Rome 5 day itinerary (Please Help)

Old Apr 15th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Rome 5 day itinerary (Please Help)

I'm traveling to Rome for the first time (May 4-9) and I would really appreciate any help or advice on my tentative schedule.

Day 1 (Wednesday)
Land at 7:45 am
Check in at Hotel get freshened up
Walk through the historical centre: Piazza del Popolo, Santa Maria del Popolo Church, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Colonna, Palazzo Montecitorio, Pantheon, Palazzo Madama (Senate of the Italian Republic), Piazza Navona - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Campo de Fiori, Farnese Palace. (I'm thinking it should take about 5 or 6 hours. Planning on taking it slow)
Rome by night Tour (maybe, I would just love to get some night pictures)

Day 2 (Thursday)
Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Constantine Arch
Afternoon Walk: Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Museum, Venezia Palace

Day 3 (Friday)
The Vatican City: Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter's Square
Castel Sant'Angelo, Boat ride to Tiber Island (maybe)

Day 4 (Saturday)
Day Trip to Naples and Pompeii

Day 5 (Sunday)
Morning at Leisure (maybe some shopping)
Afternoon: Borghese Gallery and Villa Borghese

Day 6 (Monday)
Depart back to the States
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Old Apr 15th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Your itinerary looks pretty good. You are wise to split your days like that and you should have time to do the things on your list. I don't think you need a tour in order to see Rome by night. The main piazzas and monuments are well lit and easy to photograph (here are links to my Rome photos, as you'll see there are lots of night shots -http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/rome , http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/uk_a..._november_2010 )

I wouldn't bother with the boat ride. The Tiber is not like the rivers in some other European cities you may be thinking of (eg Paris, London, etc) and I think the boat ride would be pretty boring. You can walk across the bridges to the island.

Do you know you need to reserve tickets ahead of time for Borghese Gallery.

You mention shopping on Sunday morning. Probably won't be many stores open then (just a few tourist ones).
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Isabel, thank you for your suggestion about the boat ride. I just might walk over like you said.
Yes, I do have a tour reserved for Via Borghese and the Gallery, but I didnt know that most stores are closed on Sundays. Thank you, I'm sure I'll be able to fit a little bit in everyday if that's the case. Hehehe.
Your pics are amazing, thank you for sharing them. I can't wait to be there. The only reason that I want to do the night tour is that I'm a 29 year old female traveling alone and I don't know how safe it would be for me to be walikng around at night alone.
I appreciate all your advice thank you very much.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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In what area are you staying? I agree with Isabel regarding Sunday mornings. In Rome, they are very quiet, and very few establishments are open.
Can you split your itinerary and allow Sunday for some of your outdoor attractions such as the Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiore, Farnese Palace, etc.? What time are your reservations that day for the Borghese Gallery?
If it is convenient to your hotel on the day you arrive, can you do Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain? The shopping in those areas is sublime.
However, the area near the Vatican has a nice shopping street, the Cola di Rienzo, and you may have time to visit.
The Metro and public buses are quick and convenient for commuting from one section to another.
And, is your heart set on Naples and Pompeii for Saturday? While Naples is a beautiful town, it is quite "lively", especially on a Saturday and you may feel overwhelmed.
But reading that you are 29, you will have the energy to fit all of it in and do rather nicely with what you have arranged!
Certain areas in Rome are more lively at night than others. The Spanish Steps is a popular gathering spot. Just be very cautious at night as you would in any other big city. But, of course, as anywhere else in the world, always mind your purse.
One last question: What are your plans for eating? Do you have any recommendations?
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 02:51 AM
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The central areas of Rome - the areas you'd want to photograph - are very well lit and very lively till quite late at night. I wouldn't wander off to any really dark, lonely areas but there really won't be any need to. Most of my trips to Rome I was with my husband or daughter but I was alone for several days on one trip and didn't feel unsafe at any time. I was not out past midnight probably but in May it should be pretty lively.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 03:18 AM
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Don't bank on being able to get into your hotel room to wash and change if you arrive that early. Without prior arrangement, most hotel rooms are not available until mid afternoon, though you may get lucky. You just can't plan on it.

I think five days is a great amount of time for a visit to Rome, but I would not spend one very long one going to Naples and Pompei. If you like Italy, you will be back.

