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Rome Overview
Rome is a classic European city with several famous sites to visit and plenty of history to explore, while fortunately also having a nice Jewish/Kosher representation to cover your food and Davening needs.

Trip Reports:
Mtl18, jj1000, Cbs, Eli, steve L, jmansour, Mtl18, Yehoshua, Chapshnell, Mech, @Yehuda, Feivish, yg99

Getting there and getting around:

How long should I go for?
There are 3 main activities in Rome, so having a full 2 days is the minimum for a trip. Some will say that you want more time so you can explore some more of the city or perhaps visit the Tivoli gardens outside of Rome (see "Attractions" below), while others will say 2 days is perfect, and you'll be bored with anything longer. Shabbos can definitely be done in Rome since there are Minyanim and food options, but once you're in Italy, Venice is really the perfect place for Shabbos.

Travelling around Italy/Getting to Rome
Most often, if you're making a trip from USA to Rome, you're not just going to see Rome, but rather a few cities in Italy. When visiting Italy there are a few ways to travel around - trains, rent a car, or if you're going directly from one end of Italy (let's say Rome) to the other end (let's say Milan or Venice), it could be you'll want to fly.

Air:
If Rome is your first stop in Italy, then you'll likely be coming via air. FCO is the airport code. Because people arrive at FCO from many different locations, it's not practical to discuss the different routes you can take to get here. There are a few ways to get from the airport to the city center - shuttle, taxi, train, or bus. When you get out of baggage claim, you will be harassed by drivers offering to shuttle you (in a van, mini-van, or even just a taxi) along with other passengers to the city center for around 20-30 euro per person. It's not a terrible idea, and will be cheaper than a cab unless you can fill a cab's capacity with your family. A cab should cost approximately 50 euro. Leonardo Express trains to the city cost 14 euro each way, run every 30 minutes to Termini train station, and take 30 minutes for the trip. There are a couple of bus companies that offer bus service to Termini for 5-7 euro. You can buy tickets in the airport arrival hall on the right side when leaving customs. The bus can hit traffic, so the train is better bet for a more efficient ride.

Train:
If your Italy trip starts in a different city in Italy, then you may want to look into travelling via rail. There are 2 main train companies in Italy - TrenItalia and Treno Italo. Rates vary on a bunch of factors and neither site is fantastically designed, so check them out and ask for some help here if you need. Termini Train Station is the main station in Rome and is in the heart of the city.

Car Rental:
If your Italy trip starts in a different city in Italy, then besides for taking trains, you may find that a car rental suits your needs better, especially if you plan on hitting up several cities along the way as taking a train usually means having to get a cab or bus to/from each train station from your hotel. That time/cost plus the cost of the trains may cause you to decide on a car rental instead. Since it's Europe, expect a manual car unless you pay more for an automatic. Driving in Italy may bother you if you're not super comfortable driving, but that's really just in regards to the city driving; the highways are just like highway driving back home. Drop off your car at a location in town (as opposed to the airport), will get you to the city center, although will require some street driving, which can be a bit confusing/hectic/etc. if you don't love driving.

Getting around Rome
The main attractions in Rome are all within a 20-40 minute walk of each other, so walking is definitely an option if you're staying in the city center. There are also buses and a metro that you may want to take. The metro is pretty bad in Rome, with very few stops (there happens to be one at the Colosseum, but nothing within a 15 minute walk to the Jewish Ghetto), which makes it not so useful. So, if you're up for walking, it can definitely be done, otherwise a cab or bus would probably be your next best bet. When taking a taxi, it is advisable to catch one from a taxi stand and go by the meter. Non-official taxis are known to rip you off.


Where to stay:

The common points hotels are located pretty close to each other in the center of town near the Spanish Steps. That area is a 30 minute walk to the Jewish Ghetto.

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
St. Regis RomeSpanish StepsWebsiteSPG Cat. 6 - 20K/25K, C+P 10K+$180
Westin ExcelsiorSpanish StepsWebsiteSPG Cat. 6 - 20K/25K, C+P 10K+$180
Intercontinental De La Villa RomaSpanish StepsWebsiteIHG Cat. 9 - 50K
Sheraton RomaBetween FCO and Rome properWebsiteSPG Cat. 2 - 3K, C+P 2K+$35 | For someone stingy on points, this hotel might work well. It has a paid shuttle to the airport, as well as a paid shuttle to the city center. It is far from the sites of Rome, so cabs will be expensive. A 15 minute walk to the nearest metro can get you to town, but as said above, the metro isn't great in Rome.
Sheraton Golf Parco de MediciNear FCOWebsiteSPG Cat. 3 - 7K, C+P 3.5K+$55 | Nice option if you just need to be near the airport for the night as there is an airport shuttle, although it's not complimentary.


