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ROME in 5 days Agenda

Greetings all!

My wife and I are going to be in ROME (Honeymoon)for 5 days (Saturday AM-Wednesday AM)and we want to see if the following agenda sounds not to be too much to bite off. We are both in really good shape and in our 20's ready to walk the town.

Arrive Sat. May 19th AM
Do the Rick Steves evening walk that day (Pantheon, Trevi, Spanish Steps)

Coluseum Tour~Forums~Capital Hill area

10:30 Guided Tour Vatican Museum~Sistine Chapel~St. Peters Church

Borghese Gallery ~ (maybe the Catacombs)

Catacombs if we dont get to them on Tuesday
Leave ROME for VENICE (Early AM)

Thanks in advance for you help!

Posted by
705 posts

Sounds OK. The Pantheon etc are all really quite closeand an easy walk. I think you've pretty much covered all the major things. One thing though, I may not be right and someone else may be able to help, but I thought you had to prebook the Catacombs. You need to apply months before you go and places are limited. I'm sure someone will be able to confirm or correct me. One tour company I can recommend is Angel tours - Great young enthusiastic guides.

Posted by
206 posts

You also need a reservation to get into the Borghese Gallery, as they assign a day and time for your visit. You get one hour to see the whole thing. It's worth it. My friend made the reservation and I believe it was done on line.

Posted by
46 posts

That sounds like a pretty good itinerary. We will be going (back) in May as well. Previous highlights for us were the Vatican tour, Forum tour(you can't figure it out on your own), and just walking around at night. When we went last time, Paul McCartney was playing at the Coluseam and they blasted it all over Rome. What a memory.. Italians walking around singing the Beattles.

Also we covered a lot of Rome looking for a guitar. Found one for 100 Euro, and also a few fun street markets.

This time we plan to rent a bike and ride the Apian Way with side stops to catacombs.

Subways are great, don't be afraid to use those too.
Turn left at the top of the Spanish Steps for a good retaurant for lunch. A little pricey if I recall but good.
In Venice, head for the back neighborhood areas for the best retaurants.

Posted by
448 posts

Try to fit in the hop on hop off bus... We did it on our last trip and it was great (never did it before because I thought it was too touristy)! Bought the ticket in the evening and did the whole tour at night. The next day we did part of it during daylight hours and then just used it for transportation.

Also, if you can, try to reserve the Vatican Scavi tour - instructions in Rick's book or on the Vatican website (send an e-mail request). Enjoyed that much more than the catacombs.

Don't miss the Trastevere area on a Saturday night! It's very lively. A great place to eat is at Da Checco er Carrittiere. Great back patio, great service, great food! Filled with locals. It's a long walk from the Piazza Navona, but doable.

Have fun!!!

Posted by
28 posts


Rome is hot, crowded and noisy during the day-- and absolute magic at night. Plan on afternoon siestas, just like the locals do-- it's the only way to avoid getting frazzled :)

The entire central city (trevi, campo di fiori, etc.) is best at night. Do ricks evening stroll, starting with dinner in Trastavere around 9, and seeing the piazzas and fountains on the way back to the hotel.

I would skip the Spanish steps entirely. There is nothing there except T-shirt vendors and tourists reading guidebooks.

As part of your visit to the Forum, go to the Capitoline hill and find the vista that overlooks the ruins. Rick shows the spot in his book. Unfortunately, it's not lit up at night.

Follow ricks advice and get tix for the colloseum at the palatine hill. Saves 30 minutes of lines at the colloseum!

Hope you have a great visit!

Posted by
1003 posts

Thanks Dave, appreciate the advice on the siesta - it's the end of a long trip for me, so I will definitely have to rest a lot. Something that worries me is the safety of walking around at night a lot in Rome - are there particular neighborhoods in Rome that are unsafe for a female alone mid-20s? That was mainly why I hadn't planned much for after dinner (that and the fact that i'm normally an early bird!)

