Christmas In Rome

Old Nov 7th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Christmas In Rome

I just found out that my husband got a weeks vacation for next Christmas (2008). We want to spend it in Rome. But, what are we in for? Is anything open on Christmas Eve or Christmas day as far a restaurants if we stay at a hotel? Or should we look into renting an apartment? I am so excited I can't stand it. What about Mass at St. Peters? I know the crowds are probably horrendous. Anything else we should plan on doing in Rome? I need input!!!!!
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Few restaurants are open on Christmas Day but you might want to check with hotel restaurants and restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto. Since Christmas is on Thursday next year, that is good because Thursday is not a popular closing day for restaurants. More restaurants are open on Christmas Eve. Tickets for Midnight Mass inside St. Peter's are very difficult to get. You could try writing to the office of the Bishop of the North American College on Via Umilita or contact your local parish to request tickets for you. You can stand outside St. Peter's and watch the Mass on the Jumbotron t.v.s but with the crowds, the cold, the standing for over an hour and the difficulty in finding transportation back to your hotel after Mass, it may not be worth it.
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Catzb1, I'm excited for you! Christmas in Rome sounds fantastic. I think if you do a search here, and perhaps on slowtrav.com (the Slow Travel community) you'll find lots of recent discussions about Roman Christmas markets, fabulous decorations and creche displays......

An apartment might be a good option for you and your husband. That way, you could make it a bit festive if you wished, with a few decorations arranged the way you wish. And with a fridge, you could stock up on some things like cheese or other deli items; make your own hot mulled wine or hot chocolate or whatever after an evening walking around seeing the sights.....And if you and your husband want to sit around drinking coffee and opening gifts Christmas morning in your PJs, that's easier in an apartment!


You're really going to have a Christmas to remember.

I almost always stay in hotels in Italy, which are fine most of the time. But I just have a sense that at Christmas, they might feel a bit cold and impersonal.

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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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I was in Rome last Christmas and definitely found more restaurants open on Christmas Day than Christmas Eve. I'm not saying a lot were open, but more than on the 24th. If you want more information on Rome at that time of year, here is my trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34922204



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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Grinisa
sacc
SusanP...thanksfor your responses. We are leaving in 3 weeks for Florence and Rome but when I found out yesterday that we can go again next Christmas, I was on cloud 9!
I am so excited.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 03:57 AM
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Hi

I have not been there during Christmas but maybe you can find some useful information in my trip reports from Florence (see http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm ) and Rome (see http://gardkarlsen.com/rome_italy.htm ) Have a great trip.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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My husband and I spent Christmas in Rome last year and had a fabulous time. The streets of the historic center were all decorated with strings of white lights and the atmosphere was very festive. I've been to Rome twice in December and both times the weather was great - not too chilly to spend the whole day walking around.

We enlisted the help of our hotel (Albergo del Senato) to make restaurant reservations for us on Christmas eve and Christmas day. We had a fabulous meal at San Gallo on Christmas eve and ate a late lunch (outside!) at Campo di Fiori after attending the Pope's noon blessing in St. Peter's Square on Christmas day. Do plan to attend the blessing, especially if you don't get into the mass. There are no seats, so be prepared to stand for a long time. It is amazing to watch the piazza fill up with people from all over the world. If you arrive around 10-10:30 and are willing to wait, you will get a good view near the front.

We were looking into mass at St. Peter's but soon realized how difficult it is to get tickets, so we opted to attend mass at the Pantheon instead. It was an incredible experience, although if you opt for it, be sure to dress for the weather, as it is COLD in there at midnight. There are many other lovely churches in Rome that hold midnight masses. Do a search on this forum and you should find several threads on the topic.
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