Home from Rome - a trip report

Dec 9th, 2013, 03:09 PM
  #61  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
xyz, when are you going? I think St Peter's is a better view, and VE is really good too but different views of course. I would do the Janiculum for the walk, but if you do the other two the views actually are covered.

How many nights in Rome? You could also play it by ear. Rome is very walkable, and, the sites are closer than they appear. The map might make something look far away but then you walk it and it's 15 minutes.

mmmooommm, so glad you like this! What dSLR are you getting?

The cupola staircase was VERY close and windy the higher you got. It didn't bother me, but, if the other one bothered you this one may as well. However, you can always take the lift to the terrace/roof level, that's quite easy and fast.

VE is all elevator - once you get to the top of the Aracoeli, you just walk to the elevator.

I am sorry to hear about Trattoria Monti, though. That was such a treat. I am not kidding when I say I closed my eyes a few times while I was chewing.
flygirl is online now  
Dec 9th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #62  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
ps. let me clarify what I said:

The walk up the Janiculum Hill is not 15 minutes. I meant, "in general" things look far away on the map but then the walk itself isn't all that long.

Also, I'd do the Janiculum Hill walk just because it's a really lovely walk, but, if you just want some views, St Peter's cupola will give those fabulous views.
flygirl is online now  
Dec 9th, 2013, 03:22 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Great report. Thanks!
TXtraveler2013 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 04:45 PM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,735
flygirl- I love those Aracoeli steps... but I looked at those, and then looked at the Michelangelo staircase next door (going to the Capitoline Museums). They didn't look nearly as imposing, so you know which ones I chose. haha

Also have to say the view from the rooftop terrace at the Capitoline Museums was terrific. I took some great pics to the West, the South and the East. (I did not eat at the rooftop café, but there is covered seating up there, and next time, I will. It was lovely up there.) Also have to say I LOVED the museums. They were practically empty in June when I was there, and I couldn't understand why. Lovely.

Also, is that scaffolding I see on the Colosseum? Wonder how long that will be up. Anyone?
sarge56 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 06:02 PM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,063
Thanks for such a interesting informative report.
Saving for a possible return trip to Rome next spring.
I am going to Puglia and then spending about 10 more days in Italy before heading to Paris and Nice.
tdk320n is offline  
Dec 10th, 2013, 05:42 AM
  #66  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
sarge, I didn't make it to the terrace. I did visit the museum but I think I should have saved it for a different trip as it was 5 PM on my last night of the trip. I was pooped. I didn't even get to the other side.

They are doing a lot of work in that area. Arch of Constantine has scaffolding over half of it, and the Via dei Fori Imperiali has the sidewalks boarded up - you can't access Mussolini's "murals" or whatever you call them - the Roman Empire art?

tdk and tx, thank you!
flygirl is online now  
Dec 10th, 2013, 07:19 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,994
Flygirl, we’re going in May with 8 nights in Rome. I know, it seems a lot, but reading and making a list of things I want to see and do, every day is packed. We are planning 2 day trips, one to Tivoli and one to Orvieto, but I think we might leave Orvieto for another trip (I’m sure there will be another) and add the day to Rome. We’ll see…the walk up the Janiculum Hill sounds great, and would be a nice change from all the churches and ruins.
xyz99 is online now  
Dec 10th, 2013, 11:00 AM
  #68  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
xyz, I don't think 8 nights is too much at all! I just got back from 7 nights, and this was a fourth trip to Rome.

There is a lot to see so you are wise. How many "reserved things" are you doing? By that I mean anything you are paying for a time slot - whether a tour, a museum, a food tour or wine tasting...?

With 7 nights I fully expected to have time to go to Ostia Antica, which I still have not done yet. Nope, no time. Now, had I compressed things somewhat, I could have, or made it a priority, but I didn't want to have a lot of things I just "had to do". I usually list out options, throw in some things I must reserve, and do what the day brings.

