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Doable plan in 3 days?

by Sunray-310 Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Here goes:
We'll be staying at the top end of via del corso.
Day 1:
-Spanish steps, Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Colosseum. (I only need 1.5 hour at the Colosseo so if we go there around 4.30 or 5 there won't be endless queues maybe??)

Day 2:
-Piazza de Popolo (view of the city somewhere there?), Vatican Capela sistina, St. peters. (again, planning to visit around noon to avoid the crowds). Do you think it's absolutely necessary to prebook?

Day 3:
-Campo de fiori, and afterwards, any cute little shops in the area for souvenir shopping?

Do you think it's doable experts? I don't want to just tick the sites and not leave time to take everything in... Need those coffee breaks!
Thanks! :)

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16 Answers
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by leics Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    You don't say when you'll be visiting but you can't guarantee there won't be queues at the Colosseum, even at the end of the day. I'm not sure how you can be certain you only need 1.5 hours there but if it's essential that you get in at that time then I suggest you buy your tickets online in advance:

    coopculture.it/heritages.cfm...

    You can find the Colosseum opening times here:

    archeoroma.beniculturali.it/...

    They vary throughout the year.

    Equally, you cannot guarantee a lack of crowds when you visit St Peter's, and certainly not at noon (why noon?). I'd suggest you get there for 8-9 or visit after 4.30 for fewest people. You cannot pre-book for St Peter's.

    You can *only* access the Sistine via the Vatican Museums. There is no other way to see it. The Sistine is, of course, closed that the moment pending the election of a new Pope. I suggest you buy your Vatican Museums tickets online in advance, to save the long queues which are commonplace: pre-booking ensures that you won't have to stand in line for a hour or more, and no-one can tell you for certain when or if that won't be necessary.. Official ticketing site:

    mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_...

    Your itinerary is doable, though you have missed out some very important sites/sights..the Forum for a start. I'd suggest you try to add those into your 3 days, as well as Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica San Clemente.

    Campo dei Fiori is simply a morning market. Whilst interesting, it will hardly take up most of day 3 so perhaps you could use some of that day to explore more of the sights and sites? You may need to re-jig your itinerary: the Forum, for example, is best twinned with the Colosseum.

    Rome is simply stuffed with places to see, enjoy and explore but its historical centre is very compact and very walkable. You'll be able to see the places you list, and more, even if you have to tweak your itinerary.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I absolutely agree with with Leics: there's no guarantee that there won't be crowds at any of the times you've noted. A lot will depend upon the time of year you're traveling.

    First question: why only the Colosso? A ticket covers 3 sites: Colosso, Palatine and Forum. Really, all three should be visited on the same day. You can get around the worst of the queues at the Colosseum by purchasing your ticket at Palatine early in the day: then you can skip the ticket queue at the Colosseum (but not the security check line - which is shorter and goes quickly).

    For the Vatican Museums (of which the Sistine is a part) I absolutely would pre-book a ticket: that's the only good way of avoiding a queue. Your ticket will be for a specific time slot so you would need to be there at the hour yours has been chosen.

    Do make use of the evenings! To save time, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona - which are merely walk-bys - can be done after dark or enroute to other attractions. Same with the Spanish Steps - which are less impressive than you may think.

    Yes, Campo di Fiori is just another walk-through so you have an entire day to visit other attractions. Rome isn't really big on "cute" shops: just stop into any on your way around the city that catch your eye.

    You can add quite a number of other things to see to Day 3, and I would add Forum and Palatine to Day 1.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Via Del Corso is a good location to walk to most of your chosen locations(except Vatican)
    Piazza Popolo is close to Forum. We stayed on Via Del Corso last year and were able to walk to most of your chosen sights.
    While at Spanish Steps, why not visit Borghese Gardens? Its a great park with interesting monuments, a restuarants, and good for a picnic. We hired bikes and explored this lovely area. Its easy to get to- just go to top of Spanish Steps, turn left and follow the road.Lovely views of the city from here.

