Please sign in to post.

Rome in a day

So me and my friends will be landing in Rome on the 18th around 3 pm and plan to leave Rome on the 20th around 10 am
But getting to our accommodation from the airport etc would mean we can't do much on that day and on 20th so my question is can we cover the major attractions all in one day that is the 19th?
The reason we're leaving the 20th at that time is that's the cheapest train were getting for that day but if it's absolutely impossible for us to cover major sites in Rome in that time then we can try and leave from Rome late during the day on 20th.

Posted by
23728 posts

So you all got your visas? Good.

This arrival seems different than your previous questions....

Is your departure on the 20th to Croatia?

Do you mean the day after tomorrow, or December?

Probably the short answer will be "No-Way".

It is impossible. I've visited Rome for a week every year for several years and I've never yet been to the Forum or Coliseum. It isn't possible to see all of Rome in a week; is is most definitely impossible to do it in a day.

In a day you might be able to see 2 of the major sights, with a walk between, and you will be very tired even if you are young. Your friend arriving from the US may be very tired from jetlag. I don't know if you will be tired after the trip from Pakistan.

Posted by
99 posts

No trip has changed a lot since then
We're going from Rome to Florence and mostly we only care about Vatican and colloseum
Also other places like pantheon and Spanish steps Etc but I'm assuming since those places don't have a fixed timings we can even cover them after settling down at our acofmodation on the 18th? So would it be possible to cover Vatican and colosseum in one day?

Posted by
2487 posts

Get a map of Rome and do a walk from Termini station to the Vatican along the most important monuments: Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseo, Forum, Piazza Navona, Saint Peter's. If you've got time and energy left, do the Corso to the Trevi fountain,
Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo.
And I totally agree with the above you need much, much more time to discover Rome. But you'll have to do with the time you've got now.

Posted by
99 posts

So if we try and leave later on the 20th sometime in the afternoon so we have all day of 19th and some of 20th would we be able to cover colosseum, pantheon, roman forum, Vatican, Spanish steps and Trevi fountain?

Posted by
11658 posts

So would it be possible to cover Vatican and colosseum in one day?

Short answer? Yes but it'll be a very full day; wear your most comfortable shoes!

A couple of suggestions:
Do the Colosseum first thing in the morning: go to the Forum or Palatine ticket kiosks (NOT the Colosseum) and buy your tickets; one ticket covers all three sites. Take the ticket over to the Colosseum and see that first (you can skip the ticket line but not security check) then back to the Forum/Palatine to do those.

Then over to the Vatican to see the museums and basilica. The church is free but I would advise pre-purchasing a tour of the museums that hits the high points and allows you direct access into the church from the back of the Sistine; it'll save you some time standing in another security queue for St Peter's. That line might not be long on a December afternoon but as this is a Jubilee Year, you never know…

Guided tours of the museums AND the basilica are also possible:

You can book tours here:

http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do

Trevi (prettier after dark anyway) and any other walk-bys can be done at your leisure after your Vatican visit or on the night of your arrival. The Spanish Steps, BTW, are under renovation and I'm not sure when that will be complete so those can be a skip; they're really not all that impressive anyway.

You could stop into the Pantheon between visits to the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine and the Vatican. It's best seen in daylight so I wouldn't do that one in very late afternoon. Hours are Monday-Saturday: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm.

Posted by
6543 posts

I would suggest you get reservations for the Vatican Museum. After visiting the Vatican, you're not far from the Pantheon and some other sights. Worse come to worse, take a bus over to the coliseum for a quick visit.

Posted by
99 posts

Awesome thanks!
another question is it better to by an Italy train pass if we're goin from Rome to Florence (with a day trip to Pisa) to Milan cuz I just checked point to point fares and they're around $15-$20 each

Posted by
99 posts

Trevi and any other walk-bys can be done at your leisure after your Vatican visit

So places like these we can even do on the day we land? We should be settled down by 5 pm and I know it would get dark early too but we wouldn't spend that day whatever will be left at our accommodation and would def wanna go out so I was thinking if we could check out the places like like trevi fountain Etc that don't have a fixed time on this day?

Posted by
11658 posts

Yes, any outdoor attraction (fountains, piazzas, bridges, etc.) which doesn't involve tickets can be seen anytime at all. An evening walkabout on your arrival day is a great way to maximize your time and arrange it around attractions with opening/closing hours.

Posted by
11658 posts

Regarding train passes, I'm not sure what you were looking at but passes are not usually a good buy for Italy. Italian trains are relatively inexpensive so point-to-point is usually advised, and can provide the most amount of flexibility. You can land some good deals on the fastest, most direct trains by purchasing in advance but otherwise, tickets are easily bought on the day of your journey.

