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One day layover in Roma in October! Looking for advice!

One day layover in Roma in October! Looking for advice!

Old Aug 27th, 2017, 12:55 AM
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One day layover in Roma in October! Looking for advice!

Hi Fodorites!
I have been to Rome twice before. Both were very short trips, but wonderful and busy and gave me a taste for more! SO, in October 2017 I have managed to arrange a layover in Rome. I will have 12 hours total, but obviously less with travel to and from the airport.
I will be on my own (!) so want to plan an outline, knowing that I will also give myself flexibility to wander and do as I please.
I do not want to go to the Vatican or the Colleseum or the this trip. I don't want to spend time on real museum visits or guided tours. Food is fun but not central to my visit. I like coffee. And gelato.
I am figuring 6-7 hours in Rome, from roughly 11am or 12 noon until 6pm.
Here's my general idea:
Arrive by overnight flight from NY to Rome's Fiumicino airport, take Leonardo Express (in the interests of time and convenience) to Termini. Carry only small day pack. Wear comfy shoes.
Take the Metro to the area of the Spanish Steps.
From there wander and enjoy.
Sites to include: Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, across to Campo de Fiori. Enjoy new sights and experiences. Eat easy food, drink coffee, enjoy gelato. People watch. Browse stores. Take pictures.
I want to end my afternoon in Trastevere neighborhood for a wander and an early dinner. This is a neighborhood I have never been to.
Back to the airport using the FL 1 train from the Trastevere neighborhood (?)

I would welcome any advice.
Places to see in the areas mentioned, besides the biggies mentioned?
Places to grab easy food - pizza, gelato, coffee etc.
Any changes you would make?
Transportation plan - Leonardo Express, Metro, FL1 train - is this the best plan?
Trastevere neighborhood - what to see, where to sit and people watch, any special things to look for.

Grazie mille!
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 02:24 AM
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Depends on how tired you are but I wouldn't bother with the metro from Termini. It's only a couple of km to the Spanish steps. You'll pass a few sites on the way to the Spanish steps. You'll also be passing various places selling pizza al taglio . I assume you're looking for that and not expecting a whole pizza at noon. I'd just stop at a place when you feel hungry. With your sort of schedule it doesn't make sense IMHO to go out of your way.
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 03:12 AM
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Ok so maybe just start walking from Termini - good shoes a must! You are right - that way I get to see more!
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 03:23 AM
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I'd suggest starting with Google maps to plan your route. Then use streetview to see it. The maps will usually show the major sites and many smaller ones. You can plot out the distances and time needed
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 05:13 AM
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can't see everything in one day.
San Pietro - Colosseo+ fori, Piazza di spagna....Good luck with that!
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 05:43 AM
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Heresy, perhaps, but I wouldn't bother with the Spanish Steps -- especially if you get a later start than anticipated.

I think you need to figure out some indoor activity(ies) that would fascinate you in the event of heavy rain.
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 05:45 AM
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When we were there this past March, the crowds around the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps were horrendous, and really made for a less than pleasant appreciation of the sites.

I love the area around the Piazza Navona as well as the streets around them; then I would walk over to the the Campo Dei Fiori, exploring streets off the campo; then over to the Tiber river, and walk acriss the Ponte Sisto, to begin an exploration of Trastevere. There are numerous smaller sites to see in these areas, but to me, this would be a great walk, with lots of opportunities to people watch.

There are a number of good walk books for Rome that would be worth looking at to maximize your time.
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 06:35 AM
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I love the Trastevere area. It is a bit of a walk across the river, so unless you are a fast walker, allow plenty of time.
By dinner, if you mean a nice sit down place in Trastevere, you can always take your chances, but with your limited time, I suggest you check out several places ahead of time. Check hours because some are not open for dinner that early. There should be no problem getting a table in the afternoon, but make a reservation as soon as you arrive, or even before if there is one you are set on. Reservations are always appreciated in Italy. Let them know you have a limited time and ask the waiter for suggested food. Mark the restaurant on your map so you can plan your walk.

IMHO, Spanish Steps are pretty at Sunset. Otherwise, not worth the walk.

