Please sign in to post.

Venice, Florence, Rome free time?

My friend & I are taking the Venice, Florence & Rome trip at the end of April. Since the company can't provide an exact itinerary (approx. start & end times) for their activities in advance, help me out! Is is feasible to plan and reserve some independent hikes/ bikes/ other experiences on our own? Did the tour package leave you enough time and energy for more, or did you just relax and indulge in vino and gelato during the off-time?

Posted by
5907 posts

I think the RS tours are more generous with free time than many others, and they don't focus it around "shopping opportunities" as some do. (Shopping is certainly possible during free time though.) I had pretty clear plans for additional sightseeing during the free time in all three cities. But I never booked anything requiring a specific time. You could ask your guide's advice about doing that and what times might be best. Or, at any point, you can peel off from the tour to do something else, after informing the guide and your "tour buddy." I did this in Florence, skipping the cooking class to go to a couple more museums.

Energy is a different question, and everyone will have a different answer. The tours are well paced but I was tired at the end of each day, and especially the day the tour ended when I slowed down a lot and savored being on my own schedule. Vino and gelato (separately, not together) are certainly good uses for some of the off time, especially in nice surroundings with good company. The Aperol Spritz is not to be sneezed at either. You'll love this tour.

Posted by
3071 posts

We did this tour pre- COVID, and in order to avoid crowding, the guide had us in most museums/ galleries first thing in the mornings.That left the afternoons free, and we met for dinners about half of the days. The cooking class was for lunch in Florence, and was fabulous! Have a great trip!

Posted by
7676 posts

Go a couple of days before your tour begins in order to rest up before hitting the road. And stay a couple of days where your tour ends before flying home.

Posted by
1021 posts

As said earlier, RS Tours give a fair amount of free time. Not sure if you realize, but you can see a general idea of the days’ activities under the Itinerary tab for this tour (for any tour really). It will tell you the amount of bus time, the general plan for the day, and when your free time will be. Granted, it doesn’t say exactly the amount of time given for free roaming but it will say “afternoon on your own”, or something like that. Also, under the What’s Included tab, it will tell you what admission/entry fees are included.

I have participated on one RS Tour as a solo traveler and had a fabulous time. Have fun in Italy.

Posted by
8 posts

Hello There,

I took this exact tour in May of this year. First most start times were between 8-9 (every day is the same). You get your free Breakfast and meet the guide in the lobby between 8-9. Here what i remember each day of the free time.

Day 2- Walking tour of Venice was about 3 hours with a 15-30 Minute break in the middle at a square. Remember finishing in St. Mark's Square about 11:00. Rest of day is free time. However, due to a holiday the Basilica was closed that day. So we ended earlier then usual. I would say 12:00 would be a safe time to be done.

Day 3- Our guide took us to burano. We had about one hour of free time for lunch and too wonder around and then boat left and we had about 30 minutes Torcello. I believe we returned to Venice at about 3:30 (give or take 30 minutes).

Day 4- Only about 1 hour of free time when we arrived at the hotel in Florence witch was about 2:00pm. No free time this day.

Day 5- About a 3 hour walking tour with a 15 minute break. Then we went to cooking class about 11:00am. Cooking class was done about 2:00pm when we finished. I actually had tickets for 2:00 to go up the Dumo and I left the group a little early.

Day 6- The Uffizi tour ended about 11:00 Am. About 2 hours. We then Meet in the hotel Lobby at about 3:30PM to go see the David. The David ended at about 5:00PM

Day 7- After the lunch and drive. We arrived in Rome at about 3:30. We had about an hour of free time before we meet up again. Dont plan anything on the travel days. You get very little free time and stuff can be delayed. We were actually little late this day.

Day 8- Our Vatican tour witch was about 2 hours ended at about 11:30.Rest of day was free time.

Day 9- The Colosseum tour ended at about 11:30 as well. It was around 2 hours as well. We then meet up at about 5:30pm for the final dinner.

As you can see you had a good amount of free time. Most of the mourning tours ended at 11-12 as a general rule. Then you either get the whole day or meet up at night or in the afternoon. Only days you don't get any free time are the two you travel between cities. In our group a couple would go and rest at the hotel during the free time, but most would stay out and do something. I have to admit i am younger then most so i never felt to tired. However, i think most can manage the walking tours they do and then some free time at night and during the afternoon. Let me know if you have any other questions. It was a great tour.