My 2 day Rome itinerary-help?

Old Oct 21st, 2005, 08:22 AM
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My 2 day Rome itinerary-help?

Hi All,

THanks for all your wonderful suggestions. I wil be in Rome Nov 26 to Nov 28. Will be flying in to Rome around 10, hope to be at the hotel (Quirinale) by 12. My plan was to get a quick bite to eat, check in and head on out to Palantine/Roman Forum Area, have dinner and get back to the hotel. The following morning I have a walking tour scheduled, this is what it states: This tour begins by passing through the Via Veneto, made famous by Fellini's Dolce Vita film. Before reaching Via Nazionale we cross Piazza della Republica with Najadi's Fountain. Our walk through the historical centre starts with the Trevi Fountain and continues to Piazza Navona, built on the ancient Domitian Stadium with the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, Bernini's masterpiece. Along the way we admire Piazza Colonna so called due to the Column of Marco Aurelio. Visit the interior of the Pantheon which was built in the First Century B.C. with the biggest dome in the world as requested by Emperor Hadrian. Continue by coach to St. Peter's Square passing Castel St. Angelo. We visit the Basilica of St. Peter's to admire, among other treasures, the Pieta' by Michelangelo.

So my question, since the tour starts at 8:30 and drops me off at the Basilica, assume it will be around 12:30, I will not be able to get in to the Vatican museum. According to their website, the museum entrance closes at 12:30. Should I do this the day before upon arrival. My train to Florence (already booked) leaves on Nov 28th morning so I don't have any other days.

I really only have 1.5 days, extremely short for Rome, but I want to make sure I see the major things.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 08:50 AM
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If you are landing around 10 in Rome-expect to allow an hour to deplane,go through immigration and get your bags,etc.Yes,it might be faster but remember its Italy. Then by the time you get your limo or the Leonardo Express to get into the city,there is another hour or less. You will feel like death(as we all do after a long flight) so I personally think that you will have difficulty making the 12:30 last call at the Vatican Museum.Most people overplan their first day in Europe.( Just remember to take a shower,keep out in the sunshine and drink a few coffees to keep going?) I would still try and get into the museum on your second day as you will be over there anyway-one never knows you might get lucky. It is such a shame that you do not have some extra days in Rome but perhaps next time. Is there anyway that you could change your departure time on the train to Florence?
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 09:30 AM
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If you arrive at 10, you will get to the hotel around 12:30-1. Hotel Quirinale is a very nice hotel. I stayed there in 2002. The only problem I had was that the room I had was so big it echoed. The restaraunt was not that great, but good.

Since your arrival is Saturday, I suggest doing the Vatican and Vatican Museum the day you arrive. Skip the tour on Sunday and go your own. Do the Colliseum, Forum, in the AM the Panteon, Trevi, Piazza Navona, & Castle San Angelo in the afternoon. The afternoon sights can be easliy arranged in a straight line with no double backing. Get a map and plot your course for the days trek. Avoid backtracking and take taxis whenever needed.

Even though it is only a 20 minute walk to the Colliseum from the Hotel Quirinale, take a taxi. This will save time. Since you arrive in the AM, get some sleep on the plane and start the new day when you get there.

Find restaraunts in the area that your tour ends so that you are ready there. The Hotel Atalatic Star has a very good restaraunt (expensive & dress code), with a top floor view of the city, it is only 4-5 blocks from the Vatican.

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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Thanks. I forgot to mention I am flying in from Paris. I fly in from NJ on Nov 25, will sightsee for the day, and will fly out to Rome the next morning. I realize it's tight but hey my tix was free with freq flyer miles so I can't complain.

Anyway back to Rome, my tour is already booked and so is my ES reservation to Florence so I don't want to change that. Thaks for the Quirinale info, I got a good rate there and decided to take advantage of it.

Since the tour drops me off at St. Basilica, can I run over and do the Vatican museum. Is this feasible...have never been to Rome. Finish this and then go back to wander the Basilica. Hope this makes sense. If not, then I may have to change some of the reservations with a fee. Thanks for all your help.

BTW, I will have carry on bags only (or at least at this point am going to try), but realize I will still have to go through immigrations.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 10:51 AM
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I had a tour as part of a package once that was exactly the route you describe. It was also late November. (I think the company was Green Tours.)

