Rome - must do's & not do's

Feb 28th, 2004, 12:25 AM
Original Poster
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Rome - must do's & not do's

Ok been "lurking" on here a while and reading your travel tips and tales.

We are off to Rome on Sunday morning for six nights. Staying at Relais Banchi Vecchi.

If you went to/back to Rome:

What thing would you most definitely do/see?
What would you most avoid?
Which restaurant would you definitely visit?

Thank you in anticipation of your replies!

Moglie is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 03:30 AM
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1. Must do: climb Michelangelo's staircase to the Campidoglio, walk to the right of the Senate building and take in the view over the Roman Forum. Then walk around to the left of the Senate and go down the stairs into the Forum and poke around among the old stones. Then visit the Pantheon and see a fully realized example of the temples represented by the Forum's columns and fragments.

Must not: Let the noise and confusion of the modern city blind you to the layers of history, art and culture visible all around you.

Restaurants: See my trip report from last week's trip for suggestions of places I particularly enjoyed.
Nikki is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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Must dos:

Imperial and earlier Rome:
Villa Giulio (I think) - Etruscan life

Renaissance Rome
St. Peter's
Vatican Museums
Piazza Navonna
Statues and fountains everywhere

Modern Rome
Shopping (even if only window) below the Spanish steps
Gelato anywhere
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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Nikki... very good answer... even after four years here, it continues to be heartening to see how (relative) newcomers write some of the best answers. It often takes a "less experienced" visitor here to write some of the things that other "less experienced" visitors would benefit from hearing.

And you (Nikki, or Moglie) might not realize hoe wasy it is to find Nikki's Rome tip report - - just click on her name (that's why it's underlined) and you will find all of her previous postings. Here's is the trip report in particular...

Best wishes,


p.s. - - my own personal "must do" is the enoteca Buccone; see for this and many other good ideas.
rex is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 06:12 PM
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Can't forget the Spanish Steps or the Victor Emmanuel Monument.

Agree with all here though.

lilleyl2 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 06:23 PM
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not do... go to the airport, and come home...
rex is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Must do: Walk the city at night

Most avoid: Pickpockets on Via Condotti
(My wallet was lifted, but only for a second, I got it back)
cyberUK is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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I would definitely recommend riding the buses,tram,metro and train. Too many people go to Rome and isolate themselves from Rome by staying in the Spanish Steps or by the Pantheon(and other touristy areas) and never experiencing the people and city.The smells,noise,traffic and the people complete the whole experience.Definitely buy the museum pass that will let you bypass the lines at the Colosseum and let you into others without the hassle. We bought the metro/bus/train pass for 3 days for 11 Euros and I think that it was worth it for where we went. Have fun!
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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CyberUK, you are one of a kind. I've never heard of anyone getting their lifted wallet back in Rome. This sounds like a story worth telling. I'm picturing some sticky fingered little girl with a newspaper over her arm left beaten to a pulp on the sidewalk?
Patrick is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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When I go back to Rome at the top of my must do list will be the scavi tour. I would most avoid the Tiburtina metro/train area.

Dutyfree - I live in an area where you have to drive everywhere so I think public transportation is part of the fun when traveling in Europe too. My brother-in-law was pick-pocketed on the subway in Rome this summer so he hates the trains/busses/subway.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 29th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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..MUST DO.."get lost" of the most wonderful things we did was forced meandering..we set out looking for a specific church and obviously took a left when should have taken a right..had a wonderful time in the travestavare in an area we probably would never have would suggest a little wandering to help you appreciate the city.
MUST DO- make sure you have a purse/wallet that cant be stolen (see the tread above) husband was almost pickpocketed by 2 women with a baby begging near the train station (fortunatly his trousers were too tight(too much pasta) and she couldnt lift the wallet easily.
MUST NOT anywhere within the central city..much of the access is limited to cars and in areas that arent cars are either stopped or driving at double the speed limit.
travelbunny is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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<<double the speed limit>>

Speed limit? Dey gots speed limits now in Italy? Since when?

rex is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Posts: 1,755 certainly have a point..i think the italians do have speed limits..i would suggest the limit for anycar is about 1 mile per hour below the speed necessary for it to become airbourne....
travelbunny is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 11:43 AM
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MY must do-s:

Scala Reale walking tours of the Forum/Colosseum and the Vatican.

Dinner at least once at La Tartaruga (for details, do a search on it here.)

Stay in the Pantheon/Piazza Navona/Campo dei Fiori area.

Always go back to the Borghese Gallery.

Wear a helmet and padding when crossing any intersection.

