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goingtobeijing Jun 18th, 2008 01:50 PM

An extra day - stay in Rome or day trip?
I'm working on a trip to Italy.

The way thinks are just now I have an extra day to spend there.

Should I stay in Rome (I was originally staying there for 3 whole days/4 nights) or should I try and make a day trip somewhere? If so where? (Is Florence worth visiting for a day? I find the tours to be very expensive.)

Here's what I was going to do in Rome;-

Day 1

Visit the Vatican Museams and St Peters,

Day 2

Visit the Forum/Palaine Hill and the Colloseum, spend remainder of day strolling around. Visit Trevi at night.

Day 3

Visit Borghese Galleria, Spanish steps, etc. Do last minute souvenir shopping.

Day 4 leave.

What should I do with my extra day?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ellenem Jun 18th, 2008 01:56 PM

You could stay in Rome. It's possible to do a daytrip on your own. It's also possible to stop there for a few hours on your way there from Venice.

ellenem Jun 18th, 2008 01:57 PM

Actually, I just looked again and didn't notice your "extra day." Where is it?

Jean Jun 18th, 2008 02:20 PM

Obviously, there's so many more interesting things in Rome than the few on your 3-day itinerary. I recommend you stay in Rome.

BTW, it's possible to go from Rome to Florence by train for a day. You don't need a tour, and if you can find it here Ira has posted a good walking route from the train station to the top sights. But do I suggest you do this after only 3 days in Rome? No.

SusanP Jun 18th, 2008 02:58 PM

There are about a million more great things to do in Rome. I would just stay there for the extra day.

goingtobeijing Jun 18th, 2008 03:27 PM

Thanks for all the feedback.

ellenem, sorry I wasn't too clear.
I will be travelling to Venice first and then to Rome. I will arrive in Rome a day earlier than I had orginally planned. So, I'm now trying to deceide how to spend the extra day.

I did think of visiting Florence enroute to Rome, but I've deceided against it, mainly because of the luggage that I'll be traveling with.

The Day 1 to Day 4 that I described in my orginal post is what I had originally planned. I think the reason I posted this, is because this is all I had planned on visiting in Rome.

I'm not complaining, I do have an extra day and I'm wondering what I should do.

So, I'm open to suggestionsof how to spend Day 4 in Rome, or as a day trip form Rome.


Dayle Jun 18th, 2008 05:12 PM


There is no such thing as an "extra" day in Roma!

Possibilites, depending on your interests:

Capitoline Museums

all the churches with incredible art - Santa Maria Sopra Minerva has a Michelangelo you can walk right up to and no crowds; San Pietro in Vincoli, another Michelangelo "Moses". Endless others!

What about the beautiful and famous piazzi (SP?) - Piazza Navona, Piazza della Republica, etc., etc.

Trastevere?? Castello Sant'Angelo? The Villa Dora Pamphilli (SP?) the Pantheon??

Stay in Rome!

Leely2 Jun 18th, 2008 06:22 PM

Stay in Rome.

Rome Lover

danon Jun 18th, 2008 08:10 PM

got back from 10 days in Rome Not the first visit - and still too short.
Don't worry , is a great place full of wonderful sights.

MomDDTravel Jun 18th, 2008 09:01 PM

There is a luggage check in Florence you could use if you wanted to stop there for a few hours. It is in the train station.

Adrian45 Jun 18th, 2008 11:23 PM

Stay in Rome. We spent there 7 days and did not visit all things that are iunteresting for us.

Rome is a museum in open air, so many fountains, statues, beautiful buildings! Even you don't enter any museum this day, you will have what to see.

TrendGirl2 Jun 19th, 2008 04:40 AM


There are many places to see in ROME, Especially on a first visit there. 3 DAYS IS NOT ENOUGH.

It is an amazing vibrant city........and don't get me started about THE GREAT FOOD.

Just "eating" in ROME is wonderful, and deserves "time" and attention.

You will enjoy all Rome has to offer if you aren't "rushing from 1 sight to the next" without stopping and enjoying dining.
Don't forget to wear your DESIGNER SUNGLASSES "when in Rome" at all times!
Italy & Rome is amazing.

