When in Rome...for a short period

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Libertango, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Libertango

    Libertango New Member

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    My mother & I are going to Rome this month from Wed 19 (landing at 3 pm) to Fri 21 (taking off at 10:35 am), we'll be flying in and out of Ciampino airport.

    Does anyone have any recommendations?

    We only have one full day in Rome but we don't want to rush and try to see everything without enjoying it. I have two things on my must-see list right now : the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. We love to walk/shop. We are not Catholic and are not really interested in the Vatican or museums.

    We booked a B&B (A casa di Getta). Is the neighbourhood safe at night? We plan to stay out in the center and take the last buses/tram to go back to the hotel.

    Right now, this is our schedule :

    Wed 19
    15:00 : take a cab to our hotel instead of Terravision or Atral bus to save time. Fixed price of 30 euros from Ciampino.
    16:30 : buy bus tickets at a local shop (should we get day passes or is it not worth it?)
    17:00 : go to Piazza Di Spagna & Trevi fountain at night. Do some window shopping (I want to go to Tiffany's). Have dinner/gelato.

    Thru 20

    08:00 : breakfast, bus to termini then colosseum*
    09:00-10:30 : wait in the queue, visit of the colosseum
    10:30-11:45 : walk & visit of the Roman forum
    11:45-12:05 : walk to the Capitoline Hill
    12:05-12:40 : I'm torn between going to Vittorio Emmanuel II for the view or straight to the Pantheon
    12:40-13:40 : probably lunch wherever we are
    Afternoon : Trévi fountain during the day, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona just walking downtown and shopping** at Via Del Corso and maybe Cola Di Rienzo.
    Then dinner either in the center or near our hotel.

    Fri 21 :
    8:00-8:30 : breakfast at the hotel/check-out
    8:30 : either taxi or bus from Termini to Ciampino


    *The Colosseum is open from 9:00 to 19:00 in September. Do you think we have enough time to see it on the first day (it must be gorgeous at night) or we shouln't bother and go first thing the next morning? on the website it's written : "Price of entry: € 9,00 + 3,00 for shown supplement (€ 4,50 + 3,00 for European Union citizens from 18 and 24 age)". What is the "shown supplement". I'm 21 so it's going to cost me 7,5€ and 12€ for my mother right?

    **Any advice on shopping? I like cosmetics (but there's already a Kiko in my town)
     
  2. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    The only flaw I see is you need to geographically group your trip more geographically, or you'll waste a lot of time walking back and forth.

    Piazza Navona is near the Pantheon, and Piazza del Popolo is WAY north of the city center. Tiffany's is on Via Del Babuino between Popolo and the Spanish Steps. Your hotel isn't far from the red line metro, maybe take that over to the Popolo stop and work your way down to Trevi? There's a great gelato place next to the Trevi Fountain. You could also take the Metro down to the Colosseum.

    You can walk past Vittorio Emmanuel II on your way to the Pantheon, then over to Piazza Navona. Don't bother with the museum inside, it's boring. From the Forum, go out to Via dei Fori Imperiali, then you can walk around Vittorio Emmanuel on your way to Capitoline Hill.

    I was there in 2008, but we skipped a long-ass line at the Colosseum by buying tickets for some random tour. I'd recommend that if you can. It is STUNNING at night, but you don't need to go in at night. Plus it might not be dark enough at 1900. Do the tour during the day, then swing back around for photo op at night.
     
  3. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Vittorio Emmanuel is better at night but don't eat there it's very expensive. When I went to Trevi Fountain it was closed for cleaning so we had to go back, it was very pretty and so clean! I felt very safe walking around from the train station to Vatican City and only took a taxi to the Borghese Gallery (it was too far to walk.) I knew a lot about the Colosseum but I went though with earphones so I could learn more, maybe that is what they mean by a supplement, I did pay more than Europeans, then even more for the headset.

    Aside from food and tickets, I didn't shop at all. I hope you enjoy your time.

    Lunch in front of the Pantheon was my favorite! I liked Nero's Golden House (near Colossum, I wish I would have skipped Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona)
     
  4. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    I just love the Pantheon.
     
  5. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Given your limited time, I would suggest that you head for the high-end department store La Rinascente.

    I would also recommend that you buy the Time Out guidebook for Rome. Failing that, point your browser here: http://www.timeout.com/rome/search/?tag_id=4288.
     
