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City break to Rome - advice please?

(23 Posts)
TreadingTheBoards Sat 27-Aug-16 14:12:07


Got the chance to go away (just DP and I) for 3 nights next February. He's always wanted to go to Rome, so I was going to book it as a surprise.

I don't know much about Rome, but i've always wanted to go to the Vatican, I have no idea where to stay, is it easy to get around on the metro/train? Ideally i'd like to be quite central.

Our budget is around £500, and I was hoping you could help with the following -

Any decent sites to book it via?

Can anyone recommend a nice hotel that's not too far out of the way?

In terms of sightseeing, what are the must do's?

Thanks in advance

Mamia15 Sat 27-Aug-16 14:20:55

I would reserve one day for the Vatican/Sistine Chapel (its huge and will take up half a day), Trevi fountain and Pantheon. The other day for the Roman part - colosseum, forum etc.

We walked everywhere, its a pretty compact city - get a hotel that's fairly central.

Most decent guide books come with maps - get one and you can then plan your trip. I also find Trip Advisor's forums useful. I also use the usual sites for booking hotels eg - make sure you check that advertised prices include taxes or are clear about what these will include.

Millipedewithherfeetup Sat 27-Aug-16 14:28:07

We stayed in a little hotel about 5 mins walk from st peters square, was ideal, also suggest trip advisor and to get something you'll like. We travelled all over on the metro, really cheap and easy just 2 lines i think so not stressful or confusing! Vatican and sistine is a must ! Watch out for the beggers though, they can be quite intimidating. We did not book any city tours and just did it all ourselves on foot/metro/local bus, take comfy shoes and enjoy, lovely lovely city and would go again.

MerylPeril Sat 27-Aug-16 14:33:50

Get to Vatican early!
Lots to see for free and just walking around too! Don't forget the Palatine Hill (above the forum) a lovely piece of quiet in all the bustle.

TreadingTheBoards Sat 27-Aug-16 15:19:01

Thanks guys. Can I ask the name of the hotel you stayed at?

I'm really looking forward to the food blush

Amalfimamma Sat 27-Aug-16 17:43:56

Trevi Palace Hotel, Hotel Europa, Colonna Palace and Hotel Viminale are all worth a look at to see which can give you the best deal.

Get to the Vatican early and remember to cover shoulders, chest and knees otherwise you could be refused entry. If you want to go the the Sistine Chapel I suggest you start queuing at around 6.30/7 am to get in before midday.

PoptartPoptart Sat 27-Aug-16 18:48:45

We walked our way around Rome, which was more than manageable and brilliant because you stumble across little cafe's, shops, churches etc along the way. We stayed a few minutes from the Trevi Fountain (can't remember the name) but was a brilliant central location. Things to do: Trevi Fountain - get an ice cream and sit and people watch. St Peters square and the Vatican. Colosseum (get the tourist headphones that allow you to do the tour at your own pace), Spanish Steps and you must go to Piazza Navona (loads of great restaurants) for dinner. Enjoy the pasta, wine, ice cream and coffee! I'm jealous, I love Rome!

budgiegirl Sat 27-Aug-16 22:08:39

Try the wine bar/restaurant called Cul de Sac , just off the Piazza Navona for reasonable priced wine and cheese/meat plates. It's nothing much to look at - Formica tables! But it's full of locals and has a huge wine list.

Go to Trastevere in the evening - it's a lovely area. You can get apperetivo (buffet of snacks) included in the price of a drink, and wander the pretty streets.

If you have time, go up to the Piazza of the Knights of Malta and look through the keyhole for a stunning view.

Helenluvsrob Sat 27-Aug-16 22:25:59

Pre book the Vatican even if you have to pay more. You can do St. Peter's easily by string there at 7am but the Sistine chapel / Vatican museums is much more tricky - when I went in April 3015 the place was heaving with monks and nuns on holiday trips for various beatifications. But actually everyday is a saints day so a big deal - well pretty much !

Trastevre for dinner agree. Largo Argentina for late night gelato and watching the cats in the 3 ruined temples in the centre.

I'd say yes you can walk everywhere but google maps will tell you busses and metro and to get to the start of that day's sight seeing or round to trastevere later it really is worth a bus / metro trip to save your feet ! Avoid the tourist buses unless you end up with a " package deal" that includes one. To get to the baths of Caracalla or the catacombs you need a bus.

I stayed at the hotel celio by the coliseum on a deal. It was good - teeny but characterful and friendly - the bathroom was minute but it didn't matter.

The pyramide is, I understand , open some days. Find out and go. I went in with dd1 uni study group before it was open and it was amazing - ancient graffiti etc as well as decoration. If you are adventurous there is a branch of the capitoline museum in a disused power building. It's great and no crowds. We also went to I think St. Paul's basilica then.

