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Rome Itinerary?

Hi everyone! This forum has been really helpful so I hope I can get some feedback from you all. My husband and I are leaving in two weeks for Italy (!!!) and we'll be there for two weeks. We're planning on spending 5 days in Rome and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by how much is there, what to see, etc. I also haven't really planned much out and am starting to think maybe I should. Here's what I've got so far:

Arrive in Rome from Florence, spend the afternoon exploring

Colesseum, Roman Forum, Baths etc. (is this enough for a full day?)

Vatican City

Trevi fountain, heart of Rome, Borgehese gardens etc.

Day trip to Pompeii (has anyone spent a few hours in Naples while going to Pompeii? My great-grandpa is from here so I feel like I need to stop in)

Last day in Rome- Open

We're not sure whether we want to go to the Borgehese Gallery or National Museum. We are going to see all the museums in Florence so we may be a bit tired of museums by then. I thought about spending 1/2 day in the Travestere neighborhood? Any suggestions are welcomed!

Posted by
64 posts


I think your itinerary is completely reasonable. I don't think you should feel overwhelmed as long as you take steps to mitigate:

HEAT: Drink lot's of water. Use the drinking fountains. Find shade whenever possible

EXCESSIVE WALKING: Don't try to walk the whole place. The ocassional use of the Metro and/or taxi can do wonders to mitigate fatigue/soreness.

LINES: Colosseum; the RS book has a good trick on how to avoid the lines. Vatican Museum; consider doing a tour, otherwise go later in the day.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Claudia and Matt! I am checking out Ron in Rome right now :)

Posted by
586 posts

I agree, Samantha, that your itinerary is very nicely put together. The only suggestion I would make, however, is this one. Whenever we've just peeked at a city--sort of like you're considering doing with Naples--we've found it VERY helpful to setup a guide to meet us at the train station, take us on a 2-3 hour walking tour, and then leave us with an hour or so of free time before returning to the station to depart. That way you maximize your time there, and don't have to worry so much about getting your bearings. RS suggests good local guides who provide this service in his Italy guidebook and online.

Posted by
255 posts


Even with taking the fast train round trip from Rome to Pompeii, it is going to be a very long day. We did it back in 2002. In order to get the most out of Pompeii, there simply would not have been enough time to spend in Naples unless we wanted to get back to Rome around 10pm that night. As it was, we didn't arrive back until 7/8pm and we left early in the morning (around 8/8:30am)

Posted by
3 posts

I just have to say, I love Ron in Rome!! What a great site! It has answered so many questions- I've spent half my day on his site. Thanks again for the link Claudia!

Posted by
28 posts

For us, Rick's nighttime walk from Spanish Steps to Trastavere ("floodlight walk"?) was the highlight of our trip. Trevi fountain is nice during the day, but breathtaking at midnight.

We also liked the Capitoline museum and the nearby vista of the Forum that Rick describes. Maybe add that to your Sunday afternoon, to whet your appetite for walking through the forum on Monday.

Visiting St. Peters and the Vatican museum in the same day is very tiring. The Vatican museum has huge lines and a serpentine interior filled with hordes jogging to the Sistine Chappel. Not for the faint-hearted.

For a more humane visit to fantastic art, consider the Borghese gallery (reservations required) on Wednesday. Also, Caravaggio's "Matthew Called" at the San Luigi dei Francesi church near the Pantheon (bring some euro coins to feed the viewing light) while you are wandering the heart of Rome on Wednesday.