Hurltim

Rome and Florence Here We Come!!!

37 posts in this topic

I was in Rome two summers ago, but really can't recommend any specific restaurant. At meal time, in whatever part of Rome we were in, we found small street-side restaurants, and the food and service was always excellent. Then again, I'm not a foodie, so a good pizza or some spaghetti carbonara kept me happy.

The only decent cigar shop I found in Rome was Fincato. There are plenty of small tobacco shops that would have a very modest selection of cigars.

Don't overlook the gelato shops. I hit a different one every day, trying different flavors each time. The only thing that saved me from gaining weight was that we walked everywhere. My dogs were barking by the end of each day. :D

Good luck - Rome is a beautiful city and the people were wonderful.

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Have a great trip Tim!  Be sure to bring back the new Italia RE!

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Oh Jen is ALL OVER the gelato! That girl has a serious sweet tooth :)

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My short stay in Italy 5 years ago didn't turn up anything worth mentioning. I'd concentrate on enjoying Rome and Florence and do my cigar shopping in Australia.

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I have spent alot of time in Rome and Florence. One general recommendation is they both offer "city passes" (Roma Pass or Firenze pass) that are almost must-buy's if you haven't visited either city and plan to be active. You'll get to see all of the sights at a lower cost and can cut the lines in certain cases. 

I agree w BeParish regarding both the cigar shops (not a ton), and the dinner planning. I am someone who methodically plans out where I want to eat when visiting a city like London. In Rome and Florence I kind of wing it. Just make note of spots during your strolls around and walk in. 

One restaurant I would mention, however, is if you're in Florence and want a break from the crowds/tourists...there is a small hilltop town about a 10 min busride out of Florence called Fiesole. I usually stay there when I am in town. There's not a ton there but it's like "real" italy to me w great views of the city of Florence from above and a simple main square where there's always people gathered. And there is a steakhouse on the main square called Perseus that serves traditional Tuscan steak (super rare, bone in, charred on outside, served w nothing but salt/pepper olive oil). It is insanely good, super simple, and excellent value. So if you're outpasta'd, out-touristed by then it's a great option you won't see in many guides. The only caveat is they will REFUSE to serve the steak any other way other than rare but even my girlfriend who likes her meat well done ate it happily. Jug of wine, cold beer. Perfect. 

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 Sounds like a great trip. My daughter is going with her best friend next week as well. 

:thumbsup:

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Was there last October.  Crammed in Pisa, Florence, and Rome in 5 days.  Researched a lot before I went and it paid off.  Would be easiest to talk on the phone.  Honestly too much to post in just a few paragraphs, no secrets just don't know what you want to do.  PM me if you want to chat.

 

Just read my own post and it sounds a little "back alley" creppy.  Not my intent.

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Was just in Rome for a week last fall. Loved it. Walked everywhere or took the subway around the city.

For Sistine Chapel. Best advice is to book a tour (we used Viator - a tour aggregator that finds all the tours operating through the city) that gets you in before normal opening hours. You'll be able to see the Vatican Museum as you make your way to the Chapel. It is INSANELY crowded if you try to go in later in the day. Very uncomfortable experience that way. An early tour (we did a breakfast at the vatican) gets you in before the normal crowds start and you actually have a chance to see and learn a little about the Museum treasures you'll be walking by. The Sistine Chapel will be ridiculously crowded at any hour, but it's truly amazing and worth seeing. Don't skip going into the Basilica afterwards. And best advice, don't do it on your own. A good tour guide really adds a lot to the experience. 

For pizza - can't recommend Bonci Pizzaria highly enough. Think Anthony Bourdain showcased it and raved about it. Understandable - we loved it and and went back twice.

Another fun thing to do - we did it on our first day in rome. Do a walking food tour to learn about the local cuisine, what to look for, and more importantly, what to avoid. We found a great tour through the viator site. About 13 people, 5 or 6 restaurant stops outside the city center, lots of beer, wine, champagne and great food. If you get in a good group of people it's a lot of fun. 

If you like art, a great place to visit is the Villa Borghese. Houses some amazing artwork. Sits in a beautiful park area on north edge of city center.  The other thing to do for artwork is just walk into every church/cathedral you walk by (there's hundreds). Amazing architecture and artwork. 

