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Rome help please

Hi,

I just booked a really great airfare with great times from ORD-FCO for under $350 USD. We'll be visiting Rome for the first time in the last of August 2020 for 7 full days (+ 2 travel days). It was kind of a (for us) spur of the moment purchase but, I just couldn't resist that fare.

Now I need to start looking for budget lodging.

I've read here that for general tourists the area around the Parthenon/Navona area is good? Attractions we hope to see are the Vatican, many churches, the Colosseum, maybe a couple of museums, the usual stuff I would guess. Good wines are high on our list to drink lots of as well as trying local eateries.

Air conditioning will be a must for us in August I think. We would like breakfast included in our lodging also. Other than that, good location, cleanliness, safe, the usual things most want in lodging.

I read a thread from here while I was doing a little searching and a poster recommended a hotel called the Hotel Fontanella Borghese (621 Euro for 8 nights). It looks like about what we're looking for quality and price wise. I was also going to look into monastery and convent lodging. We like to get the best bang for our buck in lodging.

As of now, I think we'll spend our whole time in Rome. We would love to see more of Italy but think we'll have plenty to fill 7 full days (+ 2 travel days).

I always find it so hard to get started in researching a big trip--itinerary, lodging, transportation, food....

Would anyone have any other suggestions for lodging that might help me get started? Or any other suggestions?

Posted by
1533 posts

Start on booking.com
You can set filters for AC, price, location, not etc
You can then check the hotels website
Book with them or Booking.com- whichever gives you best rates

It’s “Pantheon”

We do always stay in historic center near Pantheon and are able to walk everywhere from there.

You might also consider an apartment since you are there for a week

I think you are wise to spend all your time in Rome
Day trips to consider would be Orvieto, Ostia Antica

Posted by
2355 posts

I don’t know the hotel but I went on the website and it looks well located. Your challenge visiting Rome in August will be the heat. It can be oppressive. Plan your days to start very early, especially visiting outdoor sites such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Expect you will wilt in the afternoon and plan any indoor activity, such as this splendid multimedia presentation https://www.palazzovalentini.it/domus-romane/index-en.html book English tour in advance and be on time. Another would be the Borghese, a do not miss, where timed tickets are available and mandatory http://galleriaborghese.beniculturali.it/en/visita/visit-the-galleria-borghese. A splurge dinner not too far from your hotel is Armando al Pantheon. Less expensive is Rosciolli https://salumeriaroscioli.com/. We have not dined there but will be in June. A really fun activity, if you like food, is a food tour. https://www.eatingeurope.com/rome/?gclid=CjwKCAiAluLvBRASEiwAAbX3GatmHUEmXFXfDF2ol6vCXPfdhR9vO8BXpwmRau-J17zz39HnD1UwphoCzJMQAvD_BwE We took the Trastevere tour and really enjoyed it. On wine: we love wine, love Italian wine. Most meals we ordered a house wine and they were all very good. Have fun!

Posted by
783 posts

First - where did you get that airfare!?!?!?! I'm looking for June to August and you almost have to add a "0" to what you got!

Now, to your question. Navona is a wonderful area to call home-base. Just about everything is walkable from there. Hotels? Not so much. How about an apartment? I don't see the number of people traveling with you so I'm just guessing. A one bedroom from VRBO (I don't like or trust AirBnB) can give you more than you think for less than you think. If there are more than 2 of you, I'd suggest a 2 bedroom (real bedroom, not a pullout couch).

Trastevere is a great place to find affordable and 'real' Roman food. I really like Carlo Menta - a fun experience, good food, excellent service, amazing prices. It's between the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere and the tram line. Walk from the church with your back to it. If you get to the tram line, you've gone maybe a block too far.

Got a Friday night? The Vatican Museums have a wonderful offer. Happy Hour, buffet supper, concert and uncrowded roaming of the museum and Sistine Chapel from 7 to 11 pm.

