Itinerary advice please!

Going to Italy & Austria this summer in July with my husband and taking my parents who are in their late-70's. They are very excited to see the Vatican, and hopefully the Pope too…as well as all the historical sites. We all really enjoy getting to know local culture. We'll be going to Austria for about a week afterward, so that's included too incase you have suggestions :) So far, only Rome and Tuscany accommodations have been booked. We want to enjoy and NOT be rushed through! Many thanks for any advice...

July 4, Fri Arrive in Rome at 9 AM – a nap and a big bowl of spaghetti- laid back jet lag day
July 5, Sat Rome: tour the Coliseum and maybe the Catacombs early, afternoon rest and have dinner and then gelato at the Spanish steps
July 6, Sun Rome: Vatican City. Go to St. Peter’s Square first- in the morning and attend the Papal Angelus at 12:00 Noon. Have lunch and then in the afternoon do the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) Tombs, and the SCAVI tour. (If Pope is at summer house, then do that plus touring Rome and go to Vatican City next day)
July 7, Mon Rome: Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, and Circus Maximus. Afternoon rest, then dinner near Campo de' Fiori
July 8, Tues Pick up rental car and drive to to Paciano, in Tuscany. spend afternoon/evening relaxing by the pool (villa already booked in Paciano for 6 nights)
July 9, Wed wine tasting in Montepulciano
(Have the option to go back to Rome for a Papal Audience at the Vatican)
July 10, Thur Siena
July 11, Fri Assisi or Cortona
July 12, Sat Florence
July 13, Sun explore Tuscany some more
July 14, Mon Depart mid-morning and drive 3.5 hours to Venice, stay the night there
July 15, Tue Drive to Vienna (we could drive halfway and stay the night somewhere?)
July 16, Wed Tour Vienna early, afternoon rest, dinner and an evening concert with the Vienna Mozart Orchestra
July 17, Thur Cruise the Danube River to Bratislava & back
July 18, Fri Scenic drive towards Salzburg along the Danube river, through the Danube valley- stop in Krems and possibly at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp- and stay a night in Melk or in Krems
July 19, Sat Continue the drive and stay a night in Linz- find some yodeling… and a church for Mass in the evening
July 20, Sun Continue onto Salzburg: see where Mozart lived, attend an evening dinner concert maybe?
July 21, Mon Salzburg: cable car up a mountain, sound of music
July 22, Tue Salzburg: see a castle or two on the way to Munich- have a beer and a pretzel in the park (maybe see Dachau and skip the other concentration camp in Austria)
July 23, Wed Fly home from Munich

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1489 posts

You're doing quite a bit of back tracking from Rome/Florence/Rome, but for a Papal Audience, I'd probably do it too!

Two important "glitches" that I see are the July 6 PM tour of Sistine Chapel. It is very hot and extremely crowded in the afternoons at the Museum and especially at the Sistine! There are two options, go very early, or, go to an evening "event" at the Vatican, which usually allows entrance to the Sistine. Get there before sunset because it's natural light only, and the only people who will be there are the ticket holders. I did this last time I went and just wish we'd gone in a little earlier when there was more light.

The age of your parents, late 70's, and the walking up and down hills at the Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum. Lots of strenuous walking and the heat will probably be bad, so keep this in mind. They may prefer to meet you at the Pantheon, and let you "youngsters" do the Hill and Forum without them!

If you can make sure the most strenuous parts of your day are early A.M, it will undoubtably be easier on them.

Posted by Angela
Vancouver, Wa, USA
591 posts

The Vatican museums are closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month.