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Off topic: Looking for travel tips for Rome
Thread poster: Sara Freitas

Sara Freitas
Local time: 23:00
French to English
Nov 11, 2004

I will be travelling to Rome in two weeks and I am looking for any hidden treasures or favorites not necessarily in the guide books.

I'll be staying at the Hotel Eden (thank you Air France and American Express points!!) and would appreciate any good restaurant/gallery/shopping/other recommendations in that or other areas of Rome.

Thanks in advance!!


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United States
Local time: 16:00
English to Russian
+ ...
That really depends Nov 11, 2004

Dear Sara,

How much time will you have in Rome? If no more than a week than, if I may say so, walking the streets of Rome and visiting all the 'traditional' places will likely take up all your time and as you know quite well those 'trivial' places are to die for. Rome has it - a true unanimity of the well-know 'tourist list' and what is behind it, no disappointments. I was there for 6 days. Maybe it's me - getting in touch with places so ancient make my heart tremble. I touched the stones, walked the trailes of Forum etc. and just could not pull myself away or catch my breath, day in, day out. I talked and listened to Caesar:-). The weather was great and I sacrificed some museums and restaurants for outdoor coffie places and more of Rome itself. I also brought 3 huge bags of food for Colosseum cats - there are about 400 of permanent tailed residents in and around the structure:-). I also used 1 day to go to Florence and visit Uffizzi gallery - it was a long day, I started out around 6 am, but I was so happy!

As for the shopping - I had some serious plans during my trip from the States and planned at least 2 full days out of 20 to do just that, aside of jumping into the stores here and there for 5 minutes. If you plan to do more than a couple of souvenires or gifts, I would recommend taking a train and going away from a major city to nearby small towns, the price difference is drastic; from my personal experience - you will find the same brands, including the top ones, in the small outlet-type shops and local boutiques and stores. Very nice service, lots of smiles and help. Great places to find local family-owned taverns with reasonable prices and unbelievably tasty country-style cooking, sometimes very simple - those are the only places I choose for eating out when I'm in Italy. And any town you choose will be charming and have it's own historic attractions, no lost time - no such thing in Italy, I think.

Otherwise shopping time is not the best - January and August are really the time of harvesting in Italy:-). To me it certainly seemed much cheaper than Paris - my place for window shopping:-), nothing like a large mailing box of shoes for myself and the family, which I could afford in Castelfranco, Veneto and send to the States, and I'm no Rockefeller's niece:-). Oh, well, of course I was saving for the trip for some time.

May I say that I envy you at the moment? My love to Italia Bellissima. I guess I used your thread more to express my feelings than to provide some real help, but I'm quite serious about the shopping part.

Have a wonderful trip!

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Anaviva  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
Spanish to English
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Lucky you! Nov 11, 2004

Hi Sara

I've been Rome three times and would go back another ten if I got the chance!

The most beautiful thing about Rome is that there's something amazing everywhere you look. So my best advice is to keep your eyes well and truly open. You'll find an amazing historical monument right next door to a Burger King. It's a place oozing with history and culture along side all the trendy places to hang out.

I also agree that the best way to discover the city is on foot, but if you're short of time, you can buy a sort of "travel card" that let's you hop on and off buses. So just pick a number and see where it takes you!

Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the delicious food too!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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A few remembrances Nov 11, 2004

I spent a week in Oct. 95. First we bought a week's bus ticket from the central railway station and a map with the bus routes of course.
Then we went to the Villa Borguese, walked through the park down to the Piazza di popoli. In the park we stopped at a cafe.
Evening walking around via veneto.
Second day, raining. Off to the villa Guilia (etruscan archeology museum), lost our way, came to a park and had to search, which is always fun. Ate near Piazza di Popoli, then looked through the Tomb of Augustus and strolled around. Supper somewhere at the other side of the river, local people.
Third day, Vatican, St. Peters. We stood on top of the cupola when a thunderstorm approached the city. Great.
4th day, Fortress of St. Angelo and a lot of churches. The "bone-churche" of course, we sat during mess and looked after it around those heaps of human bones.
Than a bus tour to Via Appia. Disappointing, all the time motorcycles try to drive you down.
We found some good cafes, one near the pyramid, cheap.
One day went of course for the forum romanum, the palatino etc. One has to see those museums, to me Rome is still the center of the world. The statue of Moses by Michelangelo.
By subway to Eura, the architecture of the Mussolini era.
Lots of things still we did not see.
Beware of pocket thieves, when someone bumps into you grasp your purse.
Have fun!

