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Prat_and_Jazz Sep 4th, 2007 10:55 PM

Please help with Rome Itinerary :)
Hello Fodorites!!

I discovered this forum only recently (talk about living in the dark age!) and have learnt so much. Thank you all for your wonderful postings.

Quick word about us - we are a married couple, love to travel, have been living in the US since 5 years now - almost as tourists, have explored a lot of this vast beautiful country and now are headed for our first European trip. I've travelled to Amsterdam, London, Moscow and St. Pete but Jazz has not been to Europe before. We love trying new cuisines, art and architecture (im not an expert in either). Jazz is in HR and im a business consultant.

We have 2.5 days in Rome starting next week. We will reach Rome by mid-afternoon on Sunday and will leave there on Tuesday night for Florence.

I kinda have an itinerary planned, but we feel we will be rushed to not be able to see the Castle San Angela and the Galleria Borghese (apologies it i've spelt them incorrectly). Please share your insights and give us your suggestions on how can we see all the beautiful sights in Rome in the 2.5 days we have there.

Thanks in advance!

Steve_James Sep 5th, 2007 01:51 AM

Hi Prat - The Rome Tourist Office website has an itinerary for seeing the highlights of Rome in 2 days - a good place to start :)

Hope this helps ...


bookchick Sep 5th, 2007 03:06 AM

The timing is a bit unfortunate, as many museums are closed on Mondays, but there are still great works of architecture you can easily enjoy, such as the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Also, there will still be many good restaurants open, so no worries there. For assistance with a short itinerary, you may want to select the orange box above on this website "destinations", then select "Europe", then "Rome" and alternatively do this same kind of search on "hotels". They'll list a variety of options for a 5 or 3 day stay, and you can get a lot of ideas and information (such as how to go about getting tickets) from these sources.

Buon Viaggio,

daveesl Sep 5th, 2007 05:00 AM

Here is a link to 3, day long itineraries. You can watch the videos and/or download the MP3s for use while in Rome.


Prat_and_Jazz Sep 5th, 2007 05:10 PM

Thank you Steve, BC and Dave. All of your tips are indeed very helpful, especially love the site.

Let me know if you think the following is feasible:

Sunday afternoon: Land in FCO at 1:30; check in by 2:30; ready to go at 3:30

1. Castel S. Angelo
2. Pantheon
3. Trevi Fountain (dinner)
4. Desserts at Hilton Rome

1. Vatican City + Museums + Sistine Chapel
2. Piazza Del Popolo
3. Spanish Steps
4. Galleria Borghese
5. Piazza Navona

OR after the Vatican City, do the walking tour suggested by Rick Steve

1. St. Peter's Basilica
2. Colosseum
3. Roman Forum
4. Palatine Hills
5. Capitoline Hills
6. San Pietro in Vincoli

What do you think?

daveesl Sep 5th, 2007 05:57 PM

Hi Prat

Castel San Angelo should still be open after your planned time, but not for much longer. Day 1 itinerary looks pretty good, if the Pantheon is still open.

As to Day 2, have you got reserved tickets for the museum? If not, you may still have time to get the Vatican sponsored tour, which is well worth the additional cost of like $15 pp. You would need to fax them the info immediately to have a shot though. Other than that you can also get early admission through several online brokers, like Rome-Museums

Borghese Gallery requires a reserved time and to be honest, you might be "museumed out" after the Vatican.

If you do the Vatican Museums, from the Sistine Chapel, exit to the RIGHT, through a little door that says "group tours only". This takes you right to St. Peters, no additional lines.

Tuesday would be an easy one to do, if you did not do St. Peters then and depending on when you need to leave for Florence.

A suggestion...Start at the Colosseum and follow your list. As an extra added attraction, after San Pietro in Vincoli, walk up to Mary Maggiore, next stop is Termini and poof you are on your way.

This assumes you have somehow gotten your luggage to Termini first and you are taking the train.



jjkbrook Sep 5th, 2007 06:36 PM

YOu dont, I think, say where you are staying in Rome or whether you are arriveing from US straight into Rome (relevant to how long you will last on first day)Be sure you have a good map and look at it to get oriented before you start out.

YOu wont be able to do everything - see every sight, and a steady diet of roman ruins and big basilicas can spoil your appetite. YOu want to mix up those sites with the classic citiscape with all of its juxtapositions of different periods to make it more interesting.

For that day, I feel like you are bouncing around like a pingpong ball. Castel St Angelo has never thrilled me as a destination more as a sight on the horizon but the bridge across the Tiber with angels nearby is lovely. If you do chose to visit the Castel Definitely cross back into old Rome via the bridge- by the time you get there siesta will be over, churches will be open again and you can walk into them as the spirit moves you. Work your way slowly over to the Piazza Navona and Pantheon, and thence to the Trevi fountain. Depending on where you are and where you are going, the Quirinal gives a good, high vantage over Rome, and the view from the Campidoglio, is unbeatable. But Id suspect you would be heading for bed after dinner. In central Rome, many of the restaurants have a closing day on Sunday, so be sure to plan ahead for a Sunday night destination.
The Hilton is way out of the way (unless you are staying there??)

