First Italy trip-I'm overwhelmed

Old May 6th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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First Italy trip-I'm overwhelmed

My husband and I are going to Italy in September for our 20th anniversary. It all looks amazing and I am having trouble narrowing it down. We have 7-10 days and want to fly into Rome. From there should we go to florence and Venice or head south to the Almafi coast-Sorrento area? Which is the ideal Italian experience for fist timers and which is more cost effecient?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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We went from Rome to Florence to Venice after also struggling to decide between the big three and the Amalfi coast. For us it was totally the right choice.

We flew into Rome and did 6 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence and 4 nights in Venice, flying home from Venice. Train travel between the cities was easy and affordable.

I definitely could have spent one night less in Florence and also 1 or even 2 less in Venice but could have stayed in Rome for another week.

Don't sweat it but decide soon and book hotels right away. The good, affordable places book way in advance. Have a great trip.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:47 PM
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With only 7 to 10 days (does this include travel time?) I would fly into Rome and out of Venice. You'll have to allow most of a day to travel between the two cities (4-5 hours on the train but you get to relax and see the Italian countryside). I'd recommend 5/6 days in Rome and 3 in Venice.

Venice will be more expensive than the Amalfitani but much more exciting and wonderful IMHO.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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As this is your first Italy trip do Rome, Florence and Venice I do all my trips in 7 days and I try to do 3 cities - it is tiring yes but you are never bored and sometimes my husband and two daughters 19&14 complain that we are going too fast but I love getting in as much as possible for each trip. so go for it
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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First trip to Italy...definitely divide between Rome, Florence, Venice. Don't even try to do all there is to do in Rome...don't short change Florence as it has a lot to see as well. Venice can be done in a day and a half.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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Hi, Kellyann16 -

It really depends on what you want to see and do! These are 4 very different, absolutely wonderful locations. With 7 days, I'd probably choose 2 of Rome, Florence, and Venice. Even with 10 days, I personally would find it frustrating to try to fit all 3 of those cities in. Instead, with 10 days, you might consider Rome and the Amalfi coast.

Hope that helps!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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I would fly into Venice and do it first since it is easier to "get into" than Rome. After Venice I would take the train to Florence and spend at least 2 days (3 maybe) there, then the train to Rome to wrap things up and fly home from Rome. You could do the reverse but Rome is big and hectic and I think Venice is much nicer as an entry point.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Kellyann: There is no "right" answer or "better" answer. Do you want to combine Rome with relaxing and gazing at gorgeous scenery with perhaps some beach time? Then head for Amalfi and its area.

If you want more museums and "culture" head to Florence. If you want some romantic scenery with your culture, Venice is the place.

If you have 7 days, you should do a maximum of two places. If you have 10, you might fit in a third place but I would caution against trying to do that.

If it were me, I would combine Rome either with Amalfi Coast or with Venice. But early September is not the ideal time for either place in my opinion. The later you can go, the better.

Amalfi Coast and Venice are pricey but I think you can do better budget wise on the coast, where food is not nearly as pricey as in Venice. And depending on when you travel, you might get off-season rates.

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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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I agree with the last post. with 7 to 10 days I would try to limit the visit to 2 places, Rome plus somewhere else. IMO Rome really requires a minimum of four full days sightseeing to be enjoyable--a shorter stay leads to frustration and difficulty relaxing and enjoying the city; a longer stay is even better. If you stay 4 or 5 nights you should be able to rent an apartment instead of a hotel if that interests you.

If you decide on Venice as the second (or third) destination most people would say it is better to fly into Venice and then fly home from Rome. This is mostly because flights to the US from Venice leave very early in the morning.

It is hard to choose between Florence and Venice -- I would pick Florence and my husband would pick Venice first, but neither of us would be unhappy spending time in choice #2.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Tough decision...but oh so much fun planning! I'll agree with eksc and also add it may help if you research the areas and decide what appeals to you the most. The stunning scenery on the coast combined with a trip to Pompeii....or wandering through the twisting, turning narrow streets of Venice. We just went to Florence and Venice in February, having been to Rome on a prior trip.

We adore Rome, loved Venice (and my DH didn't even want to go there) and have to admit Florence was just okay. I will add so as not to start anything...others love Florence! Glad we went, loved David and the Palazzo Pitti, but don't have a need to return. For what it's worth, I think Rome and Florence may be overload...unless you really love museums, art and large cities.

I'd recommend two locations and you could always consider a day trip to Orvieto from Rome if you wanted a touch of the countryside. We went to Arezzo and Siena from Florence...both very easy, enjoyable

I can't comment on the Amalfi Coast other than to say it's on our agenda for our next trip.

I know from experience it's very difficult deciding where to go...everyone has their own opinions and you can end up even more confused. So just
think of where your interests are, read about the attractions in each area and look at photos. Maybe you'll see something and you'll have a "I just have to go there" moment.
Of course, I have that with every part of Italy I see so maybe that's not a good idea!

Here's a link to some of my photos if you want to take a look.

Have fun planning, congratulations on your anniversary and have a wonderful, wonderful time!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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I will affirm that advice that it is better to fly into Venice and home from Rome. It is relatively difficult to get from Venice to the airport, especially when you consider the early departure time for the flights. To us, it sort of ruins the end of the vacation to have to get up in the middle of the night to catch an early morning flight.

For our first trip to Italy, we spent 10 days in Rome. The second trip was for 10 days in Florence, and the third trip was split between Palestrina (outside of Rome) and Sorrento.
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