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Rome visit close to Easter

Old Mar 13th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Rome visit close to Easter

Arriving in Rome week before Easter only 2 days before embarking on Cruise, anything we should be aware of with respect to Easter travelers to Rome?
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 09:12 AM
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Yes, it will be very busy, more so this year as the new Pope is very popular especially the area around St Peter's and the Vatican.

If you want to visit St. Peter's, I would suggest going very early in the morning, before breakfast. if you want to see the Vatican museums, book.

ditto if you want to see the colosseum which will also be very busy.
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 09:23 AM
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The week before Easter is usually pretty normal, at least up until Good Friday. The rest of Rome will be perfectly normal the whole week. I suspect that a lot of the people who might have come to Rome for Easter will be coming instead the week after, when two very popular popes (John XXIII and John Paul II) will be canonized on the 27th. I certainly wouldn't want to be in Rome that weekend. They're expecting as many as 5 million visitors.

If "two days before the cruise" means that you'll have only one full day in Rome, you're going to have to be very selective about what you choose to do. I would be inclined to skip everything on the various "top 10" lists and just try to enjoy the city, its piazzas, its fountains, and its parks. Have you ever been in Rome before?
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 04:46 PM
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We were there two Easters ago. The line to get into the Vatican museum looked like it was 4 abreast for well over 1/4 mile. We were thankful we had bought tickets and had reservations ahead of time.

Good Friday busy, but otherwise a normal day.

We stayed in the suburbs for Easter Day--knowing it would be too busy for our tastes.
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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Thank you for responses; so awesome. I love this forum.
Yes I have been to Rome and Vatican before in March with no lines, but traveling with family/friends this time and wanted to prep them. My husband mentioned the canonization but we didn't know when exactly. Only 2 days in Rome before cruising so a trip to the catacombs, which I wanted to do, Vatican and then freelance to Pantheon, Coliseum if time allows. So much to see in Rome Im hoping my husband wants to come back and spend a few days on our next European trip.

Ok has any one been to Sardina on Easter Sunday? We booked a a boat ride through some caves, my sister's choice. Not sure what to expect, closed shops, ristorantes or parades?
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Sardegna is a rather tedious journey from Rome. You either have to take a ferry from Civitavecchia or fly. Then, you'd have to get to these caves. I think you'll spend a whole day (or more) getting there and a whole day getting back.

There are five catacombs in Rome with regular visiting hours. I would avoid the most popular one (San Callisto) that week, because even at a normal time, the tour groups are too large to be easily conducted in the narrow corridors. I've been twice; once there was an excellent guide, a young monk, who waited until the whole line passed what he was pointing out, otherwise they would never have seen it. The other time I went, the guide was an elderly priest, who, as a guide was a disaster.

The easiest catacomb to get to is Sant'Agnese (Saint Agnes), and it also has few visitors, so that both times I've visited, we had almost a private tour. The Priscilla catacomb is also less visited, and has the most impressive early Christian frescoes I've ever seen. These two are both in the northern part of Rome. On the Via Appia Antica, south of the center, I would recommend the Domitilla catcomb.

Most shops would be closed on any Sunday, not just Easter Sunday. I'm sure some restaurants would be open, but you might need to reserve well in advance, because there would likely be some big family gatherings. I don't know about parades on Easter. I rather think not. There are no parades in the part of Italy where I live. Without knowing where exactly you would be, I couldn't hazard a guess as to what exactly might be going on Easter Sunday. Mostly people go to mass and then they have a big family dinner. There are religious processions on Good Friday in most towns, usually in the evening.
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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To the OP, I took you to mean that your cruise goes to Sardinia, not that you were traveling there directly from Rome. Is that correct? Just clarifying.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:46 PM
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Again, thank you all for responses. Our Cruise includes a stop at the westerly port at Sardinia. Not sure what to expect on Easter Sunday, hoping to be able to attend services and then just stroll around if not too far from our port.
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