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Rome Itinerary Help - Trip Planning for Sep 09

Rome Itinerary Help - Trip Planning for Sep 09

Jul 9th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 8
Rome Itinerary Help - Trip Planning for Sep 09

We will be in Rome for 8 days late Sep to early October. Could you please help me with our itiinerary? I'm a bit concerned that we've put too much on and are going to be tired instead of rested and relaxed. Here's what we've planned:

Wed: Arrive FCO early morning
Travel to apartment (near Piazza Navona)
Settle at apartment
Evening dinner / stroll from Campo di Fiori to Spanish Steps

Thurs: La Bocca della Verita
Circo Massimo
Palentine Hill / Forum / Colisseum – Roma Pass
San Pietro Vincoti (Michangelo’s Moses)
Emmanual Vittoriano / Piazza del Campiodoglio (Capitoline Hill)

Fri: Vatican – St. Peter’s Basilica & dome climb, Sistine Chapel & Raphael
Walk by Castel Sant’Angelo
Evening boat tour, time permitting

Sat: Borghese Gallery
Santa Maria Maggiore
San Clemente

Sun: Day Trip: Pompeii & Amalfi coast tour

Mon: Villa Farnesina
Tempietto of Bramante
Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Tues: Day of relaxation / shopping

Wed: Depart FCO

Also, if anyone can share what I should expect in terms of weather, that would be a great help too!

Thank you
dbates12 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,491
We were there in March, so can't speak to the weather when you're going, but I'm sure others can help there. Weather Underground can also help with averages.
I think your plans for Thursday are kind of ambitious. There's a lot to see but if you're OK with sort of hurrying through them, it could work, if the crowds aren't too heavy.
We didn't do any day trips, but yours sound fine. Is this a tour? If not, what transportation will you use?
If you have an early morning flight, be sure to check the time the airport opens! We were picked up (pre-arranged by Gate 1) at 4:15 and got to the airport before 5, couldn't even get into the parking lot, and the airport itself didn't open til 6 AM and our airline folks didn't get there til 6:45. It was a chilly wait, with no facilities or even a bench to sit on.
I love your Tuesday! Don't pass up things along the way, though, as surely you'll regret that. My shopping philosophy is to not rush into anything but definitely don't wait til the last minute.
Also, be prepared for the taxi drivers. We had a bad experience with TWO. The first one actually hit a pedestrian while we were in the car. The second one drove half a block the wrong way on a one way street, then hopped over a big curb to avoid oncoming traffic.
Also, for the first time in 10 years of European travel we encountered crime. A motorcycle or scooter rode by and grabbed my friend's backpack strap. It was a small one with nothing at all of value in it, just water and guidebooks, but it got his attention and he grabbed it, pulling my friend to the ground and injuring her elbow and knee. Not enough to ruin the trip, but upsetting enough. Just use good common sense and be aware of your surroundings, even in daylight in places that aren't isolated.
You'll love Rome.
Challiman is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 8
Thanks for the info Challiman. As for the Thursday, we were thinking that we could walk around La Bocca della Verita (specifically want to see the Lion's Head that was filmed in the movie Roman Holiday) & Circo Massimo while we waited for the Palentine, etc to open. If you think this is too much though, we can move them to our Monday Trastevere sight seeing. Your tip to use common sense is a good one. I was planning to carry a camera bag. It straps across my body with a heavy strap. I normally walk with hand holding onto the handle as well. Do you think this will be OK? As for the airport, I got our arrival time and departure time confused. We actually don't depart until 10:00am so we should be OK.
dbates12 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,491
Hello, again!
I think you might like changing the schedule as you mentioned, but one thing I keep in mind is that flexibility is a must. Don't wear yourself out or you won't enjoy yourself very much.
My friend and I are both into photography and always have our DSLR cameras around our neck. We often carry a few accessories as well. I use a vest that has very generous pockets to put all sorts of things in that free up my hands and also don't run the risk of tempting snatchers. I first bought a vest at a photo shop and it was pretty good, but not fashionable at all. I then found a Scottievest that has worked perfectly. I bought the jacket with zip-off sleeves (about $100.). It has tons of pockets that ZIP, safer than velcro pockets, harder for a thief to get into.I can put extra lenses, batteries, memory cards, money, maps, guide books, water bottle, etc. in there and the weight is evenly distributed. I'm a short female and can't tolerate a lot of weight, so this works great for me. What you describe sounds kind of heavy but if you are comfortable with it I don't imagine you'll have any trouble. Remember, in 10 years of traveling to Europe this was the only time we had any sign of trouble. I don't like to overstate the dangers, but it is foolish not to be prepared and be aware of your surroundings.
I don't have the link for the Scottievest, but have never found it other than online. If you have questions about it, I'll be glad to answer them.
Challiman is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Your itinerary is very ambitous, Especially Firday at St Peter's. The Sistine Chappel will take you a VERY long time to navigate and that's after you walk for ten minutes to get to it from St Pete's.

You have also left off what I consider mandatory sights:
rickblack001 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
(Darn computer went buggy for a minute) Those sights are the Pantheon - while it wont take long to see its so impressive for being one of the oldest buildings in Rome you shouldn't skip it.

