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NOT ANOTHER ROME TRIP REPORT! No, just a brief insight into what my teenage daughter thought of Rome.

NOT ANOTHER ROME TRIP REPORT! No, just a brief insight into what my teenage daughter thought of Rome.

Oct 30th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Posts: 3,087
NOT ANOTHER ROME TRIP REPORT! No, just a brief insight into what my teenage daughter thought of Rome.

I had planned this trip for months, but could not persuade my 15yo DD to take much interest beforehand, looking at guide books etc. She knew that she wanted to see the Coliseum and Forum, shop, eat risotto, shop, eat gelato, and shop. I wanted to see a few places I hadn�t seen in previous trips to Rome (Galleria Doria Pamphili, Palazzo Spada and San Clemente) but aside from that our plans were fairly fluid. So I thought we�d be OK.

What I really enjoy from my children when I travel with them is that WOW moment when they see something amazing that they just hadn�t expected. I expected to get a few of those in Rome!

We rented an apartment through SleepInItaly on Piazza Rondanini, just a stone�s throw from the Pantheon. I would recommend it for the location, and it was perfect for our needs. http://www.sleepinitaly.com/files/apt_rondanini.html

What she liked�

Campo dei Fiori - well, markets are always fun
Trevi Fountain - tossing the coin despite the crowds
Castel Sant�Angelo, in particular the costume exhibition
Internet Cafes
Galleria Borghese
The pedalo cycle things in the Borghese Gardens (but they are hard work up the hills!)
The Henri Cartier-Bresson photo exhibition at the Palazzo Braschi
Attention and flattery from young men, which she accepted with good grace and giggles
Gelato - of course

Real WOW moments�

The Coliseum and Forum - we took an Icon Tour which was really good.
St Peter�s Basilica - sadly we never got our Scavi Tour reservations, and even tried going to the office to see if we could get on a tour but no luck
The ceiling of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
The trompe l�oeil at Saint Ignatio
The Fountain of the Turtles

Didn�t like and/or disappointed with�

Spanish Steps - too crowded and just a flight of stairs really with scaffolding at the top
Piazza Navona - 4 Rivers Fountain swathed in scaffolding
The Cat Sanctuary - she dislikes cats and is allergic to them
Shopping - we have had some wonderful trips to Paris, Dublin and Barcelona and thoroughly enjoyed the shopping in those cities. We were quite disappointed with Rome in that respect. There are plenty of high-end shops, which are out of our budget, and plenty of tacky shops but very little that we found in the mid-price range. OK, there was Benetton and Zara but we have those at home and they had nothing very different. Nor did Coin. The best shopping we did was at the Saturday morning market at Via Sannio just a little beyond San Giovanni in Laterano.
Attention and flattery from older men, which she found embarrassing and pervy!

Fun - we had a GTG with a lovely family from Perth, Australia for dinner one evening in Trastevere and DD had a blast with the older youngsters (contact made here on Fodors - remember Monda?), and we also met a delightful couple from Louisiana for coffee at Tre Scalini one morning in Piazza Navona (prearranged on TTG).

Meals - we were on a budget, but kept our meals to around 50 euros for the two of us. Cheapest was at Orso 80, we also very much enjoyed La Taverna degli Amici in Piazza Margana, Le Cornacchie in Piazza Rondanini, and especially Antica Taverna in Via Monte Giordano
Disappointing was Maccheroni in Via della Coppelle and another place near Piazza Navona - the receipt doesn�t have a name printed on it.
Absolutely excellent was a restaurant where we joined friends from the next village at home for their first night in Rome - La Penna d�Oca on Via della Penna just off Piazza del Popolo. We had the tasting menu at 55 euros a head, and it was fabulous - really enjoyable, and made the more so because we were being treated!

We walked a fair bit, but also used the buses a lot, and took the tram to Trastevere.

We did a day trip to Florence which takes 1 1/2hours on Eurostar, round trip 117 euros. We both really enjoyed this, saw David (WOW) at the Academia (pre-booked), Medici Chapel (WOW) and the Baptistery (WOW). We shopped in the markets, lunched, wandered around, and had a really nice (and good value) meal at Maso on the corner of Via Palazzuolo and Via Maso Finiguerra on our way back to the station.

