First Intern'l (Italy) Trip (Help!)

Feb 27th, 2008, 06:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6
First Intern'l (Italy) Trip (Help!)

We (couple in early 60's and son/ dil in 30's) are making our first trip abroad - specifically to Italy in early April.

First of many questions: The train system reservations are confusing to us. If we buy a Eurail ticket for 7 days will we be able to use ALL trains (Inter city as well as inter regional)in Italy and get off and on at will? (We understand about vailidating tickets (I think.)

Second question: Do we need to reserve hotels in advance? We plan to spend our 7 days- in Rome (3), Venice (2) and Florence and area (2).

Final question (for now) Where is best site to reserve tickets for Vatican Museum/Sistene Chapel. Should we reserve for any other major places of interest?

We feel somewhat overwhelmed - but truly excited to go!

Thank you all so much for your responses!
mollyme is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,322
molly, it's highly unlikely that you will want a train pass for Italy. The point-to-point tickets will be cheaper for those routes. Go to to see schedules and prices.

I would definitely book hotels in advance, and you should get right on that. April's not very far away, and a lot of the best choices will already be full. Do three searches here, one for each city and hotels and you'll get lots of information.

There is a tour that the Vatican itself puts on that I haven't used, but again, do a search for Vatican tour and you should find the info.

Others to reserve:

Venice: Doges Palace Secret Itinerary Tour ( and St Marks Basilica (

Florence: The Accademia Museum (for Michelangelo's David) and the Uffizi if you want that (call 011-39-055-294-883 to reserve for both)

Rome, Galleria Borghese (

Have fun!
SusanP is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,331
Hi M,

What's your itinerary?

Railpasses are rarely necessary in Italy.

Yes, they are good for all Trenitalia trains.

Not all trains are trenitalia - eg, Naples to Sorrento is Circumvesuviana.

You will have to purchase seat reservations for ES* and AV trains. They are required.

You can see schedules, prices and buy tickets at

It would be a very good idea to book hotels in advance.

Enjoy your visit.
ira is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 703
You state that you've given Florence and area 2 days. Hopefully you do not mean taking trips out of Florence such as Siena. In my opinion you will need at least 2 full days in Florence alone to do it justice, otherwise you will miss out on the glory of Florence. There is so much to absorb and take in...don't rush your time in Florence.

And I agree...nail down your accomodations now. Look at possibility of renting apartments - for a group of 4 they can be more economical and comfortable than hotel rooms.
caroltis is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hello mollyme.

Yes, I would absolutely want to have my rooms reserved. You do not want to waste time trying to find a vacancy when you get to Italy. Renting an apartment in Rome could be a good idea if you do not feel like you would need help/advice from the hotel deskclerk. Were you thinking of two hotel rooms? If not you will need a triple room. Most hotel rooms in Italy are not as large as most hotel rooms in the US (I assume you live in the US).

Molly, how many nights will you have in Italy? Are you flying into Rome and home from Venice?
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6
Thank you all so much for your replies. We will reserve rooms ASAP! We don't mind sharing rooms, but it looks like a 4 person hotel room is the exception. Will look into apartments. Any recommendations?

Thank you for the train information. That answered a lot of questions. I am assuming we purchase tickets there in the train stations??

We are flying into and out of Rome (from US - MI). We will be flying in on a Saturday afternoon (April 5) and have now realized that many things are closed on Sunday. That is why we thought we would go to Venice on Sunday afternoon and then work our way back, and taking in as much as we can of Rome the last two days. (We have already figured out that we won't have nearly enough time available on this trip to see all we want to see!) Our return trip out of Rome is on Friday, April ll.

Thank you to everyone for suggestions as to what to zero in on, and which tickets to buy ahead of time.

I wish we weren't such "newbies" at this - there is so much information to absorb! But at the same time, we are still young enough for adventure, and one way or another we will figure it out and have a great time all the while!

One question - if we have to choose between more time in Venice or Florence, which would you choose and why? We are open to anymore suggestions anyone has.
mollyme is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,322
Well, you actually only have 6 nights in Italy, so not 7 days. I would highly recommend that you limit your trip to 2 places instead of 3. I know you want to see it all, but with so little time, you would get a lot more out of the trip with 2 stops.

I agree that it's a good idea to continue on to either Venice OR Florence your first day, since you need to be back in Rome the night before your flight home and that means 2 hotels instead of 3.

But really, choose either Venice or Florence and do 3 nights in one of those and 3 in Rome. I would normally suggest more time for Rome, but your first day will be mostly spent arriving and getting to your final destination, so you'll really only have 2 days in whichever one you choose. Then take the train back to Rome for your last 3 nights.
SusanP is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 337
If I read you correctly, you actually have only 6 full days to tour 3 major cities.

I would suggest limitng yourself to Rome and Florence only, otherwise you will see nothing.

Sorry for this answer but reality sometimes must set in.
davidjac is offline  
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