Rome/Florence/Venice


#1
Recently, I jst came back fm Rome/Florence/Venice and I would like to share my experience with u so that u are better prepared and hv a more enjoyable holiday.

Colosseum/Forum - To avoid the 1hr Q at the Colosseum, u may want to visit Forum first and purchase the entrance tix there which includes Colosseum. If for any reason, u visit Colosseum first, keep the tix and use it to enter Forum on the same day.

Accommodation - Do yr homework here and book yr hotels online. I would certainly recommend UNA Hotel - 5Stars for Location, Room and Service.

Vactican City - this city is hell of crowded on weekends, highly recommended to get yr tix online too. With the vouchers, u can proceed directly to the entrance - DO NOT join the regular Q (upto 1km long during weekends and peak period).

Toilets - Public toilets are very few and u need to pay 50cts Euro to 1:80 Euro to pee…
Lookout for McDonald (beware of long Q esp for the ladies), Café(not all provide toilet facilities, asked first), Restaurant or Internet kiosks.

Transports - although many tourist recommended the 1Day Pass (4Euro) or 3 Days Pass (12Euro), I would recommend u to buy the single trip fare (1Euro); what I did was take the Metro train to the furthest attractions eg Piazza Popolo and start walking to the rest of the attractions towards city or where yr hotel is. Most of the attractions are within walking distance. I did that many times…

Meals - most pasta/pizza are around 8-10 Euro, portions can vary, so just look around before u place yr orders. Cappuccino cost around 1:50Euro at Bar and upto 6Euro for table service (same size)
Gelato (ice-cream) - there are many but not all are good….I would recommend u Giolitti just a short walk from Piazza Navono http://www.giolitti.it/english/home.html
If you happened to be at Fontana di Trevi, give Gelati-Pizza a go.

you are welcome to check out the pics here http://lookingeyes.clubsnap.org/gallery/Rome

ciao
 

tss84

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Mar 20, 2009
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#2
Thanks bro for ur very informative sharing from ur experiences.

Definitely a big help to those who haven't been there~ ;)
 

nemesis32

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Oct 16, 2003
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#4
Thanks for sharing.. very informative.

Just want to add something... for hotels, likely to be the bulk of your expenses as Italy hotels are quite exp (now better since Euro) drops so much...

Oh ya... The gelato place that you linked is yummy... :p
 

#5
Hotels are very expensive and rooms are very small in Rome esp Venice. However, I would recommend UNA Hotel for the location/room/service - 5stars fm me.
Avg rate is abt s$280-S$380 depending on the season. The rooms are big and clean, location is just 2mins walk fm Termini Station (away fm the sleazy part - which is at the further end).

http://lookingeyes.clubsnap.org/gallery/albums/Rome/Rome_UNA_Hotel.sized.jpg
 

Shahrie

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Jan 1, 2010
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#6
Hey. I enjoyed your your photo sets very much. Makes me wanna visit Italy some day. However I'm a Muslim so I think I'll have difficulties finding food there. Maybe I'll turn vegetarian or just eat fish. :)
 

#7
Hello Shahrie

There are McDonalds but not sure whether it's Hala. I noticed that there are 1 or 2 Muslim and Indian restaurants around the railway station. Anyway, there are supermarket, u can cook yr own food....;p

ciao
 

nemesis32

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Oct 16, 2003
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#8
I think these days you won't have problem getting Muslim food. It's more difficult but not impossible. If you stay near the central rome train stations, i think there's some restaurants for muslims.. probably turkish kebabs etc..
 

cowmera

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Nov 22, 2008
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#9
Shahrie said:
Hey. I enjoyed your your photo sets very much. Makes me wanna visit Italy some day. However I'm a Muslim so I think I'll have difficulties finding food there. Maybe I'll turn vegetarian or just eat fish. :)
One of the schoolmate who went Italy with us is Muslim. What she did was to pack a can or 2 ayam brand chili tuna in her bag in case she can't find halal food. All she need is to buy some bread. However we found seafood and non meat pizza, pasta easily.

Don't mean to scare you but according to some staunch Muslim friends, even the kebab in Europe is questionable as some employ non muslim to work in the shops. Therefore, they just buy from Turkish sellers and not think so much.

You'll be fine in Italy. :)
 

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KurtSin

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Feb 2, 2007
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#11
Hi Lookingeyes,

I saw that you went around Rome late at night to shoot, how safe it is to roam about?

I do hear tales about snatch thief and gyspy, but in reality how is the public peace is like?

:)
 

#12
Hi Kurtsin

The latest I stayed was abt 8pm in Rome. As a guide, it's never advisable to stay at any location when the main crowd is getter lesser.

