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Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

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Jacksonville
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96 posts
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Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

Any ideas would be great!!

Arriving July 20th... so today will be check in, eat, walk around!

***Need ideas about cell phone to call home to check on my kids??

**We want to tour: all the favs... colosseum, Forum/Palatine,Galleria Borghese,

Vatican and Sistine chapel, Pantheon, catacombes, Churches all over Rome, anything else someone like me history/art buff would like.

**Which places I SHOULD buy online tickets before we leave for Rome??

We are staying close to Roman forum so hopefully, we won't have to take too many bus/taxi rides.

Okay... Flood me with your ideas!!! I"M READY!!

THANKS!!!!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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1. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

If you want to visit the Galleria Borghese, you must book in advance. galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/edefault.htm

If you want to avoid queues at the Vatican Museum, book with mv.vatican.va

Australia
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for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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155 reviews
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2. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

With regards your phone, let your carrier know when you're travelling and have them enable international access. You just switch on your phone when you land and it picks up a local carrier. Global data roaming is another thing - be careful with downloads or checking email - you could get hit with huge costs. See if your carrier has 'data packs' which may give you, say for example $1000 worth of data for $100 but you have to get these before you leave home.

You're travelling in July which is peak season. Probably be a good idea to get a Romapass (see FAQ's right side) and pre-book a Colosseum underground tour if that's what you want to do - I highly recommend it.

If you're staying close to the Forum, you're within walking distance to most of the sights, even the Vatican depending on your stamina. Your hotel should provide you with a decent map. Walking is a wonderful way to enjoy the historic centre and absorb the wonders of Rome.

If you've got ten days, have you thought about taking a day trip outside Rome - say to Naples, Pompeii or Ostia? Well worth it and transport links to these places are easy and convenient.

Edited: 12 March 2013, 01:34
Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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28 reviews
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3. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

I suggest you get a good guidebook for Rome before you decide what you want to see. Don't blindly accept the "favs" of other people, any more than you'd choose anything else just based on the recommendation of someone you don't even know. There are hundreds of things to see in Rome. The usual top ten list consists of places that are jam packed with tourists in July, and some of them may not even be your cup of tea. On the other hand, there are many, many, hidden gems in Rome that will be totally uncrowded and pleasant and that might be your personal favorites.

I would beware of any US carrier's international data plan. All of those I've seen are ridiculously overpriced. It would be cheaper to buy an Italian phone and data plan. If you just want to make a few short calls, your provider's international plan is probably sufficient. If you have a tablet with wifi capabilities, you can install Skype on it, and have your kids do likewise at home. Then you can talk to each other for free. You can also buy international calling cards at tobacco shops and newsstands, which would allow you to call cheaply from your hotel's phone. They're available in increments of 5 euros, and the cost is usually just a few cents a minute, so 5 euros go a long way. When you buy the card, specify that it's for calls to the US. They have cards with special rates for different regions.

Virginia
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4. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

A much cheaper option would be to use Skype to call home. Then you don't have to worry about cell phones working overseas and the high fees you can get slapped with if you aren't careful.

How long is your trip? There is a lot to see and do in Rome. As others said, the only things you really need to pre-book are tickets to the Borghese, tours of the vatican museum, or the Underground Colosseum Tour.

The historic center of Rome is small and walkable. There are busses/metro to get you further out like to say the Appian Way & catacombs or Vatican (if you don't want to walk). We really did walk amost everywhere with the exception of when we took the metro to save time so we could do more things.

Get a good guidebook, figure out what you want to see, and group the sights together so you can maximize your time and you aren't backtracking.

For example: If you start off early touring the vatican museums, plan to stay in the area and see the basilica and st peters square afterwards so you can do it all at once. If you go see trevi fountain, walk to the pantheon (but not before seeing Aurelius' column and hadrian's temple through a short detour), piazza navona, campo de fiori, etc. all at the same time. That will help maximize your time.

If you start in the morning at the colosseum, consider doing the roman forum afterwards and if you have time, even the capitoline museum that day too. Those things are all close together and again will help you maximize your time.

In my experience, thorough planning always makes for a better trip. But remember to be flexible, leave time for a cafe, and to have lots of fun!!

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

There's no reason to shun the buses, or indeed the trams.... although the tourism centre of Rome may cover only some 5 square miles, the city is 100 times larger - and you really can't walk it all!

To get around the middle of town, we particularly like these:

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/electric_buses

... but if staying near the Colosseum, you'd also be handy also tram 3 - for more about that, with a map of the tram network, see:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/riding_tram_3

................................................

If it helps with narrowing the other choices, a few of the sites and sights:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/places_rome

... and churches:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/rome_churches

One very popular visit it's probably worth booking - with only 15 places on each of the two daily tours conducted in English - is at the ruins under Palazzo Valentini...

www.palazzovalentini.it/index.php?lang=eng

and

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g187791-…

...........................

But, as best you can, try to leave a few gaps... some for just wandering, and also for those things you won't find out about until nearer the time. For information about new and short-run stuff, we've come to rely on the monthly bilingual magazine from these people:

http://www.unospitearoma.it/en.html

Printed copies in hotels etc, or else the PDF is usually available online soon after each month starts!

Peter

Portland, OR
Destination Expert
for Positano
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6. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

I highly recommend getting a couple of guidebooks for Rome - fun pre-trip reading.

I also highly recommend a visit to Palazzo Valentini, which you must book in advance also.

The Ara Pacis is my favorite small museum in Rome - but it isn't high on most "must see" lists.

Jacksonville
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96 posts
35 reviews
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7. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

With the Romapass, can I pick with places to visit? I see that I can book the underground ticket on line... can we tour the rest after we finish the tour?

Which books are really good? I have been googling everything I can. I do know I will try to see all the churches I can. I know we are coming during the busiest and hottest month but it was the time I can get someone to watch my 5 children. I don't mind see something off the beaten path.

bvlenci, Cell Phone... UGH!! yes, fees will be awful. I like the idea about renting a phone over there. Anyone have any ideas?? We will probably Skype as much as we can. We are bringing our laptop... don't have a tablet or Ipad. We will be upgrading our cell phones in May, so I will see what will help me during my vacation.

Kathy, I never thought about going on a day trip anywhere... that would be really outside of the box for me. Something to think about and have no idea of where or the how to.

Jedi, I was thinking of the same... I'm putting/grouping places to see areas, and then to/from areas. example: At Point A heading to point B... stop to see 1, 2, and along the way.

Thanks

PB

Ontario
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710 posts
75 reviews
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8. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

I just purchased Rome Day by Day-Frommers and TravelDK for Florence and Italy. When we went to Prague we purchased a tour book, I believe it was Frommers and my husband was able to be our tour guide. The ones I purchased are the perfect size. I know the Czech Republic one was so big lol, so I decided to only buy the smaller ones that I knew we were going to.

Libertyville, IL
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622 posts
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9. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

I found this TripAdvisor member's pintrest page to be very helpful....

I'll weigh in on guidebooks later. We leave next week and I have a bunch that I've checked out from the library, as well as a few that I've purchased.

http://pinterest.com/spanishstepsapt/

Chicago, Illinois
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370 posts
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10. Re: Finally! booked our Stay for 10 days... now need to do list!

You can go to Pompeii, outside Naples for one very long day if ruins interest you. We are planning to take a train to Naples to go there for a day. Hard to give up a day in Rome, but my son really wants to see it.

You can also go to Florence or Positano for an overnight if you want to check in and out of hotels.