Rome in 3 Days

Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:48 AM
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Rome in 3 Days

Hi, We are headed to Italy, starting in Rome on Sept. 1st (Friday) and staying in Rome for three days. Can you please help me set an agenda to make the most of my time in Rome. Is there any Sunday closures I should be aware of other than the Vatican Museum? We are staying at the Residenza Antica....Thanks!
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Look at a guide book and make a list of your top "must sees." Then, come back and list them, and the smart folks on this board will be able to tell you the best order in which to see them.
missypie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Our must sees are the Vatican, St. Peter's, the ruins, Colosseum, Spanish Steps and the Trivi Fountain.
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Hi l caruso ~

This might be a good place for you to start to see what you have interest in:[email protected]

Then do what missypie said, come on back if you still need assistance, or have specific questions.

Have fun! Rome is wonderful!
Tiff is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:12 AM
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If you do a search for "Rome" on here you will find tons of information, including many posts similar to your own.

My "must see" list would include the Colosseum and Forum, St. Peters/Vatican City, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. Also make time to explore various churches. My favorites are Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Marie en Trastevere, San Giovanni in Laterno and San Pietro in Vincoli.

Happy planning!
tcreath is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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LOL, Tracy! We're all saying "Happy Planning", and I think they're leaving in a little over a week. Yikes!
missypie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:17 AM
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Tracy - How would you break down your "must sees" over a three day period. I have plenty of books and what I listed is really the only things we really want to do in Rome, with a few you listed that I left out.
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:33 AM
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The good part about Rome is that there is a lot to see, but a lot of it is close together within walking distance. Also, some of the sites you mention, don't require a huge amount of time (spanish steps, trevi fountain). My husband and I were in Rome for 3 days also, and felt like we were really able to see a large part of the city.

As I recall (this was 2 years ago) this was a general outline of our schedule.
Day 1 - We walked to the large war memorial (which looks french) through the forum and ruins above the forum , Arch of Constantine, Arch of Titus. Had lunch. Walked to the Pantheon. Back to the hotel for a nap. In the evening walked to the Trevi Fountain. Wandered around and found place for dinner. Gelato and back to the hotel

Day 2 - Wake up very early and get to St. Peters for opening (this is key to avoid heavy crowds). Walk through the Vatican, tour the sistene chapel, walked to the top of the dome. Skipped the museum. Bus back to Rome and had lunch. Went to spanish steps and checked out the Villa Borghese.Back to hotel for a nap, and out to a late dinner and walk.

Day 3- Woke up very early and went to Colosseum for opening (also to avoid large crowds). Toured the colosseum, and then went for a long walk...Basically just wandered all around Rome looking for all the fountains we saw in our guidebook. We walked and walked and enjoyed every minute. Went to Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Navona and toured Rome by foot. Stopped for lunch. More walking. Back to hotel for a nap. At night we walked past the colosseum lit up at night and above the forum to see it lit up.

This involved a lot of walking and was a busy itinerary. But we really got a good feeling for Rome and were able to see a lot!
steviegene is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:34 AM
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You are leaving Sept. 1st and you are just now trying to figure out how best to spend your time in Rome? YIKES

I am such a planner. I have booked our tours months in advance. I have pre-paid museum vouchers. I have chosen a restaurants or 2 at each location.

Most of my recomendations have come from reading this forum.

Have a fun trip..
JandaO is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Hi - Icaruso - you are leaving it rather later than most of the micro-planners on this forum. most of us would be in a flat spin by now if we didn't know where we wre going to be at 11.30 on Day 2!
Your main priorirt should be to group together all the sights that are near each other, to cut down on travel time, seeing you only have 3 days.
Steveigene's ideas look good, but you should aim to see the Forum and the Colosseum in the same day, together with the museums and church at the top of the capitoline hill if you've got the energy.
If not, taxi back to the hotel, rest, then see the trevi fountain, campo dei fiori, Piazza Navona and Pantheon, on your way out to dinner.
Day 2 you could do the vatican & St. Peter's, have a rest, then explore Trastevere.
Day 3 I would go to the Villa Borghese [remember to pre-book], have lunch, then visit the park or shop.[you could the the Spanish steps on the way back]. I am sure that OPs will tell you why \i am wrong, and give you lots of other great ideas. You could have a great trip just wandering about without any plans at all, there is so much to see and do.
Have a wonderful time.
annhig is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:51 AM
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My wife and I also spent three days in Rome a couple of years back. (Planning our return next year. YAY!) This is from an old thread (
Here's what we did:

+ Fri: Ar night (~11:00 pm), check-in, late dinner
+ Sat: Ancient Rome -- Collesseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, National Roman Museum at Palazzo Massimo (extrodinary mosaics from Livia's house), few churches, Trevi fountain at night
+ Sun: Ostia Antica, Spanish Steps, walking along the Tiber, St. Peter's for mass, Campo di Fiori
+ Mon: Vatican -- Vatican Museum, St. Peter's, more general walking.

