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21.3.14

10 Travel Tips on How to Vacation Best in Rome

Jade Rose's Top 10 Travel Tips for the Best Vacation in Rome. 
1. Have a person of contact before landing. This requires planning ahead, which leads me to tip #2.
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2. Accommodation: Stay in a local's home through a website like Airbnb. It saves on money and the individual may act as a "free" tour guide. This allows you the opportunity to live like a local and experience the hidden secrets of Rome. Our host was the friendliest and funniest!
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3. Food (1 of 2): I suggest not eating at restaurants surrounding high profile tourist landmarks. Locals will advise the same for many reasons. These restaurants are overpriced, not as tasty and generally not as fresh or independently owned. Find restaurants (given as a suggestion from your host) that will allow you to truly experience the flavors of Rome. Then keep going back and supporting them! We loved how delicious and money saving these smaller, independently owned restaurants were. Plus, they love it when you return (obviously, but it gets better). We went to a restaurant three days in a row: dinner one day, dessert the next, and just wine the day after that. The owners recognized us, had built a repertoire with us and ended up giving us free wine and dessert. Plus, it was beautifully located in a quaint neighborhood (my favorite, Trastevere).
Bakeries are another must for breakfast, snack, and overall goodness. Our local baker provided both my husband and I food for two meals (freshly made that morning—pizza or lasagna, anyone?!) plus snacks at a collective 20 euros. That is amazing! 
3. Food (2 of 2): Markets!! Take advantage of the local markets. These can be found hidden on streets outside of main Rome. Luckily, our apartment was situated just above one of these markets. Every morning the vendors set up early with their finest produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and every day household items. It feels great to support the local neighborhoods whilst enjoying fresh food. You are also at an advantage when it comes to budget, if you're on a tight budget (like us) you will find comfort in the extremely low price points of the markets. Where else will you find a delicious bag of fresh fruit for a euro?!
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4. Learn the public transportation system—buses and trains are running constantly—and grab a map of the metro and save on money! Or, rent a bicycle and discover secret alley ways of Rome (unseen from that of a tour bus). It gives your walking feet a rest and allows for some much needed exercise after all the pizza and pasta. Taxis (like most cities) are a hefty price tag.
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5. Plan your sightseeing according to the weather. If you are going in the summer, this won't be as much of an issue, but going to Rome in the winter months means you need to be prepared for the rain. A rainy day (or the day after you get sun burned in the summer) is a perfect time to visit the Vatican or an indoor museum, which leads me to tip #6.
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6. You must visit the Vatican!! The basilica is free, but the museum which leads to the Sistine Chapel costs a few euros. It's worth it to buy that ticket in advance as you get to skip the long line upon arrival. It doesn't matter your religion; the artwork from Raphael, Michelangelo, and Dali will blow your mind. You don't need to be an art enthusiast to appreciate talent that has yet to be rivaled. It is seriously inspiring. It's an emotion
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7. Cash, unless you are buying a ticket at a museum, expect to pay cash for everything, especially since you will be at family owned operations—they don't take Visa ;)
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8. On wine; oh(!) the wine. Spicy, bold, rich, and delicious. You can get incredible wine for an incredibly low price. Our favorite was the house wine that almost all of the restaurants offer; it is delicious and cheap. Ironically, they laugh when we exclaim how delicious it is. If you're feeling fancy and have the budget to do so, you can go on a wine tasting tour outside of the city!
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9. The Pope: I know I've already spoken of The Vatican in #6, but did I mention that on Wednesday mornings you can see The Pope speak in person? For free? Many will say you need a ticket, but they let us in without tickets. In fact, the guards never even asked. Get there an hour early as it can get packed! 
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10. Appia Antica: My final tip is a must see. Rent a bike and spend the day riding the Appia Antica. There are so many beautiful sights down the ancient Roman road that you would miss if you took a tour bus. It was my very favorite day of our entire trip. It's quite the bumpy ride at times, and great exercise, but SO worth it!
(From a basilica in Rome)
Now, it's time to book your flight!! Any questions? Feel free to email me! JadeRoseBlog (at) gmail.com
Photos and content are copyright, Jade Rose Blog 2013. 

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