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3 Must Visit Places in Italy - what are they to you??

3 Must Visit Places in Italy - what are they to you??

Old May 9th, 2022, 04:17 AM
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3 Must Visit Places in Italy - what are they to you??

Hello,

My son is studying in Rome this fall and we are going to visit early November. We will have 8 nights/7 days and wanted to get some ideas on where other than Rome and Venice we MUST visit in Italy. Wife has been to Florence but she is open to everyone else who has not been to Italy.

Flying from NYC we want to have direct flights to and from Italy.

So we obviously will see Rome to visit my son but perhaps he meets us on the weekend in Venice so he can experience it. Then, what other city (Florence, Amalfi Coast)?

Thinking 2 days in Venice, 2 days in X and 3 days in Rome. Sequencing and method of transportation between cities would be great. Lots of flying I know but thoughts/Ideas are much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Ed
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Old May 9th, 2022, 04:29 AM
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Personally, I would do four days in Venice and three in Rome. If you insist on somewhere else Florence is usual, but you might consider Milan or Bologna instead. I really like Ferrara, with a day trip to Ravenna.

Use the train (I trust you were not thinking of flying within Italy). Everything you need to know about train travel in Europe is here: https://www.seat61.com/european-train-travel.htm

Edited to add, fly into Venice and out of Rome. You want a multi-city ticket, not two one ways.

Last edited by thursdaysd; May 9th, 2022 at 04:44 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2022, 04:35 AM
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Padova (Padua) just next to Venice would be an easy hit and worth the trip

Florence and Siena are another perfect fit.

Sicily is pretty special but you cannot really fit it in within the time and that also takes out the likes of Lecce

I might consider Lucca and Pisa.

Depending on the time of year Cinque Terre is either lovely or crowded out, but November will be out of season and the paths may be muddy.

Another area worth looking into to avoid going south (the south is interesting but you don't have the time) might be Bologna and Ravenna, if you have car interests then visiting the Ferrari plant is possible

I saw the comment about flying and thought "what!", you will find the train way faster as it goes city centre to city centre read up seat61.com to understand the system and timetables on trenitalia.

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Old May 9th, 2022, 04:39 AM
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Wow, that is a tough question. I think many visitors go to Venice, Rome and Florence as a beginning trip. This depends a lot on what you and your wife like to do. Do you like being outdoors in beautiful surroundings? (Siena/Val D'orcia/Tuscany) do you love cities (Milano?) Do you love architecture? Art? (Well, you get tons of those in Rome, so you are covered...) incredibly scenic views everywhere you look, with lots of hiking? (Sorrento, Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre) archaeology, ancient ruins, amazing history? (Naples and the archaeology museum, Pompeii) or Sicilia.

The bottom line is you can't go wrong in Italy. Everywhere you go is wonderful, the italians are warm and welcoming and (Wow!) the food and drink. Do some serious reading on some of the places you have thought of visiting and then you will have a better sense And think of this as just the beginning and pick places you are really excited to see, and plan your next trip as soon as you return.

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Old May 9th, 2022, 10:34 AM
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Your time is very short. That restricts how much you can see, so other’s “must see” places does not apply. Only two places (with perhaps a day trip or short stop between) will work with your time schedule and you already have Rome as one.

You will lose at least 1/2 day each way, going and returning from Venice, so that leaves actually only six days of sight seeing (if you are doing RT from Rome and if you choose Venice). Important question. Have you already booked tickets? Hopefully not, so you can book “multi-city” (all on one ticket, not two one-way tickets), into Venice (if you choose Venice), out of Rome. For Florence, it does not matter as much, though you could fly out of Pisa.

You will use trains in Italy. They are easy and mostly city center to city center, no time wasted driving to an airport, going through security, etc.

Three options:
Venice (with day trip) and Rome (with day trip)
Rome and Florence (with day trips)
Rome and the Amalfi Coast (with Pompeii and Naples)




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Old May 9th, 2022, 11:00 AM
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With such a short time, 2 bases would be enough with possible nearby day trips. Definitely book multi-city tickets. A possible daytrip from Rome would be to Orvieto. A delightful town a train ride away.
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Old May 9th, 2022, 11:27 AM
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I agree with splitting the time. between the two places you have. If you want three places, add Siena or Bologna.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 01:03 PM
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I myself would spend the entire time in Rome, but I agree that 2 bases would work fine. Definitely try to fly into Venice and home from Rome.

If you've already bought round-trip tickets to/from Rome, you might consider taking a train directly to Venice when you arrive. It's a long trip, almost 5 hours, but you can sleep on the train, and you'd probably be too tired for sightseeing that first day, anyway. Your son could meet you in Venice. You have to change trains at Rome's Termini station, so maybe your son could join you there to help you with your luggage. (Do try to travel very light!)

I would spend three days in Venice, including that first arrival day.

If you'd like to get a brief look at Florence, you can stop off on your way to Rome. Get a very early ticket from Venice to Florence, and an afternoon ticket from Florence to Rome. You can check your bags at the Florence train station. The station is an easy walk from the most popular sights in Florence. Allow plenty of time for picking up the bags on the way back.

There's a lot to see in Florence, especially if you're very passionate about Italian Renaissance art, but if you skip the most crowded museums and churches, you can see a lot in a very short time.

Rome is a much bigger city than Venice or Florence, and it takes a lot of time to see the most popular sights. The plan I propose would give you 2 full days in Venice, 1 partial day in Florence and 3 full days in Rome. It's a very short time for all three cities, but if you plan your time well and avoid the most crowded places, you can see quite a lot.

Last edited by bvlenci; May 10th, 2022 at 01:08 PM.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 01:16 PM
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No help with non-stop flights, but fly into Venice and out of Rome if possible.