The Janiculum is not a strenuous walk, to me, although you are walking uphill the whole way. Keep in mind May can be really hot. I've visited in May twice (and twice over Thanksgiving, now) and we were HOT.
flygirl is online now  
Dec 10th, 2013, 03:41 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 255
FLYGIRL, totally agree about 7 nights with no free time and not enough time to do all you want to do. Ive been to Rome three times, all but one of those trips were over a week to ten days...yet never made it to Ostia Antica or Borghese Gallery. And, from the looks of this trip, 8 nights, we won't this trip either. We have a few 'booked' things. Vatican, Coliseum tours, both with Through Eternity. Domus Romane, and Scavi on our own. A few dinners and lunches...more to come on that...can't decide!! Too many options and too little time! And, reservations are hard to secure from here. I have emailed a few, but expect to make more this next week. My apt gal might call in a few for me.

As to camera. That has been my focus today. I was looking at Canon, as I have a older Rebel, and two lenses, one is garbage tho. But they are going SO VIDEO oriented, that I may go back to Nikon, my last film camera. Actually, I will. I am getting the D7000, from my son, who bought it in May, and he is getting (notice the lack of seniority!!) the d7100, which I am buying new, body only, and he has a few lenses, so, selling the canon stuff on craigslist for peanuts! What do you have? Not to hijack the thread!!

Enjoying everyones input!! I guess a trip is never completely planned...I never tire of planning!!
mmmooommm is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 03:44 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,994
Flygirl, after reading about all the things I want to do in Rome, I realize that 8 nights is not that much. We only have a few things that we will book in advance: Galleria Borghese, a Pristine Sistine tour and a Coliseum tour. Also, some restaurants for dinner
And maybe a wine tour, not sure yet.
We’ll be in Rome in the 1st half of May, so hopefully not that hot.

Mmmooommm, I have a Canon Rebel T3i and I’m very happy with it. But I guess that you will get the Nikon, so have fun with it. And bring back lots of pictures. I think I knew, but I forgot, when are you going?
xyz99 is online now  
Dec 11th, 2013, 05:08 PM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 255
xyz99, hey! we are going on dec 21 and returning jan 4, what about you? where did you book dinners? did you call or email?? we have booked Roscioli in Rome, I think that is it?? trying to get into a few more, love to compare notes and plans. don't want to hijack the thread, if you wanna email me, karenlau At swbell.net
mmmooommm is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 05:32 PM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,808
Great report..as always! I agree, we've had three trips to Rome, and we still need to go back to see more.

maitaitom is offline  
Dec 12th, 2013, 03:38 AM
  #73  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
mmmooommm, my camera is a 7D and while it has video it's not video oriented. I don't get the sense that the prosumer SLRs are focusing more on videos. I don't know about the Rebels though. Canon or Nikon both make fine cameras, but keep in mind once you decide and start buying lenses you have a sunk cost and may end up staying with that brand.

xyz, here is a big tip (shameless plug for using this quote so I can get a free Fodors guidebook, now that I've used them twice this year - and twice, ever, I'm hooked!)

When you are wandering around the Forum and Palatine Hill (and Pompeii, if you go), take an umbrella, not a hat. This is especially true if it is very sunny - forget about rain. A hat only covers your face and you will still get hot and sweaty (and probably hathead, the horror!). An umbrella will shade all of you, you can close it as needed, it will keep you a little cooler, and no hathead.

I "discovered" this when our team went to Machu Picchu as an outing. I heard how intense the sun can get and was the only one with an umbrella. I got a lot of joshing for carrying it on such a nice day. That evening there were a lot of burnt noses and shoulders (some women wore workout gear to wander) and the next day when we went to the salt mines, also very intense sun, instead of joshing I heard a lot of "I'm jealous" and "I wish I had brought one" and I am pretty sure I saw a few of them milling around and whispering "if she turns her back, we can take her down - and don't let go of that umbrella". It was WARM.

maitaitom, thank you so much!

Still working on the next installment. It will take a while, I took a lot of photos...
flygirl is online now  
Dec 13th, 2013, 08:38 AM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,735
xyz-Ostia Antica is definitely worth the short train ride. So, if you decide that a 1/2-day trip is better than a whole day trip..do consider Ostia Antica.

