Rome Ideas

Jun 1st, 2016, 09:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 24
Rome Ideas

The locations our friends want to see are Paris, Lake Como, Tuscany. I was chosen to make the schedule as I have been to Europe before. The schedule worked out great until one decided he always wanted to see Rome. So now I need to squeeze Rome in which I am happy to do. I stressed we will make a sacrifice on Tuscany and Rome. Everyone agreed this is fine. We are all easy going and travel well together. We have fun people watching as well as hitting the sites. At this point I only want to juggle the Rome and Tuscan portion if possible as getting a Lake Como Hotel was a job.
0 Arrive in Paris in afternoon this day.
1 Paris
2 Paris
3 Paris
4 Paris
5 Paris
6 Lake Como- Flight from Paris to Milan, 7:20 - 8:40 am. train to Varenna . Stay in Varenna
7 Lake Como - Varenna
8 Lake Como - ferry to Bellagio for day visit, return to Varenna
9 Rome- Early AM train to Milan, Fast train to Rome. Evening in Rome.
10 Rome
11 Rome
12 Rome to Orvieto in afternoon. Take train from Rome. Rent car and sleep in Orvieto.
13 Siena - Make our way by car to Siena. This is our base..
14 Siena
15 Siena
16 Turn Car in Pisa in the afternoon and fly out to London.

That gives us one evening and one day until around 2:00pm in addition to 2 full days.
During this short stay we will at least browse by the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trastevere, etc. We probably have time for only "tour day" in either the Vatican or Colosseum so that will have to be discussed on which everyone prefers or we can split up.That will take up one day. I think we should we take that second day and just wander unless anyone can think of easy sites I didn’t mention above.

So here are my questions about Rome. (I may start another thread about the Tuscan portion.)
Tour ideas…
Does anyone recommend a private walking tour of Rome? (Maybe a history tour or a special tour they remember so we can learn a bit about the city.)
And also a Colosseum, Forum, or Vatican tour just in case we do that? Any tour company that they enjoy?

Room ideas…
I know we need a good location to stay but after reading a lot of threads here I still feel like I am a bit lost on exactly where that would be. Trastevere, Pantheon, Navona? Other?
Is $200 per night realistic for Rome in a good location?
If you can recommend a specific hotel or apartment that would be lovely.
Dreamgoddess is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,037
Both the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum have their own tours, which cost less than other tours, and are pretty highly rated. Both of these places are very crowded in high season. There are some tips for avoiding the crowds.

At the Vatican Museums, you should definitely buy your tickets in advance, which will allow you to skip the lines. You don't need a tour to do this. If you want to avoid crowds, there are Friday evening visits from May through July, and again in September and October. These are not anywhere near as crowded as the regular daytime visits. There are also early morning entries, listed under "Breakfast at the Museums". The tickets for the breakfast with private guided tour don't include the cost of the guide, which is added at the end, and costs, if I remember correctly, $250. Also there is one option that has breakfast, but no early entrance, which won't help you avoid the crowds.

For the Colosseum, it's difficult to advise you what to do. You can buy the tickets online, but they're not for a specific day or time. The problem is that at many times of the day, especially in high season, there are very long queues even for people who have tickets. We waited for almost an hour last June, under the broiling sun, because there is a limit on how many people can be inside, and they had reached the limit. Recently, because of specific threats against the Colosseum, they have greatly beefed up security, and it's not running smoothly yet. Since buying tickets in advance is no guarantee that you won't have to wait a long time to get in, you might want to wait and buy tickets on the spot. The tickets are for the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Colosseum, and are sold at all three entrances. Usually there isn't much of a queue at the other two entrances.

For myself, I'd be happy to view the Colosseum from the outside and use the ticket for the Forum and Palatine Hill (which is really beautiful and overlooked by most tourists).

Is that $200 a night per person, or per double room? It's on the low side for a double room, except in the middle of winter. I'm sure you'll find something in that range, but it may be rather basic. I use , which allows you to specify a specific neighborhood as your destination, or just "Rome city centre". You can sort the list by price or by guest rating. An apartment might save you money, and there are plenty of apartments on , but I know of several friendships that have been ruined by sharing apartments on trips. Be sure to read the guest reviews before making a decision. The number of stars is not very useful in Italy, because it just indicates the level of staffing and services, not the overall quality of the hotel.

I sometimes stay in the Bettoja Mediterraneo, which is near Termini station. It was once a luxurious hotel, but its glory is rather faded these days. However, the staff has always been very helpful and kind, and there's a rooftop restaurant. It often has excellent sales on . The Termini station area is the least expensive part, and it's not very far from several of the things you might want to see. It's not a charming medieval neighborhood, but neither is it very run down. From there it's a fairly easy walk to the Colosseum, and not a bad walk either to Trevi Fountain. The station is at the intersection of two metro lines. One of my favorite museums, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, is right in the vicinity, as are the ruins of the ancient Roman Baths of Diocletian.
bvlenci is online now  
Jun 1st, 2016, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,812
Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, >>

plus the Piazza Navona and Campo Dei Fiori are all places that you can see at night just wandering round as they are places rather than sights you have to pay to enter, even the Pantheon though its door shut at 7pm so if you want to go inside, get there before then.

with so little time in Rome you will need to be selective as bvl says so targeting the tours she mentions is a very good idea. and I agree about the Palatine Hill - a great way of seeing something of ancient Rome without the crowds.

Plus [another] plug for my favourite gallery in Rome, the Doria Pamphilij - all of the art, none of the crowds:
annhig is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 824
We just returned, and used Context Tours for The Vatican complex and Ancient Rome and highly recommend them. Both of these places are enormous and having someone to show you the ins and outs is very helpful. We walked to Trastevere after our Vatican tour, so that was basically one day.

The Spanish Steps are being renovated. We skipped them. On the other hand, the Trevi Fountain was just redone. Lots of people commented how much better the new lights are. It was pretty spectacular at night....

Also, we stayed in Bellagio, but Varenna was our favorite day visit. ;-)
eastenderusvi is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 03:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 24
Thank you so much for the replies. And such detail as well. I really appreciate that. I am adding all of your great ideas to my plan. Love those museum tips. And The Doria Pamphilij looks great!

The recommendation on Context Tours is just what I was hoping to find. I think Trastevere is on everyone's list so that would be a great dinner spot after touring.

As for our stay we can afford more than $200. per night (per couple) I was just trying to be cheap. Which is what I always do but I usually find myself caving eventually.

I will check out the booking sites and post again for more advice if I find any hotels.
Dreamgoddess is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6,087
I second the idea of using Context, we used them for the Vatican and Ancient Rome, excellent docents.

For a hotel around your $200.00 per night range have a look at Hotel Relais Le Clarisse in Trastevere. Easy walk to the historic centre but there is also a tram stop very close to the hotel. Nice hotel, clean, good breakfast, lovely interior courtyard to sit in etc. Lots of restaurants in the vicinity. We enjoyed our stay here.

For more money I loved Hotel Raphael just off Piazza Navona and my brother and his wife really liked Hotel Ponte Sisto near Campo dei Fiori.
raincitygirl is offline  
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