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Is the city wall around Rome a physical barrier for walking?

Is the city wall around Rome a physical barrier for walking?

Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:32 AM
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Is the city wall around Rome a physical barrier for walking?

In researching our first trip to Italy I was looking at one of the street maps in the area near stazione s. pietro in Rome and I see this bold black line running along the street. The key tells me it is the city wall and it certainly looks like it could be a barrier for walking.

As I am considering a B&B along viale delle Mura Aurelie which looks like it is the wall I just wanted to know what to expect.

If this is a really silly question it may be the first of many so please bear with me. Thanks, Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:55 AM
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If the city wall is near the Stazione S. Pietro, it is the wall of the Vatican City and not of the city of Rome.

The walls of the Vatican City are a barrier for walking. The only places where people not living or working in the Vatican can enter are, I believe, through St. Peter's Square and through the entrance to the Vatican Museums.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:06 AM
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thanks Eloise, I did know about the wall around the vatican but this wall is south (i think) of the vatican , runs parallel to the river along the area on my map that says Gianicolo. Are you familiar with this area? It certainly looks within walking distance to Vatican City but I am wondering if other areas will be a problem. Thanks, Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Yes Giancolo hill is a barrier for walking - not just the high wall (Mura Aurelie) but this high ridge that the wall buttresses up - you have to walk around it. Great view of Rome from the Piazza Garibaldi on top - classic view.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Would a B&B located at viale delle Mura Aurelie 19 be a desireable location for seeing anything other than the Vatican because of the wall? My thought is to stay in the area of the Vatican for three nights and then move over to a B&B near the Forum for 5 nights. There is so much to see at the Vatican that staying near it for a couple of nights seemed like a good idea. Thanks for any help, Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Well personally i'd stay in one place - the time you spend relocating will negate any time savings you have in mind. Yes i think from your criteria the wall location is isolated from anything but Vatican. I'd just stay in the Forum area and hop the subway to the Vatican's door - getting there as quick as you could walking from the wall B&B perhaps.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:42 AM
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I'm not sure your location is even very good for the Vatican. I tried it out at

www.atac.roma.it

(the Web site of the public transportation system in Rome).

There is no public transportation; you have to walk to St. Peter's Square. And then you have to continue walking to get to the Vatican Museums, which are on the opposite side of the Vatican from your location.

I would also find it a nuisance to change accommodations after three days.

Like most of the people here who visit Rome fairly frequently, I prefer -- and strongly recommend -- a location within or just outside of the triangle formed by Campo de' Fiori, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. From there, you can walk to the Vatican or take the No. 64 bus; you can also walk or take the No. 78 (or 80? I'm not sure of the number)to the Forum and the Colosseum. The Vatican and the Colosseum are pretty well the farthest things from the historical center that most people would want to see. And almost everything else is within very easy walking distance.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Thanks, I have just read so much about how crowded the Vatican is, lines and waits that I thought staying near by would be most convenient. We are visiting in early November when the weather could be rainy so again I thought to be close to the Vatican was a good idea. I know changing hotels is a pain but my husband really likes the personal touch of a B&B rather than an apartment or hotel and the places he really wants to visit are the Vatican City and the Colosseum area. We are not locked into any B&B right now so I really appreciate any suggestions from those familiar with Rome. Thanks again, Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:39 PM
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I wish I could help with suggestions, but for many years I stayed with a friend who lived very close to Campo de' Fiori, and since her permanent return to North America I've been staying in a convent close to Piazza Navona. I'm not sure how your husband would feel about that...

Have you tried

www.venere.com

Put in Rome, then click on the tab for B&Bs, then click on either "Pantheon" or "Navona" as location. The only B&B that comes up under "Pantheon" is the Pantheon View. The reviews here of the Pantheon View have been very mixed. There are around nine that come up under "Navona." I would warn against Casaromana; many people have complained bitterly that the address given is not really where you will be put up. You arrive and then they take you to a room somewhere in the area.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, Eloise, I have been checking with Venere as to other possibilities. I am watching for good prices on airfare to Rome as well as on hotels. Airfare is very pricey even for November right now so I am keeping a close watch on fares. Our daughter just got married so most of my plans this year have dealt with wedding matters I am just now able to focus on a trip while we get over wedding sticker shock. Thanks for the help. Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Deborah,
As our daughter is getting married in a few months, I certainly know what you're talking about.

I don't stay in B&Bs so I can't help you there, but I would suggest using venere.com just as Eloise suggested, but substituting, as per your wishes, Vatican and Forum for Pantheon and Navona.

And as far as crowds at the Vatican, remember that the crowds for St. Peters Basilica are not overwhelming. When you read about crowds and lines, they are referring to the Vatican Museums. Be aware that the entrance to the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, are not near anything else you would wish to visit in Rome.

So if you want a B&B near Vatican City, I would choose one closer to St Peters than one close to the Vatican Museums entrance; the second location will leave you rather marooned for the rest of your stay.

To beat the lines at the Museum entrance, I have ordered a taxi and been near the front of the line when the museum entrance opens. To get into the Sistine Chapel at a time when it is not too packed, I have found that following Rick Steves' advice in his Rome book worked well. I am not a great fan of Steves, but his Vatican Museum directions are good.

Now, all that said, I too, as a frequent visitor to Rome, urge you to change your mind about changing B&Bs, for many reasons. As I said above, the location near the Vatican Museums sort of stinks; B&Bs are not plentiful in Rome: it isn't a great B&B type place. Hotels and apartments are easier to find. I think that since you will be in the city for over a week, an apartment would be great for you.