The Trevi Fountain is awsome, especially at night when the lighting shows off it's beauty. Don't forget to trun your back to the fountain and toss a coin (or two) over your shoulder to guarantee you will return to Rome. And, by the way, stop in one of the gelato stores for a treat.

If you haven't been to Italy before, add a stop at the open air market in the Piazza dei Fiore. It will give you a quick look at the amazing variety of produce, flowers and even some clothing that you will probably not see by staying on the "tourist" trails.

Don't just "walk past the Castel Sainte Angelo, take 30 minutes to go inside.

San Pietro in Vincoli is actually pretty tough to find, but also very impressive.

Your day trip to Pompeii and amalfi will make for a VERY long day. The drive down there takes about 1.5 hours to Naples (once you get out of Rome and then another 30 minutes to Pompeii. The Amalfi coast can take several hours in each direction especially since the road is one lane in each direction and you have to follow busses and large trucks through the tight turns. If you are not going on an organized bus tour, I doubt you will be able to make this happen in one day.

My wife and I LOVE Italy having lived there for over five years and go back every three years or so to visit close friends. If you follow the advice in the postings above and be aware of pickpockets, you'll want to go back too!
rickblack001 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Posts: 8
Thanks everyonne for the feedback. Truly appreciate it.

Chamillon: Thanks for the tip on the photography vest. I too like to take pictures. I have a vest and will dig out of my closet for the trip.

Rickblack001: Maybe, we'll go down to the market area for lunch on the day we arrive. That way we'll hopefully get to see the market. We had hoped to see the Panetheon, Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps on our evening stroll on Tuesday. The plan was to start out at Piazza Navano (very near out apartment), walk past the Pantheon, onto the Trevi Foutain and then onto the Spanish Steps. Is this reasonsable? Also, you mentioned that our Friday plan for the Vatican is ambitious. We were basically planning to spend the day there but if we need to drop something off our list what you suggest? As for the day trip, we were planning to go with a tour group (8 or so people). Their website says that its a 13 hour day. Would you suggest that we drop this off our itinerary and just spend more time in Rome?

Thanks again to both! Truly appreciate the help
dbates12 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
If you are going on a guided tour, I think you should take the opportunity. Rome is really great, but you also need to get away and the Amalfi is truely spectacular. I don't really recommend doing the drive more than once. We've driven it several times and it can get a bit repetative. And the driver (usually me) never really gets to see the scenery. It takes a lot of concentration on the road. Most normal toruists rarely go south of Rome since the big name sights are to the north, but we have travelled extensively throughout the country and have found many great things on both East and West coasts in the South.

If you are up to all the walking you can probably do both St peters and the Sistine Chapel, but, do your research for hours of operation and, for the Sistine Chapel, what days it is closed.

Your plan to walk from Piazza Navona to the Spanish Steps is perfect. Except I'm not sure if the Pantheon is open in the evening. You may be able to research it's hours on the Internet. And get a map that clearly shows streets, the larger scale the better tat way you can count intersections and not get too lost.
rickblack001 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,572
The Roma Pass is for three consecutive days so by sticking the Vatican (not part of the pass) in the middle of your touring, you lose a day. Keep in mind that the free entrances are the first two scanned so if you planned to use it for Colosseum/Palantine/Forum and the Borghese, you will not be able to use it for Castel S'Angelo.

I'm not sure the Pantheon will be open on your evening stroll on day 1. It will be dark by 6 and I was under the impression they closed by dark (perhaps one hour before). I'm not sure you will enjoy the night boat tour either. Not all that much to see in the dark from the river and it will likely be a bit chilly although the boats are enclosed. If it's the Battelli di Roma dinner cruise, I can't imagine the food will be very good either. I would much prefer to find a nice piazza for dinner and people watch.
kybourbon is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Posts: 555
www.weatherbase.com has historical weather averages (highs, lows, precipitation, etc.) by month.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Thanks everyone. We've removed the Amalfi Coast / Pompeii day trip from our itinerary. We decided that we wanted to take our time looking around Rome. Here's the revised itinerary:

Wed Arrive: FCO 7:55 am
To apartment (near Piazza Navona)
Settle in at apartment
Evening stroll from Campo di Fiori to
Spanish Steps

Thur La Bocca della Verita
Circo Massimo
Palentine Hill / Forum / Colisseum – (Roma Pass)
San Pietro Vincoli
Fri Guided tour Sistine
Chapel & Raphael's Rooms
& St. Peter’s Basilica, (domb climb?)
Castel Sant’Angelo
Evening boat tour,
if not too tired

Sat Trevi Fountain – optional
Spanish Steps - optional
Borghese Gallery
Santa Maria Maggiore
San Clemente

Sun Trajan column
Piazza Venezia
Emmanual Vittoriano – Capitoline
Hill – Piazza del Campiodoglio

Mon Villa Farnesina
Tempietto of Bramante
Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Tues Day of relaxation / shopping

Wed Depart FCO 10:00 am
dbates12 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,578
I like the revised itinerary. And if there is something you have missed and you are dying to do, it can fit in on Tuesday.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Am thinking either itinerary would work here, though it's probably prudent to save Pompeii and such for another time, as it's a bit of a haul from Rome (maybe as part of an Amalfi Coast and Naples trip). If you still wanted to see something like Pompeii, an easy day trip would be to the ruins of Ostia Antica, which are excellent and can be reached via subway.
bachslunch is online now  

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