2nd Trip to Rome - what to do?

Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:11 AM
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2nd Trip to Rome - what to do?

On our first trip to Rome 9 years ago, we stayed in an apt (Sleep in Italy).near the Piazza Navona. We loved the area and were out at the Piazza Navona nearly every night. We toured the Vatican, St Peter's Basilica and Castel St Angelo. We took an Angels & Demons Tour (popular at the time and covered some wonderful Bernini statues and gorgeous churches) and we took an extensive tour of the Colosseum and surrounding areas.

This time we are going at the end of April, staying in a hotel for 3 nights near the Termini - Hotel Metropole, prior to a cruise. We arrive early in the morning, plan to take the train from FCO and walk to our hotel (5 min walk allegedly. Or take a taxi if it proves too cumbersome and we are too tired from the long flight.

We tried to get a Scavi Tour, but no luck.
We have no formal plans for the first day, as you never know what happens with a long flight and how you feel. I hope to get early check in, or at least drop off the luggage and walk over to the Trevi fountain as our first activity. The rest of the day will be open for Roman pizza, an afternoon nap (DH) and whatever else. Maybe a return to Piazza Navona for dinner on one of the side streets and watching the street performers. The 2nd day we plan to take an evening food & wine tour in the Travestere area. Also I am considering getting reservations at the Borghese museum and another Vatican tour ( who would not want to see the Sistine Chapel and La Pieta again)?

Any recommendations for a Vatican Tour company?
What other things would you recommend for our short stay? I do not think we want to return to the Colosseum again. Thanks!
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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No help for Vatican but if you like churches, Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica is nearby. Even closer is the ornate Santa Maria della Vittoria--if you like Bernini sculpture. Galleria Doria Pamphilj is an exquisite home--not open all days.

Enjoy the food and wine tour.

As you know from previous visit, get to the Vatican Museum as early as possible if you don't find a tour.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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I am going back this summer for my second time and was looking at the hotel you got. If you can, can you come back and let me know how it was? I am wondering about the location as my plans have me needing to be near Termini.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:53 AM
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Hi Sassy27 - I chose the Hotel on recommendation of my travel agent. She gave me several suggestions, but mentioned that someone in her office recently stayed there and really enjoyed it. I will come back and report on it for you!
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Sassy, I stayed at this affordable hotel, not far from Termini, and enjoyed it and the neighborhood: http://www.hotelgiuliana.com/
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 10:16 AM
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Your hotel is very near Palazzo Massimo alle Terme if you are interested in classical art. You are also fairly close to Palazzo Barberini, although I believe I read the Cortona fresco on the ceiling are currently under renovation. Anyway, it's a terrific gallery, and it's never been crowded when I've been there. Have you visited the Capitoline Museums?

If you don't want to add museums to your agenda, I would probably do as TDudette recommends and visit any of the many, many Roman churches housing artistic and other treasures.

In addition to those mentioned by TDudette, you might consider
San Clemente
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basili...te_al_Laterano
Gesu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Ges%C3%B9
San Pietro in Vincoli
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Pietro_in_Vincoli

And there are of course dozens of other worthy choices. Keep in mind most churches are closed for several hours midday. I like to use the Michelin Green Guide for Rome.

Enjoy your time in the Eternal City!
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 10:31 AM
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Near Termini in Santa Maria della Vittoria, there's the beautiful Bernini 'Ecstasy of Saint Teresa'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecstasy_of_Saint_Teresa
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 11:12 AM
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Great minds, MmePerdu.

Also check the tram (not subway) maps to see what stations are near convenient sights, ellenbw.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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I eventually get kind of sculptured out, TD, but I never tire of that one (thanks, art history class).
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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ellenbw - not far away from Termini is the Palazzo Quiriniale which is the official residence of the Italian President - it's open to the public at certain times and it's on my list of things to do on my next visit.

Also a bit further away on the Corso is the entrance to the Galleria dori Pamphilji which houses a terrific art collection and also has an audio-guided tour to the family apartments which is very interesting.

If you walk down the Via Cavour you will come to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore which has great mosaics, and beyond that San Petro in Vincoli [St Peter in Chains] with the wonderful sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo.

Walk north from there along the Via dei Serpenti towards the Via Nazionale and you enter the area known as Monti which is full of little local shops, nice restaurants, cafes, etc. plus a little square and a church of the same name.

In fact you could fill your time without ever moving beyond a mile or so of where you are staying!
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Thank you ellenbw and MmePerdu. I may start my own post on recommendations if I can't decide but having your thoughts help. This post is just perfect timing.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 02:41 PM
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Too bad you weren't able to get a Scavi reservation... I wouldn't miss Galleria Borghese, and I'll give a second vote for Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.

