Trip to Rome

Updated on February 05, 2009
V.R. asks from APO, AE
10 answers

My husband and I are finally going somewhere for our anniversary. Being our 10th, we want it special. We want to go to Rome and want to get the most out of our time and money. I would appreciate any information you may have, experiences you have had there and suggestions on where to go. I have lots of books on Rome but it all starts to be repeative after a while. Anyway, if you have been there and would like to share your experience with me, I will be greatly appreciative!!

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Go to VRBO.COM. and these are websites for rentals all over the world i use them all the time and i am planning my Rome trip also. There is a little block where you can write a message to the owner and i always tell them iam on a budget and this is what i have to spend and can they work with it.

Good Luck

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Hi V.!
I am also an army wife and mother of 4 living in Baumholder, Germany. Rome is my dream trip too :)) I know a lot of womem that made it there going from base to base which in fact is cheaper for us to get the gas over there. All of them say that it is a lot of fun! they also told me that the uso's provide some kind of coupons for want to check out on them, maybe you get theatre's tickets of some kind.
Bright hugs *.*



answers from Stationed Overseas on


We went to Rome a couple years ago and I really wish we could have stayed more than just a couple days! Definitely take a guided tour so you can see some of the more famous places, but be sure to wander around a lot on your own. Make sure you have plenty of money just for taxis if you're going to use them. Our first taxi ride from the airport to our hotel (unfortunately on the other side of town) was about 50 euro!

Also, if you do go to St. Peter's Basilica, keep in mind that there is a dress code to get inside. No shorts or tank tops.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

We spent a long weekend there a couple years ago. We went in July and it was horribly hot. There isn't any shade...making the concrete feel even hotter. Bring a hat and sunscreen if you are going in the warmer months. If all the sites get to be too much, take a short train to the coast for the day. It is really beautiful. The Trevi Fountain was my favorite. It is in a public square. We bought a bottle of wine and drank it while people watching later in the evening. Going to the vatican was nice. Make sure you dress appropriately before heading there...they will turn you around before passing through the gates. We flew into Rome using RyanAir. Campino airport is about 1/2 hour outside Rome. There are lots of shuttle buses bringing you into the train station area of the city (really dodgy area). We found our room on
Eating out is really pricey in Rome. Bring a cooler lunch bag to buy some supermarket treats (cheese, meat, bread) and have a cheaper picnic! Bring good walking shoes as you will walk a lot.
Have a great trip.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

We've scheduled tours with the USO. It is a convenient office to find close to the main areas. The tours have all been excellent.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Hey V.,
We went to Rome in September. It was hot then! I am not sure when your anniversary is, but one thing that we did was to call the USO in Rome. They were able to arrange a B&B for us at a discounted price. You just tell them what you are looking for. We stayed near the Vatican which was a good location. We did the hop on/hop off bus which I usually like in all places that we go because you can see the sites and ride around the city and just get off when and where you want to. You also listen to the historical info. We did the guided tour to the St. Peter's Basilica but I WOULD NOT recommend that with children unless they are older. It was long and difficult to understand what the lady was saying over the microphone (we had headsets that we not that good). I think that they have self guided tours which would be a lot better. The USO will also book you places that are close to their office so you can use the computer and also book trips from there.
I would buy a book on sites to see and beware of the eateries that are near tourists attractions...they are a rip off! We learned the hard way. I hadn't gotten to that part of the book until AFTER we ate there! Rome is a fun place with lots of history so have fun. Be sure you have the is fabulous!!



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I'm stationed in Naples. While not a subject matter expert, I've been to Rome twice now. Both times I used to find a place to stay. This is a coop of B&B's and apartments for rent. I recommend an apartment because of privacy - nice to have on an anniversary, and because if you want, you can pick up some food at a market or paticceria (also called tavola calda, or gastronomia) to bring back a meal to eat. This is the cheapest way to eat. Note, there are apartments that charge per person for breakfast. Don't do this. The Italian breakfast consists of the equivalent of a danish and a cappuccino. It's cheaper, about half, to just go to a bar and get it there.

There is an excellent, mouth watering, fun paticceria we've been too each visit and will go back every-time. It's called Forno Roscioli. Find it at, Via Buonarroti 46/48. It's right off Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Trust me, don't miss it!! Plus as a bonus they always had one person behind the counter that spoke good English.

We've been to some of the biggies- coliseum, forum, palatine hill, St. Peters, and the Vatican museum. If you are going to be in Rome for 3 days, on the first day, buy the Rome pass, 20E per pass. This gets you in the first three on my list above (+ discounts @ others) and gives you unlimited access to the buses and subway for 3 days. This pass is only worth it if you use the public transportation for at least 2 days.

St. Peter's is free. Get there early to get in line for security. Once through there you'll have as much time as you want. Make sure you either bring food in a back pack for afterward or leave the Vatican city area to buy lunch. Nothing is reasonably priced there and the food isn't any different than anywhere else in Rome that I could tell. To climb the 500+ steps to the top of the cupola it's only a few euro ea. It's more if you take the elevator (it only goes 1/2 way). Everyone takes the elevator going down. Definitely do this - it was a fun climb and an excellent view not only of the Vatican city but of Rome.

If you go to the Vatican museum you need to prioritize what you want to see. If your goal is the Sistine chapel and you only have a couple of hours, it'll take that whole time to just walk through the museum to get to it. Why? Because there is such a HUGE amount of very cool stuff to look at on the way and the chapel it's self will take awhile to take in. If you want to see the whole museum, plan a whole day for it. You'll need it.

