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Rome (or ...) for a week in December - budget? Safety?

Travel Forums Europe Rome (or ...) for a week in December - budget? Safety?

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1. Posted by MelesMeles (Full Member, 137 posts) 3 Oct '06 10:57

I found a great deal on a return flight with Ryanair to Rome in the beginning of December. Would it be a good idea to travel to thereabouts in December? After all, it's winter. What kind of weather should I be looking forward to there?
How much would a night cost in some budget hostel there? Cheaper is always better, and as I've read, Rome is not one of the cheapest cities in Europe. How safe is Rome? I can only speak English, not Italian. Would not knowing any Italian be a problem there?

Thanks in advance for the advice
Silver

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 4 Oct '06 01:17

Rain, winds, chill. I found Rome not a very friendly place in winter; in autumn, on the other hand, it's wonderful.

Rome is indeed kind of expensive; have you tried hostelworld.com? It should be possible to find something under €20 a night, esp. if you're easily satisfied. After all, you're there to NOT be in the hostel. The station area is not very hospitable, but it offers a lot of cheap accommodation, and it's relatively close to the city center. Anything closer to it will probably cost more.

Re safety; Rome's about as safe as any big city. Avoid unncessary wandering around the station area at night; some (southern) parts of Trastevere are also better avoided unless you speak italian. Girls, esp. blonds, should count on attracting a lot of unwanted attention; act smart and confident and you'll be fine. Further afield there's a number of districts that you can better avoid, but they're no tourist destinations anyway, so it's unlikely you'll end up there. AND DO AVOID VILLA BORGHESE / VILLA DORIA PAMPHILI AT NIGHT.

have fun,
Niels

3. Posted by MelesMeles (Full Member, 137 posts) 4 Oct '06 13:07

Thank You for the info, Niels.

Maybe it'll be better to postpone the trip until spring or next autumn. :)

4. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru, 5924 posts) 12 Oct '06 06:48

december can be cold but i like it in italy as it can have quite a nice christmassy / good athmosphere feel to it,

price wise, i didn't find it too bad, it depends were you are etc....

a one week metro and bus ticket will allow you easy access to most sites without using taxies - €16

saying that though a lot of the main sites are within walking distance,

food wise - little cafes are normally better value, we paid for two people on average €36 for a three course meal with 1.5 ltre of wine, it pays to shop around, you can normally pick up a decent main course for €6-8, alcohol wise - it depends on what you drink, its cheaper to buy it in the supermarkets, (eg a bottle of havana rum =rome €10.35 v dublin €23), if you want to drink out in cafes you can get wine for around €2-6 for a glass, half bottles €3-9, a beer can be from €2.5 - 6, try to avoid the pubs unless you want to pay more , an average pint can set you back €5, coctails €8-10 -( these were the prices in the irish, scottish and english pubs), avoid buying sanwhichs at tourist sites, go to the supermarket and they are normally less then half price,

for the sites, they can range from free - €15, depends on the site, in it possible to see a lot in a week and not spend too much,

a lot of italians do speak english and are very helpful, most hotels will you a map to get around so you shouldn't get too lost, if you do get lost the easiest thing is to say

dove il (doh vay ill) then name the biggest site nearest to were you want to go, they will point you the right way,

i also find if you'e looking for price info, it sometimes pays to write a euro sign on a piece of paper and they will quickly tell you,

sayinge basics, ciao (hi), come stai (how are you) , etc can open a lot of doors, if you're into football then by starting a conversation about it can open a lot of doors !!!

safety wise - around termini (the main train station) and the areas that Niels have mentioned can be slightly rough but as with any city you should be sensible and careful, around termini is were most of the cheap accomodation is so you may end up here but i walked there at night and didn't see any violence so you should be fine,

with accomodation rome is a popular place so don't leave it too late to book, the earlier you book the cheaper it can be....

if you need any help with hostels / areas / things to see / good places to eat etc let me know..... hopefully some of this helps..

5. Posted by amanecer (Respected Member, 203 posts) 12 Oct '06 07:48

Hello Silver! I quote everything has been said before. Rome in December it's cold. Not necessary rainy, but surely cold (not as cold as Northern europe, BTW). There will be between 4 and 8 degrees (celsius).Rarely it snows in Rome.
The areas around the station, and especially the quarter around Vittorio Emanuele Square, are full of immigrants, and you can feel uncomfortable during night.
Rome is pretty safe, just be careful on the underground and buses (esp. number 64)(gipsies and pickpockets).And avoid to take a taxi, if it's not necessary. They tend to drive for the longest route- also if your destination it's just around the corner- in order to ask you more money.
English spoken by Italians is usually not perfect (I'm an example!:) )but we usually try to be helpful with someone in trouble. In any case, take a vocabulary with you.
I agree with rRaven when he suggests you to avoid tourist cafes, and to buy food at markets or in cafes not located in tourist places. Coffee costs about 0,80 cents, cappuccino from 1,00 to 1,20 eur (if you don't sit at the table and anyone serves you).
If you decide to come let me know, I'm in Rome quite often, and maybe we can meet.

6. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru, 5924 posts) 12 Oct '06 08:23

I'd forgotten about bus 64, thank you !!!

we spent most of the time on the metro or on the bus from the station to our hotel (507),

oh also the metro is not running after 9pm for work etc but you can use the MA1 and MA2 buses which stop at the metros to get around

(ps - i'm not a he but a she, yes yes i know that nicola/nikki is a boys name in italy but not in ireland....)

(pps - your english sounds / writes quite well)

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 12, 2006 8:26 AM by Rraven ]

7. Posted by sonyka (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 12 Oct '06 08:33

Hello everyone!

Very useful information... with a friend of mine we are planning to spend the new year's eve in Rome so any information about cheap accommodation would be useful for me. I live in Hungary so regarding weather i'm not particulary worried because it should be the same weather, 4-7 C in Italy...

i found a cheap flight by wizzair from Budapest and now in big search for accommodation. A collegue of mine from Italy said that i should stay away from the Termini area... i will check the hostelworld.com... any other ideas?

8. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru, 5924 posts) 13 Oct '06 03:27

Are you looking for dorms, private, , hostel or hotel accomodation...

i found that on the ryanair website they had really affordable budget accomodation,

avoiding termini can really reduce your opportunities for budget accomodation as this is were most of it is.....

9. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member, 269 posts) 13 Oct '06 08:21

If you're a student, make sure you take your student ID with you as a lot of sites have special student prices. Also can be the case with some accomodation too.

I found rome very safe, just be careful in crowded areas cause of pickpockets. As a blond you will get a lot of attention, but the Italian men are harmless really.

10. Posted by Hinton (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 15 Oct '06 17:14

Hey, thanks for the info, great help!

Im off to Rome for a week on the 16th of December with my girlfriend, yet to choose a hotel, but Hotel Eurogarden looked appealing. It's located 9km north of the center of rome, is this close enough to get into rome easily using public transport or would getting a hotel closer be advisable?

Thanks.