    I found some 'cute' little shops right on Via del Corso

    Best to pre book tickets wherever you can, if possible

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Sorry Lynn, but Piazza del Popolo is not really close to the Forum. The Forum, Colosso and Palatine are close together and quite a bit farther south. Piazza del Popolo is on the north side and very near Villa Borghese/Pincio Gardens.

    Via del Coroso is a long street stretching from Piazza del Popolo on the northern end south to Piazza Venezia and the Vittorio Emanuele Monument - which is shouting distance from the Forum/Colosseum/Palatine. It sound like the OP is staying up near the northern end so yes, visiting Villa Borghese would be a good idea!

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Kate I know that Via Del Corso is a very long Via. We stayed about midway. I do remember that we walked up to Piazza Del Popolo and then onwards towards Roman Ruins. Perhaps I mistook them for the Forum. We were certainly able to walk to most attractions, except the Vatican.....We certainly walked to the Colosseum and Palantine Hill.
    And Pantheon. Perhaps we just enjoyed walking, and did not mind the distances.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Most doable, but put on your walking shoes. there is so much to see and as they say "Rome was not bulit in a day", so don't expect to see all of it in three. LOL...just jokeing. I say take your time and see what you can, but be sure to go to the Trevi Fountain and drop in a few coins....they say if you do, you will return. It took me over twenty years to return, and first thing I did when I return to the Trevi Fountain , I threw in a few more coins, so I know I will return again.

    cheers tommy x

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    We enjoy walking too - and it's such a great city for that. :O)

    Our first hotel was up in Prati - just a few blocks across the river from Villa Borghese - and we didn't have any trouble walking down to the Forum/Colosseum area or Trastevere, and the Vatican was even closer. 2nd time we were a few blocks from Termini - not that far from Trevi - and again, no trouble walking to things.

    Many of the attractions are within a small 2 mile X 2mile area.

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  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by Roadquill Online Now Mar 10, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    1 1/2 hours at the Colosseum means you will look at it from the outside and maybe a few minutes inside. But there is so much going on that you need time to assimilate it all. What about the Forum and Palantine Hill? (all part of the ticket) And while all of this is walkable, it does take time to get from place to place. Personally I think you are trying to squeeze in too much into day one. You may want to consider a morning quick look at the Trevi and the come back at night when it is full of tourists and locals.... it is almost a party scene.

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  • Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by Sunray-310 Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    We are visiting Rome mid April (11-14). I read travelers' tips about entering sites at noon (lunch time so fewer crowds) or afternoon (less groups who usually go in the mornings).
    Sure it's wise to prebook but I don't know the weather yet so I'd rather leave indoor visits for rainy days. I didn't realize that the Colosseum ticket is a combined one! You have to pay for all three sites even if you want to see one?

    Cool tip to go to the piazzas in the evenings and leave space for more sites during the day!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by leics Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    It has certainly not been my experience on several visits to Rome (the most recent in August last year, but previously in March/April) that one can guarantee fewer crowds at noon or in the afternoons (other than before 9 or the late afternoon for St Peter's..but I wouldn't want to say that was a guarantee either).

    There really are no firm rules......and tips like those you mention (especially if they are in a guidebook) often result in loads more people going at that time (same with tips about 'undiscovered' places). So they defeat their own purpose.

    Yes, the Colosseo/Forum/Palatine is all one ticket. You do have to pay for all 3 but the other two are just as interesting as the Colosseum, if not more so.

    If it rains, do you really want to queue outside the Vatican Museums for an hour or so? If it's a rainy day all the other visitors who decided not to pre-book online are likely to want to visit 'inside' places too. I'd still advise you to pre-book if you are desperate to see the Sistine, regardless of what the weather might be like.

    Sunset will be around 7.50pm during the time you are visiting, so you will have half the evening to explore in reasonable daylight, which is good..

