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Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

Ilfracombe, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
10 reviews
Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

I'm taking my wife to Rome as a surprise for her birthday. She's been very busy at work so i've told her i've arranged a chilled out weekend in the English countryside.

Therefore, I don't want to be dragging her around all the sites of Rome like a bat out of hell.

We are in Rome from Friday evening to Monday evening.

Can anyone suggest an itinerary that will allow us to get a good feel for Rome as well as relax a bit.

I've no doubt we'll return as so many others do so we can always see more next time.



Level Contributor
49 posts
1. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?


What are you looking to do if you don't want to see the sites?

I would recommend a day at the Vatican, if you do nothing else. The Scavi tour of it is WELL worth it for only 10 euro. You can roam around the Vatican Museums and St. Pieter's at your leisure.

We do not have an agenda or hurry aorund when we're they're. We like to just walk around and see what we come upon. Often you will stumble onto sites that you can visit without the hoopla, such as the Pantheon. We typically walk around in that area, stop in there - which is free - and then have dinner in the piazza outside of it. And though I normally recommend avoiding tourist areas for meals in Italy, I've had two outstanding meals at the restaurants just outside of it.

My suggestion, is just don't have an agenda, and see where the streets take you!

Carmel, Indiana
Level Contributor
179 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

Perfect weekend

I don't know your budget, but this is pretty cheap and will let you chill a bit.

Fly in

Take private car to hotel. I suggest booking with www.romeshuttlelimousine.com A private Mercedes for 2 is only 35 Euro.

Stay at Hotel Abruzzi at the Pantheon. Book direct or through venere.com Same price, around 195 euros

Itinerary depends on weather and your interests. You are within 1 mile walk of the major sights. If the weather is good I suggest walking to St. Peters on Saturday and see the church and the museum. On Sunday go see the Roman Forum and Colosseum. If it rains I suggest museums like the Borghese, Capitoline, and National. Don't bother with Spanish Steps, church at the top is under construction with scaffolding.

Dining. Lots of good restaurants around the Pantheon area. Try the Marcus Agrippa cafe, located just below the Abruzzi on the Pantheon square.


I'm no expert, but we were just there and had a good time. Get a good tour book and hotel and just walk around. Everyone speaks English, you will have no problems seeing what you want, when you want it.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,759 posts
71 reviews
3. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

Hi Sean,

A change is as good as a rest as they say....

You can still see some sights, but allow enough time to relax and just sit on a piazza and sip wine too.

Much depends on your wife's interests as this is her birthday surprise. If she would like to wander about the Piazza Navona and Pantheon, and then walk over to St. Peter's for a quiet afternoon, then that would be perfect.

But, she may really want to see the Colosseum and walk through the Forum, climbing Palatine Hill in the late afternoon for a wonderful view of Ancient Rome. Or spend all her time at the Vatican.

Follow her lead. Take taxis so there is no dragging about, because as you said, you can always see more next time.

I would look into a reservation for dinner, at least for Saturday to celebrate her birthday. We really liked Ristorante Camponeschi though you have many choices in that regard.

Have a wonderful time. I'm sure she'll love the weekend...and your thoughtfulness.

Level Contributor
197 posts
4. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

We just got back from Rome and I wish we had skipped some of the sights and just chilled out more. I would definitely stay near the Pantheon. Our favorite hotel is the Albergo del Senato which overlooks the Pantheon. If you do not have a budget ask about the senior suite. It is fantastic, but quite expensive. I could lose myself in the area shopping and looking around for way more than a weekend. There are plenty of good restaurents in the area. If you want to take in a "sight" do so, if not don't. Either way you will want to return to Rome. I am missing it already.

Level Contributor
20 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

We go to Rome to relax, it's pefectly possible! You can unwind watching the world go by, sitting outside a bar or cafe, say, in Campo dei Fiori, or Ombre Rosse (bar) in Trastevere. From Trastevere, you could visit the charming Villa Farnesina (Raphael loggia), not taxing at all, or climb to the top of the Janiculum hill to look at the fantastic view, taking in the little church of San Pietro Montorio on the way. There's also a bus up/down the hill from Piazza delle Rovere if you don't want to walk.

The other brill view is from the Pincio, above the Piazza del Popolo, a great area for strolling - lots of Romans will be out and about there at the weekend if it's nice weather. Have an ice-cream, then wander gently downhill to the Spanish Steps, descend into the hubbub again and do a bit of window shopping - or actual shopping - in Rome's Bond Street.

Ambling round the Forum is also very pleasant if you're not stressing about absorbing as much history as possible - just appreciate the beauty of the ruins at twilight, for example. Another off the beaten track attraction could be the Protestant cemetery and Piramide - if you like that sort of thing - certainly peaceful! You can definitely do Rome and relax - it just requires a firm grip on the desire to rush round and see everything. As you say, you can always go back!

Ormond Beach...
Level Contributor
42 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

Silly man...of course it's possible to chill!! My husband and I have been there three times and we always find something new to love about Rome. Definitely stroll Piazza Navona (there is often street entertainment which is quite good) and see the flower market at Campo di Fiori. It is nearly impossible to get a bad meal in Rome, but maybe for her birthday you could go to L'Orso 80 -- we ate there three weeks ago and it was wonderful and not extremely expensive. If you go there definitely try the house appetizer, you'll flip. Depending on the weather and what your wife likes to do, the little shops in the Orso area are really neat. Drop into a pastry shop and get dessert to go; grab some round filled licorice from a candy store; wander into a small local church to check out the stained glass; I promise you'll not be bored if you don't see a single ruin (although they are a wonderful site). The Sistine Chapel was my favorite at the vatican, but the basilica is beautiful as well. Check out the Bernini Suite at Navona Suites -- it's pretty romantic and an excellent location. HAVE FUN!!

Level Contributor
2,852 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

It's your vacation and you can go whatever pace works best for you. If you want relaxation you may consider skipping the Vatican, it's crowded and takes up most of a day. Of course if this is something of interest to both of you, then by all means go!

I love to just wander the streets and see what little shops and restaurants can be discovered. Sit in one of the piazzas and enjoy a glass of wine while you peoplewatch and take in the city.

I think you will be much better realizing you will not see everything and going at a slower pace. It's really not a holiday if you need another holiday to recover from it!

Level Contributor
526 posts
8. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

Sean,you can definitely chill in Rome...I've been doing it for the last 12 years.Well,I do work,too,but I also love just wandering around town when I'm not.Even after living here for for that time,I still see new things.

My advice...when you get off the plane,pick up "Wanted in Rome" and/or "Roma C'??" at the newstand,and flip through it.You'll find a zillion things to do...pick one or two.

Rome is a very easy city to walk around,and the locals love to help out...they are very proud of their city.Hit a winebar,walk the backstreets around Piazza Navona,get up early to go to Campo dei Fiori and see(and smell)the sights...

My point is that there are many things to do,but,if you want,you can just relax and do nothing...in a living museum.

Have a great time,and buon compleanno a tua moglia!Auguri!

Ahhh,just one thing.Keep your wallet in your front pocket.As a native New Yorker,I've seen crime.Here,it's mainly pickpocketing...enough said.Happy trails,Michael

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
365 posts
37 reviews
9. Re: Is it possible to chill out and see Rome?

you can chill in Rome especially at weekends when alot of Romans go out of town.

avoid travelling anywhere by taxi from 8 till about 10 and again from half 5 to half 6 and you will be spared a horrendous experience!

a nice place to chill of an evening is the really relaxing roof top american bar on top of the hotel forum... it is open to non residents and the view of Rome is breathtaking!