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Thread: Opinion on Rome

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    Opinion on Rome

    So I'll be in Rome for 5 days next week. For some reason I'm having mix feelings about it, like maybe I should've planned a vacation somewhere else. I guess I'm mainly dreading the crowd, the traffic, etc.

    Anyone here been to Rome and what's your opinion of the city?

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    I visited Rome many many years ago, and I had only a couple of days there. I absolutely loved it. I think you will enjoy it.

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    I thought Rome was fascinating and am jealous of your trip! I took 2 tours, each 4 hours, with an art history major studying there. We only had 4-6 people in the group, so we could all hear and ask questions back. The rest we did on our own. I recall a lot of walking, crowds and stray cats, and magnificient fountains/statues/architecture everywhere you look. I hate crowds with a passion, but was distracted by everything else that it was okay for me. Hope you enjoy it there!

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    I LOVED Rome. I didn't think the traffic or crowds were bad at all, and I went near the end of May. It's not prime tourist season yet, so things shouldn't be jampacked. The only bad part was the bus to the Vatican, which was packed because it was raining. But it was still tolerable. If you're going to the Vatican, get tickets ahead so you can skip most of the waiting.

    Bring a fold-up rain jacket and/or umbrella. It rained briefly almost every day we were there (amidst nice weather). I also highly recommend night walks - all the monuments lit up are stunning.

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    I was just there a couple of weeks ago and even though it wasn't even peak season, I thought the crowds were pretty insane. That said, even though I hate crowds, I'm still glad I went to Rome and think that everyone should go see it. It is pretty amazing. Our tour manager put it pretty well - there are ruins there that in another city would be the main attraction but in Rome you just walk right past them because they're nothing compared to the other attractions that Rome has to offer.

    Do you have a planned itinerary while you're there or is your time flexible? If your time is flexible, it might be worth taking a day trip to somewhere nearby in the middle of the 5 days in order to give yourself a break from the crowds.

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    May should be nice, usually in the upper 70s. It will be crowded, so you may want to look in getting tickets to museums and sites ahead of time to avoid some of the worst lines. There are traffic free zones, such as by the Pantheon. You can always escape the crowds by going to less famous but still amazing sites - many churches have great art, like Santa Maria del Popolo, and are free. If you need a break, there are two parks nearby I enjoyed: Villa Pamphili park (near Gianicolo Hill, which is nice too), and Villa Borghese. Rome is one of my favorite cities, even when it is crowded. If you step off the beaten path a bit, you can find enjoyable and affordable things to do and places to eat.

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    The crowds and traffic are always terrible, but Rome is worth it. At least for a couple of days...

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    Thanks for the tip about rain in May and everyone's suggestions.

    I don't have a planned itinerary. I have some "must see" sites like Pantheon, Colosseum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter and Borghese Gallery but I can visit those on any of the 5 days. I have bought ticket ahead for the Borghese since that's recommended in the guide books. I think a day trip to Pompeii might be too long a day, so I'll probably do Ostia Antica instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I think a day trip to Pompeii might be too long a day, so I'll probably do Ostia Antica instead.
    I agree with this idea. Ostia Antica is an easy daytrip, and not as busy as Pompeii. I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. I also liked Tivoli as a daytrip. Other easy possibilities include Viterbo and Lake Bracciano - all of these mentioned are accessible on local public transportation.

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    I love Rome as well, but beware of pickpockets. Be on guard for them the whole time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I love Rome as well, but beware of pickpockets. Be on guard for them the whole time.
    Good point. I have heard a couple of pickpocket stories in Rome - a guy on our tour who actually caught the pickpocket in the act and acted quickly to push him out of the train before it got going and my cousin's boyfriend whose pickpocket was much better at it, but luckily only stole the decoy wallet that was stuffed with Canadian Tire money. While both of those stories turned out OK, they very well could not have...both people were obviously aware of the possibility of pickpockets and either thought quickly or came prepared.

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    Rome is amazing, but it is crowded and in recent years the Pickpocket problem has become very serious. 10 years ago it was bad, 3 years ago it was terrible. Crowded areas are the most dangerous. Beware of some of the larger "old women" begging around the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, many of them are men and rather scary. All in all - be aware of your surroundings. Avoid the subway, the busses are safer. My husband and I, both caught the hands going into our pocket/purse and shifted away before they got our wallets.

    Definitely get tickets for the Vatican on line. You choose the day and time and avoid lines. Get tickets for the Borghese Museum ahead of time as well. The gardens are pretty open, however the gallery only allows a limited number of visitors a day. We went to the gardens, but could not get into the gallery. Don't go to the Pantheon on Sunday. They conduct mass and it gets crazy crowded between them. The Piazza in front of the Trevi Fountain gets mobbed and is a favorite for beggars (many who are disfigured) and pickpockets.

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