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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Five Resources for Rome

For additional blog posts on Rome click here.

Here are my thoughts on some resources that might help you enjoy your trip to Rome. Just a few things we've found useful over the years, this is not an exhaustive list!

  1. On the food front I recommend downloading Elizabeth Minchelli's Eating Rome. I have  this app and Katie Parla's app but the fact is that Eating Rome is just better designed. I did like some of Katie Parla's suggestions and so I was glad to have her app but I found the Eating Rome interface easier to use and therefore more useful.  The content is great and there is a wonderful comments section from users which makes the whole thing feel like you're joining a community of foodies, highly recommended.
  2. Tour companies I can personally recommend include  Eating Italy (for their food tours) and Context Rome who offer a wide range of fascinating small group tours led by academics. I highly recommend Context for a tour of the ancient Roman sites. It really helps to get have someone help you fill in the Forum, which comes alive when you have the socio-cultural context. Here's my blog post on our Eating Italy food tour of Testaccio.
  3. Reservations to make in advance, Villa Borghese, Palazzo Farnese and the fascinating Scavi tour at the Vatican. The Scavi tour is one of the best tours we've ever taken. You go into the Vatican past the Swiss guards and are taken on a tour through the old Roman necropolis which is right under St. Peter's. What is most interesting is the juxtaposition of  pagan Roman and Christian burial sites right next to each other. You really get a sense for the cultural transition. 
  4. Download an offline map of Rome to your phone before you leave home. You will be happy to have it if you don't have data or are relying on wifi. We also downloaded the metro map.
  5. Online Resources - This is a limitless category, but I always check Fodors for trip reports and slowtrav which can be useful too. Check out all my blog posts on Rome here. If this is your first trip to Rome you may find Rick Steves' free audio walking tours helpful, download them before you leave home. I like this article on 30 Unique Things to do in Rome which has links to lots of different Rome blogs for further inspiration, enjoy!



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