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Rugeley Villa

Rome and Vatican City

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avoid this burger place ;)

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Tourists have slammed a restaurant in Rome after a photo showing it had billed two people more than £70 for two burgers and three coffees went viral. The receipt which was posted to the travel review website TripAdvisor, showed that the meal for two at Caffe Vaticano, near the Vatican, came to €81.40 (£70.62). Social media users slammed the restaurant for its ‘extortionate prices’ which included €25 for a burger and €8 for a cappuccino. Emma Cheppy, who shared a picture of the receipt on Facebook, warned other tourists and expats to avoid the restaurant. ‘VISITORS OF ROME BEWARE: Caffe Vaticano has been ripping off tourists for ages apparently,’ she wrote.

 

https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/18/restaurant-rome-charges-tourists-70-two-burgers-three-coffees-9595645/

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Rome is most disappointing place I have been, the food wasnt spectacular and all the sites are ruined by people just harassing you 

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been a few years since I was last there but i didn't experience anything like that , was bloody expensive though 

I did a walking tour which was pretty decent , took us more off the beaten path and was also quite informative , if it's your thing of course  ... no point going to Michelangelo's burial site ( his body was then secreted away to Florence)   if all he is to you is a ninja turtle

My personal top tip if you want to enter the Vatican museum is when you see the huge line , walk down the outside of it and make as if you are going to cross the road , then throw a crafty left  ... should save a couple of hours  .. yeah I know it's bad form but it's not like God is watching or anything 

 

 

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We payed for a ticket to the Vatican museum in one of the souvenir shops. Then followed a guide straight past the line. Don't remember what the ticket cost. The walk to the Sistine chapel is quite long, crowded and narrow so take that into consideration if you visit the museum.

Food was ok, drinking a bit expensive, some of the famous sites to crowded, especially Fontana de Trevi. Spanish steps was nice and Colosseum bigger than I thought.

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This is the tour you are looking for.

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Rome's Ultimate Free Tour brings the city's history to life like never before.

    Overview

    The free tour aims to show you a rich core of Roman history, an introduction to Christianity and its origins in Rome, as well as the usual funny stories, places to eat, sites to visit, and some essential nightlife recommendations.


    Duration

    The tour lasts around 2.5-3 hours and covers around 3km, suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.


    Personal experience

    Unlike many others, we limit the size of our groups to 15 maximum. This creates a more personal experience where people can ask questions and seek the information that they find relevant.


    Our team

    Rome's Ultimate free tour is lead by passionate guides with backgrounds ranging from classical history to architecture and beyond. We aim to give you a unique, in-depth look at the Eternal city.


    Unmatched Quality

    Our concept aims to give the highest quality exploration of Roman past and present, with no fee, and allow people to tip the guide to the value of their experience at the end of the walk.


    Remember

    Reservations are strongly recommended. Please book only if you plan to attend! To book the free tour simply click here. No reservation fee, no paper print outs. Bring some comfy shoes and water, and you’re all set!

Declaration of interest: a relative is involved.  But the TripAdvisor reviews are great, and I didn't write them.

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On 19/05/2019 at 22:48, Zatman said:

Rome is most disappointing place I have been, the food wasnt spectacular and all the sites are ruined by people just harassing you 

I loved it. One of the best cities I've been to. 

I'd avoid August though, cause I am fairly sure it's their holiday season, and the Roman's I know escape Rome in August, not only because of the tourists, but because of the heat. 

I went in November and I felt like I had the place for myself. 

But if you insist on going in August I'd check out restaurants locals actually go to instead of the touristy crap. I know a couple that's absolutely quality, one a bit outside the city around a metro station called Jonio or something. And there's a few good ones in Trastevere for sure. You might wanna ask RomaVillan about this, but I think it's the "jewish quarter" that has a lot of killer restaurants. 

Italians are by large brilliant people in my experience. Some of the best people I've met in fact. 

Not a big fan of the vatican though. Guess it's just not my thing. Not all that impressive and didn't really enjoy it. The hallway up to the sixtinth chapel was amazing though, that must be said.

They have some really cool culture stuff though. I went to  a Jackson Pollock expo and the Pixar museum. Was great. 

