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Dolce Vita on a Budget?

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My wife and I, 60 and 70, plan to meet German cousins, 72 and 77, to spend the last four days of March in the Infinity Hotel St. Peter, in Rome, a few hundred yards from the Vatican. We've all travelled a bit but have never been to Rome.

We would like to have a tiny taste of the so-called sweet life while lacking the big bucks to do it right. And we want to do whatever we can do sensibly, without rushing from one touristy sight to another. Our questions are:

1) What would be the recommended "sensible" way to get from Fiumicino Airport, with luggage, to our hotel, if not by taxi?

2) Is it "sensible" (or insane) for people our age, though reasonably fit for our ages, to think about walking from near the Vatican to most of the "standard" attractions, as opposed to fighting crowds and/or pickpockets on buses or in the metro?

3) Is there some "sensible" right way/wrong way, best time/worst time, to more fully appreciate walking through the streets, piazzas and important attractions of the eternal city? Again, we'd like to do things in a leisurely manner, taking time to smell the roses and to appreciate at least the mid-afternoon tiramisu and cappucino, if not the priciest cuisine.

Any advice along these lines would be sincerely appreciated!

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