Please critique Ozziez plans for Rome

Old Oct 28th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Directions to Pompeii and read thru my Julius Caesar assassination walk, the cat sanctuary was where Caesar was killed. Regards, Walter

ROME-POMPEII DAYTRIP
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34665492 PISA http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34408155 OSTIA ANTICA DAYTRIP
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34619236 Catacombs http://tinyurl.com/j9w3d
VILLA HADRAIN/TIVOLI DAYTRIP
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34804870 St. Peter's necropolis scavi tour
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34888402 JULIUS CAESAR ASSASSINATION WALK
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34646917 ROMAN FORUM WALKING TOUR
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34713215 MY POSTS ON FODORS' FORUM (mostly about Rome) http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...diseLost&fid=2
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Campo de' Fiori does have a market every day except Sunday. In addition to the flowers, vegetables, spices, sausages, etc. there are some other stands with T-shirts, kitchen items and stuff like that. I don't actually recall seeing handbags or jewelry. There are some street vendors just off the market that have these things.

The Christmas Market in the Piazza Navona is like a carnival, complete with games where you can win stuffed animals, cotton candy, lots of tacky stuff. However, it also has very nice nativity figures that make a nice souvenir, delicious chocolate with hazelnuts and other candy, and beautiful but expensive amber jewelry.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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One other thing, if you walk from Campo de' Fiori over to Piazza Navona, one the street leading into the piazza there is a stand that sells Roma sweatshirts and scarves if you're interested in those.

I also meant to mention that Da Francesco, right in the Piazza Fico where you're staying, has terrific pizza, around 8€ each (each person gets his own pizza).
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Link to information about the cat sancutary
http://www.romancats.com/index_eng.phpSunday We visited once on our first afternoon (staying at a nearby apartment) then stopped by many times to see how many cats we could count around the ruins

On your day 1 you originally planned to start at Piazza del Popolo and walk down Via del Corso back toward Piazza Navona. I recommended the view from Pincio gardens based on that because I thought you would be doing it in the early afternoon. probably not at night (although we never tried this) The view would be good any time of year in good weather. It is a panoramic view of the city from the edge of the gardens,not a view of the gardens.
I agree with others you might be better off just concentrating on Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotunda (Pantheon) and the churches nearby. These are places you will probably want to visit several times at different times of day.

We did not find it difficult to leave the Sistine Chapel and go back to the part of the museums near the entrance. Somewhat crowded but not nearly as bad as the areas en route to the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms

Our family probably qualifies as "really into history" so maybe we aren't typical tourists, but we really enjoyed visiting the Palatine. Even if you don't want to visit the entire hill you might climb up the stairs from the Forum to the Farnese gardens for a great view. The area where Romulus and Remus are supposed to have founded the city is also in this part of the Palatine

For the Capuchin Crypt--be sure you have looked at pictures and know what it is like. I think it would have bothered my kids at age 10


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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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FYI - The fountain in Piazza Navona was covered with scaffolding when I was there last month.

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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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On the Vatican museums questions, I've never visited their ancient Egypt, etc. collections. Maybe look on the museum website to get details on how the pieces there would compare to the British Museum (obviously, the Vatican would probably have more Etruscan works). I would guess that part of the museum would be less crowded. I think most of the rest of the museum, at the least the part you see on the tour, are crowded most of the time. I'd say, go through the tour, visit the Sistine Chapel, and then decide if you want to head back into the less-crowded portions that are your particular interest.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Hi Ozziez,

I haven't read everything but I thought I might offer some advice from my experience.

I am very like you in that I like to plan lots of things to be sure that we don't miss out on our key priorities. What you have planned (at least 2nd time round) is fine but just be aware that there will be things that you will not end up doing. Your plan is ambitious but not impossible. If you read my trip report of our first day in Rome you will see what 5 jet lagged Aussies can achieve - easy peasy. But you can't keep up the pace every day.

What I found out on our last trip to Italy when all the kids were teenagers and in an earlier trip to Europe when my youngrest was 9, was that they really do not like starting too early in the morning. They will get up early for a couple of special things but then they expect a later start the next day. I would prefer to be out of the hotel before 9am everyday but I was lucky for them all to be out of bed then. So inevitably some of the things I hoped to do got the flick.

Having said that, some of the things I thought would take longer to see were actually done quicker and left us with time to do something else. Which we spent wisely in cafes etc.

It's also not a bad idea to split up sometimes - eg husband takes boys while you and daughter(s) go shopping (sorry if that sounds sexist but it is the way it wokrs in our family).