The Pantheon is a must see, IMHO, and even more so if you read a lot about it first, plus the understanding of the development of dome building later, including the Duomo by Brunelleschi in Florence.
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 10:52 AM
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I don't know where you're flying next, but allow plenty of time at Fiumicino. I would say 1 1/2 hours for a domestic flight, assuming you'll already have a boarding card, and, obviously, you'll have no bags to check.

I think your basic plan is fine. After the Campo de'Fiori, I'd recommend the nearby Piazza Farnese, which is near the bridge that goes to Trastevere.

I know you don't want much in the way of museum visits, but there are two Renaissance dwellings that are now museums, very interesting as sumptuous Renaissance homes. Both are basically on your route. One is the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, the palazzo of the powerful Doria Pamphilj family. The rooms are lavishly furnished in the style of various periods, and there is an excellent audio guide, narrated by a member of the family. There are also some famous works of art belonging to the family's collection.

The other is the Villa Farnesina, in Trastevere. This was the suburban villa of the Farnese family, whose main palazzo is in Piazza Farnese, and is now the site of the French Embassy. The villa has lovely gardens, and the inside has some frescoes by Raphael. It's not furnished to the extent of the Doria Pamphilj, but it's worth a visit.
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 04:26 PM
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Definitely go to Trastevere if you have time - (we rented an apartment there for a week and loved it) it felt like a more authentic Rome - if you go across the Trastevere bridge from main Rome, go straight down the small hill and follow it along - you will soon get to a small main intersection and if you turn left onto the main walking path, there will be restaurants and shops. Not too far along on the left is a nice restaurant that we had dinner at a couple of times (sorry I don' remember the name but we never had reservations - we tended to eat early-ish).

What to see in Rome? One of Rome's "best kept secrets", I think, is the Aventine Keyhole up on Aventine Hill.
I had read about it in an obscure book and made a point of finding it while there and my friend's totally agreed it was the high-point of our stay in Rome. We first visited the "Mouth of Truth"(do you know the movie called Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn?) which is in the wall of the Cosmedin Church @ Piazza della Bocca Verita (contary to what most say, we did not have a long wait - line looked longish but we waited 20 minutes tops - we were there in October) - just a fun thing to see and do...
www.atlasobscura.com/places/mouth-of-truth

From there, it wasn't far to the Aventine Hill which we walked up (it is a residential area) - I recall coming across a lookout on the right, over the city in the direction of St. Peter's Basilica. Took a few pictures after enjoying the view and then continued along and eventually we got to what seemed like a road with a large parking lot at the top of a hill and on the right side was a wall with a very large door in it - guess what? It was the Aventine Keyhole (Rome's semi-secret peephole) through which you can get a sweeping view of Rome perfectly contained in the keyhole with the dome of St.Peter's right in the center. When we got there, there was no-one else in sight, so we got to have a great long look and tried different settings on our cameras. Before long, however, a group of students arrived and then there was a lineup. We waited until they were finished, and then got in line again for a second look and attempts at better pictures. It was a great fun thing to do and not something that many tourists seem to know about. It was not a busy place - it felt like it was our own secret find...
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/it...ntine-keyhole/

Have fun!!
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Sorry, error above on website - should be:
www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-mouth-of-truth
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 11:19 PM
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Wow - thank you everyone! I really appreciate all the input! Aventine Hill sounds very cool - I need to sleep on it a bit and think if I want to totally rework my concept to fit it in.
In the meantime, I took the recommendation to plot out a route on Google Maps. I regularly walk 5-7km so I figured that as my target planned walking distance, knowing that I will likely walk more what with little detours and wanderings.
Here is my current thinking. It comes to about 5.5km as a straight walk.
Termini
Plaza Venezia
Trevi Fountain (skip Spanish Steps)
Pantheon
Piazza Navona
Campo di Fiore
Trastevere
Of course, these sites are just for route planning. A lot of the fun will be what I see on the way!
Thinking of aiming to get to Trastevere on the earlier side to leave time to explore.
So,
What do you think of that route?
What is the best way to return to the airport (yes, I will definitely leave plenty of time!) from Trastevere?
THANKS! GRAZIE!
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 11:20 PM
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(And now I think I will also look into rainy day ideas...)
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 11:52 PM
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Back from an amazing time in Rome! Weather was perfect and I had 7-8 hours of solid pleasure in Roma! I am going to post separately as a mini-trip report...
THANK YOU!
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