7 Day Itinerary in Rome

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If you're lucky enough to have seven days in Rome, be sure to fill them with the best sights. Here's a week-long Rome itinerary that will at least get you started, if not fill your days completely.

Day 1 - Ruins I

Start your trip with a daytime tour of the Pantheon to see how the light descends through the dome. Be sure to return to attend mass if you're so inclined, as the building has been used for religious services for almost 2,000 years. Head to Trevi Fountain afterward, keeping in mind that it will be insanely crowded. Push your way through to toss in a coin to ensure your eventual return to Rome. After that, visit the Mausoleum of Augustus, built in 28 B.C. Unfortunately it's no longer open to tourists due to damage, but the facade is worth some photographs. Late at night you can return to Trevi for some beautiful photographs of the fountain lit up with no people around.

Day 2 - Ruins II

Head to Palatine Hill first to buy your ticket that's good for entrance at the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine. Just ignore the angry looks as you then bypass the line at the Colosseum. You can hire a guide when you make your booking if you want some in depth information, but they're not necessary. Beware of locals who pose as guards and allow you to take a photograph with them before trying to charge you outrageous amounts. Don't forget to stop and marvel at the Arch of Constantine, built with materials from other ancient ruins.

Days 3 and 4 - Museums

You could easily spend several days in the museums of Rome, and so you probably should. The National Museum of Rome is a good place to start, holding many of Rome's archaeological finds. The museum is housed in three locations: The Baths of Diocletian and the Palazzis Massimo and Altemps. The Italian Reunification Museum is located in the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, also great for views over the city. Villa Borghese contains a sculpture garden with works by Lorenzo, Raffaello and Canova, among others. The Barracco Museum is an art gallery that contains the bust of Alexander the Great. The Villa Giulia is also worth a visit, being the home of Pope Julius III. It contains some excellent Etruscan artifacts.

Day 5 - Churches

Rome's churches and cathedrals contain some of the city's best artifacts and artworks. San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains) houses a sculpture of Moses done by Michelangelo, as well as the chains that held St. Peter when he was imprisoned. San Clemente sits above a Mithraeum, a secret chamber used by ancient Eastern religious groups. Santa Maria della Vittoria contains Bernini's "Ecstasy of St Theresa" and is beautiful in its own right. Finally, Santa Sabina sits atop Aventine Hill and affords great views over Rome and the Vatican City.

Day 6 - Catacombs

Head below ground for a day and check out the catacombs of St. Sebastian, St. Callixtus and St. Commodilla, among others. Bring a flashlight, but keep in mind that no photographs are permitted in the catacombs, so as to preserve what has been found there, including some incredible works of art. You can pre-book a 30 minute time slot during which your group (including your own priest) can hold a private underground mass.

Day 7 - Vatican City

Of course you definitely should take a day to enter the Vatican City. You can see the Basilicas of St. Peter, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls. You can also tour the Vatican Museums and libraries, which contain a wealth of information, not to mention a lot of wealth. End your trip with a tour of the Vatican Gardens.

-Tiffany M Parker

December 18, 2009 change by tiffanymparker

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