You will need shoes with some support for the Forum, (they haven't paved the streets in 1500 years) and the shoes will be generally useful in areas with cobblestones.

Your first day is pretty ambitious and doesn't allow you any time to just "be in Rome", time to be overwhelmed and say, "Wow, I'm in Rome! That's the Pantheon! I studied that sculpture in Art History!" For me, that is a big part of travel. You can split the first day into two parts if you don't go to Naples, and it will give you time to smell the flowers and actually look at things instead of checking them off the list. Rome is full of tiny streets and alleys and amazing churches and Roman buildings 2000 years old. Allow yourself to enjoy them.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 03:52 AM
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If you are arriving from North America on day #1 I think you have planned too much for the first day with jet lag. You could do some of these things on the Sunday.

You have not added any of the many churches of Rome other than the Vatican to the itinerary. There are some long threads with suggestions of favorite churches to visit.

The boat trip also seems optional to me. You might want to take a bus down from the Vatican/Castel Sant' Angelo to Trastevere and explore some of that neighborhood, then walk across the island and see the Jewish ghetto neighborhood on the other side. Both Trastevere and the ghetto have good restaurant options.

I also agree with other posters that the day trip to Naples/Pompeii will be long and tiring and it would be better to see that area and the Amalfi coast on another trip if possible. Ostia Antica is much closer to Rome, an easy half day trip.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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RomeFirstTimer,

I think your general plan is good. I would agree that I wouldn't try to do the day trip to Naples/Pompeii, but then, that subject has been debated endlessly here. I've spent a total of 7 hours over two visits to Pompeii and still didn't see everything I wanted to see. I also have visited Rome twice for a total of 8 full days and haven't made it to the Capitoline Museums or Trastevere (yet)! And - I'm a pretty ambitous sightseer.

You will return like most of us who love Roma!

Your first day does have a long list of sights, but the nice thing about just walking around is you can do as much, or as little, as you feel like.

On all your days, try to pop into churches near your other planned destinations. There are so many, so amazing!

Be sure to have good, comfortable shoes with lots of support for all those cobblestones. Also take Moleskin (Dr. Schol's) and some tiny scissors to cut it with. It will save your trip. I like Streetwise maps. Very detailed, all sights and churches are indexed. Laminated and fold up to airline ticket size.

Buon viaggio! I wish I was going!
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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GoodLuckGirl,
I'll be staying at the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora on Via Vittorio Veneto, which is right in front of Villa Borghese. My tour there is at 2:30 so i will have time to do whatever I don't have time to finish on the first day. Thank you for the shopping tips. I'll make sure allow some extra time in these areas. I'm not one hundred percent set on going to Pompeii and I an now looking in to a half day trip to Ostia Antica As Vttraveler suggested.

Isabel,
I might try walking at night the first day that I'm there and if I don't feel comfortable then I will do the night tour on an other night.

Acksilander,
I have already made special arrangements with my hotel for a 9:30 am check in. They have assured me that my room will be ready at that time. However, I know things don't always work as as planed and I don't mind leaving my bags with the concierge and freshening up in the lobby. Thank you for the shoe advice for Ancient Rome, I was planning on only taking ballerina flats, so I will pack a pair of tennis shoes now as well.

Vattraveler,
Thank you for all your advice. What ever I don't get to on my first day I will get to on Sunday morning like you suggested. I'm also pretty sure the boat ride is out. I'm also considering doing the half day to Ostia Atica instead and visiting more churches that day.

Dayle,
Thank you.

I appreciate all your advice. It really helps.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 12:34 AM
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I know this will incur the wrath of many but for what it's worth, I did ancient Rome in heels. Your flats should be fine and you may want to consider the weight of tennis shoes in your checked bags. IMHO tennis shoes were meant for the gym and not for travel - but yes I realize that many folks love their athletic shoes.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 05:12 AM
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You have a very carefully planned tour and should be able to do most of it with ease. The only suggestion I have is to plan the night tour and photography for a different night. You will be tired your first day in Rome and possibly jet-lagged. The night photography should await an evening when you are more rested.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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CYESQ,
Ancient Rome in heels.....WOW, that's gutsy! I love me some heels, but I think I would break my ankle. LOL I don't wear tennis shoes very often. If anything I wear my flats a lot and some small coach tennis shoes. That's what I was thinking of taking for that day.

