First time in Italy, itinerary help!

Feb 3rd, 2010, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447

Milan - March 7-8 (late train to Venice on the 8th)
Venice - March 9-10th (late train to Florence on the 10th)
Florence - March 11th-13th (late train to Rome on the 13th)
Rome - March 13-16

I've done Italy 3 times and found Milan worth a full day only all in all. For a first taster trip of Italy, I think the schedule I've proposed will give you enough of a sense of each of these cities to decide where it is that you feel like you need more time in.

knickerbocker is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 03:48 PM
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I lived in Italy for about 4 years and recommend what other do: do not spend a lot of time in Milan on this trip...maybe next time. Head for Venice then fast train down to Florence, then Rome. Given your timeframe I really would not try to cram environs into 9 days. These are 3 of the most spectacular places in the world, so enjoy them!
losaltos is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 10:42 PM
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A lot of people are insisting I go to Florence, but I'm still uncertain. I'm just feeling like doing Venice Milan Florence Rome all in one trip might be too overwhelming...

On the other hand, if I go to Florence, do I want 1 or 2 nights? Doing 2 nights would mean I have to knock a night off Rome:

March 7-8: Milan. Take train out in the evening.
March 8-10: Venice
March 10-12: Florence
March 12-16: Rome

is only 3 full days in Rome enough?

And darby00, that'd be very funny if we did end up taking photos of some tourist attraction right next to each other
Niomi is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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For me, I am wondering why you feel the need to stick any overnight stay between Venice and Rome. I feel as if you aren't giving Venice enough time. Why not . . .

March 7: arrive Milan; sleep in Milan
March 8: depart Milan; arrive Venice; sleep in Venice
March 9: Venice
March 10: Venice
March 11: depart Venice; arrive Rome; sleep in Rome
March 12: Rome
March 13: Rome
March 14: Rome
March 15: Rome
March 16: depart Rome

As far as Florence goes, I love Florence but you may not. If you're not interested in Renaissance art, it may not interest you at all, so skip it. However, the historic center of Florence is relatively small. It would be easy to depart Venice on an early train, arrive in Florence just before noon, check your luggage at the train station, spend the day wandering town, visiting a few churches, maybe a museum, and take the train on to Rome that evening. It could give you a good taste of the place. This works particularly well for Florence since the train station has a baggage check and is located right in the center of town.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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You're getting a lot of opinions here, so just to confuse you more (sorry!), I was okay with your original itinerary. I have lived in Rome for 11 years, but my first 2 years in Italy were spent in Milan. I wouldn't compare it to Rome, but I still think it's a great city worth seeing and I think Milan-Venice-Rome is a nice Italian overview. If you're not convinced about Florence, don't go on this trip. There's plenty to do in Milan for two days (Duomo - up on the roof is a must, Last Supper, Brera art gallery, Brera area for an aperativo, evening/dinner/drinks in the Navigli) and it's never overrun with tourists.
romana2 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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On my way back from Morocco we spent few days in Rome at the Hotel Mozart
It's in your range of price and all together, we had a positive experience !

Consider it as well
JTravellerNY is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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If you want to eat good food, you'll find it in Milan.
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Stick to your guns!
TDudette is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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I've realized I will be veryyy tired and jetlagged the first day there so I'm going back to my original plan - with a day trip in Florence on the way from Venice to Rome.... I hope it works out well!
Thanks for the hotel recommendations everyone, I will look into them!
Niomi is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Okay - just a last plug from the tiny Milan faction out here. I am definitely NOT a shopping addict, yet still I lived happily for two years in Milan and think it's a great city. If you were set on Florence, I would never try to talk you out of it to see Milan, but since you expressed interest in Milan, I say go for it. Italy's a big country with lots to see and yet I see that the majority insist that first time visitors "must" see Venice-Florence-Rome. That's great - all very worthy, but what's wrong with Venice-Mantova-Bologna, Torino-Milan-Parma or Rome-Matera-Lecce? Nothing like getting off the well-worn tourist track every now and then. Buon viaggio!
romana2 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 11:41 PM
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Niomi - think I was writing at the same time you were. Glad to ready your decision - I am sure you will enjoy it. Have a fantastic trip!
romana2 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 03:07 AM
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There are several threads in the past year that make suggestions for Florence-in-one-day itineraries. You can definitely enjoy the city in one day as long as you go into it knowing that you have to pick and choose among all the amazing things to see there.

I think 3 full days in Rome is a minimum amount of time to enjoy that city--longer is better. You might be able to find an apartment in Rome for a 4-night stay. has good affordable options.
Vttraveler is online now  
Feb 5th, 2010, 01:35 PM
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Bear in mind that the advice you're getting here is for what would constitute a good fires taster's trip to Italy. You may fall in love with one particular spot on the basis of this trip that'll set the agenda for future trips. For me, it's Florence. I went there for the first time in '95 and when I went back with my wife in '07, we spent 8 days there as opposed to 3 in Venice. My best man's parents spent month after month in Venice over a number of years. There's no accounting for taste!

Consider this an Italian buffet where you'll find out for yourself what locales work best for you. For me, I intend to spend some time in Bolognia next time out. But that's trip
#4 for me.

knickerbocker is offline  
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