Rome in 3 days

Aug 6th, 2007, 08:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 41
Rome in 3 days

I wish my family could be in Rome for more than 3 days...however, that is not the case SO in trying to optimize our time, I'd be grateful for your opinion.

I read this suggested itinerary in a guidebook, but what do you seasoned Italy travelers think?

Day 1
The Forums & Colosseum
Trevi Fountain in the evening

Day 2
Vatican City
Piazza Novona in the evening

Day 3
Church of the Bones-Santa Maria Concezione
Campo dei Fiori
Borghese gardens & museum
Spanish steps in the evening

Is there a day to see the Pantheon in here? I'd love to see it. Day 1?

Is this realistic or am I dreaming...

P.S. My husband & I are traveling with our 6 & 8 year old.

Thanks so much,
travelmom68 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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I would think you could fit it in on Day 1. Allow a half day for the Forum and Colosseum. Trevi Fountain will just be a short stop of whatever length you determine, depending on your preference. The Pantheon is a must IMHO. It's amazing. And it's free, in case your kids are exhausted by then. My directions are really bad, but isn't the Pantheon somewhat near the Trevi? I know we walked it, and it didn't seem far.
Aug 6th, 2007, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Your plan is fine. Keep in mind that the Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps really take no "time" other than getting to them and back. You stand there look at them until you've "seen it".

The Pantheon is a close enough walk to Campo dei Fiori that you can easily combine it on day three.

On Day 3, I suggest you see the Pantheon and Campo dei Fiori together in the morning as they are east of all the other sights you have planned for that day.

Also on Day 2 - Vatican City and Piazza Navona are close to one another while the Catacombs are pretty far. I would consider seeing the the Catacombs first thing in the AM (by taxi to save time) and then Vatican City. Afterwards, stroll over to Piazza Navona in the evening, stopping for dinner along the way (Via del Governo Vecchio in particular has lots of good restaurants).
bardo1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Day evening, if you dine near Navona or Pantheon, or Trevi you can soak in the sights & sounds of all 3 as they are not more than a stones throw from each other.

You won't get in the panthoen at night, but you can return one morning to go inside, revisit Navona, and revisit Trevi in different light.

Campo dei fiori is a morning thing. You can browse for a while, or you can buzz right through just to get a feel. I stayed right nearby recently and never bought anything (ex fresh zucchini flowers), as quality and price were equal or better (esp price) at local supermarket.

Day 2 - be prepared to skip the catacombs if your kids start to sag after vatican. Rather take the time to stroll, find another gelato, etc.

You can get 116mini bus right from Campo dei Fiori area all the way to Borghese museum. It winds its way through the old district but will save your legs and your kids mood.
otherwise your 3 day plan lookd fine, including comments above.

Gotta run now.
J62 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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You can get 116mini bus right from Campo dei Fiori area all the way to Borghese museum.

Otherwise take a taxi to the Borghese gardens & museum. It's uphill and not very close to anything else. Just don't walk it.
bardo1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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I would not do the catacombs on the same day as the Vatican. The Vatican will probably take more time than you anticipate.

In fact, unless you have a special interest, I would skip the catacombs altogether for such a brief visit.

Yes the Pantheon is quite near both Piazza Navona and the Trevi fountain--right between the two in fact. Without stopping to look at anything, one can walk from the Pantheon to the Trevi in 5-10 minutes.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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I agree with the others. The Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Campo di Fiori are all within a short walking distance of each other. I highly suggest visiting the Pantheon during the day when its open to tourists, but also visit at night when its lit up...a magical sight!

tcreath is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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I appreciate your realization that 3 days only touches Rome.
You say you want to "optimize" your time, but at what expense?
For instance, packing in a lot sacrifices slow relaxing strolls,etc.

When do you expect to start your first day in Rome? What time of year?
When my children were that age, hot and long days walking really turned them off.

With children that age I think your first day looks fine. I highly recommend having them see some mosies that have the forum/colosseum featured. Old gladiator types.
I believe that DK has a guide book that might work well with children. It's the one that shows pictures of the forum and colosseum today and has various overlays that pictures it as it was. Someone else here may be able to get you the correct name. If not,I'll check through my Rome stuff.
They might enjoy the Maritime prison while at the Forum.
The Trevi and Spanish steps are close to each other,but this will be a very crowded area. Look for vendors selling the roasted chesnuts .I'd bet your kids would enjoy the vovalty of eating them as they walk.
If this is a Fri/Sat ,the crowds will be huge.

Day 2
At St. Peter's (that's the only thing "Vatican City" place you'll be able to enjoy),I'd recommend that you take them to the top of the Dome. I also believe that one of the 3 "free" tours by the students might be good. It's only 45 minutes and I'd bet these young tour guides would make this come alive for your children.
I normally don't recommend the Catacombs for the first (especially short)trip. I,however,remember how I was curious about them when I was a child. How will you plan on traveling there?
When there, consider bike rentals. Also, this is a great area for the kids to run around in a park-like setting.
Novona at night is nice (do the Pantheon then-it's real close). I'd really build up how old it is before they see it.

Seeing the bones right before/after Borghese makes sense. It will only be a half hour,but probably one of their highlights.Borghese is great for kids.
rowboats, pony-carts for rent and even a zoo. They'll have a blast.

