Critique of my 16 days in Italy

Old Jun 9th, 2024, 09:14 AM
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Critique of my 16 nights in Italy

Hello everyone! I'm going to Italy for the first time in 2nd week of September. Please take a look and critique my itinerary in Italy for 16 days. If you have any suggestion, please leave a comment. Thank you.

16 in Italy:

Day 1: Arrive in Florence

Explore the City

Day 2 : Florence

The Duomo, Piazza Del Duomo, Basilica di San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Day 3: Florence

Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria / Palazzo Vecchio and Basilica of Santa Croce, Bardini Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo at dawn

Day 4: Florence

Day trip in Sienna and Piazzale Michelangelo at dawn

Day 5: Pienza

Get the car rental in Florence and drive to my home base in Tuscany in Pienza. Explore Pienza

Day 6: Pienza

Explore San Quirico d'Orcia and Val d'Orcia

Day 7: Pienza

Explore Crete Senesi and Bosco della Ragnaia

Day 8: Pienza

Explore Montepulciano and Montalcino

Day 9: Pienza

Explore Cortona

Day 10: Volterra

Explore Volterra

Day 11 : Arrive in Rome

Explore Rome

Day 12 : Rome

Walking tour, Jewish Ghetto, Isola Tiberina, Circo Massimo, the Aventine hill, Garden of the Oranges and Testaccio

Day 13: Rome

The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona. Stroll and eat at Trastevere at night

Day 14: Rome

The Coliseum, Forum, Palentine Hill and Rome rose garden. Go to Ponte Sisto at night

Day 15: Rome

Vatican, Villa Borghese, Piazza Venesia and Piazza de Popolo

Day 16: Rome

Ostia Antica or Appian Way?
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 09:22 AM
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Critique of my 16 days in Italy

Hello everyone! I'm going to Italy for the first time in 2nd week of September. Please take a look and critique my itinerary in Italy for 16 days. If you have any suggestion, please leave a comment. Thank you.

16 in Italy:

Day 1: Arrive in Florence

Explore the City

Day 2 : Florence

The Duomo, Piazza Del Duomo, Basilica di San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Day 3: Florence

Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria / Palazzo Vecchio and Basilica of Santa Croce, Bardini Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo at dawn

Day 4: Florence

Day trip in Sienna and Piazzale Michelangelo at dawn

Day 5: Pienza

Get the car rental in Florence and drive to my home base in Tuscany in Pienza. Explore Pienza

Day 6: Pienza

Explore San Quirico d'Orcia and Val d'Orcia

Day 7: Pienza

Explore Crete Senesi and Bosco della Ragnaia

Day 8: Pienza

Explore Montepulciano and Montalcino

Day 9: Pienza

Explore Cortona

Day 10: Volterra

Explore Volterra

Day 11 : Arrive in Rome

Explore Rome

Day 12 : Rome

Walking tour, Jewish Ghetto, Isola Tiberina, Circo Massimo, the Aventine hill, Garden of the Oranges and Testaccio

Day 13: Rome

The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona. Stroll and eat at Trastevere at night

Day 14: Rome

The Coliseum, Forum, Palentine Hill and Rome rose garden. Go to Ponte Sisto at night

Day 15: Rome

Vatican, Villa Borghese, Piazza Venesia and Piazza de Popolo

Day 16: Rome

Ostia Antica or Appian Way?
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:12 AM
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Your sightseeing speed sounds much faster than mine. I don't think I could complete the entire list on some of your days... which doesn't mean you couldn't. You'd have to be disciplined, watch your time, not get distracted, keep moving. There are obviously lots of wonderful things in Florence and Rome that you haven't included.

If possible, I would add the interior of the Baptistry on Day 2. Boboli Gardens wouldn't be high on my list in mid-September.

Although I can imagine it would be lovely to view the city from Piazzale Michelangelo at dawn, I'm not an early morning person so this wouldn't be something of a high priority for me. I do love the view at sunset, however. I definitely wouldn't do this at dawn on the same morning as a day trip to Siena. You might consider stopping in Siena on your way to Pienza.

Day 6 and Day 8 cover the same area. You'll pass by San Quirico on the way from Pienza to Montalcino, so I would rethink those two days.

For me, Pienza to Cortona would be too far for a day trip. About 2 hours' drive each way.

Where are you returning the rental car? If you don't go back to Florence to return the car but drive to Rome, you'll likely incur a one-way surcharge, the amount of which may or may not be reasonable to you. Investigate.

I definitely wouldn't be able to complete Day 15, but perhaps you can tweak the days a bit or possibly sacrifice the plan for Day 16. If by "Villa Borghese" you intend to tour the gallery, you need a timed reservation which could dictate how you organize the rest of the day. Just me, but I'd rather do the Scavi tour under St. Peter's, climb to the top of the Dome, wander through the Castello and/or go to a museum like Massimo Terme than see either Ostia Antica or the Appian Way.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:31 AM
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Did you intend to see the sun come up two days in a row at Piazzale Michelangelo? I think it would be much more efficient to pick up your rental car in Florence and see Siena on your way to Pienza. Seeing Siena and bouncing back to Florence will eat valuable time. Why the stop in Volterra? Will you still be driving? Not a bad choice, but out of the way if you're heading to Rome.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by greytop13
Did you intend to see the sun come up two days in a row at Piazzale Michelangelo? I think it would be much more efficient to pick up your rental car in Florence and see Siena on your way to Pienza. Seeing Siena and bouncing back to Florence will eat valuable time. Why the stop in Volterra? Will you still be driving? Not a bad choice, but out of the way if you're heading to Rome.
Yes I'm still driving going to Volterra. I'm staying there overnight and I'm going drop the car the next day to the car rental in Florence. Then I'm going straight to Rome.

Last edited by EnryuMazino; Jun 9th, 2024 at 10:57 AM.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:53 AM
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Unfortunately you started two threads -- you might want to ask the moderators to combine them
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:54 AM
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"Day 6 and Day 8 cover the same area. You'll pass by San Quirico on the way from Pienza to Montalcino, so I would rethink those two days."

What towns should I do first?



"Where are you returning the rental car? If you don't go back to Florence to return the car but drive to Rome, you'll likely incur a one-way surcharge, the amount of which may or may not be reasonable to you. Investigate."

I would return the car to Florence on day 11. Then I'm going straight to Rome.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Unfortunately you started two threads -- you might want to ask the moderators to combine them
Yup. But I don't know how to contact them
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 11:02 AM
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Your two threads have been merged. In future, if one needs to contact us, click on the orange triangle which opens a dialog box where you can ask for help. (Two helpful Fodorites did just that so we found your duplicate threads)
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 11:28 AM
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Thank you. I appreciate it.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 08:29 PM
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You don't include the Uffizi or the Galleria (where Michelangelo's David is) in Florence, but you did list the Pitti Palace. I'll assume that's intentional. If not, and if you're a fan of art, particularly Renaissance art, you should consider the Uffizi. I like the Pitti Palace, but there isn't much explanation of the art, so you need to know what you want to see and which room it's in.

I've run up to Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, and it was nice in the early morning. Not spectacular, but a good destination for a morning run.

You don't need an entire day to explore Cortona or Volterra, but they are interesting cities/towns. Don't miss the Etruscan museum in Volterra.

Some of your other days, especially in Rome, are pretty jam-packed. You may decide, once you're there, to not go to every place on your list.

In Rome, to plan to visit the Vatican (are you planning on St. Peter's and the Vatican Museums?) and Villa Borghese is a lot in one day, especially since they are relatively far apart.
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