Ive heard many people grumble that Rome is a waste of a day on a cruise because of traffic and congestion and too much to see in one day, but I still have to cram as much in as I possibly can.
SO how much can one humanly see in one day??
I have no clue of the scale (in mileage) of Rome. How far are things away from each other?
I know what I want to do but I have no clue if it is within the realm of possibility.
I am thinking of doing the "Rome on Your Own" thingy with the cruise line where they just drive you in and drop you off for 9 hours. I think for some reason (not sure what I am basing this on) that they drop you off in Vatican City. I would like to start there and see St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. I would like to see some of the other pieces in the Vatican Museums but i dont feel the need to spend hours in there.
From there I would like to walk towards the Colosseum via the Pantheon. See that and then move on to the Colosseum and see that and the environs. Then make our way back, hopefully in time to catch our bus back to the ship.
I dont particularly care about shopping other than to get a couple postcards.
So is this humanly possible? Looking at a map of Rome I feel like we are totally going to get ourselves lost. Am I off my rocker thinking that we can do this?? Im beginning to think I am. ;-)
I don't know where they drop you off either, but I like your plan a lot better than sitting on a bus all day in congested traffic and hoping to "drive by" everything before you have to go back to the ship.
Rome is, by any account, a sprawling, busy, and illogically laid out city. However, your tightly circumscribed itinerary should be doable.
You might get stuck and waste some time at the Sistine Chapel if there are long lines. While I wasn't disappointed by it--given its significance--it's not the most amazing place in Rome. St. Peter's, the Pantheon and the Colosseum ARE amazing, and are well worth your day.
You could do a little research about this: A million years ago there was a streetcar in Rome with the route code ED (the streetcar called "Ed") that I used to ride. It made a loop around the city and passed the Colosseum for sure, went over the river to the Vatican for sure, and I can't remember whether it went by the Pantheon, but given the geography it must go pretty close by it. God knows whether it's still called ED, but I'll bet the route still is running, and I'll bet it's your best shot for making your itinerary happen. Scrounge around on the net and see if you can find a Rome streetcar map. Look for the loop route that goes by those places.
We spent an entire day at the Vatican - but if you really only hit the highlights you mentioned, wear comfy shoes and catch the occasional hop-on hop-off bus you should be able to make your itinerary. The "Rome on your Own" busses for our ship dropped off somewhere in the city - not at the Vatican We took the train in and avoided all the traffic and hassle.
I find Rome a very walkable city. We have only ever used our legs and you can achieve a huge amount in 9 hours.
I would definitely see St. Peters, preferably after midday as all the tour buses go there first thing in the morning. I also agree with AR that the Vatican Musueum and Sistine Chapel could take a lot of your precious time. We have walked from St. Peter's back to the city each time, and on the way you pass Castille St Angelo which to me is a must. The opera Tosca was based on this wonderful old building.
Next I would see the Pantheon. It is a most wonderful piece of architecture and is amazing to realize how old it is. There is also another beautiful church quite close to the Pantheon.
After that I would either go to the Colosseum or the Trajan Markets but I would definitely leave some time for the Trevi Fountain so that you can throw your coin in which guarantees that you will return and see the rest of Rome some day.
The traffic is horrendous and it is a polluted city but by walking you come across the most amazing sights. There could a beautiful fountain at the end of a street, or a lovely old building tucked away somewhere else.
The best map to be found and it is free is from McDonald's. Also use their toilets as they are clean and cost nothing at all. The other place for good toilets is the internet cafe up at the top of Rome.
You do not mention what month you will be there. We have only ever been in September and it can be very hot. Also a lot of the city closes down around 1.30pm for about 3 hours.
I adore Rome and even though we have been quite a few times, I never tire of it.
Until we sail on the Tahitan Princess - Tahiti to Hawaii
Until we sail on the Nautica - HongKong to Athens
you have been very helpful.
it makes my plan seem possibly doable. unfortunatly i was flipping through a travel guide and i had forgotten that the sculpture of St Theresa in Ecstacy is in Rome. Curse myself for studying art for so many years!!! looking at a map that seems even farther away from everything else though. ;-(
i may have to leave that off the list.
as for the time of year. we will pretty much be there right now next year. so it sounds like we're going to fry! yikes!! better bring lots of sunblock.
thank you for the tip about McDonalds
and thank you for the tip about the buses and streetcars.
If you're going on a Bernini hunt, and you stop off to see the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, make sure you do it with someone you love! And if you haven't read Angels and Demons yet, by all means do so before you go!
Since you're an art student, I predict that you'll ultimately treat your one day in Rome as a "special introductory offer," and that you'll be back for a visit of a week or more before long.
Just back. Did the Rome on Your Own. They drop you off at the Vatican and pick up there at 4pm. We started at St, Peter's and then walked to the Colesseum. Saw most tourist sites on the way. Had a nice lunch. Just got a taxi and return to the Vatican in plenty of time.
Jennie, thanks for info on restrooms - always need that information. Are there McDonald's scattered throughout the city or just a particular one?
Do you remember anything about restrooms in Venice?