Jul 4th, 2000, 02:17 PM
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Me and my family (kids =two teenagers) are planning to spend a week in italy in mid july.
We plan to spend most of it in Rome, with some day trips to surronding towns, and venice.
First, are there any things that you did on your trip that you think is a "must do"? Any advice or ideas would be GREATLY appreciated. We've never been to Italy before, and don't quite know where to start!
Also, any travel safety tips (eg. crimes to beware of, or places not to eat?) Any places we should definetly not go?
As you can see, we have many questions and ANY responses would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in Advance for you help
Jul 4th, 2000, 02:23 PM
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Aren't you a little late in your planning??????
There is so much to see in Rome, where does one start?
The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, The Vatican Museum, St. Peter's, etc., etc., etc.
I suggest you buy a couple travel books on Italy and start reading, reading, reading!
Jul 4th, 2000, 02:25 PM
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i am also going to be in rome in mid july. july 13 through july 20 to be exact. it is my first trip so i don't have any specific suggestions for you except that i have been reading all postings on here re rome for about the last month. so do a search. wonderful information. often leads you to some good websites. there is a recent posting about underground rome that really fascinated me. some good websites mentioned in it. i also bought a frommer's guide to rome and it has been extremely interesting to go through. somewhere i saw that there is an article about rome in the july/august issue of national geographic traveler. i haven't found it yet but i'm still looking.

where are you staying in rome.
Jul 4th, 2000, 08:18 PM
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Kathleen: You can spend a month in Rome and not see everything. I was there two years ago and had a list of the 20 things I wanted to see - - it was exhausting (I was there almost two weeks). I would suggest that you look through any books you can find on Rome and select those sights that are of interest to you. We used the Citypack book for Rome (published by Fodors) and the Exploring Rome book (also published by Fodors). St. Peters, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel are MUSTS. The Spanish Steps are also a very lively place. Most people also say to visit the Trevi Fountain, and while you are there, you may as well stop in the store next to it to get some gelato! I would suggest staying away from the large restaurants - these tend to be the tourist attractions and service is not that great. We walked out of several for poor service and then found a small, family run restaurant and went back there three nights of our stay. Watch the gypsies and their children if you need to wait in lines for anything - they will pick pocket you. Generally, it is a safe place. As with travel anywhere else, just make sure you are aware of what is hapening around you and you will be fine. Have a great trip!
Jul 4th, 2000, 08:40 PM
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Howard, a polite correction: nowhere in Kathleen's post does she state that she has just started her planning. I think, and I could be wrong in saying this , that she is asking for people's own experiences--to get a feel and flavor of the land. Not just some formulaic info from a book.

If you are going to attempt a response, please, please listen to the question.
Jul 5th, 2000, 01:20 AM
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We just got back from Rome and Florence and it was wonderful. We were in Rome for about 4 days and 2.5 days in Florence. The Great thing about Italy is there is a lot to see and soak up by just walking around the city.
My husband gets easily bored in museums so we didnít go into every one but we did go in to the major ones usually in the morning when itís hot outside (all that marble keeps you cool). On the plane ride we marked the exhibits we wanted to see from a book we had with us.
When you plan your day keep in mind that the line to get into some of the major sites can take up to 2 hours sometimes under the hot sun. But some of the places are open from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm and even later so it is good to check and try to try to get to these places at less popular hours.
We did walk for about 9 hours a day and say most of the fountains in the evening on our way to dinner, which was very special.
There is a group of American students who give guided tours. They give promotional free tours at the Coliseum and Forum and show you where to sign up for their other tours. Their explanations really bring the sites to life and are much more interesting than reading from a book (I canít find their brochure now but I am looking for it and will post their name when I find it).
I you plan to stay around the touristy areas the average age of the people you kids will see is around 45. If you want to see the younger local crowd you can find them sitting around the Compo de Fiori fountain in the evening. Thereís a great ice cream place there on the side of the Piazza that is behind the statue.
I have so much more to say but I donít want to hog up the boardÖ
(If you want to hear any more feel free to e-mail me)
Have a great time!
Jul 5th, 2000, 07:52 AM
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Patricia, a polite response to you: Kathleen wrote, "We've never been to Italy before, and don't quite know where to start." That sure a heck sounds to me like there's been little or no planning. I wasn't being rude, just realistic. I think you should READ to the question.
I thought I gave her good advice!
Jul 5th, 2000, 08:05 AM
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If you have time in Rome, try to check out the Via Appia and the catacombs.

You can also do Pompeii as a day trip from Rome. Pompeii is fascinating.

