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1st ROME Visit w/kids -Need Help w/Apartment & more

1st ROME Visit w/kids -Need Help w/Apartment & more

Apr 19th, 2007, 04:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
1st ROME Visit w/kids -Need Help w/Apartment & more

Hi, this is our first time to Italy. We are bringing 2 kids (14 & 6). I'm looking into apartments due to cost and more room. Is the Spanish Step area/Trevi area safe/clean/not run down? I found some on VRBO. Has anyone stayed at the Laurina ? I would hate to get there with my family & the building looks unsafe. Are these places legitimate? How do I get information on where to go/ if we are all by ourselves in an apt? Do I just do the research? I've heard Rome is easy to navigate. Our other choice is to stay in a Quad which sounds very small. I'm taking all the advice i read here, about using ATM's. I'm also looking at taking a tour w/ icontours as suggested in another post for more personalized service and a way to aquaint ourselves with the area. If staying near Trevi/Spanish Step area I figured we would be near metro as a central base. Some apartments look great over the river near Vatican, but perhaps out of the way? Travelling with children has it's own CHALLENGES (!!) so I want to make it as easy on us as i can. I've also planned 2 nights in VEnice. All responses will be greatly appreciated and all will be READ ! Thank you! We leave in 24 days.
jkinpa99 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
The Spanish Steps/Trevi area is safe, clean, and an excellent place to stay. If you stay there you're less than a mile (on foot) from the Capitoline Hill and other tourist attractions in central Rome. If you stay in the Vatican area, you'll have to take a bus or the metro to get to anything other than St. Peter's. Be warned that most apartment owners and rental agencies demand cash or travelers' checks for the full rent for your apartment when you take possession. Re sight seeing info, I suggest you go to your local Barnes & Noble or Borders and buy either a Fodor's or a Frommer's guide to Rome. Another source of information is the Michelin Green Guide. Good luck.
sjj is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
"How do I get information on where to go/ if we are all by ourselves in an apt? Do I just do the research? "

Yes, that's what this forum is all about. If you're leaving in 24 days I would hope that you have some idea oof what you want to see and approximately where it's located in the city. Do you have guidebooks and maps?

VRBO is a good website and many people use it. You deal directly with the owner of the apt. You can also do a Google search for "apartment rental in Rome". I used a company called "Sleep in Italy" www.sleepinitaly.com

Buy a "streetwise" map and start getting familiar with the layout of the city so you won't be so lost when you arrive.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11
I took my 2 kids last summer - 11 and 13, we traveled by foot and metro the entire time and nativgated the city easily. We all loved it and can't wait to go back. If you are going in the summber it's hot and a/c is limited, plus all of Europe vacations July and August due to how their school year run. Remember that all your street signs will be in Italian
jpmgp5 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 137
Call or e-mail Carla Conti at Home Sweet Rome, she handles 3 apartment rentals in Rome. We stayed in a nice one in Trastevere.

39065894350 or 393356580114
email [email protected]
threerohdes is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 296
We're taking our 13 year old this July.
I've bought alot of guide books and read search this site for information!

This is our first trip to Europe. In the end this site and Rick Steves' books seem the most helpful. Two friends just returned from trips to London and Germany and they loved Rick Steves.

Rick Steves organized the sightseeing to help me plan what to do and if I could do it on my own. Then I used this sight to see how fellow travelers felt.I'll be posting my itinerary soon to see what feedback I get.

We have five days in Rome. First day we arrive in the morning. I'm planning one "tour" each day, a nice lunch, a nice nap, a nice walk each night and of course dinner.

We're planning a quiet Sunday at the flea market, Appian Way, Mass at St Peters. Another day at the Vatican, one at the Colosseum/Forum etc. Another we'll do a hop on/hop off tour and hit the touristy spots. We're staying near the Pantheon and have some neighborhood walks planned.

