Visiting Rome in October -- Suggestions?

I will be visiting Rome, October 27 - 31, and would greatly appreciate suggestions on the “must-sees.” I’ve been reading tour books on Rome, including books detailing foot-tours of many of the holy sites, etc., however I would love to have any personal suggestions and reflections on sites of particular interest. This will be my first visit to Rome and I am especially interested in Roman Imperial sites as well as historic religious sites (churches, catacombs, event-sites, etc).

I already have arrangements for a personal, privately-conducted, and behind-the-scenes tour of the Vatican, etc… What, outside of the Vatican, do those of you who have been to Rome recommend?

Thanks and advance!

We’ve never been either. Hope you keep a diary and let us know what you found most interesting. Where are you staying?

You’ll get lost a lot in the streets, so be ready for that.

Do visit the Colossal.

Do you want us to recommend only religious sites because if not, then visiting the Spanish steps or Trevi fountain or Navarre (at night especially) Square or any piazza would be interesting?

I’m staying with a friend who is on staff at the Vatican.
I’ll be there for most of a week, seeing the sites, before transferring to Civitavecchia and board a ship for a Western Mediterranean Cruise and a TransAtlantic Crossing to the US.

I’ve been studying maps, Rick Steves’ “Rome 2009” book, and Alan R. Zeleznikar’s "Rome Explorations: The Early Christian Rome Walking Tour."
My host while I’m there will be busy during the day every day but Friday, so I’ll be on my own for several days. He said he has suggestions, but most of it is fairly new to him, too, given that he’s only been there 6 months and hasn’t had a chance to get out much.

I’m interested in ANY suggestions that one might have. Yes, I’m very interested in individual opinions on the religious sites. However, beyond the religious sites I DO want to hear suggestions on any and everything that would be worth seeing/doing. I KNOW that I wont’ have time to do everything … that’s why I’m trying to be selective.

We were directed to Peter in Chains that is where the famous Moses statue is. I am not where I can check my information but will be able in a few days. Paul Outside the Walls was another delight. The Pantheon was impressive. John Lateren Church has much around it including old walls of Rome. I enjoyed the bapitsry there too. A couple of blocks from there is a Church something with the name Jeruselm in it that has the crossbeams of the good thief among other relics including the cross of Jesus. Across from Latern is the Holy stairs.

St. Peter’s Basilica:
Roman Catacombs:

The cross of Jesus? The True Cross?


From what I have heard, the cross of Jesus seems to have partaken of the same miracle that resulted in that small basket of loaves and fishes feeding a multitude.

I have often found it ironic that this particular relic was the object, source and target of so many blatant con-artists, and how very completely all those cons backfired. After all, does it really matter if the bit of wood in one’s Rosary is a piece of the “True Cross” or not? It is simply a piece of wood. If anything comes of having it, it is the faith of the bearer that is responsible, not the relic itself…

and if the believer believes that this sliver is a piece of the True Cross, then…it may as well be exactly that.

The church you are referencing is The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem (aka Santa Croce in Gerusalemme), which includes the chapel from St. Helena’s imperial palace that dates to the 4th century. It’s one of the seven pilgrim churches of Rome and it’s definitely on my list for touring while I’m there. I’m most interested in seeing – though it’s hard to see, I’m told, through the dark glass – the Titulus Crucis. All other cross-fragments seem less-likely to me to be authentic, but the Titulus is different.

Hello RevNeal

So many great suggestions in this thread already, and so much information out there on where to go and what to see, I thought I’d put in something about getting around. When we were there, we went to an information desk in a bus terminal, and there, on the desk, was a lovely illustrated map of the city, with just about everything detailed on it. It was like one of those big desk pads you get, so you just tore off the top copy and off you went. They were free. We used that map and none of the ones we brought with us as it was so clear, easy to follow and detailed. Find something like that and thats half the battle won for getting around. We walked almost everywhere, and took the metro when needed. The metro was good and easy to follow but walking around does give you a great feel for the city. When we got stuck, we just went into the nearest shop for help and directions. Everywhere is reachable within walking distance so long as you don’t mind walking, and you get to see so much more. Just remember you’re in a tourist hotspot and as such Rome is no different than anywhere else in having a certain population that find picking on tourists a bit easier than working for a living. But Rome is no better or worse than most cities in that regard, so don’t worry. It’s one of the most heavily policed cities we’ve been to, so finding a policeman if needed will not be a problem. We found them very helpful in pointing us in the right direction. Just be aware that the rules of the road are slightly different in Rome when you’re walking about. Pedestrian crossings - drivers will simply drive around you on them and noone seems to think anything of it. Traffic lights - green means go, amber means go faster, red means floor it !!! It is safe to drink the water from the drinking fountains which are everywhere. Buying bottled water is expensive. We just refilled our bottles from the drinking fountains.
You will love it Im sure - Rome is one of the most wonderful cities we have been to. I will never forget the fiirst time we came up from the metro and saw the Colosseum right there in front of us. We were all speachless. It’s an incredible city.

Thank you, LondonIrish!!! You’re right in that the suggestions have been excellent, thus far, and I’m grateful for any such suggestions and advice.

For getting around town I’ll be purchasing a Roma PASS … it includes full entrance fees and line pass for the first to sites one visits, plus discounts on all other participating sites (most of them in the city) AND, for three days, unlimited transportation via bus and metro. But, you’re right, mostly I’ll be walking. :smiley:

This was the myth that if you put together all that they would amount to several crossed but it is just a myth. The amount would be far less than the entire cross. This Church was Helen’s church. It has a spot where dirt from the Holy Land was brought back. These relecs were found by Helena. They were quite a number of relics which I don’t remember but have a list which is not available to me at the moment.

I spent a few hours riding around the city in the company of two Italian bikers who acted as my guide.

It’s an awesome City.

Circus Maximus - it’s not there!!! Just a plot of open ground covered in litter. I’d have ridden straight past it only the guys stopped to point it out.

The Vatican - it left me cold. But that’s just me. Still glad I made the effort to see the place though.

Everywhere else - awesome.

is really???:confused:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit