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2 nights in Rome

What do you recommend for a second visit to Rome and where would you stay for practical access from the port and to the Airport?
In yet another COVID shake up, my rebooked cruise for April 2021 looks like it will be a change in ship, which means no more ending in Venice. Instead it will be Rome on a late April Wednesday morning, flying home 11:30 a.m. Friday morning (I could, on a stretch, leave Saturday morning, but I do need to return to work Monday).

I was last in Rome in 2001 and 1977. We did a lot of walking over 3 days in 2001 and saw much of my wish list, so I am a little stumped on where to stay and what to do.

Seen
Vatican museum
Colosseum
Borghese
Pantheon
numerous churches
St. Peter's
Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain
Forum
.....the regular haunts. Other than the Pantheon, I am not inclined to repeat any of them
They were excavating some new temples around the Forum in 2001, so I was considering that and some time in the Palatine Hills.
Part of me wants to stay around Campo d'fiori for the morning market and a piazza at night vibe, but if I want to spend time at the Forum and Palatine, that might be a logical location.
I expect there are interesting museums I have missed; or gardens?

Posted by
990 posts

I would do a food tour with Eating Europe. We have done the Twilight Trastevere twice that is how much we love it! Also take a look at what Walks of Italy can offer in the way of different things to see. Have you been to Castle St. Angelo? We really enjoyed that on our second trip.

Posted by
3350 posts

Thanks. No, not been in the Castello. That is definitely a thought. I don't tend to do tours, but that might be my better bet for such a short time. Too many food sensitivities for a foodie tour :-(

Posted by
6061 posts

We have stayed between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona several times and found it very convenient for walking in interesting areas, dining.

Posted by
4509 posts
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3350 posts

Thanks Suki. That is encouraging.
Geovagriffith, thanks for all the links. Yes, I did visit the Forum itself. My travel companion expounded at length about the porphyry that makes up many of the columns. She was rather excited about it all. After about 15 minutes, she turned to me and said, "You are one of the few who I can tell this to and they would understand, and tolerate it'. Her with her geology and fossil job, and me the daughter of a geologist. Quite different memories that the usual tourist. It became an inside joke....along with trying to navigate the one way curved streets in Montevarchi. Despite that, I would be interested in the new excavations around it.
Trajan's Column, now thinking back I wrote something about that in grade 5, I think.....many many decades ago.
What's your take on the Capitaline Museums? Is there any house museum or other to consider? Particularly if weather turns inclement.

Posted by
4396 posts

The Capitoline Museum would be worth your time, I'd think. It's large, in two buildings linked by a tunnel with a great view over the Forum (so you can revisit the porphyry). Many beautiful and important works inside, including the equestian statue of Marcus Aurelius that used to stand in front of the museum (where a copy now stands). I had to wait about an hour in line to get in mid-morning, so you might want to try being more strategic than I was about when to go. There is a nice rooftop cafe for lunch if you want.

For accommodations, my instinct would be to stay near Termini, where the Leonardo Express can whisk you to the airport -- especially if your transportation from the cruise port takes you there too. I stayed in another neighborhood, but the RS guidebook has a lot of hotel recommendations. I know some of his tours use the Aberdeen.

I hope you're able to do this travel next spring.

Posted by
1188 posts

Not sure what you intend by a "house museum", but at the Palazzo Massimo museum as well as many artefacts, they've moved frescoes and mosaics from an ancient Roman villa to recreate the rooms in the museum. Or on the Palatine there are now a few buildings you can go inside and they use laser shows to recreate the look when the frescoes still existed - it's much more impressive than I make it sound. Otherwise, how about the Keats-Shelley House, which is interesting even if, like me, you've no interest in Romantic poets?

For something out of the very centre, and a change of look, how about a quick walk around Quartiere Coppedè?

