Rome and Amalfi

Hello! I linked to your site from your reply to my Venice post (thank you). I showed my husband the Italian gestures clip this morning… it was so funny 🙂

Anyway I do have a lot of questions. I will start with Rome and Amalfi and if you have time I will continue on with more questions?

We have all of our accommodation and travel sorted. What I would like to know is what mustn’t we miss! We are there for 5 weeks and I don’t think it is long enough. We are on a low to medium budget.

So Rome… on our first day we are visiting the Coloseum, Palatine Hill etc.

Day two is free – what do we need to see? I thought the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon and? We have an evening food tour of trastevere that night.

Day three we have a tour of the Vatican and my husband wants to visit a motorcycle shop on that side of the river afterwards. We have the rest of that day free.

After this we have three days in an apartnment in Amalfi. We would have already taken a tour of the coast and Pompeii. I would like to see Capri maybe… and walk some of the beautiful walks in the area – anything else we must see?

Thank you for your help. I am busy learning as much Italian as I can until we fly out in May.


Hi Heidi (or, since you are learning Italian: Ciao!).
First of all, thanks for dropping me a note, and feel free to come back for more questions. I’m just a little bit confused: your are saying that you will be in Italy 5 weeks, but only mentioning 3 days in Rome… which are not so many. So let me “recycle” a 6 day itinerary, where the first 3 days are “must sees, so you can reshuffle and combine bits and pieces based on your interests, in case you have more time to spend there.
So here we go for Rome:

Day 1) St Peters + climbing up the dome ( + Vatican museums. Consider a full day for all this sites. You can’t visit St Peter during Sunday morning (there’s the pope!); better to reserve you Vatican museum tickets, to avoid spending hours in queues ( At night have a drink and a Pizza in Campo de’ Fiori square.


Day 2) Walking tour: the Imperial Rome. From Piazza Venezia, visit the Campidoglio square, designed by Michelangelo who “recycled” the roman temple of Jupiter. Visit Santa maria in Aracoeli, then take the elevator for a wonderful view on Rome.  Go to Via dei Fori Imperiali (passing close to the Carcere Mamertino, St Peter’s jail, then enter the archaeological area  of Fori Imperiali (ticket -needed it includes also the colosseum) and visit the Forum and the Orti Farnesiani (renaissance garden build in the XVI century over the remains of the Emperors palaces). Visit the colosseum and, if you have the time, have a nice walk in the medieval rome to discover the Roman houses buried under medieval churches ( At night, have a walk in Trastevere and find a restaurant there.


Day 3) Walking Tour: Barocco Rome. From Piazza del Popolo have a look at Santa Maria del Pololo church (cited by Dan Brown in “Angels and Demons”, it hosts 2 paintings from caravaggio) then walk up to the Pincio gardens and keep on walking towards TrinitĂ  dei Monti (actually this is the entrance of Villa Borghese, a perfect place for jogging in the morning). Stop in Villa Medici and visit the renaissance palace and gardens.Continue to TrinitĂ  dei Monti where you will have the Spanish Steps at your feet. Go down, admire the Barcaccia fountain and, why not, have a coffee at the famous caffĂ© Greco. Keep walking on your left, pass via Cavour and get to Fontana di tevi (have a coin rady to be thrown in the fountain!) From there, cross via del Corso, heading to piazza del Pantheon  (stop to visit Sant’Ignazio Church and admire the amazing Trompe L’oeuil painted on the roof. Visit the Pantheon, and the chirches of San Luigi dei Francesi and the Basilica di Sant’Agostino (hey host 3 wonderfl paintings by caravaggio) and continue to Piazza Navona. From there, you can loose yourself in the delightfull and lively streets behing it (via del Panico, piazza del Fico, via dei coronary). Then cross the tiber at ponte Sant’Angelo and visit Castel Sant’angelo at sunset.  At night, have a walking tour of Rome y night (


Day 4) Walking tour: the Jewish Ghetto, Trastevere and palatino: start in Campo de Fiori (nice market on week days) and walk to Largo Argentina. There you can enter the old Jewish ghetto ( and discover this out of the beaten track part f Rome. Have also a look at Portico di Ottavia and at Teatro di Marcello. Cross the Tiber river at Isola Tiberina, (that you can Visit) and enter into Trastevere, heading toward Santa Maria in Trastevere Church. Visit the middle age cghurch and enjoy the “old village” atmosphere. Loose yourself in the old streets, if you want you could visit Villa Farnesina Museum (paintings from Raffaello) and the Santa Cecilia church, hosting a touching statue of the saint. From there cross the Tiber and visit the Santa maria in Cosmedin medieval church, which hosts the Bocca della VeritĂ . From there you can get to the lovely Palatino Neighbourhood, where you should visit the Giardino degli Aranci, the Santa Sabina church and the famous Key Hole with a view over St Peter (Piazza Cavalieri di Malta) At night, go back to the ghetto for a kosher dinner.  If you are there during summer time, don’t miss the “estate Romana” stands and restaurants on the Isola Tiberina and Tiber banks.


Day 5) If the weather is good, I would suggest a biking tour on the Appian Antica archeological park (you will ride over an original roman causeway!), otherwise you could explore the delightful Rione Monti, San Pietro in Vincoli (with the Mosè by Michelangelo) and the cathedral of santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni (with gigantic statues from Berini). In front of San Giovanni, have a look at the “Scala Santa” (saint stairs), where pilgrims climb on their knees! At night, you could explore the Testaccio neighborhood (a lively area filled with restaurants and pubs)


Day 6) Day out of Rome. Two suggestions. Visit Ostia Antica, very similar to Pompei, but less than one hour train from Rome center, or go to Tivoli and visit Villa D’Este and its magical fountains and Villa Adriana (Emperor Adriano’s majestic villa).


Now the Amalfi cost: it’s a magical place, and actually I will spend a long week end there with my son, at the beginning of May!


Capri is very easy to visit (and it’s a breathtaking place), you have direct hydrofoils from Sorrento and from Positano ( There should be also a direct line from Amalfi, check when you are there. A day trip will give you a flavor of it, but you could easily spend there 2 or 3 days. Highlights are getting down to the Faraglioni (you can take a swim there), way back to Marina Piccola by boat, and bus from there to the “piazzetta”; the scenic “via Krupp” (; the Romans remain of the “villa di Tiberio”; a boat tour of the island, including the “grotta Azzurra”.

I don’t know which places are included in your tour, but you must not miss Ravello (bus from Amalfi), it’a a fantastic medieval village up in the hills behind Positano, with breathtaking terraces over teh mediterranean see (best at Villa Cimbrone). Also the Furore fiord is worthwhile a visit, even though it may not be easy to reach by public transport.

As you correctly mention, you have great trails to explore, the most famous is the “Sentiero degli dei (path of the gods). Here is a link to know more:

Hope this helps. Do get back to me for more info.

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Buon giro (have a nice tour)!


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