We are arriving in Civitavecchia after a cruise on 10/1/13 and would like to stay for two or three days, visiting areas around Rome or within a couple hours fast train from Rome. We plan on seeing the Colosseum. Beyond that, we have no plans. Perhaps taking the fast train to Florence? Maybe overnight there? We aren't planning on going to the Vatican, will probably avoid museums. We've already been to a number of places south of Rome (Sicily, Naples, Sorrento), so we're thinking going north, east or west. Any suggestions?
There is so much to see in Italian art, history and architecture that limiting your additional days to three is not good. We stayed @ www.olivetreehill.com in Zagarolo, and found Ivano to be a fantastic tour guide and historian. His midnight tours of Rome (until daylight) are legendary. We quickly realized that there are as many tourist sites in the Roman suburbs as there is in the city. This B&B is highly recommended and rated. At least spend one day in Rome, and take the fast train to Florence for the balance of your visit. It's another place that has so much to see, but you can do the highlights in 3 days. The dominant airport in Tuscany is Pisa, an hour west of Florence by train.
Three days? Stay in Rome because three days will just scratch the surface. Florence is only a little over an hour away by train but with waiting at the station and switching hotels it'll kill half a day. There is so much to see and do in Rome that spending less time there seems like such a shame. Even if you are not Catholic the Vatican is something worth seeing.
If you want to see Florence get off the ship in Livorno and take the train into Florence (you'll have to notify the ship ahead of time you are departing early and you'll eat the price of the last sailing day/night into Rome). We've done something like this - say, the cruise ends in South Hampton England but we get off in the next to last stop, oh Spain, or Ireland/France. That said, we've been to Rome many times and there's always more to see. Rick Steve's Heart of Rome walk is a favorite we do over and over. There is so much to do in Rome besides museums. Man, the truffle inspired Fall dishes alone are worth the stop.