Rome report, late Sept 01

Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:01 PM
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Thanks, Gerry. It would have been nice if they had at least gotten back to us to tell us how busy they were but at least that probably explains why we never heard from them. We did fine on our own, but an overall orientation tour probably would have been nice, especially with these guys since everyone seems to rave about them.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:01 PM
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Elaine, both you and Neal have given very excellent reports! I have two questions about Rome 1) What were the store hours like? Do they close down from 1-3 or, as I have heard in Milan, are more and more stores staying open all day? How late in the evening do they stay open. I travel alot and I always have friends that give me a "shopping list" of things to bring back!!!!

I was thinking if the stores are closed, I could use this as museum time.

2) I have 4 nights and 3 full days in Rome - this is what I want to do so far:
St. Peter's
Vatican Museums
Forums/Aventine hill/Palentine hill
1 or two of the Catacombs\
Capt. Museum
about 5 churches including the one that has the "Mouth of Truth"

Of course shopping, the spaninsh steps, trevi fountain.

I wasn't going to go to the Borg. Museum but you guys have raved about it, maybe I should.

What do you think? I am one of those get out the hotel by at 7:00am and get back in around 10-11 pm. The only cramp in my style is opening and closeing hours.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:14 PM
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Hi, Elaine - Ever since you generously shared your travel notes with me a couple of months ago, I've been eagerly anticipating your Rome trip report. What a treat to find it today!

Please add me to the list of people who'd like your new Rome and Venice files, and thanks again very much for taking the time and effort to let all of us benefit from your experiences.

[email protected]
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:30 PM
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please, I'm happy to send out my file when I've finished working on it, but please email me so that I can just hit
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:42 PM
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Great report, as expected from you, Elaine!
Dan, one suggestion about Venice: Don't overplan your stay. Make sure you build in time just for walking around and getting lost among the maze of streets, alleys, small canals and bridges. That's the real joy of Venice!
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:57 PM
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If anyone wants to know how I spent my very active days, this is it, it may not seem like much, but I was on the go for 8-10 hours of dedicated sightseeing each day, not counting evening strolls or brief gelato stops
Maybe this will help others plan.

Arrival day
Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva
( a gem, with a Michelangelo sculpture, among other treasures, and a stone's throw from the Pantheon. I spent an hour there.)
Scala Reale's Orientation Hike, which included among other things Baths of
Diocletian including church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, church of
Santa Maria della Vittoria
(church---Bernini sculpture),
San Carlino, Trajan's Market, Trajan's Column

Day 2
Scala Reale's Roma Antica Tour of the Coliseum and Forum (4 hours, 9-1)
Long walk back to Pantheon area, including 60 minute stop at Galleria
Doria Pamphli (nice, but a B list place in my suddenly-expert opinion, but it was conveniently located)
Evening walk on my own through Ghetto area

Day 3
Church Sant'Andrea Della Valle--
45+ minute walk to Vatican
Vatican Museums
St Peter's

Day 4
Domus Aurea
LONG walk to Capitoline Museums
Church-St Pietro in Vincoli
(Michelangelo's "Moses")
Church-Santa Maria Maggore--magnificent.
Spanish Steps area
Trevi Fountain
Walk through Piazza Navona at night

Day 5
Galleria Borghese--hope for good weather because the gardens are gorgeous too
Church S. Pietro in Montorio on the Gianicolo hill
Walk through Trastevere
More walk through Ghetto, visit to Synagogue
Campo dei Fiori
back to Pantheon area where hotel was
Dinner on Piazza Navona

Following morning--just time for a little quick shopping

Just some of the things that were on my must-see list that I didn't get to do
Castel Sant'Angelo
Santa Maria in Cosmedin (where Mouth of Truth is)
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere--closed when I got there
Santa Maria in Trastevere--closed when I got there
about 15 other churches
St Peter's Scavi tour--had to skip it, just couldn't get back to St Peter's
at the time I was scheduled for, which was not my preferred time anyway
Mamertime Prison (closed when I got there)
Palazzo Spada
Keat's House
Piazza del Poppolo