Don't overthink, make reservations where needed and have fun!
GranthamMommy is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
I am reading all of these and really appreciate it. I forgot to mention I am an obsessive planner & have spent over 40 hrs investigating/reading/etc about this trip. I have the Frommer's guide right here. However, only recently did I find out 'apartments' were available for rent. I had NO idea. So, i just want to make sure that is a good way to go for a first-timer. Where do I get this STREETMAP that was suggested? That sounds great. And, Rick's book. I will look into that as well. Keep the advice coming - very helpful!!
jkinpa99 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
Streetwise is a brand of maps that you can get at a Barnes and Noble-type bookstore. Look where they sell guidebooks and maps. They're laminated, small and accordian folded. Easy to handle. After making a wish list of things we want to do we would lay out the map and find each location. That helps you determine what things are close to each other and you can more easily plan your day.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 120

Last year we took our kids (11, 9, and 7 at the time) for not only our first visit to Italy, but our first overseas vacation ever! We stayed in an apartment just outside Trastevere and enjoyed the neighborhood atmosphere as well as doing some meals "at home" to cut down on costs. We also walked and bussed everywhere with no trouble. I would add that obsessive (but flexible) planning is the way to go. We wished we had done more. Feel free to click on my name and see our trip report if you want more ideas. Between the street map and a public transport schedule (I believe there is a link in another post; I'll see if I can find it), you should be just fine with everything.

Enjoy your trip!
djman102 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875

I am sure you are aware - but if you are leaving in 24 days - you should get that apartment rented!
I worked with Tim at Real Rome - highly recommend him - we will not be in Rome until July but his response time and communication via email was excellent.


We are also traveling with 2 children, ours are ages 13, and 10 --

I ended up booking with Sleep in Italy, only because they had a better sized apartment with better sleeping arrangements.

The apartment is in the Spanish Step Area - it is reviewed on Slow Travel:http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/vr/review.asp?n=2647
There is a tip in there about how the owner rents directly and you can avoid paying the extra cost by doing it through Sleep in Italy. Because I had already contacted Sleep in Italy and found it that way I did not feel comfortable doing that.

Regarding tours -

I have two private tours booked - we are in town for 4 nights - so a portion of 2 of the days will be spent doing tours.

Upon the suggestion of this website I am using Context Tours - Megan has been amazing and they have private tours geared towards children - we are going to do the Ancient Rome tour with them.

The other tour is booked through Presto Reservations! We are going to do a private tour of Vatican City.

I am hoping to take one day trip out of Rome - but am not going to plan it - want to "see" how we are all feeling and what we want to do -

My transfers have been prearranged through Sleep in Italy to and from the airport.

I am considering renting a cell phone through Context Tours for our time in Rome - would love feedback on that (but do not want to hi-jack your thread <grin>).

I am still working through the details of getting the Euros to pay for the apartment upon arrival.

Hope this information helps you - would love a trip report when you return. This forum is amazing.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 296
I added the don't overthink because I'm an obsessive planner as well. I took this week off of work to focus on planning for our two week July trip.

Little did I know we'd be having a major snow/ice/rain Nor'Easter and be without power for four days.

No internet for planning. I snuck in to work one morning for my laptop so I could take advantage of free internet at the hotel!

Using 13 column paper (accounting geek) to cross reference the restaurants in the guide books and here. Very sad

71 days for us!
GranthamMommy is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 120

Here is a link to the metro stops in Rome:


A bus route map is located at http://www.atac.roma.it/ The "Roma centro" map should work for you.

Hope this helps
djman102 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 03:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,794
We also had a good experience with Tim Pearson and realrome. I googled him before booking the apartment and found many positive comments on this and other forums, nothing negative.
Our apartment in the ghetto area was not perfect, but we thought the agency descriptions/pictures were very fair and we loved our stay
Vttraveler is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
I would have prefered to rent from Tim just based on the communication experience between Sleep in Italy and Real Rome - Sleep in Italy though had the better apartment..what are ya gonna do? Plus I have heard nothing but good things about them too.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Iwant to thank you all for helping me, I am going to get the map and stay at an apartment. I used that new link also, for the metro, great info!! Thank you!
jkinpa99 is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 62
Hello. We just came back from Rome and would highly recommend either this apartment or this agency for a group of 6. Very easy to deal with as well as very reasonable prices. Good luck!

gamidtown is offline  
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