Yes, I have many pple adv me on the thief/gyspy stuff....this is common in any country but particularly more in high tourist areas esp Rome/Paris etc. Just be careful with your camera bags, never leave it on the ground, always hv it sling on yr body. Being alert is important...but no need to be over paranoid. it's a heng suay thing la...

I move ard with my wife and watch out for each other when one is shooting.

Venice seems to be safer, i stayed till 11pm ... u can see those street shoots, there were very few ppls around. it's okay.

Anyway, both of us only carry 1 camera each, i carried a extra wide angle lens...that's all.


All the best..

lookingeyes
 

LazyEye

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Dec 31, 2008
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#13
Hi everyone, I was in Rome/Florence/Venice as well through Christmas and New Year and just wanna share a few viewpoints:

- In regards to safety, well having heard firsthand accounts I basically kept my money in a money belt the whole time so I had no trouble with safety.
- I was out in Rome even past midnight (I'm a guy, travelled with 2 female friends) and I was safe. Just keep your eyes open, avoid drawing attention to yourself and you should be fine.
- For gelato, my favourite place was Grom (www.grom.it). I visited the branches in Florence and Venice and had my daily fix. Somehow they don't seem to have a branch in Rome though.
- If you are a backpacker and would like to stay in Rome on a shoestring then I have to recommend Hotel Papa Germano, that place was so much better than the 20 euros a night I paid. It is also within 5-10 mins walk from Termini.
- I enjoyed the Roman Forum more than the Colosseum. For the latter I enjoyed taking pics outside more than being in it. Also if you buy the Roma Pass you can skip the queues when you enter the Colosseum.
- My favourite of the three cities was Florence followed by Rome and Venice. Venice was just a little crowded for me, though walking in the morning on a weekday before people were out was very enjoyable. Florence is just such a beautiful city, I actually spent 3 days there before heading to the Cinque Terre and Venice, then I went back to Florence again cause i loved it so much.
 

#14
Ya…I agreed with lazyeye.

Do not attraction attention…I stripped off the batt grip and lens hood and leave them at home...and always keep yr gears when u are making yr way back to hotel/riding the train …

ciao
lookingeyes
 

dapier

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May 16, 2010
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#15
europe is very safe, I never had any problems there at night even if I carry a 70-200mm & a big body
 

dapier

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May 16, 2010
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#16
Hotels are very expensive and rooms are very small in Rome esp Venice. However, I would recommend UNA Hotel for the location/room/service - 5stars fm me.
Avg rate is abt s$280-S$380 depending on the season. The rooms are big and clean, location is just 2mins walk fm Termini Station (away fm the sleazy part - which is at the further end).

http://lookingeyes.clubsnap.org/gallery/albums/Rome/Rome_UNA_Hotel.sized.jpg
there are very cheap ones too. look for them near the railways stations in each city, no problem finding a room even if you arrive at 11pm, unless there is a major even or festival. I did that many times to save time. There was once I could not get a room, cheap or expensive when I arrived in (I think) Hamburg as there was a Harbour birthday celebration. I had to then take a train to Kiel (near Denmark) so that I could sleep in the train along the way. I chained up the camera bag & lugguge while I was sleeping in the train
 

#18
Hello Dapier - tks for the input, i heard too much scary stories...so i ended up very protective and alert all the time...never too sorry to be careful...

Hello Dankwan - saw yr diary - very interesting shots, the images reminded me a lot of the trip, tks for sharing.

ciao
jefwong
http://lookingeyes.clubsnap.org/gallery/Rome
 

dapier

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May 16, 2010
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#19
Hello Dapier - tks for the input, i heard too much scary stories...so i ended up very protective and alert all the time...never too sorry to be careful...

Hello Dankwan - saw yr diary - very interesting shots, the images reminded me a lot of the trip, tks for sharing.

ciao
jefwong
http://lookingeyes.clubsnap.org/gallery/Rome

How did you do the 'postcard' look? very nice
 

LOTUSfairy

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Oct 10, 2006
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#20
there are very cheap ones too. look for them near the railways stations in each city, no problem finding a room even if you arrive at 11pm, unless there is a major even or festival. I did that many times to save time. There was once I could not get a room, cheap or expensive when I arrived in (I think) Hamburg as there was a Harbour birthday celebration. I had to then take a train to Kiel (near Denmark) so that I could sleep in the train along the way. I chained up the camera bag & lugguge while I was sleeping in the train
at florence, our room was overbooked, ie when i reached there, the owner said sorry, tmr (sat) nite room is gone... we found a hostel bed eventually for the nite..

place is very safe..even on that Saturday, we suddenly came across a peaceful mass demonstration :sweat: and i had loads of fun taking pictures zipping in out of the demonstration walk !! for 3 hours :sweatsm:
 

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