Feedback on intinerary to Italy in May

Jan 7th, 2010, 08:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Feedback on intinerary to Italy in May

Hello and happy new year! I am new to the Forums and will also be a newbie to Italy this May. Please give me any quick tips on what you think of the intinerary I have started to put together.

A little a bit of info on me and my travel companion. . .
This trip is for two single women in their late 30s. One likes churches and museums more than the other, but we will work it out! We plan to start in Rome, and then go to Florence and Venice. We won't be driving...too scared and will stick to trains and buses.
Being single, we plan to flirt with some Italian men, of course! We love food and wine and want to do one wine tasting tour somewhere.

May 1: LA to Rome
May 2-8: Rome 5 nights
May 8-12: Florence 4 nights (thinking day trip to Siena one day and would definitely want to eat in Bologna but not stay overnight?)
May 12-14: Venice 2 nights
May 14: Venice to London (have to stop by London office for a day meeting )
May 15 : London to LA

In Rome we were thinking about staying here:

In Florence, here:

And in Venice, here:

I read that the Shroud of Turin is going to be on exhibit in April and May and it is very rare that this happens. Thinking about trying to get there, but not so sure....thoughts?
vsus is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I'm jealous. It took my daughter and me three days to adjust to the time difference between LA and Italy.
cferrb is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:48 AM
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You definately have the right idea as far as hotel locations, in that they are pretty central, and within walking distance to many of the sites. In Venice, that is especially important, vs staying on the mainland or Lido. I know nothing about those specific hotels, but suggest you do a google on each one if you have not done so already, and look at TripAdvisor, and perrhaps also reviews on

It appears you also are not trying to do everything possible in Italy by going to too many cities.
Infotrack is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 04:35 AM
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I'm going to Italy on February 18 - 28 with my son. Our itinerary is almost the exact opposite without the stop in London. I haven't been to Europe or Italy, but have been spending quite a lot of time trying to figure out what to do.

I think we are going to do a Segway trip in Florence. It will provide an easy way to see the city sites quickly. It could also help you check out where the most interesting spots are to go - particularly if you are looking for night life. I have heard that you should probably stay away from the train stations at night.

I've been researching the museums also. Apparently what is posted on the web is outdated; so be sure to budget more for the costs to get it.

I can't comment on hotels. We're staying at the Hotel LaGriffe in Rome and Hotel Pierre in Florence. We're still checking out Venice. I used the Star ratings and location to determine where we stayed. We wanted to be near Trevi Fountain and Ponte Vechhio.

We're looking for half day tours; wine and cooking. If I find out any that appear to be good, I'll let you know

If you are anything like me, you are having a lot of fun planning the trip. I even bought Rosetta Stone to try to learn the language. Of course, it's not working; however, my best friend bought me a talking translator for Christmas. At my age, you have to have one. At your age, there will be many good looking translators I'm sure
critc17265 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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For what it's worth, with only 4 nights in Florence I wouldn't go to Bologna just for dinner as there are many great restaurants in Florence.

If you do the day trip to Siena, take the bus and not the train. You'll get dropped off right in the historic center.

I'm a Venice fan so of course I'm going to say take an early train - having only 1 full day won't even permit you to scratch the surface.

Have a great trip....I may see you in Rome as we'll be there the same time!
travelfan1 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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By contrast, I think going to Bologna for dinner is a great idea. The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is considered one of the greatest of Italy's cuisines -- quite different from Tuscan cooking and I do think much more delicious.


At the risk of other posters jumping in to accusing me of being a "wet blanket" and demanding you ignore me (maybe your screen name will make you more willing to hear criticism of your plan thus far), can I beg you not to take a Segway tour of Florence? Not only is it a guarantee of missing every aspect of what is important about Florentine and Renaissaince architecture, it just furthers what has become a kind of awful tourist pollution poisoning both Florence and Venice. Florence is not a huge city. You can walk from one end of it to another in 35 minutes. You don't need to "save time" flying around on a semi-scooter checking out what you might want to return to see. You describe yourself as an older person. You might have more trouble keeping control of that machine on a 1,000 year old cobblestone street than you imagine, not to mention you're not exactly adding to other people's experience of one of the world's best preserved examples of a pre-modern city.

I hope the original posters, youthful as they are, will also heed my plea.

Nightlife in Firenze is minimal, centrally located and easily found by looking up the information in a guide like Time Out (much of which is available on line), or posting at the message board on Lonely Planet.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,334
Hi vs,

Looks nice.

>would definitely want to eat in Bologna but not stay overnight...<

Excellent idea, and easily doable.

Da Cesarina, across the piazza from San Stefano.
Nuovi Notai, Via de' Pignattari, 1 – just off Piazza Maggiore
Tamburini, Via Caprarie 1 – top notch deli
Gelateria Moline, Via delle Moline 13. By far, the best gelato we had in Italy.

You might find my trip report helpful: Ira’s Trip Report (Italy 2003)

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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thanks everyone, i really appreciate. We will definitely take the bus to Siena instead of the train and look up those restaurants in Bologna!
vsus is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 07:30 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip, with time in wonderful cities (though it's hard to go wrong in Italy).

On your hotels, first of all, I prefer to book directly with hotels, rather than go through a booking website. That way, I'm absolutely sure that the hotel has my reservation. Of course, you can locate hotels on a place like, but still book directly.

In Florence and Venice, use google maps or's pedestrian option to see how far your hotels are from sites you might be visiting, and even returning to. In Florence, we stayed in a B&B on the other side of Piazza della Republicca, called Casa dei Tintori, near Santa Croce. And in Venice, even though pretty much everything is in walking distance, you may want to be closer to the San Marco area.

I love Bologna (great food, great piazza for people-watching, not touristy), but I wouldn't be so interested in having dinner there (starting at no earlier than 8, because that's when most restaurants open for dinner), then taking the train back so late at night. But leave that decision until you're there - you may decide you'd rather spend another evening in Florence, or you want to check out Bologna.
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