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Just Returned. Rome trip Report

San Diego
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139 posts
2 reviews
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Just Returned. Rome trip Report

Arrived by train in the Termini Station. I followed advice and avoided the unlicensed taxis and we went directly to the taxi stand. We checked that the cab was licensed, and had the proper identification, and we were still fleeced. The very burly driver charged us 30 euros for a trip that should have been 8 euros. I threw 20 euros on the seat and walked away with him screaming at me. I made a note of the cab number and the hotel helped me file a complaint. I didn���t hear any more about it. We took taxis many times in Rome and they are generally cheap and we had no other problems. For just a few euros more than the buses and the subway they are definitely the way to get around town. typically about 5 - 6 euros from place to place within the city center. It is however very difficult to get a taxi at night.

Residenzia Canali ai Colonari was very nice and near Piazza Navona. See Tripadvisor reviews.

We booked a tour of the Vatican in advanced through Argiletum Tours. BIG mistake. This company has fraudulent claims, and incompetent tour guides. Avoid them!

The crowds at the Vatican Museum were crushing. If there is a fire marshall in Rome, he does not visit the Vatican. They have absolutely no sense of safe room occupancy or fire escapes. We went early, but I have heard that it is better in the afternoon. I can���t confirm this, but it certainly can���t be worse.

We took a day trip to Ostia Antica, which was wonderful. Well preserved Roman ruins and we had the place to ourselves. Definitely off the beaten tourist track.

The Colosseum Palatine and Forum were very interesting, but if you go on your own without a guide, do your home work before hand and have a good guide book with you, so you know what you are looking at. Maybe invest in one of the ���before and after��� flip books which are for sale at the many stands around the Colosseum.

Be sure to buy your ticket at the Palatine in order to get into the Colosseum. The ticket is good for both places, but there is absolutely no line at the Palatine ticket booth. There is a very long line at the Colosseum ticket booth. With your ticket purchased at the Palatine you can walk right past the line at the Colosseum and right into the place.

No problems with pickpockets, but we took the normal precautions mentioned on this site. I sat for a half hour outside the colosseum and watched the crowd one day, but I didn���t see anything going on.

We randomly picked restaurants every night had we didn���t have a bad meal once. Avoid The main tourist Piazzas. The further you get away from Navona or the Spanish steps, the cheaper the places get.

The cheapest place we ate was in Trastevere, at the Ristorante Popi-Popi, via della Fratte di Trastevere 45. We had a great inexpensive meal here, with waiters who were a lot of fun.

Santa Maria de Trastevere is definitely worth a visit.

I don���t get what the big deal is with the Spanish Steps. It is just a set of steps. You could miss them and you wouldn���t miss much.

See my reviews of Venice and Florence as well.

Dove Canyon, CA
13 posts
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1. Re: Just Returned. Rome trip Report

We just got back from Rome, Florence and Venice. For Rome, I agree with you on the Vatican Tour. In the high season of vacations, it makes no sense to spend $75 Euros for a guided tour when the building is packed and HOT! We had reservations and paid the nominal fees and had a Vatican Museum tour in English. The Sistine Chapel is nice but there were too many idiots attempting to take photos inside. Its better to go offseason. We ate in Piazza Navona at one of the trattorias and had a fine meal.

Alexandria, VA
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239 posts
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2. Re: Just Returned. Rome trip Report

I had to laugh when I read your comment about the Vatican being a fire hazard. I think they get around it because the Vatican is its own State. They get to make up their own rules.

Completely agree with you about the Spanish Steps. I know this is "the" area to stay in but I don't understand the appeal. It is ALWAYS crowded in that area. You have to fight for a place to walk.