Did anyone else find Rome a horror?

Mar 12th, 2003, 03:15 PM
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KAMG - We too were not fond of Rome on our first trip to Europe. In fact on that trip which also included Germany, Switzerland, Paris and London we liked everything but Italy. That was in 1984, we have since been back to Europe twice and are planning our 3rd trip. The reason I did not like Italy is many and for also for some of the reasons we find people say they do not like France. Rude people including waiters, ticket takers who try to cheat you out of money, italian tour instructors who seem less informed than Americans, terrible traffic including trying to make 4 lanes out of 3, tunnels you could get affixiated in, telling you where to park, then a scam that tows the car away. I did not even enjoy the food, I think it was too hectic.
That said, we did enjoy the Vatican and related areas. I really never wanted to go back to Italy but broke down in 1999 and went to Venice (absolutely adored it!) Of course there are no cars there!
This trip we are venturing to the Lake Como. I do think part of my problem in 1984 was that I had not done the planning for Rome or most of Italy, my cousin had. I did Paris and London. So I suspect down the road we will give it another shot but not this fall. I can honestly say in all our trips which now include Belgium, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Germany, Austria and a lot of France, I have never really been disappointed in anything except for possibly a day or two because of weather. And I do believe it is due to planning and setting realistic expectations.
MGB is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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My first trip, I hated it. The second, I loved it. Maybe because we gave ourselves several days to acclimatize before attempting this busy city.

So many things factor into our reaction to a place. Your reaction is no less authentic than a positive one - but do give the Eternal City another chance.
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Mar 12th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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I didn't find Rome a horror, but I was not expecting so much traffic careening all around me. But I like the vitality of big cities, and once I got over my initial disorientation, I enjoyed being there.

No, you're not crazy for disliking Rome and you shouldn't feel guilty for feeling that way. Travel is a subjective experience, and your impressions are just as valid as those who think Rome is fabulous.

I applaud your open-mindedness and your willingness to give Rome a second look. However, don't be surprised if you don't like it the second time around either. No matter how highly it is touted, maybe Rome just isn't your cup of tea.

walkabout is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 03:51 PM
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Filthiest place I've ever been to...Even more disgusting than Mexico City.
Zeus is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 03:57 PM
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The first time I went to Rome in 9/01 I was totally overwhelmed - the first day to the point of almost being in tears - having come from Lake Como and Venice. By the time we left on the 3rd day, I loved it. So much so I returned last Sept. by myself for 5 days. I am in love with Roma. BTW I live in a very small town.
Barb is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 04:00 PM
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I was in Rome last June and had a completely opposite reaction. I loved Rome, much more than I thought because I usually don't like cities. I thought the sites would be away from the city, and actually was very intrigued that the sites were in the middle of the city being enjoyed by all in passing. We drove into the city and parked our car for the few days. I found central Rome rather pleasant to walk around in once I learned to give an "eye" to drivers as I crossed the street. When we left,we drove eastward, and found the suburbs rather dirty. I was completely overwhelmed by the size of the Forum, expecting it to be a very small site.
gb is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Re: Zeus' comment: "Filthiest place I've ever been to...Even more disgusting than Mexico City."

Different impressions of the same place always fascinate me and, since, in two post-Jubilee year visits, I found Rome no more "filthy" than any other large European city, I'm interested that others here say they found it so "filthy" or "dirty."

I had read that Rome was cleaned up a lot in preparation for the Jublilee year (2000), so maybe that accounts for some of the differences in perception. But people probably also have widely differing definitions of what makes a city (or, for that matter, a hotel) "filthy" or "clean."
capo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 04:30 PM
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I didnt find it dirty at all. In fact, I was surprised byhow clean it was! I was also fascinated by the fact that I could come out of the subway and literally walk into the colloseum...amazing. I wish I lived ina city where I could go to work every morning and walk by the Trevi fountain...just amazing!
jamikins is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 04:57 PM
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All the different opinions about Rome have been very interesting to me. I lived there for a year as a teenager (in 1950!). I loved it then, and it was definitely not the hectic city you all are talking about. I loved wandering around Rome, but, as a young, blond, American girl, the Italian men made me very nervous! I haven't been back, but maybe I should, although I'm afraid I'll be disappointed. I'll definitely be disappointed not to get all that attention!
Sue4 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 06:00 PM
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I've been to Rome three times, on trips that ranged from 3 days to more than a week. It never became a favorite of mine, although I'm a devoted Italophile. I appreciate Rome, but I don't like it. I'm awed by the layers of history you can trample over just walking from one place to another; the Colosseum and Capitol Hill and all the Roman ruins are absolutely awe-inspiring, especially as they are right there! in the midst of a modern city.
But as a city, it's not attractive. There's too much chaos and dirt and mingling of centuries of architecture without any thought of how it all might look nice together. And it's noisy and the public transportation system is woefully inadequate and it does take forever to navigate the place on foot (and I'm a major-league walker!). I can't quibble about the food - Italian food is awesome anywhere in Italy, including in Rome. Oh, and the Vatican Museums - sorry, but they make me fume. All that money, all those treasures, all that wealth, packed into miles of museum, and people are still starving in the countries from which much of it came. I can only shake my head in wonder, and sadness. The Sistine Chapel is incredible, but once you've traversed the 54 rooms that precede it, you already have a bad taste in your mouth for the holdings of the Catholic Church - at least I do - and it diminishes the final BANG!
Rome is not for sissies. It's neither orderly nor easy. As I said up front, I appreciate it, but I don't like it.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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As a part of many trips to Italy, we have been to Rome six times over the last 11 years, for anywhere from 2 to 6
days. Each time we find it more
amazing and wondorous.
Give it a chance, get off the beaten tourist track for a while. A great little book is "Rome Secrets"
Sorry for your bad experience, it is truly our favorite city in the world.
Goethe describes it best;

"As in Rome there is, apart from the Romans, a population of statues, so apart from this real world there is a world of illusion, almost more potent, in which most men live."
- Goethe

TCC is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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Rome is my least favorite place in my favorite country.

