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rome trip during easter vacation

by brownkris Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 2:32 AM

hello fellow travellers

we are 3 guys (under 30 ) planning for easter vacations in Rome from 28/03 to 02/04 i.e 5 nights

I just booked the flights so now we are in planning mode.

so my questions -
1. is it worth to spend 5 days in rome and go around the city ?
2. any suggestions for good day trips from Rome (florence etc)
3. one of the guys also came up with some ferry trips from civitavechia (not sure if thats right)

we have 3 weeks to plan so looking forward to some advice from you guys.

best regards
Kris

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39 Answers
  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by Mikebond Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Hi Kris,
    I think it all depends on your interests, but anyway:
    1) there is a lot to see in Rome, so 5 days may even not be enough;
    2) possible day trips could include the Roman castles, Tivoli, Viterbo and other towns nearby. I think Florence is too far from Rome and there's so much to see that you would see too little in a day trip from Rome.
    I hope this helps,
    Michele

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  • Kaaskop85's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by Kaaskop85 Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Hi, I've been there with friends some years ago and we needed already 4 days to see most things in the city. We had to rush a bit, so I think it's good that you've a day extra. The nice places in Rome are known: Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Pantheon, Vatican, Trevi fountain, Via Appia. Trastevere is a cozy area to go for dinner and also the area near the Spanish stairs. In summer the Spanish stairs are the place to be late evening. Tourist come together there, sit on the stairs and drink some beers, sold by youth. but I don't know if that's also in spring.

    Unfortunately we didn't had time for Ostia and Tivoli, but I heard that are beautiful places too. Also seeing a catacomb is special.

    When coming from Fiumicino airport you can easily take the train to Termini station. Tickets can be bought in a machine and it's about half an hour. I thought Ciampino airport has a train station too. I hope this is a bit helpful.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Hi Kris - welcome to Virtual Tourist!

    For me, 5 MONTHS wouldn't be enough time in Rome so yes, you'll find plenty to do over 5 days depending on what you enjoy when on holiday.

    However, you have chosen the very busiest time to visit the city that you possibly could have. Being, obviously, the heart of Catholic church plus the anticipated election of a new pope, Rome will be packed with pilgrims from all over the world. You may have some issues at this late date either finding a hotel or finding one within a tight budget so you're going to want to look for open bookings immediately.

    The Vatican Museums will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday, and you'll find a fair amount of restaurants closed as well but there will be plenty to do elsewhere: the Forum and Colosseum, for instance, will be open as usual as will some other other museums. National Museums are always closed on Mondays regardless of Easter. Avoiding the Vatican area in general around Easter celebrations (including Good Friday) is a good idea.

    For day trips, I don't know as I'd do Florence with the time that you have, and I see Tivoli has already been recommended. I might suggest the ruins at Ostia Antica: very popular with some of our members. One of them has very good pages on that one so take a look if interested (thanks, Leics - hope you didn't mind.)

    Visit Ostia if you possibly can! - Ostia Antica, Italy

    I would highly recommend a long walk on the Via Appia: the historic Roman Road. Here's my info on that one:

    "A 21st-century pilgrim on the Regina Viarum" - Via Appia Antica Tip by goodfish

    "How to see Parco Appia Antica" - Via Appia Antica Tip by goodfish

    These reviews are followed by a few which cover some of the individual sites we visited along the road.

    A look at our VT Travel Guide for Rome will give you tons of ideas for things to do, and we're happy to make other suggestions if you give us an idea of what you and the mates are thinking about for fun?

    Rome Travel Guide

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by muratkorman Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    5 days will be good enough just to cover Rome and still you may have to skip some attractions. You can check my Rome page for many useful tips. If you still want to explore some other place outside Rome, you can also think about Naples (Napoli).

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  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by IreneMcKay Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    I agree there is lots to do in Rome. I would prebook on line if you want to go in the colloseum, forum, palatine hill - same ticket. The queues were horrendous at Christmas we could not go. You can see colloseum and forum pretty well from outside, too though.

