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Italy Itinerary

pacific northwest
Level Contributor
610 posts
40 reviews
Italy Itinerary

I posted an itinerary a couple weeks ago. This one is very similar, but in my mind, a little fine-tuned. If anyone has comments, I would be happy to hear them. We will be in Italy Jan. 21-Feb.6, so some of our activities might depend on weather. We love hiking and being outdoors.

I've tried to include a major sightseeing activity in each day, leaving other time to walk around and take in whatever seems fun at the time.

I've researched times, how to get tickets for sights and transportation, and walking distances, etc. and familiarized myself with the map of Rome. Also studied DVD's of renaissance art and history. We usually take a more relaxed approach, but trying to get the most out of this major city has been a fun project! I've learned a lot, and appreciate all the info I've gotten perusing these forums.

I know some people think it's crazy to leave and return to Rome, but we enjoy a second visit after being away. The second visit is usually more relaxed.

Day 1 (a Monday), arrive Rome, 9:40 am

Our lodging for 4 nights will be very near Termini

Walk around possibly Capitoline Hill, some area churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Maria Vitoria, Quirinale Church. Depending on our energy. I've chosen churches that are near our lodging to walk to. It seems reasonable to go to Capitoline Hill to get an overview of Rome.

Day 2 -

11-1:00 Borghese Gallery (tickets purchased)

Piazza Popolo with Chiesa de Santa Maria Popolo (20 minute walk east of Borghese)

5:30-9:00 Testaccio food tour (purchased)

Day 3 -

8:30-12:30 Coliseum Tour with Context

San Clemente and/or San Giovanni in Laterano (10-20 minute walk from Coliseum)

8:30 pm Auditorium Parco della Musica concert (tickets in hand)

Day 4 -

8:30-12:30 Vatican Tour with Context

Day 5 -

Bus to Siena. We can go early or late, depending on what we want to do. Spend that night in Siena. This will be a Friday night. I chose the weekend thinking Siena will be very quiet in January, and maybe more interesting on a Friday-Saturday. What do you think?

Day 6 - spend as much of the day as we like in Siena, then take the bus to Florence

Night of day 6, and days 7 - 10 in Florence. The only tickets we will purchase in advance will be for Academia and Uffizi. My thinking is that in January we can get these a day or two ahead and don't need to lock in far in advance. Is this right?

Day 11 (Thursday)

Return to Rome by train to aan Air B&B near Piazza Navona. We can return early in the day or late, depending on how we feel.

Near our B&B will be Piazza Navona, Pantheon, gallery Doria Pamphilj, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, San Luigi dei Francesi, Gesu church, Barraco Museum. We'll visit these today, and sporadically through the next 5 days as time allows.

Day 12 (Friday)

Isola Tiberina, Jewish ghetto, synagogue museum (I know it's not open on Friday, but if we switch this to another day we can do it), Trastavere

Or day trip to Ostia Antica or Ville d’este

Day 13 (Saturday)

9:00 am Domus Aurea tour if available. It seems likely Domus Aurea will not be available, so we can choose day trips to Ostia or Ville d'este or our Ghetto/Trastevere day.

8:00 pm Soiree Francaise at Teatro Costanzi (tickets in hand)

Day 14

Appian Way by rented bike or walk, include catacombs. If the day is wretched, we'll switch this out, but Sunday is the day traffic is not allowed. We're very experienced cyclists, so this would be our choice.

Day 15 (Monday)

Isola Tiberina, ghetto, synagogue museum, or trastavere, whichever we haven't seen on another day.

Day 16

Depart Rome at 6:10 am. I'm thinking that we will stay near the airport on the last night so I won't be nervous about getting there by 4 am. We will be flying home to the US via Frankfurt. We usually give 2 hours lead time at the airport. Does this seem reasonable?

Things in Rome not in the itinerary to fit in as time allows:

Capitoline museums

National Museum



Thanks for any advice offered. It's really helped me to get this organized.

25 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
40,270 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: Italy Itinerary

The beginning of your trip is really rushed with lots of tours.

To me, it makes no sense to take a bus to Siena only to have two half days there. You might want to consider a second night to give yourself an entire full day there.

