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How Essential Is An Itinery??

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How Essential Is An Itinery??

I see a lot of epople on here going to great lengths to make one up for their trip to Rome.

Is is not best to just have a long list of sights you wish to see and take them day by day? This way you wont have a "regime" to follow and can do things a little more relaxed.

Im going for 12 days and wouldnt know where to start a 12 day itinery!!!....but i guess its better to have an itinery if you are going to Rome say for 4 or 5 days.


knoxville, tn
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1. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

The reason I made an itinery is because I only had a week and had sooooo much to see. With 12 days you can spread it out more. I would write down the sights and try to group some of them to save on time.(and your feet if your walking) I'm envious 12 days.

Maybe you can take a overnight trip to Venice or Florence.

Have a great time.

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2. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

Everybody travels in a different manner - and of course, everybody is convinced that their method of seeing the world is optimal! :-)

Personally, I prefer to do as much research about a place as possible before I actualy get there. The more thorough the research and planning, the more leeway you later have to be spontaneous regarding the experiences you have.

And Rome is definitely one of those places that need prior planning if you want to both be able to see what interests you and linger in the places that interest you more or in places that you suddenly discover are interesting despite having little or info on them prior to your arrival.

During a recent 8-day visit to Rome - during the off-season when I did not have to contend with what I hear are almost unbearable high season crowds - I spent the whole day from 8:30am to 8:30pm wandering around the city and STILL did not manage to see all the things I wanted to see! Twelve days sounds pretty good for a city such as Rome.

Obviously, places of interest and level of interest differs from person to person. However, one thing I can say is that it's essential to check out site opening times/days and to get a sense of where everything is located before flying out. That way you can plan out your day's activities most effectively and know when you need to be in a certain place early in order to get in (or avoid crowds) or whether you can take your time simply wandering around a particular area before arriving at your intended destination.

For example, most of the churches in Rome that are closed for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Additionally, the Vatican Museums are closed on Sunday and this resuts in other museums being more crowded during this day and in the Vatican Museums themselves being even more crowded than usual on Monday (when most of the other museums are closed)

Also, depending on where you're staying, you can plan a route from museum/site to museum/site that will take you through the fountains, buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and churches you wish to see while en route.

I should also add that alot of the places you'll visit should also be seen again at night when they're lit up or take on a different atmosphere than they have during the day.

These are just a few of the reasons that advanced plannig is needed before arriving in Rome.

Have a list of places you want to see.

Give yourself plenty of time to see these places.

Get yourself a good map and get a sense of where the things you'd like to see are located.

Plan a rough itinerary and deviate from it as much as you can while still seeing and experiencing all that you want to see and experience!

Have a great time.

Saint Marys, Ohio
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3. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

I don't like to do an itinerary for each city because the weather often changes things. If you're "scheduled" to go see the Colosseum and Forum one day and heavy rain is forcast, then it's time to see the Borghese Gallery or something inside.

We know what we want to see and then we play it by ear once we get there. You can make yourself crazy trying to get everything down on paper, sheduling times, trains etc. It's a vacation, relax and go with the flow..or the weather.


Oxford, United...
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4. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

Personally I don't need/want a detailed itinerary. I do plenty of research beforehand (why do you think I'm on here?!!) so I know what I'm likely to want to see/do but prefer to take each day as it comes when I'm there. I will be booking the Galleria Borghese for our trip in early April but that will probably be the only thing we pre-book. Once we're there we'll take recommendations from the hotel staff and visit places that catch our eye. Our trip will be 5 nights, so we'll only see some of the highlights, but it's a holiday, we don't want to cram things into every waking moment. We'll want to take some time to maybe sit in a park and read a book, or have a lie in!!

The only itinerary detail I ever come up with is the dates for transferring to another location during the trip, which I need to do for the hotel bookings. If I'm in one place for the duration then I see how the mood takes me on any given day.

Enjoy your trip.


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5. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

I also don't like to have a day by day itinerary. I'm just not that organized. : ) I do like to have a list of things I'm curious about seeing (just so I don't forget). Some of the best things about Rome are the little gems you stumble on while exploring or on the way to the well known sites... a marble column built into a wall, a collossal foot by the side of the road, and arched doorway carved like a face. I always encourage folks to stay off the big roads as much as possible. The side streets and back alleys are where we always get our coffee & lunches and have met some real characters running the little shops, friendly folks who've shaped our opinion of Rome and keep us coming back.

I agree that Rome is a city that really comes alive for you if you've done a bit of homework. On my first visit I had a basic sense of the history but only a "guidebook perspective" of what I was seeing. Over the years I've read more about the city and history and that has given me a larger frame of reference for the culture, art & architecture that you'll see there. Most of my preparation for going to Rome now is trying to improve my Italian.

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6. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

People who prepare itineraries, tend to be those who travel the furthest i.e. they, in the majority, come from the US or further afield.

The reason is, I think, that it so expensive (compared with what it costs us), a once-in-a-lifetime trip and they want to justify the distance/costs and feel like they got their moneys' worth.

Personally, I'm not a fan of itineraries.

I know where I want to go and see and I try to do it, but I am not religious about it. Neither am I prepared to spend my holiday running around like a headless chicken trying to cram absolutely everything in.

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7. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

For me, much advance research, reading and planning are critical to a wonderful vacation. I get so much more out of a trip that way. But it really is just a question of what floats your boat--your own personality. If that system isn't fun for you, don't do it.

We will be in Rome, just Rome, for 14 days. Even with that length of stay, there are so many things we won't have time to see. By planning an itinerary, I am able to group sights geographically to save time, know about open/closed times, and get the most out of a long awaited, and expensive, trip.

My biggest problem is getting myself into the mind-set of Rome. Expect the unexpected--things closed when they are supposed to be open, strikes, whatever. This doesn't suit my personality but I'm working on it. Dolce far niente....

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8. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

With 12 days, I think you have the luxury of taking it day by day. I think it becomes more critical if you're there for only a limited amount of time.

But, you should still do research before you get there and make a list of places you'd like to go/see as well as their operating hours. Some places require reservations to get in. Then you have the luxury of just deciding that day what you feel like doing.

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9. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

I don't think you need a written itinerary but have in mind some places you want to see. Then you can pick and choose what to see based on what you're enjoying and the weather. Whatever works for you.

North Tustin, CA
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10. Re: How Essential Is An Itinery??

I just returned from Rome for 11 days and had a outline. It was my seventh trip to Rome. If you do not do some planning you will walk by the most amazing sights. I usually plan days by themes and geographic locations. They are then interchangeable depending on weather etc. I like to get a good outline done at home so I do not have to spend alot of time while on the trip reading guide books and deciding what to do.

As a sidenote - Hadrian's villa and Tivoli and Ostia Antica make incredible day trips.