Only 3 days in Italy

Sep 19th, 2009, 10:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Only 3 days in Italy

My husband, son (16) and I have a 3 day stop in Rome planned for mid November. This is our first trip to Italy so we would like to see the main tourist spots in Rome but would like some tips on hotels, restaurants and any other spots nearby that we could see.

We love the outdoors and visiting less crowded areas where you can enjoy the beauty without all the hussle and bussel. Any tips on hotels, restaurants, and nearby small towns/villages would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I have heard jeans are frowned upon. Is this true?
lori1969 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Well Rome is a busy and vibrant city so there is lots of hussel and bussel and lots of traffic.

Three days would hardly allow you to cover most of the favorite sites and sights visitors enjoy but if you plan a good itinerary you should be able to get to a lot of them.

For a quiet oasis do visit the Borghese Garden, it is beautiful and it sounds like you and your family would enjoy a few hours there.

Orvieto which can be reached from Rome by train in an hour is loved by many Fodorite's but personally with three days I would spend them all in Rome.

Jeans are worn by many Italians and also visitors. Only you know if you feel good in jeans. But no, jeans are not frowned upon. Do wear good comfortable walking shoes as no doubt you will be on your feet a lot.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Main tourist spots = destinations of common interest to other visitor = crowded areas.

Are you looking for inherently less crowded areas? Unless your interests are different from other visitors, I suspect your need is difficult to satisfy.

If you want to visit main tourist spots with less crowd, you can do this by visiting them early. Trevi fountains, for example, is a zoo until wee hours in the evening but is practically abandoned until about 9am in the morning.

Admission required places, such as Colosseum can get you bogged down in ticket lines unless you use something like a "Roma Pass" as one of the first two places to visit.
greg is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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Well, you've picked the largest city in Italy - so hustle and bustle is part of the package. And 3 days is barely enough to scratch the surface - definitely not enough time to head out into the countryside.

Mid NOvember will be less crowded than summer - but still expect to run into a lot of people.

As for hotels, what is your budget - and are you looking for a triple room or for a double and a single?

As for restaurants - do you mean for a special dinner - or just regular meals? For the latter anyplace filled with Italians will be fine - just check the menu outside. Avoid any place that has menus with pictures or posts menus in multiple languages (a sure sign of not great food and too high prices).
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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If you have a sunny day and have been feeling quite bothered by tourists and bustle, your family might be thrilled by a trip to Ostia Antica, the under-visited but incredibly atmospheric abandoned town that is just a short train ride away from Rome, in the direction of the sea and the airport. It is really quite a lovely spot, with grassy walkways, incredible ruins and pavement mosaics, and tall, towering umbrella pines. Walking along its antique streets can produce an overwhelming of feeling of what it must have been like to live 2000 years ago in a commercial Roman port.

You might also consider a hotel in Trastevere for more of a sense of not being in the motorized thick of things, filled with neighborhood piazzas, a lively youth scene and beautiful artwork in its main church (Santa Maria). Romans rather enjoy hustle and bustle in their piazzas, but the touristy ones -- Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiore and Piazza delle Rotonda -- are less enjoyable than ones in Trastevere.

Add a dinner in a restaurant near the Portico d'Ottavia in the Jewish quarter, which is a spookily wonderful (and perfectly safe) place to walk in the evening, amid artifacts spanning Imperial rome through the Renaissance and more.

There is no reason you must "do" Roma at the expense of doing what you want. This is your trip -- so ignore advice that you "definitely" don't have time to see the beauty of the countryside if you'd rather be there.

David Downie has just written a very-up-to-date guide to authentic and highly affordable Roman eating. You can buy the book on Amazon. Some people imagine "anyplace filled with Italians" is a guarantee of good eating. Don't believe it. Get some advice from people who know the culture and the city.

Despite the "zoo" atmosphere of the Trevi fountain at night (and it is a zoo), it is more fun to see at night than 9am in the morning. Just mind you wallet.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Thanks so much for all the advice. I wish we had more time in Italy but we are headed to India and just planned for a quick stop to break our trip up.

I knew we would have to deal with the hussel and bussel in Rome but just thought if it became too much we should have other destinations in mind.

Glad to hear jeans are ok and to find out about the Roma Pass. Again, thanks so much for the info. Hope you all have a great weekend.
lori1969 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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>>>I knew we would have to deal with the hussel and bussel in Rome but just thought if it became too much we should have other destinations in mind.<<<

If it becomes too much, plop down in a little outdoor cafe, have a drink and people watch.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 19th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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FYI, by mid-November, the sun will be setting before 5:00 p.m. You might want to keep this in mind as you're planning the order of your sightseeing.
Jean is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Kybourbon, that sounds like a great idea.

Jean, thanks I had forgotten about that.

I'm so glad I decided to ask for advice...this has been very helpful.
lori1969 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 08:29 PM
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Have good and comfortable flights lori, and enjoy your time in Rome! And I so agree with kybourbon, taking a break from sightseeing and enjoying a cafe while you have something to drink and people watch is a fun and relaxing way to take a break. And since your son is 16 if he is not in the mood to sit at a cafe he could wander around a bit while you two relax.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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You only have three days in Rome and want to see the main sites, so you really won't have time to consider daytrips outside the city. Surely, even if you like the country, you won't mind only three days in one of the greatest cities in the world, filled with unbelievable history, art and just wonderful people-watching if you just want to sit in a cafe. (OK, I admit that Rome is my favorite place!) Even for a country lover, I would recommend staying right in the middle of the city (around the Piazza Navona/Pantheon area) to make the best use of your time
SusanP is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 02:09 AM
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3 days is a bit short for time to both daytrip AND really soak up Rome, even if it's just an overview. If you'd like a quiet haven though, Parioli is a really nice area, and the Borghese Garden is a breath of fresh air. So is walking up Gianicolo (which I never think I spell right) to enjoy the view. The neighborhood around the Vatican is really nice and peaceful too, but still central enough you don't waste loads of time on public transport. I'll have to recommend an agency for apartment rentals that's always taken good care of my guests and has excellent service and selection (and English speakers on staff):
Dobermina is offline  
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