Rome is easy to walk around and the main sights are all pretty close. We walked everywhere but I don't know if your illness will prevent you from walking a long way so prepare for buses where needed.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you may or may not go back to Rome where you can pick up on things you missed out on this time, but for sure you will never get this family time with the kids like this again. They will grow up.

Enjoy!
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 03:08 AM
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Tagging to read later, looks like some good info in here!
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Hi again,

yep, much better - however, I forsee bad cases of "roman foot" if you try to do it all. those streets are very hard. make sure that you all take shoes that are already tested for being comfortable.

perhaps I am halucinating about the sunday mornnig market in the campo dei fiori - I'm sure that there was one because we went there before we flew home on a sunday, but it wasn't the "normal" fruit, veg and flowers - it was scarves, bags, and trinkets for tourists.

which was ok because that was what we were.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Hi ellenem - I've e-mailed the cat sanctuary because I can't find any info on their website about visiting, so if I get a response I'll post it here (others may be interested?)

Vttraveler, did you actually go inside the cat sanctuary, and if so, did you need to make an appointment? I can't get your link to work, but I have managed to find the main site - just no info about hours and visiting. Thank you for all your valuable input.

Walter, you really are a gem! I had already found some of your notes (the Roman Forum ones should be made into a book!) and now I have the full collection. These will be so useful to us. Thank you very much.

SusanP, thanks so much for the market info and for the tip about the pizza - we'll definitely eat there.

Kybourbon, how sad about the fountain - I absolutely love it. Can you see any of it at all?

Lexma90, I'm going to take your advice - we'll see how we feel after we've done the Vatican tour, and assess the crowds, and then make up our minds as to whether we want to venture back into the museums. At least I now have a clear idea of which doors to use in the Sistine Chapel and when!

Aussiefive - your advice is also so wise - well noted. Thank you!

Annhig, thanks for the warnings about Roman foot - perhaps we had better start wearing in our walking boots while we're still at home .... On the topic of the market, if I get time I'll walk down to Campo dei Fiori on the Sunday morning and I'll let you know what I find there.

Thank you everybody - your time and advice are so appreciated!

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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 03:42 AM
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Re the cat sanctuary: we actually went down once to see the cats. This was a Sunday afternoon, the day we arrived, in Feb. 2007. We did not make a reservation in advance.
I think the website says in the Introduction section they are open noon to 6.
Visitors
Visitors are always welcome to look around, visit the cats and browse the CatShop or adopt one of the cats at a distance ... all to help our little friends.

We are open every day from noon to 6 p.m.

Entrance at Largo di Torre Argentina, corner of Via Florida & Via di Torre Argentina

The link I was trying to give you was the one you are probably looking at--found it by googling cat sanctuary Rome
I believe there was also an option to tour the ruins that Sunday afternoon (usually they are not open to the public) but we didn't do that because we wanted to press on to Piazza Navona and explore the neighborhood near our apartment
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Thanks very much Vttraveler. We will all love seeing the cats and I think the children want to make a donation too. Perhaps they'll do this in the form of "adopting" a cat.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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The Four Rivers Fountain is surrounded by walls, but there are glass insets in a few places so you can see inside, although not the view of it you would normally get. Of course, no water, though.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 12:27 AM
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SusanP, thanks for preparing me - now I won't be totally devastated when I see it. What a pity it isn't working. Oh well!
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 01:13 AM
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Hi Ozziez, hope you don't mind some more advice, but I think that the kids are going to already be tired after having spent 7 days exploring new cities.

I definitely agree with others that you haven't left much time for sore feel, aching legs and rebellious children! I think the 10 year old will be fed up on day 3 and may need some time out. Unless he is very unusual that day includes a huge amount of culture and not much fun for a young fella.

You should definitely go to Capitoline Hill (it is breathtaking) and even if you don't go to the museums, make your way to the back of the museum where there is a large terrace with a lovely view of Rome. There are also clean toilets and a cafe (expensive though).

We may have covered this in another of your posts, but in case we didn't - Rick Steve has podcasts for all of the main attractions that you will be visiting.

Unless other posters have some ideas, I would save the shopping trip for Florence where you and the girls can spend some time in the markets and buy bags, souvenirs, scarves, gloves(or do I remember from another post that you are from the Northern Territory, not much use for leather gloves there!).

Not long to wait now!! Wish I was going again!
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Hi Cathies - Thanks very much for the advice - very welcome and great to know. Will definitely take everything you're saying into consideration.
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 12:37 AM
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You know Ozziez, I'm just so pleased to be able to contribute. We had to wait until our kids had finished school and some cash was available to be able to afford to travel. I get really excited when I see a post and think "oh, I've been there"!!

I hope you have a great trip and that the kids love the experience and the time spent with mum and dad!!
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 05:27 AM
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Thanks Cathies!
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