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3350 posts

Mary, thanks. I'll check these links. There were a good number of imposing and beautiful churches we just nipped into as we walked by on the way to somewhere else, so I'll need to review images to see if I had been there....or not.
Dick, Thanks for explaining the Capitoline Museum (though I think I have had sufficient porphyry exposure in the Forum to last a few lifetimes ;-)
Yes, the Termini area would be useful, particularly with luggage (and it will be a 25", not a carry on - it's a long cruise). I hope the area improved in 20 years. I was okay with it then, but it didn't seem to pose a romantic view of the city. Practical though.
Since I live each day in a hospital lab covid world, I really can't imagine life not having gotten back to something remotely like 'normal'. And as a Canadian, we are being allowed into countries now. However, there is the hurdle of quarantine on return, so that is why I am not traveling sooner.
Nick, you pose some interesting options. I had seen a reference to Palazzo Massimo, but the ones on the Palatine sound interesting. I have had the good luck to see some amazing frescos in Spain and Istanbul, but these could be interesting. Keats-Shelley, I'll mark it on a map. As to Quartiere Copede, that looks like an interesting walk. Certainly to earmark when I return to Italy for a dedicated trip.

Posted by
2323 posts

I would give another vote to stay near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. We were scheduled for September 2020 to spend 2 nights at Hotel Due Torri. info@hotelduetorriroma.com. A brief stay on our way to Sicily. Of course canceled. In previous stays we found this to be a central location and a few steps to major sights and restaurants. This would have been our 5th stay in Rome. Looking forward to a future stay...

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3350 posts

Thanks Janis. I remember wanting to stay in that area 20 years ago, but we went cheaper and next to the Vatican. Termini is convenient, but the Campos are just lovely.
I hope you get back. If you are able to look at Sicily soon, there was a promotion that the government would pay for half your room and flights. Should be on the main tourism website, but I don't know for how long. Some other countries/regions are doing similar, but it might not be extended long enough to apply when USA is able to arrive. Hopefully soon.

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17636 posts

I enjoyed the Protestant (non-Catholic) Cemetery and (as a cat lover) the feline rescue site at Torre Argentina. It's fun to walk around neighborhoods like Trastevere.

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3350 posts

acraven, if I was here longer, I would stay in Trastevere, but...a very limited amount of time. I will keep notes for next time, however. Cats...achew!!! for me. No cat cafes or many book stores either but I understand the draw. Glad you found a place there. I do love a good cemetery. I'll look up this one.

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4294 posts

What happened to the bookmark feature? I'm enjoying this thread, and wanted to bookmark it for later. We were scheduled for about 5 days in Rome before a RS best of South Italy tour this spring, and are planning to recreate it next fall. Many of the things people are suggesting I have heard of or been to, but some are new to me.

My own addition: If you have time, a jaunt out to Ostia Antica would be a great way to spend several hours.

We always stay in Termini. And no, there are no romantic views of the city, but it's easy to get to, the transportation choices are great, and the price is right. We usually choose the Aberdeen, but on a recent tour we were at the Sonia, and it was fine, too.

Edit to Add: Now that was weird. I checked out to answer an email, and when I came back to this thread the bookmark choice was back. Huh.

Posted by
22 posts

I second the vote for Doria Pamphilj. It is not to be missed. The building itself is beautiful and the art collection is amazing. And make sure to stop for a treat at the little cafe in the basement. It is beautiful, too. I think it is called Caffe Doria.

Posted by
6802 posts

I will second Jane' s suggestion of Ostia Antica and the Termini area as a transportation hub is something we have found useful.
We found Hotel Aberdeen a good value.

Posted by
1485 posts

I was going to second the recommendation of Domus Aurea, but unless things change, they only allow tours on the weekend. Maybe you can do it on your next trip as we thought it was a fabulous tour.

Posted by
6061 posts

Visit the church of Luigi de’ Francesi to view several impressive Caravaggio paintings. It is adjacent to Piazza Navona. Have several Euro coins to turn on the lights that illuminate the paintings.

Posted by
4396 posts

Ostia Antica is great to visit, but it will take awhile to get there and back, plus walking to and around the site. Might not work with your schedule. I spent most of an aftenoon there. I don't recall any tours there, and the signage, though well done, is very limited. There's a small muscum that I didn't find all that helpful.

