Florence or Rome????

Feb 28th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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Florence or Rome????

I will be in Italy for 4 days(flying in from Paris) and cannot decide between staying in Florence and Rome. I know they are pretty close so would it be best to stay in Rome and take a day trip to Florence or vice versa? Where is there more to do? They both look wonderful!
jp1579 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Hi jp, I assume this is your first trip to Italy.

My personal thought would be to stay in Rome and then take the train for a days visit to Florence.

Both are beautiful cities, some here on Fodors prefer Rome and others Florence.

But IMHO staying in Florence and taking a day trip into Rome is hardly worth the effort.

Florence is more compact, easy to walk from one place to another.

Rome is larger and much more spread out so I would think you would want the majority of your time in Rome.

Whatever you decide have a beautiful visit!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 07:14 PM
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I think you might want to stay in Rome for 2 nights then enjoy an incredible drive through Tuscany and stay in a farmhouse somewhere south of FLorence and north of Siena for the last two nights. Do Florence your first day (it has many great sights, but is crowded and huge.) You could see Siena or Montepulciano on your second day and experience a more intimate Italy. It would be so hard to take a day trip to Tuscnay and have to go back to Rome that night. You won't want to leave! Good Luck!!
ValDorcia is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Thanks...I read somewhere that it is possible to do the museums in Florence in one day, but I am assuming that is pushing it?
jp1579 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:09 AM
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What about staying in Florence for your vacation and perhaps daytripping out into the countryside for a day, leaving Rome completely on its own for a much longer trip. Florence is much more managable I think, so you might be able to see what you want of it this time, rather than only getting to see part of Rome.
JoeTro is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:28 AM
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It might depend a lot on what appeals to you. We visited both Florence and Rome on our first (and so far only trip to Italy) and liked both. The David is the most impressive art I've seen but the historical feel of and sights in Rome blew us away. We going back in May and plan to spend 5 days in Rome but will not get back to Florence.
RuthMc is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:34 AM
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Hi Jp,

I prefer Rome to Florence so my advice would be to stay in Rome and leave Florence for another time. However, if you're not certain that you can come back anytime soon then do the day trip to Florence.
Yes, it's possible to see the highlights of the Uffizi, see the David and enjoy a lovely lunch all in one day. Is it ideal? Well, no, but its very doable and makes for a pleasant day. I've done it twice. Make sure you take the Eurostar from Rome to Florence and viceversa as this takes less time than the regular train.
cruiseluv is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:44 AM
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Both. The difference. One is not One without the other.
Photos of Italy and a few other places.
rdkr is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 06:46 AM
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I definitely would stay in Rome rather than Florence. We walked everywhere except the Vatican. Day trip it to FL and see David and theUffizi (book tickets in advance). I would not care to return to FL but I still have plenty left to see in Rome. The Vespas in Fl are really annoying and some hotels are noisy--you have to choose carefully.
nini is online now  
Mar 1st, 2005, 07:05 AM
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They're quite different, so it is hard to advise you. With such a short time, I think I would want to stay in one or the other, and even a daytrip from Rome to Florence would be stealing time from Rome. We made a daytrip to Florence from Rome on one of our visits to Italy, but we had a longer time to spend in Rome. It was fun, but we were rookies and went on a Monday, so that all the museums were closed.

If you do decide on Rome and a daytrip to Florence, take the advice above and make reservations for the Uffizi and Accademia, and take Eurostar trains. Since your time is short this will save some time.

We love both cities, so actually don't think you will be disappointed whatever you decide.
Giovanna is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 07:10 AM
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If you are really, really, really into Renaissance art and architecture, then you might prefer Florence over Rome. You could get Florence out of the way on this trip and never have to go back.

However, if you are not an intense Renaissance fanatic, Rome has a lot more depth and variety of art, architecture, history, etc.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 07:20 AM
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Lots of opinions on this, here is mine:

1. IMO with only 4 days total, you will rushed in Rome if you try to do also day trip to Florence. There is more than enough to see and do in Rome in 4 days, and you also want some time to just sit outdoors at a cafe and people-watch. If you want a good half day trip, go to Ostia Antic outside of Rome to see ruins, or to the catacombs, or to the Tivoli gardens, or to the coastal area around Tarquina, to see Etruscan ruins and the pretty coast. (Lunch at La Post Vecchio is a great idea, go to /www.lapostavecchia.com.) Rick Steve's has a good self-guided tour to Ostia, go to http://www.ricksteves.com/news/0202/ostia.htm.

2. IMO Florence should be part of a longer trip that focuses on the really glorious countryside in the area. There are lots of good walks in and around Florence, good biking and many charming villages for drives. You wonít get to appreciate this on a day trip. I also donít think you can appreciate the beauty of Florence on a day trip as you will be rushing pillar-to-post just to see the highlights.

3. Time of year is also a factor. I would not go to Florence in August, way too crowded and just too hot, and too many good restaurants closed. Rome is also hot and some things are closed in August, but not as fiercely hot as the bowl in which Florence sits, IMO. Conversely, I think Florence in the winter is a bit of a waste because again, you canít appreciate the countryside as much.

For great informative walking tours in Rome, try Context: Rome (used to be Scala Reale) at http://www.contextrome.com

Cicerone is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:47 AM
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See the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Pitti Palace, Brancacci Chapel, Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce, etc. all in one day, sweetie?? You are daft. Stick to one city. You can't possibly do both cities in only 4 days. (And why would you want to? Do you want your head to spin around and around like Regan in THE EXORCIST?)

What kind of person are you?? Rome is a big, busy city like NY, London, Paris. Florence is much smaller. Do you like art and architecture? If you don't, Florence is not for you.

You also don't say when you're travelling. That makes a very big difference because Florence is PACKED with tourists from May to October. It is difficult to even walk down the street.

Both are great cities, but you have to decide what you are looking for during your holiday.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:22 AM
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I agree with Cicerone. We have been to Florence once and Rome twice. Although Florence is fine, we absolutely loved Rome. After 2 trips, we still have quite a long list of things we want to see.

I would just pick one or the other. If you choose Rome, stay in it the entire time. There is more than enough to do, and everything can be done at a slower pace.
tcreath is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Thanks! We have decided on Rome!!!! It is scheduled for mid-May, so we will definately heed the warnings and plan/reserve in advance if we decide to do Florence. This will be our first time in Italy, so we want to make the most of it, but def. don't want our heads to spin!!!!! It is myself, my sister and mother (around 60 years old) so any advice for 3 women would be wonderful!
jp1579 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 10:39 AM
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I think you made a good choice. 4 days in Rome will let you do a lot, but there will still be so much you want to see. Hopefully you will make it back.
flyert is offline  
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