Posted by
99 posts

Ok so if we cover those non ticket places on day 1
Can we cover Vatican and colosseum on day 2 and be ok to leave day three in the am? The ticket price sim checking have a significant difference between the early am one on the 20th compared to pm ones.

For buying the tickets same day are u sure cuz when I was looking at point to point trains a lot of prices have gone up and some cheap tickets I saw last week are not there anymore :/

Posted by
3340 posts

We were in Rome for a week in December two years ago, and it's a great time to visit, but be prepared for the possibility of rain. Many locals were carrying around umbrellas depending on that day's forecast.

The piazza outside the Pantheon was busy at night, even after the Pantheon itself had closed.

At the Vatican Museums, we arrived (with our reservation) almost first thing in the morning. There was a long, long rope maze outside the entrance, as if they were expecting a big crowd and long, long lines to get in, but there was not one in line at that time! Inside, there were already visitors, but it wasn't packed. An hour and a half later, though, the place was packed. You'll likely need to skip some parts of the museum, as it's too big to see everything on a quickie visit. Also, if you're able to use the "secret" back exit to the Sistine Chapel (see Rick Steves' guidebook for the details), that would save you time if you're planning on seeing the Museums and St. Peter's Basilica that day.

As mentioned earlier, the Trevi Fountain is best at night, and is normally always open. It had been drained and under restoration all last year - not sure if that's finished and if the fountain is back to it's full glory.

Posted by
11658 posts

Personally, I would do your two big must-dos on your only full day. Save the walk-bys for the evenings and departure day. IMHO, I wouldn't try to do the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine AND Vatican and try to make a 3:00 PM (you did mean PM and not AM?) train.

You could, however, do Colosseum/Palatine/Forum on the full day, and the Vatican on the morning of your departure day or vice versa.

No, I'm not sure what same-day train ticket costs will be. As I mentioned before, you can land some good deals IN ADVANCE; day-of tickets are bound to cost more. The issue was with difference between same-day tickets and passes; even with a pass, extra fees often apply for reserved seats on faster, direct trains which have mandatory reserved seating. Passes also don't usually apply to regionale trains. For the best prices, purchase any economy or super-ecomomy fares available on the Trenitalia (or Italo for routes between major cities) websites.

For any journey which only involves a regionale train, day-of tickets are the way to go.

What passes were you looking at?

Posted by
11658 posts

Cyn, the Trevi restoration is finished and the fountain is fully operational.

Posted by
99 posts

I'm looking at train italia tickets the one for 10 am is around $10 while the ones later are almost over $20
So if the attractions mentioned can be squeezed in 1.5 days meaning doing the open attractions on the day of arrival at night time and using one full day of 19th for major ones and if possible the day of departure on 20th waking up early and doing some other attractions, I would want to buy the cheaper ticket but if this sounds too hectic or not possible then maybe I'll spend the extra money and leave later on 20th

Posted by
99 posts

Just to make things clear we have later half of the 18th all of 19th and debating between having half day of 20th or leaving early on 20th

Posted by
3340 posts

Hi Kathy - thanks for the Trevi update.

Hi nanwar1214 - after a full week, we only had scratched the surface of things to see and do in Rome in December, so whatever you can accomplish in 1.5+ days, you'll want to come back -- but it will be a fabulous 1.5+ days. Having some extra time the morning of your departure would allow fitting in another sight or activity for awhile, but it could take away from your next destination, in addition maybe to costing more for the train. Decide if that extra time/sight in Rome would be worth your time and money. Have a great trip!

Posted by
99 posts

Hi
Yes that's what I'm debating right now if I should spend twice the money and have a few more hours or if I can cover Vatican colosseum and forum in the time I have and leave at 10 am on the 20th
I was able to find a cheap bus later on the 20th from Rome to Florence but the website for the bus is being a little weird it's called the Balfour bus. Does anyone have any idea about it?

Posted by
99 posts

Hi
Yes that's what I'm debating right now if I should spend twice the money and have a few more hours or if I can cover Vatican colosseum and forum in the time I have and leave at 10 am on the 20th
I was able to find a cheap bus later on the 20th from Rome to Florence but the website for the bus is being a little weird it's called the Balfour bus. Does anyone have any idea about it?

Posted by
11613 posts

Spend your evening seeing the public monuments (Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo), after the sights (Vatican, Colosseum) are closed. This will save you a little time, and they piazza are beautiful at night.

Posted by
99 posts

Yes that's what we're planning to do but still confused is one full day enough to cover Vatican and colosseum and roman forum?

Three main attractions in one day?

