Advice for first time Italy visitor

Apr 21st, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Advice for first time Italy visitor

Hi, I am new to this forum and yes it is addictive like it was said on another thread. We are planning to visit Italy in the middle of June for our third wedding anniversary and would appreciate advice on the following:
1) What is the best location to stay in Rome from where we can walk or take public transportation eaily to all sights? Suggestions for hotels in the price range of $100 to a maximum of $150 would be appreciated. I have looked thru this site a little bit but finding location and price combination is difficult.
2)If we have about 9 whole days excluding travel days, should we see only Italy - I am thinking Rome, Florence, Venice, OR skip Florence (see only Rome & Venice)and see a little bit of Austria.
3) How many days does one need in Rome and Venice if we are the kind of people who enjoy nature, architecture, experiencing the culture of the place but not so much going inside the museums.

Thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom.
Aurora is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 02:43 PM
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check out these web sites for Rome accomidations: -near the Spanish Steps if you are willing to for go a private bathroom, this should be within your price range. & both near the Pizza Navona.
As for your itinerary if you're not into museums you might want to skip Florence, altough I happen to love it.
You might do:
3 days Rome
3 days Venice( for pure romance)& maybe rent a car and drive through Tuscany and and explore some of the hill towns, such as Chianti, you might want to tour one of the local wineries.
Some ideas to consider good luck.
la dolce Italy
fluffy is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 02:54 PM
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I would agree with some of the ideas from "fluffy." I'd also concentrate on Italy and not make the extra trip into Austria since you only have nine days. Since you say you want to see some "nature" as well, you can try choosing a Tuscan town at which to stop on your way from Venice to Rome. Some on this board have also suggested Bassano del Grappa (not terribly far from Venice) as a great small town in which to relax.

A reasonably priced Rome hotel is the Hotel Locarno, located right outside of the Piazza del Popolo. If you enjoy using public transportation, there are freuquent busses right across the piazza, and the metro station is also across the piazza. The one issue is that there is not a metro station that is really convenient to such Rome sights as the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona, but you can always get within a 20-25 minute walk of these places by taking the metro to another stop (buses stop much closer to these attractions). I enjoyed the Locarno because it was relatively quiet yet only two blocks away from the piazza and less than 10 minutes on foot from the Spanish Steps. I believe I paid under 120 Euro for a single.
MMM is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Don't get too hung up on "best location" in Rome. You're going to do a lot of walking no matter where you stay, and every area has its own appeal.

Since this is your anniversary, I'd keep it simple so as not to wipe you out. I'd stay four or five days in Rome (you could spend the entire nine days!) and then the balance on Capri or in Sorrento or Venice if that's more appealing.

If possible, fly into Rome and out of either Naples or Venice. It will save you having to spend precious time returning to Rom.
Jean is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 08:49 PM
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Do not skip Florence and "The David" even if you are not a museum person. We spent 4 days there and could have stayed longer. Of course, Rome and Venice deserve more as well. Be sure to have gelato at Vivoli's.
LindaW is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 09:29 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. Any experiences with registering with the local policy within 8 days of your arrival in Italy to make your stay legal?
Aurora is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 10:08 AM
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Aurora, the hotel will register your name with the authorities, don't worry about that.

Check out Hotel Lancelot behind the Colloseum for a relatively inexpensive place close the the sights. A Double is 140-150 Euros right in your price range.
Jane1 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 11:06 AM
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Aurora - If you decide to go straight to Venice from Rome (I second the rec to fly out of Venice), you guys may also want to take an overnight train to avoid wasting a precious day of sight-seeing. There's probably more (and better) info about this somewhere on the boards. Your trip idea sounds wonderful! Have fun!
Linds is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Fluffy, MMM, and others - the idea of going to a Tuscan or other hill town sounds great. If we prefer not to drive ourselves, are there buses or trains to these smaller, more nature type towns?
I can't believe how quickly I feel a part of this community - it was my very first posting only yesterday afternoon.
Thank you
Aurora is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:16 PM
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I know you didn't ask, but I would drive yourself if at all possible. To me, that gives you so much more liberty. I've seen the tour buses as they've lined up outside of San Gimignano and Sienna, and I was so glad I had driven.

The driving, at least to me, is one of the best parts of travelling. You can go anywhere you want; if you see an interesting side road, go down it. When we were last in Italy, we saw some wonderful little Roman archealogical sites that the big tours don't go to.

And despite what you may have heard, the driving is not that tough in Italy.

Also, I'd also vote for skipping Florence and focusing on Rome (love that place) and Venice.
JackOneill is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:26 PM
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Hi Dawn,

If you decide to concentrate on Rome and Venice (5 days and 4 days respectively), I suggest that you don't rent a car.

Rome (Roma TE) to Venice (Venice SL) is 4 1/2 hr on the ES*.

ira is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:38 PM
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I'm a travel slug. We did 7 days in Rome and 7 days in Florence... and we left both cities feeling we rushed. If your style is to do a quick view as input to a future trip - you might want to see everything very quickly. I tend to recommend you focus on one city and a bit of country. My preference, and my family's preference was Florence (we loved Rome - just we loved Florence more!). And it was a great location to do some country day trips (Chianti area, the beach).
julie_Colorado is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 01:32 PM
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If you're going to Venice from Rome or Florence, look into flying--I found it not much more one-way than the train, and much less time consuming

9 full days?
I don't know what your interests are but I'll say this
Rome is very demanding. Not only is it large and spread ot, but the walking you do (because metro stops are few and far between) takes a lot of time. So do buses and taxis. Rome is also very hectic and noisy To be there for less than 4 days might be doing Rome and yourselves a disservice. You'll rush around, only to move on to two other cities? At least make it only one other.

I went to Florence and Venice on my first trip to Italy and I saved Rome for another time.
If you spend at least 4-5 days in Florence area ill have time to daytrip or stay overnight in Siena or the Chianti towns.
That would give you 4 or so days in Venice, a nice amount of time.

Or choose Rome and Florence, and save my beloved Venice for another time.
elaine is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 05:45 PM
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We went to Rome/Florence/Venice this February and I think our total trip was 9 days. We flew into Rome, and spent 2.5 days in Rome. We then took an early morning train to Florence and spent about 2.5 days in Florence. From Florence we took a noon train to Venice and spent 2.5 days in Venice. We flew home from Venice. You can do it all! It was hectic, but we loved every minute of it!
Susan56 is offline  

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