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camsic Jul 15th, 2018 08:56 AM

2 days in Rome - 1 day in Venice - help please!
My husband and I are traveling to Rome for the first time, and it's a trip we just learned about. We'll be flying out in a few weeks! Yay and Yikes!! We'll be with his company for a few days in other parts of Italy, but we'll have 3 days in Rome on our own. I've been scrambling around reading to figure out how to see the best of Rome in 2 days and Venice in one day. I've noted the things we'd like to see, but I likely have an over eager schedule that will be impossible to do considering we're newbies. Would we be better off booking 1 or 2 full day tours with a tour company to make the most of our time? If so, any recs on tour companies for day trips? For Venice, we're thinking we'll book a full day tour from Rome to Venice in a day via train. Any recs for tour companies that offer this excursion? There are so many offerings online, but I always feel better getting recs from those who have been there, done that.

Day 1:
St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Basilica
Scavi Tour?
Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel
Evening in Trastevere
Castel Sant'Angelo

Day 2:
Palatine Hill
Arch of Constantine
Roman Forum
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
Circus Maximus
Piazza Navona
Piazza Campo de' Fiori
Piazza Venezia
Via dei Fori Imperiali

Day 3:
Day trip from Rome to Venice by train - recommended tour companies?

PalenQ Jul 15th, 2018 10:07 AM

day trip 3.5 hours or so each way to Venice is not practical. Lots to do in Rome itself.

bobthenavigator Jul 15th, 2018 10:08 AM

Forget Venice---you do not have time.

raincitygirl Jul 15th, 2018 10:08 AM

Personally I would not take a day trip from Rome to Venice; if you take a high speed train that will be 3.5 hours each way, so 7 hours travel time. Venice is very busy most of the time but especially in summer so basically you will be spending 7 hours travelling to spend a few frantic crowded hours trying to "see" Venice. Venice is really best appreciated when you wake up there. I know it is tempting when you are a newbie to rush around and try to see everything but this kinda leads to disappointment.

On our first trip to Rome we spent 6 days there and were never bored, there is plenty there for your 3 days. I highly recommend Context Travel if you want a good tour group in Rome. We did 2: their Ancient Rome and their Vatican tour, both very good.

Enjoy your trip and don't forget to allow time for gelato, wine, the great food and people watching.

sassy27 Jul 15th, 2018 10:13 AM

I will try to help. It will make for a long day to go Rome to Venice and back to Rome in a day. You won't get much time in Venice (I went from Florence and on my own) but not impossible. Your choices are either a tour as you say, try it's a tour consolidator, or doing it yourself. This will help with trains and some planning.

Good luck. I am sure you will like Italy.

HappyTrvlr Jul 15th, 2018 10:15 AM

Stay in Rome the whole time.

janisj Jul 15th, 2018 10:16 AM

Stay in Rome -- no question.

iowamom Jul 15th, 2018 10:21 AM

Jumping on the bandwagon... so much to do in Rome and a few hours in Venice won't do it justice at all.

Sassafrass Jul 15th, 2018 10:29 AM

Often, people who go to Venice, in the middle of the day, in the heat and crowds of Summer, end up disliking it.

You would be wasting so much time traveling that you could be spending seeing things. There are hundreds more places to see in Rome.

I would stay in Rome and see more, but you could take a shorter day trip from Rome to Ostia Antica, Orvieto, Florence or Tivoli.

camsic Jul 15th, 2018 10:47 AM

Many thanks on the feedback regarding Venice. I have crossed it off the list of things to do! So with 3 days in Rome, one being the day we get off the cruise ship w/ his company (likely a shorter day I would imagine), anyone care to suggest a tour company that would give us the best bang for our buck? I'll definitely check out Context Travel -- thanks raincitygirl! Or can anyone suggest how we might map out 3 days to cover the things I have listed. I have started a Google map, but not having been there it's hard to know the order in which we should tackle things. We are early birds with lots of energy and will go all day! We also love photo ops, so we want to make the best choices regarding time of day for different spots. I know that's a lot to ask, but it seems many of you are pros at this! Thanks in advance for any direction you can share!

PalenQ Jul 15th, 2018 11:02 AM

don't try to see everything but maybe a more leisurely on your own visit - getting around is easy - do the Colosseum/Forum one day; Guided tour is fine but it is easy to set your own pace too at far less cost. You might consider the Hop-on-Hop-off type bus tours that circulate by most major sights all day and you can get on and off as you like with commentary in between. Fodorgarchs have an anthema to such tours it seems but something to consder where you can move at your own pace and compard to group tour or private tour guide a lot cheaper. But really not needed to do things you outlined in first post - just spread those out amongst 3 days not two.

