Please sign in to post.

Adding a few extra days after the My Way Italy tour this fall- suggestions?

We would like to stay in Italy a few days beyond the end of our tour, and are flexible with airports. We don’t need to fly home from Rome if there are some other options to consider after our tour. We haven’t bought plane tickets yet, but will do so soon.

Any recommendations are welcome…we won’t want to extend the stay in Rome, we think, preferring to see a smaller and quieter place after the busy tour days.

Thank you!
Laurie

Posted by
27368 posts

I'm a big fan of Orvieto. The large historic center is beautiful, and the town has a lot of sights--it's not just a cute hill town. The city sightseeing card is a good value if most of what it covers is of interest. Understand that Orvieto is popular, so there will be many visitors during day-tripping hours. It was my impression that many were Italian. Perhaps because it is popular with Italians, there seem to be a lot of good restaurants. Three nights wouldn't be too long in Orvieto if you want to relax.

Viterbo is a less touristy city with a walled historic center. You could wander around there a lot without encountering many other foreign tourists. In 2015 the tourist office staff wasn't as helpful (not for lack of trying) as the folks in Orvieto; that's the downside, sometimes, of going to less touristy places.

Italy has uncountable fabulous destinations; there might be better options if you have special interests you'd like to indulge.

However, if this is your first trip to Rome, I think the 1-1/2 days the tour provides there is extraordinarily short. That doesn't provide much time beyond what would be needed to see the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's, the Colosseum/Forum and few quick sights like the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. However, if you don't enjoy museums and are uncomfortable in large cities, perhaps you'll be good to go after breakfast on the last morning of the tour. I'm the opposite. I just spent 20 days in Rome, wandering a number of different neighborhoods and going to a lot of museums (mostly art-related).

Posted by
16004 posts

Hi Laurie!
Looking at your posting history plus the topic of your question, I'm a little surprised that you've chosen a My Way tour versus just going the indy route. It looks like you've been to parts of France, Switzerland, Spain, England and Italy on your own in the past? Nothing wrong with a tour by ANY means, and it's likely to save some of the time energy required for hotel and transport bookings, eh? Just curious.

Sooooo, you've been to Milan, Torino, Stresa and Isola San Giulio as a couple, You've been to Florence and Rome yourself but your husband has not. The thing about the My Way itinerary is that it only allows for one full day in Rome + a fraction of another. As acraven already mentioned, that's VERY little time for the amount of ground that can be covered...and you likely know that! It's just a concern that your DH may come away hating the place if having to try and cram several days worth of sightseeing into one, and most of it "big attraction" sightseeing done in the middle of the biggest crowds! It's an easier/less stressful/less intimidating city to enjoy if given some breathing room; split the most-visited sites into separate days and fill the gaps with the less visited/still interesting stuff.

Then again, maybe his interests are such that you already know that the Eternal City isn't his cuppa? Just thinking that while it's a busy place, you CAN get some R&R there if not having to 'do' it at a dead run; giving it the time to be able to do that.

Anyway, just thought it worth the question. :O)
If still wanting smaller, I'll vote with the other for Orvieto, although I'm thinking you'll still be flying out of Rome and want to be back in the city the night before your flight. The town is also an easy day trip from Rome if not wishing to pack up and move twice.

Posted by
1793 posts

I know this suggestion may sound crazy, but I feel the most valuable item when traveling in Europe is time. Your tour ends in Rome and the last official day is breakfast and the tour is over. That is a wasted part of a day. If I wanted to extend my stay and not in Rome, I would end my participation of the tour the night before and check out and head to Orvieto for the evening. Tell your guide this before you do it.

Depending which airport fits your schedule and price, I would consider Orvieto and Siena because either Florence or Rome fits a departure relatively close by. Both are busy though and may not fit your smaller and quieter conditions, but you will get a different flavor of Italy in each city.

You could also just stay in Rome and create a quiet atmosphere there by just limiting your daily activities and picking out a few small, less popular sights to see. Either way, enjoy.

Posted by
426 posts

Thank you all for your ideas and thoughtful responses. Kathy, you are right - we have done a lot of independent traveling, and I've been the primary planner for our adventures. We have never taken a RS tour - although we've been fans for years! :-) The appeal of this My Way tour for us is that it gets us to the beautiful lakes region again, to some places on our wish list that might have been more challenging to do on our own (Cinque Terre, Assisi and Venice). Then into the heart of Florence and Rome directly to our lodging places, with the freedom to see what we want to see, and the possibility to explore with new tour friends. We thought that a traditional tour might be more structured and faster paced than we are seeking now - although we've loved some other tours we've taken in the past for the experiences and ground covered. However, we don't want to be exhausted at the end of the trip! :-D

I'm looking forward to having many of the logistics managed for us, and having a guide we can talk with for highlights of each city. I enjoy planning - but right now I'm feeling relieved that a big chunk of this trip planning is done for us, in RS -vetted places. I am sure I will still be researching special things that we want to do in each spot...but we thought "Why not try this tour?" - we read lots of great reviews, and then decided to go.

