To Rome Next Month...

Old Oct 12th, 2003, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,224
Since laur655 states that they will have only six hours in Florence (what a shame), I stand by my recommendation to skip the Uffizi.

By the way, why do you have only six hours? Is it because of the private car arrangements you have found? If you went on your own by train, you could get an early train (8ish), and arrive by 10AM. The train station is a short walk from the center--most sights are only a 10-15 minute walk in any direction from the Duomo. You could spend more time and catch a train back (8PMish), back in Rome by 10PM. Four more hours would increase your enjoyment.

That said, I think Florence should be an alternate idea for you. I agree with jmphilly to concentrate on Pompeii, especially since this was a choice of the younger people. Go to Pompeii earlier in your visit when you still have plenty of energy--it is a long travel day. Decide later in the week if you want to do Florence, even deciding the day before. And also take note that the two younger people are over 21--you and mom could head to Florence and leave the daughters behind in Rome.

Orvieto is very nice--incredibly picturesque, smaller, intimate. Easy to reach, only an hour away by train and I'm sure the trains run frequently.

Since you are talking day trips, aside from the Pompeii-with-driver trip, the trips can be decided upon the afternoon before. This is especially true because it will be November--not a busy tourist time. I've been traveling to Italy at Thanksgiving for 10 years now and I've never waited on line for a museum, and I've never made a reservation for one. The only difficulty at all was last year in Rome--a 15-minute line to get into the Colosseum that we avoided by joining an on-the-spot tour.

Make your day trip decisions in Rome after you all see how you feel about needing more or less time in Rome. Explore your options now, but don't nail anything down till you're there.

You will have a great time. Stop stressing.
ellenem is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2003, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 15

If your time is spread so thin, then focus on Rome itself. There is such a plentitude of things to see and experience. An entire day can be spent in the Coliseum and the adjoining Forum/ruins. Then spend the majority of another day in Vatican City - wear long pants, as they will not let you into St Peter's wearing shorts.

Don't worry yourself thin trying to take it all in at once. Rome has so much to do that you will find yourself going back anyway to cover what you didn't see the first time around. Just sit back and allow yourself to have a true sprititual awakening!
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:34 AM
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I want to highlight and second ellenem's suggestion on sightseeing at the Colosseum. Even in November there was a LONG line to buy tickets to go in. Easily avoidable by joining a tour. These are typically sold at the spot, tour guides (Enjoy Rome, etc...) either approach you or you can see them gathering. Good guides, best way to see the Colosseum (specially if you are pressed by time demands), worth the $$.

Also, a great suggestion to assume a wait-and-see on Florence. When I was in Rome last Nov, there were flooding episodes in Florence, definitely they got more rain than Rome did.

As far as paying $500+/day for a private guide, who in top of that, is limiting your sightseeing time, doesn't sound like a worthy idea to me.
Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:43 PM
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Posts: 13
ellenem and Maira....OK, you're changing my mind on travel. I definitely am going to Orvieto because the Hill Town is my choice. If we take the train to we need tickets AND reservations?..that is why i thought the driver was a better deal. I realize that once we get to Florence (if we go) everything is central and i would like more time to explore. Do you think I should keep the car and driver for Pompeii and surrounding area? The trip is coming together...I appreciate all the comments.Thanks.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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If you go to Florence, I don't think museum reservations will be necessary at this time of year, but you seem to be interested in having them. This would take a little advance planning, although I bet your hotel in Rome could call and reserve if you decided to do so at the last minute. You could buy your train tickets a day or two ahead. ES trains come with automatic reservation.

The driver for Pompeii sounds like a better idea to me. You can do it by train, but your group will have to make a few connections (get to Termini in Rome...Rome to Naples...change trains for Pompeii) and door to door service might be more pleasant for such a long trip.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 07:52 PM
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ellenem and maira...and rest of trip advisors... Ok I think I will make definite plans for car to Pompeii, choose a nice day for Orvieto by train and hold on Florence to see if we can handle it or need the extra day in Rome...I'm very glad for the advise...this is a big adventure for us and the responsiblity of the trip falls to me. El...where do you stay when in Rome?
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 08:13 PM
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Also, for the colisseun, the forum and the vatican...Do you recommend guides? prearranged or hire one on-site?
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Can't recommend a Rome hotel. The last time I booked one I chose from scratch was too long ago to recommend. One reason we go at Thanksgiving is because a number of companies offer inexpensive independent packages. (Ours is airfare, 5 nights hotel, airport transfer, breakfast, all for $599.) Therefore we have limited hotel choices. My trips at other times of year are more freeform (visiting friends in smaller cities) and choose as I go. I plan to write a trip report of how this package worked for us since people are always wondering about these seemingly good deals. This time we're staying closer to Termini than I'd like, but our choices were limited by the finances of the others in our group.

I usually don't arrange tour guides, but then I studied this stuff in a big way. However, last Thanksgiving we did use the on-the-spot Colosseum guide who we found informative and entertaining, so we decided to use them for the Palatine Hill and Forum as well. My only complaint--the Palatine tour started at 2PM and the Forum closes at 5PM--not really enough time in our estimation. We would have liked to linger after the tour and explore a bit more. Also, the sun was setting by then.

We arrive in Rome Wednesday, 26 November, and depart Monday, 1 December. Perhaps we'll bump into one another in the Colosseum.
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 03:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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In Roma, I would skip the Borghese gallery and instead, definitely go to the Uffizi in Firenze. It is one of the things Firenze is known for - along with the Accademia. Also, seeing Pompeii/Amalfi Coast as a day trip does not sound feasible. It takes a good 2 hours to get down to the Naples area from Roma and then travel out to Pompeii, plus return time. And that is not including time to venture to the coast to see some towns along the picturesque La Costiera Amalfitana! I would perhaps go for a day and 1/2 (i.e. travel down to and visit Pompeii; then next morning head to Sorrento or Amalfi, then head back up to Roma in late afternoon). Although 7 days sounds like enough time, you will find yourself cramming things in to see all that in such a short time. As other posters have suggested, perhaps it is better to relegate the 7 days to a specific city (ie Roma?) and concentrate on that. Roma itself could easily take up the 7 days alone! Regardless of what you ultimately choose to do - have fun and enjoy yourselves in this most wonderful country! Buon viaggio!
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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ellenem...thanks for the advise. I feel much more comfortable with my trip. We arrive on Saturday, November 22 and leave Sat, Nov.29th. Plan is Orvieto and Pompeii, wait and see Florence (time and weather will be a factor). Now atttempting to get trrain schedules for Orvieto and Florence, unable last night...perhaps still striking??
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 06:06 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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I would like to suggest that you save Pompeii and Amalfi coast for another trip when you have a little more time. Ostia is a wonderful ruin, I think better and more beautiful than Pompeii. And is a quick train ride from Rome. Take the extra time and go to Florence and Orvietto, a full day in each place. A very good car service is Limorome, when you count the per person price of train and transfers on the longer trips it may be worth it. Also Scalereale is a great tour service, they are located in Rome and I think offer Ostia tours. You can search both on this site. good luck.
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