Of that traditional stuff, the Colloseum is kinda neat and I love that old Roman stuff, but I especially liked the capitolini museums. Was amazing. 

If you go to some proper good local restaurants, don't only look at the pasta. They have pesci crudi (I think it's written, pesci is fish and crudi is raw, -i is just the plural iirc, but my Italian is bang mediocre). It's absolutely awesome. Some of the best stuff I've eaten my entire life and that takes some doing when you are a Norwegian talking about fish. 

 

Edited by KenjiOgiwara

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Also loved it, went there back in 2016.

 

Tips:

  •  Visit the Colosseum at opening time, 8.30am. Best time to go as you can get in before the crowds, we found by the time we left it was heaving.
  • Get a weeks pass on the Metro, it's brilliant and by far the easiest way to travel around.
  • Try the restaurants off the main roads, they are mostly overpriced for tourists.
  • Trevi Fountain is worth a look.

 

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6 minutes ago, Mic09 said:

While the prices might be crazy, do people seriously not look at prices before they sit down and eat?

Was no price on the menu apparently which is always a sign

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Cheers for the tips lads. My cousin went and said you have to do a lot of walking about to see the sights. I’ve been told it’s pricey, but I suppose if you know where to look you’ll get it cheaper. I found Paris quite reasonable price wise for food, but the drink was expensive. As for the heat, I hope it’s red hot. I’m quite looking forward to seeing the sights as I generally have a interest in them. 

P.S will I have to book an appointment with the pope, or can you just go and see him anytime? 

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Tips,

Lots of research and have an itinerary mapped out for each day you are there so you get to see everything you want to. Otherwise you will wander around and then miss things that you wanted to see.

This is a useful site that should be of help

I always find the open top bus tours to be a good way of seeing a lot

As in in Capital/Major City, bars and restaurants are expensive by all the tourist attractions.  Go off the beaten track for restaurants.

Be very careful of pick pockets and scammers, particularly pick pockets. There are a lot of Roma gypsy dippers.

When i was there on the metro one got on with a baby in a front body carrier. The woman's hands were free but covered by the carrier and she tried to pick my jacket pocket. Fortunately, someone in the carriage warned me and i had nothing in the pocket anyway. They get on the train at one station, do the dipping and they're off at the next stop. Gone before you know it and not a chance of getting anything back if you have been done.

Don't bother with Roma's Olympic Stadium. It's a dump. 

 

Great place to visit and you cant fail to be amazed by the history.

 

Enjoy

 

PS: When you see the Pope, tell him to ''shine the light'' on the Villa

 

 

Edited by imavillan

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3 hours ago, Rugeley Villa said:

P.S will I have to book an appointment with the pope, or can you just go and see him anytime? 

Just go out and get pissed leaving your children alone  in the apparent and you’ll get to see him in no time at all

Edited by tonyh29
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MrsVM and me went last year. Loved it. It's wicked, you'll love it Ruge. Didn't do the Vatican but all the rest of the touristy stuff. Trevi Fountain is well worth a peek. I'd say go at night when it's all lit up. Busy there well into the night too but a much more chilled atmosphere. It was so busy in the daytime we walked there and decided to give it a miss until later as we didn't fancy joining the scrum for a photo/selfie. Ended up going back after we'd had food etc and it was nice sitting on the steps/benches then. Colosseum is amazing but also absolutely rammed all day, every day. Wilko's probably spot on in hindsight, go early. The place is amazing but we do remember it as trudging round in lines while people jostled at the viewing bits for their 30 seconds of looking at stuff. The Roman Forum bit (next to the Colosseum) is a separate attraction but I liked that (And much smaller queues). All the old buildings/remains of the old Roman Fort, good for a couple of hours wandering. There were a couple of entrances to that. The one facing the Colosseum had a massive queue, we walked round the side and found an entrance with about 10 people queuing up so we joined that one. So many bullet holes in stuff from WWII :(. Spanish Steps I also liked when out seeing the sights - cafe's/bars etc a bit pricier round that area but loads of little jewelery shops that MrsVM loved wandering round. And echoing what @wilko154 has said the metro is great for getting about. Getting the bus was like 1st down at the Superbowl, just a big massive scrum. We wont be doing that again! They've banned UBER (good for them!) but I found the Taxi's were hard to find when you might want one (what a shame). But that was rare as we were staying next to a metro station anyway.