What to do:

Attractions & Activities
NameMore InfoComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Tour of Jewish GhettoRFJ, JRThe Ghetto will be the center of your trip (because of food/Minyan and because of its actual location), so you'll get to know it well just by visiting. However, almost everyone who has taken a tour of the Ghetto has said it was the highlight of their trip. There are 2 main tour guides for the Ghetto (they also offer tours of other sites in Rome), Rome For Jews and Jewish Roma. The reviews - DDF and elsewhere - of both are outstanding. Everyone who has taken either tour has raved about it. No one on DDF has taken both, though, so there are no reports comparing the two (although you will find much discussion and debate as to which one is better that ends with neither program on top). The tour will bring you back in history and really help you understand how this small street is not just a street with restaurants, but once was closed in and housed thousands of Jews. The unbelievably gorgeous Great Synagogue of Rome is the center of the Ghetto - it can only be entered during Minyanim or with a tour guide. The museum/archive in the basement can be entered by anyone during hours, but the tours will take you there (and the entrance fee won't be included in your tour cost). The main issue with the tours is that they are extremely expensive, running about 100 euro per person (both are similarly priced and are usually in small groups). However, Jewish Roma does offer a student rate of 50 euro if others - paying full price ;) - have already started a tour for your day. The money is well worth it, but for those trying to save money, there is a free Rick Steves' audio tour of the Ghetto that people have said is good.
Colosseum,              Roman ForumsWebsiteThis area is known as Old Rome. Viewing these sites can be done on your own or with a tour. The same ticket grants entrance to both sites. You can walk into the Colosseum, and with a general knowledge of what went on there, get a good feel for the place. However, a tour could be nice. Several DDFers have taken tours with companies like City Wonders, but have felt that the guides were boring and the tours too long and not too good. The free Rick Steves' audio tour is very good and might be your best bet. However, the biggest concern at the Colosseum is the line to get in, which can be 1-2 hours long, but tour groups get to skip the line, which is the biggest upside to taking a tour. Another way to skip the line is by purchasing tickets in advance  and getting on the normally short line for renting an audio guide. By renting the audio guide, you are able to skip the entrance line. Once inside, they say it's better to use Rick Steves rather than the Colosseum's audio guide you just rented. Another option to get in faster is to cross the street to the entrance of the Roman Forums where the line for tickets is usually much shorter - again, that tickets works for both sites. The Roman Forums, just across the street from the Colosseum, is an open area that houses many ruins from different Roman structure. If you're into Roman history, you'll enjoy this part, otherwise you might find it to be dull except for the main attraction within the Forums - the Arch of Titus. There are a few entrances to the Forums, so if you just want to see Titus, try to find the entrance near the Colosseum that leads right to it.
VaticanWebsiteIf you're into art/history, the Vatican museums will be unbelievable. DDFers have varying opinions about their experience in the museum. Some loved it (with and without tours/audio guides), others found it super boring. (Could that be because they didn't take a tour?) You will also want to AYLOR about going into the Sistine Chapel, which is the last room you'll get to if you follow the museum path (somehow the @Yehudas completely missed it). To avoid entering the chapel, you can either ask the guard standing there if you can go through exit that's there (explain religious reasons, etc.) or go back through the whole museum. The lines here can be just as long as the Colossuem or they could be non-existent. Buying tickets online beforehand/going with a group should help with that.
Trevi Fountain, Pantheon,        Spanish StepsTourYou can simply walk up to these sites and check them out or you can take the New Rome Walking Tour which is a daily, free walking tour that covers these sites among others and lasts for about 2.5 hours. AYLOR about the Pantheon (as it's a church as well as a potential issue for Kohanim), although even if you don't go in, just seeing the building is worth stopping by.
Capitoline MuseumWebsite??
Outside of Rome - Villa D'este, TivoliWebsiteIf you're willing to drive outside of Rome for about an hour (doesn't add too much time to a trip heading towards Florence/Pisa), you might want to stop in Tivoli to see this. It's an old estate that has a quick house to walk through (not too exciting) and then an absolutely stunning fountain garden in the back. You'll see tons of fountains, each designed differently, along with a great view of the countryside.


