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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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