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Help - I'm worried about getting around Rome

I'm pleasantly plump {Yes-I'm fat} will I have trouble with getting around Rome. I was thinking I may need to get a steroid injection into my knee before going dur to a sore knee. Are my concerns rael/ Are my friends trying to scare me?

Posted by
1890 posts

Plan on walking a lot. If you have a knee problem the steroid shot sounds like a good idea - if it will help you.

There are places you can sit down to relax and rest. You can take the bus, or metro, or grab a taxi if needed.

I walked all over Rome, it's the best way to really "feel" the city. We were on our feet from about 9AM to 4PM every day, with short stops for lunch and to just sit and people watch and just inhale Rome.

Posted by
23471 posts

I have no idea if you will have trouble. Can you easily walk three to four miles at a time? Rome in some parts is hilly. And cobblestone/brick streets can be tough to walk on. How much walking do you do at home? You can use taxi and buses work pretty well to get you close but you will have to do some walking.

Posted by
11507 posts

As Frank said, it is hilly and cobble stoned. There are stairs and hills.
You should most likely get the shot, I know I would.
If it is June thru Sept it can be VERY hot.

You should still go, BUT plan do take your time , do less, sit for a cafe more often( or ice water) and just go at your pace. Make sure friends get that you will need to go slower. If they are trying to freak you out so you don't go,, then I would find other travel companions anyways as they may be very unsympathetic.

Go anyways,,just plan carefully and take enough money to get a taxi now and then.

Posted by
85 posts

Hi Lori,

Start walking today. Even if you start by just going around the block if you are very out of shape, it will help. I gradually build up my walking over several months before traveling to increase my stamina. I'm not sure how long before you leave but whether it's a week or several months, every walk you take before you go will help. It will also help you identify if the shoes you are planning on wearing are a good choice. I would suggest Keen sandals. They provide good support and give your feet room to expand when they swell up after a day of walking. This really helps this overweight gal have a much better time on vacation.

Have fun!

Posted by
32266 posts

Lori, I definitely agree that it would be a good idea to get the steroid injection and also start walking around home now to get into shape for travel.

While Rome is a great city for walking, it can be very tiring and easy to "over do it". A few tips that might help you:

  • If you get tired, find a convenient Cafe / Trattoria or whatever and stop for some light refreshments.

  • Try to "pace yourself" when you're planning your touring, so that each segment of your day is manageable.

  • Consider using the Red hop on/hop off Buses as they're a great way to both get a good overview of the main sites, as well as rest aching feet!

  • Study the transportation information in Rick's Guidebooks so that you have a clear idea on what options are available, in terms of using Metro, Buses, Taxi or Trams (always be sure to use an "official" Taxi and be especially careful of the #64 Bus which has a bit of a reputation for pickpockets, as does the Metro).

Happy travels!

Posted by
38 posts

We were traveling with our 3 year old last summer without a stroller, so she was limited in how far she could walk (and we were limited to how far we could carry her). We really appreciated the electric mini buses which zip you around the historic areas (theyr'e v. frequent and easy to use) - this might be really useful for you if you tire of walking. Your friends may appreciate it too! Print out a map before you go of the electric mini buses-I wasn't able to find a free copy anywhere and it made our life so much easier to hop on these buses. If you get the Roma pass, this is included for the 3 days the pass is in effect, otherwise you can buy bus tickets.

Posted by
129 posts

Lori, I'm "calorically enhanced" and I have problems with my knees like you. I used knee braces to help me on the trip, but if you think a steroid shot will help you I'd go for it. If nothing it will give you confidence and peace of mind.

We walked a LOT in Rome. There is just so much to see there in so many parts of the city. You don't want to spend all that money to go there, and then be limited in what you can do - or have to worry about being limited.

Posted by
129 posts

One other thing - you absolutely want to get good walking shoes that will reduce the strain on your feet and legs. There are lots of threads on here that discuss shoes. They make a huge difference.

We saw so many women walking around Rome in stylish shoes and sandals . . . with bandaids all over their feet. It was so stupid but we saw it over and over.

Invest in good shoes and then break them in well before your trip.

Posted by
248 posts

In addition to all the above great tips, be selective about what you visit. Hit sites on top of your list and let some slide. Nobody can see it all - even the most fit. I agree with others - be intentional about resting. People watching in Rome is a great experience in and of itself.

Posted by
1170 posts

Look on the bright side, I lost 15 lbs. in two weeks while in Italy, even while eating all the food and gelato!

Take things slowly and get that shot! Lots of hills and stairs!

Posted by
518 posts

Try to start walking now and build up to a few miles. I doubt that your doctor will just give you a steroid shot in your knee because you want it. Steroids are a big deal. Too many steroids cause further bone and joint deterioration. Most orthopedists will give a mamixum of 2. When I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee, steroid from a year previous was still visible in the MRI. So, just going to get a steroid shot for the sake of getting one is not a great idea. It can end up making things worse.

Posted by
23 posts

One other suggestion - consider a walking stick.
I just returned from two weeks in Rome and Florence.
I used a hiking staff that also serves as a monopod or tripod for photography. I really appreciated the walking aid on the uneven surfaces and with all the downhill walking. (uphill challenges your heart and lungs, but downhill challenges the knees!)

Posted by
564 posts

Good news about Rome for you. In my opinion the best way to initially see the sights is from the Hop On/Hop Off busses. There are several key reasons, one of which is your physical condition, and a two-hour circle will let you see all of the attractions and determine which ones you want to see, and in what order. Then you go back and get off, with no restriction as to how long you can stay at each sight. You can ride on the open air section (top floor) with English speaking narative and get a clear view of Rome, or on the lower level if your knee is bothering you. There are several companies with varying routes, but they all eventually stop at the top sights in Rome. They run every 15 minutes or so and you'll want to check the schedules to get the bus line that will accommodate your choice of sights.

Another good thing is that where they stop for attractions is also just a few blocks from shopping and restaurants that are very good. Get Rick's Rome City Guide Book or the Italy Guide Book and you can get more details about them. You can go to the following site and get all the information you'll need about them. It's about $25 per day and yoou can get 24 or 48 hour passes.

I agree whole heartedly with the responder who suggested you get some exercise well before going. Bicycle riding is excellent because it strenthens your quads and that supports the knee. I'm 63 and weigh 260 and with a little exercise managed to climb the 400+ steps to the top of the Duomo in Florence. You can do it too...and prove your friends wrong. Good Luck.

Posted by
75 posts

I, too, am more than plump and have severely arthritic knees. I'm worried, too, as I am going to Venice in 2 months. I know those steps up and down those bridges are going to be very tough for me, and I don't want to hold up the others. Don't consider the 400 steps of any cathedral, either. Stick to towers with elevators; you can go part way up St Peters in the elevator; that's enough for me! I am considering getting injections as well; walking on flat ground is okay for me, it's the steps/hills that do me in! Good luck and remember it's'll enjoy it, no matter what!

Posted by
411 posts

Hi Lori--- I'm in Florissant, we're almost neighbors LOL. Not sure how long you have before the trip, but talk with your doctor about your concerns and see if some sort of physical therapy, or maybe some sort of water exercise or yoga program would help. Get GOOD quality well fitted shoes and get them broken in before you go. Ask your doctor about what type of pain relievers, either scrip or otc that would help make walking easier.