Finally, although the Colosseo isn't in the heart of Rome, at least there is a good subway and a good bus stop nearby. If you are really interested in the sights and sites of ancient Rome, this wouldn't be the worst location. I think it would be better than one near the Vatican Museum entrance.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:53 PM
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thanks for the moral support and suggestions, tuscanlifeedit. I am thinking that planning Andrea's wedding was a piece of cake, wedding of course compared to planning this trip. Looks like it's further research for me. Thanks again, Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Deborah, all I can say is that your daughter must be wonderful compared to mine! ;-)

I would rather plan a trip to Russia for twenty people than another wedding for this Bridezilla of mine.

But seriously, lots and lots of research can only help to make your trip a greater success. You will find so many people on this board who love to talk about Rome, that it will be easier than you think.

Happy planning, and I hope we haven't discouraged you. It does seem like your original plan was a little off, but I am sure it won't be as hard as you think.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 02:45 PM
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Tuscanlifeedit, believe me I have been all over the map with this first "foray" into Italy. Andrea and I both took turns being the "wedding zillas" but we agree her wedding day was perfect in everyones eyes. My wish for you is that your daughters day will be just as magical. Thanks again for your help and let me know if you need any moral support for wedding "issues" Been there, done that Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 05:42 PM
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I've been to Rome in November a few times, and am going again this year. Each time, I have stayed near the area of the Pantheon/Piazza Navona/Largo Argentina. It is very easy to catch a bus on Corso Vittorio Emmanuel II to the Vatican, a very quick ride in my experience, and once, when I was running late, I grabbed an inexpensive taxi. Another time, I found it was a nice, easy walk to the Vatican from that area.

I have never found the Vatican to be overly crowded in November either, so I wouldn't worry about that.

That area is also a great base because you can easily walk in the other direction and get to the Forum/Capitoline/Colosseum area.

Have you seen this site? It is the Bed & Breakfast Association of Rome.

http://www.b-b.rm.it/

Good luck!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 08:25 PM
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faredolce, thanks for the encouraging words and coincidently I had just looked at that particlular B&B web sight. Would you consider a B&B on Via Cavour a convenient location for all but the Vatican area? The Nicolas Inn at via Cavour 295 has gotten very positive reviews on TripAdvisor and is rated their #1 B&B in Rome by members on that website. Thanks for any and all opinions. Deborah
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 09:01 PM
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I'd consider Nicolas Inn pretty convenient for the Vatican, because of its proximity to the metro. No doubt there are nearby buses also. I'd guess roughly that it's maybe a 25-minute walk from the Pantheon and 35 from Piazza Navona.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 03:46 AM
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The Nicolas Inn is a very popular choice, and my philosophy is always that so many people can't be wrong, so in terms of quality it seems a safe bet.

I echo the sentiment that, since most hotels include breakfast with your stay, a B&B may not make that much sense over a hotel. You may not want to limit your search so much. Italians seem to just be getting the knack of B&B's.

I have to go with my original vote of staying in the Piazza Navona/Campo de' Fiori/Pantheon area, because it puts somewhat equidistant from the Vatican and the Colosseum areas. Or, you could try Trastevere, as that is pretty convenient to the Vatican as well, though a little bit further out of the way.

My experience is that it is all convenient, because you just wind up walking everywhere in Rome, and when you don't walk, you hop a bus or take a taxi, which is what I did a lot of my last trip. I am not a big fan of the subway in general, so I can't offer any advice on that.

Figuring out where to stay is very stressful on your first trip, but it looks like you are doing some good research. Overall, I would say that the best thing to do is to go to a well-reviewed hotel, or if you can find it, B&B, staying within the Centro Storico area, and not worry so much about distances from one place or another. There are other considerations, like noise level, sizes of the rooms, amenities, etc, that may wind up being more of an issue than location.

Are you dead-set against a hotel? There are lots of great recommendations here and on slowtrav.com. I am renting an apartment for my next trip (for the first time!) and the Hotel Teatro di Pompeo is on the same street as my apartment. I have never stayed there, but I have seen many, many good reviews for it on both TripAdvisor and slowtrav, and it seems like it has a B&B "feel." www.hotelteatrodipompeo.it

I stayed at the Hotel Arenula, and loved its charm and location, http://www.hotelarenula.com/

I also stayed at the Pantheon View B&B, and loved the location, and my room with a little terrace. It is indeed a no-frills place, but I spent little time there and used it to crash, pretty much. It does have very mixed reviews, so I hesitate to recommend it, since it seems to strike a chord. I think it is probably because people tend to expect B&B's to be oozing quaint charm. I found it to have a kind of worn-out charm that appealed to me. But that's just me.

Anyway, that's my 2-cents for now! Again, good luck and buon viaggio!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:20 AM
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Having recently come back from Rome I'd concur with others on here to just stay in one place. I was surprised at how compact Rome really was. The Vatican neighborhood would not be my first coice - it looked a little too quiet for my taste. We stayed next to Campo de Fiori and loved the area. Just the right balance of touristy/not-too-touristy and convenient to everything.

If the lines at the Vatican seem daunting, simply go in the afternoon and go in the side entrance (the Vatican Museum entrance). No lines. And yes, when we were there (busier than November no doubt) the morning line even at St Peters was MASSIVE.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:28 AM
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Thanks for the well thought comments about your opinions of Rome locations. My travel interests have found me in Paris on many of my trips and I feel I can give thoughtful suggestions about that city. The B&B concept appeals strongly to my husband as that is our prefered choice in the US, France and Great Britain where most of our travels have taken us. For some reason he is worried that a choice of an apartment would isolate us from "human" contact on our first trip to Italy. I love all aspects of the trip planning, even the struggles. Fodor's has made it easier to get questions answered. Thanks to your suggestions, I have found a couple of small hotels closer to the center that might work for us. Once I find our place I can get down to the really fun stuff. Deborah
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