Enjoy a Luxury Trip to Rome for Less

Given available cheaptravel options to Rome, including cheap airplane tickets, cheapdeals, discounthotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, aluxury vacation in Rome can be affordable.

Knowing where to stay, dine, and shop, as well as when tovisit Rome can result in an affordable luxury trip.  The following are tips from Simone Amorico onhow to do this:

·     Timingis important.  January through March andNovember and December (except for the week prior to Christmas) are the ideal timesto visit Rome if you are looking for discounted lodging.  High-end travelers can often find 30 to 50percent off usual rates at five-star hotels. This is also when hotels offer special promotions, such as a third nightfree or a spa treatment and daily breakfast included with your stay.


Visiting Rome during Thanksgiving week is desirablesince many Americans have time off and Italians do not celebrate the holiday,and this is during Rome’s low season which means hotel prices are low.


·     If youare unable to visit Rome during off-peak season, consider staying in hotelsthat are less touristy but still located in well-situated neighborhoods such asMonti, Parioli, and Testaccio. Properties in these areas offer nightly rates aminimum of 20 percent lower than comparable ones in touristy spots.  Consider renting a luxury apartment, whichcan be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than a luxury hotel.


·     Dinesmart by staying away from overpriced, average restaurants situated in PiazzaNavona, Pantheon, and Campo dei Fiori, Rome’s main squares.  Less expensive and tastier meals can beenjoyed with diners getting a more local flavor of the city by dining at spotsin Monti, especially on Via Urbani, where there are some excellenttrattorias.  Other areas offering greatlocal restaurants include Via del Corallo, Piazza del Fico, Via Giulia, and Viadel Governo Vecchio.


For lunch consider enjoying a thin crustpizza for around $10 at a pizzeria or going to a trattoria for a bowl of pastafor around $12.  By eating inexpensivelyfor lunch, you can save your money for a nice dinner or two with wine in someof Rome’s terrific seafood and fine dining spots.  Assunta Madre serves outstanding seafood andRistorante Tullio offers classic Italian dishes such as cannelloni andRoman-style artichokes.


·     Bookprivate tours on weekdays when they cost about 20 percent less than on weekendsand during the low season they can be up to 40 percent less.  While a private guide is a pricey indulgence,it can be worthwhile if you are interested in learning more about a particulartopic, such as historic architecture or art.


If you are in Rome between May and Octoberand want to hire a guide to see the Vatican Museum, do it on a Friday nightwhen the museum is open late.  Guidescharge lower prices on Friday nights than during the day because it is a lotcooler and less crowded.


·     Shop duringsales.  Rome’s many designer stores,including big name luxury brands, usually have sales twice a year.  Winter collections are discounted in earlyJanuary and summer collections go on sales in early July.  These sales last between four to six weeks. 


Check out fashionable and well-pricedclothes, shoes, and handbags from lesser-known designers for great looks on abudget.  They are usually sold inindependently owned boutiques in Monti, Trastevere, Parioli, and Fleming.


·     Regardlessof your budget, the best way to see Rome is by walking.  Do not waste your money on a car and driveror taxis.  Rome is like an open-airmuseum, and the best way to experience it is on foot.

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