I have not updated this website in so many years. I have so many asking about Italy that I decided to add some pages quickly and will edit them better later on. For now I am just getting the information I can as fast as I can on here for you all.
You can also search Italy for more blogs from the past. I will be trying to go through those posts and updating them as I can.
I HIGHLY suggest that you download Rick Steves audio guide app for Italy. It has several audio guides for Rome. They are free and highly informative and helpful. You can listen on your iPhone as you tour the different places.
As well his site has a lot of great information. His YouTubes are great.
PICKPOCKETS: You really have to watch your belongings. I keep one credit card and a bit of cash in my purse. The rest are under my clothing. If I need the debit card or more cash I can go into a washroom and get it out to use. If a thief takes your wallet or purse they are not getting everything.
When in transit and managing your luggage and your personal bag I suggest the less items hanging off of you the better. If you have a back pack you can wear it on the front close to you in crowded buses, streets, or trams. Your wife doesn’t want a suitcase, a purse, and a backpack. She can put her purse in the back pack and put it on the front of her while she maneuvers the luggage.
A friend of mine had her wallet and her phone stolen from a handbag she had over her shoulder as we were entering a tram from the airport. She had her suitcase, a back pack and the purse. It was too much to keep her hands on in situations like that.
Don’t keep your wallet or your phone in your back pocket, even if you have a shirt or jacket that covers your pocket.
They target you the most when you are distracted by street performers, standing at Trevi fountain, entering or exiting train, trams, subways, and buses. You are thinking about getting off and not worried about those bumping into you. The gypsies will try to help you at ticket machines. Keep them at a distance.
The secret to not having to worry is like I said before……only a small amount where they can get it…the rest under your clothes. Then if (or when I should say) they get you it is not tragic trip ruining loss.
CITY TAX: AIrBnBs and hotels usually do not include city tax of 3,50 Euros per person per night. It is collected when you arrive, it is in cash.
PASSPORTS: All places ask for your passports to be left with them so they can record the information for the government. If you like you can make a copy of your passports to leave at hotels and collect it later. Feels better than leaving passport. However, we have never had a problem when we left our passports with them.
COMBO TICKET: You might already know this but if you are going to both the Roman Forum and the Coliseum, the best way to avoid a long line at the Coliseum is to buy the combo ticket at the Roman Forum. It is a two day so you can take both the same day or come back.
When you have the ticket already at the Coliseum, you go through a much shorter line for persons who already have a ticket.
We like to stay in the Jewish Ghetto area because it is soooooo central and within easy walking distance to everything. Save so much time and you can pop into your room if you like without a long commute.
We have rented AirBnB’s in other areas of Rome but only with a group, not one for two persons so I won’t list those places.
We have stayed in all the following places in the Jewish Ghetto in rooms renovated in old buildings. They are owned by two Jewish brothers and are not hotels. They are all nice places.
They might be already booked up but you could check. A nice breakfast is included (more than other places – omelettes made to order, etc) and served in one of their locations for all of the places. They are all very close together.
hhttp://www.littlequeen.it/bb/en/ – cheapest option of the ones owned by these guys – smaller but still nice – Located in an adorable side street without the road noise. Just around the corner is the Jewish deli I talk about below.
www.kamehall.com/en/ – one couple in our room was in a corner room that was overlooking fountain area and I think was a bit nosier.
We have also stayed many times in Trastevere area but usually with a group so larger places.
If you are looking at AirBnB I would say look in the Jewish Ghetto first as it is more central. However, Trastevere is just across the river from it though and the tram on the main street there takes you really close to everything. Good area as well.
However, be careful you do not stay too far north or west in that area. Stay close to the area right across the river from the Jewish Ghetto. Stay somewhere that is walking distance to the Tram that goes into central area of Rome. If you stay too far out it is a long commute to anything. The area around the Vatican is too far out for most things as well. Cheaper but long commute.
The main thing is to read the reviews. Also check if the host cancels a lot.
Antica Trattoria Da Carlone: Via della Cisterna, 13, 00153 Roma in Trastevere
Best Carbonaro ever! Family run establishment. Fresh pasta!
Sant Eustachio il caffe Pantheon Area
Close to Pantheon….great place for coffee! Sant Eustachio il caffe Founded in 1938. Check out the website for more information on its history.
I have only visited Venice one time. It was perfect as far as weather and tourists. I have heard horror stories about the heat, humidity, crowds, flooding, and smells.
The time that it floods the most is October through January.
I stayed here and it was lovely. They feed us breakfast outside by the canal. Older furnishings etc but quite quaint. The stay was in 2014. Check for recent reveiws to see if still good place to stay.
Florence is a speed train away from Rome. It is small and really you don’t need long there unless you are really into museums. Walking around and seeing the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and the downtown center would be the highlights for a two night and one day stay there.
I would suggest getting an AirBnB or room in the old section so that you can walk around. You can walk from the train to that area or catch a taxi or Uber if they have it now. We stayed in a 3 bedroom place in the center.
Another time I stayed in a room in a hotel with my friend but there was a sewer smell so I won’t recommend the place. However, that might be common because of old plumbing!!
The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in the world. You can see videos of it on Rick Steves. My friend and I stayed at a very inexpensive little bitty room right on the town square of Vernazza which is at the harbours. I will send a link to it. It is 5 seaside towns that are accessible by train, trail or boat. Just unbelievable! It is really crowded in summer but shouldn’t be as bad in September.