    We had less time than you and just stayed in Rome - tonnes left to do for future trips. I liked the sound of Ostia Antica though did not go there in the end. If we ever return, I would do that.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by cgf Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    brownkris wrote:

    I just booked the flights so now we are in planning mode.


     now you better book where to stay, Easter week use to be one of the busiest week in Rome, probably the Conclave could be still on, in the past has token years and that's why it is called 'conclave'  which means 'with key'. No matter about cardinals who live inside Vatican but all people with them, plus the tourist, plus Easter, plus..

    you better book as soon as possible

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    cgf wrote:

     now you better book where to stay, Easter week use to be one of the busiest week in Rome, probably the Conclave could be still on, in the past has token years and that's why it is called 'conclave'  which means 'with key'. No matter about cardinals who live inside Vatican but all people with them, plus the tourist, plus Easter, plus..

    you better book as soon as possible


     I totally agree about booking accommodation ASAP.  Have a look at where we stayed:

     

    Also- 5 days is just about enough for Rome............So much to see, so little time

     

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Kaaskop85 wrote:

    When coming from Fiumicino airport you can easily take the train to Termini station. Tickets can be bought in a machine and it's about half an hour. I thought Ciampino airport has a train station too. I hope this is a bit helpful.


     Just an FYI, there is no train at Ciampino Airport (where you might arrive if you're flying in from someplace in Europe). The closest train is in the town of Ciampino, a short bus ride away (it's all the way around the airport from the entrance, so not a short walk). Or you can take a bus to Anagnina Metro station. Or you can take a bus direct to Termini station. Or you can take a fixed fare taxi to anywhere in the City center (split 3 ways, not so bad)...or or or... ;-)...let us know which airport you are arriving at, and we'll lay it out for you...

    Yes to the train at Fiumicino Airport - in fact, there are two different trains, but only one goes to Termini, the other goes to 4 other stations in Rome and is actually cheaper.

    Bill

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Bill, I looked for some info on this but wasn't able to easily find anything definitive: other than specific trains with usual holiday schedule changes, are there any other transport snags the OP could run into during the holiday period? I didn't see anything for strikes or mention of the metro being down. What with a kazillion tourists being in town, I'm assuming they have to move them around as usual?

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    goodfish wrote:

    Bill, I looked for some info on this but wasn't able to easily find anything definitive: other than specific trains with usual holiday schedule changes, are there any other transport snags the OP could run into during the holiday period? I didn't see anything for strikes or mention of the metro being down. What with a kazillion tourists being in town, I'm assuming they have to move them around as usual?


     Hmmn, I looked at the ATAC website, and they're not talking about Easter (yet).There's a report of an elevator out underneath Termini for people using the Mtero to go in the direction ofRebibbia/Conca d´Oro, but I can't imagine any tourist going in that direction, so no matter. Oh, the Roma-Viterbo urban rail line is having work done, so it's being shut down about 7 p.m. each evening - again, not something that a tourist would ever notice.

    Oh, cool, there's breaking news on the ATAC website:

    1. armoured car robbery at via Carlo Alberto, so lines 70-70-360-590 diverted via Napoleone III and piazza Vittorio

    2. a building fire in viale Manzoni, so line 810 diverted via Merulana.

    Just what every tourist needs...breaking news from a place they won't visit for three weeks ;-)

    Anyway, so far as I know, they'll have the Sunday and holidays schedules, but I could be mistaken...oddly, I've never been in Rome for Easter...isn't that weird? ;-)

    Bill

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by cgf Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    from Ciampino apt there are Terravision and SIT buses, both go straight to Termini railstation :)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by leics Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I've always used Terravision from Ciampino: cheap, easy, efficient:

    http://www.terravision.eu/

    1. 5 days isn't enough to see Rome.

    2. You can make a daytrip to Florence if you like, by train...though a daytrip isn't enough to see Florence...or you can visit lovely Orvieto, Tivoli, Ostia Antica or any number of other places.

    Train times, details and fares in English on:

    trenitalia.com/homepage_en.h...

    But not for Ostia Scavi (Ostia Antica). That's just an overground commuer line running regularly (and cheaply) from Roma Ostiense station (adjacent to Pyramide Metro). You can take the train to Tivoli, but it's just as easy to take the Metro to Ponte Mammolo and take the bus from there.

    3. Not sure where you might go for a daytrip by ferry from Civitavecchia, if it's even possible. Getting to Civitavecchia from Rome takes over an hour by train anyway.