Posted by
3340 posts

We did the underground tour at the Colosseum, which takes you down below "floor level, " to see some of the passageways used to move the gladiators and fighting animals around "backstage." That also got us to the upper levels of the structure, too, but those both cost more and took more time than a regular (or a quickie) visit.

The Palatine Hill is vast, and we went there the next day. You could fit in a quick visit, but you won't see a lot, and you'll have to walk fast. Some of it's uphill and downhill, not just flat. From the top, we walked down to/through the Forum. That takes awhile, too, and remember that it gets dark pretty early in December.

On another day, we fit in the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's, but we didn't see everything in the museum, and we were the last ones off the top of St. Peter's dome - a long day.

You could possibly squeeze in a visit to all 3 big sights, but you'd have to move fast, and you won't see everything, just a glimpse.

Posted by
11658 posts

is one full day enough to cover Vatican and colosseum and roman forum?

Yes.
As suggested earlier, you could be at a ticket kiosk at the Forum or Palatine just before they open at 8:30 AM to get a ticket. You may also pre-purchase a ticket online:

http://www.coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm

With ticket in hand, you can choose either to visit the Forum and Palatine first or go over Colosseum first and do the Forum/Palatine afterwards. You just can't split your Forum/Palatine visit; both must be done at one time.

Then head to the Vatican; the museums are open until 6:00 PM but they start clearing rooms at 5:30. The Basilica closes at 6:30.

Now, I had recommended booking the Vatican's combo museum/basilica tour so that you ended up in the church - thus avoiding time in the church's security line - but I've just checked and the only tour times still open on the 19th are for 8:30 and 10:00 AM. With that in mind, you could flip the schedule and do the Vatican first and the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine in the afternoon.

The Vatican tour is 3 hours long and ends in the basilica; you are allowed to wander around the church as long as you wish to when it's over but the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine close at 4:30 so you probably want to put the hustle on to fit all that in. If you've no intention of doing the Palatine - although I highly recommend it - then you've a little more time to work with.

But there's an option #3: as I mentioned, the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine are all on one ticket. That ticket is good for two consecutive days; you are allowed to see the Colosseum on one of those days, and the Forum/Palatine on the other. It always makes sense to try and do them all on the same day as they're right next to each other BUT you could split them up if you didn't want to try and cram everything into one morning or afternoon.

Posted by
99 posts

Thanks guys so actually now I realized the cheap fare I was getting was only one seat so was pointless so will probably pay more and book the later train on 20th that leaves around 3pm so on 19th we can do just Vatican and 20th early morning we do colosseum?

Posted by
7124 posts

18th (after arrival) - Pantheon, Piazza Navona
19th - St Peters, Vatican Museums, Castel Sant Angelo, Vittorio Emmanuele, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps
20th (before departure) - Colosseum, Forum

Posted by
11658 posts

so on 19th we can do just Vatican and 20th early morning we do
colosseum?

Yes. And do try to at least get a look the Palatine/Forum as well on the 20th. You have time if you get there at the opening hour.

Posted by
99 posts

Great thanks so much guys
Any passes u guys recommend we should get? Roma pass or anything?
Will pre purchase tickets for Vatican and colosseum etc
Should we do guided tour for Vatican or a tour bus or something?

Posted by
247 posts

I'm going to be the opposing voice and say Rome cannot be done in a day. If you have to prioritize other locations over Rome then save it for a time when you can really enjoy it.

Posted by
11658 posts

I would agree that Rome can't be 'done' in a day but the wish list here is not impossible in 1.5 days plus an evening for some walk-bys. It's just about the same amount of time the RS "Best of Italy" tour spends in the city.

Passes: you don't have enough time or enough attractions on your list to make the Roma pass worthwhile. It doesn't cover the Vatican, and is not worth the price just for the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine. Everything else on your to-do list is free. I'd try and slip in a few piazzas and a couple more churches

I don't personally recommend tour buses for Rome. The hop-on, hops -offs don't see good reviews, and there are too many pedestrian-only places that buses can't get close to.

I provided the link for booking Vatican tours above. Here it the direct link for the 3-hr museum/basilica tour. Entry is included in the price:

http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking&codiceTipoVisita=74&step=2

There are other types of tours available but unless you're a HUGE art and history fan, the Vatican's tour covers the highlights efficiently for the most economical price. And also as I'd noted, the only remaining open booking times when I checked yesterday were 8:30 and 10:00 AM; not sure if those slots are still open today.

Like Robert, I'm not a fan of all-day whirlwind tours but that's a possibility. Unfortunately, Walks of Italy doesn't do that tour in the winter so you'd need a different suggestion for a guide service if you want to book one of those.