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Old 03.09.2008, 15:35
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Rome - travel tips

Hi, am going to Rome in 2 weeks. It's my first time and i have been doing alot of research online and using tripadvisor for the accomodations
I just wanted to get some personal tips from EF ppl who have been?
One friend said to book the tour guide before leaving (ie for the vatican, colliseum etc) and then i read that at certain times queueing can be for hours? I am normally a person who "wings" it and likes to walk around myself, but then again i don't speak any Italian and so is a guide necessary?
I also found a pensione near Plaza Navona...heard that is pretty central.

thanks everyone
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Old 03.09.2008, 16:00
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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Hi, am going to Rome in 2 weeks. It's my first time and i have been doing alot of research online and using tripadvisor for the accomodations
I just wanted to get some personal tips from EF ppl who have been?
One friend said to book the tour guide before leaving (ie for the vatican, colliseum etc) and then i read that at certain times queueing can be for hours? I am normally a person who "wings" it and likes to walk around myself, but then again i don't speak any Italian and so is a guide necessary?
I also found a pensione near Plaza Navona...heard that is pretty central.

thanks everyone
We bought a Roma pass for EUR 20 which allows you free or reduced price entrance to various attractions (not the Vatican), plus you can get through queues in a priority lane for places like the colusseum.

The Vatican is free the last Sunday in the month so the queues are a bit mad but we were there in late June and, although the queue looked a bit scary, it moved pretty swiftly.

Watch out for pickpockets on the buses.

Oh, and don't post postcards from the Vatican; they never arrive at their destinations - thieving bunch!
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Old 04.09.2008, 13:10
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Re: Rome - travel tips

You can't call the Vatican a thieving bunch, they're proper religious. We once managed to convince my MUm that she wouldn't be able to visit St. Peter's because she didn't have her passport but we would try the next day.My top tip is to avoid children. I was pickpocketed twice by the scallywags when we lived there. Popular ways to do this include holding a sheet of newspaper in front of them and then three or four of them rush at you or pretending to wipe pigeon poo off you while relieving you of your valuables.On second thoughts, you can call the Vatican a thieving bunch. Look at how much tax you must pay to practice your religion in Switzerland. They must get a cut!
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Old 04.09.2008, 14:47
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Oh we went to Rome the other year very beautiful if you pm me your address i will send you a book all about Rome for tourists we bought (but could we have it back please after you have finished with your trip because we want to go back again so will need it)
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Old 04.09.2008, 14:59
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Hi Sutter,
that's a kind offer! will take u up on it!
.....and i will send it back or you can complain about me on EF
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:17
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Re: Rome - travel tips

I am so jealous
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:26
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I also found a pensione near Plaza Navona...heard that is pretty central.
From our experience we tried to avoid restaurants around the Piazza Navona because we found them overpriced and outstandingly average. You can find good restaurants down the little side streets with great service, great food and at a fraction of the price.
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:31
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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From our experience we tried to avoid restaurants around the Piazza Navona because we found them overpriced and outstandingly average. You can find good restaurants down the little side streets with great service, great food and at a fraction of the price.
thanks sandgrounder, i was told beer was 12 euros?? is this right?
also i checked the vatican tour....it was 45 euros per person, does this also sound right? thanks!


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I am so jealous
don't be, still no aeros/mint slice in rome!
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:35
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Re: Rome - travel tips

When i was in rome, i bought this ticket for a hop-on hop-off red double decker bus. From memory it was around 20 Euros, and as the name suggests, u can get off and on any stops u want. Its goes to all the major tourist sites, and you get earphones with audio while your on the bus. It lasts for a whole day, so we got off at the main sites,... Vatican...Coll..etc etc but just sat through the boring stuff. Found this not expensive, and great. We bought the tickets at the bus station (near the main train station). Also be very around the main station area... alot of homeless, gypsies etc etc
As guys have already mentions, be veryyy aware of the gypsies and pick pocketers (children and adults).. Always carry you bag straped acrossed you (not on your shoulder), and under your jacket if your wearing one. If people stop to hassle you,. shout NO NO NO!! and keep walking!!
And comment sense, try not to stick out like a tourist too much!
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:39
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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thanks sandgrounder, i was told beer was 12 euros?? is this right?
also i checked the vatican tour....it was 45 euros per person, does this also sound right? thanks!
Didn't do any guided tours so can't answer that one but we almost fell over at the drinks bill for a round of drinks for our group of 8 people at a bar on the Piazza Navona. Can't remember the exact prices but it wasn't a cheap round.

Elsewhere the beer prices are comparable with Switzerland, if not a bit cheaper and the chatty waiters are free.
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Old 04.09.2008, 15:49
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Oh, also we stayed at Hotel Brasile.. found it great. The reception was really friendly. Was around 5-10minutes walk to Main St, and around 20min walk to Trevi fountain. Only thing is i definately would not reccomend a female walking at night alone in Rome.
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Old 04.09.2008, 16:04
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Re: Rome - travel tips

There's a dress code for Saint Peter and other churches. Visitors are required to have covered shoulders and knee-covering pants or skirts.

As was mentioned, theft can happen in many ways. Backpacks can be sliced open by a second theft while the first one distracts the victim. Don't leave small baggage unguarded in public space.

