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Rome in 3 days

Hello all! My family & I will have 3 days in Rome before getting on our Greece cruise in late July 2022. Would love itinerary recommendations to see the most we can in 3 days as well as hotel recommendations please

Posted by
62 posts

We stayed at IQ Roma Hotel in Rome. It was a very nice hotel, good air conditioning, & great restaurant too. We took taxis some places from the hotel and walked to others. I would definitely stay there again. Have a great trip!

Posted by
2 posts

We prefer to stay within the Centro an area bordered roughly by the Pantheon to the east and Piazza Navona to the west. It's an area within walking or short bus/taxi distance to everything you'll want to see. Also, many of the best restaurants are close by.

One of our favorite hotels is Albergo del Senato located in Piazza della Rotonda right next to the Pantheon. We'll be staying there for six nights before boarding a cruise on October 2nd next fall. There are many other wonderful hotels in the area.


Posted by
12594 posts

Hi Jen. Welcome to the RS forums.
First things first? Some more info would help.
Do you have 3 FULL days/4 nights in Rome, or do you have three NIGHTS/2 full days? It makes a difference.

How many members in your family and their ages? Any particulars we need to know about, such as mobility challenges?

What are your family's interests? What sorts of things do you most want to see/experience?

Have you every traveled outside of the US before? (Apologies if you're not an American!)

Do you have a good guidebook? If not, I highly recommend browsing your local bookshop and public library's selections, checking some out, and buying at least one; you'll want to spend some time with it!

What are the EXACT dates you'll be in the city? That can matter too as not every attraction is open every day. You'll also need advance reservations for some of them.

Tight budget? Fairly generous? A per-night budget for accommodations would be helpful lest you get a bunch of suggestions beyond what you can swing.

The more you can tell us about yourselves the better we can make suggestions that work for you. :O)

Posted by
3 posts

We have not made any set plans yet We get on our cruise on Sat July 23rd. Ideally would love to have 3 FULL days so would like to have Wed, Thurs & Friday before we get on the ship on Sat. So trying to be there by Wed July 20th.

We are a total of 15. Most adults and the kids are all teenagers no mobility challenges. We’ve never been to Italy so def looking for the main things to see. Prefer tours any that can have us skip lines etc since our time is limited. Some have traveled outside of US, my family has not.

I don’t have a good guidebook yet but was researching the one on this site to purchase. Would like somewhat budget friendly so not sure if a hotel would be better or maybe an Airbnb for all to stay together? Would like central area close to bus/trains? Family friendly & safe of course.

Posted by
2221 posts

Ideally would love to have 3 FULL days so would like to have Wed,
Thurs & Friday before we get on the ship on Sat. So trying to be there
by Wed July 20th.

Assuming it's an overnight flight- Wednesday will be a jet lag day- can't really count it. If you want 3 FULL days you need to spend 4 nights in Rome- arriving Tues am. By the time you get 15 people out of the airport and to your lodgings, settled and oriented- half your arrival day is gone. Most of you will be in a bit of a fog the rest of that day.

We are a total of 15.

This is going to be really difficult to find an apartment that sleeps 15! I think you'll need to go with budget hotel or even a convent stay with separate rooms for family groups. I can't imagine any apartment or AirBnB would have more than 1-2 bathrooms- so that is something to consider as well.

Here is a suggestion of a budget friendly place near train station- haven't stayed there myself but have looked at it many times as an option

They also list on and it's a bit easier to check out the place there than on their own website. 1 room/2 people 4 nites in July 19-23 is about 370 euros including bkft;label=New_English_EN_CAUS_5226330745-uj50W0dUEWwKN61mujXTWAS99511107985%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap%3Aneg%3Afi4040311790%3Atiaud-898142577969%3Adsa-302962658775%3Alp9006728%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm;sid=95fa092441976b548f96d658c26b0e91;all_sr_blocks=163792101_265996359_2_1_0;checkin=2022-07-19;checkout=2022-07-23;dest_id=-126693;dest_type=city;dist=0;group_adults=2;group_children=0;hapos=0;highlighted_blocks=163792101_265996359_2_1_0;hpos=0;matching_block_id=163792101_265996359_2_1_0;no_rooms=1;req_adults=2;req_children=0;room1=A%2CA;sb_price_type=total;sr_order=popularity;sr_pri_blocks=163792101_265996359_2_1_0__42976;srepoch=1635099117;srpvid=b1287ff5d5320121;type=total;ucfs=1&

No matter what you will want air conditioning in July.

The RS Rome pocket guide is a good investment and likely all you will need for this short stay in Rome

Posted by
26026 posts

It isn't clear to me if your cruise boards and leaves from "Rome" (probably Civitavecchia on the coast, Rome isn't). Or if you have to get to Greece for joining the cruise? Which port?

My confusion is because you call it a "Greece Cruise" but Rome and Civitavecchia are on the wrong side of Italy for Greece. Maybe a Greek cruise stopping in Naples and/or Sicily on the way?

I'm thinking about your Saturday travel plans....

Posted by
4934 posts

Three days is not enough for Rome, but you can do a lot in three days.

1) The Coliseum, Forum and if time the Capitoline museum.
2) St, Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.
3) The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and if time Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column.