I completely agree with your sentiments about Rome being a city filled with excellent possibilities for sightseeing...I've been there twice (as a teen in the summer, and as a parent on a school trip the week before Easter), and the second trip was a jam packed "hit the highlights so the teens and their parents could experience a lot in a short time." No doubt that has influenced my feelings about the major hustle and bustle. It makes me a little weary just thinking of that frantic pace we kept! But we sure saw a lot, and it was a great, compacted trip. We wished we'd had a few more days - and the next time that school trip was planned they did add 3 days.

We would be there in the fall this time - and hopefully the crowds would be less than they were on my other visits. So there is a lot of merit in the idea of slowing down post tour, and spreading out the other Rome things we may want to experience over a few days, then heading home. We did that in Paris last fall - but we'd both been to Paris a few times, and knew what we wanted to see with that visit. This might be my DH's only trip to Rome, unless he loves it! We both really like experiencing smaller towns with a slower pace, so Orvieto may be the perfect antidote to two weeks of touring once we are ready to leave Rome.

I appreciate your insights - thank you again!
Laurie

Posted by
4442 posts

I would go to Orvieto first, if you're flying home from Rome. Then go back to Rome for at least 3 days before you leave from Rome airport.

Posted by
27368 posts

Just a warning: Visitor levels in Italy are very high, so it's possible the major sights in Rome will not be less busy than they were on your earlier trips, even though they were at a traditionally busier time of year. The regular entry tickets to the Vatican Museums are selling out far ahead of time now, and I don't remember reading warnings about that prior to the pandemic--though the extreme crowding was much commented on. I had no issue with the secondary museums in February and March other than running into some school groups.

Posted by
16004 posts

Laurie, thanks so much for the insights! Yes, sometimes it's just nice to have someone else handle some of the details, and I know you'll have a wonderful time! I can see the social piece of other like-minded adventurers along for the ride playing into it too.

I wouldn't count on crowds being lighter in the fall; seems as if we're hearing that shoulder seasons have gotten shorter and shorter or all but disappeared but you've got enough tripping under your belt to roll with potential punches there. Orvieto might be right up your alley so take a look? I would just personally want to be closer to the airport the night before your flight, thus you might have one more hotel move.

Posted by
2475 posts

Transportation detail, if you do go to Orvieto: after you get off the train, you can cross the street to the funicular, which takes you up the cliff.

Posted by
241 posts

We’ve had several relaxing visits in Rome. Prior to our Sicily tour we acclimated there—did a food tour, went to the Borghese gallery and saw a few churches—walked and ate gelato too, of course. After Sicily, we were back in Rome and stayed in the Trastevere—loved it. Took the bus out the Apian way and walked around. We then did the South Italy tour, took the train from Naples to Orvieto, then back to Rome before flying home. I never felt overwhelmed by crowds, though there were plenty of religious tourists there as our trip included the weeks leading up to and after Easter.
Orvieto was lovely—that time and a subsequent visit there, as was Assisi.
Enjoy your time in Italy. I always look forward to returning as soon as I leave.

Posted by
11361 posts

We also have had relaxing times in Rome, no sightseeing just enjoying the city itself. We spent a week there before our tour in Egypt and it was wonderful.

Posted by
1103 posts

They have a saying in Italy: Roma, non basta una vita - For Rome, one lifetime is not enough.

Posted by
426 posts

I appreciate the encouragement to stay and find our own peaceful pace in Rome! :-) I could be persuaded to do just that - perhaps a day trip to Orvieto, but staying in Rome for the nights before we leave. There's a lot to be said for no more hotel transfers after a busy tour.

Bob, that is a great saying from the Romans - and I hadn't heard it before, so thanks for sharing it! I feel that way about Paris ("Paris is always a good idea..."), and maybe this will be our trip to inspire more fondness for Rome. I know we won't run out of things to do!

Thanks again,
Laurie

Posted by
82 posts

My vote would be for Orvieto and I can give you the name of a lovely little B&B there that overlooks the countryside below. We just spent three nights there after our very busy RS Sicily Tour and four extra nights in Ortygia. We loved just relaxing in Orvieto and the rest there refuelled us for an afternoon and night in Rome before flying out to tackle London for three days! Rome was extremely busy and March is supposed to be shoulder season, it was mid-week and it was not a holiday (we asked our taxi driver) . I don’t think the fall will be less busy.
Orvieto is an easy train ride from Rome but we did opt to spend the last night in Rome before our flight to London. I know that’s a nuisance, but we felt more comfortable that way.
Best wishes for a wonderful trip whatever you decide

Posted by
426 posts

I’m rereading all of these great suggestions and now wondering about Orvieto vs Fiumicino for our last few nights. Fiumicino has the advantage of being close to the airport for an early departure, and I’ve reserved a hotel for two nights there. It is also close to water, which appeals to me, too. But I am wondering if we will wish we had gone to Orvieto? So many choices! 😂

I did book an early access to the Vatican after the tour ends, so we will extend the stay in Rome a bit before leaving for a calmer spot. Only 1.5 days in Rome really seems short, indeed…so staying in our RS tour hotel (centrally located) for a few more nights makes sense to me.

Our tour will include 2 nights in Assisi, and I wonder if Orvieto will have a similar feel?

Thanks for any other help you can offer…

Laurie

Posted by
426 posts

Lynne, thanks for mentioning the B&B recommendation. Can you please tell me more specifics about the name and location?

Thank you!

Laurie😊