Keep in mind, we were there in Feb, so crowds weren't a big issue.

sanschag is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:57 AM
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lcaruso, I guess you could be of most help to us if you identified which - if any - of the many churches you would like to visit (in addition to St. Peters).

I assume you are visiting the Vatican Musuem on your own, rather than as part of a tour. I think the conventional wisdom is to arrive around lunchtime - maybe 12:30 or 1 pm - then you should have only about a 45 minute wait in line rather than a 3 hour wait. Others, please correct me if I am wrong.

Also, it is most effecient and requires the least waiting in line to (1) tour the vatican museum/Sistine chapel, (2) use the "back door" to St. Peter's, (3) climb to the top of St. Peter's, and (4) tour the underground grave sites (not the Scavi Tour - you need reservations for that). Our family did not have the stamina to climb the dome after our Vatican/St. Peter's tour, so we had to come back another day and wait in the security line again.

Here are some sites that are easy to combine because they are near one another:

1. Santa Maria sopra Minerva church, the Pantheon (stop for gelato), S. Ignazio di Loyola church (false dome), Trevi Fountain. Or, you could do that tour backwards and keep going after Santa Maria sopra Minerva and walk on to the Piazza Navona - some great churches, fountains and street entertainment, with good restaurants nearby.

2. You can combine the forum and colleseum with St. Peter in Chains church and/or San Clemente church.

3. Castel St. Angelo is on the way to the Vatican.

NOTE: With a couple of exceptions, the churches are not open "all day." Most are open for a few hours in the morning, close for a long lunch-mid afternoon, then reopen for a few hours.
missypie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:11 AM
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can someone please explain the "back door" to St. Peter's?
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:22 AM
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You might find the "Top 10 Rome" book helpful. I did...
dorkforcemom is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:32 AM
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The "back door" is the one that supposedly only tour guides know about, but I think that everyone uses it. It's a little door that it opposite where you entered, as opposed to the open door on the left. If you use that door, you go straight on to St. Peter's, without having to exit the musuem and stand in another security line. Of course, when you use it, you miss the rest of the Vatican museum. Has anyone actually seen the rest of the Vatican museum? I've started to wonder of late what we all miss.
missypie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:37 AM
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great! thanks...we had no intentions of visiting the Vatican Museum.
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:38 AM
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But you know that that's how you see the Sistine Chapel, right?
missypie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:46 AM
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no, I didn't, guess I will be going to the Vatican Museum. Thanks for the heads up.
lcaruso is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Hi again, Icaruso - it's right that you can't get into the sistine chapel without going through the vatican museum. and there are few if any shortcuts once you are in there - there are signs from the entrance to the sistine chapel, but they simply take you along with the herd. Even if you gallop, you won't do it in less than about 2 hours, I would think.
The "secret" door is at the back on the right - you go down some steps and round a corner, and end up at the doors of St. Peter's without having to walk all the way back round the Vatican walls and queue to get through security. You can only do this if you have not taken and audio guide - if you have you have to take it back to the entrance!
As to what time to go, you will get as many ideas as there are OPs. Some favour going at 12ish on the basis that everyone [except the ones who've had the same idea] is having lunch; others get thee asap in the morning. on Easter monday, we greenhorns arrived at the end of the queue [which was within sight of the entrance to St. Peter's - a very bad sign] at about 11am. After 15 minutes we gave up. We went back on the THursday, got there are 9am, and queued for just over an hour. WE finally exited St. Peter's [and we didn't have energy for the dome either] at about 3pm, and we'd spent about an hour in ST. Peter's.
If this doesn't sound like your idea of fun, you could seriously consider not doing the vatican museums - you can see very much the same sort of things in the Palatine and Capitoline museums, and the sistine chapel is frankly spoilt by all the people. There are many churches that are more atmospheric, and you could see quite a few of them in a day. Also you would have time for the dome, Castal st. angelo, a river trip, ostia antica - the list of alternatives is endless.
annhig is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:22 AM
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You don't have to see anything in the Vatican Museum if you're not interested. You can bypass basically everything except walking through that long map room.
rkkwan is offline  

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