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Florence trip--what other cities should I see?

Florence trip--what other cities should I see?

Dec 18th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Florence trip--what other cities should I see?

My mom, dad, sister and I are planning a trip to Florence in April because my other sister is studying abroad there. So we want to visit other cities in Italy. We wanted to go to Venice, Lake Como, Portofino, Capri. I know this is probably too many cities for the amount of time we are going to be there. Any ideas on which cities we should pick? Any other city ideas are welcome to. Also highlights of the cities, places to go, restaurants, hotels. Thanks because I am clueless when it comes to Europe trips. thanks everyone. Also do we have to get 2 rooms at hotels or do they allow 4 people to a room like the hotels in America?
ashnyc12 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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How much time will you have outside Florence?
Where is your departure airport?
Will you consider a car after Florence?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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We haven't planned anything yet. But we will probably have 2 or 3 days in florence and then another 7 days to travel. I don't know about traveling in a car with my family--ahhh???
ashnyc12 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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I would do the big three - Rome, Florence and Venice. Lake Como and Capri I would save for another trip.

Or an alternate is 2 main cities (Florence and either Rome or Venice and more countryside (i.e. Tuscany or Umbria - Assisi is in Umbria and is beautiful). There are also wonderful places I have not been yet: Siena, San Giogamo (sp?), etc.

The standard hotel room is 2 twin bed and is about 1/4 the size of a hotel room in North America. The bathrooms are very small too!

Best idea is to buy a Rick Steves Italy Guidebook, read it and then post questions on the different Forums of Trip Advisor (i.e. separate forums for Florence / Rome, etc.).

Last summer was our first trip to Italy and we landed in Rome. Frankly I found it astounding to see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Pantheon. Venice was like no other place in the world and the photos are my favourite. Florence has very important art (you should make advance reservations but you will find this info in the Guidebook. Florence also has lots of gold jewellery on the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

P.S. Travelling from city to city do not drive, take the train. Many cities don't allow non resident cars in the centre of the city. Only rent a car if you want to drive in the countryside (which is wonderful!).
nosocksnoshoes is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Well, I do not know your family but I would think hard about a car to see the best of Tuscany and Umbria. If a car is out, then go to Siena from Florence and the last 5 days in Rome. The option going north would be Verona and Venice---but you must decide where to depart Italy.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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You can get some hotel rooms that will allow 4 people but they are much harder to find than here in the U.S.

I, too, agree with the idea of getting a guidebook like the Rick Steves book as he gives good advice particularly for people new to traveling in Europe.

Have a great trip!
KTtravel is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Most hotel rooms in europe are for 2 people only (i double or 2 twin beds). Some hotels have family rooms for more people - but you need to be sure they are appropriate for 4 adults (since many are for families with kids and they will simply pull in roll-away cots for the kids). Frankly with 4 adults I would want 2 baths to avoid a lot of waiting around.

If you have 7 days in addition toa couple in Florence I would do a couple of day trips to interestins towns in Tuscany and Umbria (San Gim, Siena, Assisi, Perugia), then take a train to Rome for 4 or 5 days. The smaller towns are much more easily done by car - esp for 4 people - but can be done by train/bus if you want - and don;t mind seeing less.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Siena is a must see IMO. Depending on how much time you have, you can and with the time you have you can figure out other places, but Siena is so close to Florence, you could do it as a day trip.

I also would suggest not missing Venice, which isn't that far away.
artlover is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Have you allowed for the day of arrival and departure as travel days as opposed to days you will have to visit Florence or the city of departure? Do you depart from Florence or somewhere else? If Rome then 3 days in Florence would be fine then the rest in Rome. You can take the train from Florence to Rome so no need to drive. If you want to see some of the country side then consider a car and drive into the Tuscany region for the remainder of the trip. Much depends on what city you depart from as to how you plan the rest of your trip. We need a little more information from you.
rlbplf is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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ashnyc12 didn't mention Rome as an option. You could limit the trip to northern Italy; that would omit Capri as well as Rome. You could fly into Venice, stay a few days, take the train to Florence, spend some more time, continue to Lake Como and/or the Italian Riviera, and fly out of Milan.

You need to look at some guidebooks. (I get them from the library.) Check out the Cinque Terre, which is (are) near Portofino; even nearer is Santa Margherita Ligure, with cheaper acommodations and better connections.