I've lived in hot climates so walking around in the heat isn't so much a factor for me, I figure it can't be much worse than Houston in the summer ;)

Posted by
191 posts

I was in Rome the last week of May, last year for 5 days and by the fifth day I was going stir crazy and wished I had spent an extra day in Venice. Make sure you book the Borhese Gallery at least 2 weeks in advance I called the morning I arrived and they were fully booked for a week and a half!

Overall as a single female traveler, I'm only 21 I felt Rome was a lot safer than most of the books describe. I never saw any gypsies or anything, I even rode the tourist bus that Rick says you will for sure get pick-pocketed on and had no problems sat next to 2 nice old italian ladies. Overall safe I would watch your bags, wallets when your around Trevi and Panatheon, those were the most crowded and the best chance of getting pickpocketed.

You can easily walk Pantheon, Trevi, and Spanish steps in 2 hours, I would say if you can because it's your honeymoon add an extra day to Venice it's so much more romantic and relaxing!

Posted by
14 posts


My husband and I just got back from Rome, and we did everything you have on your list and then some in 3 days, so you should be fine! Some advice: Buy the Roma Pass. They are 20 euros each. They get you free admission into 2 sites, and then reduced admission into many many more. They also get you free metro rides for 72 hours. The food in Campo di Fiore was by far better than that in Pizzia Nivono. We really enjoyed the Baths of Caracalla, and they are kind of on the way to the Catacombs. Also I would advise you to reserve the guided Vatican Museume tour...the line was insane when we least a 4 hour wait to get in. Rome is a wonderful city, with so much to see and do, I know you'll stay busy! Eat lots of gelato and enjoy your trip!!

Melissa :)

PS. My husband and I are also both in our 20's and in good shape and the walking in Rome still really killed our feet. I brought a mini size foot scrub and cream....a luxuary when packing light, but worth it!

Posted by
1003 posts

Thank you Cora and Melissa!! Cora, glad to hear you felt safe in Rome. Melissa, how did you book the Vatican tour? Did you do it before you left online? I'd be very interested, since I'll be there during a time that's at least just as busy as right now. Thanks so much!

Posted by
216 posts

Go to Trastevere at night--any night (not just Saturday). There's usually a lot going on in the Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere (and great gelato places nearby) after 8 or so, but lots of great restaurants everywhere. No reservations needed for the Catacombs of San Callisto (if those are the ones you're thinking of). Buy a ticket and wait for a tour in your language.

Posted by
57 posts

My sis and I spent 5 days in Rome (against our will) while visiting our Italian cousins. We saw everything 3 times (twice during the day, once at night). Your agenda sounds good -- it'll allow you to take your time. The afternoon siesta is a good idea. Personally, if I never see Rome again, it will be too soon. But, if we had used an agenda like yours, I would have enjoyed it much more. You can spend your spare hours strolling and getting "lost" in the maze of side streets. Have fun and enjoy! (My favorite stop was the Pantheon. I thinks it's amazing.)

Posted by
93 posts

Be sure to contact the Vatican Excavation Office if you would like to visit the Necropolis (under St. Peter's). Email to request a reservation...they're not always available...Go to the Vaticans' website for more details.

Posted by
683 posts

We would recommend going out to Ostia Antica (ancient Rome's port-- once the busiest in the World, now ruins). We would VERY HIGHLY recommend the Via Appia for its bucolic feel and its history.

Posted by
25 posts

I second the Baths of Caracalla. We stumbled across it by accident and really enjoyed it! I also recommend bike riding on the Via Appia as was mentioned. Just be careful. At some spots the ruts in the road are deep and you have to ride off to the side on the dirt. I fell like an idiot and tumbled right on to the Via Appia! Lucky we listened to Rick and brought the first aid kit! (Don't be scared away, this was one of the most relaxing and wonderful days we had in Rome). Bring a picnic!