2 Weeks in Italy

Old Sep 6th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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2 Weeks in Italy

We have just started to plan a two week trip to Italy for May, 2012. We expect to fly to Rome, take the train to Florence, then Venice, and return from Venice. We are thinking of spending 7 nights in Rome, and 3 each in Florence and Venice. Is this too little, too much? We will be on a moderate pace, for the most part, not rushing from site to site, but wanting to see most of the tourist attractions.

We hope to stay in apartments (or BnB's). We have rented from owners before, and will use caution, but is there any special advice that can be offered for Italy?

We will return another time for other parts of Italy, so no need for suggestions on other locations unless our expected timing is off the mark in any of the 3 cities.

I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
Stanlock is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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Check airline schedules for your home airport. For many U.S. travelers, flights home from Venice leave very early in the morning, while flights home from Rome leave at midday. You might reverse your order.

Apartment advice: If you are from the U.S., then you might need to know that the "first" floor in Italy in the floor above the ground floor—therefore the second floor as counted in the U.S. Many apartments will have a clothes washer but fewer will have clothes dryers.

Without knowing your interests, it is tricky to say if you have scheduled the correct amount of time in each city. That said, for a first trip it seems a good itinerary to me.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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I too would start in Venice and give it 4 days since day one is almost lost. I would try to do a day trip by bus to Siena from Florence. Six days in Rome is just right for me. Have fun !
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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We did 7 days in Rome and 2 days in Florence in April this year. It was perfect for us. Italian Renaissance painting isn't my favorite so, while we may go back to Florence to further explore the city two days was good for a first visit. We saw the major tourist things in Rome in those 7 days but at a nice pace. We stayed in an apartment from Sleep in Italy and loved it. We spent a lot of time around our apartment to just explore.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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I'd also endorse arriving in Venice, stay four nights, train to Florence, train to Rome and fly out of Rome.

Hotels in Venice and Florence, maybe an apartment in Rome.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We will check on flight times back to the US, but they didn't seem too bad at first look. No problem reversing the order. Thought it would be easier to rest up after Rome, so scheduled Rome first.

Will 2 days be enough for Florence if we use a day for Siena? It shouldn't be a problem adding a day or two anywhere if we would need it.

We are retired seniors, so interests are more in culture, sights, food and ambiance more than nightlife and shopping, although some souvenirs will be a requirement. I spent 2 weeks in Rome about 30 years ago on business, so have a general recollection of the area. No clues on Florence and Venice. Haven't started to research them yet.

Thanks, again.
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 07:49 PM
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Considering that the first half day you move to a new place is taken up by the move, staying two days in Florence with a day trip to Siena means you only have half a day for Florence. Stay another day.

One of the places that's fun to visit in Florence is the Mercato Centrale, a two-story food market that is amazing to see for the variety of things you can buy there. It's in the Centro Storico (historic center) and within walking distance of everything. If you have an apartment, you can get some food there and cook it yourself. I bought a bottle of freshly-pressed olive oil there and brought it home to the US with me. It spoiled me for good olive oil.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 05:51 AM
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I would spend at least 3 full days in Florence. Although I love both Venice and Rome, IMHO there is so much more to see and do in Florence than can be done in 3 days, especially with a side trip to Siena. Siena is well worth a trip but not at the expense of at least 2 full days to explore Florence. We have been to Florence 7 times for a total of over 30 days and there are still things I want to do for the first time. May is a wonderful time to go.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:12 AM
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I totally agree with Mamcalice. For me, 3 days in Florence is minimum.
I think that your plan is OK, and I like that your last stop is Venice. Rome is a very big city with hundred of sites to be visited. In Venice you can walk in a more relaxing pace, and I always like to finish a vacation in a smaller city.

Have a nice trip!
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:16 AM
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I would recommend; 4-Venice and 4-Florence, 5-Rome.
Venice is for wandering and simply discovering as you go, separate from the major sites.
You would have a day for a day trip to Padua by train.

Florence needs two days for the major sites and allows for day trips as far as Assisi and close by Siena and others.

You can live your entire life in Rome and always feel like there is something else to see.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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If you're arriving after a long, overnight flight, allow time to recover from jet-lag. Venice is a better place for this than Rome. It's less intense and there are no cars.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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Hi S,

Good plan.

I think that Venice, being slower and more relaxing is a better place to start than Rome, so I would go in reverse.

Also add one day to Venice, as your first one will be jet lagged.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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I think Venice 3-4 days would work. Florence at least 4 days.
And Rome 5. Keep in mind that traveling between the cities will take probably a half day. I've been to Rome several times and I highly suggest staying in the Trastevere area.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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We began our trip in Rome and ended in Venice, flying home from there. Our flight left at 10am, however, and that allowed plenty of time to take the vaporetto (canal bus) from the St. Marks area to the terminal where we then caught the bus to the airport. If the flight had been much earlier, however, it would have been very difficult. Some people opt to move to a hotel near the airport for that last night if the flight is very early. I suggest you read the helpful advice on this forum about getting to the Venice airport. It will help you understand the problem. It isn't like another city where you can order a cab. I enjoyed starting in Rome, by the way. I was full of energy at that point. Later in the trip, I was more tired and the dreaminess of Venice suited well. It was a pleasure just to ride from one end of the Grand Canal to the other taking in the sights.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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I actually like starting with the busiest place and ending on a more relaxing note, so I'm appropriately zen-ed out when I get home. So for me, your original order would be great, since the flight times out of Venice aren't heinous. I think it's a personal preference.

Seven nights in Rome might be a little long for me, especially if you're not a huge big city person. I think you could easily move one of those to Florence (or Venice, depending on your interests, but with a trip to Siena I'd think Florence).
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