Even in the off season the most popular sites and museums sell out and getting tickets can take hours or be impossible. If you know you wish to visit specific museums you should book ahead of time to guarantee entry.

The Domus Aurea is open on the weekends only. If you wish to take this tour you should book ahead.


pacific northwest
Level Contributor
610 posts
40 reviews
2. Re: Italy Itinerary

Thank you, Donna. We have booked for the Coliseum, Forum, Borghese, Domus Aurea (if it is open on the Saturday we're there). I plan to book Uffizi and Accademia a few days in advance. Are there others I should be concerned about?

Maybe I'll skip out the Siena bit to have a less rushed feeling.

I know the first few days are busy, but am hoping the several hours of downtime between things will be restful.

Level Contributor
11,239 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Italy Itinerary

Maybe it's too late, but why don't you save a hotel change by taking the bus to Siena on the arrival day? Stay in Rome at the end.

pacific northwest
Level Contributor
610 posts
40 reviews
4. Re: Italy Itinerary

I know most don't agree, but we really enjoy having 2 separate visits with a break between to a hectic destination like Rome. This is a method that's worked for us in the past. I think I will just leave out the Siena visit, and include only Florence and Rome in this trip. It seems that with 14 days in the country, this shouldn't be completely unrealistic.

Edited: 18 December 2017, 04:03
Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
2,155 posts
192 reviews
5. Re: Italy Itinerary

Your itinerary will keep you busy, but so what? That's what holidays are for! 14 days for Rome and Florence sounds great- I wish we'd had so long, but we still got to see quite a bit. (I have a Trip Report for both cities, just in case you're interested.)

The 'typical' sights in Rome were stunning, but try to make sure you see the Doria Pamphilj Palace- that was amazing!

(BTW, when we were in Florence, we got to the Accademia 10 minutes before opening, and were in within 20 minutes.Perhaps you could do that, then book later in the day for the Uffuzi? There were 100s of people lined up for the Uffuzi when we walked past in the afternoon, but this was in October, not January.)

Hope this helps your plans.

Kalispell, Montana...
Level Contributor
1,891 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: Italy Itinerary

not that termini is a terrible location, but at the time of year you are going you will be able to find quite affordable lodging closer to the center in a much more charming area. While doing research for our trip last March I found that lodging near campo de fiori is more affordable than the pantheon/navona/spanish steps areas and tends to have better restaurants as well.

Edited: 20 December 2017, 08:36
pacific northwest
Level Contributor
610 posts
40 reviews
7. Re: Italy Itinerary

Thank you for the replies. Centralvic, I will keep the Doria Pamphilj on the itinerary. James J, I know Termini is not the most desirable area, but my husband loves hostels. The best one is located very near the train station, so we're staying there. On our return to Rome, we're staying at an air B&B near Navona, and you are right, it is really not too expensive during this time of year.

I've already made one tweak to the itinerary, by deciding to skip Siena, and spend an extra day at the beginning in Rome. If we decide to visit Siena, we can take a day (and even a night) out of the Florence portion on the spur of the moment. It takes only 1.5 hours on the bus from Florence. To get to Siena from Rome is over 3 hours, so it really would expend more time to do it that way.

Thanks again for the replies.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Level Contributor
12,116 posts
566 reviews
8. Re: Italy Itinerary

I would keep the itinerary fluid, since I doubt you would be covering all which you listed. There is nothing wrong with leaving some time uncommitted to just hang out and enjoy Rome vs. running from museum to museum. I would also keep the overnight in Siena but try to take an earlier transport there and a later one to Florence, assuming you have a place to store luggage. I am not a fan of splitting time, but this is your holiday.

Eagle River, Alaska
Level Contributor
798 posts
25 reviews
9. Re: Italy Itinerary

We always stay at a hotel in Fiumicino the last night. A 10 min. taxi/shuttle ride to the airport eases my travel anxiety considerably. There are a number of very nice, reasonably priced restaurants there also and I want my last meal in Italy to be a good one.

pacific northwest
Level Contributor
610 posts
40 reviews
10. Re: Italy Itinerary

Thank you. I'm glad to know someone thinks there's a value in staying near the airport

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