First Trip to Rome

Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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First Trip to Rome

I am posting on behalf of a friend who is taking her first trip to Rome along with her husband, in September. They are novice travelers to Europe, her husband has been overseas a few times solely for business. She has never been.

They have very little planned in terms of what they will do or see while in Rome. They will be there for 4 1/2 days. They are devout Catholics so visiting Vatican City is first and formost on their list of things to do. Do you have any suggestions for them in regards to Vatican City? (They plan on spending two days visiting there.) Other must sees or things to do during the remaining two days?

They are also still searching for a hotel. They do not want to stay in a chain and would prefer something smaller and family owned if possible. They would like to be near the Vatican or at least near a transportation line. They would like decent sized beds (or two twins for their comfort) and they need air conditioning (husband has a breathing condition). Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for all responses. I know you guys will offer up some great ideas!
egwright10 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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I would strongly suggest the Scavi tour for anyone who is interested in the history of religion in general and the RC church in particular. Do a search here for tons of information.

A good friend of mine, also RC and also a nervous first-time traveller, stayed in convents in Rome.They are equipped for couples, too, and there is one quite near The Vatican. Once again, a search here should turn up the particulars. (I will also have a hunt around my desktop to see if I saved any reference to the name.)
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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My daughter and I jsut returned from Rome, our second trip there, alos devout Catholics, and we stayed at a wonderfully centrally located hotel called Locanda Senatorum, a beautiful, spotlessly clean and comfortable hotel. It is located between Piazza Navona and the Parthenon, within walking distance to the Vatican, and breakfast was included-a great deal. Pictures and reviews could be seen at TripAdvisor, they would be very pleases with the location and accomodations. Papla audience tickets can be requested online and picked up at the American Church the day before the audience. I could give you exact websites once I dig out my notes-we only got home this past weekend and I am trying to sort out all my stuff!- we also took a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel that picked us up at our hotel and then dropped us off again - cannot remember the name of the tour group but can find it out if interested. All the churhes are amazing and not to be missed, St. Peter in Chains, with Michaleangelo's Moses statue is an experience not to be missed,the Mammartime where St. Peter was imprisoned, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi fountain, where we saw a marraige proposal, in the fountain's water! Just to stroll, enjoy a gelato or a bistro dinner and people watch, this place is heavenly-I can't wait til I get to go back. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy-it's like no ohter place on earth. My email address is [email protected] if you want furhter info, feel free to write. God bless, Leslie
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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I hope your friends are going to be in Rome on a Wednesday so that they can attend a Papal Audience. Tickets are free and can be obtained by requesting them from the American parish in Rome, Santa Susanna or at the Bishop of the North American College in Rome. If they are in Rome on a Sunday, they can go to St. Peter's Square at noon for the Pope's blessing; no tickets are necessary. If they plan on spending two days at the Vatican, they can see the Basilica and do a Scavi Tour on the same day. If it's Wed. they can combine that with a Papal Audience. Save the Museums/Sistine Chapel for the other day. On one of the other days, they might want to an ancient Rome tour of the Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Context Rome does an excellent guided tour or they can sometimes find a free tour at the sights given by history students. A trip out to the catacombs can be done after ancient Rome. I like the catacombs of San Sebastiano and the church of San Sebastiano above the catacombs is one of Rome's seven pilgrimage churches. For the other full day, I might visit the Borghese Gallery. Advance reservations are necessary. Then spend the rest of the day walking around the historic center and seeing things like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Campo di Fiore as well as many interesting churches (San Ignazio, Gesu, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and Santa Maria della Pace are all close together). If they are not interested in the Borghese and want to see more pilgrimage churches, they are: Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni Laterano, Santa Croce in Gerusaleme (worth a visit anyway for the relic chapel containing the INRI sign, nails, thorns and pieces of the cross)San Lorenzo Fuori la Mura, San Paolo Fuori la Mura and St. Peter's. If they go to San Giovanni Laterano (the cathedral of Rome) they can cross the street and climb the Scala Santa (holy stairs that were in Pontious Pilate's palace) on their knees.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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For devout Catholics - the Scavi tour is a must and was the highlight of our trip. Although we took a tour of the Vatican and the Sistine chapel I heard there is a tour available after hours so you can really take in the Sistine Chapel without the hords of tourists.
I also enjoyed all the churches - check into their hours because many close midday. Also I really liked the catacombs - although you do see some catacombs on the Scavi under St Peters.
Rome is magical!
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Thanks for all of your quick responses. I have sent along your helpful information to my friend.

I should mention they are hoping to spend no more than $300 USD per night for a hotel. If you have any other suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.
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