The other sights people check off their "list" is the pantheon, spanish steps & trevi fountain. These are all within walking distance of each other. So pick a metro stop near there and walk the rest.

Some people really like walking. If you're on that list, the historical center of Rome really isn't that big and you can walk everywhere with the exception of the Vatican, you'll need the metro for that. If you do plan on walking, then skip the Rome pass and just get in line for tickets.

You can rent English audio guides at most places or bring a good guide book. Don't get sucked into the many freelance guides pestering you for work. We use Rick Steve's guide. It's the perfect amount of history for us and it's fun to follow his self guided tours in the book and read to one-another. Don't be surprised if one of those freelancers tells you how bad that book is. To me that's the perfect endorsement; the book is taking away their business.

I just read some other responses and they have some good points. Although, when coming from Naples, the Rome train station is quite nice and very clean in comparison. :) We did Rome with 3 kids too and they did all the walking. As long as you have enough snacks and enough rest stops they'll get along fine.

Some standard safety tips: Remember to always carry TP, wipes, and clorox wipes. You never know what condition the WC's will be in. Be ready for a squatter in the floor and there is rarely a toilet seat. Keep most of your cash and all ID's in a neck carrier inside your clothes. Keep nothing in your back-pack that can't be replaced. When walking or using transportation always have your bags across your body, on your front with one hand on. These simple things advertise you're not a target and you won't have any trouble. Never, never help someone with their "dropped" items on public transportation. They can pick it up themselves.

You'll have a great time; I know it!



answers from Stationed Overseas on

We did Rome with 3 kids and a friend. Get the bus/ubahn pass for however many days you want. Ride the bus and just look. You have to do the gardens, they are gorgeous and there is a trolley that goes through there thatyou can pay and ride. Get to the Vatican early and stay together. It gets busy and you will get lost if separated. Take your time and let the crowd go by you. there is gorgeous art there. Personally, I'd chose Florence over Rome if you are going for art, but if you are going for Rome that I understand as well. Look up when Museum Week is and go that week so you can get into all gov't museums except the Vatican for free. The Vatican (obviously) isn't owned by the Italian gov't, but the coleseum is and many others. But best of all, sit, relax, enjoy a bottle of wine or a gelato and enjoy each other.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

First of all you must know that I have never been to Rome .. it is on my "list". My husband has been and loves it. We have friends that went a few years ago that experienced a robbery attempt ... so I am just reminding you to be a "smart traveler". Our friends were in a 3rd story hotel room asleep when a man began to enter their room via the window! They jumped out of bed screaming and frightened him away. When they reported this to the hotel .. there was hardly an eyebrow raised ... like it is commonplace. There seems to be a lot of petty crime in large European cities, with less that are serious in nature. So remember to "blend" as much as possible and carry or hide your important items in the safest place possible. And most of all, enjoy yourself!!



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Oh you will Love it! We, (my husband, 11 year old daughter & I) went this past Thanksgiving.

There are 2 lines of the metro, way simple & easy to get around. You can get a Roma Pass. It is a 3 day pass that covers public transport as well as entry into some places. If you are flying in on Ryan Air, it won't cover the bus from Ciampiano airport to the metro in Anajanina or the buses that go to the center of Rome. You can take the cheap bus for 1 euro to the metro (metro is covered in Roma Pass) (45 minutes on cramped bus) or book online for I think 8 euros & that bus will take you directly into the center of Rome. Easier & way less cramped.

For the Roma Pass, just make sure when you go the to Colloseum you get the ticket for the Parthanon Hill (Sorry for the miss spelled places, I haven't had full caffeine this morning yet.)

OH, there is Soooo a difference in pizza. Rome pizza is a very thin crust & tasteless toppings. You want Napoli stye pizza. The best we found was Napoli Margarita -of all places-at the Colosso Metro stop. WOW YUM!!! There are men dressed as Gladiators you can take a photo with. They expect a 5 euro donation. Since it was our Christmas card photo, we were happy as clams to pay it :D

When you go to the tourist things to see, there will be tons of people asking you to buy toys or roses. Just say no & they are pretty harmless. But some will tell you the roses are free & go after your husband for payment. If you have the flowers, lay them down & walk away. Rick Steves has a lot of free audio tour podcasts on iTunes you can download for different sights.

If you are interested in a tour of the Vatican, you can book a tour through the USO. We did it. I realize there is a lot to see in a short time, but given the chance to do it over, I would have preferred to go on our own with a guidebook at a slower pace. I hear the afternoons are better time to go, the mornings are swamped with tours. The Vatican even as it's own post office, being a city unto it's own in the middle of Rome. The view from the Cupola in St. Peters is Way Worth it! But if you are clusterphobic, the stairs towards the top is cramped. You may want to take the elevator instead of the stairs.

We did the night walk & felt completely safe. Tons of policemen around. Though we did hear that the Circus Maximus area was not safe at night. We didn't go there.

We stayed at Hotel Select Garden Roma. The staff was excellent, price was great & a good included breakfast. Meat, cheese, rolls, yogurt, cereal, milk, pastries, fruit, OJ & a GREAT any kinda coffee machine you wanted. The only down side was the mattress was hard & the room was small. GREAT charm, but small.

Have an Awesome time!

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