The HOHO bus tours -one example of several different ones:

And yes if wanting to see Pompeii on the Tiber consider short metro ride out to Ostia Antica - Rome's ancient port with ruins many think almost on par with much more famous Pompeii - which is too far for a practical day trip.

sassy27 Jul 15th, 2018 11:12 AM

Let me give you my experience on my first trip to Venice from Florence. I got different advice as all the people I spoke said I just had to go. I of course listened. I also went during Carnival which I knew but didn't really know. We got there around 12pm and it was so crowded, wall to wall people. You couldn't walk fast. We got maybe 3- 4 hrs in before having to leave and only saw the piazza San Marco area and rode the vaporetto down the grand canal. We got lunch at some random place where I almost broke a tooth on the slician type pizza. The bathroom was a literal hole in the floor. I also wasn't starting to feel well which I thought was from the smoke on the train. I was extremely sick the next day. We got back to the hotel I'd say around 9 pm. Sounds pretty bad right? I said it was a bad thing to do but oh the Carnival costumes. What an experience! Yes a terrible idea and one I wouldn't do ever again from Florence but I'm glad I went. I have gone back twice since.

This is your vacation. I often hear people say their only and probably last trip to Italy. My last trip to Rome I met a young newly married couple who said this and in a week did Rome, Florence, Sorrento and Venice all from Rome. Crazy but I'm sure they had a wonderful time have lots of memories. If you do go, please come back and share your experience.

janisj Jul 15th, 2018 11:14 AM

>>anyone care to suggest a tour company that would give us the best bang for our buck?<<

No need for a tour -

whitehall Jul 15th, 2018 11:36 AM

You do NOT need a tour company. Your own itinerary already makes a lot of sense. If you feel you have done everything in two days and want something else, you can always take a train to Tivoli (and its three villas) or Ostia Antica (for a taste of ruins like Pompeii). In the unlikely event you have a full extra day, you can also consider a hill town like Orvieto or even Assisi, both easily reached by rail. I strongly recommend you use the official Vatican booking office to reserve a skip the lines tour of the Vatican museums and St. Peters. Stay away from all the private tour companies there. The link is: Individual visitors - Vatican Museums I doubt that Scavi tickets are available this close to your visit but you can email them at [email protected]. If you are there on a Wednesday, you might consider being part of the tens of thousands of people at the Pope's general audience. We had a lot of time, showed up very early and managed a front row seat a couple years ago, but the Pope moves about the square in his Pope-mobile, so you may still get a good glimpse.

Jean Jul 15th, 2018 12:12 PM

I would abandon the urge to try to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. I would prioritize a few major things and aim for those. You might be able to hit everything on the list you posted but probably not. Make entry reservations wherever possible.

Temperatures in Rome can get very high in the summer, and you may decide you need to go slow in the middle of the day or even take a break back in your hotel room. Try to see the outdoor things as soon as they open in the morning.

The only thing missing from your list that I suggest you consider is the Galleria Borghese, but if you're not particularly interested in classical sculpture, it may not appeal to you. Reservations are mandatory.

Visit the Galleria Borghese | Galleria Borghese - Sito ufficiale

suze Jul 15th, 2018 12:36 PM

Because I loved Venice so much (twice) and have never been to Rome, I might try to do it. They way you made a list of things to see and do in Rome, do for Venice, and see if they are of higher interest than some Rome sights. Yes it would be at least 7 hours on the train, but that's certainly do-able if Venice is a priority.

PalenQ Jul 15th, 2018 01:03 PM

7 hours on train and then get off at a mobbed area and walk elbow-elbow to St Mark's Square and take a boat - not a nice look at Venice - whose joys IMO are off the beaten path. And if OP had more than 2 days in Rome perhaps but yeah Venice is Venice and just to take a boat ride down the Grand Canal is supreme. If more time in Rome maybe.

annabelle2 Jul 15th, 2018 04:41 PM

Iíve never done a tour in Italy, but I did enjoy using the self guided audio tour at the Forum. We liked it so much we did the same in Pompeii.

Rick Steves Italy guidebook has (I say ďhasĒ but the edition I have is an older one) a good description of a nighttime walk through/past Romeís lit up piazzas and fountains.

Rome has such a wealth of riches from such a diversity of eras it can be overwhelming, so think about what you like to do and donít worry about ďmust sees.Ē Of course thatís my opinion. I skipped The Last Supper in Milan to go to a fabulous flea market, so there you have it. Really fun memory of mingling with dog walking and bargain hunting Milanese on a lovely spring morning.

As for Venice, only you can decide if you want to just go for it, but I love that city so much Iíd hate to just do a short day trip. The magic happens late at night or early morning when youíre a little lost. Staying there is very special. You could plan your next trip to include a stay in Venice. If you donít think youíll get back to Italy and itís a priority - then youíre the only one who can make the call.

Have a wonderful time.

mjs Jul 15th, 2018 05:42 PM

Stick to Rome. Its not only 7 hours by train but you will have to add in extra time to get to/from the Termini so total transportation time to and from will be more like 8 hours + You do not have enough time as it is to see much of Rome.

StCirq Jul 16th, 2018 03:51 AM

For me, 7 hours on a train interspersed with shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Venice and the inevitable getting lost and probably panicking about how to get back to your train would be far from my idea of a fun daytrip. As it is, you will barely have enough time to appreciate Rome.

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