First Trip To Italy

Old Jun 17th, 2017, 03:33 AM
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First Trip To Italy

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I are currently in the process of planning a trip to Italy in October for our first wedding anniversary and were wondering recommended routes to take. Due to work, we are only traveling for 8 days but wanted to make the most of each hour while in the country.

From my research the common route to take seems like Rome, Florence and Almafi Coast but wanted to get everyone's feedback on that and possible things to do and see.

Additionally we wanted to get your thoughts on best cities to fly in and out of, we are coming from NY.

This is my wife's first trip to Europe and my /me so we are both rookies at this so any help you can provide be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for all the help .
sirrelo is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 04:17 AM
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When you say 8 days does that include the day you arrive and leave? if so, then you have 6.5 days. Trying to visit all three areas in that amount of time is too much. If you and your wife are big museum people then you might want an extra day in Florence otherwise I would suggest fly into Florence spend three nights train to Rome spend 4 nights fly home from Rome
lancer11 is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 05:07 AM
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Trying to hit three locations in that amount of time would be a bit rushed for me, especially when one of them is the AC.

I'd probably stick with Rome and Florence, with a day trip here and there out of each locale, depending on what your interests are.

I don't know that there's a "best" city to fly out of. Presuming you want to fly open-jaw, into one city and out of another, I'd just look into the best options out of any US airports that are convenient to you -- JFK, Newark, Phila.

When I'm planning a trip like this, I tend to try to nail down the flight arrangements as my first priority, getting the most convenient and best price I can. From there, I make hotel accommodations.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 05:34 AM
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If you only have 8 days including your arrival/departure days then I'd fly in and out of Rome and base there and do day trips. Florence is only an hour and a half by fast train. To maximize your time I wouldn't bother switching hotels for that short amount of time.

I'd plan one (long-ish) day trip to Florence. Maybe another to Orvieto which is a hill town in Umbria and very different from the cities of Florence and Rome, but easily done by train on a day trip. That would still only leave you with 4 full days in Rome which barely scratches the surface.

That's my advice (after 13 trips to Italy) and I'm sticking with it. BUT - having said that, I just took a newbie friend to Italy for 8 days and we did Venice, Florence and Rome and had a great time so it is doable. But that requires a lot more planning. That worked on our trip because I had been to all those places multiple times so there was no time lost figuring things out, finding things, etc.

Here's the blog I did about that trip - it will at least give you an idea of what you can see in limited time.
isabel is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 05:51 AM
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Weather in Italy typically changes dramatically between early October and late October. Autumn tends to arrive more slowly south of Rome. If you really want to see the Amalfi coast, consider going there first.

Your definition of "make the most out of every hour" might differ wildly from every individual posting here. It's of course fine to mix it up in Italy, but if there are experiences you would really kick yourself for not having in Italy during the 8 days you are in the country, you need to identify those before people can help you. Otherwise, at least give some indication if you are OK with city/art sightseeing as the major focus of your trip, or would rather put the emphasis on natural beauty and small town charm.
massimop is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 06:19 AM
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The OP: "From my research, the common route to take seems like Rome, Florence and Amalfi Coast."

First timers may choose the AC, and that combo may be a great route, but I do not see it as the common route for first timers.

People more often mention Venice, Florence and Rome - the so called "big three."

Really, with such a short time, concentrate on what is of interest to you, and what works logistically, not what someone says is common.

Agree, if your total, including travel days, is 8 days, then 2 places, max.

You say you want to "make the most of each hour." Good idea!
To do that limit travel time within country.

There is so much to see and do just in Rome, you could spend the whole time there and not be bored. You could also do short day trips from there.

You could arrive in Venice and take the train to Rome and depart from Rome, only one fast train trip between places.

Florence and Rome - also good combo and easy RT Rome.

The AC will eat up a lot more travel time. However, it that is a place you have your heart set in, then you should do it, but you could then just do The AC and Rome. It would be best to arrive Naples, depart Rome.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 07:27 AM
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Due to work, we are only traveling for 8 days but wanted to make the most of each hour while in the country.>

Yes I would do the big three on a first visit -land in Venice and hit Florence en route to Rome and fly out of there.

