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7 glorious days in Rome - so worth it!

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Oct 19th, 2013, 02:28 PM
  #1
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7 glorious days in Rome - so worth it!

This trip started on a whim. Last September, we had taken a 2-week trip to Taormina, Sicily and to Tropea, Calabria with our last day in Rome before our flight home the next morning.

We were travelling with 2 other couples who had not been to Rome before, so we spent the afternoon showing them whatever we could squeeze in. It was a manic kind of afternoon coupled with the fact that we got lost on our way back to hotel. I felt cheated of the charm of Rome....so when I got a Tripadvisor email alert of low airfare prices, NYC to Rome thru Dublin I hesitated only long enough to get the thumbs up from my husband. Hitting the "book" flights now button started the thrill!!

We were in Rome during Oct 9-16. We arrived on a rainy morning, but by the time we got settled in our apartment in the Campo Di Fiore section - http://vrbo.com/372507, the rain had stopped and we went out to explore the neighborhood. Found a food store right around the corner and stocked up on essentials. The location of this apartment could not have been more convenient. Within 5-10 minutes to Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trastevere and Jewish Ghetto. A doable walk to the Vatican, Piazza Popolo, Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain (I think my husband would disagree with the doable....especially towards the end of the week when his legs were not that "fresh).

Had done tons of research on eating establishments and had made a reservation for dinner that night at LaCampana. A very enjoyable meal and a great way to end our first day in Rome.

During our stay in Rome we took two day trips. One to Pompeii and one to Florence. Again, with research and help from this forum, we booked our train tickets early enough to obtain the low fares. I didn't have any problems booking thru the Trenitalia website. Pompeii was so worth it. We did join a group tour once inside the site and I am so glad we did. The cost was 10E pp in addition to the 11E pp entry fee.

I will not bore everyone with our "walking" adventures thru The Vittorio Emanuele Monument, Campidiglio, Gianocolo, Trastevere, Jewish Ghetto, but we visited all the above sites at our leisure (just the 2 of us), at our own pace and enjoyed the Rome that I remembered from 2004 (the last time we were there for 4 days). All of the above provided great photo opportunities for my husband .....1025 photos to sift thru....

We went to the Vatican on Sunday where mass was being held outside and we were lucky enough to see the Pope who made his way thru the crowds on his papal car at the end of mass. It was so wonderful to see him up close!!!

Our day trip to Florence was also very enjoyable. Visited the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Duomo, San Lorenzo church and market and the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacia. Were there in 2004 and had visited a lot of the other sites and museums then. Sat at a nice outdoor restaurant and had a glass of wine before catching our train back to Rome.

While in Rome, we ate at restaurants mentioned in this forum. All were good, some better than others. We had reservations to most, except to Casa Coppelle. If anyone wants any details or has questions about the restaurants listed below, please just ask. I will post individual reviews on Tripadvisor in a few days.

La Campana; Colline Emiliane; Hostaria Costanza; Buccone; Casa Coppelle; Il Fico; Alle Fratte Di Trastevere and Armando al Pantheon, Roscioli bakery.

For the women (including me) who come on this board and ask"what to wear"....do not worry. Wear what is comfortable to you. Jeans are a very common staple; scarves, scarves and more scarves - worn by men and women alike; sneakers in every possible color and boots!!

This trip was exactly what I thought it would be, and am very glad that we were able to pull it off in such a short time. I know we will return!!

Happy and safe travels everyone,

HelenG
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Oct 19th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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Wonderful HelenG. What times did you leave and return for your Pompeii and Florence trips?
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Oct 19th, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Lovely report! What could be better than a week in Rome? Sounds like you enjoyed it perfectly. Thanks for sharing.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for such a great report. It seems that your trip was fabulous.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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I'm very excited to read this, as my husband and I are starting to ponder a Rome/Florence trip in 2015. This will be our first trip Italy.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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Tdudette: the train to Pompeii left Rome at 8:20am and returned at 8:15pm; train to Florence left at 9:20am and returned to Rome at 8:30pm. Both trains were the "fast" Trenitalia trains, which left on time, were very comfortable and clean.

Thank you for reading!
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Oct 20th, 2013, 10:47 PM
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Thanks for the lovely report Helen, we're spending 4 days in Rome next June and had actually looked at the same apartment, though I just booked a similar one just off Piazza Navona. Reading your post is getting me excited already...
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Oct 20th, 2013, 11:05 PM
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Ahhhhhh one of my favorite cities. Have been endless times and will continue to try and get there whenever I can. I agree that your location was THE best. Last time we were there we also stayed in an apartment right off the Campo di Fiori and it was fabulous. Thanks for a lovely report and glad you had such a great time !!
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Oct 21st, 2013, 01:07 AM
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Thanks for the report. Our rental holiday flat was also near Campo di'Fiori. Rome is magnificent, isn't it?
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Oct 21st, 2013, 06:21 AM
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Thank you for the report!

I recently booked a seven-night budget trip to Rome in February --I will have stayed away from Rome for 14 years and feel I have never given that city the proper amount of attention. Your report helps get me in the mood!
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Oct 21st, 2013, 01:28 PM
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As short as this trip was, it certainly met our expectations of seeing the sites and walking leisurely through neighborhoods and twisty little streets taking in all that Rome has to offer. It was our third time there, but certainly will not be the last.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for sharing.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Thank You Helen..I enjoyed reading your TR..
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Oct 30th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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Helen, I enjoyed reading your report and am happy for you that you had such a good time. What a great city!! Hope to be able to read your restaurant reviews. Thank you for including the apartment link. The apartment looks great and as Rome is my favorite city I know I will be returning with this apartment in mind.

One question for you. It is very unusual to have a king bed in an apartment. Was it a king by American standard and did you find the bed very hard? I have gotten spoiled by my pillow top mattress at home and find it hard to sleep on a very hard one....just what my insomnia needs.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 04:41 PM
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Hi Lowcountry Carol, I wouldn't exactly call the bed a king size. Just a smidge larger than a queen. We found it extremely comfortable , more on the firmer side though. It was a very quiet neighborhood at night and the fact that we walked miles and miles each and every day, we slept like babies every night! I would not hesitate to stay here again. The apartment is on the second floor, which we had to walk up, but on our last day there they were installing a lift.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Helen, thanks for that information.
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Nov 5th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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"the train to Pompeii left Rome at 8:20am and returned at 8:15pm; train to Florence left at 9:20am and returned to Rome at 8:30pm. "

wow, that does sound doable. we are planning at least the pompeii trip, and I presume you did the link to naples, then another train to pompeii? but all in 12 hours is great. had wondered if it would be worth doing an overnight to take in the naples museum, too, but hate to pay twice for one night (we booked 10 days in rome). did you feel that you were able to get a good taste of pompeii in that relatively short time?

I hadn't even thought about florence as a day trip. we opted to not do the 'three nights here/pack/move/two nights there' shuffle, knowing we would rather have a long day than too much lugging of the bags.

thanks for posting, and anxious to read your restaurant reviews. can you link it? ran over there quickly but not too familiar with that site.

thanks for posting
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