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When in Rome....
Old 04-15-2010, 05:00 PM   #1
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When in Rome....

We're leaving next week for 7 days in Rome. We've rented an apartment near the Spanish Steps we'll be sharing with family and friends. Since I've never been, I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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We're leaving next week for 7 days in Rome. We've rented an apartment near the Spanish Steps we'll be sharing with family and friends. Since I've never been, I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions.
Drive like you are a maniac. The lines on the road are only a guide. If you want to have 4 cars accross 2 lanes then go for it. Pass on the left or on the right. use the sidewalk as it becomes available. Don't forego the horn - it is a vital tool.

Find your inner Mad Max.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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Not to scare you but if you're going by plane, you may not get there.

Iceland's volcanic ash halts flights across Europe - Yahoo! News

We're not leaving for London till early June, but we already are concerned about long term actions...
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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Drive like you are a maniac. The lines on the road are only a guide. If you want to have 4 cars accross 2 lanes then go for it. Pass on the left or on the right. use the sidewalk as it becomes available. Don't forego the horn - it is a vital tool.
But enough about Boston...
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Hire a personal guide for 2-3 half days. This will greatly enhance your experience. We did this a few years ago when in Rome and will do it again next month.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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Find your inner Mad Max.
I've heard it's rather intense on the roads there. For that reason, we're not planning on driving.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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Not to scare you but if you're going by plane, you may not get there.

Iceland's volcanic ash halts flights across Europe - Yahoo! News

We're not leaving for London till early June, but we already are concerned about long term actions...
Bummer. Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully it won't mess things up.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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Rome is our absolute favourite city. Remember to take comfortable shoes to walk in. Try and stay out of the tourist spots to eat. As you walk around, check out the side alleys and look to see where the locals are eating. I'll try and post a link to our favourite restaurant in Rome, which is over by the Vatican. Their lamb is so tasty.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:38 PM   #9
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Drive like you are a maniac. The lines on the road are only a guide. If you want to have 4 cars accross 2 lanes then go for it. Pass on the left or on the right. use the sidewalk as it becomes available. Don't forego the horn - it is a vital tool.

Find your inner Mad Max.
That is so true!
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:10 PM   #10
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I was there is '92. If you haven't read it in the guide book, there are a few pick pocket types. But what they did was described in the guide book. I doubt the tactics have changed. The kids will try to show you a newspaper to distract you while another one tries to take whatever. Mama is standing close by watching. When the kids showed me their newspaper I would hit it from underneath so that it would fly up in the air. The kids would laugh while chasing it. Nothing was taken. Another time Mom and her kids tried to surround me while I was at the Roman ruins. Again I read about this tactic in the guide book. I took a short sprint across the street and they did not follow. I loved Italy. Rome was fascinating. In my opinion 7 days is not enough! Are you going anywhere else in Italy? Assisi was amazing.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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Purron I am so jealous, We have been to Rome twice in the last two years. I love it! I agree with previous poster, stay out of the tourist areas for meals. I only had one bad meal in Italy and it was at a high priced restaurant in the toursit area. Also don't bother paying for any wine other than the house special. I never got a bad wine! Take the Vatican tour if you haven't already. It has to be arranged in advance. St. Peters is amazing. We did the hope a bus, and found it was great. Save room in your calory count for losts of gellato. Amazing!
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:29 PM   #12
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Have a great time ! I have been to all of Europe except Italy and I 'm dying to go !
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:31 PM   #13
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Can you tell me what service you used to find the apartment?
txs
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:43 PM   #14
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Not to scare you but if you're going by plane, you may not get there.

Iceland's volcanic ash halts flights across Europe - Yahoo! News
For a close-up view:

Volcanic Eruption - Eyjafjallajökull - Video on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

(Warning: Attempted thread hi-jack)
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:04 PM   #15
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Can you tell me what service you used to find the apartment?
txs

My mom arranged for the apartment. Here's the service she used:

Apartments Rental in Rome, Trevi Fountain Area, Italian Holiday Villa, Travel Italy,

Feel free to pm me if you want to know how it all worked out.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:11 PM   #16
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For a close-up view:

Volcanic Eruption - Eyjafjallajökull - Video on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

(Warning: Attempted thread hi-jack)
@RonBoyd - dang! No worries about the "attempted thread hi-jack". I almost qualify as an "old timer" and certainly don't worry about thread derailments. Frankly, it's one of the things I like most about this place. You know -- a stream of consciousness kinda thing. BTW, how about this kitten
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:24 PM   #17
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We stayed near the Augustus Forum and I agree with the previous tips, avoid tourist restaurant areas (or just stop in a supermercato for a sandwich and drink), be prepared for the mid afternoon closures, see the Vatican (Vastours was the group we used), keep your wallet in your front pocket and I only saw one McDonalds and if I remember right it was around the Spanish Steps (if you have a jones for a coke it'll be less expensive). Most of all, enjoy the beauty of it all.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:42 AM   #18
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My mom arranged for the apartment. Here's the service she used:

Apartments Rental in Rome, Trevi Fountain Area, Italian Holiday Villa, Travel Italy,

Feel free to pm me if you want to know how it all worked out.
Some nice places, and the prices aren't shocking. With Soros shorting the Euro maybe the conversion will be getting better.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:51 AM   #19
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Ditto the pickpockets, especially in crowds. They're very talented. We lost our camera and a gazillion pix - lifted out of the zipped case hanging from my shoulder. You can't be too careful.

Highlights for us included the Pantheon, Colosso, Forum, just about any church you wander into (check out the St. Matthew Caravaggios in San Luigi dei Francesi near the Piazza Navona where there's also the Fontana del Quattro Fiumi), any of the catacombs, Michelangelo's statue of Moses (with horns!) at San Pietro in Vincoli, etc etc etc. You can't go wrong just doing the "biggies", indeed that may be all you can fit in, but do try to find some lesser known places= they're all amazing. Odd bits of 2000 years of history all over the place.

You should just resign yourselves to the idea that you will be ripped off in small ways, and not worry about it. Save your energy for seeing as much as possible. Walk as much as you physically are able. Eat margarita pizza from a little shop (typically sold by weight, just eat it as you walk on to the gelatto shop), spaghetti carbonara yum.

We liked the Eyewitness Travel Guide a lot. Rick Steve's guide is also good.

Have a great time - I envy you!
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:13 PM   #20
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We cancelled our trip to Rome due to the travel chaos caused by the volcano. We'll try to recover our deposit or use it on a future trip.
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