SAVE FLORENCE, & other Italian destinations for another trip to ITALY.

bevierose Jun 19th, 2008 05:46 AM

I am very partial to Florence as it is magical and easy walking. Venture out and take the train to Florence early in the morning. Rome needs a lot of time, but can be tedious getting around and the lines...! If you just walk around Florence and view the Baptistry Doors, the Duomo, the Pitti Palace, the shops on the Ponte Vecchio that overlooks the Arno River, the Bell Tower and more. All can be done by walking with no taxis or extra expense. Eat outside for sure. A piece of pizza, a caprese with a glass of red wine for lunch...well, nobody does it better than in Florence! All of Italy is wonderful, but to go home without seeing Florence would be a travesty.

tcreath Jun 19th, 2008 05:55 AM

I just have to add to the suggestions to stay in Rome. It truly is an amazing city and there is so much to see. After three trips I still have a rather lengthy list of things I want to see.

I highly recommend adding the Baths of Caracalla to your itinerary. Wonderful, and they are in a nice green park a little outside the center so it may be a little quieter. The Pyramid of Cestius is also interesting and in a neat part of town. And I too suggest visiting some of the beautiful churches. Santa Maria in Trastevere and San Pietro in Vicoli are two of my favorites but they are all amazing.


sherhatfield Jun 19th, 2008 06:35 AM

Another vote for staying in Rome. Use that extra day at the end of your trip to just walk around the city, sit at a cafe and soak it all in. You never know, there may be places that you wanted to visit that you didn't have time for, so use that extra day for that.

IMO, you can't have too much time in Rome, especially on your first trip! My first trip there was for only three days and I barely scratched the surface. There is so much more to Rome than you can imagine!

111op Jun 19th, 2008 07:12 AM

If considering a day trip, maybe consider Tivoli or Ostia Antica (I've been to neither). Florence is not a bad idea either, of course.

I think that Piazza Navona, Pantheon, etc. can be squeezed in very easily especially if you're there during summertime. You don't need an extra day to see those sights.

bardo1 Jun 19th, 2008 07:41 AM

You might want to squeeze these in on day 4 (not in alphabetical order, of course):

Altar of Peace
Augustus's Mausoleum
Basilica di San Clemente
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Baths of Caracalla
Campo de' Fiori
Capitoline Museum
Castel Sant'Angelo
Catacombs of St. Callixtus
Catacombs of St. Domitilla
Catacombs of St. Sebastian
Circus Maximus
Diocletian Bath
Galleria Colonna
Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Galleria Nazional d'Arte Antica in Barberini Palace
Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Corsini
Golden House of Nero
Hadrian's Villa
Janiculum Hill
Jewish Museum
Keats-Shelley House
Montemartini Museum
Monumental Cemetery of the Capuchin Brothers
Museum of Roman Civilization
National Etruscan Museum
National Gallery of Ancient Art
National Gallery of Modern Art
National Museum of Palazzo Venezia
Ostia Antica's Ruins
Palazzo Altemps
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Palazzo del Quirinale
Palazzo Spada
Park of the Monsters
Piazza Barberini
Piazza Navona
Protestant Cemetery
Pyramid of Caius Cestius
Palatine Museum
San Clemente
San Luigi dei Francesi
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Santa Maria d'Aracoeli
Santa Maria della Pace
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Santa Maria in Trastevere
Santa Sabina
St. Paul Outside the Walls
St. Peter in Chains
Subterranean Rome (tour groups only)
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
Vatican Gardens
Villa dei Medici Gardens
Villa Farnesina
Villa Gregoriana
Villa Lante
Villa d'Este

Also, make time to relax and explore the shops, cafes, piazzas, parks, in each of the neighborhoods these sights are located in.

111op Jun 19th, 2008 07:56 AM

While I like to be thorough as well, I can't understand why someone who wants a more rushed itinerary tends to be discouraged here (with a long laundry list of what else there's to do).