Amalfi is neat but would require 3 days or so to enjoy it.

Anyway trains are the best way to get around for you visiting cities -check;; and for lots of info on them.

Venice- 1, 2

Florence 3, 4

5-Maybe a bus ride to Siena from Florence to experience an iconic hill town -about an hour each way and very cheap and easy.

Rome 6, 7
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 08:27 AM
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I have a few thoughts. First, October is high season for Italy. Second, keep it simple. Third, the usual first trip to Italy generally revolves around Venice, Florence and Rome. The AC is more of a relax by the ocean holiday. Fourth, you really do not have much time in Italy so keep it to two locations. Fifth, no one can help you with travel suggestions as we do not know where you live. Options for example differ if you live in Buffalo or White Plains. Sixth, open jaw is generally the best flight arrangement but that depends on where you are going. I do not think there are any direct flight from the US to Florence. I suspect you are planning to fly out Saturday and return Sunday in which case you have 7 nights in Italy. I would personally fly into Venice and out of Rome and spend 3 nights in Venice and 4 nights in Rome. Leave Florence for Tuscany for another trip.
mjs is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 02:18 PM
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I agree 100%: Rome and Venice. That will be a more relaxed trip while still only giving you a taste of each place. I love both and would hate for you to shortchange either one.
JeanneB is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 02:23 PM
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PS: there are frequent, inexpensive flights Rome to Venice.
JeanneB is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 02:42 PM
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That's a really, really short trip. Keep it simple. Rome and Venice.
StCirq is online now  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 02:45 PM
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I haven't been to Venice yet, but Rome and Florence would make a nice first trip in the time you have. Fly into one and home from the other.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 03:24 PM
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You asked a question inviting other people to help you decide, and maybe you are finding this 10 or so responses "golden" and just what you need.

So it either is or isn't relevant that the FACT is -- and this is truly a fact -- that many, many, many 1st time visitors to Italy don't like Rome or Venice. Many are disappointed. Many didn't want to go to cities. For many, the whole idea of going to Italy is that beautiful blue water, those beautiful colors and flowers, those pictures of people eating in restaurants whose terraces spill out into small town piazze.

For me, personally, much of Rome is fab. Much of Venice is fascinating. What a "first trip" to Italy should be for you, I have no idea. Eight days is anything you want it to be in Italy. If you want 8 days of one big photo-op WOW! after another, on the go all the time, that's actually not hard to do. If you want a mix of history & art + scenic wonders, that's not hard to do. If you want 8 solid days of wine, pasta, pizza, small town charm + staggering natural beauty, that's not hard to do.

If you like formulas, go for the formula! If you want something else, speak up!
frencharmoire is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 07:58 PM
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frencharmoire is correct. Since it's your first trip then talk about what type of things you would really like to see.

Do you like art? History? Architecture? Dining out? Shopping?
LSky is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2017, 08:23 PM
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I wouldn't fly between Venice and Rome. The train is less then four hours. If you fly you'll need to be at the airport two hours or so before departure. You then need to get from the airport into the city centre. Just that is almost more then the train ride. The train goes from city centre to city centre.

Trains can be fairly cheap if bought in advance.
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2017, 08:02 AM
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Plus it takes about an hour to get to Venice airport from Venice or more - that is before check-in, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2017, 05:44 PM
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Traveler and PalenQ: You're absolutely right. And that's not even to mention the awesome view when one first steps out of the Venice train station. jaw dropped!
JeanneB is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2017, 08:45 AM
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And water taxis and public transit boats are right down those steps leading to the main canal in front of the station. So easy and many hotels a short walk away.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2017, 11:16 AM
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Isabel, thanks for sharing your blog. We are going to Rome and Venice in March with two little ones (I posted this before)and we are considering adding Florence to the mix but only if we can keep it relaxing with lots of food, wine and places that the kids will be happy.

Thanks everyone for posting suggestions here for Sirrelo. I am listening too
ltr is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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With 8 days I would do Rome and Venice only. Fly into one and out of the other. Take a train in between the cities.
suze is offline  

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