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Navigating Rome by walk

New Jersey , USA
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Navigating Rome by walk

Any tips on navigating the major tourist sites walking? Can we buy a map of Historic Rome or Rome in general once we land in Rome? Are the streets named pretty much or should we rely on asking the locals for directions. Our main concern would be Italian which we dont speak.


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1. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

Central Rome is very walkable.

Maps are readily available in Rome.

Streets have names, but they are not on posts. They're generally carved on stone tablets set in buildings.

United Kingdom
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2. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

You can pick up free maps at the tourist information booths or your hotel. Streets are well named, but you will probably get lost, even with a map! We found local people very helpful with directions when they saw us poring over our map - we don't speak Italian either, but we managed just fine.

New Jersey , USA
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3. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

Thanks guys. you are the best.

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4. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

tennis,my husband & I each carry fold-out,pop up maps,inexpensive;we bought them at local Barnes & Noble.They are pocket-sized,with streets,sights,even some hotels listed,with facts as well.I carry a credit-card sized magnifyer as my eyes are not as good as his(my knowledge of Italian is better,tho'so we're a good team!).a small phrase book is helpful;of course once you've aked a question you may not understand the answer! I would suggest keeping the phrase for:where is that in my book? handy (dov'e' in il mio libro? I think is pretty close). We are in our 50's ,in good health,and have always done a lot more walking than using public trans.,tho' it is not that difficult from what other posters say.We look at the map,decide how many sites we can see in between booked tours/meals,then accomplish what we can,each day.Obviously,this being our 3rd Rome trip we still haven't seen everything!ciao,e buon viaggio!

New Jersey
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5. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

When walking around the streets of Rome, we used major landmarks on a map to have a general idea of which direction to walk. As we got closer, we would locate the street names that are marked on the side of buildings. What ended up happening eventually was that we would stumble upon the site by accident.

upstate NY
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6. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

I recently used Frommers Memorable Walking Tours of Rome to travel the city last month. I believe it was newly published last fall. The book is small and easy to follow. It gave me enough information to know what I was looking at, but not so much to bog me down with reading while I was out. Some mornings I set out with a plan to follow a path or two from the book. Other times the book proved usefulfor me to check to see if anything was near me to check out.

I especially loved the walks for Trastevere/Giancolo Hill and Aventine.

ON, Canada
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7. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

>>"What ended up happening eventually was that we would stumble upon the site by accident."<<

That's how we came across the Trevi Fountain ... getting lost in Rome is the best! :)

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8. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

Rome is not very walkable. Even with maps I got lost Take a cab.

Le Marche, Italy
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9. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

I agree with Zerlina that Rome is a very walkable city. The center is full of little signs showing a pedestrian and pointing in the direction of a nearby site.

Sometimes it's difficult to find the name of the street you're on, because not every intersections has the street names on the sides of the buildings. If you're in a large piazza, you have to walk all around it sometimes to get an idea of which street you want to take out of it.

I like the Artwise (or Streetwise) maps, because they show a 3-D view of the important buildings, which is a help when you can't find the name of the street you're on.

Here is a good site for finding walking directions, and planning your walks, with a time estimate:


Put your starting address and destination under driving directions, then click "Options" (below

Destination). On the next page, click "on foot". You will get a nice little map of the route, and the estimate for how long it will take.

If you want to do a round trip, or circular route, click on "options" before you enter the starting and destination addresses. Then click "show/hide stopovers". Enter the same address for the starting and destination (e.g., "Pantheon" as the address and Rome as the city). Then enter the places you want to visit as the stopovers. Finally, click "on foot" at the bottom.

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10. Re: Navigating Rome by walk

Hi (from another tennis fan)

Rome is not that easy to walk really as it's so spread out. I remember walking from the hotel to the Vatican - phew it was hot and a long way but this was for a purpose but just take it easy and don't rush anywhere. Wear comfortable shoes or sandals and just enjoy it, it's all superb. There will be caribineri (police) standing around everywhere in their smart (Armani) uniforms, shades and looking like Sly Stallone and most were smoking when I was there 4 years ago maybe not now though but so what, added to their style I say. They are helpful - especially to the women!

Do get to see the Pantheon, the interior is just beautiful and the Vatican is jaw droppingly magnificent inside. Buy a map for the main areas - we just turned a corner and there was the Trevi Fountain, the whole place though is one huge historical, antique shop nothing for sale though. Don't forget the Colosseum too but be wary of the "Roman soldiers" who ask if you would like a picture with them unless you don't mind coughing up a few euros. We got caught but honestly, it's the funniest of photos we have - my other half with a sword to the neck of a fat centurion plus wearing his helmet, with the addition of 21st century dolce & gabana shades and a cannon camera bag slung around him!! Priceless.

Have a great time