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Old 04-09-2018, 01:51 PM
 
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Two things that are worth doing while you're in Rome: definitely take a day trip to Ostia Antica--it's similar to Pompeii, only without the crowds and the volcanic ash. It's an easy train ride and a nice break from the hustle of the city. The other is a visit to the Sistema Musei Capitolini. The museum was once a power plant. It still houses the machinery from the first Roman power plant, but now the machinery shares space with sculptures and artifacts discovered from the end of the nineteenth century through the nineteen thirties.

If you're physically able to do so, definitely climb to the very top of the dome of St. Peter's. (You'll be climbing a spiral staircase with only a thick rope to hold onto at the end.) The view is spectacular and not everyone makes it up that high, so you'll have a somewhat unique experience to share. Also, take plenty of time to people watch. It's one of the best parts of traveling, I think.

Don't worry overmuch about security. I've visited Rome as a single, young female; outside of the catcalling and attempts at groping, I had few, if any, problems--even with my limited Italian language skills. Never did I feel unsafe in any way--even at night. If you've traveled or lived in cities before, you'll already know the routine. Be aware of your surroundings, use reasonable caution and look as if you belong there (as much as possible). I second the notion of getting a credit card, although carrying a small amount of cash for gelati and espresso is fine, too. Just don't keep any in a small bag (kept close to your body, of course) or a front pocket that you cannot afford to lose should a pickpocket choose you as a target.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:57 PM
 
4,687 posts, read 2,317,205 times
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Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
Thank you all for your comments. I also don't use credit cards. I have never owned one. I only have a single debit card. I am a little nervous about pick pockets!
The debit card will be fine for use on this trip.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,593 posts, read 11,077,046 times
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Five days is a great time in Rome. The best advice I can give is to take time and just enjoy being there. You can easily cram five days of non-stop sightseeing into Rome, but I'd take the first day, do the hop-on-hop-off bus to get a feeling of where stuff is, and what you want to see more of.

Have lunch or espresso in Piazza Navona, wander the Forum, go to the Trevi Fountain EARLY in the morning. Find a square, find a place to sit, and just take it in. There's no bad choices in the old central part of Rome.

https://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/rome-bus-tours
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle,WA
46 posts, read 29,403 times
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You guys are amazing with your comments! I am so glad to be able to take time off from work for this. Finally going to Europe at age 36. I figured if I don't go now, I will never get the chance!
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Where is your hotel located? I recommend just getting out your map and walking. There is something to see around every corner.

I highly recommend getting up at dawn to see the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon before they're each overrun with 2000 tourists. You will not believe the volume of people in Rome. There are several levels of police and military everywhere so I never felt unsafe.

One of my favourite sights is the view of St. Peter's Basilica from the Ponte Umberto just as sunset approaches.

I also enjoy the Trastavere, on the other side of the Tiber and Santa Maria in Trastavere is absolutely stunning inside.

If you have time, not far from the Spanish Steps is the Capuchin Crypt, beneath Santa Maria dells Cincezione dei Cappuccini. Five chambers decorated in patterns and designs made if the bones of Capuchin Friars. I think admission to the museum and crypt was 8€.

And makes sure to eat lots of gelato. My favourite place to get it is at the Venchi chocolate shop. Pure heaven.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Seattle,WA
46 posts, read 29,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty2011 View Post
Where is your hotel located? I recommend just getting out your map and walking. There is something to see around every corner.

I highly recommend getting up at dawn to see the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon before they're each overrun with 2000 tourists. You will not believe the volume of people in Rome. There are several levels of police and military everywhere so I never felt unsafe.

One of my favourite sights is the view of St. Peter's Basilica from the Ponte Umberto just as sunset approaches.

I also enjoy the Trastavere, on the other side of the Tiber and Santa Maria in Trastavere is absolutely stunning inside.

