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What to do with my 1st day in rome...

My son and I will be taking a tour, but will be arriving in Rome a day and 1/2 early, as to have time to deal with jet lag. I would like to do something a bit physical, such as bicycling or just strolling around, rather than trying to visit museums or shopping. That said, I am having a difficult time deciding between the Villa Borghese or The Appian Way. Both are quite easy to reach from my hotel (near the termini), but I would like the opinions of you seasoned travelers. The pros and cons, the best place for 1st time visitors to explore and get a bit of exercise, etc. Thanks!

Posted by
45 posts

I would suggest either OR just to walk around and take in the city. It's a great way to find little off the beaten track restaurants, fountains, gelato, etc. and to interact with the people that make Rome so enchanting. Enjoy every minute of it!

Posted by
25 posts

I would advise against the Appian Way. There isn't that much to see, unless you go quite a ways outside of town. You could wander around Villa Borghese park and the surrounding Via Veneto/US Embassy area. There are a lot of nice shops and restaurants around there. Or, you can follow Via Vittorio Emanuele II through the historic center and visit the Pantheon, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, and Piazza Navona. Of course, one of my favorite places to simply walk is through St. Peter's Square! Have fun!

Posted by
153 posts

The Villa Borghese is beautiful to walk around in. It's tree-lined, and grassy, and reminded me of Central Park in NY. But the gelato stand there costs double anyplace else. It's a nice walk over there, past the US embassy with the bored policemen out front.

Be careful crossing the streets in Rome! Not all of the corners have traffic signals. We were told "make eye contact with the driver and they will stop" and it works pretty well.

Posted by
1127 posts

I would advise against the Appian Way as well. It's a bit outside the city and if you are hit with jetlag it could be difficult to find a taxi back to your hotel.

I would just stroll around the city, find a nice piazza and enjoy a cup of coffee or a gelato while taking in the city. On your tour you will be probably be rushed from sight to sight so you may want to visit Piazza Navona or the Pantheon.

Posted by
206 posts

The Villa Borghese is definitely worth a visit. You need to reserve ahead of time and you only get two hours to visit. The park there is enjoyable and there's a zoo nearby also. A leisurely walk down the via del Corso, which will take you through the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), can take a good part of your day as there is a lot to see off the side streets too. Have a great trip.

Posted by
4 posts

Jen, walk to the Spanish steps and go to the top. Then cross the street to the Via Venneto, the most expensive shopping street in the world and entertain yourself, have a quick lunch and keep walking, most people do in Rome. From there you can go to the Trevi Fountain nd toss your pennies there. Adjacent to the fountain is the best gelatteria on earth. Try the ices or the real ice cream as they are all great and made daily. Bona fortuna Jen.

Posted by
19 posts

Wow, I must say this website is brilliant! I am definitely taking all suggestions into consideration and I think I've got a plan ready for our 1st day in Rome. Thanks you guys!

Posted by
104 posts

For Villa Borghese we had to wait several days to get in and the Appian Way can be a extended bus ride depending on where you start from.

I'd spend the day getting acquainted with the naborhood your staying in (unless you've been there before) We generally rent apts so we use the 1st day to purchase food and items and walk our naborhood, for a dinner location.

We have an early dinner and early night to start out the next day fresh and make calls for reservations for out time in that city.

Safe Travels!