It's about 45 minutes train/walk to the site entrance. And you need a good 3-4 hours to do the site justice. Then 45-60 mts back. Rick Steves has a free audio tour download. But the site also provides detailed map. You can use your Roma Pass here for discount ticket, too. FYI.

I loved Ostia. It is huge and in such great shape. (I spent 3 weeks in Rome in May/June this year... still not enough! hahah)
sarge56 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2013, 10:07 AM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,994
flygirl, thanks for the umbrella tip. I'll make sure to carry a light one (not my heavy wind-proof one).

sarge, we are going to Pompeii too, so I was thinking Orvieto would add to the diversity. Is it overkill to see both Ostia Antica and Pompeii on the same trip?
xyz99 is online now  
Dec 14th, 2013, 02:59 AM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
This is a very nice account--thank you.

I also strongly recommend the walk up Janiculum Hill. I just wandered into it on my now rather long-ago trip to Rome (2005), and with a little planning I'm sure there would have been more to see. But I enjoyed it completely regardless.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 14th, 2013, 04:21 AM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,224
xyz...we were in Rome last year (9 days) and did a day trip to Tivoli and a day trip to Orvieto. We are glad we did as we enjoyed both quite a lot. We were fortunate that Villa d'Este was open in the evening and it was magic! I would love to go back during the day to see it that way, as well. We broke those trips up and it gave us a nice break from Rome (not that you need a break that much).
denisea is offline  
Dec 14th, 2013, 06:30 AM
  #78  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
So nice to see the conversation here.

I wish I had had time for Ostia, but I will be back (despite no coin in the fountain). I also want to see Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa. Some other time...
flygirl is online now  
Dec 14th, 2013, 07:23 AM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,224
Oh, flygirl definitely get to Tivoli. We had the benefit of going with Daniella Hunt and it made such a difference at Hadrian's Villa....we would not have understood much about what we saw. But it was worth it. I think not having a guide at Ostia made it less interesting to us. Ostia was our least favorie thing we did but I think it is likely becuase we had already been to Hadrian's Villa and the Forum with guides, so Ostia felt like more ruins, meh ( and it was hot). Would like to go back with a guide to give it a more fair shot.
denisea is offline  
Dec 16th, 2013, 04:03 AM
  #80  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
Denise, my next trip will include both Ostia and Tivoli. I agree on a guide - it can be the difference between making a place come alive and a pile of rocks.

While I am writing my next item, on the Low Point of my trip, here is a vignette. It could easily be added to the Humans of Rome stories (a knockoff of HONY). Funnily enough, yestravel had emailed me a few days ago asking me questions about this very thing, too.

On my first evening, before dinner - perhaps 530 PM or so - I grabbed my camera and just went for a walk in the dark in the general direction of the Tiber. I knew that I wouldn't go too far as the Tiber would stop me.

My wander ended at Ponte Umberto I and as I neared it, I heard the most bizarre noises. It was dark and hard to see details.

I saw two guys on opposite sides of the street walking very slowly and as they reached a certain point they would pivot and walk in the other direction for a while, then pivot and walk back again. Almost as if they were making a sweep. They were both dressed in white gear from head to toe and were carrying what looked like very large bullhorns.

They were making the most god-awful noise. It sounded like a pig being slaughtered, or something. Very unsettling!

I thought it was either performance art or a political statement about the treatment of animals/meat eaters. It really did sound like an animal being killed.

I was busy taking night street-photos when one came near me, still walking slowly and he didn't break his pace. I hailed him, and asked him what he was doing.

As it turned out, they are swallow control guys! The noise apparently is a distress signal only *very* loud. These guys walk up and down various streets for an hour making these noises! The swallows take the hint that they are not wanted and go elsewhere (maybe to do a murmuration over Vatican City).

I guess Romans don't like caca on their cars!

Here is his photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/11401735204/
flygirl is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:05 PM.