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A_Guy_80 Jul 7th, 2012 09:47 AM

6 Days in Rome & Venice: Itinerary Review & Recommendations
Hi All,

We and our parents- a group of 4 (a couple in early 30s and a couple in late 60s) - are travelling to Italy and Switzerland and we have 6 days in Rome and Venice from 20th to 25th July. This is our first trip to Italy, so will like to visit usual tourist spots. Our preliminary itinerary is as follows and will really appreciate your review and any recommendations or suggestions that you may have.

Day 1: Arrive in Rome at 8AM and transfer to our apartment in Via Serpenti. Visit Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Museums. Should we book some tour or stick with audio guides for these sites?
Day 2: Visit St. Peter’s Basillica and Vatican Museums
Day 3: Visit Pantheon, Piazza Novona and Trevi Fountain
Day 4: Morning Train to Venice and check-in to Best Western Ala in San Marco. Visit Piazza San Marco, Take a Gondola ride
Day 5: Visit Doge’s Palace and Basicilla di San Marco & Bell Tower
Day 6: We have a train to Switzerland at 3PM so we have half a day. So, will probably visit Accademia Gallery.


Jean Jul 7th, 2012 10:20 AM

Depending on where you're coming from and how long your flight to Rome is, Day 1 may be too ambitious. I would switch it with Day 3's plan (and try to add the Spanish Steps and Campo di Fiori to one day or the other). Otherwise, your itinerary is OK if a bit superficial.

Pepper_von_snoot Jul 7th, 2012 10:25 AM

good luck getting into anything around piazza san marco.

go early if you want to avoid the tsunami of tourists you will encounter.

i am not exaggerating when i tell you piazza san marco will look like times square on new years eve.

my advice to you is to get out of san marco area and visit a less crowded area of venice.


jgg Jul 7th, 2012 10:48 AM

I agree with Jean to switch Day 1 and Day 3. Day 3 is less intense and you will have more time to just enjoy the city. Also, it will be hot and not a lot of shade at Colesseum and Forum so I would want to start as early in the day as possible, another reason for not doing that on your arrival day.

I think having a guide for Colesseum/Forum and Vatican is nice. You can learn so much and get your questions answered. We used Context Rome for both of those.

abbydog Jul 7th, 2012 11:01 AM

Just checking to be sure you're booking your tickets for the Doge's Palace and San Marco in advance. I bought tickets for both online and my friends were thrilled to see we were bypassing lines more than a block long to get in both sites. I highly recommend the "Secret Itineraries" tour of the palace too -- very early in the morning if possible to avoid the heat!

nytraveler Jul 7th, 2012 11:10 AM

Agree you are trying to do a lot on yuor first day in Rome. You say arive at 8 am - are you coming by train so you know the exact time of arrival? And will yuo be able to get into your apartment that early - usual arrival time is about noon or so.

Or are you flying in? And if so is 8 am the landing time - or the time you plan on getting into Rome from a flight that lands at 6 am?

In any case, I would make your first day much lighter - since you really can;t be sure when you will be able to start out.

Also agree to do the Coliseum and Forum very early in the am - since the sun really beats down on them and the heat can be truly awful.

charnees Jul 7th, 2012 02:33 PM

Yes, when I saw your first-day itinerary I started shaking my head, NO! You will be exhausted from the overnight flight and jet-lagged. (8 am in Rome = 2 am in New York, 11 pm in San Francisco, so it will be the middle of the night for you if you are coming from the US.) In fact, your three days in Rome will be shadowed by jet lag, something that your parents will find harder to overcome. I know, because I find jet-lag harder and harder to deal with as I have aged. The heat is not going to help.

A_Guy_80 Jul 7th, 2012 07:16 PM

Thanks Jean, pepper, jgg, abbydog, nytraveler and charnees for your suggestions.

1. I will switch Day 1 and Day 3 as almost all of you have suggested.
2. Jean - Will add Spanish Steps to my day 1 itinerary then together with piazza navona, pantheon and trevi fountain. Campo di fiori may suit better for day 2. Sunds good?
3. Pepper - Any suggestions for less crowded touristy sights of Venice.
4. jgg - I intend to use audio guides for Vatican museum as that helps me pace myself better and stop for photos etc. I hope there is one for Bascillica too. As for Colosseum & Forum - Would you think audio guides won't do justice to the place?
5. nytraveler & charnees - we are arriving by inter-continental continental flight from Asia. WIll happily sitch our day 1 and day 3 itinerary.

Also, am I missing any key sights which I could include in a 3 day itinerary without going overboard?

kybourbon Jul 7th, 2012 07:50 PM

>>>I hope there is one for Bascillica too.<<<

Yes. The pictures lower left are of the rental booth for St. Peter's.

jgg Jul 8th, 2012 10:53 PM

I haven't used the audioguides at Colesseum & Forum so can't speak to how good they are. I would "audioguides Colesseum Forum" on this site and see what other are saying.

Pepper_von_snoot Jul 9th, 2012 10:00 AM

less crowded areas of venice--area around ponte tre archi, jewish ghetto, madonna dell'orto.

area around ss giovanni e paolo, fondamente nouve, arsenale, castello-via garibaldi, st. pietro, biennale gardens.

peggy guggenheim collection, zattere.

frari church, campo san polo, campo giamcomo dell'orio.

lista di spagna, strada nova, rialto bridge, rialto markets will be so crowded you will scream bloody murder--especially on friday and saturday. not so bad on sunday and monday.


A_Guy_80 Jul 10th, 2012 04:02 AM

Thanks kybourbon, that was really helpful.
Thanks jgg, am researching colosseum forum tour now, will get back if i have a query.
Thnaks pepper, luckily we are in venice during weekdays (mon-wed) but am already getting a feeling that rome and venice will be choc-a-bloc.

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