And for sheer wtf the capuchin bone crypts are something else !

Place marking as going again in Nov as eldest has 8 weeks there again studying stuff for her PhD now smile

Helenluvsrob Sat 27-Aug-16 22:28:41

I'm going to do a sandemans type free walking tour next time too. Have done them in various cities since and they've been ace

kua Sat 27-Aug-16 22:50:12

I've typed a response three time and they have all gone before I have finished, so I would say book the Friday night tour museum tour and head to the Vatican prior approx 330-4. pm for further details

kua Sat 27-Aug-16 22:52:57

Agh, it even cut off my sentence, pm if you want some help. I used to live to the south of the city and know it well, I was back in June showing family around.

LockedOutOfMN Sat 27-Aug-16 22:54:48

The Vatican is great; schedule a whole day for it. There's a bus (from memory I think no. 64) from the Vittoriano monument in the city centre out to the Vatican, doesn't take long (15 mins.?)

I would say the Coliseum is a must, go when it opens in the morning to avoid queues and crowds. The Pantheon you can wander into (it's free and in the centre), and see the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. I also like the Campo de Fiori market.

If you have time, the Villa Borghese park to the north of the city is beautiful.

Watch out for pickpockets.

Northernlurker Sat 27-Aug-16 23:02:29

Dd and I went in July. We stayed at hotel mimosa which is very central, near the pantheon. It's small, did a nice breakfast, was spotlessly clean and the staff were lovely. Friendly, excellent English and replied quickly to emails. They arranged an excellent transfer for us from the airport. It's very handy for the cat sanctuary which dd loved and piazza Navona too. Nowhere is terribly far, we walked everywhere including to the Vatican.
The Spanish steps are closed for refurb at the moment but you can get the lift up to the top of them and look down. The lift is by the underground station.
Excellent view from the top of the Vittorio Emmanuel monument too. There is a lift to the top.
Very good gelato shop just next to the pantheon as well smile

therealsquireofwideacre Sat 27-Aug-16 23:02:35

The view from the Victor Emmanuel II monument is beautiful and also free smile There are lifts that go right to the very top that have to be paid for but personally I think the view is just wonderful at the level they go from. The Villa Borghese gardens on a sunny day are also glorious.

leccybill Sat 27-Aug-16 23:15:26

Ahh, the Victor Emmanuel monument- otherwise known as the typewriter, remember it well.

leccybill Sat 27-Aug-16 23:17:38

I'd also recommend climbing the Vatican Dome for amazing views but it is very narrow and very high and once you start the ascent, you can't turn back.
I was unsure until my friend said 'When in Rome' totally without thinking grin

LockedOutOfMN Sat 27-Aug-16 23:38:38

Agree with northernlurker, there is great gelato on Via della Rotonda right beside the Pantheon (on the left as you stand in the Pantheon entrance, facing outwards), it's called Monteforte.

Northernlurker Sat 27-Aug-16 23:45:11

That's it!!!! Was really good. A few doors up is a lovely shop that sells paper, cards, leather note books and v nice bags.

frenchfancy Sun 28-Aug-16 21:26:40

There are loads of churches in Rome worth visiting. We walked around and did 12 churches in one day and the Pantheon didn't make the top 10.

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro in Vincoli were 2 of our favourites.

If you are going to the Colusseum it is worth pre-booking the underground tour, it gets you access to areas you wouldn't see otherwise.

Muddle2000 Mon 29-Aug-16 00:05:10

Gorgeous place. Setting aside the great monuments already mentioned,
virtually every building is a piece of history!
The Romans tend to go around on motor scooters with terrible driving
but with good shoes and the Metro you will be fine.
The Romans tend to stand up when taking breakfast/coffee/lunch as sitting down costs more! I found by doing this I could afford more of the
great food! You can still sit down elsewhere if you need a rest.
Dinner more expensive than lunch

averythinline Wed 07-Sep-16 21:53:17

romes fab...ds loved the forum as could run around a bit and make up stories., the Parthenon and piazza navone..We rented an apartment which I prefer with ds as get to have a bit more evening as he was knackered with all the walking! Although the electric buses were a big hit! Booked through owners direct or you could look Airbnb
We stayed on the Vatican side of the river next time would stay near Parthenon/piazza navone..
Found a great foodie blog which had top10 ice cream! And also some other recommendations as your not there for long you will have to prioritise.... We didn't do Sistine chapel with ds due to ques even early on..(I have seen it before didn't think he would appreciate as much)

averythinline Wed 07-Sep-16 22:04:09

Sorry didn't read op properly! No dc enjoy the Sistine for hours grin the blog was Elizabeth minchilli in Rome..

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