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We are doing the April 10 Rome to Athens cruise on the Pride. Since we have never been to Rome we booked three days at the Intercontinental De La Ville prior to the cruise. We never really thought about the dates until someone mentioned that they are over Easter. The thought of fighting the extra crowds in an otherwise busy city has us panicked. Should we consider taking a penalty and booking elsewhere (like Civitavecchia) or should we gut it out. Any ideas or past experiences with Easter in Rome?
Don't panic! It will be a wonderful experience with all the church bells ringing. Try to drop by for any Mass at any of the major churches (they are everywhere). Also, check with the hotel's concierge on the times of ceremonies at St' Peter's. The only real big crowds will be at St Peter's square. You might want to take a look, it will be very crowded, but a once in a lifetime experience. And it will be very unlikely to be a rowdy crowd!
The trip you have booked is a great adventure - something a little different and still a bit exotic. The weather in April will be wonderful and you could be there in June or July (but never go in August) when it is STILL very crowded. Your hotel location could not be any better and later you will be able to say you "went to Rome for the first time over Easter Weekend and survived". Go and enjoy yourselves. To not go to Rome while you have the opportunity would be such a shame. It will make you appreciate the Seabourn when you do get aboard but the things you did on your own will be a large part of the good memories of the trip overall. NOW, if you still feel you cannot deal with the crowds, you could opt out and stay outside of Rome at a resort i.e., La Posta Vecchia which is about l0 or l5 miles from Rome Airport and then get a driver to Citavechhia on the l0th but you will be missing so much by not just walking around and seeing this magnificant city. There are so many constants obviously and yet there are changes going on and there is a freshness and vitality to the whole place that you will regret not experiencing. Look, if it is really too much for you both, go next door to the Hassler Rooftop or even at the Intercontinental where you are staying and have a drink and just watch the view from up there. Relax and enjoy! We are on board this same cruise by the way. Rene'
We were in Rome in 2002 over that week (but flew out right before Easter) and didn't find the crowds to be a problem at all.
There was a very long line to enter the museum at the Vatican, but it would have been better if we had come earlier in the day. It was worth the wait although! The only other time the crowds bothered me was on the subway at rush hour.
It was a great visit, and I'd be thrilled to spend Easter in Rome, and I'm not even Catholic! I'd love to watch the processional go by the Coluseum. I saw it on TV while we were waiting for our plane at the airport and it was beautiful.
My favorite part of Rome was walking the streets at night.
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Last edited by RockyMtnMama; March 20th, 2007 at 02:30 PM.
I just looked at a couple of websites. The outdoor mass at St Peter's Square is Easter Sunday at 10:30 am followed by the Pope's blessing from the window at noon. The procession to the Colosseum that Mama mentioned, is on Good Friday around 9 pm.
I have been to Rome many times. Although it can get crowded in places during the holidays, they are generally good natured crowds and you should not be concerned beyond normal precautions in any large city.
WARNING: The Vatican museums are closed on Easter Sunday and Monday, so you must go on Saturday (admissions from 10 to 3:30). Don't miss it.
I just realized you might not be in Rome on Saturday. However, since you board the ship in the late afternoon on Tuesday, you will have plenty of time to see the Vatican museum on Tuesday morning. Here is how: Take a taxi to the VM around 9:30 so you are there before it opens at 10. You'll be going into a round building where you buy the tickets. After you have your tickets, you'll see that there are three or four color-coded routes throughout the museum. They differ in the length of time they take - from less than an hour to 4+ hours - however, they all take you through the Sistine chapel. At the end, when you return to the circular entrance building, look for signs that say "Bus to St. Peter's" (or "autobus a San Pietro"). That is a free shuttle bus (5 minute ride) that takes you through the gorgeous Vatican gardens to St Peter's. (This is the only way for a trourist to see the gardens!)
The bus leaves you at a side door to St Peters, walk through it and come out the main doors. Cross St Peter's square and you should find taxis there to take you back to the hotel.
My most memorable Easter was spent in Rome--many moons ago. On a drizzly Easter Sunday I made my way, with thousands of others, to St. Peter's square to hear and receive Pope John XXIII's blessings. As he spoke in each language (probably twenty or so in all), speakers of that language roared approval. It is quite an unforgettable sight to see nuns in full habit cheer!
You look at life and those around you more kindly than you may have before after sharing the very moving moments you spend on Easter Sunday in St. Peter's square. It affected my life.
We never really thought about the dates until someone mentioned that they are over Easter. The thought of fighting the extra crowds in an otherwise busy city has us panicked.
New Year's in Pasadena, Carnival in Rio, St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, May Day in Moscow, Independence Day in D.C., Thanksgiving in New York, Christmas in Bethlehem. Did I forget any? Oh yes, Easter in Rome. Why on earth would you think of cancelling? You have a reservation at one of the grandest hotels in one of the finest cities on its day to shine - and you're combining it with a Seabourn cruise. Count your blessings and enjoy!
Last edited by johnnycruise; March 21st, 2007 at 12:49 AM.
Do not worry, you are not there in Aug with Europeans take their vacations. The worst place I have ever been is in the Sistine chapel in August. I could not get out of there fast enough. I had to duck walk through it with ppl touching on all four sides.