Post # 1
My husband and I will be leaving for our honeymoon for 3 weeks starting October 28th-November 16th. We are taking a 2 week cruise starting in Rome, so we wanted to go 3 days early so that we can sightsee before we get on the ship. We have started to reseach what we want to see in 3 days, but there are so many amazing things we want to see.
What restaurants, tours, sightseeing etc, would you recommend?
What is the weather like in October/November and what should we make sure to pack?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Post # 3
@psa22: Late October/early November ought to see temps mostly in the 50s (if that sounds chilly keep in mind that you’ll probably be doing a fair bit of walking). Be sure to monitor weather.com or some other service’s 5/10 day forecasts before you leave to see what sort of overcast weather/rain gear you may need. You’re not likely to get the stereotypically sunny Italian days, but even if you do get grey skies instead of sunny ones, the city will be exciting all the same!
I am not au courant with the latest dining news in Rome but http://www.parlafood.com/ might be a good place to start your investigation. I’ve also always found that the Chowhound message boards have pretty good recommendations.
I’m going to assume that neither your nor your husband have been to Rome or speak much Italian. If either of these are incorrect, please tell me. I’ll list a number of things that I would personally recommend; please tell me what interests you and I can provide more details. If you could also indicate whether or not you think this will be your only chance to visit Rome that would be helpful as well. That being said, here’s some stuff to do:
- One of Rome’s two Serie A teams, SS Lazio, will be playing a match against Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico on 10/27. The match will be in the evening. I don’t imagine that this will be a real barnburner, but Italian fans manage to be a spectacle in the eyes of most Americans even on a slow day.
- Even if you don’t like art or churches, you really should go to San Pietro and the Musei Vaticani. If you do like art and churches you can spend a solid 6-7 hours on these two things; if you don’t, make that 3-5 hours.
- There are numerous crypts and other early Christian churches and monuments and there is a bus that goes to the Old Appian Way that hits a lot of those sites. The problem with most of these sites is that they tend to have strange or spotty hours. Santa Maria Maggiore is always a good bet though.
- Of course there are the standard classical icons like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Museums, Pantheon, etc.
- There is the Villa Borghese complex–which is not just the museum, but a really, really lovely garden/park. You can take one of the tiny buses up to the grounds, wander around a bit, go to the museum if you like (if you’re not into Bernini or 16th/17th century art I’d skip it as those are the collection’s strengths), and then walk back along a route that can take you past the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.
- Any visit should involve a fair bit of wandering: the areas of Trastevere and Testaccio have not been “secrets”–no matter what the tour books say–for quite some time, but there is a lot to do there.
- If you do have some Italian or are willing to do a lot of gesturing you could take the trams out to Monteverde Vecchio to do some wandering and to get a sense of a more quotidian Roman life. Keep in mind that in some establishments no one may speak more than a few phrases of English (or they just may not feel like doing so!). There is an enormous public park, the Villa Doria Pamphili (or Pamphilj) near MV (picnic lunch?!) and this will also put you near the Gianicolo Hill, which has a lookout point accessible via bus that gives perhaps the best view of Rome (only the view from the top of St. Peter’s can challenge it).
I can provide more information/orientation/tips/suggestions for guidebooks on any of these things; please just ask!
Post # 4
One of my favorite things was climbing the dome at St. Peters. Absolutely stunning views of the city. We went right when they opened in the morning (8:00 I think?) and it was literally deserted and we had the whole place to ourselves, very cool!
Post # 5
October 27th is the last Sunday of the month so you might want to go to the Vatican that day. We went to the museums and the line stunk but at least it was early in the day so it wasn’t too hot out.
The other day we did the typical historical Rome stuff.
We needed about a half day for the rest of the time to see the Trevi Fountain and other random stuff downtown.
Post # 6
@psa22: Oooh that sounds like the perfect time to go! Summers are just too hot and crowded in my opinion 🙂 Rome will definitely be hard to “do” in three days so don’t stress about seeing everything… no matter what you choose to do it will be awesome!
We have been a few times and every time we make sure to visit the Capitoline Museum, the Forum and Palatine, the Basilica di San Clemente (a church built on top of an earlier church built on top of a pagan shrine), and the Pantheon. I don’t remember the details but I think we got a “Roma Pass” that included admission to some of these places, a public transit pass, and allowed us to skip some lines. Further afield, we loved walking on the Via Appia (Antica) and the ruins at Ostia Antica (accessible by public transport- and we practically had the whole place to ourselves when we went in November).
As for restaurants, we mostly just found stuff through wandering around in different neighborhoods. I do remember the Ulpia restaurant near the Forum though- pricey but what a cool view!
Happy planning and enjoy the trip!