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Leen May 11th, 2012 04:45 PM

In Rome for a short time. What should we see and do?
Hello experienced travelers! My husband is working in France for three weeks. We wanted to take advantage of being in Europe, so we are going to Rome for 4 days. I know this is a very short time to spend in a large city. I feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what to see and what to skip. This would be our first time in Italy. Any advice?

elnap29 May 11th, 2012 05:35 PM

Seeing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum is pretty awesome. Those would be high on my list as well as the Pantheon.

Just know that you can't see it all, so you really can't make a poor choice. On our first trip to Rome, DH and I split up one day because he wanted to spend another day at the Roman Forum and I wanted to stroll around the city and observe Italian life around me. So just check a guide book and select a few must-do sites that appeal to YOU.

By the way, one of my favorites last year was visiting the Cappucin Crypt. Check online to see if that appeals to you. It only cost 1 Euro and didn't take a lot of time but was fascinating.

Leen May 11th, 2012 05:53 PM

THANK YOU so much for your advice I really appreciate it! I have heard good things about a tour of the Jewish Ghetto. I am going to google Cappucin Crypt. I think I will take a trip to B&N and get a guide book ;)

Pegontheroad May 11th, 2012 07:45 PM

The Vatican Museum. Jewish Ghetto sounds like a good idea too.

Marighita May 11th, 2012 08:20 PM

See also this material about what to see in Rome if you have 1 or 2 or 3 days only:

rosemaryoz May 11th, 2012 10:29 PM

The Villa Borghese is a beautiful peaceful mansion converted to a gallery featuring some of the most beautiful sculptures. But you need to book tix ahead of your visit as they only allow limited numbers through the house at any time. The Pantheon is stunning, and the Vatican is worth booking a guided tour, so you get all the detailed info, as it's SO big.

jamierin May 12th, 2012 05:50 AM

If you are interested in the Jewish Ghetto with a tour my friend did the Jewish Roma tour with Michaela Pavoncello when she visited with her father and they both said it was terrific.

denisea May 12th, 2012 08:48 AM

I am going to Rome for the first time this year and Borghese Gallery has been so highly recommended that it is number one on my list. I think it is also great that Tix must be reserved in advance and you can stay no more than 2 hours, so no worrying about how long it will take to get know you will get in and will be out in two hors. I think that makes it easy to plan more things to see around it.

I have been told that the carved statues are so detailed and exquisite, you will be amazed. I can't wait!

nytraveler May 12th, 2012 10:03 AM

If you have 4 days you can spend 1 at teh Vatican (Museum, St Peter's, Dome, Treasury, Scavi etc), one seeing the major ancient sights (Coloseo, Froum, Capitoline Museum), one seeing Renaissance Rome (Ville Borchese and a host of squares and fountains) and one just exloring.

Things I would not miss:

Pantheon - the square in fron has some outdoor cafes that serve snacks with drinks later afternoon and is a great way to realx between a day of sightseeing and showering/changing to go out to dinner.

I also love the San Clemente church - since it allows you to descend from the current church through several earlier incarnations into the Roman Temple of Mithras at the lowest level.

daveesl May 12th, 2012 11:11 AM

I just finished uploading the full, free versions of my Rome videos. Feel free to watch, you'll also find the Googlemaps on the site, along with the MP3 audio guides, all free. These should help you.


Cathinjoetown May 12th, 2012 11:49 AM

Be sure to book advance tickets to the Borghese, it is a gem and a good contrast to ancient Rome. The Pantheon is very high on my list, I believe the only intact building or at least temple (now a church) from pre-Christian Rome.

Vttraveler May 12th, 2012 12:06 PM

When you see the Pantheon, you will also want to explore the nearby Piazza Navona. There are some beautiful churches right in the area (in addition to the Pantheon) including San Luigi dei
Francesi with three early Caravaggios and the Gothic Santa Maria sopra Minerva

You could easily walk to the ghetto area from the Pantheon. And from the ghetto neighborhood it is a short walk over the Isola Tiberina to Trastevere.

A good guide book with walking tours will definitely help you in planning.

I would try to see the Palatine as well as the Colosseum and Forum on the day you explore ancient Rome

Do you have three full days and four nights or four full days for touring?

charnees May 13th, 2012 11:58 AM

Some people do not like Rick Steves's books, but for first-time travelers they are a great help. Get his book on Rome, which has walking tours in it.

annhig May 13th, 2012 01:46 PM


can I suggest that with so little time, you try to co-ordinate your sight-seeing as much as possible? for example, you could do the forum, [where a guide would be a really good idea, IMHO] the coloseum, and St. Clemente [or the capitoline museums] all in one day. then on another day, St. Peter's, the ghetto and Trastevere. [don't miss St. Cecilia's] Finally the Borghese, the spanish steps, trevi, piazza navona, Pantheon, and general wandering.

personally with so little time I would give the Vatican museums a miss.

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