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What to do our first day in Rome?

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Boston...
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What to do our first day in Rome?

Hi all! I'm in the process of figuring out at least a basic itinerary including the major sites my mom and I would like to see on our trip to Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice).

We will be in Rome for 4 nights, arriving on a Sunday morning (hopefully at the scheduled time of 8:25am). I don't have a good handle on how long it will take us to get to the hotel when all is said and done at the airport whether we use the train or hire a car, which our hotel will do for 40euro for the 2 of us (I believe).

I am trying to figure out what we can accomplish on this first day without feeling rushed. My original hope was to do "the Ceasar shuffle" (a la Rick Steves's guidebook), which includes most of the ancient Rome sights - Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Pantheon - but I'm afraid that could be too much to try to squeeze in if we don't get going until late morning/early afternoon.

Any advice would be great!!

Thanks!

Brooklyn
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1. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

what's nearest to your hotel?

we started all our days around 11-12 and did everything we planned to do without a problem and more. the colosseum/palatine/forum took us about 4 hours - so i don't think it's impossible if you're up for it on your first day.

Chicago
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2. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

You didn't say if you were arriving in Rome from the US. If you are, you may be faced with jet lag and the first day you might be tired by the afternoon. The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum are all close to each other, but it is definitely a 3+ hour commitment.

We always try to do something that is low/no cost, like the Pantheon, and a bit of shopping/strolling to get a feel for our location. Have lunch, visit the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Campo di Fiore. There are a couple of churches near the Panetheon (again, no cost) that are wonderful(Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Gesu Church, San Ignazio).

Good luck with your trip!

Boston...
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3. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

I am flying in from the US, and jet lag is a definite possibility. I just want to make sure I don't "waste" a day, but keeping it a little more low key might not be a bad idea.

Our hotel is right near Piazza del Popolo (if that helps at all in terms of suggestions).

nyc
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4. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

totally agree with bab706- that first day after an over night flight from the us you get tired quickly . we always try to get going once we hit the hotel but keep it local- you want to remember and enjoy what you saw.

pandora - near piazza popolo= the twin churches that loook the same from outside but are totally different inside; get some lunch.

meander over to the pantheon enjoy the churches nearby- as previously suggested go back to the hotel take an hour nap and then go out for dinner and enjoy rome at night for as long as you can.

you will probably feel great the next day.

Brooklyn
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5. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

the piazza has three famous churches on it. bab0706 makes a good suggestion. piazza del popolo is maybe a 15 min walk to trevi fountain. pantheon is a straight 5 min walk from there then another 5 min to piazza navona. of course hit any of the many churches or gelaterie along the way.

(wah, i wish i was back)

Rome, Italy
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6. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

I would suggest the ho/ho bus for the first day, with some strolls to Trevi fountain, spanish steps etc. thrown in. That way you'll get an overview, don't get an art&history overload, get some walking close to your hotel and then can go to bed early to sleep...

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

I totally agree with the above post - take the hop on/hop off bus to familiarise yourself with the layout of Rome.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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8. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

Since you're staying near Piazza del Popolo, I suggest starting first with the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which is full of art. Read up on it first, or you may miss something. Also, since it's Sunday, you'll have to work around the mass schedule.

The Open 110 Hop-on Hop-off bus doesn't stop at Piazza del Popolo, so you'd probably have to take the metro to Termini to catch it, or walk to the Ars Pacis stop. Information, plus an itinerary map can be found here:

http://www.trambusopen.com/index.cfm?Id=110

Here is another possibility:

If you would like to stay out in the fresh air (which is said to help jet lag) on your first day, take the steps up from Piazza del Popolo to the Pincian overlook for a great view of Rome, and then wander through the Villa Borghese park. You could exit the park on the Viale di Villa Medici, then turn left on the road that winds down past the Villa Medici, where you will end up at the top of the Spanish Steps. From there it would be an easy walk down the steps and on to Trevi fountain. If you're tired by that point, you could take the metro back to Piazza del Popolo from the Barberini stop, near Trevi fountain. If you're not tired, you could continue your walk to the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. You could walk back to your hotel from there, maybe doing part of the way along the Tiber river.

You can use either google maps or viamichelin.com to plan walking itineraries. Both have "pedestrian" options for their directions.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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37,497 posts
28 reviews
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9. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

Since you're staying near Piazza del Popolo, I suggest starting first with the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which is full of art. Read up on it first, or you may miss something. Also, since it's Sunday, you'll have to work around the mass schedule.

The Open 110 Hop-on Hop-off bus doesn't stop at Piazza del Popolo, so you'd probably have to take the metro to Termini to catch it, or walk to the Ars Pacis stop. Information, plus an itinerary map can be found here:

http://www.trambusopen.com/index.cfm?Id=110

Here is another possibility:

If you would like to stay out in the fresh air (which is said to help jet lag) on your first day, take the steps up from Piazza del Popolo to the Pincian overlook for a great view of Rome, and then wander through the Villa Borghese park. You could exit the park on the Viale di Villa Medici, then turn left on the road that winds down past the Villa Medici, where you will end up at the top of the Spanish Steps. From there it would be an easy walk down the steps and on to Trevi fountain. If you're tired by that point, you could take the metro back to Piazza del Popolo from the Barberini stop, near Trevi fountain. If you're not tired, you could continue your walk to the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. You could walk back to your hotel from there, maybe doing part of the way along the Tiber river.

You can use either google maps or viamichelin.com to plan walking itineraries. Both have "pedestrian" options for their directions.

Boston...
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28 posts
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10. Re: What to do our first day in Rome?

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions! I definitely have a better idea of how to make the most of our first day without trying to cram too much into it.

Of course, I welcome any additional suggestions!

Thanks again :-)