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First time in Italy.... I need suggestions!

First time in Italy.... I need suggestions!

Oct 21st, 2002, 10:36 AM
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First time in Italy.... I need suggestions!


Myself, along with three other friends are planning a trip to Italy in May (10 days).

Anyone have any suggestions for must-see cities, sites, etc. for the first timer???

All advice and possible itineraries are greatly appreciated.

Oct 21st, 2002, 10:42 AM
Alice Twain
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Only one advic: wherever you plan to go, be very sure not to exceed the number of places you go to. With only ten days, you will barely have time for a couple of cities, three if you are REALLY fast.
Oct 21st, 2002, 10:52 AM
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You will find slowtrav.com a treasure of information about Italy.
Oct 21st, 2002, 10:58 AM
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Venice - 3 days, FLorence - 3 days, Rome 4 days. Arrange to fly into Venice and depart from Rome. Take trains in between. If you aren't big museum people, take some day trips to smaller towns from FLorence.
Oct 21st, 2002, 11:09 AM
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The Southern part of Italy, including Sicily, is a great trip also (Pompai, Mt. Erna) but you will not have enough time to do it on this 10 day trip.
Oct 21st, 2002, 11:48 AM
Eye Spy
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Your question merits a very subjective response from everyone. Sure we all love the classic Venice-Florence-Rome thing and I recommend it as well. It really depends on what YOUR interests and those of your friends are. An "open jaw" option is the best (flying into one city and leaving from another). If you want to take it slower, then a Venice-Florence option is great or a Rome-Florence option but all in all, I'd say make Rome one of the cities. If you do go to Rome, I'd recommend spending the bulk of your time there: 5 days or so. You'll have great weather in May when it's Spring and really pleasant. In Rome, spend one day at the Vatican museums, then stroll to St. Peter's in the late afternoon. Other days could be visiting many of the churches (I'm a art history/architecture/church buff so I have to be prejudiced here as opposed to other Fodorites who are less inclined; we all have our personal favorite things to see and do). I feel the churches are some of the best museums in Rome. If you are so inclined, do not miss: Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano and the Gesu. You could then reasonably take off for Florence for 3 days, leaving by train in the early afternoon to give you time in Rome and 1 1/2 hours later, arriving in Florence, going to your hotel and strolling to Santa Croce late afternoon and then to via Calzaiuoli to mingle with the Florentines, have dinner and stroll some more. By this time you will have booked your Uffizi/Accademia reservations for the next day so you won't have to wait in line.

All in all (and I wonder if my fellow Fodorites will agree), give yourself time. Don't do too much (it's hard to do but you can whirl through the Uffizi in 2 hours in order to see what is there even if more time is if you love art history and Renaissance) and that will still give you time to explore all the streets of Florence and get some shopping done. On your third day, leave late afternoon, get to Rome early evening, have the evening out for dinner in Rome and walking and take a cab to the airport the next day (since you are three, the cost is reduced for all of you and more price effective). Just be sure to give yourself 2.5 hours from leaving your hotel in the cab to making your flight. Roman traffic can be a nightmare. Then, since by this time you will be a complete Italy addict, you can do Venice the next time or the city you could not visit. Just take your time, research and find out what you want to see and do. Just don't do too many museums in one day (make it 1 per day if you like museums). That gives you a lot of time outside and with the Italians. Have a great trip! Hope it works out.
Oct 21st, 2002, 01:59 PM
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Wow ! I have one question. Who is this person " Eye Spy" What a great answer. Please email me--I am curious if you are an old regular with a new handle or someone I have missed---hmmm !
Oct 21st, 2002, 02:16 PM
Eye Spy
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Bob: Thanks for the compliment. I'm just a person who has grown up on both sides of the Atlantic but my real passion is Italy. I have done the Rome-Florence thing one year and the Rome-Venice thing the next year (believe me, it was hard to contain myself from getting off the train in Florence on the way to Venice!) and that's how I planned my trip. It worked out great (I stay with friends in Rome so I am never rushed there). 5 days Rome/3 days Florence or Venice. Including the train travel (as you know: 1.5 hrs. to Florence from Rome/4 to Venice from Rome with a late morning/early afternoon departure, will put you in either city in time for hotel unpacking, showering and a second wind to attack the city for late afternoon), the itinerary for either city is do-able. I usually return to Rome in the late afternoon when I've seen the sights and need to relax a bit. That gives you for all practical purposes another half a day to acclimate yourself to leaving and getting back to Rome. Any questions: Email me at [email protected].

I could go on about other stuff, but then again, couldn't we all?

Buon viaggio a tutti!
Oct 21st, 2002, 02:18 PM
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Florence--The David and gelato at Vivoli's, nuff said.

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