DD found Rome to be very busy and buzzy, and preferred Florence. Venice is still her favourite Italian city though. And I have to return to Rome because I never got to see those three places I wanted to! Just not enough time�.

julia_t is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Thank you-very interesting to hear the reactions of a new generation of travellers...BTW, I am with your daughter on the Spanish Steps-just don't "get it"...
LJ is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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LOL, I too am in the "don't get" Spanish Steps crowd. But, I do think the area around it is pretty cool for shopping/people watching...
alyssamma is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Sounds like you have a fun trip. We were in Rome this June and my 14 y.o. daughter liked shopping at Ethic and Totem near the Pantheon. We will be in Barcelona this March - any shopping tips there??
jgg is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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It's now about 2 years since we were in Barcelona, but I remember the Zara was huge, and we bought most of our our winter wardrobes there (this was before easyjet and ryanair severely reduced their baggage allowances). H&M is over the street, and there is also Mango, a big department store and lots of others, all around Placa Catalunya and the Passeig dei Gracia. We stayed in the Barri Gotic and there are several small individual shops there - we bought great jeans, and best of all was a charity/thrift shop where my older daughter, then 15, virtually cleared the rails! She still goes to college in these weird clothes and tells her friends 'oh, I got it in Barcelona somewhere...'

BTW, I remember your Rome trip report and you and your youngsters will love Barcelona. It is a really great city for young people, and has everything for them to keep them interested. My girls loved it and really want to go back, and I know my boys - who (dare I admit it?) don't really like travelling unless it is to go snowboarding - would like Barcelona too, as long as our trip would include a football match!
julia_t is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Hi. Do you have pictures of your trip? Love to see them!

Mango7 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Thans for posting this interesting report. What I really "don't get" is all those people who insist on staying "near the Spanish Steps." At least the Trevi Fountain moves every now and then!
Dukey is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Hi julia - If you have time, I'd sure appreciate hearing more about the apartment (Rondanini). I've booked it for March. Thanks!
kopp is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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julia - thanks for the Barcelona shopping tips. We actually prefer the smaller shops to the large dept. stores so will definitely explore the Barri Gothic area. We are excited for the upcoming trip!!
jgg is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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I enjoyed your take on Rome with your daughter. My daughter and I were also underwhelmed with the shopping in Rome. We also loved Antica Taverna, probably the most fun meal of our trip there a couple years ago.
Nikki is online now  
Oct 30th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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In my one trip to Rome I stayed at hotel near the Spanish Steps so became quite familiar with the location. I found it amazing the crowds at the Spanish Steps tripled, quadrupled or more the crowds at more significant sights (the Coliseum for one) but in it's defense; it doesn't have an admission fee and among the younger crowd seemed to be the meeting place for Rome for friends to reconnect. But, as suggested, it really isn't a major attraction, except for the hordes of tourists.
floydvic is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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You mentioned visiting the Trastevere section. What was your/your daughter's impression, likes, about Trastevere? I'm holding a hotel (Santa Maria) there for a May 2007 visit. It will be my first visit to Rome
gohedwig is offline  
Oct 30th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Thanks Julia for posting your trip report. I really enjoyed reading your daughters perceptions of Rome, especially in regard to the shopping. My family visited Paris and London in 2005 and my daughters loved both cities and the shopping opportunities. They came back home with very full suitcases. I am not much of a shopper when I travel, but for my girls shopping is a must. I know what you mean about those Wow moments. Both my daughters experienced a lot of Wow moments on our last trip: Eiffel Tower, Ach de Triumph, Big Ben, the Tower of London, etc.

My younger daughter is graduating from high school in June and I am trying to plan trip to celebrate this milestone. She has shopping (reasonably priced) on the top of her wish list for a destination.
roadlesstraveled is offline  
Oct 31st, 2006, 01:05 AM
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Kurt... we both took some photos, but they are nothing special, just of the usual sights around Rome - you can get better pictures in a guide book or on a postcard! And I still haven't worked out how to post them yet, it took me ages to just get the ones I took on the new camera on to the computer! Maybe one day when I have time...

kopp... my alias has posted the Rondanini apartment review over on TTG!!

gohedwig... we only wandered on the edge of Trastevere. The family we met for dinner were staying there for more than a week, and they had explored well and told us about markets, shops, a puppet show in the Gianicolo park, the Botanic Gardens. We didn't get much further than Santa Maria di Trastevere, the piazza and a few streets around there. The area certainly warrants more exploration on a future trip!

roadlesstraveled... lucky daughter to have you planning a trip for her! My girls liked Barcelona very much, and my 15yo really enjoyed Dublin last December - and so did I! Both cities have lots more to offer than just shopping and are good fun.

And thank you to everyone else who responded.
julia_t is offline  
Oct 31st, 2006, 04:18 AM
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Hi julia! I had no idea that was you. Learn something everyday. Thanks again.
kopp is offline  
Oct 31st, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Thanks julia! I'll be there in December. I wrote down your favourites!
Mango7 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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We just got back and didn't quite get the Spanish Steps either, although we were there at night (is it any different during the day).

If you ever make it back, I would definitely try and hit San Clemente...this was one of the 'wild card' places we went to that we really didn't plan on, but I was extremely fascinated by the tour of the lower 2 levels. Glad you had a great time, though.
KrunkoDallas is offline  
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