Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Rome Holiday - December Trip -What am I missing fodorites? (

eyemom84 Nov 9th, 2009 12:52 PM

Rome Holiday - December Trip -What am I missing fodorites?
It's getting closer. The Itinerary is prepared & the maps are being studied. Everyone is VERY excited for our first family trip to Italy.

1.) Language - I am slowly working with "live mocha", "living language" and "earworms" so that I have some basic phrases at my disposal. Driving family nuts but they are picking it up too!

2.) Sights, Restaurants, shopping, etc... In addition to guidebooks, I purchased "Food Wine Rome", Rick Steve's phrasebook, and a menu translator.

3.) List of entertainment DVDs to watch:
Cinema Paradiso,
La Dolce Vita,
The Bicycle Thief,
Catarina in the Big City,
Big Deal on Madonna Street

4.) Educational DVDs
Simon Scharma's Power of Art I,II,III
Michelangelo - Teaching Company (U of Washington Professor)-from library- THIS IS FABULOUS!
5.) Books - Caravaggio biography
The Agony and the Ecstasy
Roma by Steven Saylor

6) We will be switching to iphones shortly before the trip which may add a layer of confusion:-)

7) Museums tkts reserved, Dinner reserved for New Years Eve, waiting on hearing about Christmas Day

I always enjoy trips when I learn. Our 16 & 18 yo boys love photography, nature, architecture, & cars so I still devising additional ways to engage them!

What am I missing fodorites?
Any educational material you can recommend?

sjj Nov 9th, 2009 01:33 PM

One of the things my wife and I like to do in Rome is visit churches. Search this forum for "Rome churches" and you'll get lots of suggestions. Our favorites were the many churches with Caravaggio paintings and St. Pietro in Vinculo (sp?) off Via Cavour with its Michaelangelo statue of Moses. I also suggest seeing the TV series "Rome".

eyemom84 Nov 9th, 2009 01:45 PM

Thanks, I can rent "Rome" from Netflix and the boys might like it!
The Art work we are following will lead us through many churches- Michelangelo, Brancusi, Caravggio, etc...
Many of the Caravaggios have been been temporarily moved to the Borghese for the Caravaggio-Bacon show celebrating the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio's death and 100th anniversary of Bacon's birth.

I really loved the Teaching Company Series. Does anyone know of any similar series?

JoanneH Nov 9th, 2009 01:58 PM

Don't go overboard let things happen. Happenstance is part of the pleasure and enjoyment of travel.

eyemom84 Nov 9th, 2009 02:23 PM

You mean Fun? We always take Fun & Silliness with us and, as in all travel, nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. We just always leave room for the unexpected.
I just love the learning and planning associated with new trips;-) It helps me retain information and appreciate the place even more when I arrive.

Tuscanson Nov 12th, 2009 03:58 PM

First priority: watch the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck.

bikemano50 Nov 12th, 2009 04:10 PM

We just returned from a trip to Rome, Florence and Siena. I would not worry about language problems. It seemed to us that almost everyone spoke English. We toured the Colliseum, Vactican museums and the Basilica S. Maria degli Angeli (free admission). All of which were interesting and worth the time.

Jean Nov 12th, 2009 07:26 PM

If you can stand another book to read, I highly recommend "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King. More accurate than "The Agony and the Ecstasy." Available in paperback.

Lynnaustin Nov 13th, 2009 06:17 AM

Add "Three Coins in the Fountain" to your viewing list.
For just plain silliness, watch "If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium".

eyemom84 Nov 13th, 2009 10:35 AM

LOVE that movie! I think it is one of DH's favorites.

Thanks, I was concerned about the language. I had been doing Livemocha until the reading segments suddenly jumped to words I had never seen- yikes. My poor livemocha buddies were forced to listen to my horrible mispronunciation!

I will look for it today. Thank you!

Just put them #1 & 2 on my Netflix list. Thanks! Silliness always welcome in our house.

krystle0819 Nov 13th, 2009 11:55 AM

Language is no problem. As long as you know the basics (good morning, good evening, please, thank you, etc.) you will be fine! Before leaving for our trip to Italy, we would rent travel DVDs from the library such as Rick Steves' DVDs. It gave us a little sense of what to expect when in Rome. I also suggest finding some educational material on the Forum as it is poorly marked, if you plan on going there. Even with the audio guide, it was difficult to understand what we were looking at. Have a wonderful trip! It's beautiful!

eyemom84 Nov 13th, 2009 12:06 PM

I will look for more info. on the Forum.
I did find this amazing website/video link on the Forum Reconstructed-

Vttraveler Nov 13th, 2009 12:51 PM

The Robert Graves books I Claudius and Claudius the God are great as was the BBC series starring Derek Jacobi

I highly recommend The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr since you are interested in Caravaggio

LJ Nov 13th, 2009 12:58 PM

If you find yourself hankering for a touch of Christmas in your own language (it can catch you unawares!), you will find the services at St Paul-within-the-Walls very welcoming. The church is on Via Nazionale and has the additional advantage of being home to the Rome Opera student company performances. In between their own choir happenings (superb because of being bolstered by the trained voices) they are performing La Traviata in December. A real treat and a bargain!

eyemom84 Nov 13th, 2009 01:14 PM

I loved I, Claudius. Not sure I can get the our teen boys to watch it before we go but I will try. I will also get the books- Thanks:-)

Wow, thank you.
I love La Traviata and that might be just the thing for one evening. St Paul-within-the-Walls is walking distance form our hotel.

Vttraveler Nov 13th, 2009 02:31 PM

My younger son really enjoyed both the I, Claudius books and the BBC series in his mid-teen years. My husband and younger son could never get into them.
My younger son did read Angels and Demons

eyemom84 Nov 14th, 2009 07:01 AM

Now that was a silly sculptural slip- meant Bernini not Brancusi.
Does anyone have interesting resources on Bernini?

Not sure I'll get DSs (16,18) to do anything but watch movies between Mid-Terms/Finals and our trip departure date...but I will try:-)

jeanm Nov 15th, 2009 11:16 AM

Did you and your boys watch "Rome"? I'm not a prudish parent, but I'm glad that I saw the series with my husband and without my 15- and almost-18-year olds. We didn't mind the casually interspersed sex scenes, but the kids would have been . . .embarrassed. Or something.

My dream job would be to design sets for that series.

eyemom84 Nov 15th, 2009 01:25 PM

DH & I watched Cinema Paradiso last night and I was glad the boys were Not with us. They do get embarassed watching sex scenes while I am in the same room- teen boy thing. It was a wonderful movie though...
I'll watch Rome with DH first.

I got the "The Lost Painting today". It looks great.

Looks like I have to wait a few more weeks to find a Christmas Day Restaurant. I contacted 2 restaurants which were listed as open Christmas on the Rome Dining Guide site (recommended by daveesi). Just got an email that they are closed Dec 25th:-(

greg Nov 15th, 2009 02:02 PM

Did you mention iphone because you intend to use it in Italy? Unless you are super rich, turn off the data roaming before you get there.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:48 PM.