Rome on May 1, What to do?

Old Feb 27th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Rome on May 1, What to do?

We will be in Rome for 2 1/2 days in May and one of those days is May 1 and have discovered that it is a national holiday and everything is closed. Any suggestions on things to do that day? Will try to cram everything else in the other 1 1/2 day
rewoe is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2012, 09:19 PM
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One thing I would do is avoid the areas of Rome that popular places for political demonstrations. These would include areas around the Parliament and the major banks. I would try to arrange my day so that I wasn't counting on public transportation or taxis. I tend to think this May Day will see a number of strikes, but I wouldn't expect any of them to affect Vatican City or any of the churches, if those places interest you. If you are interested in going to the Galleria Borghese, you must make a reservation, and your reservation will surely be honored if you are able to book for May 1.
zeppole is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Thank you. Galleria Borghese does appear to be open on May Day. The Vatican Museum is closed. Will churches such as St Peters be open. Anyone have any other suggestions
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 06:08 PM
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Hi Rewoe,
We arrived in Rome on May 1st 2008. We were unable to take public transportation. We were told buses and trains were not running because of the holiday. We found many restaurants were closed as well.
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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The Vatican has a website, and you should check it for its opening hours.

A great many museums in Rome and historic sites normally do not close on May Day. Have you checked the websites for the Baths of Caracalla or Ostia Antica, the Catacombs, etc?

Even if the websites say they will be open, note the telephone numbers and ask you hotel to confirm before you set out in the morning of May 1 that the sites are open. I suggest this only because Italy has undertaken very recently major cutbacks to public spending. So to avoid disappointment and wasted time, double check the itinerary you have planned before you embark on it. (I wouldn't be surprised if the tourist office is closed that day, but your hotel or b&b owner should be happy to help you out).

Don't worry the Rome will lack interest for you even if "all" you do that day is walk through the old Jewish Quarter, Trastevere and around many fountains and piazze. Enough shops will be open, so will many cafes -- and Rome is often a more pleasant place to stroll on a holiday, when 60% of the motorcycles and cars have zipped out of town.
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Sorry, I shouldn't have included Ostia Antica on my list of suggestions because you would need to rely on public transportation to get there and back.
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 09:57 PM
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I so agree with zepolle, rewoe, walking around Rome is a great joy and one does not have to depend on public transporation. It can be one of the most wonderful days of your time in Rome. And you will find cafes or restaurants open while walkig through Rome or ask your hotel assuming you will be staying in one for suggestions as to what will be open. Have fun!
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 10:05 PM
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thanks for posting this question... we will be there this may 1 and hadn't really thought about the whole transportation complication.
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Old Mar 1st, 2012, 03:14 PM
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p.s. another poster mentioned -- which i was happy to hear about. i wrote them to see whether they will be walking on the holiday, may 1. they wrote me back the next day and told me, yes, they would have their regular schedule. see you all there!!!
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Old Mar 1st, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Rome public transportation isn't all that good anyway. You can walk almost anywhere you need to get to, assuming you're in reasonable shape. I wouldn't think public trasnportation being closed for a day would make much of a difference at all in that city.
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Old Mar 1st, 2012, 09:51 PM
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Rome's public transportation systems is actually quite fun for anyone who bothers to take the time to learn to use it, and it is a real foot-saver for people looking to see both the Vatican museums and the sights of antiquity, or take in Trastevere and the Villa Borghese. The underground metro system will save you time and steps, and the buses are just plain fun.

It's a great treat to circle around the Colosseum on a bus, or trundle along the Tiber, and the small electric buses that nose through the oldest alleyways of the city make for fascinating rides. I think public transportation in Rome expands one's options three-fold. Many people never "bother" to see the Baths of Caracalla or San Giovnna in Laterano because their feet give out from trying to walk everywhere in Rome. And I think there are few more tedious walks in Rome than the trudge to and from the entrance to the Vatican museums. Might as well take the subway.
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Old Mar 1st, 2012, 10:19 PM
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Sorry for my too fast typing:

San Giovanni in Laterano is the correct spelling,
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Old Mar 1st, 2012, 10:35 PM
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The others have already said it but I'll add my voice to the chorus- Rome is the perfect city for wandering, no admission to museums or official sites is necessary to enjoy the beauty and history of the city. So much is simply laid at your feet as you stroll.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 12:26 AM
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You could do a fountain tour. There are over 2000 listed in Martin Pulvers' beautiful gazeteer ROMAN FOUNTAINS. Admittedly this includes some in private places like courtyards and the Vatican.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 01:36 AM
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I would visit the Vatican, that is probably open every day. This would take you at last a whole morning as there are always long queus to enter the Basilica. In the afternoon I would roam around central roam, the major sites in central Rome are very easily walkable, visiting the Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi - do not forget to have an ice-cream that is right in the square - the best in Italy, Piazza Navona, and the elegant surrounding streets full of beautiful shops.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:27 PM
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The Vatican is not open every day. One really needs to check.
zeppole is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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The Vatican is closed on May 1
rewoe is offline  
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