mamacalice,
Thank you for your suggestion. I hadn't really thought about that, but I think you might be right.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 10:47 AM
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ttt 4 later
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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I've found that while I love ballet flats and find them super comfortable for my normal running-around-doing-errands-kind-of-thing, they are definitely unsuitable for putting in the miles over cobblestones and marble floors that one racks up touring all day on vacation in Italy. Just not enough arch support or padding beneath the sole. And you really don't want to have screaming feet on vacation.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Here's another recommendation for Ostia Antica, which is an easy half day trip from Rome via subway, if you don't want to make the trek out to Pompeii.

My understanding is that Pompeii is also large and could easily take a day to see, which means not much time for any sights in Naples.

I also think the Rome part of your itinerary is fine.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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ooh, feet. in the week that we spent in Rome the first time, we called in "roman foot", a most painful condition caused by walking too far too often,often on cobbles, in search of the next "sight".

do take at least 2 pairs of comfortable walking shoes, as well as your "flats". you can always wear one pair for travelling, so save weight.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Ok, so here is my updated itinerary. I would love some suggestions for some churches to visit on Saturday afternoon. Thank you to all who have already given me some great advice.

Day 1 (Wednesday)
Land at 7:45 am
Check in at Hotel get freshened up (if I have to use the lobby I will LOL)
Walk through the historical centre: Piazza del Popolo, Santa Maria del Popolo Church, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Colonna, Palazzo Montecitorio, Pantheon, Palazzo Madama (Senate of the Italian Republic), Piazza Navona - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Campo de Fiori, Farnese Palace. (I'm thinking it should take about 5 or 6 hours. I know I'm going to be tired from jet lag, but I'm planning on taking it slow and I think if I keep moving it shouldn't be to bad.)


Day 2 (Thursday)
Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Constantine Arch
Afternoon Walk: Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Museum, Venezia Palace

Day 3 (Friday)
The Vatican City: Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter's Square
Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome by night Tour

Day 4 (Saturday)
Morning: Half day tour to Ostia Antica
Afternoon: Visit some churches.

Day 5 (Sunday)
Morning at Leisure (get to whatever I didn't get to on day one)
Afternoon: Borghese Gallery and Villa Borghese

Day 6 (Monday)
Depart back to the States
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 04:14 PM
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We also enjoyed a wander through the neighbourhood of Trastevere while in Rome...and our dinner there one evening was a memorable evening during our stay in in Rome.
cheers,
CC
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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Glad to see your Itinerary. I'm there for 5 days in June and the Itinerary I laid out is similar to yours:

Sunday: Arrive mid afternoon staying in Piazza Navonna apartment. Will plan on walking the Piazza, Panthenon, Campo de Fiori, Trevi Fountain Spanish Steps. Late dinner and experience the evening in the Piazza.

Monday: After breakfast up to National Museum, Palazzo Attemps, Piazza Barberini and Galleria Borghese.

Tuesday: Morning Vatican tour including St Peter's. Afternoon Necropilis tour.

Wednesday: Bus tour to Pompeii

Thursday: Coloseum, Forum, Palentine Hill and Museum Capitolini.

Friday: Train to Venice for a Friday and Saturday night stay.

Then we head to Munich for 4 days and Paris for 5.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Dear RomeFirstTimer,
Your hotel location is good. It is convenient for walking to the attractions you have listed, and convenient to public transportation throughout the city.
I think all of us agree with your deletion of Pompeii and Naples. It just seemed too overwhelming for your time frame.
I am on the same page with Vttraveler and bachslunch and recommend Ostia Antica, a metro ride from Rome. In addition to the excavations, visit the castle of Pope Julius II, who commissioned Michelangelo to create the Sistine Chapel.
And, listen to all of us wise women regarding comfortable, cushioned foot wear. Those cobblestones are treacherous. Check out Aerosoles or Clarks for stylish, moderately priced slip on shoes. Slip on flats will be easier during airport security. That is what I will be wearing for my up-coming trip to Italy mid-May. And I agree with Dayle.... bring the Dr. Scholl's blister pads.
Make your Trevi Fountain coin toss a good one to ensure a return visit to pursue your "wish list".
Buona Fortuna
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