Help - My first time in Rome

Feb 17th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5
Help - My first time in Rome

I will be in Rome March 29 - April 7. I have never been there and of course want to everything. I was hoping that someone could give me a general idea of what to expect. I was thinking of staying at the Hotel Regent. Does anyone have any input as to what sort of place it is? Also, I don't speak any Italian, but I will be carrying a dictionary to help me. Does anyone think that I would have any problems? Really, anything anyone can tell me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
KristiMcK is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Hello Kristi, I can't help you with the Hotel Regent, but I can extend a welcome in Rome. I will be in Rome from March 30 - April 12 and am getting together with AC and her MOM for dinner on March 31st (we met on this wesite). We maybe posting a "general get together" (GTG)on this site in the near future. If interested, please let us know. Mike P.S. I'm sure you'll be just fine.
barbmike is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Just learn a few words of Italian like "please," "thank you," "how much," etc. Language is not a big problem in Rome. Your hotel seems to be a bit off the beaten track, but you will have good access to Rome's limited subway system, which is good for the Vatican and the Colosseum areas. You will be relatively close to Piazza del Popolo, the Borghese Museums, and the Spanish Steps. I would suggest staying in another part of town, for example Piazza Navona.

It seems you have enough time to consider daytrips out of Rome for a couple of days too.

Are you going for business or pleasure, and what are your interests?
dan_woodlief is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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A general idea of what to expect:
Lots of churches.
Crowded sidewalks and lots of traffic.
Great food. Plenty of sidewalk cafes, especially to the immediate west of the Piazza Navonna. Don't be afraid to ask if they have an English menu.
Historical treasures beyond description. More than you can shake a stick at.
Romance (if you're into that sort of thing).

My #1 piece of advice: get a good guide book and read the hell out of it. DK/Eyewitness books never let me down.
mr_go is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,617
I wouldn't worry about the dictionary--you're not going to be able to spell the responses you might receive and then can't look them up. In large cities,most people in shops and museums and train stations speak English. Almost every restaurant will have one or more waiters who speak English. Occasionally a taxi driver doesn't, but you can always hand him/her a piece of paper with your destination written down.

If you haven't already, click at the top of this screen on Destinations, and look over the great info on Rome that Fodors has. I have a long file on Rome; if you'd like to see it, email me at [email protected]

You need a good map. I carried two.
Streetwise Rome is great for general orientation and for most tourist sites.
Michelin's Roma Tascabile (available from Amazon) is a little spiral book with a small area on each page, better for detail if you need one of Rome's small streets/alleys.
elaine is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I disagree about carrying a dictionary, and I am one of the frequent "disagree-ers" about how much Italian you can or should try to learn. You will see many words in print, and looking up as many as interst you can help double the amount of Italian you pick up in ten days.

There are 39 days until you leave. You COULD learn 10 new words a day. Today would be a good day to start. Use flash cards and some aids with audio instruction. Say it out loud. No mumbling or saying it under your breath. Let me say it again. Say it out loud. You have to get used to how you sound (and get over how bad you think you sound).

Your deck of flash cards could contain 300 words by the time you leave - - does that mean you will "know some Italian" - - well, some - - you might only get 75% right on a pop quiz, but it forms the basis for your EASILY learning 10 more words a day while you are there. This can add so much to your having a really great learning and satisfying trip.

Will you get by if you don't do any of this? Yes. Should you, in my opinion? No.

Finally, as a newcomer, I see that you posted "Help - my first time in Rome, Part two". It would be customary to simply add ore questions to this message "thread" or to at least start a new posting that gets at what you actually asking about.

Commonly, newcomers start new threads because they are unprepared for how "dep" their first question is "buried" (next 50, next 50, so on) - - and they think they can't find their original question(s).

But you can always find your owm posts, by simply clicking on your own name. It's in the upper lefthand corner, once you have logged in (which you would have to do to ask any more questions).

Welcome to the forum... have a great trip... and...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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At nearly (if not all), the tourist spots in Rome, English is spoken. I speak Italian and was rather surprised when a clerk at a gelato shop near the Trevoi Fountain addressed me in English, prior to my even opening my mouth! You will find it very easy to get around. Asking the friendly Italians is not a problem and they will go out of their way to point, wave, and gesture you into the right direction. Per favore (please), grazie (thank you), scusa (excuse me), dove (where), albergo (hotel) are some basic words that are quick to learn.

Rome is frenetic with lots of people on whizzing Vespa scooters and buses. The place is similar to Los Angeles or any other large American city (NYC). However, despite the city's hectic pace, you can still find charming pockets of idyllic tranquility throughout the city. I recommend going up to the Villa Borghese, you can take a picnic lunch up there and sit under the alberi (trees) and relax - or even visit the zoo and museum there. The walking tours (i.e. Walks of Rome) given at the Colisseum, and in the Roman forum area all speak English too, so that shouldn't be a problem. Buon viaggio!
Huitres is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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Hi Kristi-

Rather than carrying a dictionary, how about getting an Italian phrase book? It is much smaller and lighter than a dictionary, and usually has enough tourist phrases to help you get by. You will appreciate the difference in weight at the end of the day. No matter how little I bring with me in my daybag (camera, bottle of water, guide book), it gets progressively heavy as the day goes on. The thought of adding a dictionary to my bag is horrifying!

Anyhow, Rome gets millions of toursists every year, so most tourist places have English translation and speak English.
yk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Rome is an absolutely beautiful city. It's good to carry a translation book with you, althought you will be surprised at how many people speak some English. You should take a great pair of walking shoes, because walking is the way you will get around to see most things.
The biggest problem I had, the many times I was there, was pick-pocketing. A loose backpack or purse can be cut and gone before you know it. Your pockets will be emptied if you are not extremely careful. Use a safety deposit box, if the hotel offers it. A fanny pack worn under your shirt or sweater is another recommendation I would make.
Rome is a large city, but if you keep your wits about you you will have a wonderful time.
hootie1fan is offline  

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