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Old 03-17-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
Dgentrysim
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Port excursion - Rome on your own

Throwing out a few questions to my knowledgeable dis viewers! We're doing Rome on our own...7 hrs. Trying to figure out what is "reasonable" when it comes to touring and still be able to enjoy it. First of all....is there just one drop off/pick-up point once the Disney bus leaves you. If you are dropped off at the Vatican....do you have to find your way over to the colissium by yourself and vice versa? Second of all.....does anyone have an average time they would say it takes to tour the Vatican/Sistine Chapel/Basilica (waiting time included)? Third of all.....could it be done reasonably to see the Vatican and take a taxi over to the colissium ahnd see it?

Thanks for your wonderful help!

DisneyDeb
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:25 AM   #2
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I highly recommend Rick Steves' Rome book (or his Italy book if you're going to do Florence/Pisa on your own as well). He has self-guided museum tours, maps, taxi info, etc.

Also important are his tips on avoiding pickpockets at the major attractions in Rome. They're legion. Most important: do NOT carry a purse (or men a wallet), or a fanny pack. Carry your money, sea card, etc in a moneybelt, and you can tour without worries.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:15 AM   #3
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Hi

I don't know how the Disney Cruise ship works the tours, but whenever we have cruised on a 'Rome on your Own' they drop you off and pick you up at the same point. Whether this will be the Vatican or not, I don't know.

However, the Vatican could take a day in itself and depending on the queues when you get there.

I would avoid the Vatican Museum, it is a lot to look at and to be honest after an hour or so you do become a bit blase about it!!! Try for the Sistine Chapel, which will be quicker to look at, although you may be queuing for a while to get in, you should allow a couple of hours.

You could get a taxi, or the metro, which only has two lines. I think you will need to change once to get to the Colliseum.

Alternatively, you can walk up past some sites, Rome isn't really very big and you see so much by walking. We did this with our four year old in a stroller.

Got the train ourselves into Rome, getting of at the Vatican, then walked down the main street from St Peters, towards the Castel St Angelo. Go over the bridge acrross the River to the Piazza Navona (used to be used for Chariot Races), a lovely square, lots going on, cafes etc.

From here walked to the Panthenon, have lunch (restaurant on the left (back to Panthenon), does a good all in deal, pizza and beer with olives etc. Then walk through (signposted), to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.

From here, you could get the underground to the Colliseum, although we walked it! Bit of a road, but past the Forum, which was interesting, to the Colliseum. We then got the metro to the central station to catch a train back to the ship.

Try and do a tour of the Colliseum, it makes much more sense! There are people dressed as Gladiators outside, as a photo opportunity.

But it would depend on what time you have, as you will need to get back to your pick up point.

Rome is great for just wandering, get a good map and walk, there are very small signs that point you in the vague direction of monuments, but it isn't an exact science without a good map! Taxis are good, but can get stuck in traffic, agree your price before you start!

Also think about the hop on hop off bus, you get a ticket and can use it all day, they do a circuit of the main sights with a commentary and you can get off if you want.

Don't be worried about the metro, it is quite safe, as long as you are savvy about pickpockets (who will also unzip backpacks, so beware), I don't think it is any worse than any other large city in the world!.

This site may be useful.

http://www.rome.info/sights/

Enjoy, but don't get too hung up on seeing everything, it just can't be done!

Kate
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thank you both so much for your information.....most helpful! We're so excited about touring Rome.....just a shame not to be able to see it all!!!! Thanks again for your suggestions!~

DisneyDeb
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #5
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In 2007 the DCL buses dropped us off near the spanish steps, We knew that we did not have time for Vatican City, so have to plan a trip back there.. someday.

We did all the sights as mentioned by K8T and we walked all over the Rome. We even had a nice lunch at a place not far from the Colosseum.