    Absolutely agree that you *must* book your accommodation as soon as you possibly can. Rome at Easter is always very busy indeed and is likely to be even more so this year, with (probably) a new Pope in place. The week before and the week after Easter Sunday are a mini high-season and you can expect prices to reflect that fact.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    1. is it worth to spend 5 days in rome and go around the city ?

    Yes, but I highly encourage you to do at least one day trip out of town. Not that Rome isn't worth seeing for 5 days, but the act of buying train tickets, taking the train, and hoofing around on your own, will add to the spice of your Italian adventure.

    2. any suggestions for good day trips from Rome (florence etc)

    Yes, there are dozens of places that make good canddiates for daytrips out of Rome, many of which have already been mentioned. Here are some that I have done (in no particular order):

    1. Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa - note that these two items are not on top of each other. That is, if you take the train to Tivoli, you end up in the town of Tivoli, where the Villa d'Este is (worth seeing if you're into architecture and Italian style gardens with plenty of fountains). But Hadrian's Villa is actually some distance outside of Tivoli, so taking the bus that leica referred to will be much more convenient as it has a stop nearby (fair warning, I am doing this from reports - I drove to Tivoli myself). Which would 3 30-year-old guys rather do? I'm guessing Hadrian's Villa.
    2. ''Frascati - yeah, where the white wine comes from. It's a hill town southeast of Rome, easily reachable by commuter train. Go up to Frascati, walk around, have lunch with the local wine - which doesn't taste anything like the bottle stuff you get in your country - and have a good time. Bonus: the train trip runs alongside an aqueduct for quite a ways. ''
    3. Tarquinia - an Etruscan town north of Rome - some of the first kings of Rome were Etruscan nobles from Tarquinia. Also the home of some of the best Etruscan tomb paintings extant. The national museum is in a Renaissance palace - not huge, but the sort of place you'd like to own. Nice town to walk around in, and you can walk outside the city's perimeter to get to the necropils (where the tombs are).
    4. Castel Gandolfo - the hilltown south of Rome where the Popes have their summer palace - and where Benedict XVI has started his retirement. It's a small town on the lip of an extinct, lake-filled, volcanic crater. Swimming and hiking and horseback riding in the regional park all around.  High point - having lunch in one of the restaurants overlooking the lake.
    5. Orvieto - an Etruscan town on top of a big rock in the middle of a valley. Very walkable. Beautiful cathedral with mulit-colored mosaics that sparkle in the afternoon sun. A well that you can walk down far below ground (nice on a hot day). There are tunnels under the city that are now open (I haven't seen them yet).
    6. And there are many others, like Ostia Antica, Viterbo, Bagnaregio, etc etc etc...

    3. one of the guys also came up with some ferry trips from civitavechia (not sure if thats right)

    Like leics, I can't believe that you have the time to get to Civitavecchia, take a ferry somewhere, get back to Civitavecchia, and train home to Rome all in one day.

    Bill

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by leics Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    If I had to choose one daytrip from Rome it would be Ostia if you are into Romans (Ostia Antica is like a mini-Pompeii but without the crowds), Tivoli if you are into Medieval (for the wonderful Villa d'Este and its gardens..and the Roman Villa Adriana too) or Orvieto (for a breath of 'fresh air' after busy Rome, its sheer walkability and..yes..the underground tunnels). I visited the Orvieto tunnels last July:

    "Underground Tour" - Orvieto Things to Do Tip by leics

    But if you are not interested in history then perhaps none of these places would be worthwhile. Maybe you'd prefer to spend a day at 'Rome's seaside' (Ostia Lido, on the same commuter train line as Ostia Scavi)....or perhaps take yourself into the countryside for some walking....?

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  • NorCal08's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by NorCal08 Online Now Mar 1, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Yes, you can fill five days in Rome no problem. A couple of suggestions for things to do....for a great day trip I suggest the following:
    Ostia Antica, the ancient Roman port=that lies just outside Rome. Think Pompei, only closer and less crowded. Take the Metro Line B, to the Piramide station. Exit. From there take the Roma-Lido (beach) train and exit at Ostia Antica, then a very short walk. If you get tired of Ostia Antica, get back on the train and go one more station and your at the beach.

    Villa di Este or Villa Adrianna in Tivolli: Both are World Heritage sites worth the effort to visit. You can't d o both in a day so you will need to choose. Viall Adrianna is the larger of the two. Both are accessible by train and bus, although its too complicated to provide all the details here, email me if you want directions on which trains, buses, etc.