  6. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    The Colosseum and the Roman Forum are right next to each other. The Colosseum, you can do in about an hour, but the Roman Forum takes much longer to really walk through. Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps are very close, you can do both in about 1/2 hour. Be VERY careful in the piazza around the Trevi Fountain, a lot of "gypsies", beggars, pick pockets. Pantheon is not far from the Trevi Fountain. Pantheon is a MUST! The building is amazing, stand under the oculus and look up. Raphael is entombed there. Even if you don't go into the Vatican, you should walk around the piazza. I believe you can go into St. Peters without going through the entire Vatican. Castle Sant'Angelo is near the Vatican. Rome is not as walkable as other Italian cities, it is much, much larger (and I think confusing). Avoid the subways, they are not really safe.

    Most importantly, have fun and remember this - Vorei un bicchiere di vino rosso (red) or bianco (white), or due bicchiere di vino (I would like a glass of wine or two glasses of wine).
     
  7. Jojo

    Jojo Active Member

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    I'm not big on museums either, but the Vatican Museum was incredible. We took a three-hour tour, using Viator (a tour guide company). The Vatican has the largest collection of pagan art. So many things took our breaths away.

    Consider seeing the Vatican.

    And we took the subway and bus everywhere and we had no problems at all. Enjoy!
     
  8. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Where's Tinami?? She has fab traveling advice.
     
  9. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I wasn't in Rome for long, but I never felt unsafe in the subway.

    For me the Forum was love at first sight: for some reason, it resonated with life and didn't just feel like a bunch of ancient buildings.
     
  10. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Second this. I actually felt more uncomfortable on the bus. We took one from Via Nazionale to the Vatican, and it was literally sardines in a tin. But I was never scared for my safety, nor did any thieving bands of children approach us or men leer at us (more like, we leered at them. Roman men are HAWT :grope:). And we were VERY obviously tourists. I'm overweight (this sounds bad but I saw nothing but svelte women in the whole of Italy), we're both blondes speaking English with backpacks, cameras and shorts - from my experience, no Italian women would be caught dead in shorts in May.

    I never felt unsafe in Rome, despite lots of warnings, and my female friend and I stayed at a hostel in the city center on Via Palermo. I was never alone for very long, and we used common sense - don't go to unknown locations, don't stay out too late, don't get completely wasted, be polite and respectful, etc. If you're comfortable walking around in a big city (eyes forward, purposeful stride), you'll be fine. Tip the living statues.
     
  11. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I found Rome to be exceptionally walkable. The city center really isn't that large, so I'd skip the bus passes altogether and just buy single tickets, unless you do a hop-on-hop-off thing that takes you to all the tourist sights. We were staying quite close to the Termini and walked to Galleria Borghese and the Colosseum without difficulty (I do think we did those on separate days though).

    Pantheon is fantastic and not to be missed. I really enjoyed Forum Romanum as well. We skipped the Colosseum because of the lines.
     
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  12. pingu

    pingu Well-Known Member

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    Thieving bands of children?? :lol:
     
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Well, we took the Rome subway, once. My husband had a hand go into his pocket and I had a purse zipper half opened while he reacted. And they were not children.
     
  14. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    I've heard about the buses in Rome, but never the metro.
     
  15. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    And I was once directly and overtly assaulted by a team of adult female pickpockets when I was walking near the Vatican. Do be careful.
     
  16. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Rome has become more dangerous in the last several years. I was there in 2004, that was when we had the subway incident. But, the streets didn't seem quite so congested with beggars, etc. When I was there 2 years ago, I was shocked to see how many were in the piazzas. It used to be that they would stay close to the buildings, but now they are all over, on blankets. Many of them with horrible physical disabilities. It is my understanding that they are being brought in to beg. These "pimps" believe that if the beggars look more tragic, that more people will give them money. The beggars don't get to keep much of what they get, the "pimps" take it from them. I mentioned this at the hotel, where we stayed, and they said that the problem has grown tremendously.
     
  17. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    My husband and I were mauled by two small children walking between the Colosseum and the Forum. Fortunately, we'd been warned by some other people in front of us so we had everything double zipped into my tote bag and we were ready. They started grabbing at us, but they didn't have any luck so they swarmed an Italian couple nearby. It got nasty really fast. They got the man's wallet, but I grabbed the little girl by the shoulders from behind and she lifted up her shirt to show she didn't have the wallet (and tried to bite me). She'd passed it to the other - my husband and one of the guys who had warned us grabbed her arms and she dropped it. I could see a police car pulling up so I was still holding onto the first girl, and I was pretty shocked when the man they tried to rob punched her in the nose. I let go (her nose was bleeding), they both wrenched away and ran off up the hill by the forum. The door of a van opened and an adult grabbed one by the hair and dragged her into the van. The other got in, and we could see the van was full of kids. They took off with the police after them.
     
