Christmas in Rome

Aug 12th, 2006, 05:47 PM
  #1  
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Christmas in Rome

Hi all,

We'll be in Rome from Dec 24 through the 29th. I originally thought most sites would be closed on the 25th, is this the case? I ask because I have heard that most places, other than the Vatican, are actually open.

Thanks for your help,
Dave
daveesl is offline  
Aug 13th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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This website http://tinyurl.com/homx4 suggests most sites are likely to be closed. You're probably best off e-mailing individually the places you want to see (or the Rome tourist office) for specific details.
Nonconformist is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 04:29 AM
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We'll be in Rome for Christmas this year also. We'd like information about any activities in or around Rome that are open and interesting.
Canders is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Our family of 5 will be there 12/21-12/28 - would like any info from others who have stayed over Xmas - many restaurants closed? A sweet church for Xmas Eve or day??
joannapv is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Christmas Eve and Day there are a lot of closures and limited bus service. For the rest of the days, you should have no problem.

By the way, I went to Rome for Christmas 2004. It rained for 10 days straight before we got good weather. So, be prepared. You might get lucky but it does rain a lot at that time of year. We were over for 17 days, so we did get some good weather at the end and were able to do some outdoor activities then.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Well, we figured it out (I hope).

We'll be staying in Ostia Antica, so we figured on the 24th we'll see the ruins there. I understand they are open.

Looks like most things are closed on Christmas, understandably. But on the 25th we may go with the madding crowd and try to see the Pope do the Christmas day thing. Then we figure we'll just walk around, ride the bus, whatever. Outside the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, etc. Oh, and the Roma Pass looks great, 18 euros PP for 3 day unlimited metro/bus pass including 2 free admits to the sites. I refuse to drive in Rome or London. Everywhere else is ok, except Tokyo.

On the 26th we figure we can visit some of the sites, such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon.

On the 27th we have a possibility of getting into the Wednesday audience with the Pope, then we'll tour some more stuff. Galleries, cathedrals, etc.

The 28th is our day to go to stuff we learn about during the other days. Really have no desire to go to Pompeii or Florence.

On the 29th we fly down to Sicily, where we'll stay until the 2nd. Renting an apartment on the Med, renting a car to tool around in.

We are history and archaeology buffs.

This is how we usually travel and always get to see a great deal of stuff. We aren't real big on fancy restaurants, we prefer small, family type places. Hopefully I'll have gotten down enough Italian between now and then to be semi-understandable. I speak French and Spanish, so Italian looks pretty easy.

Does that look like an ok trip to you all? If you see any flaws in my judgement, feel free to point them out.

Dave
daveesl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Bus service is very limited on Christmas Day and, in the middle of the day, the bus system closes down altogether so that the bus drivers can have Christmas dinner.

The train service may be better. I do not know because we used mostly buses. The metro in Rome is very limited. Trains do run to Ostia Antica. Before going into Rome for the day, be certain you can get home. If you need to take a taxi, it is a taxi drivers' market and the prices are very steep.

By the way, I would not go to Rome for Christmas again because the weather was so bad.

For midnight mass on the 24th, you had better have a way to get home because there is no public transport after the mass. We did not try that one because we knew we would have problems.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for the info.

Yeah, we pretty much decided against the Christmas eve thing, as you said, no way to get back.

We understand the weather may be lousy, but we kind of plan all of our trips that way (ha ha). All kidding aside, we actually do, and we always have great trips. Bring an umbrella, layer up and go for it. We're from Florida and Long Island...sweltering heat with insane humidity levels and lightning or cold rain and ice, slushy snow with winds. See, anywhere we go it is just like home.
daveesl is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Actually you won't need to bring an umbrella as with the first drop of rain in Rome an army of Indian and Pakistani umbrella salesmen descend on anyone without one - actually became a pestering problem for me but you'll always be able to snag a cheap umbrella you can later throw away so won't have to pack one.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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So long as you realize that outdoor excursions might not be practical, you will do OK. There are so many museums in Rome that my girlfriend never were at a loss for something to do even when the weather stunk.

