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9 hours to see the city of Rome! Wow! That is really too little, or maybe not?

You can surely check out a lot of my excursions from the my website at the following section:

Rome was not built in a day and for sure when people dock at the port of Civitavecchia they all have great expectations in terms of number of sites to be visited in less than 9 hours. Of course everybody has always 2 major sites in mind: The Colosseum and the Vatican.

Many, many times, I personally receive requests of guests who really send me a list of many sites to visit: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, The Colosseum, The Vatican Museums and if time allows, also the Catacombs.

Wow, wow, wow!! Slow down guys. Yes, this is doable, but… We need to understand a copule of things first.

Private tour of the Vatican

  1. Remember guys, that all I suggest is for your own good. So, when you guys write me that “another company” told you that all you listed is possible, I would go careful with it!
  2. All the sites that you guys listed can be seen but in a very quick and logistically intelligent way: Colosseum from the outside only and, if you really want to see the Vatican, you can dedicate to it at the most 2.5 hours and best with a private guide, a part from your driver escorting you to the entrance.
  3. If you guys want to see also the Colosseum from the inside, then, you have to downsize your expectations and start from the point of view that for sure you will see the Colosseum and the Vatican and, whatever else we can fit in is always a plus! But, if you don’t see much more than the Colosseum and Vatican, please don’t be upset!


The really best way to absorbe Rome in a day from the cruise port on a private tour with my company – RomePrivateExcursions – is to try to see as much as possible in the following way:

  • 07.30 am: pick up at dock-side by your driver (he will be there with a sign and your name on), ready to depart
  • 09.00 am: reach Rome and start with a visit of the outside of the Colosseum
  • 09.35ish am: drive past the Circus Maximus and stop for a picture and continue outside the Walls of Rome, towards the Catacombs
  • 10.00 am: step on the Appian Way and take pics
  • 10.30 am: be ready to tour the Catacombs whose tour generally lasts 45 minutes
  • 11.30 am back into the walls of the city, drive past the “Wedding Cake” over to the Pantheon
  • 11.45 am: visit the Pantheon from the inside, after the detailed historical explanations given by your driver
  • 12.15 pm:  Campo de’ Fiori, for a quick bite
  • 01.00 pm: Reach the Trevi Fountain
  • 01.45 pm: Reach the top of the Spanish Steps, pic from the top, maybe walk down and up the Steps and off
  • 02.10 pm: Navona Square where you can spend 15 minutes wondering around 
  • 02.50 pm: Vatican: stroll into St Peter’s Square
  • 03.20 pm: leave Rome
  • 04.30 pm: reach the port of CIVITAVECCHIA

How is that? I really think this is the best itinerary ever. You are not super tired, but you are super happy. You guys saw the best of Rome in 9 hours from the port and bak!


Also this point is pretty relevant for many reasons:

  1. The ship does not wait for you if you are on a private tour
  2. Don’t push the return to the ship later than 05.00 pm
  3. Try to get out in the morning as early as 07.30 am
  4. You can easily talk to your driver and if you want to see as much as outlined in the above itinerary, you will have to entrust to your driver the time to be spent at each site
  5. Not a long time for lunch: grab something quick to go

On the other hand dear friends of mine, if you are coming to Rome and yes, you want to enjoy the DOLCE VITA, then have your driver show a little, in a very cozy way, go to an off-the-beaten-path restaurant and enjoy the family style. Drink great wine, eat great food and just love each other. THIS IS ANYWAY A GREAT WAY TO SEE ROME.

See you all in Italy with me and RomePrivateExcursions

Article by Luca Orlandi, Rome Private Excursions C.E.O.


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