Just how spread out is Rome?

Aug 16th, 2001, 09:22 PM
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Just how spread out is Rome?

I'm trying to get an idea of how spread out vs. how walkable Rome is. I have a health condition making walking more than 2 miles a day not a good idea for me. Just to give me a point of reference, how long is the walk (in miles, not time) from say Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum? Trevi to Piazza Navona? I'm planning to rely on the Metro a lot, filling in w. cabs where necessary. But obviously I'd like to walk as much as I can w.in my limits.

Aug 16th, 2001, 09:52 PM
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It's been about five years since we were there, but I do remember that Rome is very spread out and we did a lot of walking. I was in my 30's and in good condition, and found it tiring. You're likely to exceed your daily walking limit just going to and around the Colosseum. And I'm sure you'd have to walk more than 2 miles going through St Peters and the Vatican, which are must-sees. Perhaps you can use a wheelchair? Although that won't work in many places (the Colosseum, for example), it may help elsewhere. Another possibility may be to do a private tour, either with a private car and guide (if finances permit) or hire a taxi for the day, or book a bus tour of the city. The subway is nice but very limited.
Aug 17th, 2001, 04:30 AM
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Spread out is relative, I suppose.

It's probably a mile from Trevi to the Colosseum. Perhaps half a mile from Trevi to Navona.

It's roughly 3 miles (as the proverbial crow flies ... which isn't the way Rome's streets are constructed) from Termini to St. Peter's, which includes all the major sights, except catacombs.

With your limitations, though, you'll want to use a lot of buses, taxis and the metro.

There's a map on
that will help you grasp the city's layout.
Aug 17th, 2001, 04:45 AM
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With your health condition it would seem wise to pace yourself and to really plan out your days.
You will need to use alot of transportation. I have an excellent suggestion for you- I know a limo driver there who gives private tours.
You may visit some sites on your own and then take advantage of this type of service or just plan your day out with your walking 'schedule" in mind.
If you'd like, you can e-mail me about the driver.
Don't try to do too much and don't join and tour groups which have intensive walking schedules. One of the most popular tours (and it's wonderful) is conducted by scale reale but it DOES say "intensive" in the description- and it truly was.
Aug 17th, 2001, 06:10 AM
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Ed is right, about spread out being relative. I'm a walker at heart and although it's already been suggested here, considering your situation, I would urge you to consider the buses. I'm from NYC and thought the Metro would be my transport of choice. However, I actually preferred the buses because I enjoyed being able to see everything while going from one location to another. The buses (and metro) cost very little and are very easy to use - you can buy your tickets at any Tabacchi store which are practically on every corner and if in doubt ask the front desk staff at your hotel. But just like in any large city you need to keep an eye out for pickpockets. That said, I had a marvelous time toodling around Rome on the buses and think you will too.
Aug 17th, 2001, 06:42 AM
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Walking in Rome is the preferred way to see it because there is so much to see...BUT no one has mentioned the other barrier. Air polution in Rome is VERY bad. Car (and Vespa) exhaust fumes are pervasive. When I was there I was a very healthy and robust 44-year-old but the pollution burned my nose and throat and it literally brought tears to my eyes. People with respiratory problems should take note.

You're welcome.
Aug 17th, 2001, 07:42 AM
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The Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Piazza Navona are all within easy walking distance of each other (5-10 minutes). The Colosseum is a half-hour bus ride away from them and St. Peters and the Vatican are also a half-hour bus ride away from them. The Colosseum and the Forum are in walking distance of each other. St. Peters and the Vatican are in walking distance of each other.
Aug 17th, 2001, 10:19 AM
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Where are you from? Rome is a very large city but the area you will want to see is relatively small. But, miles means very little in describing distances in Rome. As Ed says "that isn't the way Rome streets are constructd." Going from point A to point B often requres going through a maze. You will encounter many streets, cobblestones, stairs and hills.(In the US similar to say San Francisco). That said, Rome was built as a walking city. Everyone walks there. I've met 90 year old Romans on the street who seemed to get around just fine. You can go at your own pace and see many sights wherever you are.
As has been said, public transportation is excellent. But, again the buses and metro get very crowded during their four rush hours a day. It is often easier to walk than to stand on a crowded bus in a traffic jam. Some public buses (#119) are specially designed for tourists to get around the sights. Many people find these an ideal way to get around without a lot of walking.
I've never noticed polution to be a problem in Rome. But, I have not been there during the summer.
Take your time and I'm sure you will enjoy yourself.

Have a great trip.

Aug 17th, 2001, 11:22 AM
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Hi Mini,

Take taxis! They are everywhere. You get from point A to point B quickly and cheaply. Then you have the energy to enjoy the sights.

Especially if you are at the Vatican you will want to conserve your energy since it is all walking and standing. There aren't even pews in St. Peters. We were ready to collapse after a morning tour there. Also, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum can be exhausting. If you taxi there, at least you arrive full of energy.

Afterward, if you still are up to it, you can walk back to the hotel or another site or relax in a cafe.

Aug 17th, 2001, 08:05 PM
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Thanks guys. For the record I live in NYC and I'm able to walk say 10-15 blocks a day here no problem. Id love to take taxis in Rome but I understand they are only at taxi stands and I don't know how prevalent these stands are(?)

A few follow-up ques:

Will I find the pollution worse than NY? I'm going end of Sept.

Also what hours are considered 'rush hours'?

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