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Choosing just a few of the best churches, museums, and historical sights in Rome

Choosing just a few of the best churches, museums, and historical sights in Rome

Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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Great question!

We leave two weeks from today! Eeee! Excitement!
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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Before our trip to Italy, I posted here, asking about the best of the best churches. From the many wonderful responses, I came up with a list of 27 "must sees" (!); I think we made it to 11 of them. Is St. Peter's already on your list, such that you are only looking for one other church to visit?

I recommend planning with a good map in front of you, as many of the churches can be stepped into on the way to or from somewhere else. For example, both Santa Maria sopra Minerva and S. Ignazio di Loyola are very close to the Pantheon, and are worth a short detour on your way to or from the Pantheon.

Both San Clemente and St. Peter in Chains are just a short walk from the Colosseo, thus easy to see when you're in the neighborhood.

Once you have a list of maybe 10 churches you'd like to see, try to figure out when they are open. (That is often not easy. For some churches, I had three or four sets of operating hours that were all different. but you can get a general idea and it will help you with planning.) For example, if you are going to be in the Coloseo area on a certain morning, St. Peter in Chains may be open but San Clemente may be closed. That will help you narrow down your options.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Visiting a church can actually be a nice break. It doesn't usually take that long to step inside and look around. And churches offer a place to sit quietly for a moment and rest from the more rigorous sightseeing. In warmer months, churches offer a cooler, dark break from a hot, sunny day. And sometimes you can actually find a restroom somewhere in the church complex.

I recall going inside a church in Rome with my 20-year-old niece to get out of the rain. We sat quietly for a while and, next thing you know, my niece's head is on my shoulder and she is sound asleep. I sat quietly for about 10 minutes, letting her grab a jet-lagged nap. When she awoke, the rain had lessened and we went on our way.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Just a note re visiting churches. Since I work full time as a minister of music my kids are quite used to me needing to visit a multitude of churches. Of course sometimes they decide to have a quick peek in return for gelato! They do tire of it however, so while in Venice, which was at the end of our trip that year, I made them a deal. No planning to visit any church, BUT if we were in front of one we had to go in for at least five minutes...It worked, we hit seven churches in the first 45 minute "get lost in Venice" amble roughly on the way to a museum. And then we all had gelato! I think we will plan Rome the same way...
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Treble, I allow our kid to bring iPods and/or Gameboys with them...if they are not interested in a particular church, the Gameboy buys me a few minutes without complaint. They are also generally happy to have a place to sit and rest while the adults look around.

Note: They don't let tourists sit down at St. Peter in Chains! There are all these chairs around, but tourists can't sit....it's tourist torture (that we gladly endured to see Moses).
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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I also agree with ellenem. Three great choices. And San Pressede and San Clemente are also good. Churches are easier to visit than museums, you can do them quicker (except maybe San Clemente, that takes a little longer to go down through all the layers). But ellenem's three choices are all small, gorgeous churches that wouldn't take a long time to see.

Other than the Vatican, I would limit museums to that and the Borghese.
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