Trip Report From Rome

Old Apr 20th, 2009, 04:12 AM
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Trip Report From Rome

Hello Fordorites!

I am back from Rome and wanted to post my trip report to help any other travelers that are going to Rome.

Leaving LA to Rome we were in a bit of a shock as to the lack of leg room. We are a tall family and felt like we were packed in like sardines. Couldn't sleep but the movies helped pass the time.

Arrived in Rome at 9am Friday and got through everything at the airport, found our taxi services and on to the city.

Our apartment in the Campo di Fiori was amazing. It was on the top floor with two balconies that viewed the tops of the city and all its beautiful domed churches. Which by the way ranged their bells through the day. Magical!

A few other travelers suggested to stay up all day, but we tried to walk around and that proved to be a bit dangerous for us because we were so tried that are feet had a hard time with the uneven streets. So we decided to go back an get a couple hours and that proved to be the best.

Saturday we met up with our Guide, Sonia Travoletta. She took us to the Pantheon, Anicent Rome and then on to the Colesuem. She was a great guide! Highly recommed her. I would make on change though, I would see the Pantheon on my own and spend more time in the Capital Hill/ Forum/Colesuem. There is so much to see here that you could spend all day there. Get your tickets for the Forum and Colesuem at the Forum. Hardly any lines there!

Sunday at the Borghese Gallery, walking through the park, Spanish Step, Trevi Foundation. We had been fortunate that there wasn't much in the way of crowds until we got to the Spanish Steps and Trevi. It was quite a surprise to see all the tourist, but we wormed are way in and got some pictures.

A lot of comments about pick pocketers but I will tell you that we had no problems and everyone on the streets had bags. We kept copies of our passports,credit cards and a small amount of money in our front pockets. I carried a bag that went over my shoulders and hung in front. In it I kept maps and such in there. We stayed aware of what was around us and all the major sights had police there to discourge pick pocketing.

Monday we went to the catacombs. After trying to find the 118 bus to get there (at Cirus Maximus) we got there right when the sights were closing for lunch. We found a little cafe next to the vistors center and had lunch. We rented bikes, which was a lot of fun but hard on the bottom. So you are warned! We only toured the San Sabastian Catacombs. It was recommended to be the best of them all and it truely was a must see. If you are afraid of same spaces though, don't do it but the whole area is so full of wonderful sights to see. People were leisurely walking the road and many had brought picnic lunchs and were relaxing in the fields. Peaceful!

Tuesday was the Vatican! Now this was a hard day! We set out with pently of time to get there except I went to the wrong entrance and by the time we found the right one, our tour had left and had to go it alone. That was a very disappointing! Be prepared for the crowds though. When we finally got to see the Sistine Chapel it was elbow to elbow and very hard to stay in one spot to enjoy the ceiling. Lesson here is read the instructions carefully and make sure you know where you are going.

Wednesday we did a day trip to Florence. We just walked around and had lunch. My older son had a friend that was living there so it was nice to have a guide. Spent some time at the outdoor markets.

Thursday and Friday we just walked around to see things we missed and found that after this many days there we were getting to know the city pretty well.

Coming home was the longest trip we every had. 22 hours door to door. Get to the airport at least three hours before and avoid the long lines. Customs was very easy to go through.

Rome is an awesome city. Many things to see, but for me 8 days was a little to long for one place. Lesson learned on that one.

Thanks for everyones help in making our trip a wonderful one!
italy4julie is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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Italy4julie,
Thanks for the report. It was insightful and helpful. We head to Italy next month and this just made us all the more excited!
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Sounds like you really packed it in! What was the name of your apartment??
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. I'm interested in the apartment also. Can you post a link for it. Love the idea of the balconies and the church bells! Do you have a web site for your guide, Sonia.

I always take a nap the first afternoon then I'm refreshed for the rest of the trip. Everyone has to choose their own best method of recovering.

Too bad about your Vatican tour but these things happen when traveling.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 02:52 AM
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Thanks for the report! I'm in the no-sleep-to-avoid-jetlag group but I'm glad you found what works fou you.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Here is the website of the apartment we stay at: http://www.residenzagiubbonari.com/. We stayed in the yellow apartment. If you want a quite place at night this is not it.The bedrooms are in the front of the building and at night it gets loud because of all the restuarants and bars partons going down the street from the Campo de Fiori. It did not bother us but it might some. If you stay in the other apartments they offer, the bedrooms are in the back and you don't hear the street noise as much but it does not have the balcony. There is a website called http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/index.asp (I think that is what it is call)that gives reviews of apartments and there are a few comments posted there for this one.

Sonia's email is [email protected]. She response very quickly!You"ll love her and her prices are very reasonable.

Have a wonderful time in Rome!
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Hi Julie,
Thank you for reporting back about your trip and the apartment. I remember when you were trying to choose. I'm so glad it all worked out. Sorry about the problem with the Vatican tour. How were the restaurants you chose and did the kids like Rome?
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Leely2, The food was hit and miss. The best for us was the little cafes that sold pizza by the pound. We had one right near our apartment and we ate there almost every day.They sold pasta and salads too but the pizza was the best. What I learned is if it is empty don't go in! Also I was the only one drinking wine, so wine by the glass is not so good.
My sons loved Rome. They especially loved the forum and the coloseum. All those gladiator movies. Catacombs where also a big hit too. My older son had friends in town. So he went to all the night clubs to see the local action. My 18 year was to tried to go out at night. All the walking got to him!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 08:30 AM
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Just curious. What airline did you fly?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 06:39 PM
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Thanks, Julie. I think next time--if there is a next time--try Rome and some smaller towns in Umbria or Tuscany. Once you're there, it's easy to see other places, as you know from your day trip to Florence. Anyway, I am so glad you posted this report. Have fun on your next trip!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:20 AM
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joethekay-
It was US Airways. Online the plane that was listed had more leg room and reclined a lot more then they did. The flight attendances were very rude on the way to Rome but very pleasent on the way back.I wasn't sure if it was because they were trying to make up for the video screens not working the first two hours or the fact there was a short in some ones call button and it was going off most of the flight home. (sorry for the rant. it was a long way home)Flying has changed so much in the last 15 years. Its amazing that we still fly.
A few of my friends have mentioned that I should try Luftonsa next. The planes and flight attendance are nicer (they say)but the downside is flying into Germany. Changing planes, layovers etc. What airline are you looking at?
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Old Apr 28th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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lol I was there for 8 days (no side trips) and didn't think I had nearly enough time. We are actually going back for 2 weeks this December.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 02:57 AM
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Hi Julie and readers,
Just a couple of airline tips for you. You could also try KLM (not sure where you are coming from)- you would have to stop over in Amsterdam but it can be a nice break to stretch your legs Or get in some Amsterdam sight seeing on your way!
Also on the KLM website is a very handy travel guide with tips on Rome (and Amsterdam, and loads of other destinations worldwide).
Check out http://www.klm.com/destinationguide/.../rome/city.htm
And my number one tip: Online Check-In!
Bon Voyage!
RebeccaQ is offline  
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