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Rome is quite smoke friendly, Can enjoy a cigar anywhere. You see plenty of people walking around smoking toscanos. Trestevere i think was the name of a suburb that had a very local coffee shop out on the streets kind of vibe, away from large tourist groups. I enjoyed that area. Food wise i ate vegetarian. Pasta was awesome. Cigar shops yeah Fincato. Not a lot in there when i went though (year ago). Walk everywhere. Get lost. Find interesting things. Wander around. Its a maze if you really get into the back streets. So try and get google maps to work so you can find your way out of the small alley ways.

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Oh brother, you are in for a treat. I LOVE ITALY! And specifically Rome and Florence, wow, what fond memories I have from there.

Forget about the cigars, just bring your own. I don't know how good you are with research and planning, but try to download as many of the podcasts and free tour guides online as you can. There are many really good ones, and free, including a number by Rick Steeves. Do it before you go so you can have them on your phone and won't be relying on spotty WiFi and cell service.

In Italy use a money belt or travel pouch under your clothing where you can keep your passport and your money. It's quite safe, but pick-pocketers abound. Check with your bank beforehand for affiliated banks in Italy - and use their ATMs to avoid huge fees. Get a Visa Venture card or similar that does not charge conversion fees. Forget about using American Express, nobody accepts it over there. 

In Rome, get yourself the Roma Pass, and use the subway and public transit, they are excellent. The pass also includes discounts on multiple attractions, well worth it. Also suggest you get yourself a pre-paid SIM for your phone in any of the tobacco shops. They have a similar pass in Florence. In Rome and Florence, avoid the street vendors, just walk right by, and I suggest you go to local grocery or convenience shops to buy water bottles, beer, snacks as the tourist traps are expensive.

Vatican - Get there early just before it opens to avoid the lines. Skip the tours, and rent the audio tour at the ticket office - it is excellent. You can also download some really great podcasts from Rick Steves and others that do a great job of walking you through all seven museums in the Vatican. 

Colosseum - You can spend a day touring the Colosseum and surrounding area. There is lots to see in the area, including the Forum and multiple piazzas and fountains. Take your time and walk around, it is quite safe, and you will also find a plethora of cafes, restaurants and shops that may interest you.

Other Rome Attractions: I highly recommend the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and of course - St. Peter's square. Buy tickets to get to the top of the St. Peter's cathedral and look out over the square, but be forewarned there are about 300 steps to climb and some vary narrow channels you need to get through, but very much worth it.

Ufizzi Gallery -  in Florence is fantastic. Go get tickets early in the morning for a specific time slot you want to tour the gallery. Enjoy the huge statue of David with his oversized hands. 

The Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and a number of other museums and galleries in Florence are all fantastic. If time permits, go to the Ponte Vecchio, it is lined with goldsmiths and vendors, but worth seeing. 

Enjoy your trip!

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I agree with all the above posters.  I would add do this half day wine tour of Tuscany.  A-MAZ-ING!!  It runs out of Florence   You also get to walk by the gold market area on the way to the school   

Be prepared to ship a case or two of wine back to the States.  

http://www.tuscanwineschool.com/tours

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@Hurltim - better be some pics homie!

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Bring me back some La Escepcion!

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You guys are friggin AWESOME!!! We have one full day to ourselves in each city along with a day trip to Tuscany (for a chianti winery tour) and a day trip to Pompeii. The rest is tours.
I was going to bring my cigar case for singles I bought there but sounds like I should bring it full of cigars. Clearly Italy isn't az cigar shopping mecca but I was hoping that I could get some hard to find ones shipped there from Geneva. No such luck.

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Bring your cigars, their expensive in Italy, but all stores charge the same price. I did buy some La Escepcion in Florence....15 euros.

Tabaccheria Soto Portici, Plazza della Repubblica.  055281768 right by the Duomo....easy to find.

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You guys are friggin AWESOME!!! We have one full day to ourselves in each city along with a day trip to Tuscany (for a chianti winery tour) and a day trip to Pompeii. The rest is tours.
I was going to bring my cigar case for singles I bought there but sounds like I should bring it full of cigars. Clearly Italy isn't az cigar shopping mecca but I was hoping that I could get some hard to find ones shipped there from Geneva. No such luck.

