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Rome. Weekend break. Tell me all you know.

(62 Posts)
ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:15:36

Give me your top tips.

Am thinking of going next March/April, Fri-Mon jobby.

Is this a good time to go?
Any recommendations for a hotel in the city centre area?

I want to go to Pompeii on an excursion has anyone done it?

Tell me anything you know.

Thanking you.

MrsMattie Sun 17-May-09 15:20:34

I'd say it's a good time to go, yes. Last went in September, which was raging hot, but still fabulous. I love Rome <sighs wistfully>

Didn't go to Pompeii, so can't advise on that, but I would say factor in as much wandering about the city as you can. Half the fun of Rome is that you literally stumble on ancient ruins/fabulous art/beautiful buildings by accident.

All of the main tourist stuff is worth doing. It really is a breathtaking city.

What type of break do you want? Relaxed, lots of sititng in cafes people watching? Or full on sight-seeing?

ladylush Sun 17-May-09 15:21:05

Went to a place called Trastevere (?sp) in city centre. Considered quite bohemian. Really enjoyed it. Was shocked by the amount of graffiti though (beautiful old buildings with graffiti scrawled over them). Still managed to feel romantic despite this. Had a lovely meal in a restaurant called The Glass House (Glas Hostaria or something like that).
We went in August and the mosquitos were ferocious. Apparently this is well known by locals. Not sure about the time of year you're going. We didn't stay in a hotel. We had an apartment. It was lovely.

Enjoy smile

ladylush Sun 17-May-09 15:22:10

Oh and the ice cream...........divine smile

MrsMattie Sun 17-May-09 15:22:59

Our hotel was crappy, so won't recommend smile

Hotels in Rome are a bit like hotels in London - you have to pay quite a lot if you want something not grotty. However, I'd choose location over luxury. Our hotel was shite, but really centrally located, which meant we could stroll about happily at night, knowing we didn't have far to get back.

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:23:24

Sight seeing with a bit of people watching.

I've wanted to do it for ages but for some reason thought it would be really £££ to get and stay, but I've found some really good deals.

MrsMattie Sun 17-May-09 15:25:04

Second the ice cream! One of my favourite things was peopler watching from a pavement cafe at night. Lots of young, gorgeous Italians seemed to come out of nowhere late at night to meet and have coffee and ice cream. It was like something out of a glossy D&G ad - lots of impossibly gorgeous young men in suits on Vespas grin

Bucharest Sun 17-May-09 15:26:04

Take lots of money.......

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:26:57

We don't care if the hotel is grotty TBH. We want the location.

The one I've been looking at is the Crosti Hotel about 1km outside Via Veneto. No idea where that is though. Is it close enough for wandering about?

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:28:36

Oh and how did you travel to and from the airport?

MadameCastafiore Sun 17-May-09 15:29:58

We stayed here, it is beautiful and right near the Piazza Navona.

You must go to St Peter's and the Vatican City, the Pantheon and the Colluseam (sp?) and the Trevi Fountain but other than that I would agree with Mrs Mattie and just wander and eat and drink as much as you can.

MrsMattie Sun 17-May-09 15:37:11

The Colliseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are stunning.I would highly recommend. But quite a full on, tiring day. One of those days that you would want to get out early, do the do, and then have early dinner and lots of wine that evening smile.

If it's warm enough to sit outside, have a coffee in the square with the Pantheon. It's surreal, sitting there in this civilised little square, with this enormous, ancient dome towering over you.

I'm not remotely religious, but I enjoyed the Vatican city. Takes up a good half a day, though. There are loads of PHD students who hang about outside St Peters Basilica and offer free (or 'contribution up to you') tours, which I found fascinating.

The Sistine Chapel is rammed with tourists and really quite odd (you are herded in like cattle), but I couldnt not go.

If you want some iconic photos - the Trevi Fountain / Spanish Steps. Very touristy, but easy to include if you're on a bit of wander around anyway.

Orto Botanico - Rome's botanical gardens - are a nice place to get away from the mental Rome traffic.

MrsMattie Sun 17-May-09 15:38:48

Can't remember the name of where we stayed, but it was also near the Piazza Novona. Very good location.

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:45:02

I am excited.