It's gonna be hot and very humid. Airconditioning is essential but so is a good break in the afternoon! Lots of water and gelato. Maybe save the wine for the evening. :)

Posted by
391 posts

You snagged a great airfare. Also, it's great you are committing your entire 7 days to Rome and not trying to fit in Venice, Cinque Terre, Naples and Tuscany like so many others!

In 2014 we took a 4 hour walking tour of Trastevere, a district of Rome just west of the Tiber and south of the Vatican. It intrigued us so much that we went back this past October and stayed there for 4 days. It's a maze of cobblestone streets and alleys lined with colourful buildings. Tons of little restaurants spilling out onto the streets. At the centre of it all is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere on a small piazza. You would likely have to take transit into Trastevere as it's a bit of walk from most major sites in Rome (+/- 30 minutes walk).

Posted by
1623 posts

We spent a full week in Rome and never ran out of places to go. It was fun to explore less touristed neighborhoods, In addition to doing the usual main sites. RS’s Rome book was invaluable. We did take the side trip to Ostia Antica which I highly recommend.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks so much for the replies. All very helpful!!!

Yes, I thought the air fare was fantastic, that's why I just had to jump on it and figure out details later :) It came across my airfare watchdog notifications.

Thanks for the Vatican tip.

I hope we can find a great little hotel at a great price in a great location--not asking too much, right ;-0

Posted by
3470 posts

What price range are you looking at as being reasonable?

Posted by
82 posts

Hi gerri,

This is what I posted earlier:

"I read a thread from here while I was doing a little searching and a poster recommended a hotel called the Hotel Fontanella Borghese (621 Euro for 8 nights). It looks like about what we're looking for quality and price wise. I was also going to look into monastery and convent lodging. We like to get the best bang for our buck in lodging."

It would be wonderful to stay in that price range but, we'd be willing to spend probably up to 750 Euro (~$800 USD) that is our goal to stay under.

Posted by
124 posts

High five and fist bump on the win on airfare for your initial Rome sojourn. The Eternal City is endlessly fascinating and entertaining and I suggest you delve into determining which rione or neighborhood will suit your fancy. You most definitely can not go wrong staying within Centro Storico and to my pocketbook accommodations in that area and in the boutique hotel vein are worth their weight in gold for the location, location, location. Monti, Testaccio, Prati, Borgo, Trastevere; if these are unfamiliar names turn your browser to investigating Roman rioni and you will have plenty of incredible options from which to consider. In my thinking, getting such a great value in airfare allows for choosing an especially sweet spot for laying your head and I would make a point of picking a hotel with a rooftop bar. You are right, a/c is a must and yes, colazione included in your rate is smart touring strategy. Fueling up prior to departure perfectly prepares you for whichever fabulous marathon you choose in your daily big city explorations. I say get thee on one of those days to Galleria Borghese should you and travel companions enjoy art museums and having a private guide during highly recommended. Food tours or pizza or pasta making classes can be fun and informative, I have used Walks of Italy and been quite happy with my experiences. My first trip to Rome was late June, early July and I thought I was going to melt. With proper light clothing, adequate sunglasses, good pacing/smart timing and adequate rest stops plus hydration & nourishment (gelato nicely does the job here; I urge you to be willing to put in the time to figure out how many flavors you like) you will be able to deal with the heat of August. Have fun planning and preparing and an even better time while you are in Rome.

Posted by
1533 posts

What Theresa said!

I don't think I'll ever get enough of Rome. Or gelato.

Posted by
82 posts

Gelato is a given!!!!

I also found a sister hotel to the one I mentioned above. The sister hotel is located next to the river but, in the same area. Any thoughts on this hotel-- Due Torri ( http://www.hotelduetorriroma.com/ ) or the first one Hotel Fontanella Borghese (http://www.fontanellaborghese.com/en/ ).

Also still thinking about a monastery or convent stay but they seem almost pricier than some of the small hotels. Thoughts?

