My mom and I are planning our first trip to Rome in May 2013. Our flights are not actually booked yet but we will be there seven days not counting the day we arrive and the day we leave.
My goal for this trip of a lifetime (my first out of the U.S.) is to plan so we don't miss any of the major stuff but also leave some free time to just explore and enjoy.
With this in mind . . . Our hotel is right near the Spanish Steps so I'm thinking if we're not too jet lagged we can go there, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona on Monday afternoon/evening after we arrive. Does that sound like too much?
I figure we'll do the Colosseum, Forum and Palantine Hill (did I miss anything?) on Tuesday afternoon (I've read it tends to be less busy then). The tickets are now available . . . But should I wait to book them? Also I want to do the underground tour but see there's a guided tour available. Does the underground tour also cover everything that's in the regular guided tour? Not sure about what to do in the morning (maybe the stuff we don't get to on Monday afternoon/evening?) . . .
A tour of the Jewish ghetto on Wednesday. Not sure what else here . . . Maybe just leave it open? Or first of possible two day trips (see below) and move the Jewish ghetto tour to another day?
Then I was lucky enough to get the Scavi tour for 9a on Thursday. I figure we can do the Vatican/Sistine Chapel tour after that's done.
I would like to include the Campo de' Fiori Market and Borghese on my itinerary but I"m not sure where they should go or if there's enough time (I don't want to feel too rushed). Help.
Now for Friday we are planning a trip to Pompeii which I know is a long day. But the more I research the more I would like to tour the Amalfi coast (Positano, Sorrento etc). However, from what I've read on the travel forums it's not a good idea to try to do both in one day. My mom and I have NO desire to change hotels for just a night or two. So is it crazy to now do two day trips . . . One for Pompeii on Friday using the trains and a local tour guide that's in front of the ruins? And one on Sunday (I'm guessing we'll need a break on Saturday :) for the coast (using a driver if it's affordable or a tour if it's not)?
I would like to leave Monday completely free for any last minute shopping and to just enjoy our final moments before we leave. Plus we'll have to pack. :)
Finally, I can't decide if we should buy the Roma Pass. Thoughts?
Did I miss anything? A major sight or area? Is there a better itinerary than what I've tentatively put together? I find the TA travel forums so helpful in my planning and I'm very interested to hear everyone's thoughts.
Thank you so much and I'm sorry this is so long!!