12 nights , first time Italy

Old Jan 5th, 2018, 08:49 PM
  #1  
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12 nights , first time Italy

Hi, my wife and I will be in Italy for 12 nights (July 8 to july 20). We would have take more time, but since we leave the kids with the grandparents for that trip we dont want to abuse !

We want to enjoy at differnet pace we would have done with the kids. We want to have good late meals, good wine, see museums, get to historic places ...al things we wouldn't have done with kids, or less done.

We have figured this
5 nights in Rome (our flight arrive at 11:20 july 8)
4 nights in Florence
3 nights Venice (our flight back to Montreal is at 13:20 july 20)

5 nights in Rome seems a must since the first days is somwhat lost before of jetlag..

We can change days allowed to Florence and Venice. We want to see Florence but still have hard time if we would enjoy more to have 4 nights in a smaller town and do a daytrip to Florence. Lucca, San Gimignano and Siena seems marvelous too.

What would you do stay in Florenc and do one or 2 daytrips, or stay a more rural place, rent a car and do a daytrip to Florence ?

Other option: 1-2 night in Florence (so we can enjoy it at night) and 2-3 nights elsewhere before heading to Venice.

Tough decisions !
chosebinne is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 03:09 AM
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You have chosen the three classic places to visit for a first trip to Italy and made the most of your trip with a multi city flight booking. Because it's a first trip (of many) I hope, you have lots of time to see smaller places in the future, so I'd stick with the cities you have.

If it was me, I'd maybe switch the Florence and Rome days around, giving more time in Rome, but if you do your research beforehand you'll make your own decision.
Rubicund is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 03:11 AM
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Tough doesn't even come close......

For the Tuscany part of your trip, you basically have three full days at your disposal, so you are best base yourself in Florence for the 4 nights. The train service from Rome is excellent and central Florence is almost a no-go area for cars anyway.
I would strongly suggest a day trip to Siena, not a long trip by bus or train (although the station is not very central). Unique city but a day there will give you a decent experience of the location.
Wandering around Florence will easily occupy a second day and you need to decide on booking ahead for the Uffici and Accademia.
If doing something a bit unusual and fun is on your list, you might consider the Fiat 500 Tour where you set off in convoy for a tasting lunch into the countryside - with both of you squeezed into a vintage 500, while mashing up the unfortunate gearbox en route....
SeeDee is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 03:47 AM
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You'll be fine with that schedule. Yes, I could suggest tinkering with it, but a lot of that is personal preference.

I do suggest you plan out what you want to do in each city, to give you an idea of the timing you'll need. You can always deviate from the plan -- and do nothing, if you like -- but at least a plan will give you an outline of how much time you'll need for your must-do's and must-sees.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 08:01 AM
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Book trains months in advance to get limited in number discounted tickets - www.trenitalia.com or www.italotreno.com.en - two competing rail companies using same tracks and stations and similar trains - book your own tickets online and save tons over walk-up fares- check www.seat612.com for a trove of help doing that - for general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Stay in Florence and do a day trip from there like to Siena by bus in about an hour or Pisa for Tower, etc. Daytripping into Florence for a day is simply not enough to enjoy Florence - especially nice at night when lots of strollers about.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 09:19 AM
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"We want to see Florence but still have hard time if we would enjoy more to have 4 nights in a smaller town and do a daytrip to Florence. Lucca, San Gimignano and Siena seems marvelous too."

IMO, rural Tuscany can be a trip in itself.

It sounds like your return flight from Venice is already booked, but leaving Venice for another trip is also a possibility. Rome-Tuscany-Florence and a flight home from Florence, Pisa or Rome would be a nice trip in the time you have.
Jean is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 11:29 AM
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Given that its your first trip to Italy I think the way you have broken down your days its perfect, I wouldnt change it. You can always do a daytrip from Florence, and from the places you list I would chose Siena. You could also rent a car for a day and go out into the Tuscan countryside. Remember that everyday you change hotels you waste a lot of time, so I wouldnt suggest staying a couple of days in Florence and then switching to another hotel in the countryside. Also, you're going in the peak of the summer and it'll be very warm (if not hot) and crowded, not conducive IMO to moving around too many times.
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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IMO, unless you have a packed itinerary of things that you MUST see in Venice, I would only stay two nights there, two nights in Florence, and spend the extra three nights in Tuscany. (Or you could cut one night each from Rome and Florence.) Rent a car in Florence (I know you can rent at the airport, but check other options) and drive to Tuscany; this should be the only time you need a car. We stayed at an agriturismo in Greve in Chianti (http://www.poderecampriano.it/en/) , which is centrally located in Tuscany, about halfway between Florence and Siena (an hour or less from each). We did day trips into the Tuscan countryside, visiting Sam Gimignano, Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena, Cortona and Ponzano, among others. (We visited Lucca, which is another great option, an another trip.) Each town is beautiful and unique in its own way, so choose what appeals to you. As far as travel between major cities, the national rail (http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en) is the way to go; as other posts have mentioned, many cities have restrictions on automobiles, making navigating and parking difficult. Take the high speed train, book in advance and pay the extra for first class (it guarantees an assigned seat and is very comfortable - well worth it). Italy is an indescribably beautiful country, so you really can't go wrong no matter what you do; we've been three times and I still have a long list of must-sees. Go with your gut, see what's most important to you, and save the rest for your next trip - you'll be back! Buon viaggio!
piccolomundo is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 01:46 PM
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Take the high speed train, book in advance and pay the extra for first class (it guarantees an assigned seat and is very comfortable - well worth it)>

All tickets on TGV trains come with mandatory seat reservations - 2nd class too. But I agree that first class is significantly more relaxed - especially those neat rows of just 1 seat per row- an aisle and window seat too - two of these can face each other for couples and there is a table in between for on train picnics - bring any food or drink aboard.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2018, 01:49 PM
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Oops got French TGVs mixed up with Italian high-speed trains but same is still true for everything - all seats on high-speed trains come with mandatory seat reservations - only regional trains will not as there are no reserved seats on them and though not all have first class if they do it may be nice to pay relatively little extra on those dirt-cheap trains to more guarantee a seat.
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 07:57 AM
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Thanks a lot for all those answers ! They are very helpful and give me a lot to think and read about !

I think the only thing we are really set on (beside our flights that are already booked) is our 5 nights in Rome. Since the frirs day il somewhat lost because we will be on jetlag that leave us 4 full days, which wont be too much We guess.

3 nights in venice could be also too much or not. It realy seems to be a matter of personnal preference. Florence and more rural Tusacany are equally attractive to us. We do love arts but where not very big experts of renaissance, so we dont need/want to see everything the city has to offer on that point of view.
chosebinne is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 07:57 AM
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Oh and thanks Piccolomundo for the links and ideas !
chosebinne is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 07:58 AM
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Same for Palenq...in fact thanks to everyone !
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