I would like some feedback on my itinerary for my visit to Rome this July.
A few things:
1) Travelers = me (29), wife (28), and my parents (both in late 50s). First time to Rome for all of us. My wife and I will arrive at FCO from Santorini at noon on Monday, July 6, while my parents will arrive from the U.S. at 11:00 AM on the same day.
2) We will have 6 nights/5 days and are not looking to cram too much into this time frame.
3) We enjoy history (especially ancient sights), art, and just trying to take in the culture of a location as much as possible.
Here is my current itinerary. I tried to create an itinerary that included some free time to just wander and explore some of the different areas of Rome.
Arrive at Noon and travel to apartment on Via dei Banchi Nuovi. Relax and explore historic center (Pantheon, Piazza Navona, San Luigi dei Francesi, Campo de' Fiori, Trevi Fountain). Maybe take this free walking tour which starts at 5:30 (http://www.newromefreetour.com/package/new-rome-free-tour/)
- Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum
- Vatican Museum (tour already booked for 8:30) - stay in museum after tour ends to explore other (hopefully less crowded) areas.
- Villa Borghese Gardens - maybe rent bikes and explore the park.
- St. Peter's Basilica then Scavi Tour at 11:00 (already booked)
- Castel Sant'Angelo
- Day trip to Florence (Il Duomo, Accademia, and just exploring the city on foot) - train tickets already purchased. Would love to spend a few nights there, but that will have to wait for the next trip to Italy.
- Ostia Antica
- Wife and I leave for Paris on a noon flight, while parents take the train to Naples.
1) Would anybody recommend the Free Walking Tour? Also, I assume we would tip the guide. What is an appropriate tip for this type of tour?
2) Other places we would like to visit include the Capitoline Museums, Borghese Gallery, and Appia Antica. Any suggestions as to where any of these sights might fit into our current itinerary without trying to cram in too much?
3) What is the best order to visit the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill? I was thinking we could start with the Forum and Palatine Hill first thing in the morning and then end at the Colosseum. With this plan I would try to book the 12:20 Underground and Third Ring tour when the tickets go on sale this Sunday. Would that time frame work?
Any other ideas or suggestions for first time visitors to Rome?
Thank you all for your help.
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