Finally going - First time

Jul 17th, 2001, 10:27 AM
Lucky Ducky
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Finally going - First time

I have won (yes won can you believe it) a trip to Italy, we will be spending 4 days in Rome and then taking a train to Florence for 4 days. I have never been anywhere, this is my first trip overseas. I would really appreciate tips from those of you who have been to Italy. If you had 4 days in each of these cities what would you see? Also, what is the best time to go weather wise? I am not a fan of the heat and have 10 months to use this trip. Thank you all in advance.
Jul 17th, 2001, 10:48 AM
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If you're not a fan of the heat, I suggest October or April. The weather is still nice, but can be rainy.

The amount of things to do and see in both places is LARGE. Please try to narrow it down to your interests - and post again. You'll also find scads of information on Rome and Florence in the search function.

If you can add some days to your tour, I'd recommend it. You can spend a week in Rome and still not see everything in the area. Bon Voyage!
Jul 17th, 2001, 10:48 AM
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YOu are lucky indeed!
It's hard to know what to recommend since I don't know what your interests are: history, art museums, churches, gardens, architecture, fine dining, etc.
Do you know which hotels the trip provides?
You might want to browse elsewhere on this Fodor's website for basic info on Rome and Florence, or buy the Fodor's guidebook or any other that appeals to you. It will give you good basic info, more than enough to generate some more questions once you have a foundation of information.
I have files on Florence and on Rome; if you'd like to see them, email me.

Since you don't like the heat, and summmer is too crowded anyway, go perhaps this fall (October) or else
late spring--April or May. I don't know what climate you're used to, but in the fall or spring the weather will be mostly mild, some rain here and there. If you don't want any crowds at all, go during the winter, but there is a high likelihood of rain, although temps will still be relatively mild. Ir rarely snows in Rome.
Jul 17th, 2001, 11:00 AM
Book Chick
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Dear Lucky,
You certainly are & congratulations indeed!

Although April can be lovely, it can also be crowded. Spring breaks from schools make for a lot of students heading to Italy. In 2002, though, I think Easter may fall in March, which may alleviate some of the April crowds. As both previous posters pointed out, October is also very temperate, but can bit a bit rainy. After the new year, crowds will be rare from January through most of February, but the weather proves less cooperative, and some of the sights you'll want to see will be outdoors.

In Rome, definitely the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain & the Spanish Steps & the Borghese. In Florence, the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace, The Boboli Gardens, Michaelangelo's house, and the view from San Minotto of Florence, as well as the view from Fiesole (a short & inexpensive bus ride away) are utterly breathtaking.
Best Wishes,
Jul 17th, 2001, 04:19 PM
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Two additional must-see places in Florence: The David by Michelangelo and gelato at Vivoli's. Also, the home of Robert & Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ponte Vecchio (bridge), Duomo.

Jul 17th, 2001, 06:25 PM
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Hey lucky!! a trick my son taught me-get the gelato that is the one that's almost gone!!! Eat in the room in the brick basement--all the restaurants have them!! Be sure to get up the tower or roof restaurant of the Uffizi--In Rome don't miss the Pantheon!!! Get a coffee table book of ancient Rome that shows what the areas looked like when built and what they were used for.You'll be hooked now!!!Start saving those frequnt flyers
Jul 17th, 2001, 06:46 PM
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Italy for a first-ever trip...sigh. I visited Italy for the first and only time (until next year) on my first Europe trip twenty years ago, and I've never gotten over it. My information is way too stale to be helpful, but as a travel tip may I suggest that you really do your research so that you can narrow down your "must-do's" to a reasonable number. Both of these cities have so much soul that you'll want and need time to just soak it up.
Jul 17th, 2001, 07:29 PM
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I spent a few days in Florence - I got a lot of just walking around and seeing the side streets (great restuarants) and visiting the city center. There are lots of motorbikes, so be careful!

The gelato is great - as well as the pizza.

I agree with the October timeframe. I was there in late Nov, and although it did not rain, it would have been nice to be a bit warmer.

Good luck.
Jul 17th, 2001, 07:31 PM
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In Rome - see also the Piazza Navona, the Campidoglio (aka: "Capitoline Hill"), the Forum, Piazza Venezia.

In Florence: For a panoramic view, take the bus up to Piazzale Michelangelo. Also, make advance reservations to see the Uffizi and the Adademia, or you wait in a long line for hours. Of course, also see the Duomo and the church Santa Croce (buriel place for Michelangelo and others)
Jul 17th, 2001, 07:34 PM
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I just noticed that Ger's report on Florence is just a few posts down (at least for now! There are many other great reports on this area, but hers is recent. It's called "Four Days in Florence"
Jul 17th, 2001, 10:22 PM
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bring an open mind, don't be scared, keep your street smarts, and won't see everything don't even try, just put on comfortable shoes and wander around..and try to sstay away from the "touristy" places, thats not real italy, you gotta take the road less traveled..
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