Some people stay home for Christmas. Others travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. And then there are people like you. Those who are daring enough to break out of the traditional mode and decide to go overseas to someplace like Japan, South Africa or in your case, Rome.
While some of the thrill in going this route is that you don’t know all of what to expect, some of the potential drama could also come about for the exact same reason. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few things down on your personal “heads up” list so that Christmas in Rome can be a great memory and not a holiday ho-hum.
Book (way) ahead. If you’re reading this and it’s right before Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’re probably not going to find a really cheap ticket. That’s the bad news. The good news is that websites like Travel2Italy, Jet Setter, Trip Advisor, Rome.Tourvacationstogo.com and Expedia can all help you to find last-minute flights. You might also want to speak with a travel agent about any all-inclusive vacation packages that may be available.
Book your accommodations here. Only in the movies does it seem “fun and spontaneous” to go to an unfamiliar country (where you possibly speak a broken version of their native language)and try and book a hotel reservation. Thanks to the internet, you can book a hotel, house swap or even a stay in one of the more popular Rome vacation apartments all from the comfort of your own home. Hotels, Hotels Combined and Last Minute are all websites that can assist you with hotel accommodations (and referrals). Home Exchange is a popular home swapping website and Roman Reference and Home Away are two sites that can point you into the right direction for vacation apartments whether you want to be close to the Vatican or farther away.
Know how to get around. One thing to remember about Rome is that it’s a city that tends to stay pretty crowded year-round. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase what is known as a Roma pass that can give you three days of travel on the bus and rails with one pass (which can save you about 30 percent in traveling costs). While there are taxis, you definitely want to use caution with them because some are unlicensed and even more will try and hustle you to pay extra money. Honestly, outside of your Roma pass, you may want to spend the first couple of days in some comfortable walking shoes as you get better acquainted with using Euros and learning a bit more about the city.
Avoid the “tour food”. There are some eateries that market themselves to tourists; not just the food, but the prices as well. You can find just as good (if not better) things to eat by asking some pedestrians and sales associates where they like to dine. Plus, those restaurants and bars will be easier on your budget too.
Do some serious sightseeing. Rome has a great reputation for good food and fun shopping, but during the Christmas season, there are definitely some “must sees” to put your to-do list. They would include going to Rome’s Auditorium, shopping at the Piazza Navona (one of their more popular markets),