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Relaxing Rome Itinerary ;)

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Buon giorno!

traveling with my husband to Rome (3 nights, Florence 4 nights, and Venice 3 nights) in March!

(I visited Rome years ago as a student, and my husband and I spent one day together in Rome on our way to the Amalfi Coast about 6 years ago.)

don't want to exhaust ourselves/battle huge crowds trying to see "everything"...prefer to take in life and atmosphere and see/visit several highlights...

any itinerary feedback/oversights would be greatly appreciated!

Day 1: arrive from airport to hotel near Spanish Steps around 9am
drop luggage
Borghese Gallery & Gardens
walk around hotel area, perhaps venture onto Via Condotti/shopping areas or visit Villa Medici
return to hotel

Day 2:
10am-1pm 3-hour private guide - want to maximize time:
visit Colliseum, Roman Forum (probably no time remaining for more)
(Do you think this is best use of guide's time or perhaps group tour better for this?)
(We had considered a 2pm-5pm Ancient Rome Walking on Day 1, but were worried we might be exhausted by this time after our overnight flight from the U.S.)
Lunch in Monti or Piazza Navona
Explore on own
Return to hotel

Day 3:
8am small group tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's - through Dark Rome Tours (assuming the Conclave is not taking place!) ;)
explore on own
Return to hotel

We have visited the Pantheon previously and have also visited the Trevi Fountain, which we can return to (fountain.)

We would like to venture out to Tivoli to see the Villa d'Este gardens, but don't know if that's too much and don't want to go with a large group tour.

again, any itinerary feedback/oversights would be greatly appreciated!

(I will post similarly for Florence and Venice.)

Thank you so much! :)

  • Report Abuse

    Hi, Caracv,

    here's what I just posted on another thread:

    <<just got back from a week in Rome and queues were VERY variable. We were originally going to go to the vatican museums and St. Peter's on the wednesday, but our plans were changed [thank goodness as it turned out] and we went on the monday instead. No queues for either all day but we were staying nearby and every time we went past during the rest of the week they were enormous. [NB - if you are in the Vatican museums and wish to visit St. Peter's as well, you can do so by using the little door at the back of the sistine chapel on the RIGHT, which goes down some steps and directly into St. Peter's without having to walk all the way round the wall of the vatican or to queue t get through security again. this isn't available if you are using an audio-guide, which has to be returned to the desk where you got it at the entrance].

    At the Colosseum on the Tuesday the queues were as long as ever [fortunately we had pre-booked tickets as we were a group] but there was no-one at the entrance to the Forum/palatinate, which has now moved round the corner into the road opposite the Colosseum [to the left of the end of the via Sacra] though it was by then about 4pm - I don't know what the queues to buy tickets there were like earlier.

    The Pantheon and Trevi fountain were very busy, [no tickets needed of course] but the Galleria Doria-Pamphilj [entrance on via del corso] was as ever virtually deserted. Why this wonderful collection of paintings including Breugel and Caravaggio isn't better known and more popular i have no idea; it certainly deserves to be both. And there was virtually no-one in the Museo di Roma on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which I personally did not find as interesting.

    hope this helps people deciding how/whether to pre-book tickets.>>

    dealing with your specific queries and suggested itinerary, IMO you are actually not planning on doing enough! how about this:

    Day 1 - arrive 9am. drop off luggage and go for orientation walk - Spanish steps, Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo Dei fiori. Take your time and drink it in. if you want to see some pictures go to the Galleria doria Pamphilj [see above]

    Do not book anything for this day as you might not make it - the Galleria Borghese for example MUST be booked in advance, so it is not a good choice for the first day.

    Day 2 - colosseum and forum in the morning [this is when i would have a tour guide if I were going to have one at all]. in the pm, depending on energy levels, go to the Capitoline Museums, or just explore the Campidoglio, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, the Vittorio Emmanuele monument, etc. lunch where you can find it! [there's a cafe in the monument for example]

    Day 3 - the Vatican and St. Peters. Consider also the Scavi tour of the excavations under the Basilica. if you have time/energy from there get the overhead train from near-by San Pietro station to Ostiense, and then to Ostia Antica for a very pleasant and relaxing afternoon looking at the what remains of the port built by the emperor Claudius.[a surprising amount!] Back via ostiense and the bus/metro. otherwise consider doing things you've missed like the museo di Roma, San clemente, Santa maria in trastevere and Trastevere itself, etc etc.

    IMO you don't have time to go to Tivoli and Villa D'Este in just 3 days - really less than that considering that the first one may be affected by jetlag.

    have a wonderful trip!

  • Report Abuse

    <<<Day 2:
    10am-1pm 3-hour private guide - want to maximize time: visit Colliseum, Roman Forum (probably no time remaining for more)>>>

    I would increase the tour by 1hr and include the Palatine Hill,

    <<<(Do you think this is best use of guide's time or perhaps group tour better for this?)>>>

    If you can afford a private tour the Roman Forum (and Palatine Hill) is where you *really* need a good guide too get the most out of those World reknown sites.

    <<<(We had considered a 2pm-5pm Ancient Rome Walking on Day 1, but were worried we might be exhausted by this time after our overnight flight from the U.S.)>>>

    If you don't get a good or any night's sleep on the plane how many hours will you have been awake?

    If you are like me and can't sleep in 'cattle class' on the plane I would be a walking zombie and miss-out on those sites.

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