Posted by
33 posts

Maria, staying near the Termini can be very useful, depending on your sightseeing schedule for the limited time you'll be in Rome this time. Do not count on taking a bus, either the hotel's or a city buses, to the airport if you will be heading out very early in the morning (or later in the evening). When you decide where you'll be staying, contact your hotel and ask for options if you need to leave early. You may have to take a taxi.

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11852 posts

What happened to the bookmark feature? I'm enjoying this thread, and
wanted to bookmark it for later.

Jane, "Bookmark this Topic" is in blue text underneath "Report" at the bottom of Maria's the original post at the top of the page. Let me know if you don't see it? :O)

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4294 posts

Kathy, it wasn't there when I went to bookmark this thread. Then later I came back, and it was there!

Some weird fluke, I presume. Thanks for your help and concern, though.

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3350 posts

Jane, I suspect you weren't signed in when you first looked at this post. I often lose the 'edit', 'report' or 'bookmark' functions for that reason. But, regardless, uou are able to keep the details for another day.

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17636 posts

I think Rick has an audio tour of Ostia Antica available.

Posted by
1579 posts

hey hey MariaF
few years back we stayed between piazza navona and pantheon. was a great place for us to see alot, short walk to campo d'fiori (one of my favorites), marketsofrome.com mercato termini is a food market in termini station. love exploring shops and markets for interesting items i can bring home with me
the port is more than an hour away from rome termini, if it were me i would stay there. others have recommended hotels near that may interest you, ease of getting to airport. we had an unlikely event at piazza navona square, student protest with thousands and thousands of students, people and italian military police blocking everywhere. only way out was by foot, pulling luggage on cobblestones to find a rare find of a taxi. it was absolutely insane and crazy, but did find a driver to take us to port for 150E ouch. that was a moment of making lemoncello out of lemons, stress then and LOL now
couple ideas off the beaten path and radar
search: a day in calcata: picturescue bohemian town - withlocals
living in an italian hilltop town, how to visit castled village of artists and cats

italymagazine.com/ lake nemi and it's wild berry, lacucinaitaliana.com/ nonna rosanna's pupazza frascatana, ceralli.it (family owned bakery/pizza oven with the "best porchetta" along with 92 year old nonna still baking in frascati)
oldfrascati.com a short train ride from rome to the countryside. read up on their blog and tours
eatwith.com (meals or cooking classes in locals homes)
may not be what you were thinking but going outside the box for non touristy places without crowds.
out of curiosity, you mentioned your rebooked cruise in april 2021 changed ship and not ending in venice. do you think they will have less ships sailing outta or into venice? with the change where is your cruise starting and going to? just going to wait and see when this pandemic ends, what kind of changes will happen and they will.
enjoy your adventure and the time you have to research
aloha

Posted by
11852 posts

Glad you found it, Jane! :O)
As Maria had said, it's possible you weren't logged in when you looked the first time?

Posted by
4294 posts

Kathy and Maria, you're probably right. I noticed it said I wasn't signed in, when I thought I was.

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11852 posts

My favorite day in Rome so far? A long walk on the Appia Antica with stops at interesting sites (catacombs, an emperor's private circus, crumbling, once-grand tombs, etc.) Find all the info you need here:

https://www.parcoappiaantica.it

Posted by
3350 posts

Good morning and thanks for the extra contributions.
I thought to delay my departure from Rome one day, but Saturday is May 1.....not a day I want to be trying to get to an flight in Europe, or Africa, unless I was staying at an airport hotel and it still wouldn't leave me time in the city to see Domus Aurea is the weekend is the only time to visit. I certainly have Ostia Antica on my list - but when I have more time. You have all given me a great start list for when I can return to Rome for a longer period of time.
As much as the Campo de Fiori may be over rated, sometimes one has to be frivolous. I am generally a practical woman who goes with decisions by budget and being placed central to my activities. I also tend to use apartments and do most of my own meals. There is some appeal for 2 nights to just walk downstairs and over to a choice of restaurants to sit on a piazza and eat a meal...regardless of whether it is a tourist one or a local one. This is just a short visit, after all.
When I have to leave the city to make my 11:30 am flight might dictate location - or whether I even consider staying at the airport hotel the night before.
Decisions, decisions.