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  • Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by Sunray-310 Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    I am convinced! I will prebook! So, if I write a specific time -2. p.m lets say- for entering the palatine, what time do I have to be in the other two sites? Is there a time limit for each place how does it work? And in your opinion, all three (depending on the crowds of course) would take more than 3 hours?
    Thanks

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  • Paolomusc's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by Paolomusc Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Whilst you MAY see a lot of Rome on your planned itinerary and I agree with all the comments listed earlier, what really worries me is that you don't seem to be allowing time to EXPERIENCE the city. Rome and the whole of Italy is not just a place to see or visit, it is a place to experience and 'feel' Some of that can be done by seeing the sights, but it's best done over a coffee in a street cafe over a couple of hours people watching, or visiting the street market off Via Toscolana and mingling with the locals. It would be best to plan more than one visit to Rome. It and you deserve that!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Sunray-310 wrote:
    I am convinced! I will prebook! So, if I write a specific time -2. p.m lets say- for entering the palatine, what time do I have to be in the other two sites? Is there a time limit for each place how does it work? And in your opinion, all three (depending on the crowds of course) would take more than 3 hours? Thanks

    It's the Vatican Museums that we're suggesting pre-booking, and that one is done by open time slots: you'll choose by what's available on the website.  Yes, you could pre-order tickets for the Colosseum/Palatine/Forum as well but I don't think that's as necessary: go to the Palatine entrance- first thing in the morning, just before it opens, where queues should be shortest. Lines are always the longest at the Colosseum. To my knowledge tickets to these three are not sold by time slot, and yes, it will take more than 3 hours to see all 3 properly. You're going to want to take along a good guidebook that points out the most notable aspects of the ruins or rent an audioguide at the sites as they're not well equipped with signage. There are also some audioguides that can be downloaded from the internet. 

    IMHO, if you do Piazza Navona, Trevi and the steps as walk-throughs later in the evenings, you'll have all of day 1 for the three sets of ruins plus the Pantheon: plenty of time and then some. A note about the Pantheon that is sometimes overlooked?  It is technically a church and so the same rules of dress apply as in any other Italian church: no uncovered knees (short skirts or shorts) or shoulders.  As you're traveling in April, I doubt you'd be dressing for hot weather anyway but thought I'd mention that. Those same dress rules apply to the Vatican Museums. 

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  • AlbertusMagnus's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by AlbertusMagnus Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I would do it this way. First Day, Start at Spanish Steps, walk from there to Trevi Fountain, then from there to Pantheon then around the corner to the Piazza Navona. If you start at the Steps at 9:30AM, you can have lunch at the Piazza Navona. All that close!!! Campo di Fiori is around the corner from the Piazza Navona, you can do that after lunch.
    Day 2, St. Peters and the Vatican Museum. We usually pre book the Vatican Museum on line, so that you don't have to wait. Figure on three to four hours in the museum, then St. Peters. If you start early, you'll have time to visit Trastevere for a late lunch. (Walk there from St. Peters.
    Day three, I would do the Campodoglio museum (a must) and a good view of the city from the top. The forum and the Colossseo in the afternoon.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by leics Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Yes, I was referring specifically to the Vatican Museums (Sistine) pre-booking in my post above.

    For the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine you could just do as Goodfish suggest and buy your ticket from the Palatine early in the day. Or you could buy online if you prefer.

    Vatican Museums have a specific entry time-slot but, as far as I'm aware, the 3-site tickets do not.

    Whether the 3 sites take more than 3 hours is really your personal choice. It would be possible to visit each one for an hour and then move on but, personally, I'd want 2 hours in the Forum and at least 1.5 hours for the Palatine, plus 1.5 hours for the Colosseum (in which I have less interest). But that's my personal choice! :-)

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  • clareabee's Profile Photo

    Re: Doable plan in 3 days?

    by clareabee Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    We were recently in Rome for 4 days and got a lot in - with plenty of time to just 'be' and watch the world go by with a glass of wine - some of my best memories.
    We did the colloseum and the forum (we booked the tickets on line - you are not tied to a time), Tomb of the unnamed soldier, Piazza De Popolo, walked along the river, walked over to Trastevere, Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Step (big disappointment but has to be done!), we had a (Very expensive!) drink in Hotel Russie - the toilets were worth a visit in themselves!, Campo De Fiori, Pantheon, bus tour, walking tour and explored where our hotel was as there were lots of lovely restaurants down a cobled street (we stayed at hotel Ivanhoe) - i am sure that there is more that we did but can't remember - i would certainly recommend if you can do it walking up to the dome of st peters basilica - just beautiful views!

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