In any case, We got to St Peters around 11:45. Becase of other sanfus I won't explain here, we were meeting friends at the entrance to the Vatican Museums at noon. We stuck with the tour for a little while (it was not very indepth). We left it in St Peters at about noon. I knew that the entrance to the Vatican museums is a long walk around the Vatican walls, so we hailed a taxi at the taxi stand just across the piazza. We were at the entrance to the museum at 12:10. There was no waiting line. While the museum entrance closes at 12:30, but the museum itself is open for another hour. Since my friends were not intense art fans, an huor was enough to follow the shortest route to the Rafael rooms and the Sistine Chapel with glimpses of other things along the way. At the Sistine Chapel, we using the group exit on the right, which saves the long walk back to the piazza, and continued our visit to St Peters. (If you check bags or coats, you must walk all the way back to the museum entrance.)
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Thanks.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Boy, what a bunch of typos! The edit function did not take them this time.

Anyway, snafus aside, an hour was enough to see the highlights.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Hi, so I would agree to leave your tour at St. Peter's go over to the Vatican Museum and then go back into St. Peter's on your own to see what you missed.

A question, does the museum always close that early or is that winter hours or something? Somehow I missed this on my previous visit.

Also, I had a post where I thought I had removed typos but there they were when the post was posted.


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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 11:27 AM
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I think ellenem's plan for getting to the Vatican Museums is a good one. If it were me, I would skip the museum on this quick trip, but if you must, her plan is excellent.

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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Hello P67742:
Just got back from Italy on Tuesday. We did 5 days in Rome.
I suggest, if you can, to drop the walking tour and do it on your own. Since you got so little time, focus on the important stuff like the Colisseum, Forum and Vatican. All the piazzas and areas like Via Veneto don't take much time and can be seen at night. Besides, they're crowded with people and street vendors that take away much from the experience. Since you'll be there on the weekend, find out opening and closing times for these places. I think the Basilica is open on Sundays but I'm not sure about Vatican Museums.

I think that after taking some time to relax after your flight, you should head out to the Colisseum (don't miss it!). With the same ticket you can enter the nearby Palatine, which are just ruins you can walk through. On the exit to the Palatine you'll be on Via Sacra, the Forum which are some more ruins you can walk. Get a book and find out closing times.

The next day, go very early to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. We spend there all morning and until three in the afternoon but you can skip some of the rooms and go straight to the Sistine Chapel to save time. Then go to St Peter's Basilica, very near and free. Don't back out if you see a long line (entrance at the right side of the facade). It's a security check and it goes by fast. After that you can return to the city center and walk by Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and do some shopping. These are places that don't take long to see and that you can find on your own with a map and a guide book. Take taxis, if you dare!!!!; they're not very expensive and will save you time.

Rome is crazy!!!! Kind of stressful. Be careful when crossing the streets; drivers don't respect pedestrians very much. But still a fascinating city. I'm sure you'll love it. Happy and safe travels!!!!
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Yes these are winter hours. And I just looked at the hours again, Nov 27 is the last Sunday of the month, which means free admission. This could be good or bad depending on the crowds.

After the flight, I am planning to see the Coliseum and Roman Forum area...definitely. I think for the next day as you suggest, I should be able to make it to the museum provided the tours ends by 11:45. Will take the taxi over from the Basilica.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 01:24 PM
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Our tour wasn't actually done at 11:45--we just decided to leave it since 1) it wasn't great, 2) it was almost done, and 3) we had people to meet.

If this is your one chance to see the Sistine Chapel, leave the tour at St Peters and return after the museum.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 03:38 PM
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Thanks again all. I am trying to see if I can cancel this tour now without a fee.
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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Hi P,

I agree. You came up with my solution on your own. Either cancel the walking tour -- it's something you can easily do on your own and would probably enjoy more on your own -- or leave your tour early and head over to the museums.

I did a Context Rome tour of the Vatican museums - 4 hours and it was excellent!

Buon viaggio!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 09:31 AM
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The Vatican Museum is truly amazing. I don't think you'll want to miss it. We found out that if you call and make a guided-tour-group reservation, you pay about 5 euros more and you don't have to wait in any lines! Also, the tour was excellent. The guide spoke into a microphone that you listened to through your own head sets. So it was like a live audio tour, and you could ask questions!

Buy your ticket to the Palatine Museum first. You can purchase a duo ticket to the colloseum. There is no line at the Palatine, but the colloseum line is endless! (We were there in June)
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