AitchTwoOh Sun 17-May-09 15:48:27

take it from me, Rome is Not Big. aaaaanywhere is in the centre. we stay here, it's reasonably-priced, view of the colosseum, run by a really nice family, great area with actual restaurants that Romans queue for rather than tourist traps etc etc. we had an apartment last time, though, in trastevere, because we wanted to be near Rome's only supermarket. lol, the glamour...

have a wonderful time, it's my favourite place. the pantheon is just unbelievable, oh the whole place is unbelievable. smile

AitchTwoOh Sun 17-May-09 15:50:19

also, if you're in trastevere, eat on the left hand side of via trastevere going away from the centre, prices double on the right.

AitchTwoOh Sun 17-May-09 15:51:00

although the hotel i recommended is in colosseo, sorry if that was confusing.

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 17-May-09 15:53:58

That hotel looks great Aitch.

Thanks for the tips.

Have bookmarked this thread, March is aggges away.

inscotland Mon 18-May-09 09:37:33

Get to the Colloseum for when it opens at 9 am otherwise it gets really busy.

Next day get to the vatican first thing for the same reason.

Open top bus tour is great as it stops at all the main places for you. Walking can be a killer!

AitchTwoOh Mon 18-May-09 10:19:58

you lazy git... grin

or you can just get buses and trams, they're really easy to work out. i've never had a problem with queueing at the colosseum, i wonder why that is cos i've seen other people complaining about it too?

AitchTwoOh Mon 18-May-09 10:21:26

meant to say, you buy bus tix at the tobacconists. get a few. (and then don't stamp them... just stand beside the machine looking gormless and speaking ONLY english if the inspectors arrive and willingly show them your tickets).

Sunshinemummy Mon 18-May-09 10:51:16

Go up the Spanish steps and walk up the hill to Hotel Eden. Take the lift to the top floor bar - they have picture windows and you can sit and have a cocktail and watch the sun go down over Rome.

Pompeii is closer to Naples but worth a visit. It's huge - you need flat shoes and a bottle of water.

Definitely go to the Vatican but make sure you get up early and get there for opening time to avoid the queues.

The Pantheon, Colliseum and Trevi Fountain are all worth a visit.

Also worth doing is going to the Appian Way on a Sunday when it's closed to traffic.

Oh and one of the best things is Villa Borghese which has some amazing pictures by Caravaggio and scuptures by Bernini.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-09 11:41:01

March, April are good times to go. Certainly not August as many places are closed for the holidays and is also very hot.

It will take at least 3 hours to get to Pompeii from Rome - its not worth it!. Go to Ostia Antica instead (about 20 minutes outside Rome on the train) if you want to see an ancient Roman city and walk around. Just as fine as Pompeii and a lot closer too!.

The Metro transport systen is very good and is well worth using. Avoid the number 64 bus that trundles through the city to St Peters - its called the Wallet Eater for good reason!!.

Trains to Firenze (Florence) run from Rome Termini and you may want to go there for the day. Take about 1 hr 15 minutes each way.

If you go to the Villa Borghese area wear insect repellant - you can get bitten alive. The zoo there is not worth bothering with.

San Crispino near the Pantheon does the best ice cream in Rome bar none.

Trevi Fountain is nice to see but is always crowded.

You can pay for a guided tour once you have paid admission into the Colloseum.

Look on www.tripadvisor.com for up to date hotel reviews on Rome. We stayed near Termini; lots of hotels near there (the streets to the north of Termini are safer than those to the south).

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-09 11:41:02

March, April are good times to go. Certainly not August as many places are closed for the holidays and is also very hot.

It will take at least 3 hours to get to Pompeii from Rome - its not worth it!. Go to Ostia Antica instead (about 20 minutes outside Rome on the train) if you want to see an ancient Roman city and walk around. Just as fine as Pompeii and a lot closer too!.

The Metro transport systen is very good and is well worth using. Avoid the number 64 bus that trundles through the city to St Peters - its called the Wallet Eater for good reason!!.

Trains to Firenze (Florence) run from Rome Termini and you may want to go there for the day. Take about 1 hr 15 minutes each way.

If you go to the Villa Borghese area wear insect repellant - you can get bitten alive. The zoo there is not worth bothering with.

San Crispino near the Pantheon does the best ice cream in Rome bar none.

Trevi Fountain is nice to see but is always crowded.

You can pay for a guided tour once you have paid admission into the Colloseum.

Look on www.tripadvisor.com for up to date hotel reviews on Rome. We stayed near Termini; lots of hotels near there (the streets to the north of Termini are safer than those to the south).

Sunshinemummy Mon 18-May-09 11:48:25

Oh yes Florence is wonderful, well worth a visit.

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