Posted by
6741 posts

Still not clear about “ Greece cruise” Do you need to fly to Athens to board ship? Or is this a Mediterranean cruise starting in Rome Citavecchia including some of Greece?
Arrive Tuesday to get three full productive days in Rome. We enjoyed staying at Palazzo Navona , a modern design hotel within the walls of an old palazzo. Great location.

Posted by
1189 posts

As Christine suggested, Rick Steve’s Pocket Rome guidebook is all you need and you can download an electronic version from his app. However, I’m not sure if this book lists local mom & pop tour guides but his Rome book does. Whether the tour operator can accommodate 15 people is another question.
You can probably take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The metro is good for visiting the Vatican, but that’s the only time I’ve used it so being close to public transportation stops may not be a big issue. I would rely on taxis instead since there are so many of you.
Plan on doing a lot of walking so good walking shoes are crucial. Rome’s trendiest neighborhood is Trastevere, but try to find a place near the River Tiber (Fiume Tevere).
As far as sights that are not to be missed:
Colosseum (if you can see the exterior at night, it’s worth it), Pantheon and the Vatican (St. Peter’s Basilica and the Musuems). It’s going to be hot so being inside a museum during the day will keep you cool and family members less cranky.

Posted by
2315 posts

With 15 people in your group, I think you need a travel agent to organize things for you. With that many people, a travel agent could probably find you some good deals.


Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all! I have found some places in Airbnb that accommodate 15 people surprisingly.

For clarification our ship sails out of Rome civitavecchia Italy at 5pm that Saturday

Posted by
2221 posts

Wow- that is surprising! You’ll want to be real clear on how those 15 people are accommodated. Will everyone have a real bed or is it a mix of sofa beds, futons, air mattresses, etc? How many bathrooms- I’d want no less than 3 with your large group. How much SPACE will you really have? Hot, cranky poorly rested travelers does not make for a pleasant time.
Getting up and out early in the am will be important in July- you don’t want to be walking around the Colosseum or Forum in the mid day heat.
And I will repeat- you must have air conditioning.

Another thing to consider is meals if in an apartment/airbnb. With a hotel you get a very nice bkft- American style- hard to find in a cafe where an Italian bkft normally consists of a sweet roll and coffee. Or somebody has to shop for groceries- taking up valuable sightseeing time.

A huge benefit of a hotel is having the 24/7 desk there to help you with tourist maps, restaurant suggestions, calling for cabs (you can’t just flag them down in Rome) and well just having a human resource if you have any problems/questions/needs.

Most check in times for apartment/airbnb are late in the day with no ability to drop your luggage til whenever that check in time is. A hotel will hold all of your bags if you arrive in the am and check in is not til 2-3. We’ve actually always been lucky and our room has been ready on arrival - we love that!

Curious as to what sort of lodging you have found and where it is located?

Posted by
12594 posts

I have found some places in Airbnb that accommodate 15 people

Jen, can you share exactly WHERE these accommodations are? I'm asking because there are rentals that can honestly claim to be located "in Rome" but in reality are not conveniently located at all for the type of sightseeing most tourists come to Rome to do. And to echo Christine above, be VERY cautious about HOW those 15 people are expected to be accommodated: how many ACTUAL bedrooms, how many living-area sofa beds, and how many bathrooms.

And if you are coming in on a Wed. and leaving on Sat., you only have 2 FULL days to explore the city. Your arrival day is a (possibly jet-lagged) partial, as is your departure day to Civitavecchia.

Moving 15 people around efficiently during high season in Rome will be no small feat so I'll echo the advice to enlist a travel agent for pre-booked tours of the highlights (Vatican Museums, Colosseum/Forum/Palatine, Galleria Borghese etc.) It would help if you're able to tell them what you do and do not want to spend time/money on? For instance, if your group is not big on art, then skip the Borghese ... although personally, I'd skip the Vatican Museums before I'd skip that one. And you do not have time to do Pompeii.

If relying on taxis to get around Rome (hint: walking is the best way to see this particular city), you'll need a number of those to manage the group size you have.

Posted by
12594 posts

Was thinking about you last night.... :O)

If desired, you CAN set up tours for your group yourself, without a travel agent. Private guides charging a group rate (versus tours that charge per-person) will almost certainly be a more economical choice 'cuz you can spread the fee amongst you.

To help you get started, here are some recent threads (within the last 6 months) with some firsthand recommendations for private guides. Some of the names mentioned - such as Sonia Tavoletta and Francesca Caruso - have come up repeatedly in other past threads. I will caution, however that you're looking to be in Rome during peak season so if the better guides haven't been booked already, they probably will be before too long.

Guides who've shepherded RS tour groups and may be open to book:

Context also offers private tours that are said to be very good but it doesn't look like they take groups larger than 12.

Anyway, I would definitely look into arranging tours with a private guide for the Vatican (do that on one of your full days) and the Colosseum/Palatine/Forum (do that on another day). You could also maybe arrange to do just do the Colosseum + an informative walk about central Rome, depending on your family's interest? In either case, it would leave you with 1/2 of each day for smaller family groups to explore a bit on their own.... which may be easier than trying to move all 15 people around ALL the time! 😉

A good guide can help you customize your tour if you can give them some idea of what you want to see/do.
Once you get the want-to-do's nailed down, we can help with some wee details, such as required dress code for the Vatican (no uncovered knees or shoulders).