(And I think Howard completely misinterpreted Kathleen's post. It doesn't sound like she is just starting to plan at all. And even if she were just starting, who is he to be so critical and condescending?)
Jul 5th, 2000, 01:45 PM
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Don't forget to have ice cream every day while in Rome. It's great.
Jul 5th, 2000, 02:27 PM
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Howard listed some of the biggies, get the books - they're great. DEFINITELY have the gelato every day (I actually think it's a law - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) There are some beautiful areas outside of Rome - if you find Ed's website (search farther down the European questions) he had great suggestions on what to do in Italy - all of them good, he even has it listed by day. You are going to love Rome - I thought it was such an amazing city, such history! To sit in the Coliseum, leaning against a wall that the gladiators had leaned against..... You just don't get that anywhere here in the US very much. I agree with the poster that recommended the small restaurants - they're everywhere. Walk, eat (don't forget, the gelato police are always watching....) and enjoy the history.
Jul 5th, 2000, 02:55 PM
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Howard is wrong (although i appreciate his response). We have started planning. We even bought some travel books about Italy. What i meant by "we don't know where to start" was that the more we reasearch, the more there things it seems we need to see...
Also, thank you Patricia for explaining my post.
Thank You to ALL the people who posted, your advice will be very useful!
Keep Posting if you have anything to add...
Thank You
Jul 5th, 2000, 03:42 PM
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i have been coming to this board for at least 5 years i think. it's great. everytime i start planning a trip to europe i watch it everyday. i get so much help from it.

unfortunately a couple of years ago there were a few people who started thinking they owned the board and began to try to intimidate other posters thereby making it their board i guess. i'm sure you've met plenty of people like that in person so you know what kind of people they are. unfortunately, it has made this board a bit less enjoyable than it use to be. but it is still good.

hope you have a great time in rome. i am also planning a trip there.
Jul 5th, 2000, 05:02 PM
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Like others who have replied, including the other Nancy (Hi),
We have not been yet (next June), but have done alot of dreaming and planning.
I know you said the most you find, the harder it seems to be to make a real plan.
I will probably just add to that confusion,
But, there are some good websites that may give you stuff not in books. (in italian) and of course, Ed and June's site,
We will be going with family also, one teen and one pre-teen.
We will be a wk in Rome, then a wk. at a beach,so we will concentrate more on Rome while we are there than you will, but we still plan to take it fairly slow, so as to not arouse " teen crankies"
A morning out doing things, lunch out or back at apartment, then out later in the afternoon, but using this time to do more child oriented things, such as visiting a park, seeing a puppet show, taking a rowboat out on the lake at the Borghese Park.
There is even an amusement park there , that we plan on visiting one evening.
I know I have not offered much that you can use, but check out some of these sites, because they have lots of listings for cultural events that change from month to month, etc.
Have a really good time, and if you find anything your children like let us know.
Jul 5th, 2000, 05:53 PM
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My profound apologies for misinterpreting your request. But, what was I to think of the desperate "ADVICE PLEASE!!!" Despite what others have written, I had no intent to be critical or patronizing. My advice was real! I'm glad to see that you don't seem as upset as some of the posters!
Anyway, all I can say is I hope your trip is as memorable as ours was last November! A few observations and suggestions:
*Even though seven days offers plenty of time to see the sights, don't expect to see everything. We went with that attitude and it helps relieve the frustration! (Besides you know you're going to go back.)
*Plan on taking a one-day trip to Pompeii. It could be one of the high points of your trip and your teenagers will love it.
*Figure the better part of a day for the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's. And, they are certainly worth that much time. Get in line early at the museum and rent the audio CD. It's excellent.
*The remaining five days give you plenty of time to see the other sites. In addition to those already mentioned, here's a few others to take it: The Borghese Museum (make reservations in advance), The Spanish Steps in early evening when it's crowded with young people (your teenagers will enjoy it), walking around and dining in the Trastevere district.
*Have lunches in neighborhood snack bars with the locals. It's fun and very inexpensive. Also, take afternoon pastry and capucchino breaks! They're as good as the gelato!
*Take time to really enjoy Rome and the Romans.
Have a great trip! (Am I forgiven?)
Jul 8th, 2000, 06:59 PM
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Just got back from Rome with two teenagers, one of whom suffered severe jet lag and I suspect a case of being with parents, since we observed many teen tour groups...definately visit all the sites listed; go to the Vatican around 11 am; you have time to be there all day and shouldn't have to wait more than a few minutes to get into the museum...make them climb to the top of the Basilica; well worth it and the young are fit enough to do it with no problems...see the Forum at night, ghostly and evocative and much cooler....temps were around 90 while we were there. Young people come to the Spanish Steps in droves and are there well into the kids enjoyed being part of that experience. Rome felt incredibly more safe than some of the books seem to suggest...we saw virtually no gypsies and had absolutely no worries at any time...try to give them as much independence as possible...plan to be out until at least midnite, if not later...when do the Romans sleep?? Definately see the crypt of the Capuchins at the Church of the Immaculate in the Via Veneto--a fairly brief but interesting experience. We built in our last day for shopping (two daughters), which they greatly appreciated! The sales have started and you can get some great stuff at Etam and Onyx. All the women are wearing tiny tops and lowcut long sundresses with plenty of jewelry...get tickets for the Borghese Museum...great experience, including the grounds...carry a water bottle and fill it at the fountains....if they are into photography there's a good picture waiting every ten feet...

There's no place like Rome...

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