Rome Itinerary critique, please.

Oct 12th, 2007, 07:47 AM
Original Poster
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Posts: 79
Rome Itinerary critique, please.

We're heading to Italy in November. It will be our first trip. My husband and I are 29 and 30 and are "foodies". Any suggestions or comments about restaurants are highly appreciated.

How does this look? Too much? Do you see any crisscrossing about town?

Nov 17th (Saturday)
Arrive FCO at 5:35pm
Pick up by
Check into Hotel Genio
8:00pm Dinner at Der Pallaro or ????

Nov 18th (Sun)
cruise around Piazza Navona
Lunch at Montecarlo Pizzeria
1:00-3:30 ICON Tour of Forum, Colosseum and Palantine Hill
Nap time, shopping, free time
8:00 Dinner at Alfredo e Ada

Nov 19th (Mon)
8:30 Daily mass at St. Peter's
10:45-12:15 Scavi Tour
Lunch at San Marco
2:30 - 5:30 Private Vatican Tour (Vatican Tours, Inc)
Free time
Dinner at Osteria dell'Angelo

Nov 20th (Tues)
Ostia Antica Day!
No plans for afternoon in case we want to spend the whole day at OA.

Nov 21st (Wed)
8:30-11:00 Borghese Gallery Context Tour
Santa Maria della Vittoria (Ecstasy of St. Theresa)
Lunch - Suggestions?
Spanish Steps down to Via Veneto, on to Trevi Fountain and Pantheon

Nov. 22nd (Thurs)
Hadrian's Villa
Lunch at Antiche Terme di Diana
Villa d'Este

Nov. 23rd (Fri)
Checkout of Hotel (Hold our luggage, please?)
Trastevere and Jewish Ghetto
Head to Florence on the train
dahlie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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A couple of observations:

-- Your itinerary has a bit too much free time for two young people going to Rome for the first time! I read you are foodies, but browse that guidebook again and penciled down some more sights! You will be sorry to have missed a lot due to poor planning.

-- Hotel Genio, while a good location, is nowhere worth the price. I stayed there in Nov 2003 and it was noisy, breakfast was mediocre, and the front staff was miserable. If I was to do it again, I would look into Hotel Nazionale, located facing a lovely piazza and pedestrianized streets.Anothre gem?: Albergo de Cesari (IF you can find a room....)

-- As far as restaurants, a lot of people "on the know" will tell you best food in Rome is located at the Trastevere neighborhood; I tend to agree. That said, my all-time favorite restaurant in Rome is La Capricciosa, at Largo dei Lombardi, 8; just great food.
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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A couple of observations:

-- Your itinerary has the perfect amount of free time for two young people going to Rome for the first time!

Too many people over schedule their visits to Rome and miss out on the small things - opportunities to hand out in a piazza people watching, poking your head into some random churches and taking the time to kneel and pray, window shopping, etc.

You may want to consider a tour for Ostia. It is an expansive area and an interactive tour can help bring the history alive. I believe Icon has a tour there, and you get a 2nd tour discount with them.
J62 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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There's a wonderful little restaurant right around the corner from Hotel Genio: FIAMMETTA. If you're standing looking at the Genio, it would be on the right, around the corner.

Great open wood-fired pizza oven. Carefree atmosphere. All our food was delicious...especially, of all things, the spinach crepe!
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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Looks Great !
You will love the location of your hotel. We leave next week for Rome
and I'm trying to make reservations at, a lot of people here highly reccomend it. I actually prefer the food at the bars however. I have spent less money and had better food at these smaller places. My two favorite
so far are , and
I'm sure I'll have other favorites when we return Nov. 1.
Have a wonderful time there
Genie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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I would add in a visit to Castel Sant'Angelo when you are around the Vatican. There are fabulous views from the top.
Delaine is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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I think your planning looks wonderful. IMO, you did a great job getting your tours scheduled well.

Only thing I noticed is Forum, Colosseum, & P.H. all within 1-3:30. I assume you know that will be a very fast skim-over. We spent 4 hrs. just in P.H. May be enough for you with all of the other sites, or you may want to take some free time & go back.