    Maybe I'll bump into you as we will be in Rome the same time and will be making the same day trips. Best of luck.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Just to clarify:

    The Metro arrives at Pyramide but you catch the Ostia Scav/Ostia Lido train from Ostiense railway station, which adjoins the Metro (it has its own signed exit from the Metro station, as I recall). If you have a BIG (1 day) or BTI (3 day) transport ticket it will cover the Rome>Ostia Scavi train journey.

    It is possible to visit both the Villa Adriana and the Villa d'Este in one day, especially if you make an early start. The bus from or to Rome will stop near the entrance to the Villa Adrian, which lies just outside modern Tivoli centre.

    If you decide to do those trips, or any other, let us know on here and we can advise in more detail about transport.

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  • Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by brownkris Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    thank you everyone for the wonderful suggestions and sharing your experiences.
    now me and my friends have plenty of ideas to plan our trip.
    3 cheers to all you guys :-)

    one of my friends also suggested that we visit Venice and spend 2 days there, so its a split of 5 days we have - 2 days venice + 3 days Rome, is that a good idea ?

    best regards
    Kris

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    As mentioned before, I think 5 days in Rome (with one day trip maybe) is a better idea.

    And as a week has gone by since your first post, I can't stress this enough: it's REALLY late in the game for booking hotels in Rome for this Easter so any further planning may revolve around finding a place to stay. That needs to be your most immediate task.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    brownkris wrote:
    thank you everyone for the wonderful suggestions and sharing your experiences. now me and my friends have plenty of ideas to plan our trip. 3 cheers to all you guys :-)

    one of my friends also suggested that we visit Venice and spend 2 days there, so its a split of 5 days we have - 2 days venice + 3 days Rome, is that a good idea ?

    best regards Kris

     Yes I think that its a great idea- Venice is simply.......beautiful. My favourite city.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by leics Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I'd agree with Goodfish that for a first visit Rome can very easily take up your whole 5 days. Make it 2 in Venice + 3 in Rome if you like but I too cannot stress enough how important it is for you to book your accommodation as soon as possible.

    Both places will be very busy indeed over the Easter weekend, and Rome even more so than Venice (because Easter draws visitors to the Vatican for services). Rome is likely to be even more busy than usual this year as it is probable to be a new Pope ( or possible, at the very least) in place to deliver the Easter services and address.

    You can expect sights and sites in both cities to be very crowded indeed.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by cgf Online Now Mar 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    imho before thinking to spend somedays somewhere it's better check for accomodation first, suggeste from who did sleep at Fiumicino airport inside his car because that night there was no place to go after visited and phoned to dozen and dozen of hotels/hostels from 1 to 5 stars, in Rome and outside Rome.

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  • Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by brownkris Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    thank you all for the concern, finally we booked our hotel - hotel caravel near garbatella metro.
    now I am wondering @ Rome travel pass for our stay.
    are there 3-5 day Rome travel passes available ?

    unfortunately we didnt had all the votes for venice :-(

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  • Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by brownkris Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I will land at Fiumicino and head to hotel near garbatella metro, so wats the easiest way apart from taxi :-)

    cheers!

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    brownkris wrote:
    I will land at Fiumicino and head to hotel near garbatella metro, so wats the easiest way apart from taxi :-)

    cheers!

     The Garbatella Metro stop is the first stop south of Piramide Metro stop. The Piramide Metro stop is next to the Roma Ostiense train station. So you take the FM1 train from Fiumicino (i.e., this is NOT the Leonardo Express that goes to Termin, but is the other train at the airport), and get off at Roma Ostiense.

    However, whether or not you should swtich to the Merto at this point and go down to Garbatella depends on where your hotel really is...it may be faster at this point to walk...the entrance to the Roma Ostiense station is on the north side of the station. If you're switching to the Metro, go out the front of the station and there should be signs to Piramide (or maybe Porta San Paolo) stop. If, however, you see that the hotel is close enough to Ostiense to walk, it looks like (I am seeing this from the satellite photo, not from real life) there is a pedestrian bridge over the tracks that gives you access to the south side of the station - it will probably say something like Via Girolamo Benzoni - this street leads to the Garbatella station.

    At the airport, you go to the train station and buy the ticket for the FM1 to Ostiense...I think it's 8 euro. The train leaves every 15 minutes. Just make sure you get on the right one...