Good memories of Piazza della Madonna dei Monti where we spent a couple of nights losing track of time over a few beers by the fountain. Fairly lively, just off the 'main drag' without being too packed and a nice atmosphere. Was while the World Cup was on and it was where I found out Germany had gone out when I was chatting to a couple of German fans in their shirts looking stunned. Nice lads and a good random holiday footie chat with strangers while MrsVM looked bored :)Also where we saw this guy in a ski mask appear............. and leave some art. Seems it was a Banksy type chap called Sirante and I ended up accusing their Deputy PM of having no humanity in La Republicca newspaper the next day when it turned out the person we were chatting to about it was a journalist :D

Nothing is 'cheap' in touristy Rome it's true. But I didn't find it prohibitive, just avoid the really touristy bits. We liked seeing the sites and then heading to the Monti area to find somewhere to chill out a bit from the hustle and bustle. But the proper fresh pizza, the gelato's, the coffee, the Limoncello. Absolutely loved the place.

If you had the time or inclination you can also do Pompeii and back in a day from Rome. High Speed train to Naples and a local service to Pompeii. Worth it for me just to stand in the amphitheater bit where Floyd played :) but the whole site was fascinating. We loved that. But then it was also when that Hawaiian volcano was going off for months and we were on a proper volcano-ey binge. And the 4 hr round trip didn't bother us. You can also walk up MTVesuvius, and we did, but doing both in 1 day was a bit much and we could/should have spent longer in Pompeii itself maybe. Anyway, Rome...

1 do and 1 don't I learnt in my short time there.

If anyone in your group is a smoker - DO stock up on fags for the night before the shops shut unless you want to be asking passers by to borrow their id cards to make the street vending machines work :thumb:

And if you start thinking of clever ways to confuse and quickly get rid of all the tour guides and whatnot that will approach you as you walk down the streets (and they will) DON'T think you're clever by trotting out the 3 Welsh phrases you know because when you get round by the Colosseum one of them will reply with "Ahh, t'in siarad Cymraeg?" And then you're screwed :D

Oh, and DON'T sell bottles of water out of a carrier bag outside the Colosseum or you'll get dragged off and shoved in a Polizia Van :unsure:

And also Oh, now I think of water (and this one might actually be some use Ruge instead of me waffling on :D) if you all take water bottles out when you're off round the Colosseum/Forum/Trefi etc there are hundreds of public drinking water fountains "Nasoni" up the cobbled streets all around the place where you can fill them up for free instead of shelling out for water/drinks and it was scorchio and there's a fair bit of walking about so it was well handy :thumb:

nasone2.jpg

The weirdest thing about Rome to me was the way they had Tennents Super everywhere in bottles as if it was some sort of delicacy as opposed to "ye olde purple tin" :)

Have Fun

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On 19/05/2019 at 20:01, Rugeley Villa said:

I’m off there in August for 3 nights. Any info and tips would be great. 

pre book vatican or wait a long time in line

pantheon is nice and lots of cool bars to just people watch

Colosseum was meh last time i went but you can walk there from the city

i cant believe i never knew there was a cat sanctuary there...its called torre argentina. me and the mrs are total cat people and apparently its a really cool ancient ruins with like 150 cats just knocking about. we're planning on spending a day there.

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We plan on visiting the cat sanctuary.  Is it worth taking a Lazio or Roma game in, anyone? 

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Me and MrsAE went a few years ago and it’s by far my fave European city. Been to most of the capitals and quite a few others over the year but Rome was fantastic.

All the main attractions are worth it, the Colosseum is impressive, I liked the Pantheon too, and the Vatican museum was ok... the Sistine chapel was the best bit of that though obv.

So much good food and nice beer and wine. It was amazing. We stayed near the Spanish steps which was a good location. Lots of nice places to eat there.

A few food places that stick in my mind we’re Ditirambo - quite authentic roman fare. Osteria de’llanglais - lovely wild boar pasta.

Cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish which is like peppery creamy pasta and it’s really rich but good. 

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