Avoid Rome?

May 4th, 1999, 11:47 PM
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Avoid Rome?

My family will begoing to Italy for an extended stay. I have been reading lots of negative comments on pickpockets etc. in Rome. Does anyone have any recomendations on getting to Sienna,with my two young daughters . We will be travelling from Canada. thanks...M
May 5th, 1999, 03:34 AM
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absolutely not! do not miss out on one of the most amazing places in the world. you must go, and just be very cautious of your surroundings at all times. we just returned from rome and only encountered gypsies once the entire time. we saw them approaching in their normal manner one holding a baby with cardboard and another along side her. both my husband and i were both wearing hip wallets that tuck into your pants with shirts over them yet the two girls just started grabbing at us-you just need to yell loudly at them and push back-i know it may seem harsh as they are only little girls, but just think that they have no qualms about stealing your possessions! since we were prepared , the incident did not even really phase us...i know others in this forum have had bad experiences, but please don't let that deter you...
actually, we felt much safer in rome than we did during our time in florence!
sienna was also amazing, with one of the most beautiful squares and duomos in all of italy...
go and have a wonderful time.
p.s. we honeymooned in canada (cape breton, and p.e.i) another one of our favorite places in the world1!!
May 5th, 1999, 05:51 AM
Paul Rabe
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*IF* you prepare yourself for the possibility of pickpockets and take the same precautions you should take in any large city in the world, your time in Rome will be more troubled by jet lag than by pickpockets. But you'll also experience more delights in art, food, architecture, history, shopping, etc. than in just about any city you could imagine. Plan and prepare for its problems, but ABSOLUTELY do *NOT* avoid this wonderful city because of them!!
May 5th, 1999, 06:39 AM
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M.Gagiardi - we had our three children in Rome last month. They each carried their own wallets and we had cameras, etc., and never encountered any problems whatsoever. I think the entire Europe crime theme is way overdone. Rome is wonderful. Don't miss it.
May 5th, 1999, 08:25 AM
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Could you expand a bit on your interest in Siena?
How old are your daughters? How many days you intend to spend in Siena and Tuscany? Is Florence in your plans? Do you consider driving a car on occasions or is it completely ruled out?

May 5th, 1999, 10:04 AM
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We, too, were heavily warned about pickpockets before our 2 trips to Rome. But the many warnings were taken seriously and we carried no visible evidence of wallets or purses. My husband kept our day’s cash and passports in a traveller’s belt under his clothes. The advice was useful, as 6-8 women in a place near the Coliseum jostled him. They were not interested in my camera. Do I mean this to be a warning about Rome? No, rather a caution to be diligent about your belongings in any big city where you'll stand out as a tourist. Rome is no different.
Having said that, I would also say: do not miss Rome. We underestimated how awed we would feel at sites such as St. Peters, the Sistine Chapel and the Forum, and every beautiful piazza with a fountain.
As for Siena. We have been to Rome and the Siena area on 2 different trips. The first trip we took the train to Florence and picked up our rental car. On the second trip we got a rental car in Rome and drove to our accommodations near Siena. I much preferred the latter. It saved us hauling or belongings by transit (subway or taxi) to the train, hauling our luggage on and off the train, and again when we got to Florence. However, my husband is a confident, competent driver who did not mind the driving experience of getting out of Rome. I would recommend the rental car route for those people who plan to have a car while in Tuscany—if you plan a lot of day trips it is necessary—and for those who feel confident behind the wheel in a new situation.
May 5th, 1999, 11:52 AM
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Was traveling by myself in Rome and Florence last year and felt more on my guard in Florence. There was an undercurrent there that was unsettling.Siena, on the other hand, was magical!
May 5th, 1999, 01:31 PM
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Don't miss Rome!!! It is filled with history which would a valuable educational experience for your daughters (unless they're very young).
You will have the added distraction of your children, so secure your money under your clothing and you will be fine. I have travelled to Rome twice with no problems.
May 5th, 1999, 02:08 PM
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Please don't miss Rome. You will regret it. Reasonable precautions suffice.
May 5th, 1999, 05:50 PM
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I will reiniterate what has been said before--use wisdom and a money belt and go to Rome. It is absolutely fascinating.

One of the most eerie sights must be seen in Rome--be sure to take your children to a church where the bones of 4000+ Cappucin monks have been made into the wall coverings. It is VERY interesting to say the least!

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