There are also scammers: A friend of mine paid an armband knotter with a big bank note and got a confusing amount of notes in change. When he had finished counting, the equivalent of about 80 Fr. were missing. (This was in the days before the Euro). They also had a "dancing mickey mouse" cardboard scam back then. Figures were sold that mysteriously danced to the music of a radio. They were placed in a certain angle to the radio and moved by the cassette deck motor through a thin, invisible wire. And tourists bought the cardboard to figure out the trick... I wonder if there's a similar scam nowadays.

Don't try to swim in the Trevi Fountain, be it to impersonate Anita Ekberg or to collect the 3000€ of coins that are thrown in it per day. Tourists who try this will be fined by the police.

Enjoy your vacation, Rome is wonderful.
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Old 04.09.2008, 16:36
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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Hi, am going to Rome in 2 weeks. It's my first time and i have been doing alot of research online and using tripadvisor for the accomodations
I just wanted to get some personal tips from EF ppl who have been?
One friend said to book the tour guide before leaving (ie for the vatican, colliseum etc) and then i read that at certain times queueing can be for hours? I am normally a person who "wings" it and likes to walk around myself, but then again i don't speak any Italian and so is a guide necessary?
I also found a pensione near Plaza Navona...heard that is pretty central.

thanks everyone
Ok found the book (after hunting around downstairs in my hobbycraft room) i had forgot how good it was, i will send it in the post tomorrow so you can start reading it, it tells you all you need to know, and even some words are translated for you in Italian. When we went we just wandered around in amazement, we never had a guild, we did hire some headphones in English for the Colosseum which was very interesting, and not very expensive. The only downside for us was the buses we where always squeeshed in like sardines, and it was so hot i dreaded getting on a bus, and the other thing that really got to me is the children that come begging for money, now i do not want to upset you, or put you off, but i wish somebody had told me this before i went to i could of been prepared, the children that come begging have mostly got a leg/legs, or an arm missing now i am a very sensitive person so when a child would come upto me i was always nearly in tears.

I found Rome to be very beautiful, and very romantic, and the Sistine Chapel is out of this world, the paintings are breathtaking, but please just remember not to take photos inside, (i got really angry at some people when we was there loads of people where taking photos, and it fades the paintings) you can buy very nice postcards outside.

Have a wonderful trip, and i hope the book helps
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Old 04.09.2008, 17:02
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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<snip>
Don't try to swim in the Trevi Fountain, be it to impersonate Anita Ekberg or to collect the 3000€ of coins that are thrown in it per day. Tourists who try this will be fined by the police.

Enjoy your vacation, Rome is wonderful.
hi nathu, now you spoiled my birthday suprise to the hubby
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Old 04.09.2008, 17:40
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Another top tip that I've dredged from my memory bank. If you sit down to drink your coffee or beer or eat your panini you'll add at least 60% to the bill. Be roman and drink and eat standing up.
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Old 04.09.2008, 21:13
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Re: Rome - travel tips

might i add, when in rome, do what the romans do

let the groaning begin!
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Old 04.09.2008, 21:23
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Was there in June and loved it. Stayed in Trastevere which is probably the best part of town to stay in - lively, full of excellent restaurants and used by Romans rather than tourists (you're going to find the reverse around Navona). Beer is about € 6 and a drinkable bottle of wine from perhaps €10.

Didn't bother with tour guides and was very happy with that - although others do like to have them. Personal preference really. If you don't go for guides then do get the €20 ticket as it saves messing around for the busses and trams. Also bus/tram/tube are the fastest and easiest and cheapest ways to get round, taxis are very expensive and a car is a total pain (parking!). The city is quite compact and no problem to walk around with the occasional bus for longer trips or if you get tired.

Don't rush it "ticking off" the sights, take your time and enjoy.
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Old 05.09.2008, 13:54
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Sorry i nearly forgot this, this tip is IMPORTANT. When you are going into the Vatican City turn LEFT, NOT RIGHT, i repeat turn LEFT, NOT RIGHT. We had queued for a very long time to go in, then we turned RIGHT, went through a gate, and thought hang on we are back outside, so we turned back around to go back through the gate, where a guard stopped us and said we had to go back and queue again (he had seen us walk through the gate, and let us through without saying anything to us). We were not the only ones because a few other people also tried to tell the guard that we had already queued, but he was having none of it, and would not let us through the gate, so we ended havingg to queue all over again, would not want anyone to make a simple mistake like we did so just wanted to share this with you
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Old 05.09.2008, 13:59
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Re: Rome - travel tips

Bloody Swiss.
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.......where a guard stopped us and said we had to go back and queue again (he had seen us walk through the gate, and let us through without saying anything to us). We were not the only ones because a few other people also tried to tell the guard that we had already queued, but he was having none of it, and would not let us through the gate........
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Old 05.09.2008, 14:00
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Re: Rome - travel tips

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Sorry i nearly forgot this, this tip is IMPORTANT. When you are going into the Vatican City turn LEFT, NOT RIGHT, i repeat turn LEFT, NOT RIGHT. We had queued for a very long time to go in, then we turned RIGHT, went through a gate, and thought hang on we are back outside, so we turned back around to go back through the gate, where a guard stopped us and said we had to go back and queue again (he had seen us walk through the gate, and let us through without saying anything to us). We were not the only ones because a few other people also tried to tell the guard that we had already queued, but he was having none of it, and would not let us through the gate, so we ended havingg to queue all over again, would not want anyone to make a simple mistake like we did so just wanted to share this with you
LOL...this is like a python sketch or something...now sutter, if it is RIGHT, NOT LEFT...i am going to be pee'd off.....
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