around the front of it, but worth eating at given their location.

You'll notice 'new Rome' is about 15-20 feet higher than any of the ancient ruins...it's really cool how they've just built above the old city. Drink lots of water, you walk all day.

The Pantheon:



And to some this may sound extremely boring...but honestly buy one of those 'Your Guide to Rome' Books and carry it around. There will be times where you see something and want to see what the hell it is/was...the book comes in handy.

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Old 04-27-2007, 02:24 AM   #11
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You should PM 4X4, he used to live there.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:29 AM   #12
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You should PM 4X4, he used to live there.
Yep, make well sure you talk to him before you go. He gave my friend and me some great advice when we were there.

Man, that was fun!
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:21 AM   #13
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If you walk into St. Peters and your jaw doesn't hit the floor, I will pay for your trip. And thats coming from an atheist.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:40 AM   #14
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Only 21 more sleeps for me before the plane lifts off for Rome . . . . then Florence . . . . then Tuscany . . . . . then Milan.

Should be fun.

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Old 04-27-2007, 09:45 AM   #15
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We should make a Travel thread for the summer and sticky it.
I'm going to be in Rome this summer as well, only for about 5 or 6 days though as part of my Europe trip. Starting in Spain then Portugal then Italy and Greece. Starting in Mid June and finishing at the end of July. I can't wait.

I will be in Budapest and Croatia as well 3 weeks from today!!

Any advice on any of the above places would be appreciated. Seems like CPers are quite the globetrotters.
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:57 AM   #16
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Cowperson's erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
Woohoo!!!

Looks nice today:

http://81.208.34.15/dynamicindex/camera.html

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Old 04-27-2007, 10:01 AM   #17
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Cowperson's erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
Coming soon to Friday night on Showcase, TV Without Borders.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:29 AM   #18
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How long are you going for?

I cant remember exactly where, Spezia I think? But if you are interested in hiking there are quite a few nice trails near there.

Also if you are in a town near there, and you smell a bakery, DO NOT TRY TO FIND IT. You will find it, but they will never be open when they say they are.

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Old 04-27-2007, 10:30 AM   #19
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What to avoid? doing what all other tourests go to Europe to do - taking pictures and not submerging yourself into the culture
Good advice in terms of learning some Italian? not a big issue, I found it easy to pick up
Costs for stuff like food, monuments etc...? roughly the same as canada
Taxis? there are tons of illigal ones there that will overcharge you, don't just get into anyone's car
Buses? watch out for pickpockets
Trains? good and timely service
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:44 PM   #20
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Thanks guys. This is great.

Cowperson
I want a full report! Have fun.

I went and bought two books, yes, those typical "Guide to Rome" kind of things, but they've been good in giving me an idea where the heck everything is.

I've heard about the whole pickpoket thing there, so I'll definitely watch out for that.

Aeneas - I definitely want to check out Florence, and you reminded me of something I completely forgot about...Medici. Is a train perhaps the best way to get up there? I doubt I'll get a car...Do you remember the name of the hotel you stayed at?

One thing I do want to avoid is being "touristy". How can you tell the difference between a restaurant that is geared towards tourists versus a local restaurant away from the those hotspots?
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