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Old 04-18-2018, 01:44 PM
 
2,143 posts, read 3,559,018 times
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Something that I haven't seen mentioned is when it comes to your debit card, if you're with a big bank like Bank of America, they have partner banks in Europe. Go to the ones they're aligned with b/c I think they either don't charge you the bank fee or something else (I forget off the top of my head).
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:11 PM
 
486 posts, read 721,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Years in the Burgh View Post

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.
I second this. Climbing to the top of St Peter's was one of the highlights of my Rome trip. However you have to be somewhat physically fit to climb all those stairs and some parts were claustrophobic. We also attended mass at St Peter's, one of the shortest Catholic masses I have ever been to. If you are a Catholic you know how long some masses can be... When we went to St. Peter's, security checked to make sure your knees and shoulders were covered. Many people (especially women) were denied entry because they had on short shorts and tank tops. Maybe that has changed, I don't know...

My favorite building was the Pantheon, we visited it twice, as it is free to enter. The ceiling is amazing if you love architecture and concrete domes. We visited a small gelato shop called Cremeria Monteforte next to the Pantheon that was quite good.

My least favorite was the Vatican Museum. My main gripes with regard to the Vatican Museum:
  • No special exhibits
  • Limited artwork on display
  • Exhibits inside the museum closed for no reason
  • No air conditioning
  • Very dark inside the Pinacoteca
  • Not much information about the artwork
  • Too many gift shops
  • Insanely crowded
  • Modern art collection hidden in a dark hallway
  • The musuem looked tired, just a "cash cow" to hurry the masses through
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:50 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,910 posts, read 960,433 times
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Don't worry overly about looking like a tourist.........the locals and hawkers are going to KNOW you're a tourist no matter what you wear. That said, it's always good to dress conservatively. No use making yourself more of a target than you naturally are.


Please be respectful when visiting religious sites. No "daisy dukes" or strapless tops in St. Peters, please. Leave the risqué t-shirts at home. The best travel accessory I have is a 48" square of thin black silk that folds down into a very small packet. It has been a head covering, a wrap-around skirt and a sunshade all over the world.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:16 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,564 posts, read 3,662,092 times
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The crowds inside the Vatican Museum leading to the Sistine Chapel are so insanely huge that it is sometimes a fire trap -- no way to get those people out in a timely manner in case of emergency. If you have any unsettled feelings or fear of crowds I would not try this tour. You really can't enjoy seeing the Chapel once you finally get there and you start looking for the door.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle,WA
46 posts, read 29,387 times
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The Vatican doesn't interest me because of those very reasons mentioned above. Too many ppl. I wouldn't mind visiting St. Peters square though.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,157,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leegary1982 View Post
The Vatican doesn't interest me because of those very reasons mentioned above. Too many ppl. I wouldn't mind visiting St. Peters square though.
St. Peter’s square and even the basilica itself are fine, as they are large enough to handle the crowds. I can also recommend the Borghese Gallery; you have to buy your tickets in advance and you must enter at the time indicated on the ticket, but because admission is so strictly controlled the museum is never overcrowded, and the Donatello sculptures on display are breathtaking.
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