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hausfrau Jul 31st, 2006 05:08 AM

Need advice on Christmas trip to Rome
My first and only trip to Rome was about 10 years ago, when I spent a few days there with my brother after I spent a semester studying in France. I fell in love with Rome and have always wanted to go back. Now I have a chance to spend 5 days there with my husband between Christmas and New Year's.

I remember it being chilly but not uncomfortably cold - anyone have more recent experiences with December weather?

I am overwhelmed by the hotel options. I'm looking for something in the $150-$200 range, with excellent service and clean, elegant rooms. Location and a sense of history/romance are key. We are not really into shopping or art museums. We like history, history, and more history, plus great food. I want to re-explore the Forum and environs, and I'm sure my husband will want to visit the Vatican.

I recognize that it's not the perfect time of year to sit in a plaza having a gelato, so any tips on the best way to enjoy Rome in winter would also be appreciated.

Eloise Jul 31st, 2006 05:28 AM

It may be difficult to find a hotel "with excellent service and clean, elegant rooms" for approx. 156 Euro over the Christmas/New Year period, when most hotels charge high-season rates.

jay Jul 31st, 2006 05:38 AM

Actually Christmas time in Rome is a fabulous time to be there. When we go to Rome we always stay at the Hotel Des Artistes which is a small family run hotel that is for the buget minded. You are right that there are thousands of hotels and I'm sure you will get many suggestions.

Piazza Navona and the area around Castel St. Angelo bothe have Christmas Markets that are very festive. I love just walking around Rome. The weather will run from 40F to 65F depending. You can also get snow, rain or whatever. We took a trip to Ostia and it was 65F out. Just dress in layers and remember fleece.

Eloise is correct in saying that time of year is the high season. Be sure to go to the Papal Mass on Christmas day in St. Peters Square.

Email me if you require any more info.

hausfrau Jul 31st, 2006 05:48 AM

I appreciate your thoughts and we can adjust our budget upwards if necessary, but in researching many of the Rome hotels recommended on this forum it seemed that there were a large number in this price range.

I also found that the week after Christmas was actually listed as "low season" by several hotels. And I have never had a problem finding "excellent service and clean, elegant rooms" in cities across Europe in this price range.

If you have a suggestion in a slightly higher price range I am all ears.

hausfrau Jul 31st, 2006 06:00 AM

Thanks Jay, that's just the sort of place I am looking for! (I love it when people say "we always stay at....") We are just in the early stages of planning but I'll definitely be in touch if I have more questions.

(And I know asking weather questions is always dubious but I appreciate your comments!)

kswl Jul 31st, 2006 06:03 AM

We stayed at the Hotel Canada, which is not a great location for walking to the main tourist sites, but it is a reasonable cost for a lovely hotel. We had very nice room with a spotl ess, magnificent bathroom. The breakfast was a full buffet of hot and cold, although no scrambled eggs---cold boiled, and steamer to make your own, though, as in most hotels. It is affiliated with Best Western, but you'd do better to contact the hotel directly instead of going through the bw network. I'd suggest which is a government site that lists all the registered hotels, b&b's, farm accomodations, etc., in the area. You can filter your choices by price, *** level, area of Rome, etc. You can also find out what's going on in Rome if you want tickets to the theater, concerts, etc.

traveller1959 Jul 31st, 2006 06:16 AM

The Sofitel Roma is an excellent hotel which meets all of your criteria, but I am afraid they charge 220 € for the double room.

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