Italy - Suggestions for weekend trip to Rome
Jun 18, 11, 6:24 pm
I am traveling for work to Milan the last week of August but am considering heading to Rome on Friday (September 2). Must fly back to the USA on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day). I am planning on taking the train to Rome on the 2nd; would like any suggestions on a good place to stay and how to make the best use of my sightseeing time while in Rome (Friday evening through Sunday). My main interest is in ancient Roman history and archeology so places like the Forum and the Colosseum are a must; I have also been told that the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican should not be missed (although a more thorough visit to the Vatican may have to wait until another occasion).
Jun 21, 11, 7:31 pm
Welcome to FT! Your questions are very general in nature, and as such, may not elicit much by way of responses.
As a family, we took our first trip to Rome this year and loved it. The highlights differed greatly for my wife and I. Like you, I love classical history and I loved the Roman forum -- brought back many memories of school Latin. My wife loved the Colosseum and St. Peter's more. However, we both love, loved, the Pantheon, visiting it every day. We both absolutely loved the food! There's a website, 'ron in rome' that does a quick 'day-trip to rome' itinerary that you might want to peruse. The sistine chapel is wonderful (but if you are going to do the vatican museums, for sure don't miss the raphael rooms). However, the vatican as a whole will take up at least half a day (and book your ticket online to avoid queuing).
Rome is fascinating in that one can wander around and see an ancient monument, of no particular to interest to the throngs, because it's not in a guidebook, or a bank with a 2000 year old wall.
Re: accomodations, budget might help with suggestions from more knowledgeable folk.
Jun 22, 11, 2:03 pm
Sounds like you'll have 2.5 days in Rome, so I think you can see an awful lot if you're so inclined. I'd suggest picking up a travel book (I love Rick Steves' series) and taking a look at the suggested itinerary for a 3 day visit. Cull out the things you don't want to do and spend the extra time at the places that most jazz you or simply get lost walking the streets (which is very easy to do in Rome).
To me, the Vatican is not to be missed. I'm not Catholic, but the history and art are beyond description. I agree with trueblu - buy your tickets online to avoid the massive lines. Personally, I think the Vatican is worth a half day of your time, even on a short trip.
As long as you're staying in the old city, you're within easy walking distance (or a very short cab ride) of the Forum/Colosseum/Palatine Hill (all adjacent to one another and one ticket gets you in to all three...buy your ticket at the Forum since the Colosseum lines are 10x longer for the same ticket), Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, etc.
The food is amazing, as are the people, sites and history. Frankly, I think no matter what you do/see, you'll be looking forward to your next trip as soon as you leave.
Jul 12, 11, 8:01 pm
Dear aggiebry and trublu,
I appreciate your very helpful and informative responses to my inquiry. Since the time that I posted this message, my wife and I have become foster parents to an eight-year old girl, so it is now in the best interests of my family to return to the States after my business in Milan is over. My visit to the City on Seven Hills will have to wait until another time...
Jul 13, 11, 1:14 pm
Sounds like a man with his priorities straight to me! Kudos for stepping up to help that little girl. Rome will always be there.
Jul 16, 11, 2:46 am
First of all... good choice to spend 3 days in Rome! Wonderful city! (my city! ;)) 3 days are not too much but you'll surely have the time to see the most important turistic attractions. Even if I'm from Rome I often have a look at the National Geographic website to take ideas, tips ecc., I'm sure it will be useful for you! http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/rome-italy/
In my opinion you CAN'T miss of course Colosseum + Fori Imperiali, Spanish Steps, St. Peter but also lovely and less known places such as Campo de Fiori, via dei Coronari & via Giulia (near Piazza Navona) and the Ghetto, near Piazza Venezia. Moreover if you have time spend an evening in Trastevere, ancient and wonderful area of Rome full of trattorias & good restaurant.
About the accomodotion my advice is to have a look at this site:
http://www.italyrents.com You can find here a lot of centrally located apartments and I've heard (check on the site) there is an offer about a free tour guide of Rome. Hope this will be useful! Ah, I almast forgot to advice the guide of Guardian about the best reaturants, bar, shops, trattorias (and much more!) in Rome: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/jul/13/top-10-trattorias-rome Enjoy your trip!