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  • Rome
  • Premier Icon muddydwarf

    MsD has very kindly bought us a trip to Rome for my 50th.
    Apart from the usual haunts, where is good to visit?
    Is Rome as expensive as London for eating out?
    Any other travel tips?


    yes yes and yes


    Just walk around it is a great city.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    That’s how we plan to get around, the hotel is only 1.5km from most of the ancient attractions.
    Will be there for four nights so plenty to cram in.


    Went there for the first time in my 52 years last June thanks to a 24 hour delay on Easyjet I got a day walking around Rome with the wife.

    The place is totes amazeballs as da yout’ would say, sensatory overload. As he says up there, just wander around, there’s literally a breathtaking building at every turn.

    Key things for me were the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon (you really feel the history here), Trevi fountains were especially impressive at night but wherever you go you will be impressed.

    Stay right in the centre for maximum enjoyment and just walk and enjoy it.

    I didn’t find it any more expensive than anywhere else, even a coffee overlooking the Colosseum was a reasonable price.

    Because we were only there for the day we didn’t bother queuing to go into the attractions, just viewed them from the outside. I don’t think we enjoyed it any less than those people who queued three hours to go inside places.


    We bought some kind of tourist pass before we went, got us in to loads of places (Colosseum/Palantine/Vatican museum etc) in next to no time even in August (and I would not have stood through the queues otherwise – Collosseum queue must have been HOURS long). I’ll look it up, but it’s a great city for pottering about, history everywhere even if you don’t do the main bits.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    The Omnia pass? We’ve looked at that & will probably buy one before we go.
    I’m a bit of a history fan, and the chance to stand where Cicero & Cato stood is what I’m looking forward to.
    Hotel is Bed & Breakfast, but after that I suspect I’m going to be overloaded with choice for meals!

    The traffic is mental. Crossing the road can be quite hazardous.

    Top tip. To cross the road safely , wait for a nun to cross and follow closely behind. They brake for nuns. No one else.

    There’s loads of nuns. Literally one on every street corner.

    If you go to the Vatican, go early. There’s lots to see and the queues can be long to get in.

    Premier Icon burgatedicky

    I love Rome, I have been lucky enough to go several times, normally around January when its bleeding cold, but deserted tourist-wise.
    Echoing the above comments if you have limited time stick to the centre.
    Pre-book your Vatican museum tickets or get there early as the queues can be biblical in their own right.
    I didn’t use a multi-venue pass when I went AFAIK but could be wrong.
    The Forum, Palatine Hill and Colosseum as all conveniently next to one-another.
    Pantheon is awe inspiring (HOW did they build it when we were in mud huts!?), and there are fountains all over the place.

    Also you MUST do Trajan’s Markets, they were tarting up the visitor centre last time I was there, but its a fascinating place to wander around, and still feels authentically and un-alteredly Roman!

    I wasn’t over taken with the Spanish Steps, but then in January they don’t have any of the flowers out.

    My off-the-beaten-track recommendation is the Basilica of San Clemente. The church is typically Italian, BUT THE CRYPTS beneath are incredible. You descend down a rather clautrophobic set of stairs to the old street level of Roman Rome, where you can walk though roman houses. There is a spring which still provides fresh water to the old houses which runs in a channel and the only Temple of Mithras in Rome.
    We only went due to a tip off from a friend, but loved it!
    Its located a short walk from the Colosseum, (Google Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma, Italy). Seriously, if you’ve got time take a look!

    If you have a little time to spare I have two slightly further afield recommendations;

    Tivoli – The palatial retreat built by Hadrian. It covers a huge site, sprawling with ruins of Imperial Palaces, store houses (which are enormous) lakes, statues etc etc. When were went it was conspicuously under visited which let you stroll around in relative solitude for Rome. It is a similar affair to the forum/Palatine, but much, much bigger. Not as much of it has been recycled into other buildings giving you a better idea of the scale and massiveness of the place.

    Villa D’Este – Just around the corner from Tivoli, this was build by a (cough, corrupt, cough) cardinal as his summer retreat. The building itself is bizarre, now completely devoid of almost all furniture you are left instead with frescoes on almost every surface. Its now a quietly forlorn place really but would have been spectacular when at its height. The main reason to come here though are the wonderful water gardens and fountains which we spent a good couple of hours walking around.

