Going on 11 day cruise out of Civitavecchia/Rome in April 2014. Recommendations for our 4 day stay prior to cruise? We want to see as much as possible, obviously, and don't have an unlimited budget. Ideally I'd like to get off the plane there and be taken to a hotel where we will begin our 4 day tour of italy with hotels and meals included. Is this possible?
billie, I don't know of any tours that will provide a "4 day tour of italy with hotels and meals included". Something like that would likely be very expensive, so it would be better to plan your own touring for those four days. Hotels typically provide breakfasts with the cost of the room, so you'll only have to be concerned with lunch and supper. I'd suggest picking up a copy of the Italy, Rome or Pocket Rome Guidebooks, as they have LOTS of information on hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, transportation, etc. You might also have a look at the excellent www.roninrome.com website, which has an enormous amount of information. The simplest method would be to tour on your own, but perhaps hire a local Guide for specific tours. I can suggest an exceptional local Guide in Rome if you're interested. Good luck and happy travels!
What do you mean exactly about a "4 day tour of Italy." Are you asking about all of Italy or Rome. You can easily spend four days touring Rome. Second, the first day on the ground will be wasted mostly because of jet lag. No way to go to a hotel and start a tour. You would sleep through most of it. Third, to do that you need an nearly unlimited budget something in the range of a $1000/day. Also keep in mind that Civit... is an hour or hour and a half from Rome depending on transportation method. You have time but you need to do some serious homework so you know what you are doing.
Thank you both, your replies were helpful. I guess I will need to research what I want to see and then try to map out our 4 days. We will be flying from the States on Monday and arriving on Tuesday, so yes, we will be quite tired Im sure. I saw a 3 day/2 night tour of Italy (3-Day Italy Trip: Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri) for $574 per person, includes room and food, (however the reviewers don't care for Naples but they enjoyed the tour). So if we arrived in Rome on Tuesday, we could start the tour on Wednesday. I just don't know anything about Rome so I thought a tour would be easiest to see all the cool places.
I will peruse the great website with all the information on Rome. Thanks a bunch.
You are flying into one of the great, classic cities of the world and history and you immediately want to leave. You need to check priorities. But if you are just interested in driving by a lot of place - Yep !! saw that from the outside, check it off the list, and move on, then take your tour.
billie, I prefer to stay in the area around Termini station. There are some nice hotels and restaurants in that area, and it's really convenient for transportation whether Metro, Bus or the Hop On / Hop Off Bus tours. You might have a look at Hotel Sonya or Hotel Aberdeen (both listed in the Guidebook AFAIK).
Four days to explore Rome before your cruise sounds great. Go to your local library or bookstore and browse through a few guidebooks to Italy. Read the sections on Rome. You need to figure out what things you want to see and find those places on the map in the book. Figure how to get around (easy in Rome with its trains, subways, etc). Familiarize yourself with Euros. Read the suggestions for hotels in the guidebooks, and look on the internet at TripAdvisor (look for Rome, then hotels). Food in Rome is easy; if there are hotels and tourist sites, there will be food. Write back with specific questions.
"I just don't know anything about Rome so I thought a tour would be easiest to see all the cool places." If you go on the tour you suggest (Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri) none of these places are in Rome. These are cities and sights miles away, leaving you no chance to even see Rome. You should just stick to Rome for your 4 days as there is more than enough to keep you busy.
Billie, Invest in yourself. Spend all the time in Rome. Absorb the experiences.
Walk, rest, relax, eat, see, drink....... Safe travels Steven
Thank you everyone for helping us. I am now convinced that we should spend our pre-cruise time in Rome just walking around and seeing the sites. Any recommendations on the hotel ares to stay. I was thinking to find a hotel near the train, termini, station or near the Colosseum? We would enjoy being close to most those, walking 2-3 miles is fine with us.
Thank you again!!!
I also vote for staying in Rome before a cruise: biggest reason is that you will be jumping ship almost every day when cruising & walking everywhere, so it's best to relax and get acclimated so you can enjoy and fully participate in all the shore excursions. As our fearless leader says, "assume you will return'! In Rome, if you stay in a central area, you will be able to do Rick's walks and see some amazing ruins and beautiful sculptures and wonderful architecture. There is enough to do in Rome for a full 7 days or more. If you really want to, then take a day trip to Pompeii on a bus or the train about your third day.
BTW,I like the Hotel Smeraldo for location and walkability.
Billie, we also loved the Hotel Aberdeen (in 2005, the ambiance and the staff were wonderful) but appreciated the location of the Hotel Smeraldo (2011).
In addition to needing to rest a bit before the cruise, and to the fact that you should see Rome itself, a good reason not to take the tour you mentioned is that your cruise is almost certain to stop in Naples or Sorrento, where you will be able to see the places mentioned (Pompeii, Capri, etc). Get Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Ports. It will not only cover most, if not all, of your cruise stops, but has information on hotels and sightseeing in Rome, getting from the city of Rome to the port at Civitavecchia, etc.
We are just back from Rome (Tuesday) after having a 22 day cruise end in Rome. As usual we stay at Hotel Sonya which is our preferred hotel in the Termini area just across from the Opera House. They have expanded their breakfast since the last time we were there. It is great.
Invest in Rick's Cruise Port guidebook. The Rome book is good as it has expanded self-guided tours. Drop by your library or local book store to flip though the Cruise Port Book and the Rome book to see if you want both or only 1. If you are in Rome for 4 days, and don't want to waste travel time to Pompeii take a 25 min train ride towards FCO airprot and visit Ostia Antica. Rome's anceit seaport that you can explore. One Metro ticket (1.25 euro) is all you need to get down there and another metro ticket back. Read more in Rick's Rome book. I recently returned from italy and loved our stay at Hotel Aberdeen. Friendly and helpful staff and a good room.