Old Oct 8th, 2001, 01:59 PM
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oops, that should be
Keats's house
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 02:47 PM
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Good job, Elaine! I do think you got your churches confused once, though (not bad, considering the amount of stuff you saw!). There aren't any Caravaggios in Sant'Andrea della Valle. You were probably thinking of San Luigi dei Francesi, not far away, which is where Caravaggio's St. Matthew paintings are.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 06:48 PM
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hi all...not planning a trip back to rome, just living vicarously thru you all!

tip on sistine chapel. they rent these headsets with a cd describing all the paintings. they are coded, so you can listen to it all, or just parts. when i was there it WAS really quiet and the tour guides couldn't even talk, so those w/out headsets were out of luck.

i too thought there were caravaggios in S. Andrea Delle Valle..could be wrong, it's been a while.

final note, elaine i am a NY native myslef and rome is my favorite italian city b/c it reminds me so much of NY. not in any physical way, but you know that feeling you get in Manhattan where you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are in the greatest city in the world? i got that feeling in rome. but i lived there for six months, so maybe it grew on me. i do think rome is large and overwhelming on a short visit.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 07:07 PM
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Interesting itin. I will try not to see as much.
Did you do much shopping and is it true that most of the shops close down from 1-3 or is this not so much the case? How late do the stores stay open?
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 07:17 PM
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Great report Elaine. Sounds like you were on the move as much as we were. Glad you had a good time. I loved Rome when I was there, but I spent 10 days then. Venice is more romantic, Florance is compact with a lot of art but Rome just has so much to offer. It felt alive to me.
Old Oct 9th, 2001, 04:27 AM
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KT, thanks for the correction,
I did see both Sant'Andrea and San Luigi but it is indeed the latter that has the wonderful Caravaggios.

Most small shops did seem to close during riposo, closing of shops ends earlier than those of the churches. Most shops seemed to reopen by 3pm at the latest, stayed open to about 7.

Art and NYC, my experience of my first trip to Rome was similar to my first trip to London--the sheer size in breadth and depth just felt overwhelming. It took me a couple more trips to London for it to feel familiar and to feel that I "knew" it on some level.
I suspect the same will be true for Rome, and I 'm certainly eager to go again. I might actually try a winter trip sometime, sacrificing the good weather I had this time for lesser crowds next time. Would even give the Vatican another go, but with a different strategy.
Old Oct 9th, 2001, 07:22 AM
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Great report, Elaine.

I live in a city that doesn't have the any street life and I get so excited with all the hectic hustle of Roma. And it also reminded of NYC when I was there. Looking forward to your updated notes on Rome & will e-mail my request in a couple days.
Old Oct 9th, 2001, 10:24 AM
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don't mean to belabor this posting, but I wanted to add something on the issue of petty crime.

I didn't see none, and my own lucky record of being crime-free on all my trips abroad remains intact, thank goodness.

I was on two occasions approached by two
children seemingly on their own (never has the word "urchin" seemed more appropriate) and they were holding pieces of cardboard. I waved them off before they even got close, and they walked away.
I did see several people begging, but they were just sitting on the sidewalk looking pitiful, with a sign that said in Italian, "I'm hungry and I have children." I did not approach them, but I did leave offerings in several churches to assuage my guilt.

Advance publicity on Rome had led even this hardened New Yorker to wonder if I should finally invest in a hidden wallet of some kind. I didn't, I just used the same black microfiber shoulder-tote bag I always use. It is my purse as well as my totebag as well as my one and only carryon, holding different items for different occasions. It has several internal, deep, zippered compartments in which I distribute my valuables.
I'm not telling other people not to use security wallets, I just never have.
Old Oct 9th, 2001, 02:19 PM
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Thanks Elaine! Now I have the chore or wittling down my itin.!!!
Old Oct 9th, 2001, 04:31 PM
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Elaine:Excellent report,you are one of the most dedicated travellers I have ever seen.

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