A tip: the lines for tickets at Colosseum can be very long! Go across to Palatine Hill and buy the tickets there, shorter lines and you can also visit that place. When you get to Colosseum, look for the enterance. The line you see outside is the ticket line. Saved us about 60 - 90 mins in 2007.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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We also took the train to Rome on our own and got off at the St.Peter's stop. We had pre-booked a tour of the Vatican museums/Sistene Chapel through goporta.com. They handle the "official" tours- the ones you can book directly through the Vatican website yourself, but you may not receive confirmation from the Vatican until a few days before your visit. They were able to confirm our tour right away, and we felt their service charge was well worth knowing we were "approved" ahead of time. It was wonderful! We were able to tour St. Peter's for about an hour and then pass by at least a 2 hour line and go directly inside the museum for our 11:00 tour. Our guide was a retired Hungarian schoolteacher who showed us the best of the museum and truly engaged our whole group, which included 6 kids/teens. We never would have been able to appreciate the enormous exhibits on our own.
After Vatican City, we still had enough time to see the Trevi Fountain, the Forum, Colosseum, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona all by foot. The Cruise Critic boards were very helpful in planning our day.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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din & kakop.....you have been a wealth of information! Thanks so much!

din.....Since you were dropped off near the spanish steps...is that where they picked you up?

Thanks again!

DisneyDeb
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgentrysim View Post
din & kakop.....you have been a wealth of information! Thanks so much!

din.....Since you were dropped off near the spanish steps...is that where they picked you up?

Thanks again!

DisneyDeb
The same location. It was a plaza near Spanish steps. BTW if you want you may want to visit the McDonalds there, not to eat, but a look inside. Featured on TV a few times...
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:10 AM   #9
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We're commandos...party of 7 (two seniors, three most nearly teens, 2 parents) we're taking the first or second train (buying the BIRG ticket for 9 euros a piece that gives us full access to trains/subway/certain buses)..heading straight to Vatican...touring it for 3 hours, then walking on down to the Coliseum/steps/fountain etc. then taking train home to port...

All information even directions/links to sites that show you how to walk from port to train station are linked on my trip report (madly making memories etc.) under trip reports..I tried to list several options for diy'ers....

HTH!
Tara
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgentrysim View Post

does anyone have an average time they would say it takes to tour the Vatican/Sistine Chapel/Basilica (waiting time included)?
We spent one week in Rome.

Allow 2.5 hours to tour the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, and 1 hour for St. Peter's Basilica.

I highly recommend getting Rick Steves "Rome." He has many cost-saving and time-saving tips. It's well worth it if you're going to DIY in Rome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgentrysim View Post

could it be done reasonably to see the Vatican and take a taxi over to the colissium ahnd see it?
Yes. I found taxis in Rome to be reasonably priced and a timesaver.

When we were in a hurry, getting a taxi from point to point was an cost-effective alternative to walking to a Metro station, waiting for a train, riding the train, and walking from the station to our destination.

During our stay in Rome, we did a combination of Metro, bus, taxi, and walking.

Be sure to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome. It works!

Woody
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:56 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your advice. Husband and I are very fit and walk/run routinely. I had hoped we would be able to do the Vatican/Sistene Chapel/Trevi Fountain/Spanish Steps/Forum/Pantheon/etc. if we booked it! You have given me hope! lol Thank you again!

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:32 PM   #12
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You will need to allow an hour's queuing time to get into St Peter's basilica. There is a very long line to get through the security x-ray machine.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgentrysim View Post
Thanks everyone for your advice. Husband and I are very fit and walk/run routinely. I had hoped we would be able to do the Vatican/Sistene Chapel/Trevi Fountain/Spanish Steps/Forum/Pantheon/etc. if we booked it! You have given me hope! lol Thank you again!

DisneyDeb
We have booked a tour that includes all the main sites and gets us in without waiting in line. Go to the Vatican web site and get your tickets in advance to save a bunch of time. If interested in joining us, send me a PM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by marylizcat View Post
You will need to allow an hour's queuing time to get into St Peter's basilica. There is a very long line to get through the security x-ray machine.
If you are not on a tour you can get to St Peters through the tour group exit that goes right to St Peters . As you leave the Sistine Chappel stay to the right and just follow a tour. This will by pass the long line outside and x-ray. It is detailed in Rick Steves Italy book.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:37 AM   #15
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Hi

Just to let you know if you are going on the train - it is very easy and clean and seemed perfectly safe (very modern train), be aware that the platform for the train back is a a fair walk from the entrance to the station.

The central train station is huge more like an aiport terminus, we left plenty of time for our return, but just as well, it was a bit of a trek!

Make sure you have time spare to find your way across it.

Kate
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