If you have time, not far from the Spanish Steps is the Capuchin Crypt, beneath Santa Maria dells Cincezione dei Cappuccini. Five chambers decorated in patterns and designs made if the bones of Capuchin Friars. I think admission to the museum and crypt was 8.

And makes sure to eat lots of gelato. My favourite place to get it is at the Venchi chocolate shop. Pure heaven.
Hey we will be staying at the Hotel Quirinale on Via Nazionale. It's not too far from Termini Station. And it's close to Trevi Fountain. SO we will be in the heart of old Downtown. Oh yes I can't wait to try Gelato, cacio e pepe, Roman Pizza, etc.......
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Australia
8,034 posts, read 2,818,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
My partner and I will be going to Rome for 5 days in May for my birthday. This will be my first long International flight and first time in Europe. I have so many things I want to see but is 5 days enough? I am also well aware of the pick-pocketing that goes on there. I plan to use a money belt. What are some things a first time visitor to Rome should do? What to eat? How will the weather in late May be?
Yes, five days is enough.

Don't over-think the pick-pocket thing. Just be sensible and try not to stick out as a tourist!

Get Rick Steves' Guide. Some museums etc are closed on Mondays, the book will tell you all that sort of thing, so you can plan accordingly.

Eat where it's busy with locals.

I have been in Rome in May and the weather was very pleasant - comfortably warm.

Wear comfortable shoes - it's a great walking city!

I agree with others about getting a credit card. And tell your bank you will be visiting Italy (otherwise they might think your charges are fraudulent). IF it happens that there IS fraudulent use of your card, if it's a credit card, the charges will most likely be reversed and, while they investigate, you won't have to pay the fraudulent amounts. With a debit card, your money is gone (and I'm not sure how easy it is to get the matter sorted and the money refunded - I'm not even sure if it's possible).

Don't flash your cash! I never take large cash amounts anywhere - just small amounts for coffee, a bus ticket or a bar of chocolate!
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:35 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
40,214 posts, read 15,184,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
You guys are amazing with your comments! I am so glad to be able to take time off from work for this. Finally going to Europe at age 36. I figured if I don't go now, I will never get the chance!
I'm excited for you, leegary! I was 59 when I went to Europe for the first time. Though I'd have loved to go long before that, it was worth the wait. In a few weeks I'll be heading to Europe for the 4th time in 5 years.

You should do fine with your debit card. As at least one other poster mentioned, you should be sure to let your bank know in advance where you will be traveling and what days you will be gone. If you don't let them know you'll be in Rome, they may freeze your account the first time the card is used there.

One thing I find very helpful is a passport carrier that I wear around my neck. It not only keeps my passport handy but also has room to keep some cash and my credit or debit card. It also contains a small pen and a little tablet. There are tons of passport wallets to choose from and you can spend $5 to $100. I think I paid about $15 for mine and it's perfect for my needs.


You'll have a blast! Be sure to report back to us when you return from your awesome trip.


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Old 04-10-2018, 08:22 AM
 
5,274 posts, read 2,703,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
My partner and I will be going to Rome for 5 days in May for my birthday. This will be my first long International flight and first time in Europe. I have so many things I want to see but is 5 days enough? I am also well aware of the pick-pocketing that goes on there. I plan to use a money belt. What are some things a first time visitor to Rome should do? What to eat? How will the weather in late May be?
If anyone comes up to you with a clip board and starts babbling in some unknown language telling you to sign. Don't touch it and turn around and punch the accomplice that will be trying to steal from your bag behind you. (GYSPI)

Happened to us in Berlin and Italy. They didn't get anything tho.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Orlando
1,986 posts, read 2,636,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
Thank you all for your comments. I also don't use credit cards. I have never owned one. I only have a single debit card. I am a little nervous about pick pockets!
I can't imagine traveling to Italy -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- without the safety net of a credit card.

If you're nervous about pickpockets, how are you going to manage carrying your debit card and cash around, when they're so much more risky than a credit card?
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