|(I call the white tower: the leaning tower of Venice :P)|
€76/person for one way. With that kind of price, you can actually take a plane ride from Rome to Venice, but the downside to that is the airport was pretty far from the city center, and you will have to be back at the airport early for check in. On the other hand, the train station was right in the city near the canal. So after I made the decision to go by Eurostar, I did my homework and found out about several discounted fares. After checking on a few, I realized my best option was something called Mini Fare, these can be discounted up to 70% off. For the Rome to Venice line, the best they had was at €29/person one way. Since I purchased my ticket on Trenitalia several month in advance, I was able to get €32/ticket for going to Venice, and return ticket at €29. All I can say is it pays to buy early and definitely check your options.
Also, don't buy your tickets through other websites, it was pretty easy to navigate the Trenitalia site. The ticket was issue in the form of a email with a confirmation code. All you need to do is copy down that code and show it to ticket attendant when they come around to check.
Vatican Museum: line up in the mornings, but almost none in the afternoon. You can purchase ticket on line ahead of time with an added fee, but it's not really necessary unless you go on a Monday or in the early mornings.
Borghese Gallery: you must purchase ticket for a specific day and time. Therefore if you don't have lots of time to spend in Rome, buy you tickets on line first, and plan your days around it.
Scavi tour (tour of St. Peter's tomb under the Basilica): must book directly with the Excavation office way ahead of time. It's €12/person and totally worth the money. Remember don't bring bulky bags, because you won't be allowed to take it with you. If you book this tour, then visit the basilica afterwards, because this way you can skip the line up (very long), as the tour ends inside the basilica.
The one piece of advise I can leave is beware of your bag/wallet at all time. Although R and I did not encounter any thieves, but people on our cruise did. Their wallet was mostly stolen on the subway.
€3-4 only. If you want just water, then they will give you either carbonated or non carbonated mineral water, which often cost the same amount as wine.
€1-2, and at super market we've gotten water for only €0.33/500ml. If you really want free water, just get a bottle and fill it up at many of the fountains(above) through out Rome. At first I was skeptical, but apparently it's complete safe (says the local who were actually drinking it). I am happy to report, we did drink one bottle filled with this fountain water, and I am still alive. XD
this to familiar yourself with their terminology.
I am not sure if this is common for all of Europe, but reading a map and actually finding the road is more difficult than reasoning with toddlers. Unlike the road sign we see here, their road signs are carved into stone plaque that is plaster to the walls of a building like this. However finding these plaques are like finding needles in a haystack. Therefore, I suggest you just ask people if you get lost, no point reading the map, because it's a nightmare. Also another thing worth mentioning is that don't use our map sense to read their tourist map, things are lot closer than you think. For reference, we did our own Rome walking tour for the day, and pretty much made it to all the important sites. We were dead tired at the end, and that was the only reason we skipped the Colosseum on that day even though we still had time.
Here are a few more things:
2. Eurostar was clean, fast, and very comfortable, but expensive. Local train are slow, not as clean, but cheap. Beware of anyone offering to help with your bags, they do expect a tip and will openly argue with you until they get what they want. (You just have to be firm on what you are willing to pay, and they will eventually leave you alone)
3. Never keep anything of importance in your back pockets or backpacks.
4. This is purely for the cruisers, when you purchase train ticket from Rome to Civitavecchia, there is no assign seating nor a time on it. Basically it's a ticket that states its from Rome to Civitavecchia. Before you board the train, please make sure you validated at one of the yellow validation box. The train station in Civitavecchia is actually pretty far from the cruise port, we walked for at least 15 minutes. If the weather is nice, it's actually quite a enjoyable walk along the gorgeous shoreline.
I think that is all I can think of at the moment. If you have any question, feel free to email me at Jenny@my-secret-eden.com. I will try my best to answer what I can. Have a good trip to anyone who is heading that way. :)