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3350 posts

Oh, Princess Pupule, you asked about the cruise not going to Venice. I know we would like to stop cruises to Venice, but that isn't the reason the original cruise isn't happening. The entire ship's schedule is closed until Summer 2021. It looks like a financial move. In past years, 2 of MSC's ships go from the Med to the Middle East in November, returning to the Med in April/May. MSC has reduced this to one ship sailing the Middle East for Winter 2021. I expect there may be more. I can only assume it is cheaper to park it and shut it down that sail it. It needs to offer some itineraries in order to keep a clientele base, but I expect MSC and many others will not be making much profit in the next 18 months.
Just for interest's sake, the new itinerary also doesn't visit any of the Mediterranean islands. So the cruise is shorter and only hitting bigger cities. Though this provides a break to the crowds on islands like Santorini....it also makes a mess of their tourism and local income. A 2 edged sword. (and for we who cruise for the ports, a little disappointing)

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11852 posts

Maria, just FYI in case you decide to follow up on some of the suggestions, the official booking site for Domus Aurea is:

https://www.coopculture.it/en/heritage.cfm?id=51

The site is currently closed but with luck will be open again when you are in Rome next year. And this is the official website for Galleria Colonna/Colonna Palace:

https://www.galleriacolonna.it/en/

I personally wouldn't stay at the airport the night before. If your flight from Fiumicino is at 11:30 AM, you've plenty of time to get there from central (and much more interesting!) Rome. Even better, I absolutely would change your flight from Friday to Saturday, if possible. I don't know where home is but our flights from Italy have had us arriving back in the States the same day we leave The Boot. You'd still have Sunday to rest up, and, well, that extra time in the Eternal City would be well worth a possibly foggy head on Monday, IMHO!

You'd mentioned that you'd already visited "numerous churches" but holy Hannah, Rome is so loaded with those that I'm sure you've missed some of better ones. Are you still interested in seeing more and, if so, can you give us an idea which ones you've already been to? For instance, have you poked a head into San Giovanni in Laterano or the aforementioned San Clemente? FYI, I'm not at all religious but love the Italian churches for architecture, art and whatnot. Bonus? So many in Rome are free for the lookin'! :O)

http://www.basilicasanclemente.com/eng/

Virtual tour, San Giovanni in Laterano:
http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/vr_tour/index-en.html

Official website (in Italian but can use an online translation tool):
http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/index_it.htm

Posted by
3350 posts

Kathy. Thanks for the tips....but Saturday is May 1 - which, you may know, is Labour Day. It is a stat holiday and not unknown to have parades, large gatherings of workers (Unions? fraternities?) ...things that can lead to train strikes or mess up travel plans. At least, that is my experience in Brussels (my first exposure of dozens of machine gun carrying soldiers walking the streets [1985]), and Tanzania. It isn't worth the stress of that uncertainty to stay another day. Rome will be there for my next visit to Italy.
Yes, I can get back to Ottawa the same afternoon, however, I will have been gone a month and due back to work Monday. I know I need more than 1 day home to become semi-functional....particularly, at my age and on my own.
It is clear that I have missed some major basilicas, so thanks for drawing that to my attention....and for the official Domus Aureas website - though I still might be out of luck.

Posted by
3374 posts

If you plan to go from the cruise port to Rome by train, and to the airport by train, then staying near the train station is about the only case in which the hotel location might make a difference. We've cruised in and out of Rome a few times and never found location to be that big a deal. In addition to the Hotel Du Tori mentioned above, the Hotel Fontanella Borghese at one time was operated by the same nice folks and may still be. We've stayed there several times and have always been pleased. It's very nice, but not over the top. The location is great. You can walk to The Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Nuvona, even Vatican City.

