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Travel To Italy – Rome And Venice

Where does one begin to start when discussing Italy. Well, if you intend to travel there, Rome and Venice are good places to start.

Rome

Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It goes without saying that Rome has a rather prominent past. Lets see, in Rome you will find…[deep breath]…the Vatican, Coliseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Church of Saint Agnese, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and a guy name Allassandro. Just making sure you’re paying attention. Indeed, Rome is filthy with historically significant attractions. It seems you can’t turn around without bumping into something an Emperor built, captured or destroyed. For those willing to risk potential wrath, there are also the new Divinci Code tours, which take you to the locations found in the book.

In all serious, Rome is a city you should visit at least once in your life. No article could ever do it justice, so I’ll just stop here.

Venice

I fondly refer to Venice as the floating city even though it is apparently sinking. If you’ve seen Venice is movies or televisions shows, the depictions are accurate. Piazza San Marco looks exactly the same, birds and all. The Grande Canal is, well, a grand canal with incredible houses lining it and boats putting up down this water way. Built on mudflats in a lagoon, the city doesn’t really have much room to grow. It just seems paralyzed in time.

Once you’ve conquered the tourist attractions, it will be time to get serious about Venice. The best way to do this is stand in front of your hotel or hostel, determine which direction the tourist attractions lie and start walking in the opposite direction. While you may feel like you’re driving the wrong way on a freeway for a few minutes, you’ll eventually start getting into real Venice.

An entirely different side of Venice will appear and you’ll love it. You’ll find little cafes with locals happy to talk to you [and non-tourist prices]. In fact, the Venetians will tend to hold you in high regard since you’re a tourist who is bypassing the tourist areas. This, of course, will logically lead to a whirl of introductions to this nephew, that son of a brother and so on. Next thing you know, you’ll be complaining about Italian politicians and how things used to be better in the past.

While Rome and Venice are excellent travel destinations, you can’t really go wrong in Italy. For the adventurous, set your itinerary with the old map on a wall and dart technique.

Tips for visiting Rome – Part 5

Rome is an amazing city. Whether your into the churches, the art, the gorgeous food and wine or the handsome Italian’s, this city has it all.

What to do depends on 1) if it’s your first trip 2) your interests 3) how long you go for.

1) If it’s your first time in Rome there are certain "must sees". The vatican, the colosseum, trevi fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna etc… Rome is actually very easy to get around and you should be able to cover all the big sites in one or two days. Make sure you get to the vatican early or you could find yourself in line for hours.

2) A lot depends on your interests too. There are churches everywhere which are worth a visit both for religous reasons and for the art. Monuments are everywhere too and you’ll find you see a lot of art and history just walking around the city. If you’re more into nature and relaxing, there are numerous parks (Villa Borghese is right in the centre and great for a picnic. From the Pincio you get a great view over Rome too).

3) How long you stay for will also effect how much you see. As the famous saying goes "A lifetime is not enough". If you have a couple of weeks check out the big sites in the centre and some of the lesser visited ones like St. Petro in vincoli (up the hill in front of the Colosseum which has in my opinion one of Michelangelo’s best pieces), take one of the boat trips down the tevere river to Ostia (the beach), get a bus to Tivoli and go to Villa D’este (a beautiful villa with gorgeous gardens full of statues, fountains, and view of Rome from a distance)

make sure you eat at restaurants where Italians eat and not at the tourist restaurants in the centre. Although some tourist menus are ok they are nothing compared the Italian food prepared for Italians. Think about it, tourists menus are created for people who won’t be coming back, proper Italian restaurant what the people to come back and therefore have better quality of food and service…and price!

Tips for visiting Rome – Part 1

Rome is a chaotic, sensuous, and addictive place.

Travelers are often overwhelmed and enchanted at the same time by the exuberance and friendliness of the locals, by the weight of the history and by the sheer beauty of the city.

Some of the most important and beautiful sites in Rome can be experienced gratis.

Always free:

Roman Forum

Capitoline Hill

Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps

Pantheon

Colosseum (exterior)

Castel Sant’Angelo (exterior)

Mouth of Truth

Piazza Navona

St. Peter’s Basilica

And don’t forget, every church in Rome is free. Whether you have a passion for mosaics, paintings, sculptures, or martyrs’ bones and relics, there are world-class examples of each inside almost every church in the historical centre.

Free the last Sunday of the month:

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

And for EC citizens…

EC citizens aged 18 years and under or 65 and over are entitled to free admission to most of the museums and monuments of Rome , on production of a passport.

There are banks on almost every corner in Rome . Normal business hours are 8:45am-1:30pm, 2:45pm-4pm Monday to Friday; some of them have longer opening hours on Thursdays and are also open Saturday mornings. Banks can change cash and travellers’ cheques, with a commission of € 3.10 to € 5.16.

