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Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Old 11-09-09, 08:23 PM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

I carried a DSLR with a big lens in a camera bag the whole time, just keep it in front of you, (like your GF should do with her purse) and you should be fine...
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Old 11-09-09, 09:04 PM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Wait... you mean to say that there are Roma people in... Roma?
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Old 11-10-09, 01:04 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

You shouldn't need a voltage converter for your DC items like your camera or iphones. You just need the plug adapter. The hair dryer will though. I would check to see if it as a voltage switch on it. Might even be just a cheap to get a new dryer in the airport gift shop.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:06 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

There's really no point in using the Metro in Rome. I've spent 2 weeks in the city and never had to use it. All the major sights are within walking distance from each other. Plus, by walking, you get to see lots of things you wouldn't see if you took the metro.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:40 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Originally Posted by Howiefan View Post
There's really no point in using the Metro in Rome. I've spent 2 weeks in the city and never had to use it. All the major sights are within walking distance from each other. Plus, by walking, you get to see lots of things you wouldn't see if you took the metro.
I wouldn't want to walk from the Coliseum to the Vatican. Renting a couple of Vespas would be the way to go.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:53 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Lots of good advice. My thoughts:

1. Have rain gear at hand. November is the rainiest month of the year in Italy. We went in Nov. 2005 and got lucky, but it did rain the last 2 days we were in Italy (Pompeii and Rome).

2. I never noticed any pick pocketers. I grew up in NYC, so maybe I already had that mentality when walking around in crowds or taking the subway.

3. I wish I had more time at the forum to look around. I'd love to have seen the Palentine Hill, tour the Pantheon and the Baths of Caracalla.

4. The Vatican is amazing, especially the museum. If you want a tour of the history and art of Italy from Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance, it's a must see.

5. Musuems - I would have liked to have seen the Capitoline Museums and the Museo della Civiltą Romana (located a couple of metro stops south of the main city area).

6. Read up on some of the history associated with the city so you have a better appreciation for what you're seeing. It's a once in a lifetime thing for most people.

We only really spent about one and a half days there. I could spend a week, but I'm fascinated with Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. A lot of people would get bored though looking at more statues and monuments to an age long past.

A picture I took of a statue of Emperor Trajan in front of the forum he built:
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Old 11-10-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Originally Posted by edstein View Post
I wouldn't want to walk from the Coliseum to the Vatican. Renting a couple of Vespas would be the way to go.
I've done it plenty of times and it's only a 15-20 minutes walk.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:01 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Originally Posted by Howiefan View Post
I've done it plenty of times and it's only a 15-20 minutes walk.
It sure looks farther than that on the map but you're probably right. It's been 15 years since I've been there and my memory isn't that great.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:05 AM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Originally Posted by edstein View Post
It's been 15 years since I was there but, when we went to the Vatican they required long pants and no back packs/large bags allowed inside. I think they have a place to store them but theres probably a fee.
There are lockers right outside the metal detector booths where you can storage your stuff before entering Vatican building.
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Old 11-10-09, 02:08 PM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capuchin_Crypt
^ A very cool crypt if you're nearby. They had taken all the bones from multiple generations of monks and decorated the the entire crypt with them. It's cheap too, I went this summer and I think it was a 1 euro donation. Pretty creepy though, one of the girls I was with couldn't handle it after a couple minutes and ran out.

I'd suggest getting the Roma pass as you mentioned... but be sure you're actually going to be checking out the museums/sites it's good for (one guy told me it was good for the vatican museum, i found out later it wasn't). it's also good for free rides on the bus & underground trains. It is good for the colosseum though and a ton of other museums I'm forgetting.

The vatican is incredible (check out the museum with the Sisteen Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica... even if you're not religious you have to appreciate how gorgeous it is). The colosseum is awesome of course, I wouldn't recommend getting a tour guide though, it's a bit pricey and you can usually eavesdrop on other guides as you make your way around on your own (I did this a lot in the Vatican museum).

Eat, drink, and eat. Many of the street vendors & snack bars have awesome food on their own and you can save some money as opposed to going into a sit-down place and still get some incredible eats. And yes drink, even the cheap wine there is great.

If you have the time/energy, just wander. A lot of the big tourist spots are littered with tourists (obviously), but when I went all of the main ones, they were PACKED and I had a hard time appreciating it. I got more from just wandering around and getting my own feel for the city itself, not it's highlights.
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Old 11-10-09, 03:25 PM
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Re: Trip to Rome....what to know before going?

Everyone mentions the thieves and they are right. It's not a big deal if you're smart, though. I'll share my story.

We had been told by our hotel manager that Rome is a very safe city, just watch out for the thieves in the metro. Having spent plenty of time in NYC growing up, and in the previous weeks traveled the Underground, Paris Metro, Madrid Metro, and Barcelona Metro, we took his warning for what it was knowing how cities are. Keeping an eye out in any tightly packed area in a city is a good idea, and during our trip we always traveled light. Two days passed on our four day stay without incident. It was fairly hot and we had just got onto a train. We weren't moving and it was getting a bit unbearable, then all of sudden we hear some yelling. There's a group of asian tourists and 2 women arguing. They start grabbing at each other. One woman is seemingly pregnant, and the other woman has a baby. Two cops show up, and that's when the women run. The woman with child gets away, but the other one can't quite escape. The Tourists are out of the car trying to get the woman. A money belt goes flying. The woman runs back into the train and the cops surround her. They try to grab her, but see literally slips out their grasp and falls to the ground. They try to pick her up and she gets away, runs back out of the train and the tourists try to block her. No one wants anything to do with this, this just between the cops, the woman, and the tourists. It's hot, everyone is sweating and the train is not moving. The circus keeps going on, until eventually the cops corner her in the train and get her out. The train doors finally close and everyone goes on with their day.

That's the only incident we encountered, but I'm sure some other thieves on the train took advantage of the situation and snatched a few things. You probably won't encounter anything, but it's always good to be smart about your belongings and try not to be appear like such a blatant tourist.
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