3 days in Venice and the rest in Rome.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 03:30 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for their thoughts - some great ideas that I will definitely look into! Haven't bought any tickets yet - and yes, will take the train instead of flying between cities.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 04:10 PM
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Hi Ed,
My two cents worth: limit this visit to just Rome and Venice. Both deserve a decent chunk of your stated time frame. Trying to wedge a third locale into the equation could detract from the special vibe you seek in such places, especially Venice. One possible scenario could be two days of rain (its November), undermining your plans.
All the great advice above, references places that will await your return next time.
Hope it all goes well.
I am done. The end.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 04:12 PM
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Siena is one of my favorite places in Europe.
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Old May 12th, 2022, 08:48 AM
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Fly in or out of venice for one of those legs to maximize time. There are direct flights to venice from NYC. Venice is a MUST. You can just pop into flroence for a night to break up the train ride and see It yourself. but I would really explore venice and rome.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by emcash View Post
You can just pop into flroence for a night to break up the train ride and see It yourself. but I would really explore venice and rome.
As I said before, you don't even need to spend a night in Florence. I have taken visitors from my home in Le Marche to Florence for a day trip before proceeding to Rome. It's even more doable from Venice.

Leaving Venice, there's a 7:26 Frecciarossa train, or an 8:40 nonstop Frecciarossa train, arriving in Florence at 9:39 and 10:39, respectively.

Later, in the afternoon or early evening,you can take a fast Frecciarossa train to Rome. There are 2 or 3 an hour, all taking about an hour and a half.

If you take the 8:40 train to Florence in the morning, and then the 18:33 train to Rome in the late afternoon, you would have around 8 hours in Florence, plenty of time to see a good deal. To be on the safe side, I would count on 20 minutes to drop off the luggage, and at least half an hour to pick it up.

The Duomo is a ten-minute walk from the train station. A circular walk around the center of Florence, starting and ending at the train station would take about half an hour. You would have time for a nice lunch, and could even visit a museum or church. (I would skip museums and churches that are mobbed by tourists who don't know where else to go. There are plenty of others!)
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Old May 25th, 2022, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
As I said before, you don't even need to spend a night in Florence. I have taken visitors from my home in Le Marche to Florence for a day trip before proceeding to Rome. It's even more doable from Venice.

Leaving Venice, there's a 7:26 Frecciarossa train, or an 8:40 nonstop Frecciarossa train, arriving in Florence at 9:39 and 10:39, respectively.

Later, in the afternoon or early evening,you can take a fast Frecciarossa train to Rome. There are 2 or 3 an hour, all taking about an hour and a half.

If you take the 8:40 train to Florence in the morning, and then the 18:33 train to Rome in the late afternoon, you would have around 8 hours in Florence, plenty of time to see a good deal. To be on the safe side, I would count on 20 minutes to drop off the luggage, and at least half an hour to pick it up.

The Duomo is a ten-minute walk from the train station. A circular walk around the center of Florence, starting and ending at the train station would take about half an hour. You would have time for a nice lunch, and could even visit a museum or church. (I would skip museums and churches that are mobbed by tourists who don't know where else to go. There are plenty of others!)
I may actually do this! But in reverse - flying into Rome Friday by noon- do 3.5 days, leave Tuesday morning for Florence. Then take a late train to Venice. Venice for 3 days (Wed - Friday) and leave Saturday back home. Appreciate it much if you have train schedules for that sequencing in November. Thanks much!
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Old May 25th, 2022, 09:43 AM
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What bvl said. As for train times you can download the Trenitalia App onto your phone and everything you need will be there including the option to buy tickets - just be careful to ensure that you select the right station and place names - eg Termini in Roma, Santa Maria [SM] Novella in Firenze, and Santa Lucia in Venezia. In Venice I can recommend the Hotel Arcadia [I will be staying there for the third time next week] which is a 10 minute walk from the station and is very conveniently placed for the Alilaguna to the airport as well as two vaporetto lines. https://www.hotelarcadia.net
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Old May 25th, 2022, 11:13 AM
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It's still too early for November train tickets. Italo is only showing up to mid September. TrenItalia seems similar for the fast trains. You don't want the slower regional trains to run between Rome and Venice.

But no worries. Both Italo and TrenItalia have basically hourly departures on that route every single day. TrenItalia starts earlier if you want to wake up and catch the 6am train. Italo can be a little cheaper.
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Old May 25th, 2022, 11:26 AM
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« The bottom line is you can't go wrong in Italy »

SusanG - I presume you’ve never been to Piombino.
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Old May 26th, 2022, 06:33 AM
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Another reason to pick one or two bases and plan day trips if you want to see other cities: the trip is in November. Daylight hours will be shorter. Possibility of poor weather higher. Staying in one or two places you can more easily switch around what you are doing on any given day if the weather forecast is better or worse.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mxlplik2NJ View Post
I may actually do this! But in reverse - flying into Rome Friday by noon- do 3.5 days, leave Tuesday morning for Florence. Then take a late train to Venice. Venice for 3 days (Wed - Friday) and leave Saturday back home. Appreciate it much if you have train schedules for that sequencing in November. Thanks much!
Incidentally, I will be doing something similar in a few months. My daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit me, and my granddaughter is bringing a friend who has never been to Italy.

There are no fast trains nearby where I live, in Le Marche, so we will spend one night in Florence. This still won't give us as much time as you would have stopping over on the way to Venice. After one night in Florence, we'll go on to Rome, where we'll spend two nights, and then my family will return to the US from Rome.

We're also considering an even crazier thing: a day trip from our home to Venice. This would involve a total of nine hours on the train, and give us only about 5 hours in Venice. However, I did it once before when my sister was visiting, and she loved the trip.

I'll keep everyone posted, either on this thread or a new one.
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