Now I Have Discovering Rome Apartments I Won’t Use a Hotel Any More

My wife and I had visited Rome previously, although many years ago, being just married, we didn’t have the children, so it was easy for us to check into the nearest hotel, nothing much to consider. When planning this trip, we realised quite early on that accommodation arrangements would have to be significantly different this time around.

We checked a few hotel websites, and it seemed we would have to book multiple rooms, possibly a double and a triple; this was going to be quite expensive. My wife came up with the idea of trying to find a short stay Rome apartment. I was not so sure this would be a good option be we agreed to give it a try.

We departed from London, on a Ryan Air flight to Rome, our three children were excited, the oldest especially as she had recently begun studying Italian at school. The flight was quite comfortable and certainly great value for money.

Upon landing in Rome, we asked a taxi driver to take us to our luxury Rome apartment, which was located near Piazza Navona. I was looking forward to seeing where we would be staying, as the price was a very reasonable 145 Euro per night, a significant saving over a hotel.

I have to say I was somewhat surprised by our apartment in Rome, it was far better than I had expected it to be, it had two large bedrooms, a very comfortable living room, a fully equipped and spacious kitchen and a well appointed bathroom. Had we been staying in a hotel, we would have been forced to congregate in one of our rooms, with no space to relax. Instead, by renting an apartment in Rome, we were equipped with a real home away from home, giving us space to unwind and kick back after a day’s sightseeing.

We had a great time during our visit; the highlight for me just has to be the authentic Italian food we ate every night. Two restaurants come to mind, which were of very high quality and enjoyed by the whole family. Firstly the II Matriciano, which serves amazingly tasty food and is very good value, secondly, and my particular favourite, was Taverna Trilussa, with its gourmet Italian cuisine and traditional surroundings; I really felt I was part of Italy.

Now I have tried a short term apartment rental in Rome, I will definitely think twice before booking a hotel room in the future. By staying in an apartment, we were able to enjoy our stay far more than had we been expecting, it gave us a wonderful base from which to explore this splendid city. The website we used to book our accommodation was a specialist in renting details Rome apartments you should really check them out if you are visiting the city, especially if you are a family group, and it just makes so much more sense.

Pasta, Piazzas and Pizza: Rome is a Digestive Delight

Rome is a must-see destination on any European holiday. It has a rich mix of history, art, culture and architecture. Experiencing where the gladiators fought in the Roman Coliseum, the great architectural marvel of the Pantheon or the sublime beauty of the Trevi Fountain will take up a lot of your time in Rome, but you’ll need somewhere to eat and relax as well. Many people enjoy Italian food at home; nevertheless experiencing Italian food in Italy’s capital city is a must-do on any trip to Rome.

One of the best ways to make sure you get the most edible enjoyment out of your trip is to pair up the big sights with the local Italian markets. One of the best piazzas to visit in Rome is the Piazza Navona. Originally a competition arena, it now plays host to some exquisite architecture and sculptures. Piazza Navona is also surrounded by tourist-filled restaurants that spill out onto the square. If you feel peckish whilst at Piazza Navona and want to experience local Roman fare, Campo de’Fiori, just around the corner, is a must-see. Campo de’Fiori is a large outdoor market, brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables during the day, and providing a great meeting place in the evening with an abundance of cafés, bars and restaurants.

If you are on your way to visit the Vatican City, the Trionfale market is a handy and inexpensive place to grab a bite to eat en route. The authentic Italian cuisine and great local atmosphere in these markets make them a much more authentic local experience than sitting in one of the tourist restaurants across the city.

After you’ve thrown your coins into the Trevi Fountain and wished to return to Rome, why not pay homage to the one of the great Italian foods, pasta? The National Museum of Pasta Foods is a small museum located close to the Trevi Fountain and showcases the history and evolution of pasta through the ages; after you’ve visited, you’ll view your spaghetti in a whole new way.

For more authentic Italian cuisine, without the tourists or the tourist prices, the Testaccio and San Lorenzo districts are worth a visit. Whilst off the beaten track, these areas are still easily accessible and will give you a great evening of traditional Italian flavour. If you’ve spent all day walking around the city and want to eat somewhere closer to home, most hotels in Rome will be able to offer advice on where the best restaurants are in their area.

After dinner you’ll need to indulge in some dessert in the form of Italian ice-cream, often called gelato. The Villa Borghese and the surrounding gardens are great for taking a leisurely stroll away from the crowds, and they happen to be in the upmarket Parioli district, which is famous for its gelato.

Rome offers amazing culture and history for its visitors to experience, and if the sights are paired with discovering some of Italy’s fine cuisine, your journey to Rome will be one you won’t forget.