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If I'm thinking of the same vendor, they don't ship outside of Switzerland, so need to find a Swiss friend they can ship to and who can ship to you.

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Wifey & I will be there the 7th-20th. Rome, Florence, & Venice.

Cant wait!  Enjoy your trip. 

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I don't know if you are Catholic at all, or if you are friends with any priests, but if you are, see if they can hook you up on the tours for the Sistine Chapel or anything else Vatican related. I suppose it helps that I know people in the Curia and my brother was in seminary in Rome, but having a hook up for getting into places is huge. 

Otherwise, I loved Fincato. They were always very helpful to me and kind.

As others have said; just explore. Get lost, good food abounds. The entire city is worth seeing. Just enjoy yourself and don't try to pack to much in.

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If you're doing the Vatican tour, try and do it early morning any later and it will be packed. 

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I'm know expert on Rome but there is a decent cigar shop called "Fincato" which is about a block from the Tervi fountain.

Might be worth a "look see" if you are in that area of Rome.  They may have in stock the newest QD RE's.

Happy trails!

 

 

 

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Have fun bro. We love Italy. My favorite on your itinerary is Tuscany, it's incredible. Seems like any place you walk into and order the house wine is awesome. We're going in June but via a cruise.

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Italy is everything it's cracked up to be. You can't see everything but a day in Sienna is worth the effort.

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20 hours ago, Philc2001 said:

Oh brother, you are in for a treat. I LOVE ITALY! And specifically Rome and Florence, wow, what fond memories I have from there.

Forget about the cigars, just bring your own. I don't know how good you are with research and planning, but try to download as many of the podcasts and free tour guides online as you can. There are many really good ones, and free, including a number by Rick Steeves. Do it before you go so you can have them on your phone and won't be relying on spotty WiFi and cell service.

In Italy use a money belt or travel pouch under your clothing where you can keep your passport and your money. It's quite safe, but pick-pocketers abound. Check with your bank beforehand for affiliated banks in Italy - and use their ATMs to avoid huge fees. Get a Visa Venture card or similar that does not charge conversion fees. Forget about using American Express, nobody accepts it over there. 

In Rome, get yourself the Roma Pass, and use the subway and public transit, they are excellent. The pass also includes discounts on multiple attractions, well worth it. Also suggest you get yourself a pre-paid SIM for your phone in any of the tobacco shops. They have a similar pass in Florence. In Rome and Florence, avoid the street vendors, just walk right by, and I suggest you go to local grocery or convenience shops to buy water bottles, beer, snacks as the tourist traps are expensive.

Vatican - Get there early just before it opens to avoid the lines. Skip the tours, and rent the audio tour at the ticket office - it is excellent. You can also download some really great podcasts from Rick Steves and others that do a great job of walking you through all seven museums in the Vatican. 

Colosseum - You can spend a day touring the Colosseum and surrounding area. There is lots to see in the area, including the Forum and multiple piazzas and fountains. Take your time and walk around, it is quite safe, and you will also find a plethora of cafes, restaurants and shops that may interest you.

Other Rome Attractions: I highly recommend the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and of course - St. Peter's square. Buy tickets to get to the top of the St. Peter's cathedral and look out over the square, but be forewarned there are about 300 steps to climb and some vary narrow channels you need to get through, but very much worth it.

Ufizzi Gallery -  in Florence is fantastic. Go get tickets early in the morning for a specific time slot you want to tour the gallery. Enjoy the huge statue of David with his oversized hands. 

The Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and a number of other museums and galleries in Florence are all fantastic. If time permits, go to the Ponte Vecchio, it is lined with goldsmiths and vendors, but worth seeing. 

Enjoy your trip!

All great stuff here, although I'd opt for the Accademia Gallery over the Ufizzi.  The surrounding squares and allies of the Ufizzi are entertainment enough, the interior is mainly religious and renaissance art, and the real David is at the Accademia.  Also, make time for the Duomo, I found the Florence Duomo the most impressive in Italy.  OH, and stop in La Prosciutteria Firenze, meat and cheese as it's supposed to be.

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