I've been pouring over the forums for weeks and weeks now, and finally have put together our rough itinerary for Rome. I'd love any suggestions you have! I've tried to plan things that are close together for the same day, to save on back tracking.
We are a family of five--three teenage boys 13, 15, and 17. We will be in Europe for 3 weeks, starting in Greece, then flying to Rome, then Florence and Venice. Roughly four nights in each city. We LOVE history and museums and good food! This will be our first trip to Italy.
I like to plan things out pretty thoroughly (especially since I need to book reservations ahead of time), with lots of options for each day, but we are also totally open to changing things up if we need to. I would really like to see everything on my itinerary, but am unsure if each day is realistic or do-able. If you think one day is too busy and another day a little light, let me know!
I've taken all my restaurant ideas from the forum (not restaurant reviews). Do I need reservations for dinner at many places? I do like to have ideas of restaurants to eat at, but we are also very likely to simply eat someplace that looks good that's convenient at the moment.
I haven't yet looked up opening/closing times for each place on my itinerary, so if you notice something down for a time you know it's closed, let me know. We will be staying in the Campo di Fiori area, so will buses be our best option for getting around (or walking!)? Also, wasn't planning on getting the Roma Pass, unless someone really thinks I should.
July 30, Tuesday:
Arrive from Athens via Easy Jet at 5:20 p.m.-- airport pick up from Rome Shuttle Limousine
Evening: Night walk across Rome (Rick Steves Pocket Rome): Campo de Fiori to Spanish Steps (Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Piazza Colonna, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps) with stop at Giolitti’s for gelato or Tazza d’Oro for granita. Hopefully listen to Rick Steves audio tour of Pantheon or do a free Angel tour.
Dinner options for any evening, close to our Campo de Fiori hotel:
Il Chianti Restaurant near Trevi
Ristoranti Campo de Fiori or Carbonara
July 31, Wednesday:
Forum, Palatine, and Colosseum day (walk there from hotel). Tickets already purchased and printed. Need to make underground Colosseum tour reservations for 14:21
Arrive at Forum at 9:30 a.m., use Rick Steves Roman Forum audio tour. We should have three hours to tour the Forum and Palatine before lunch.
Lunch: can we bring picnic food and eat somewhere in the Forum or Palatine? or Angelino ai Fori or lunch at the Capitoline Museum terrace.
Colosseum underground tour at 14:21 then tour Colosseum on our own (Rick Steves Colosseum tour or rent headphones) two hours total??
Other sights to see in the area: Circo Massimo, Piazza Bocca della Verita
Capitoline Museum (open until 8 p.m.)
Dinner: Trattoria Valentine (via Cavour 293)?? or any of restaurants listed on Tuesday
August 1, Thursday:
Campo de Fiore market
Vatican Tour with Angel tours (Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, Sistine Chapel) tour runs 1:00-4:30 p.m.
--can we climb to the top of the dome after the tour?? What time does this close?
Either before or after we tour the Vatican I’d like to cross the Ponte Sant’Angelo and visit the Castel Sant’Angelo
Dinner: If we are still in the area, Dino & Tony’s do we need reservations here? or Osteria La Streghe (across river from Castel Sant’Angelo)
August 2, Friday:
Ostia Antica for the morning and early afternoon--3 hours total + 2 hours travel. Train from the Stazione Porta San Paolo station near the Piramide metro (Rick Steves audio tour)
Lunch: picnic at Ostia Antica, or are there places to eat here?
Afternoon: San Clemente, San Giovanni in Laterano, Scala Santa and chapel of San Lorenzo, (if we still have energy, Vittorio Emmanuel Monument and Santa Maria Maggiore
August 3, Saturday:
We will check out of our hotel and spend most of the day in Rome before catching the train to Florence in the early evening. Where should we store our bags? Hotel will be out of the way to pick up. Can we store at train station? Do not have train tickets yet, so departure time is flexible.
Piazza del Popolo and Santa Maria del Popolo, Leonardo da Vinci museum
Galleria Borghese and Villa Borghese 11-1:00 p.m.??
Capuchin crypt at Santa Maria della Concerzione 3:00 p.m.?? How long does this take?
Santa Maria della Vittoria (Baroque, Bernini)
We could take the 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. train to Florence. It should still be light out for the train ride I hope, so we can enjoy the sights along the way and not get in too late.
Things Not on List:
Domus Romane sound & light show
I am most concerned with Friday afternoon, after Ostia Antica, and Saturday. Do we have too much planned for those days?
Thank you so much for any help you can offer! I know you DE's get asked to review itinerary's a lot, but it sure helps to hear an expert opinion!