Posted by
1533 posts

Due Torri is very nice
We spent just 1 night there when our hotel of choice couldn’t accommodate us for an additional night
Location is great
I believe RS tours have used Due Torri in the past

Posted by
2355 posts

There are lots of advantages having a real hotel-getting those last minute walking directions, having a real breakfast, a bar at the end of the day, restaurant suggestions and getting you a table, and so on. Convent or monastery? Really? Is this to save money or do you like a non-air conditioned room with hard bed? You’ve got a short trip, you nailed a great airfare, book your hotel.

Posted by
82 posts

Hi Alan,

Yes, cost is a factor. We're very budget minded travelers (we have to be to be able to travel). But, I also love good bang for the buck deals too. That's why we're open on lodging. Some of the monasteries I looked at were in beautiful old buildings and/or had lovely gardens.

I think I'll look into Del Torri a little more.

Thanks for the help so far everyone :)

Posted by
1500 posts

hey hey joby
good deal on your airfare, congrats. like others have said it will be hot ans humid plus busy and crowded during summer season. if you are staying a week check out an apartment. more room to move around in, small kitchen to keep things cold if fridge, if you want to cook something simple, some may have a terrace/balcony to sit out with coffee or a glass of wine.
like others here have said:
booking.com on left side click on the filters you wish for (A/C is a must), look where it's at, read the fine print, look at pictures closely, check arrival and departure times, luggage storage available if early and if you have a late flight and latest time to check in, how to get keys.
cross-pollinate.com

cancelleriadieci.com rooms/apartments, in piazza navona area, A/C, small kitchenette, check apartment with terrace. email them or call in their contact section. make sure your dates are set. see the cancellation issues (refundable/non refundable).
we stayed in that area, loved it. walk to piazza, campo de fiori, the markets, sit at cafes to people watch and have a glass of vino, lots to see and do.
just a few things to think about. please do come back for more info. the posters here are great, tell you good bad and ugly. want you to enjoy without gray hairs and stress.
aloha

Posted by
245 posts

For a stay of that long, look to VRBO or AirBnB to see if you can rent an apartment - it will be nice to be able to do laundry, and to have a kitchen to have some meals in, instead of needing to go out.

Be sure to book tickets for the Borghese Gallery - it was one of my favourite places to see in Rome (and spend some time in the Villa Borghese gardens as well). And St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City was far more interesting and beautiful than I expected it to be.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks Princess pupule and Chiara, I appreciate all of the responses!

We have thought about an apartment but, I can't seem to find the right combo of quality, location and price.

So far, I think the Due Torri is our leading choice.

Lodging is tough because as I've mentioned I want it all and want to pay bargain prices for it :(

Posted by
1769 posts

If you are staying in Rome around the 15th of August a Central lodging will be even more important.

Posted by
82 posts

I've looked into all of the suggested lodgings on this thread and found some of my own from various sites.

Any comments?

This is my short list in order from least expensive to most expensive:
All have breakfast, AC, Wi-Fi....

Quo Vadis --NO breakfast (http://www.quovadisinn.com/en/)
Residenza Roma Centro (https://www.residenzaromacentro.com/en/)
Suites Trastevere (http://bb-suites-trastevere.tophotelsrome.com/en/)
Hotel Due Torri (http://www.hotelduetorriroma.com/)
Hotel Fontanella Borghese (http://www.fontanellaborghese.com/en/)

The following are slightly above our range of $800 USD or Euro 720:

cancelleriadieci rooms/apartments (https://www.cancelleriadieci.com/en/home-en/)
Hotel Residenza San Calisto (https://www.residenzasancalisto.com/)
Hotel Modigliani (http://www.hotelmodigliani.com/en/)

Posted by
2355 posts

You (obviously) have many options. Maybe too many I would say. Narrow it down based on what is important to you, get to two or three choices. Then book one. Otherwise you’ll wind up with paralysis of analysis. Then get to the important and fun stuff-what you will do in Rome!