Shuls:

NameMore InfoComments
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Great Synagogue of RomeWebsiteShacharis at 7:45AM, Mincha/Maariv before/after Shkia, Nusach Italki.
Oratorio di CastroN/ACesare Balbo 33, 17 minute walk from the Westin, Eidut Mizrach
ChabadWebsite, WebsiteIt seems like there are 2 websites for Chabad, with the first having some dead links, but otherwise good Jewish info, while the second seems to be the current, live site. Shabbos meals can be arranged at Chabad.


Food:

Basically all of the Kosher restaurants are on the 1 block strip of the Ghetto, aside for Yotvata, which is about 2 blocks away. All the restaurants listed below are under the Beis Din of Rome. Yehoshua and @Yehuda were told by their LORs to contact Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest.org to find out more information about Kashrus in Rome. He suggested to both of them to call and rely on a Rabbi in Milan. The Rabbi there said that one should only eat in the dairy places in Rome. From the thread, you'll learn that people found out that the Jews of Italy don't require Glatt meat, which is why eating at the meat restaurants is more of a sketchy issue, although some places do offer Glatt as an option (if that works for you).

NameMore InfoComments
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
BA"Ghetto MilkyWebsiteAh, BA"Ghetto. The best place to eat in Rome (if you're only eating dairy). The pasta here is homemade and other-worldly. You must, must eat here. Ok, hope that was clear enough. Try one thing, try 'em all! You can also get a famous, tasty Roman/Jewish artichoke here, although not everyone thinks it's as good as they say. You can eat outside on the street under umbrellas, and ah! it's just a fantastic experience. There is also a BA"Ghetto Meaty down the block, but that faces the Glatt issue raised above. BA"Ghetto is right near the Great Synagogue, so it's kinda in the middle of the strip of Kosher restaurants (just for a reference point).
YotvataWebsite2 blocks away from the Ghetto, Yotvata is a very nice dairy place that's often compared to BA"Ghetto. Generally, the prices are slightly cheaper here. Most agree that although the food does taste good here, BA"Ghetto is just better.
Little TripoliWebsiteLocated in the Piazza Bologna area. This is a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant which is under the hashgacha of the local chabad and is Glatt Kosher.
GelatoN/AA little ice cream shop a few stores down from BA"Ghetto Milky that serves great tasting and cheap ice cream. The ice cream is Chalav Stam, but there are Pareve options that are amazing, as well. Depending on your schedule, you might find yourself at 2-3 o'clock without having yet eaten lunch and might be able to pull off some ice cream/milkshake as a cheap lunch meal to save some money and hold you off until dinner.
BakeryN/AOffically known as Pasticceria Boccione and Il Forno de Ghetto, you can find this Kosher bakery on a corner in the Ghetto adjacent to the Gelato store. The store is extremely tiny, with very few baked goods on display (especially stuff that you'll recognize), but you may find some donuts and croissants that are tasty.
Kosher Delight GroceryN/ADown the block from BA"Ghetto Milky, this grocery is very small, but does have a few packaged goods from Israel that could help you put together some food for the road. You can also buy fancy cheeses at low prices that you can't get close to in America.

« Last edited by ajs625 on July 08, 2016, 01:59:42 PM »

Author Topic: Rome Master Thread  (Read 114249 times)

levi

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Re: tour guides in italy
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2008, 04:12:40 PM »
Although I will not be using a tour guide while in Rome I was reccomended to go to romeforjews.com   A friend of mine used them and said he was vey happy

Online moish

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2008, 05:21:05 PM »
So after seeing different options I decided to go with Priceline I chose a 4 star in central Rome I figured if I'm only there for two days one night I want to stay in the area that most things are even thought it will cost a little more I started my bidding at $125 and worked my way up in $10 increments (24 hrs between each bid) and got accepted at $185 its seems like an ok deal I have had better experience with Priceline but I guess you have to take the good and the bad
you know levi you dont have to wait 24 hours between each bid. are you familiar with free bid zones?

levi

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2008, 05:22:58 PM »
No, please tell me

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2008, 05:43:34 PM »
No, please tell me
A free re-bid is adding a zone that has only up to a lower quality level than you are bidding, to a rejected bid. It is not adding a zone that just doesn't have the quality level you are bidding. It must be a zone that has only up to a lower quality level.