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11852 posts

For Pete's sake...
Maria, I did read the part of the thread where you'd mentioned Sat. being May 1 but that little detail managed to fall right out of my head after a couple of hours! 🙄 Yes, I understand why that date gives you pause where any sort of transport is concerned. I also understand why, after a month living out of a suitcase, you'd like more than a day to recover!

OK, one more idea: Have you explored the Jewish Ghetto area yet? That one can be very interesting, and it's easy to get to. Some rough background:

https://www.romeloft.com/rome-best-areas/jewish-ghetto/
https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/things-to-do/the-jewish-ghetto-rome-a-visitors-guide
https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2018/12/jewish-ghetto-rome/

Note: the word "ghetto" doesn't have negative baggage as applied to this neighborhood.

Posted by
1579 posts

hey MariaF
just like you, we are budget travelers and stay in apartments, usually with a terrace/balcony. love the markets to browse and bring items to enjoy our meals or snacks with morning coffee/afternoon wine. i travel with couple of great and long time friends, which is hard to find for traveling, plus i'm sure we are in "your age group" (retired & 63+)
likealocalguide.com has an ancient making mosaic workshop in rome.
everyone has their own ideas of places to go and things to see with different opinions, which is neither right or wrong. few times have just sat down with an appetizer, glass of wine and "free" entertainment, music, dancing, acrobats, people watch etc.
your visual of soldiers happened three times, (beyond my scope) in rome with student/government protests, my first train ride to naples, filthy dirty and gritty, garbage strike, army tanks with gun/uzi toting soldiers but we loved our day trip and laughed on the ride home. last year end of september in paris , OMG they were everywhere. fashion week, president chirac's death, techno parade, yellow vest protests, crowds, sirens all over.
lots of different memories to talk about on our travels.
aloha

Posted by
4724 posts

I second Mary's suggestions of "family" museums. I was particularly anxious to see Velazquez's Innocent X, because of Francis Bacon's interest in it. But while there are many lesser works there, the Galleria Doria Pamphilj is a superb visit. The Barberini is less home-like, but has even more important works.

Posted by
3350 posts

Thanks again for all the updates. When I finally sat down with Google maps for directions from Campo di Fiori to Termini station, it is about 4 kms to walk. So, that dream nixed this visit. Then I watched RS video of Rome and The Tour Guy's video on where to stay for further inspiration. Something more central like Monti near the Cavour Metro station or one of the Basilicas will suit. It is an area we didn't do by foot, but handy to many of the recommendations and the train if I need to hoof it.
I will be hitting the National Archeological Museums in Athens and Naples on port visits so I am realising more outdoor venues may suit better than continued saturation of art and statues. Church art in situ appeals as does Trajan's Market (that was what they were still excavating in 2001 that caught my interest) and the Palantine. If the hours change for Domus Aurea, then I am well situated.
I am not a fan of preordering a lot of timed entries to sites, so don't overly plan my days with these, but I am realising thst in a post-Covid world, that might be necessary. I am interested in how that plays out closer to departure date.
Thanks again for your recommendations. If not this short trip, then next longer trip or for others.

Posted by
1188 posts

Since you are now looking in the Cavour Metro area, I can highly recommend the Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri. We were last there at the start of March and hope to be back in September. It's certainly not a 5 star fancy pants place, but is very pleasant, in an attractive building with helpful staff. The location is top notch, in a backstreet away from crowds, but close to some sights, restaurants and transport links for other parts of the city. Nice breakfast too.

My early planning for September seems to show that many, if not all, indoor sights now need pre-booking with timed tickets. Though it's always possible, I suppose, that the less popular ones might have walk-up tickets on sale on the day as well. And, of course, the picture now may have changed by next April when you arrive.

Posted by
3350 posts

Thanks for the recommendation, Nick.
I can accept the prebooking if that becomes norm. It is more that I hadn't thought about it as part of future travel. But as you say, we have yet to see what the new norm will be in 2021. I am just looking forward to travel at all.
Hope your September trip goes off without a hitch.