By the way, we used rain ponchos as opposed to umbrellas. I find them much more practical than umbrellas. You put them on over everything and they provide another layer of pickpocket protection. Your hands are also left free--another advantage.

By the way, we called our trip "Flying Nuns Do Rome" as, for 10 days, we were never out of our ponchos. Mine was green and my girlfriend's was green, so we belonged to different "orders"--LOL.

We got out to Ostia Antica and to Florence for 2 nights after the weather cleared up.

All and all it was a good trip, but, as I said, I would not be nuts to travel there at Christmas again. Best times are spring and fall.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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Hi All,

We are also a family of five who will be in Rome for Christams. I have searched for opening times and call me stupid but things do not seem too clear. As far as I can see the Vatican is definitely closed 24th - 27th (understandable) but all the other sites only mention closing on 25th not 24th or 26th. Anyone with experience or information on actual opening times for important sights at this time?
aussiefive is offline  
Aug 19th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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Sounds like you should all have a Fodorite Get-together on Christmas!
massagediva is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Here is the "official" Vatican website calendar. It shows that it is closed (kind of) on the 24th and 25th for the museum and 24th, 25th and 26 for the "Museo Storico". The text below shows the 25th and 26.

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-In...fo_Orario.html

So, figuring that it may well be from the 24th through the 26th, we're planning on doing the Vatican on the 27th.

dave
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Aug 21st, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Check out the Christmas services at St. Pauls within the Walls (American Episcopal Church) at Via Nazionale and Via Napoli. Website: http://www.stpaulsrome.it/
It is a beautiful church with Burne-Jones mosaics behind the altar and most of the services are in English. There are also always a number of musical events scheduled so check their calendar.
linawood is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 01:01 PM
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dave, I was in Rome for Xmas 2003. Almost everything closed early on Xmas Eve...around 4PM...including restaurants. Had a tough time finding a place for dinner. The next day I did not encounter anything that was closed! Business as usual.

Also, Totally surprised that all the many extra people who came to the Vatican's Xmas Day service did not make the city seem any more crowded than the other days.

Dress warmly. You will have a wonderful time, but it is cold! That said, I'd go again in a heartbeat!
sallyjane3 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 06:37 PM
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So Sallyjane, what did you end up doing on Christams Day?

Angela
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Aug 21st, 2006, 07:51 PM
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We ended up sleeping in on Christmas Day. Both of us were Jewish and not interested in a Christmans service, although we enjoyed looking at all the preparations and the special food in the shops.

Then, after sleeping late, we went out for a late lunch finding a restaurant open in the neighborhood. It was a long walk--let me tell you.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:16 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their help in this.

We are more of the "ruins, cathedrals, antiquities, museum" tourists than the "stores, restaurants, theater" style. In other words, we are cheapskates.

So on Christmas day we figured we will travel around by bus and walk to see public things, like the various fountains, plazas and stuff. We understand that it could be cold and rainy, but heck that's what makes it exciting, eh?

dave
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:19 AM
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Hi, aussie.

My daughter was working as a Peace Corp volunteer at that time, stationed in a remote area of Kenya. She and I like each other as well as we love each other.

So, we talked and talked and talked as we walked all over the beautiful city, sat in outdoor cafes (with heaters provided by lovely waiters), and drank amazing wines.We like to get the feel of a city by just walking in the neighborhoods. We visited several churches and spent some quiet time with God. We even ran into a man who lives just three hours from me (Savannah). It IS a small world.

Have a great trip!
sallyjane3 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Spent Christmas 2001 in Rome with my family.I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Christmas Eve Mass at the Basillica for my husband,myself and one daughter. What an experience! We took a public bus to get there but went fairly early. After the service we followed the crowds into the streets and managed to hail a taxi back to our hotel.Our other two daughters joined us on Christmas day and while I don't remember where we ate, I know we found places that were open for dinner. Our weather ranged from the teens to close to 60 one day. Our only rain was a light drizzle on the warmest day. I don't recall anything being closed but then maybe we just went elsewhere and came back to it later in the week.
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