  18. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Men-watching is one of the highlights of Rome: it's free, and it's everywhere.
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    This has become more prevalent. As has the prostitution of young girls. It is really sad. These are not Italian kids, they are brought in.
     
  20. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    It was very sad. I'm not sure she would have fared any better had I been able to hold her for the police, but when I saw them dragged into the van .. it was really awful to see something like that.
     
  21. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    I'm sure nothing like that will happen to Libertango during her holiday though. :shuffle:
     
  22. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry this happened to you. How can one be careful, though? You were most likely careful and this still happened to you. I'm going to Rome and I'm worried about such things, but I don't want to let that spoil my trip by constantly walking in fear (there's a fine line between being cautious and overly-cautious). And I've traveled to Europe several times (but never to Italy).
     
  23. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Just don't carry too much cash or all your credit cards at one time. That way, if you do get robbed, you won't lose much, you can cancel 1 card and not be too inconvenienced. It can happen anywhere!
     
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I've been to several Italian cities. None of them are like Rome. I felt completely safe everywhere else I went.

    Only bring 1 credit card. As Rob said, don't carry a lot of cash. Bring a small bag that goes over your shoulder and will stay under your arm. Make sure it zips. Also make sure that it has a zipper compartment to hold important items. Often they do not try to snatch the bag, they will cut the bottom open and take what falls out. If your credit cards, cash, and passport are in a zippered compartment, they are less likely to fall out. It is also harder for someone to reach in and grab something that is behind 2 zippers.
     
  25. Libertango

    Libertango New Member

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    Thanks you everyone! I can't wait to be there!

    Yes, this a what I need most advice on to save time. I can't seem to find the closest bus and tram stops (Porta pia & le Regina Margherita/Nomentana) on any map. But the people at the B&B will probably tell us how to get in town. If it's more convenient we'll take the metro at Policlinico or Castro Pretorio and stay around the hotel for dinner, there seem to be nice restaurants around Porta pia.

    As for safety & beggars, we are aware of the problems like any big citites in Europe. My family is originally from India and sad to say but the sight of horrible physical disabilities on the street does not shock us :shuffle: . I live in France and expect the level of pickpockets to be the same as in Paris around touristic sights.
    I don't like to carry bags. When I last went to India I had a small fabric shoulder bag under my clothes with my passeport/cash/credit card/phone. It was unnoticeable until I wanted to buy something and had to take the bag out obviously :p
     
  26. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I suppose not :(. It is, however, disturbing that these people are brought to Rome, for the express purpose of using their disabilities to con money.

    Rome is much worse than Paris.

    Good plan!
     
  27. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    This website has some good information: http://www.rometoolkit.com/transport/rome_bus.htm

    FWIW, my parents found Rome to be dangerous and the people rude. They went 10 months before I did, and I had a great experience. Surely the tenor of the city could not change that quickly. YMMV.
     
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Rome is like any big city. You will find very nice people and very rude people. Just like New York, Paris, etc. I found that most Italians were very nice and accommodating. I found the bus system to be confusing, very hard to go from point A to point B easily. But, after our experience on the Metro, we stayed off of that. It is not as walkable as other cities, it is just bigger. The danger was from the indigents. Which, as I said were not Italian. The Italians, in Rome are as disturbed by what is going on as the tourists. They will warn you about certain areas, where it's safe after dark, etc.

    I found, even the maze called Venice, to be easier to get around than Rome. But, it's smaller and more fun to get lost in :lol:.

    Florence is probably the friendliest and most walkable city I've been to. And (in my opinion) the most beautiful.
     
  29. Libertango

    Libertango New Member

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    I've been back from Rome and I thought I would post an update about the trip.

    Rome is a beautiful city! I really want to go back.
    We stayed in the historic center and I found it very walkable (we walked from Piazza del Popolo -> Colosseum). The 6 euros day pass was not worth it in the end I think because we walked to everything and used the metro to go from/to the hotel only. Took the tram a few times but it was less convenient IMHO than the metro.

    About the indigents/safety concerns...I found them to be pretty much non existent. Maybe because it's not the high touristic season or maybe because I was prepared for the worst? I don't know. There were beggars around touristic places of course, and main shopping streets but no "pickpocket bands" like in Paris I felt. Policemen were on platforms at Termini on both nights we were there (around 10 pm) so it felt pretty safe.
     
  30. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Happy to see you had fun!