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Federica D'Alessio
Local time: 23:00
Member (2005)
English to Italian
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Leave your guide in the pocket and just let Roma show.... Nov 11, 2004

Hi Sara,

I've been living in Roma for a few months, I know that it is not the same than a short trip but my advice would be: when you get to the historical centre, just close your guide and go...and there will be a wonder at every corner! Do it on the late afternoon, around 5.30 pm, when the sun is going away, and the lights on the fountains and the streets begin to will be amazed! In a few meters you can discover a lot of beautiful squares, such as Campo de' Fiori (where it will be very enjoyable to have a glass of wine), The Pantheon Square, Fontana di Trevi, and if you go a bit more, Piazza Navona (and another glass of wine!)...if you let yourself just loose around the streets for a while, it will be unforgettable, I've done it sometimes and I enjoyed a lot the big and small discovers I made.

Then you could cross the river and come to Trastevere (the latin name actually means "across the Tevere", Roma's river) a very peculiar zone of the city, where you surely will enjoy a tipically roman atmosphere as well as its good restaurants, and then, if you want to entertain and have a look at the most "popular" Rome, there's the San Lorenzo zone which is full of bars and youngs, but also a someway typical architecture of the popular Rome, which in my opinion is fascinating the same than the "classic" one. It also has some "memory" of the II World War bombs threw on Rome by the Alliance.

It's not so much that I've been living here but I think this city is so's literally wonderful, and it has a so romantic atmosphere even in its caotic day by day routine (Don't scare at the cars, but be's quite dangerous to cross the streets!!).

I'm really happy for you to have this opportunity to visit my city ...and for anything you might need, don't worry and contact me!

Bye and have a very nice holyday,


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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 02:30
English to Assamese
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Some people have all the luck Nov 11, 2004

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:
I will be travelling to Rome in two weeks...

Watch out. You might bump into Gregory Peck.

Have a wonderful "ROMAN HOLIDAY".

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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a few tips Nov 11, 2004

There are uncountable sights, of course.
A few less know tips:
- the church on the main square of Trastevere
- the secret walkway between the Vatican and the Angel Castle (reportedly recetly opened for the public)
- the flea market at Porta Portese (Sunday): I am a great flee market fan, and this one made it to the top 3 (together with Milano and Yerevan) - clothes are on the river embankment, but the more interesting stuff is away from the river, between the highrise apartment buildings.
- a small family run restaurant with Mussolini paraphernalia, on the road that leads from the Terme di Caligula to the Lateran convent. The cheapest and most authentic place to eat (at least of those that we found in Rome).
- ice cream parlour East of Navano (?) square and North of the Pantheon, on a corner.
- if you have the time, make a day trip to Tivoli

enjoy Rome!

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Kristine Sprula (Lielause)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:00
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Weep! Weep! Weep! Nov 12, 2004

I WANT ROME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
German to Italian
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wow! Nov 12, 2004

Csaba Ban wrote:

- ice cream parlour East of Navano (?) square and North of the Pantheon, on a corner.

That must be piazza Navona, in the very center of the city. Unfortunately I've nothing to add to the advice provided by colleagues, I've only been to Rome a couple of times. Enjoy your stay!

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Errr... Nov 12, 2004

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

any good restaurant

They came in all colours, sizes and formats, but I never came across a BAD one. That must be difficult to find. (NB: I only ate Italian food the whole time, of course). And maybe that helps a lot in seeing how wonderful Rome is.

But DO learn Italian... for Romance language speakers, it's only a matter of changing the music, loosening a few palate screws, and getting lost so you have to ask for directions. Four days should suffice to get around. Careful about the carabinieri, they might want to take you to lunch as well, but that's Roma... a guidebook is still a good idea, so that you can put labels on the landmarks and monuments you'll be bumping into. Watch how people dress, since it seems what you see on the street is where Armani and the like get their ideas from; I understand there is a dress code of dos and don'ts that may be highly individual, but always tasteful.

I'm a bit like Irene, I could spend weeks in the ruins without complaining, so maybe I shouldn't advise you on your time - it took me 2 days to "do" the Vatican and I found that still too short.

Have a wonderful time!

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