Posted by
82 posts

Oh, Lordy, I'm the queen of choices and analyzing :)

Posted by
1500 posts

hey hey joby
like allan says, too many options. you will keep looking and looking, drive your brain nuts, grow more gray hair and be stressed along with paralysis of analysis. what exactly is your combo of quality, price and location? wanting it all on your budget during high season, dealing with the crowds and extreme heat, i would book something before other travelers take what you want and back to zero again. you have received great ideas so much so, i'd say "book 'em dano!" once it's booked then the fun comes to what you want to see in and around rome, things to do, places to eat and drink vino, people watch. you will have a great and fun time.
Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
aloha

Posted by
82 posts

Yes, I know that you're all correct when you say just choose one and book it. The planner in me just can't do that :( I like to search and make sure I have the best fit for us, it's got great reviews, great price, nice staff....Lodging is important to be comfortable, clean, good beds....all at a price we can afford.

Large cities are overwhelming for the choices of lodging. I hope to be baby bear (from the nursery rhyme) and find the one that is just right (for us anyway) :)

I do hope to get lodging booked up in the next week. I appreciate all of the help and suggestions!

Posted by
1533 posts

I would eliminate Quo Vadis- since no bkft- unless you are OK with just grabbing an espresso and pastry somewhere. We need a heartier bkft with protein and you won't easily find that in Rome. (McDonald's is actually pretty good for bkft in Italy!)

Residenza Roma Centro- location OK but we prefer to be within the pedestrianized zone more between Trevi-St Peters- on the Pantheon side of Corso.

Suites Trastevere -- in Trastevere but to me a bit far out. If you want to stay in Trastevere look for something closer to S Maria Trastevere

Due Torri- as I said above- we were very happy with this hotel- would stay again

Hotel Fontanella Borghese- location OK

Hotel Residenza San Calisto- great location

Hotel Modigliani- looks nice and location is OK- just not our preferred neighborhood.

All just my opinion
Location, bkft, AC and elevator are my priorities YMMV

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks, Christine, very helpful--especially with the reasons detailed.

We like a great breakfast too. We find eating a big breakfast, we can go until dinner with maybe a snack mid-day. It helps with cost and time used for eating breakfast/lunch out.

Our priorities are location, cleanliness, price, breakfast and in hot climates AC. Elevator is of no big deal to us. Location in a large city IS important, Sometimes we'll spend a little more on well located lodging because in the end it saves time getting around and sometimes money that would be used on transportation to get to places if we're not centrally located.

The Hotel Residenza San Calisto looks great but, I'm not sure it's worth almost 200 Euros more than Due Torri.

it's a tough game of finding the right balance of everything for us :)

Posted by
120 posts

That is a great fare! I'm sure you already know this, but I would check the restrictions on this fare. I got a great deal to Amsterdam, and when I arrived at the gate I was the last person to board. That meant they wanted to take my carry-on-- full of photography equipment-- and check it to my final destination. It was incredibly stressful. I ended up carrying all of it by parts and pieces on two separate flights, wondering if my tripod would survive the trip. Also, I couldn't pick my seat ahead of time. No big deal for me, but it might be an issue for a family.

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to check those details. It might be worth a few extra dollars to secure seats and peace of mind. Enjoy Rome, I am going back in April!

Posted by
82 posts

Hi LadyVet,

Yes, it is a fantastic fare, we're so grateful we found it! It is a Basic Economy fare--just as you mentioned it has no seat choice, carry on baggage only and last to board. But, we knew this when we booked. It's the price we have to pay for getting such a cheap fare and traveling on a budget as we do. My daughter and I flew to London on a similar fare and we did ok. Not the best choice of seats but, we survived :)

Thanks for the heads up though, I appreciate it :)

Posted by
82 posts

Alrighty, lodging reservation made. We've decided to stay at Due Torri. Now, As was mentioned above, I can get to the fun details of planning the trip :)

Thanks for the help. I'll return with lots more questions :)