For re-bidding purposes (when your bid has been rejected), add a zone that has only up to a lower quality level than what you are bidding, because that just gives you a free re-bid for your original zone. In other words, if Zone B has only 1*, 2* and 3* hotels (or 1* and 2*), and your original bid for a 4* hotel in Zone A has been rejected, you can add Zone B as a free rebid to your Zone A offer. You will not get a hotel in Zone B because it does not offer 4* hotels. Of course when you add the zone, you'll need to increase your bid amount and not lower your original quality level. To determine which zones offer which star levels Just place a check mark in the box of the zone as though you were going to bid that zone. Scroll down and note the highest quality level offered in that zone. Then scroll back up, uncheck the zone and check the next zone and note the highest quality level offered in that zone. Do this for each zone listed. Make sure that only one zone is checked each time. And you should always re-check zone definitions and quality levels offered prior to each bid (even if you just bid the same city the day before), as Priceline makes changes to quality levels offered and zone definitions all the time. We've seen this happen many times. When performing this check, make sure the checkin date is not the current date, or you will not be able to check the zones that do not offer same day bidding

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2008, 05:45:14 PM »
it sounds complicated but its actually pretty simple.  when you understand all of it you can look at http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/615 to get even more free bids

levi

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2008, 01:10:44 PM »
A free re-bid is adding a zone that has only up to a lower quality level than you are bidding, to a rejected bid. It is not adding a zone that just doesn't have the quality level you are bidding. It must be a zone that has only up to a lower quality level.

For re-bidding purposes (when your bid has been rejected), add a zone that has only up to a lower quality level than what you are bidding, because that just gives you a free re-bid for your original zone. In other words, if Zone B has only 1*, 2* and 3* hotels (or 1* and 2*), and your original bid for a 4* hotel in Zone A has been rejected, you can add Zone B as a free rebid to your Zone A offer. You will not get a hotel in Zone B because it does not offer 4* hotels. Of course when you add the zone, you'll need to increase your bid amount and not lower your original quality level. To determine which zones offer which star levels Just place a check mark in the box of the zone as though you were going to bid that zone. Scroll down and note the highest quality level offered in that zone. Then scroll back up, uncheck the zone and check the next zone and note the highest quality level offered in that zone. Do this for each zone listed. Make sure that only one zone is checked each time. And you should always re-check zone definitions and quality levels offered prior to each bid (even if you just bid the same city the day before), as Priceline makes changes to quality levels offered and zone definitions all the time. We've seen this happen many times. When performing this check, make sure the checkin date is not the current date, or you will not be able to check the zones that do not offer same day bidding
I disagree with you because for example the hotel that I received from Priceline in Rome was not being shown on their list of hotels that they were willing to sell. So even though that on the chart there may not be a hotel offered in Zone 4 they may give you one when you name your own price

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2008, 08:43:43 PM »
I disagree with you because for example the hotel that I received from Priceline in Rome was not being shown on their list of hotels that they were willing to sell. So even though that on the chart there may not be a hotel offered in Zone 4 they may give you one when you name your own price
you didnt understand

levi

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Re: Where To Stay In Rome?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2008, 07:11:10 PM »
Now I understand. It took a while :)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:26:22 AM by Levi »

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shabbos in rome
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2008, 08:40:06 AM »
does anybody have any experience with spending shabbos in rome? where to stay (general area or specific location), eat, daven etc.?

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Re: vatican for jews?
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2008, 08:11:38 PM »
Regardless of the discussion whether or not it's a place for a nice Jewish fellow, you must walk through the Sistine Chapel in order to go through the museum. I learnt that only after I reached the chapel. The chapel is in use at least once a year, and it is the place where the new pope is voted on. That means that it still is a church regarding the issur of entering. Frankly, it's not much of an impressive museum. Stick to the other attractions. If you want, the oldest shul in Europe is located outside of the city. It's pretty much in ruins, but tis cool. Try the italian kosher pizza on the block next to the main shul in town. Enjoy.

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Re: vatican for jews?
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2008, 08:45:24 PM »
I heard that the Sistine Chapel is just a room. Even though they elect the pope from that room doesn't meant that they pray in it. Either way we skipped it, but I see no issur in going in. It's a big room with a bunch of art.
-Eli

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Re: vatican for jews?
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2008, 03:00:30 AM »
tachlis its built on jewish blood all of rome including the coloseum
meaning we should go with the right attitude knowing the this history of how much jewish people suffered in their hands

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Re: vatican for jews?
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2008, 04:13:40 AM »
I heard that the Sistine Chapel is just a room. Even though they elect the pope from that room doesn't meant that they pray in it. Either way we skipped it, but I see no issur in going in. It's a big room with a bunch of art.
there are poskim who assur it

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Re: vatican for jews?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2008, 06:16:10 PM »
Well ufaratsta said they pray in it at least once a year so you cant.
star alliance

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need to go to Rome, need cheapest place to stay
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2008, 06:35:35 AM »
any options?
thanks