Rome Itinerary Help?

Old Aug 30th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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Rome Itinerary Help?

We will have 2.5 days in Rome on our honeymoon in early October (3 nights). It will be a first visit for both of us. We want to hit some of the main big spots, but aren't sure if we are packing too much in or leaving too much out. Any suggestions?

Day 1 (half day) Visit Borghese Gallery and walk around

Day 2 Ancient Rome - Forum, Palatine Hill, Coleseum, Pantheon

Day 3 Vatican including Sistene Chapel

We plan to try to reserve the Vatican sponsored tour. Should we also arrange for a tour at the ancient rome spots? Maybe Context Rome?

Should we try to do more? Less? Any suggestions for how to arrange our itinerary?

Thank you!!
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 08:12 PM
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We took a Context Rome tour of the Vatican (including museums & St. Peters) in May. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it to others. Good choice...

We also thoroughly enjoyed the Borghese Gallery. Your itinerary sounds great. Be sure to leave time to sit in the evenings at one of the outdoor cafes at the Pantheon and at Piazza Navona. I'm happy for you and congrats on the honeymoon (May you celebrate many years traveling to Italy together!)
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 08:25 PM
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MW,

We had a tour guide in the Vatican last summer that was arranged when we got inside and bought our admission tickets. I was not impressed. We ended up ditching the tour and going on our own. It was hard to hear and to understand our guide; plus we made stops at many selling spots where they encourage you to buy things.

On the other side of the coin, we wished we had gone with a tour of the ancient city of Rome and possibly the Colloseum.

For the most part, I enjoy going on my own...at my own pace. A book that touches on the highlights is also nice. I don't know about you, but I sometimes get overwhelmed with the amount of information spewing forth from a canned regurgitation (spelling?)of facts.

Then again, maybe I just had a bad experience. I can't help but believe that there ARE some informative and entertaining guides out there.

Whatever you do, enjoy!
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the Vatican tour. After spending some time reviewing the Context Rome website and what tours are available during our stay, I think we'll use them for everything. Here's my revised plan:

Day onelt;/> Arrive mid-afternoon. Wander and explore, possibly visit Borghese Gallery

Day 2: Morning open for soaking in the city or a visit to Borghese. Afternoon tour with Context Rome at Vatican

Day 3: Morning tour of Forum, etc with Context Rome and afternoon tour of Pantheon, etc with Context Rome.

Here's hoping we like the guides and format of the Context Rome tours since I seem to be relying heavily on them. Are we trying to do too much? I guess we can always skip the Borghese if we are too tired.
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 06:27 AM
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The nice thing about Context Rome is that there is nothing canned about the dialogue,and with a maximum of six people per group,it is indeed a dialogue rather than a monologue.

It sounds like a very reasonable first (but all too short!) exposure to Rome.
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Hi MW
Just a heads up, the Borghese is wonderful, but you have to reserve a time to visit. The entry is timed so that you have two hours to tour the Villa. It was one of my highlights of Rome. Be sure to take time to sit in a piazza with a gelato!!
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 07:12 AM
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I like your first plan better. As was mentioned, you can't "wing it" with the Borghese...you must make a reservation. If you have any concerns about flight delays at all,however, you might not want to make it on your first day. (But DON'T skip the Borghese - it will make s sculpture lover out of anyone!)

Whenever you do "ancient Rome" you can probably fit in a few more things in a day. From the Colosseo, it is a short walk to San Clemente church (three layers of houses of worship, built one one top of another, plus great mosiacs), or to St. Peter in Chains (for Michelangelo's Moses). From the Pantheon, it is a short walk to Santa Maria sopra Minerva and S. Ignazio di Loyola (with the false dome).

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 04:34 PM
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We did just about an identical itinerary in August 2003 - 2.5 days, 3 mights, the ancient, the Vatican, the Borghese, the evenings strolling. It was not too much or too little - it gave us a good overview but now that we've been we know we barely scratched the surface of all that Rome has to offer. We're going back in 2007. The city is amazing!
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Sorry about that - I meant we need to choose which of our open times we'll book the Borghese, not that we are winging it. So, either the afternoon we arrive on the next AM.

We just booked three tours with Context Rome and can't wait!

