Traveling to Rome for 1st time

Jul 19th, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Traveling to Rome for 1st time

My husband and I and two teenagers are traveling to Rome for the first time in December we would like to be there for Christmas and return after the New Year, Any advice on places to stay that are clean and well priced, what to watch for and best way to see what we can for that time period. Any other places we can visit and how to get there.
MAC1234 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 10:58 PM
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With family of 4 I recommend renting an apartment (2br). More space, kitchenette so you don't need to eat out 3 meals a day.

I prefer the Piazza Navonna/Pantheon/Campo di Fiori area for it's central location and pedestrian friendly zones. Check for recommendations.

J62 is online now  
Jul 20th, 2007, 03:32 AM
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We were there last year (2 of us), going back this year (9 of us).

1. Places to stay- the apartment idea is very good. For some reason this year Rome hotels seem to have dramatically increased their prices.

2. Try to get to Rome for Christmas eve, then go to the midnight mass at the Pantheon, you'll never forget it. And you do not have to be religious, I'm not, it was just amazing.

3. Disregard what you may hear about "Rome shuts down" on Christmas. It doesn't. While the bus/metro service does stop on Xmas eve night and is dramatically reduced on Christmas, it doesn't completely go away for the 2 days. Also, there are plenty of places to eat.

4. On Christmas day all "paid" places (museums, galleries, etc.) will be closed, but that means little in Rome, as there is an amazing amount of things to see and do for free.

5. Download our free MP3 tours from this link. Gives you 3 days of tours (yes everyone, I still haven't done the other 2 yet, will probably wait til after this trip)

daveesl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 03:46 AM
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What J62 said

I think you will find that an apartment with 2 BR will cost give you much more value for money and space than a quad hotel room or two rooms.

My husband, teen age son and I stayed in an apartment in the ghetto area (through a week in February/early March of this year. We only prepared breakfasts and snacks rather than trying to fix other meals but enjoyed shopping at the local markets and bakeries and Campo de' Fiori.

If you do a search for something like "apartments Rome" in this forum you will come up with lots of suggestions for agencies to try and specific apartment reviews. It would help people make suggestions if you can give an idea of what you are hoping to pay per night for a hotel or apartment.

I agree with J62 that a central location like Piazza Navona/Pantheon/Campo de Fiori or the ghetto where we stayed is ideal. Trastevere across the Tiber is also a popular neighborhood--a little farther from most of the main tourist sites but still convenient.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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I agree with the apartment idea. I found that not only is there more space (2 teenagers?...bathrooms, any of those teenage girls?) it is far more economical per night. My DH and I are renting in Trevastere/Testachhio area for 130E's a night! 880 sqare meters..find a hotel for that!?
Plus, its Christmas. Theoretically you could even "decorate" a bit and bring the holiday into your "space"!
I love that idea.
If you do a search and go back to last January or February there is a GREAT report from a couple and their two sons...its witty, she gives restaurant recommendations, where they stayed, what they did and how they did it. For you, its just good information.
Man-o-man, I wish I could remember her name.
SuzieCII is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I've added 2 of the 3 streaming videos for the MP3 itineraries, so you can actually see where the tours take you. I'll try to have the 3rd video done this weekend.

daveesl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Download our free MP3 tours from this link. Gives you 3 days of tours (yes everyone, I still haven't done the other 2 yet, will probably wait til after this trip)


When I tried the download, "Not Found" what am I doing wrong.

lydialikestotravel is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 07:04 AM
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If you do decide the hotel route, we used the Hotel Smeraldo right off of Campo de Fiora and it was reasonably priced, clean. Rooms were a bit small, but ok. Breakfasts were good.
queener is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Oh, arrgghhh, I had the MP3 links wrong. The video file links were correct, but I doinked the MP3s. They are all fixed now, sorrryyyy.

daveesl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Lot of good suggestions, keep posting, I am doing my research now, where would be the best places to try and locate an apartment? Any names, etc. Also, we are trying to go to Mass at Vatican City, any suggestions on how to go about this? Anyone know of a good travel guide in Rome?
MAC1234 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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If you prefer a hotel, the Parlamento had a nice set up for a family. Our double room was in an alcove behind the desk clerk (manned all night). The little alcove had its own locking door and opened to 2 or 3 rooms. This would be a nice set up with teenagers in their own room.

Our room and bath were decent size. Staff was very accommodating. Breakfast was satisfactory. Location is good (look for the Parlament, Via del Corso/Via Tritone) Overall we enjoyed the hotel and location very much.

You might also ask about their terrace rooms, though December isn't exactly terrace weather. Several rooms open onto one terrace. So, again, you would be within easy access of the teens' room. There may still be some construction going on, but it didn't diminish our stay.
JeanneB is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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The masses are normally held on Wednesday. You can request tickets and if you are Catholic, then your priest can help you. Be aware that these masses are attended by thousands. There is also a midnight mass on Christmas eve and another on Christmas morning. Once again, thousands attend and no public transportation available for the Xmas eve mass.

Do a word search for "Rome Apartments" and you'll find many agencies. Be aware that most apartments require payment in cash when you arrive. We have 2 for Christmas in the Navona area, total cost is about $2,600. That's for 9 people for 7 days, way cheaper than hotel rooms.

daveesl is offline  
Jul 21st, 2007, 03:48 AM
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We just returned from Rome where we stayed in a wonderful apartment. It was located a short walk from Campo Fiori and Piazza Navona. Look at the Monserrato apartment at This is a 2BR 2BA apartment located above Pierluigi Ristorante. Not only was it a great apartment, but Pierluigi is a great place to eat. We really enjoyed our stay here.
granbury is offline  
Jul 21st, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Thank you for all your help, this will make our trip much eaiser and keep posting infomation, anything will help.
MAC1234 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Make copies of your passports/tkts/credit cards. Wear a neck pouch/money belt. Don't carry anything and watch for the "gypsies".
Pago is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:05 AM
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Afeter reading this, we decided against rental in rome.

For well priced apartments and amazing service we used

For a wide selection of tours, you can book them online here...

doofus74 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:08 AM
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Incidentally here is a 3 bedroom place for a good price.
doofus74 is offline  
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