Note, if you dont go to the Castel, you can start your walk at the Piazza del Popolo then work your way south to the Spanish Steps, Pzza Navona, etc.

Day 2 - the Vatican is probably the better part of a day, for the museums (if you care about museums and want to see more than the Sistine Chapel) and Basilica. Have a leisurely lunch and pick another segment of Rome to explore (walking back to the center via the Janiculum Hill, Trastevere and the Tiber Island is long but scenic and interesting. Or take a bus back to the centro and strike out from there.

there have been threads about strategizing to see the Vatican museum, - you should look for them and figure out the optimum timing before heading there.

As far as your third day, Id start up at the Campidoglio - enjoy the plaza, Marcus Aurelius and the ancient Santa Maria Antiqua basilica with ancient columns and marbles - look out over the Forum and then head down the hill.
The forum, the Palatine (if you still wanna) the Colosseum if you want to go inside (we never have) then see where you are vis a vis your lunch and plans.

The Nerone restaurant is on Terme del Tito near the Colosseum or you could continue to San Pietro del Vincolo into the atmospheric Monti district for your lunch. Another good sight near the Colosseo is the church of San Clemente with its mosaics, paintings and multi-level excavations down to the early christian church and roman house/ mithraic temple.

HOpe very much you enjoy your trip and post back about your experiences.

Prat_and_Jazz Sep 5th, 2007 07:57 PM head's kinda spinning already :), but great insights and suggestions - thank you. I'm downloading the MP3s and movies to see on my way to (here's the answer to your question dave) - Paris. We are flying into Paris (early morning) and from there to Rome. So we would be pretty bushed by the time we land in Rome...though we'd be super excited as well...which is why I wanted to keep Sunday "light".

Will think fresh tomorrow and post a final itinerary for your suggestions.


Prat_and_Jazz Sep 5th, 2007 07:59 PM

Oops! that was your question jjk

jabez Sep 6th, 2007 05:32 AM

Day 1
"Land in FCO at 1:30; check in by 2:30; ready to go at 3:30"
Probably not. Figure 3:30 checked in.
You say you are having desserts at the "Hilton Rome"-Either you take a cab or shuttle from the Cavalieri Hilton. The earliest would be 4:30 ,probably later.
I agree that the Castel S. Angelo is not on the top of my list in Rome.
I'd haed strait to Pantheon (closes at 5:30). From there Navona, Trevi,etc make nice walks.

Day 2
This can be done, Vatican in the pm and Borgese in afternoon works best.
You go to the Borgese in the morning (the Hilton shuttle can leave you pretty close).
Early lunch near the Vatican and enter the museums around 1pm.
Busing and walking the other areas is doable from there. You,however, will be VERY tired. Lots of walking.
If you want to refreshen at the hotel, this will take up about a 2 hour period of the day.

Day 3
Start at the Forum early and get the English tour. You can be done there, at the colosseum and St Peter in Chains by lunchtime.
Take a "free" tour at St. Peter's and you could even hit St. Angelo thst afternoon.

Do you plan to check your bags at Termini your last day?

This is a very cramed trip.I never woulod recommend this tight of schedule, but it's doable.

bookchick Sep 6th, 2007 08:15 PM

I don't think the Galleria Borghese is open on Mondays, no matter what the website to reserve may say. A friend of mine put in to reserve her tickets on a Monday, everything looked like it went through, and she received an e-mail a few hours later stating her reservation was not accepted because the Galleria is closed on Mondays.

I may be the dissenting vote on Castel Sant'Angelo, but to experience it under ideal circumstances you have to time it to get to the top just as the sun is beginning to set. The views are absolutely stunning.

I'd try to do the Vatican Museums, Sistine & St. Peter's Basilica all on the same day. It's a large dose of Vatican City, but do-able.

Buon Viaggio,

5alive Sep 6th, 2007 11:32 PM

I agree, Bookchick, doing it all the same day saves on backtracking and Rome can take a while to get around.

I would not feel too bad if the Borghese is closed. I would be "museumed out" with the Vatican anyway. Check out some different piazzas, churches or catacombs.

Prat_and_Jazz Sep 7th, 2007 06:38 PM

I did a booking for Monday and actually received a confirmation from Galleria Borg. - i'm surprised too as they are supposed to be closed. Let's see. I cant wait to get there!!! We're leaving tomorrow YAY!!

Vttraveler Sep 8th, 2007 05:00 AM

Have a great trip!
If you are still reading suggestions...for your first day I agree with those who say you should skip Castel Sant Angelo and concentrate on getting to the Pantheon before it closes9according to my books it is open until 6, not 5:30) After that you could explore the Piazza della Rotunda area and Piazza Navona before going to the Trevi fountain.
Near the Pantheon you could check out one or more of the other churches (open until 7) --San Luigi dei Francesci (3 beautiful Caravaggios) and Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Michelangelo's Risen Christ, Lippi frescoes, Bernini sculpture outside)

And if Piazza del Poplolo is still on your list be sure to walk up to the Pincio gardens for a beautiful panorama of Rome

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