Have a great trip, Julie
Julie_Hurst is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Thanks everyone!

We will definitely look into La Capricciosa. It sounds great so far!

Typically, we like to plan the really important things and then leave plenty of time to explore. We kind of like to go off the beaten path, so once we've traveled the beaten path, we'll explore.

I've replaced Der Pallaro with Fiammetta, since we'll be arriving later in the afternoon and will be tired. That way, we can eat *very* nearby and walk around if we're up for it.

Genie, I'm at work, so I haven't had a chance to check out your links but I will for sure! Thank you!

Now that our Vatican Tour has been moved, we'll have the entire afternoon of the 19th free. Any suggestions? We can head to the Castel Sant'Angelo but anything else come to mind?

Julie, yeah, it sounds like it will be quick, which I'm bummed about. We might have to head back!
dahlie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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I suspect Alfredo e Ada is not open on Sunday. Do call head to verify.

For lunch on Wednesday, try my favorite not far from Santa Maria della Vittoria, just down the block from Santa Maria Maggiore:

Trattoria Monti
Via di San Vito 13
tel 06.4466573
closed Sunday evening & all day Monday (plus August vacation weeks)
A charming family-run trattoria that serves interesting dishes of the Marche region. This is a very pleasant diversion from the usual Roman fare. Reservations for dinner necessary.

If you do a search here, you'll find other foodie's recomendations for Trattoria Monti.
ellenem is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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On a recent trip my wife and I decided against seeing Hadrian's Villa because of the time spent getting there and returning. If I were you I'd check to see if you could take a tour and avoid going there using mass transit. Alternatively, skip it completely and see some of Rome's churches listed in some of the threads in this forum. If you do, you'll see magnificent baroque architecture and some of Caravaggio's best painting.
sjj is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Fantastic, thank you. Yes, we've moved our Alfredo e Ada times to Tuesday, just in case.
dahlie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Dahlie, first I want to recommend City Secrets: Rome, a guidebook unlike others. In it about 200 contributors (mostly Americans, ranging from academics to architects to chefs etc) reveal their secrets about Rome. It's all organized by zone, and each has an easy map. We refer to it when in any zone with extra time for some interesting idea, or beforehand when setting off to an area. Often you find something fascinating or delicious right around the corner from where you stand. Get a copy.

If you're printing out any maps, mark them with locations of recommended gellaterie or cafes, etc, so you can find them quickly when there's an extra half hour to relax.

One rec from me, when you leave the Borghese you probably won't rush over to S Maria della Vittoria, as you have the gardens all around you, and even in Nov there may be charms for you there. But you will likely find the church closed from noon-4:00 - along with most other churches. So there's a little dilemma.

Your option may be to spend some time
in the gardens, then do lunch above the spanish steps somewhere, then the steps, your shopping etc, and go back to see Teresa at 4:00. Note that sort of between the Spanish Steps and S Maria della Vittoria you will find gelateria San Crispino - a GREAT one.

Something not on your list (and I agee that it's great NOT to try to do it all) is S Maria del Popolo, up on Pza del Popolo. For art, this is my favorite: two Berninis and two Caravaggios, and rarely a crowd. Often you have it almost to yourself. The Caravaggios are especially great, but the Berninis are also worth the trip.

Finally, one food institution you'll want to visit is Volpetti (aka Formaggiomania) in Testaccio. A great purveyor of cheese, meat, bread, and everything else you need for a picnic or in-room meal. (Or on board the train meal.) And the atmosphere is entertaining, the counter men a real experience in themselves.

In fact, there is a lot happening in the dining realm over in Trastevere and neighboring Testaccio has some wonderful authentic neighborhood restaurants. So maybe try to get there before your last day.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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dahlie, for your free afternoon, I agree that the Castel Sant'Angelo is a great option. We really enjoyed our visit. Hadn't heard much about it & was surprised that it is such a great site, but if you go, be sure to rent the audioguide. Great photo ops from the rooftop! Nice little outside cafe on the rooftop also.