I've lived in NYC for many years. There're tons of things I've not seen in NYC. Why can't a casual visitor to Rome for 4 days find something else to see outside of Rome even if there're still a million things that I bet many Romans haven't seen?

For what it's worth, I don't think that the Borghese Gallery, Doria Pamphilj, Barberini Gallery, etc. are essential for someone who may not be interested in art. None of this really ranks with the greatest art museums in the world. Call me blasphemous, but that's the case. But you can't skip the Vatican Museums.

There are such things called "prioritization" and "preference."

PeaceOut Jun 19th, 2008 07:59 AM

I'd stop in Florence on the way, store your luggage, and spend the day walking around. It's a shame to be so close to Florence, and not see it. This would be easier than making a day-trip from Rome, I think.

tdk320n Jun 19th, 2008 08:06 AM

Absolutely stay in Rome. Just walking around ,visiting the piazzas,people watching, sitting in a cafe with a coffee, stopping in to any church that you came across all this is a part of the joy of Rome. I spent 10 days there last fall and I am returning this fall for another 7 days. Have a great trip.

bardo1 Jun 19th, 2008 08:11 AM

<i>But you can't skip the Vatican Museums.</i>


Just curious - how many visits do you feel is aqdequate to even take in all that the Vatican Museum has to offer?

Assuming they can only visit the Vatican Museum once - hour long should they plan? How many breaks?

Byrd Jun 19th, 2008 08:23 AM

If you want to take a day trip, I suggest Orvieto.

It's just an hour's train ride from Rome, and we found it so charming on a day trip several years ago that we went back for two days in April this year.

The cathedral is beautiful, and there are interesting Etruscan antiquities, nice shops, as well as lots of outdoor spots for people-watching and wine-sipping.

Just a suggestion...

Have a wonderful trip.


111op Jun 19th, 2008 08:26 AM

I was just in Rome last week with my parents. We started touring around 3:15. We finished around 5:30.

It depends on what you're looking for. In my opinion, the most important parts of the Museums are

Raphael Rooms
Sistine Chapel

You can get a good sense with 2-2.5 hours. The official tours organized by the Vatican take that long also, if I remember right (though I've never been on one).

The Vatican Museums publishes an official guidebook with an abbreviated tour and a complete tour for visitors (it's listed in the first couple of pages). If interested, I can post the itinerary from home later.

I was planning to write my own short guide to the Vatican Museums. I'll post it here when I'm done.

But off the top of my head:

In Pio-Clementine

Belvedere Torso
Perseus (by Canova)

Raphael Rooms: Four of these -- you visit in the reverse order of completion (in the first one you get to, the Constantine Hall, the frescoes are mostly completed by assistants after Raphael's death).

Most important frescoes:

School of Athens


Giotto (Stefaneski Triptych), c. 1300
Caravaggio (Deposition)
3 Raphaels (Transfiguration -- the last painting that Raphael completed?)
Leonardo, St. Jerome
Bellini, Pieta

Another guide: Google Nick Trend's &quot;How to Visit Vatican Museums&quot; publised in Telegraph UK.

Hope this helps and answers your questions!

victor_d Jun 19th, 2008 09:19 AM

Pick that extra day and wait to the last minute to choose between doing a daytrip or spending more time in Rome.

I was for 2 full days in Rome and it was enough for me!! Really i could have spent may be one more day, but no more. And i'm not willing to go back, there are many places in the world to visit.

I wouldn't go to visit a museum that i wouldn't visit at my home city, if it's not really important i wouldn't waste my time in it if i have limited time.
If i would stay a week in Rome then i finally would visit some of the museums and churches given for some Fodorites, but in 3 days you have to choose, and instead of visiting a boring modern art museum or a church just because it has a painting of a saint... i would take the daytrip.

Sincerily i have readen many guides and many comments and people tend to visit dozen of churches just because there is a painting of a famous artist, not a famous painting. People spent a full day in a museum watching every piece, .... unless you are really in art, focus on the main things and leave the rest or by the 2nd hour everything will be the same for you, and when you finally reach a masterpiece you would say 'bah another picture of a saint, i can't stand any more'.

