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What to see in Rome?

Old Mar 17th, 2010, 08:41 PM
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What to see in Rome?

We've been to Rome before and saw quite a bit of what was not enclosed in buildings. But we did not see any museums because we were there during a museum strike. We saw the Sistine Chapel, but the rest of the Vatican museum was closed.

So here are the two groups of questions: What would one see in three days? in four? keeping in mind that we will have spent 5 days in Naples and 15 in Sicily.

A preliminary list of museums to see includes the Vatican Museum, the Borghese Gallery, the National Etruscan Museum, the palazzo Colonna, the Musei Capitolini.

Is the general entrance to the Vatican museum the same as for the Sistine Chapel? Do we have to anticipate long lines?
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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>>>Is the general entrance to the Vatican museum the same as for the Sistine Chapel?>>Do we have to anticipate long lines?
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 10:01 PM
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The Borghese Gallery requires a reservation for a timed entry.

The Palazzo Colonna is only open on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, and it's generally closed during the month of August.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for the replies. And how many days should one spend in Rome? Three or four?
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Do you know that all of these questions are answered in guidebooks and you are going to need a guidebook anyway?
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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We have guidebooks, Fodor's and Michelin, but there is an embarras de choix. My wife made a list that probably could cover ten days. I'm trying to whittle it down. Fodor's does give a sense of a three day and a five day visit, and since what it offers on the first day we did cover (the Forum, the Colosseum and adjacent antiquities), we are looking for a sense of time between three and four days. Besides, the guidebooks do not seem to made a choice between the Vatican Museum and Musei Capitolini--both are highly recommended. But if one were to choose between them, which one would you choose?

My question also involved what we are doing before Rome. We will be seeing quite a few antiquities in Sicily and Naples. Will we be sated or wish to see more. I know that this is a question of personal taste, but it does not hurt to have someone else's opinion.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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You don't have to justify asking questions. That's what this board is for.

I've been to Rome multiple times and yet my "to do" list is still very long.

If you decide to stay three days, you might want a Roma Pass (25€) which gives free admission to two sites (most value would be Borghese and Colosseum), reduced fees at other sites (usually 50% off) and a 3 day transport pass. The Roma Pass website lists museums/sites/events/music, etc.
http://www.romapass.it/p.aspx?l=en&tid=2

For tickets or tours of the Vatican:
http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html

The Vatican Gardens tour might be a good choice since you've already been to the Sistine Chapel. It includes admission to the museums also and you would avoid lines.

The Vatican Museum and the Capitolini are very different. There are usually less crowds at the Capitolini, but I enjoyed both.

After 20 days of touring, it's quite possible you will have burn-out by the time you get to Rome.

What time of year will you be in Rome?
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Yes, I don't have to justify the questions I ask either. It's a dialogue!

And my question elicited an interesting answer.

I would pick the Capitolini, but the important questions are the ones you are asking yourself, and nobody here can answer those.

Why don't you have a plan A and a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D?

Plan A is we loved the painting, let's see more in Rome.

Plan B is we loved the antiquties, let's see more in Rome.

Plan C is we learned its best to mix it up, so lets switch back and forth in Rome.

Plan D is lets spend our time dancing, piazza-sitting, shopping and eating in Rome.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Hello Michael, if it were my trip I would stay as long in Rome as possible, in your case that sounds like four days. I have always enjoyed having down time, enjoying people watching while sitting at an outdoor cafe at one of the piazzas or just walking around Rome without having any specific destination as Rome offers surprises every where you go. If going to the Borghese Museum is of interest to you if you are a tad weary of busy traffic etc., a stroll through the Borghese Gardens afterwards can be a delightful change from sightseeing.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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Michael...

Another option you may want to consider is picking a few churches in Rome that you may be interested in seeing along with or instead of the museums.

If you have been "museumed-out" (as I sometimes get) a church may be a good option. There is truly amazing art in Rome's churches. What I like about visiting churches in Rome is that I don't tend to get as overwhelmed as I seem to when in giant museums (don't get me wrong, I LOVED both the Vatican and Capitolini museums but they are cavernous).

I have found, in the churches I have visited in Rome, there was not an admission fee to churches, unless maybe there is something special going on there and although some can get crowded, my experience has been the crowds are lighter in churches (with maybe the exception of the church with the St. Theresa in Ectasy sculpture made "infamous" by Dan Brown in his Angels & Demons book)I believe it is the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria.

I hope this has given you another option to think about for your stay in Rome.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Have lunch at Enoteca Cul de Sac near Campo Fiore. Great wine selection (very reasonable) and some terrific lunch selections (ravioli filled with duck ragout highly recommended!). Have a great time!

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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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By all means add the 4th day if you can. Rome has so much to offer! If you have had enough of museums by the time you get there, I second the idea of concentrating on the churches. Every church you pass probably has something worth seeing. Some of my favorites in addition to Santa Maria della Vittorio:

San Clemente - go down several layers in Rome's history
Santa Maria Consezione - amazing use of thousands of Monk's bones
San Pietro in Vincoli - Michelangelo's Moses
San Prassede - marvelous mosaics
Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale - an absolute gem by Bernini
SS Quattro Coronati, the 4th Century fortified convent - great frescoes
St. Cecilia in Trastavere - wonderful church, and be sure to go down in the crypt and walk to the end for an amazing mosaic chapel
S. Pudenziana - the oldest Christian mosaics to survive in a place of worship

and there are many more. Don't miss the Galleria Borghese!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 01:12 PM
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I see Caraviaggio paintings.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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www.caravaggio.com will show you where to find them.
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 12:56 PM
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zeppole,

If you had happened to have read any of my recent reports, you would not have bothered to ask your question.
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We were not leaving out the churches but felt that we did not have to block out time for them as we do for museums.
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Michael, I don't have time to read your reports. If you had bothered to read up more on Rome, you wouldn't have bothered to be asking questions either -- and you're the one taking a trip to Rome and paying for it, not me.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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kybourbon,

Can the Borghese Gallery reservation be made on-line and still include the discount for the Roma Pass? The web site is not very clear about that. Or must one reserve by telephone?
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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In the past you had to call. I was going to check their website to make sure there wasn't a new option to book it online, but Google has blocked their website as having viruses.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 09:26 PM
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There is an available site, but I do not see it as clear:

http://www.ticketeria.it/ticketeria/borghese-eng.asp
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