Birthday surprise

Apr 21st, 2006, 04:38 AM
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Birthday surprise

Last year, I sought the advise of Fodorites for a romantic picnic in Paris. I was not disappointed in terms of the replies and it was the most perfect day.

This year, for my boyfriend's birthday, we're going to Rome. We'll be there for 5 days (Sat til Wed), with his birthday on Tuesday 26 Sept. Its my first time to Rome so we will do the normal sightseeing things on the other days but for his birthday, I want to plan something special. So here is my question:

"What would be the ultimate day in Rome?"

I want a hidden secret that the average tourist can't read about in their tourist book. Is it wine tasting? Or a taxi ride out somewhere? Or is it a romantic walk somewhere with a fantatic dinner in the evening? Bear in mind that we will be doing the heavy duty sightseeing days the 3 days previous, so another day of sightseeing won't be THAT different...

Its a really tricky one because I know each person is different, but I am pretty much open to some unique ideas. It doesn't have to end with a meal at the end of the day either - if the highlight of the day is in the afternoon, I'd be quite happy too.

Come on Fodorites...give me your best....!!

Wonder_Woman is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Just thought the age might help as well! We are late 30s...

Wonder_Woman is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 07:56 AM
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I want to be as polite about this as possible, but...

I think you said it best in your initial post...

<< So here is my question:

"What would be the ultimate day in Rome?" >>

And thus, that is what you should say in your message header.

Please, do repost.

Seeking answers under your current message header is doing a lot of people a big disservice - - not the least of which is yourself...

... you're expecting everyone to stop and read your post whether they are knowledgeable Rome or not - - and not necessarily attracting the attention of those people who are knowledgeable Rome.

So, I know this is lecturing you - - and you will think you don't deserve it - - but it is important to how this forum works... that the message headers refer to destinations.

Anything less is inconsiderate of how the forum should - - and does work best.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Hi Wonder Woman

Here's a possibility that may or may not appeal - how about taking a day trip out of Rome and visiting Lake Bracciano?

One of my best friends from school moved to Italy in the late 80s (for a year to be an au pair) and has been there ever since. For the last several years she has lived in Anguillara Sabazia on the edge of this lake.

It's a beautiful lake - I believe it's an ancient volcanic caldera - and there are some pretty towns and picnic spots around it.

I can't help with much detail but if the idea appeals you could research more before making any real plans.

Here's one site I just found:
Kavey is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Wow, what a wonderful idea. That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Thank you so much Kavey. Will look into it a bit more.
Wonder_Woman is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 08:59 AM
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Glad you like it... there's a wonderful castle in Bracciano itself - it's gorgeous!
Kavey is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Wonder Woman, I did a wonderful day trip to Anguillara Sabazia, Lake Bracciano, the Etruscan Ruins, the tiny town of Ceri, etc. with a private driver and guide a few weeks ago. It wsa great and he was quite knowledgeable about the area, not to mention friendly and professional.

His name was Stefano Constantini and his website is
Statia is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 03:14 AM
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Yes, a trip north of Rome to see the Etruscan remains and Medieaval villages would definitely be different. There are some ideas on - Lake Bracciano has a lot to be said for it and there are restaurants overlooking the lake. Another possibility is a visit to Calcata - not sure if you can eat well there but it's very different from Rome!
constant is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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I wanted to help with a "Birthday Surprise" but have never been to Rome (but will top this post for you).
suze is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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A nice hidden secret would be to go out and see the world's smallest country, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (40 residents, all men). It's even smaller than Vatican City, and you can see the teeny country through a large keyhole in the gate. You can actually go inside the adjacent church, however, which is quite interesting.
Underhill is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Thank you to all for your ideas. Can't wait now!

Wonder_Woman is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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What have you planned then?
Kavey is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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How about a short day trip to Tivoli to the Villa d'Este...a beautiful place to have a wonderful lunch...

The Villa d'Este in Tivoli, with its palace and garden, is one of the most remarkable and comprehensive illustrations of Renaissance culture at its most refined. Its innovative design along with the architectural components in the garden (fountains, ornamental basins, etc.) make this a unique example of an Italian 16th-century garden. The Villa d'Este, one of the first giardini delle meraviglie, was an early model for the development of European gardens.
TheVagabondLady is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Just thought I would update on my planned trip to Rome.

I have booked a trip with Stefano Constantini (and his website is

I'm not telling my boyfriend but Stefano will be outside the hotel with a board saying Happy Birthday and we will set off for an 8 hour round trip, the words of Stefano...

"start with going to Bracciano lake ,visiting trevignano and
>Bracciano,the we'll go to Cerveteri and then to the beautiful Ceri where
>you'll get an excellent lunch".

Can't wait. Wouldn't have been possible without everyone's help on here so thank you once again.

Now I just need to find some amazing restaurant for dinner in the evening....


Wonder_Woman is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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We too loved Bracciano and Lake Bracciano. Its a working city, certainly not overrun with tourists, but it is a great town and the castle tour is neat. There are some good restaurants in town. It is possible to get to Bracciano by train from Rome.

Here is another website:

Sounds like you will have a great time and he will be in for quite a treat!

tcreath is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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That's great news, Wonder Woman. Stefano is a real gem. Be sure to tell him that I said hello, and have a wonderful time for your celebration!

BTW - Lunch in Ceri is great and the little town is charming. Be sure to purchase some homemade wine from the restaurant (if it's the same one I'm thinking of). It's really good. The views over the vineyards there are lovely , as well.

Statia is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Wonder Woman,

Your day trip with Stefano sounds wonderful! We will be using him in October, but only from the airport to our rental apartment.

Would you mind telling me what he charges for a day, as we might want to hire him.

Thanks, and have a wonderful trip!

nukesafe is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 11:48 PM
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Have a wonderful day... glad to have been able to help!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Thank you, all.

FYI, Stefano is charging me 370 euros for 2 of us for an 8 hour day.

Quite a bit for just 2 but its a special day... but why work so hard during the week if you can't splash out every now and again?!
Wonder_Woman is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Let us know how it went. We've been looking into private tours also.
kaleighsgram is offline  

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