My opinion, leave the decision until the last minute but probably you'll do the daytrip, so plan one.

goingtobeijing Jun 26th, 2008 11:07 AM

Thanks for all the helpful feedback.

It looks like I'll be spending the day exploring Rome.

When in Rome......

ira Jun 26th, 2008 12:28 PM

Hi G,

Staying in Rome is a good idea.

You could also visit Orvieto for a &quot;hill town&quot; experience.

Should you wish to go to Florence, here is


Train to Florence SMN:
The Luggage Office is to your left as you leave the train.

From Piazza d' Stazione, walk up via Nazionale to via d'Ariento and the Mercato Centrale, wander through.

Take any street going NE to Via Degli Alfani and go right to the Accademia for The David.

Take via Ricasoli SE to the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Opera Museum (Originals of the bronzes on the doors)

From the Campanile, take via Calzaiuoli S (do some window shopping) to the Piazza d' Signoria. Look around, take a break.

Continue S to the Uffizi. Visit.

From the Uffizi, walk W along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio.

(You can walk up to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens if there is time. Great views of Florence from the top of the Gardens)

If you have time, walk E along the S bank of the river to Ponte alle grazie and cross over to visit Santa Croce.

If not, go W along the Arno from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte S. Trinita and go right. Go left on Via d'Spada to via d'Fossi and go right to Santa Maria Novella. Look around.

SMN is across the square from the train station.

If you have time, take the no. 7 bus (you can find it at the SMN train station) up to Fiesole (0:20 hr 1E) to watch the sunset from the terrace of the Bar Bleu.

Be sure to have lots of gelato (in a cup, not a cone), take some wine breaks and a light lunch.

Train schedules, prices and tickets are at
Call center from outside Italy is 39-06-68475475

Bus routes are at
Buy your ticket before you get on the bus. Stamp it in the yellow box on the bus.

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 1010987 (dial around number), 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. There is a long listing of press 1 for this and 2 for that--press 4 for bookings. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

Have a nice visit.


loves2sing Jan 3rd, 2009 09:53 PM


artsnletters Jan 3rd, 2009 10:41 PM

As many have said, you have plenty more to see in Rome on your fourth day.

However, you mentioned choosing <i>not</i> to see Florence en route from Venice because of your luggage. I'm just letting you know that you can check your luggage at the Florence train station, go tour the city, and pick up your baggage when you're ready to head on to Rome.

dutyfree Jan 4th, 2009 12:28 AM

Spend the extra day in Rome-Florence can be had on another trip. In my opinion,Orvieto is a nice day trip but there is NOTHING to do when the town is at siesta(1/2 to 4PM) as everything to shop or eat is closed. We enjoyed the cave tour but did it in the morning as that was when the English tour was scheduled.The town is loaded with tours particularly Rick Steves and we went in the off season.

As someone who flys to Rome everyweek in the summer,you can always find some fun and fascinating things to do there no matter how many times you have been there. Have fun planning!

Vttraveler Jan 4th, 2009 06:20 AM

I would definitely recommend spending the extra day in Rome. You have a long list from others of things to see there. I would add a possible trip to the Appian Way if you are interested in Roman history. (Several of the catacombs are at the upper end of the Via Appia Antica, but it is worth going farther along this amazing road and/or to the aqueducts)

If by some chance you decide you have had enough time in Rome after three days, you could easily go to Orvieto or Ostia Antica on Day 4.

On your day 3 I would add in exploring the Piazza Navona/Pantheon/Campo de Fiori area. Definitely plan to get to the Pantheon during the day when it is open

gruezi Jan 4th, 2009 08:10 AM

We spent 8 days in Rome last spring and never ran out of things to do...

I do prefer Florence, but why not save and savor it another time?


karens Jan 5th, 2009 03:25 PM

Another vote for an additional day in Rome. When I went, I only had 2 full days, and I didn't think it was at all enough time - there was a lot I didn't get to see.

LoveItaly Jan 5th, 2009 03:44 PM

I wonder if the OP has taken the trip as this thread started 6-18-08. There was no mention of the dates the OP would or will be in Italy.

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