I'd really consider Castel Sant'Angelo.
Again,never at the top of my list,it's a place the kids should love. They'll like the wide circular ramp leading up to the different levels of the castle, and visiting the museum inside which has a lot of armor and weaponry of ancient times (not to mention the courtyard with several cannons and piles of cannonballs scattered all around).
If it were me, I'd move day 3 into 2's spot. Day 3, I'd do the Catacombs,if they want and if time fits. Sant'Angelo is not far from the Vatican. I'd go there after you do the top of the Dome.
While I think there are interesting things for them to enjoy in the Vatican museums, it's a lot of walking.

jabez is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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You are getting lots of different possible itinerary combinations.
You should certainly be able to visit the Pantheon/Piazza della Rotunda area. You asked about doing this Day #1. You could easily combine seeing the Pantheon and Piazza Navona and probably also campo de Fiori late afternoon/early evening of the same day you tour the Forum and colosseum. The Pantheon is open until 6 p.m. sunday, 7:30 other days. If you ate in that area you could definitely manage it plus the other piazzas. Da Baffetto on Via del governo Vecchio is famous for pizza

In the same general area you will find the area Sacra dell'Argentina with the remains of four roman temples and a cat sanctuary in the SW corner.

When you say Vatican City on Day #2 do you mean St Peter's or the Vatican museums or both? Both is a really tiring day even without adding another destination. There is a boat from Isola Tiberina to the Vatican area which would probably appeal to them as an alternative to walking/buses

If you decide you want to go to the catacombs there is a tourist bus called the archeobus that goes out to that area and beyond, along the Appian Way. I think you may find this too much to fit in comfortably during a 3 day trip

A lot depends on where you are staying. If you are staying in the central historic area most of the things you want to see are really quite close together.

Another stop your kids might enjoy is the Bocca della Verita at Santa Maria in Cosmedin. This is the "mouth of Truth" which will snap off the hand of people who are telling lies. The medieval church is also very beautiful.
Vttraveler is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Make sure that you don't squeeze in too much. Remember that it is supposed to be fun and if you try to squeeze in too much you will just end up with kids that are warm/tired/bored etc I saw a lot of examples of that when I went to Florence recently. Here is my trip report with pictures and links from Rome: . Have a great trip

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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I agree with the above. I sincerely believe that oftentimes people who come back not liking Rome feel this way because they spend all their time going from big site to big site without taking time to simply enjoy being there. Rome is a great walking city. Sit down in a beautiful piazza with a glass of wine and savor your time there.

tcreath is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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I do agree with you about slowing things down, I'm trying...but it's so so hard. I'm excited! After we're in Rome we're going to stay at an agriturismo in Tuscany with a little bit of sightseeing (not much- we're staying at a place with a pool so the kids can swim & we can enjoy some WINE) and then after that we're going to stay in Lerici for 3 days of just beach time. I'm hoping this rest time with make my family forgive me for dragging them around Rome!

We're staying at Hotel Alimando Vaticano across from the Vatican Museum. Does this help? Oops, I guess I should've mentioned that part before.
travelmom68 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Travelmom, knowing the rest of your itinerary puts things into perspective. A busy schedule in Rome, followed by time in the country and at the beach sounds like a nice plan. Just don't overdo it in Rome. Allow downtime, meandering and loitering, etc. Hopefully your kids will be up to walking a lot, because Rome is definitely a walking city.
Have fun!
Aug 6th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,015
Regarding the hotel, my answer is no.

The location of your hotel is not conducive to enjoying the historic center at a leisurely pace.

You will have to trek to and from your hotel rather than come and go at will.

It's not a bad location, just not the kind where you can stop back for a short rest and head out again. Don't be afraid to use taxis as they can really cut down the stress of getting back and forth.
J62 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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Holy cow! Thanks.

We'll be flying in on the 26th at 8am! so I'd like to do the simplest and quitest day then. It sounds a smidge traumatic to drag the kids around the first day but I don't want to miss a whole day by sleeping in our room. How does my revised itinerary look? (in this order during the day)

Day 1
Campo Dei Fiori
Church of the Bones
Spanish steps (eve)

Day 2
Castel Sant'Angelo
Piazza Navona (eve)

Day 3
Trevi Fountain (eve)

It's of general concensus that we skip the Catacombs. That's fine by me. Borgese museum and gardens aren't near anything, correct? It sounds like the Pantheon is near quite a bit of things?
Thank you again.

travelmom68 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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Check out the Travel section of the New York Times. There is a really great article on 36 Hours in Rome. Also if you look up the Tourist Site web page for Rome, there is another suggested guide for a 3-day visit. Both of these are quite helpful
Aug 7th, 2007, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,126
The Borghese is a short taxi ride from the Curch of the Bones.
The Pantheon is only a couple minutes walk from Piazza Navona .
Piazza Navona is close to Campo Fiori.
Campo Firi is a short distance from Torre Argentina .Vttraveler has a great idea. I think the kids would really like going down to the cat sanctuary.

If you are arrivingb this month it will be HOT. Plan early morning for the Forum. I like you keeping this for your last day.
Have a great trip!
jabez is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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I think your revised itinerary looks fine. Just remember that the historic center of Rome really isn't that large. The Pantheon is very close to Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori and the Trevi Fountain. Honestly you can do all of these things in one evening stroll and have a fantastic time. It seems like everytime we stroll around Rome in the evenings we somehow end up in these areas.

Just an assumption here, but I doubt you will want to spend much time near the Trevi fountain. The fountain itself is lovely but its filled to the brim with tourists and annoying guys trying to sell you a stuff (roses, bubble makers, etc.) and trying to get you to pay them to take a polaroid. They are persistant and it can be enough to almost ruin the experience, or at least it did for me. I now avoid this area like the plague whenever I go to Rome!

tcreath is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
We will also be in Rome for 4 days in September, so I am very interested in this post.
Thanks everyone, for all your great suggestions.
Lordy is offline  

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