    Both can be accessed with a single bus from Termini railway station, and I think it takes about 45mins.
    Don’t do this is you don’t have a free day in your schedule, save it to come back to, but it made a very pleasant break to the chaos of Rome when Mrs BD and I went.

    I’ll try to find some photos, but I’m not sure where I’ve stored them…

    Premier Icon beej

    Just commenting as a bookmark as we are off there week after next – been a couple of times before so looking for alternative things to do.

    Found this:

    Policeman directing traffic Piazza Venezia.


    Brilliant city, very walkable.

    For some reason the cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore struck me more than the other sights and it is the one I can remember most vividly:


    Do not I repeat so not get the dresses up “gladiators” to take your picture. Cost my mum and dad and friends 40 euros or their camera. One of those moments when you wished you’d been there…


    burgatedicky has already recommended the two places I was going to mention outside Rome: Tivoli and the Villa D’Este. Lovely and worth visiting if you have time. But with only four days I’d just stick to Rome itself TBH, there’s more than enough to see.

    Three things I would avoid: the Circus Maximus is just a field, and it’s pretty hard to imagine it as a Roman era racetrack. The second one is more generic: avoid any restaurant with photos on the menu. And the third one: don’t buy drinks from the flashy stalls in the centre, unless you really want to pay €4 for a Coke.


    It’s a great city, spoiled to a certain extent by being accosted every few seconds by people trying to sell you bottled water, selfie sticks and guided tours. You’ll enjoy it more if you just ignore those people, don’t make the mistake of getting drawn into a conversation.


    Love Rome

    Get the city pass

    Visit St Peters(climb the dome for the view)/Vatican Museum

    Walk around – its brilliant to see so much so easily

    Coliseum didn’t do much for me but worth a visit if you have the pass

    most food is fine outside of obvious tourist areas

    Churches are free and mostly staggeringly beautiful


    The traffic is mental. Crossing the road can be quite hazardous.

    Yep – you could stand by the side of the road at a crossing patiently waiting for the cars to stop and you would still be stood there a week later. As soon as you put one foot into the road they all stop.

    And watch out for pickpockets/opportunists grabbing bags etc (ie, don’t leave your bag on the floor near you, keep a hold of it at all times).


    Too much to see really, and the obvious is covered above. But for something slight different and great if the bustle of the city is all getting a bit much then head to the Villa Borghese park, and visit the GalleriaBborghese which is in the middle of the park (book in advance).

    If you walk there via the Piazza del Popolo you can stick your head in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo and see two stunning Caravaggio paintings in situ.


    Traffic is entertaining! Just walk round and enjoy.


    ^ You might have removed your helmet.


    Remove my helmet? I’d been riding for four hours in Italian heat – no-one needs to see my helmet hair!

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Rome is brilliant to explore on foot.

    We found the best way to get across the road (if no nuns were available) was to step off with confidence. The drivers seemed to respect that*. Show any fear and you are dead.

    *I am not a doctor Judith Chalmers.

    Premier Icon Nick

    Great / handy thread as we’re off to Rome at the end of the month for three days.

    Only thing booked so far is an eatwith dinner with Barbara, which if the reviews are anything to go by should be great.

    We found the best way to get across the road (if no nuns were available) was to step off with confidence.

    It’s Rome. Nuns are always available.

    Do not buy your wife a genuine Prada handbag from an extremely chic boutique in the Piazza Navona.
    You will be genuinely devastated when, less than an hour later, you see an indistinguishable bag for sale, on a sheet on the pavement outside the Coliseum, by a North African looky-looky man for 10 euro.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Rome is full of con artists. I don’t just mean the prices are steep, I mean actual con artists. Do not engage with anyone.

    Re the Vatican, book an official guided tour before you go via the internet or an agent or something. The guides get to go places the public don’t, and some of it is even cooler than the public stuff. And the one we had at least was a proper historian, knowledgable and dead interesting to listen to.


    Been twice and the second time it was great to wander and stumble across places. One of the eeriest places we visited was the Capuchin Crypt. Fascinating place but we were glad to get back out into the sunshine again.

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