Thanks for all the tips!
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Old Sep 5th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Just returned from 3 days in Rome. I booked a Segway tour for my daughter and son-in-law and they had a ball. The cost is fairly minimal (60 Euros each) The tour took them around the coliseum, forum, pantheon, Wedding cake, circus maximus, etc and lasted about 3 1/2 hours. The company limits the group to 4 or 5 with a guide (it was just the 2 of them with a guide) and you are given 30 minutes of instruction prior to the tour to become familiar with operating a segway. They saw a lot in that 3.5 hours and it also included audio equipment. Check [email protected]. This will give you a taste of the main spots, then you can go back and really visit points of interest. Also, if you want to go into the coliseum and avoid the lines, you can join a tour at the coliseum for E20 coliseum admission is e11). For the extra E9 not only do you get to bypass the line, but you also have a guide that can give you alot of information about the history of the coliseum and will also give a guided tour of the forum. The guides stand outside the coliseum and will either come up to you or are fairly easy to spot. If you only have 2.5 days in Rome, you don't want to spend it waiting in line. The Villa Borghese Gallery limits entrance to 2 hours. You can make reservations ahead of time on-line, then just need to get there 30 minutes before your reservation time to pick up and pay for your tickets. A favorite walking route for us is to take a taxi to the Coliseum, see the Coliseum, walk thru the forum, to the Pantheon, then on to the Trevi fountain. Stopping for lunch and a rest along the way, and again for gellato. But be sure to go back to the Trevi at night, its crowded with people but fun and of course you need to throw your coin in to ensure you will return. Also Piazza Navona is fun at night. Alot of restaurants where you can have dinner and the Piazza is full of music and local artists where you can purchase various styles and mediums of art, as a wonderful souvenir of your trip. Have a great time
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Old Sep 5th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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I like your itinerary. We did tours with Context Rome for the Vatican and Forum, Colesseum and loved them! I agree with Missypie that you should be able to include the Church of St. Peter's in Chains, Church of San Clemente, and I would also add the Mammertime Prison right near the Forum.

Even if you make a reservation for the Borghese, as I recall you don't give them your credit card info. until you arrive and actually pay for the tickets, so you can make the reservation and still decide not to go. If you do go be sure and do the audio tour, it was excellent and even had my teen/tween kids interested in the sculptures!

It will be a busy 2.5 days, but you will love it....and be counting the days you can return to Rome!
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Just topping up with current itinerary.

Thank you again everyone!

Here is my revised schedule:

Day 1 (Oct 4)
1:30pm arrive at train station and check into hotel (or at least check bags). Will make Borghese reservations for late afternoon once October is available online.

Day 2 (Oct 5)
8:30-12:30 Context Rome tour: Roma Antica (Forum, Colesseum, etc)

2-5pm Context Rome tour: Sistene stroll (Vatican tour)

Day 3 (Oct 6)
3-7pm Context Rome tour: Classical Rome (Pantheon etc)


I know that second day is quite packed, but we wanted to be sure to see the Vatican, Pantheon and Colesseum/Forum. I hope we like the Context Rome tours since we are staking quite a bit on them. Everything I've read about them though leads me to believe they are just what we are looking for though.

What I still need to figure out is what to do with the unfilled time and where to eat. Any suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Any ideas for how we should spend the first afternoon/evening and the last day prior to our last tour?

Thank you!!!!
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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From my trip report to Rome this past May, here are my notes on restaurants, including the first one which I'd suggest you avoid:

". . . we stopped for dinner at Rosa Rosae Ristorante, via di Pietra 88. It was a very nice atmosphere, but a bit touristy. Food was just so-so, but service was friendly. Prices were on the higher side for the quality, at about 52EUR for two, with a half-liter of house wine. My veal was ok, but a bit tough.

. . . Later, for dinner, we headed back toward a restaurant where my daughter had eaten earlier that semester. It’s very casual and good, called the Maccheroni Ristorante at Piazza delle Coppelle, 44, phone 06 68307895. It’s very popular with locals and gets very busy. The service is friendly and the atmosphere is lively and interesting. About 47 EUR for two, with one-half liter of house wine.

. . . Trying to eat ‘lunch’ in Italy in mid-day is a big problem, as probably everybody already knows. Once they close after lunch around 3:00, restaurants don’t open again until at least 7:00, and it wasn’t easy to find a market for picnic snacks. Finding a place to sit and enjoy a salad in the afternoon is a big challenge. We didn’t have much choice, so when we found a place that looked nice and was serving food at that time of day, we didn’t care much about the price or the menu. Of course, it was outrageously expensive and rather mediocre. (Can you say “tourist trap”?) But, it was worth every penny to get some food and take a break. And it was a really charming place, with very nice outdoor seating.

. . . We had reservations to meet my daughter’s friend for dinner at 9:00. He had studied in Rome that semester and recommended his favorite restaurant in the neighborhood where he’d lived, called Il Matriciano, on Via dei Gracchi, 49- 61. (Reservations advised—phone 063213040, or 063212327) It’s perfect for a more special dinner, but certainly not over-the-top. For three people dining, we paid just 103 EUR, which included a liter of house wine. We shared two appetizers, and two of us had veal dishes, one had just spaghetti. We each enjoyed coffee and dessert. It is a very, very friendly and pleasant place. We completely enjoyed it. "

Have fun in Rome!
 
Old Sep 9th, 2006, 03:41 PM
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mw,
I'm reading this with interest as I am starting to think about our itinerary for our Rome trip in April (7 nights).

I am also thinking about booking the Vatican Stroll with Context Rome. Are you planning on touring St. Peters on your own since the Vatican Stroll does not cover that?

-Bill
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