Other possibilities:
1. more time in the Ancient City
2. Appian Way or Catacombs of Priscilla, which are north of Villa Borghese.
3. stroll along Via del Corso
4. San Clemente Church-3 layers of history

Agree with other posting that a tour to Hadrian's Villa will save you time.

Wow, you have done a lot of research & have outlined a great visit to Rome. By the way, I love November in Rome. We will be there from Nov 5-15, right before your visit - can't wait!

Julie_Hurst is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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belken22 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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I think 2 days with day trips is a lot for the length of your trip. Probably you will have some time at the end of each day and you are staying in a very good central location, but you might want to reconsider spending so much time out of the city.

On the last day how much time do you have to explore Trastevere and the ghetto before the train to Florence? These are areas where it is nice to be able to stroll without a lot of time pressure.

I agree with Julie that a tour that covers the Forum, Palatine and Colosseum in 2 1/2 hours is going to have you missing quite a lot but it's hard to tell what. You will probably want to go back. Be sure to see the Campidoglio.

You don't specifically mention visiting Campo de'Fiori but it would be easy to do from your hotel. The market is only open mornings to noon/early afternoon Monday to Saturday but you have several days when it would be easy to add this in.

Of course there are hundreds of churches to see besides St.Peter's and Santa Maria della Vittoria. As noted in another post many are closed in the middle of the day. If you have any interest in Caravaggio, there are 3 beautiful paintings of the life of St. Matthew in San Luigi dei Francesci, a block away from Piazza Navonna.

The DK eyewitness Travel guide has a walking tour featuring Bernini's work which you might want to look at especially for the area near Santa Maria
della Vittoria (Piazza Barberini, etc)

another beautiful (Gothic) church near the Pantheon with great artwork is Santa Maria sopra Minerva. (Bernini sculpture of elephant holding up an obelisk in front)

If the weather is nice after your morning at the Vatican you could go up the Janiculum (Gianicolo) hill via taxi or bus. There is a spectacular view of the city from the Piazzale Garibaldi and you can walk down toward Trastevere, seeing the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola and St. Pietro in Montorio with Bramante's Tempietto along the way.

Vttraveler is online now  
Oct 13th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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I've taken the Icon Ancient Rome tour of Forum, Colosseum and Palatine. I found 2 1/2 hrs to be a very nice length of time. Sure we could have spent more time but I didn't need to know the details of every single column, every single structure.

Entry to the Forum is free, and you can observe the Forum from the Capitoline hill after dark. I returned several times last trip there just to stroll and enjoy the sights at different times of the day. From the Capitoline hill, the night time view of Forum with Colosseum in the background is beautiful.
J62 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Vttraveler made my point-- there are so many gems in Rome, which good research and planning prevents from missing.
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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My wife and I went to Rome a couple of year sback and we had a very nice trip there. Lots of good food, lots of stuff to see and do etc. Here is my trip report with pictures and links and I hope that you can find some useful information there.

We also went to Florence in July and that trip report is not ready yet. But I hope to have it ready soon. Send me a mail on [email protected] if you want me to let you know when it is ready

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Since you're foodies, I was going to say that I would recommend you skip der Pallaro, but I see you've already decided to do that. You have a nice itinerary, but I agree that you might want to skip one of those daytrips. There is just so much to see in Rome! In the past two years, I've been lucky enough to spend 30 days there, and even though I always intend to take a daytrip, I have yet to do so...

If you're going off the beaten path, just go in every church that you come to. Even small, out-of-the-way churches usually have something wonderful to see. My most recent trip report lists some lesser-visited churches if you're interested:
SusanP is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Your trip sounds fabulous. We're going in November, too... arriving November 1st. Can't wait!

If you're out a bit before dinner, wander over to Bar della Pace. It's very near your hotel and a lovely place for your first prosecco. (We like to stand at the old fashioned bar.) There's a map at this site. I think it's only a couple of blocks...ask the hotel the best way to get there.
JeanneB is offline  

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