How Much of Rome Can You See in Just a Few Days Before or After Your Cruise

We have just uploaded the first of our Gallery Pictures from our most recent cruise, a Trans-Atlantic from Civitavecchia/Rome. This very popular cruise port, may serve as either your embarkation or debarkation port for your next Mediterranean cruise. Many people like to combine their cruise vacation with a few days in Rome. We invite all of our readers to visit the our Cruise Talk Photo Gallery to enjoy the first of these pictures, the Pre-Cruise Rome Stay. We hope our readers who are planning trips to Rome and benefit from viewing our own photos.

During my first visit to Rome I spent 10 days, and felt like I had ample opportunity to see most everything I wanted. During my most recent visit we had only about 3 1/2 days and I worried that we might not be able to see even the big highlights. However, we even surprised our selves by packing in what we considered the highlights of Rome into our visit and utilizing nothing more than our feet as transportation. While we missed out on a few things that others might include in their list of most important attractions, we were able to see everything we that we had put on our priority list for the trip. During our trip the only time we did not walk was when we were arriving from the airport and departing to the cruise port. It was a lot of walking, about 4 to 5 miles a day, but we all felt that walking was the best way to soak in all the city had to offer.

First, before we left, everyone put together their own wish list of things they wanted to see and do in Rome. I had a few odd things on my list been there before and seen many of the major sites. My daughter wanted to see the Pantheon and Colosseum and eat carbanara. My daughter wanted to see the the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and eat gelato. My husband, who has been to Rome many times wanted to share some of his favorites with the kids including the Piazzas and ruins at the Forum. I had a few odd things on my list since I been there before and seen many of the major sites. Of course, I wanted to return back to many of these sights and share the experience with the kids. The new things I wanted to see during this trip included the Carvagio painting at Santa Maria de Popolo, Castel San Angelo, and the Santa Maria de Trestevere. We all wanted to visit St. Peter’s and Vatican City and check out the Spanish Steps.

We divided our days into three different main activities. Our arrival day was just a “Play it by ear” day, and did not have any real plans, but we arrived early enough that we were able to take a nice walk before dinner and visit the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.

On Our first full day, we concentrated on ancient Rome with a visits to the Colleseum, Forum and Palentine Hill. To get there from our hotel we also passed by the Vitoriano in the Piazza Venezia. We forwent the admission there, and headed straight for the Colleseum. From the Palentine we could even see where the Circus Maximus once stood. After enjoying those attractions we sat down to fulfill another obligation, a pizza lunch in an outdoor cafe. Then we walked down the other side of the street where we were able to see the Trajan Market and Trajan Column. Next came a big boondoggle as I tried to take us on a quick walk to see Piazza Barbarini, which I will never live down because it was much father to walk than I estimated. While it may not have been worth the walk out of the way, the fountain in the piazza was lovely. We then fulfilled another obligation and got Gelato at the Trevi Fountain and made wishes with coins in the fountain.

During our second day we concentrated on “Holy” Rome and the Tiber River. We walked from our apartment near the intersection of Via del Corso and Via Corrozze down along the Tiber and then across the bridge lined with many angel statues to the Castel San Angelo. This was once Hadrian’s Mausoleum and a Fortress to Protect the Pope. It now house a collection of art and artifacts and affords lovely views of the Tiber and and Vatican. From there we walked down to St. Peter’s square and basilica where after a brief queue to go through security, we were able to take in much of the art work in the huge church. This is where most people would also fit in a visit to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. However, since no one else in my group had interest in the museum, and I visited on my previous trip, we skipped the museum and headed further along the bend in the Tiber to visit the Trastevere area. After a fabulous lunch, we visited the Santa Maria di Trastevere, and then continued along the Tiber, crossing back at the island bridge. Here I got us into another “wild goose chase.” I wanted to visit the Largo Argentina thinking the kids would enjoy seeing cats that live in the ruins there. I read my map an thought it was one way but it turned out to be another and pretty soon we were at the Turtle Fountain. After some pictures of it, my husband took over the lead and brought us right to the Largo Argentina which is home to the some of the oldest temple ruins in Rome and a cat sanctuary. The day was finished off with another visit to the Pantheon, the San Ignatio Church with a false “trump loi” dome and the Trevi Fountain.

During our final day we visited some of my husband’s favorite Piazzas. Starting with the Piazza Popolo in the morning, we then spent the afternoon at the Piazza Navona, and the evening enjoying a meal just off the Piazza Di Spagna.

While there are still things in Rome that I will have to take in during my next trip, this trip definitely afforded us a great chance to take in some of the main highlights of Rome in only a few days.