    Bill

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    brownkris wrote:
    thank you all for the concern, finally we booked our hotel - hotel caravel near garbatella metro. now I am wondering @ Rome travel pass for our stay. are there 3-5 day Rome travel passes available ?

    unfortunately we didnt had all the votes for venice :-(

     Yes, there are 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day passes for bus/Metro/tram/select urban rail. Take a look at turismoroma.it/infoviaggio/b...

    In fact, you should wander around this entire site, because this is the official website for Rome's Tourism Office, and it's actually quite informative.

    One note on passes: the three day pass is good until the midnight of the 3rd day. So if you validate it on Monday (to start the 3 days), it expires Wednesday at midnight. It's not a 72 hour continuous thing. Therefore, you don't want to validate it late in the day, because you would lose most of that day. And, honestly, you'll find that on the other two days, the pass may not be necessary. From where you are, you can walk to the Baths of Caracalla, then up to the Circus Maximus, then you're in the center of ancient Rome.

    Bill

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  • Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by brownkris Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    mccalpin wrote:

     Yes, there are 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day passes for bus/Metro/tram/select urban rail. Take a look at turismoroma.it/infoviaggio/b...

    In fact, you should wander around this entire site, because this is the official website for Rome's Tourism Office, and it's actually quite informative.

    One note on passes: the three day pass is good until the midnight of the 3rd day. So if you validate it on Monday (to start the 3 days), it expires Wednesday at midnight. It's not a 72 hour continuous thing. Therefore, you don't want to validate it late in the day, because you would lose most of that day. And, honestly, you'll find that on the other two days, the pass may not be necessary. From where you are, you can walk to the Baths of Caracalla, then up to the Circus Maximus, then you're in the center of ancient Rome.

    Bill

     thanks for the info Bill. but is that the tourist pass ?

    I am looking for a normal travel pass which includes tram/bus/metro but I am not sure which pass is better, any suggestions ?

    cheers!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    The tickets noted in the link Bill sent are essentially the only options as far as transport "passes" go: there isn't a better or worse. We bought a few single (€ 1,50) BIT tickets when we arrived and just tucked them in our pockets to use when necessary as we just didn't need transport enough to warrant a multi-day ticket. As you're staying farther from most of the main attractions than we were, you may be using transport more so purchase a three-day (€16,50) BIT and fill out the other days with individual tickets if you wish. These tickets are good on buses/trams/metro, and each must be validated before your journey. You will only validate a 3-day pass the first time you use it.

    But if you group your sightseeing by area, it's possible not to need more than two tickets a day: one to get to that general area, and another to come home at night.

    There is a pass (Roma Pass) that includes full/discounted entry to some of the attractions + transit but I think they're overpriced (30 Euro for 3 days) unless you use transit a lot.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    brownkris wrote:

     thanks for the info Bill. but is that the tourist pass ?

    I am looking for a normal travel pass which includes tram/bus/metro but I am not sure which pass is better, any suggestions ?

    cheers!

     I don't know what you mean by "tourist pass". As Kate correctly noted, the passes I referred to are the normal transit passes available to anyone, although Romans wouldn't use them much because they have access to a monthly (or longer) pass that tourists don't.

    If you meant the Romapass, it gives you access to 2 state museums for free and a discount to others...and includes the standard 3 day transit pass.

    Hey, Kate, the Romapass is now 34 euro (virtualtourist.com/press-cen...

    Bill

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Oops: the price was incorrectly noted on http://www.turismoroma.it. I should have checked the Romapass site too. Thanks for the correction, Bill.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: rome trip during easter vacation

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    In hindsight, I probably should explain our reasons for not buying the RomaPass: yes, if you use the transport piece of it a lot, and if you want to see the attractions the pass covers, and if you can fit enough of them into your 3 days, it's worth it.

    On our first 3 and 1/2 day trip, the forum/colosseum/palatine took the better part of the day, the pass didn't cover the Vatican Museums (that took another full day) and much of the rest of what we wanted to see was free. We also never used any public transit.

    On the second 6-day trip, we wanted some flexibility for weather rather than be nailed to filling out the card in 3 days, only used transit a couple of times, and again, much of what we did was free.

    But do the math: a pass can work to your advantage if you understand what you need to do to make it pay for itself.

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