I've been to Rome only twice, once the summer ater I graduated from high school and once when I was 25, also in the summer, since I was a teacher. Since then I've been to Italy about 6 more times. I love Italy; it's my favorite country to visit, I enjoy the people, and I know and love the language. I'm tremendously interested in the things that make Rome a great attraction: the art, history, etc. Yet, while it was a wonderful experience walking in the forum, seeing the Sistine Chapel, seeing the artwork in the churches, etc., I just found Rome unpleasant and couldn't warm up to it. It is my least favorite place in the whole country. I found it frightening and tiring to walk the streets, found too many of the people (taxi drivers, desk clerk) dishonest or rude or unpleasantly aggressive, hated the way modern trash was strewn around ancient sites and Roman ruins seemed to be treated with disrespect.

Maybe I will feel differently if I visit Rome again now, as a middle aged woman in the dead of winter, instead of as a 25 year old in July. I will try again one of these days.
cmt is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 07:59 PM
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My first trip to Italy, Rome was at the bottom of the priority list. I thought it was just a big, crowded, polluted city - like southern California where I lived.

So, only planned 2 days in Rome in March, the week before Easter. It was busy, but not bad. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Roma! I was blown away by the milleniums of history, architecture and art. I loved the bustle, even though I was sick as a dog. We only took one bus, and one taxi ride, the rest of the time was walking. We walked for about 12 hours straight. I've never been so exahused....but I LOVED it and can't wait to go back for a whole week just in Rome!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 12:58 AM
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I visited Rome five years ago for a weekend from Tuscany. I didnt like it at all (although my husband did). I didnt like walking the streets at night. However...............My husband and I visited Rome a year ago - the second two weeks in August - when a lot of Italians are on holiday. I absolutely loved every minute of it and was sorry when 2 weeks were over.
We stayed in the Colonna Palace hotel, right in the centre of the historic centre and was only 5 or 10 minutes walk from all the main sites - it was a great hotel and no traffic because it faces the parliament buildings and guarded on all sides by police. However we wandered Rome at night until well after 11pm and felt safe. I think the city has been cleaned up considerably for the Jubilee in 2000. We just took our time and wandered, taking in the atmosphere - never once took a taxi (and we are middle aged)!!! We took the subway once when we went to Ostica Antica (the Roman Port) - what a place!!! I hope I will be back in Rome some day!!!
Isobel is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 02:44 AM
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I have been to Rome twice,
both times in june/july
once with my family(10 days)
and once on my own (4 days)
this year we will be ending up our 3rd trip with 5 days in rome.
I LOVE it.
I knew I would enjoy it, but I did not expect to fall so in love with it.
I have lived in a very rural area for the past 30+ yrs, and generally dislike cities.
Rome to me is magic,
the noise, the smell, the garbage on the streets, all of that is just part of something so special I can not really articulate it.
these things are irrelevent in my mind.

I think a person will either
love Rome wildly
or dislike it intensely.

But, a person always must keep in mind,
this is a real city,
with a working population just like anywhere else in the world.
It is not a romantic Universal- MGM like theme park.
but, to each his/her own .

KAMG, I hope you did find someplace on your trip that you did love.
If not, keep looking.
Italy and eupope in general must be filled with wonderful places ,
and with luck,
you and your husband will find that special place that draws you back again and again.
nanb is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:29 AM
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Rome is very crowded in tourist season and the traffic is horrible. And although we were expecting to be irritated by these aspects, we ended up really liking the city as the monuments, fountains, food, etc. made up for the crowds and traffic.
francophile03 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:39 AM
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It is hard to please everyone, and some people manage to find something to criticize not matter where they are going!!What do you expect KAMG? Regarding the Coliseum having all that traffic!!!! You means to tell me that before going to Rome you never saw a picture or some news about it !!It is hard to believe it!!!!Sorry to tell you that You sure missed the magic that is Rome.
kismetchimera is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:46 AM
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Ok-here goes- Rome is not at the top of my list of Italian cities to visit--
I compared it to NYC with WORSE traffic. While I love NYC, the traffic in ROME, the gypsies and the pollution ALL got to me...along with the people on Vespas doing purse snatchings....

The good part was the hotel was terrific and in spite of all of the above , we did have a good time.....

We were not there for a long period of time ( 3 days) while we were on a whirlwind of Italy--to Rome,Venice and Florence....

That being said, we have returned to Florence 3 times and 2 times to Venice...I guess I need to await tons more stamina to "do ROME".....

IT is not for the faint of heart....
andy is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:52 AM
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We started a three week trip in Rome. Frankly I was not crazy about it. I continue to think it might not have been the place to recover from jet lag after a 14 hour flight..that being said..I found it to be crowded,not easy to navigate and overwhelming..we ended up for a week two weeks later in Venice..now that was a city to visit. Many people love Rome..I think I might try it again but on another part of an Italy trip and not for more than two or three days.
PamSF is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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I have been to Rome 6 or 7 times. I both liked it and hated it. I do not plan on returning. I don't get the same pleasant feelings I get as in Paris or London or anywhere in Spain (despite some similar problems in Madrid and Barcelona).
Thomas is offline  

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