Do a daytrip into the countryside or a garden spot, just to take a break from the hectic-ness of Rome

See more churches, which house so many art masterpieces

Not do-s:
The only thing I can think of that didn't wow me was the Capitoline Museum.
I'm not sorry I went, and I may go again sometime, but if time is short I would leave it off my list. But, that's after having been there once, it might be a "you gotta do it once" experience for me. I am by no means denigrating the art, just ranking the experience.

elaine is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2004, 08:40 AM
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Hi Patrick,
The way it happened was:
Our tour guide warned us about the Gypsies at the base of the Spanish steps. He said to carry the wallet in front pocket with a rubber band on it. I am from NYC, I have ridden the subways for many years, and was not too worried about my pocket being pick, but I aquiesed to his suggestions.
Wife and I were smiling, laughing, having a great first time visit in Rome. We had left the Steps behind, entering Via Condotti, to shop, Prada, Ferragamo etc.. I had a rediculous amount of American currency on me at the time.
Three female approached from across the street, on an angle to us. One of the women was about 35 years old, the other was about 22-25 years old (and VERY attractive)and a little girl about 8 years old dressed very shabbily, and dirty. My right hand was in my right hand trouser pocket, holding onto my wallet.
My wife was about three steps ahead of me, looking in the window of the (Prada?) store. As the women crossed in front of me, they started "air kissing"
and saying something in Italian, "oh Senore, Senore. The 22 year old turned full on to face me (within inches of my face) as the older one started kissing my right arm and hand. still murmering, "oh Senore, Senore". I turned away in shock that the prostitutes in Rome were so overt.
As I turned, the little girl took my left hand as if to lead me across the street. As soon as this happened, I realized how bizarre the previous few seconds had been, and my "street sense" came rushing back.
I realized that I had been hustled, my wallet was gone along with thousands in cash, and all my credit cards.
Only about two seconds had passed, the two older women were but a few steps away. I spun on my feet, yelled "POLICIA" (in Spanish), and grabbed both women by their upper arms. and pushed them against the shop window.
They looked very surprised, and protested.
My wife heard the commotion, yelled to me what is wrong, I answered that they had taken my wallet,and with that, my quiet, demur wife hit the younger woman accross the face with a right cross, hard enough to rock the girl back on her heels.
The older woman said, "no NO Senore" and started pointing to the sidewalk where she had thrown my wallet.
I let go of the younger woman,(who was now a bit unsteady on her feet), picked up my wallet (which seemed to be intact)
And as I was looking through my wallet, the three women melted into the crowd and were gone in about two seconds.

The bystanders began to clap and congratulate us, and the shop keepers were patting my wife on the back for the next half hour. They were thanking us, and apolegising, telling us that they hoped we knew that the women were Gypsies, not Italians. They told us that this was such a big problem in this neighborhood.
We became celebrities for about a half of an hour, and a Japanese couple took pictures with my wife and walked with her every where she went for the rest of our shopping trip on Via Condotti.
No doubt they will be able to tell their grandchildren that they met this crazy American woman , who protected her husband from the Gypsies in Rome.
cyberUK is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Don't eat during that midday hour when almost everything is closed. Odds are anything that's open during that time, will not be good (we had this experience, poor planning on our part). Do plan time without any particular plan, just time for wandering around and exploring.
MFNYC is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Something not mentioned yet that I enjoyed was visiting the Baths of Caracalla. I also really enjoyed a Sunday afternoon bicycle ride along the Via Appia Antica(sp?). The ride itself wasn't too smooth but it was so much fun.
Idnas71 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:00 PM
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I'll add a couple of suggestions to the great ideas already listed. Go to the little parks located on the Janiculum and further down the Tiber on the Aventine hill and have a great picnic with a fabulous view over Rome. Also, take a short (half-hour by train) daytrip to the hill town of Frascati and eat in any local trattoria. Those Frascatians (is there such a word?) really know how to live!
platzman is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:24 PM
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cyberUK, I just read your description on the gypsy incident, what an experience!

Congratulate your wife! She is my new role model!!
chardonnay is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:59 AM
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Thanks for all your replies!

We are in Rome now, lost, great isn't it! ;o)

Actually we are in Trastevere on our way to Santa Cecilia.

I will post a trip report on my return but just to let you all know that Relais Banchi Vecchi is superb - clean, spacious, excellent location, wonderful bedrrom and bathroom also.

Eaten at Da Baffetto twice and have found Antico Taverna so will be there tonight or tomorrow maybe.

Ciao tutti!

Moglie is offline  

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