If you're in Rome over a weekend, I highly recommend a tour of Nero's Domus Aurea (Golden House).

http://www.tickitaly.com/galleries/domus-aurea-rome.php
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 02:54 PM
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The Borghese Gallery was easily the highlight of my last visit to Rome. They take small groups in 2 hour sessions so reservations are required. Beautiful Bernini statues and a few Caravaggio paintings. The grounds are beautiful as well so it's a nice stroll to get to the gallery.

We found a tour guide outside of the Coliseum and enjoyed her tour so much that we joined her Vatican City tour the next day. We didn't plan ahead and just stumbled upon her - not sure if they're still set up this way where you just join at a moments notice (this was back in 2004). I've had decent luck with this approach in various countries. I feel like Vatican City is so heavily visited that you should be able to find a guide without having to book ahead of time.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 09:19 PM
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I would urge you to get a really good, comprehensive guide book and find the things that catch your interest -- maybe the Rough Guide or Michelin Green Guide.

So much to see, so little time!

Enjoy!
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Old Mar 19th, 2017, 10:17 AM
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We did two tours in Rome back in September 2015, one for the Forum & Coliseum; and the other the Vatican. Used Through Eternity Tours. Both of our guides spoke great English. Fur our Vatican tour, I would have sworn he was an art major, as he guided us through the different centuries of art work throughout the Vatican museum. If can request him, his name was Mauritzio (spelling might be off).
If you want to do the forum and coliseum tour through them, the guide to ask for is Lucca, he WAS an archeologist, of that I am sure.
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Old Mar 21st, 2017, 04:25 PM
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Thank you for the great suggestions! I have booked a tour of the Borghese Museum, an twilight food tour of the Travestre neighborhood (through Eating Italy) and now have some great place to check out in our hotel area! Thanks so much! I will follow up with booking a Vatican Tour and next, onto the restaurant list!
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Old Mar 21st, 2017, 04:35 PM
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If you haven't been; highly recommend a 30 minute train ride to:

http://www.ostiaantica.beniculturali.it/en/index.php

Excellent!
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Old Mar 21st, 2017, 04:55 PM
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A big second for DebitNM's suggestion, one of my favorite places in Rome. No, I think my favorite. My pictures:

http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/a-day-among-the-ruins-1
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Old Mar 21st, 2017, 05:13 PM
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I was also going to say ostia Antica. Easily accessible by train. When you are done with the site you can get back on the train and go another couple of stops to the beach. Take a bus from the train until you get along the beach.

We used an excellent private guide at the Vatican. I highly recommend this. Her name is Alessandra Mazzoccoli [email protected]

If you are interested in the Jewish Ghetto contact JewishRoma.com.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 10:45 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. I thought I would report back on our brief visit to Rome.
After our long flight beginning in SFO, we took a taxi to our hotel. The taxi fares are very straightforward, 48E to central Rome, including luggage. Important: The taxi stand is outside. Beware the unscrupulous private drivers who hang around the taxi fare information sign just inside the terminal who try to tell you that they are the taxis. Private rides for 75E and they try to talk you into a shared shuttle.

Our highlights:
The Borghese Museum - you must make advance reservations. We opted for a tour as well and it was excellent. The incredible Bernini sculpture collection is not to be missed. The incredible sculpture everywhere, even in corners of intersections. Just stunning.

Trevi Fountain: As soon as we checked into our hotel, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain to throw coins and people watch. It was a perfect sunny day and we sat on the steps and enjoyed the view of the beautiful fountain. Then off to our first in a series of lovely meals at Il Chianti.

A food tour through a company called Eating Italy. We opted for the evening Travestere tour and had a delightful evening of food and wine with an excellent guide. So fun!

Every meal! My DH insisted on the wonderful thin crust Roman pizza at least once a day. His favorite was a seafood pizza, covered with clams, mussels, heads on shrimp, and calamari - It's a pizza to love or hate! All of our meals were just excellent and mostly in little cafes.

Lowlights:

Weather: Although our arrival and departure days were beautiful, the other two days were rainy. What can you do?

Vatican Tour: We took a Vatican tour with Dark Rome. I do not recommend this company! The tour was terrible and the Vatican was oppressively crowded. A big disappointment, especially since our 1st trip to Rome had such an incredible tour of the Vatican - so much information that I thought my head would explode. It was the difference between having a lovely dinner at a wonderful trattoria and eating at McDonalds. Oh well, glad we had such a wonderful experience the 1st time.

Metro: We used the metro several times, and although it was easy to use and fast, it was so crowded. We did not use it on weekends or commuter times. We were literally smashed against other people. Really uncomfortable.

Despite these issues, Rome is a wonderful and in 2 trips, we have barely tapped the surface. I wished we had time for Ostia Antica - that is high on the list for next time!

Thank you for all of your recommendations!
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