For this trip you don't need a car, especially on Lake Como and the Riviera. From Florence, Siena by bus makes a good day trip. I would save Rome and the countryside for a later trip.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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thanks everyone for your suggestions. We don't have a final idea of what city we are going to depart from. We are most likely going to go to Florence first so we can see my sister and then travel to the other cities from there. Yea we aren't going to do Rome cause my mom has been there before and we want to do the cities that we probably won't get to see another times.

Mimar thanks for your suggestions!!If we go to Florence, Venice, Portofino and Lake Como, which order do you think we should see the cities. What's easiest with traveling routes and such. thanks for the help!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!
ashnyc12 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Hi, ashhnyc,

you've got max 9 days. you're spending 2 in Florence, which leaves 7 for the rest. you will lose at least half a day every time you move.

May I suggest you get a map, and look at the places you have listed. they are not exactly adjacent to eacgh other. to check train journey times, go to www.trenitalia.com. Florence to Portofino is a 3 1/2 hour journey. It's probably the same to como, and the same again to Venice. so you've jsut lost 1 1.2 days - that gives you 5 1/2 to actually do things, if you're lucky.

actually, you have a greqat oportunity here, so long as you accept that you can't see the whole of Italy in 9 days.

As you want to see Venice, fly into Venice and spend 3 days there. then get the train to Florence, rent an apartment, and use that as a base for seeing that city and other places such as siena and lucca. your sister will be able to help you enjoy Florence to the full and you will get a real taste of italy.

you should be able to rent an apartment with 2 bedrooms for less than two rooms in a hotel would cost and you'll have much more space and freedom. spend what you save on two rooms in Venice.

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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If I had to pick one I would pick Rome. There is a lot to do and the history is overwhelming. The food is wonderful too. Venice is also good because it's like no where on earth. I like Rome more because there is always something going on and the sights are endless. It is also probably one of the most fast paced cities in the world.
richardab is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 01:40 PM
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10 days is perfect for the beautiful Italilan trifecta of Venice/Florence/Rome. My husband and I did this trip in March and it was perfect timing and didn't feel too hurried. It went roughly like this:

Fly into Venice for 3 nights.
Rent car in Venice (driving on the autostrada is surprisingly easy in Italy- it's the tiny roads in the "city centers" that can get a bit tricky though).
Drive to Florence for 3 nights/2 days.
Drive to Rome for 3 nights via all those gorgeous hilltop towns in Umbria (and don't forget to stop and do the factory tour at Gracia in Deruta- the oldest of the cermic factories and they are happy to give a free tour).
Drop the car off at the Rome airport (so you don't have to drive in Rome at all!) and take the train in to the city center from the airport.
Depart Rome.
poodle13905 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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p.s. to my last post- we did a (long!) day trip from Rome to Pompeii, but only because we'd been to Rome before. Up to you if you want to add on that trip south toward Naples.

Other than that- those 3 big cities is a LOT to see in 10 days. Definitely save Lake Como/Belaggio for another trip- it deserves savoring. Same goes for the Amalfi Coast.
poodle13905 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 02:00 AM
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Hello ashnyc12, please follow the good advice most of the people here are giving you. In a short period of time visiting so different places like Lake Como and Portofino at the end of the day will leave you with very little. You will only have a photo view of each place, meaning really very little. Instead if you follow for instance the advice of bobthenavigator, you will surely enjoy more Tuscany, another city let us say like Sienna,in Tuscany and then choose out of Tuscany just ONE important destination. He has suggested Rome, OK if Rome is out because your mom has seen it, then go to Venice.
Please consider all the time you will spend going let us say to Portofino, which is a small town by the water, ...you will have a look, and then what. Unless you stay there and get involved in the life of sailing and staying in one of those special places for a while for me it is meaninless,

Graziella5b is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 02:03 AM
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Just one remark , advice is easy to ask, difficult to follow because we all have pre-set ideas....
Graziella5b is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 02:54 AM
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I went to Florence with my wife in July this year. Here is my trip report with pictures and links: http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm . Maybe you can find some useful info there I have also made this interactive Google map http://gardkarlsen.com/Florence_Italy_google_map.htm and I have marked the main attractions. Click on them to get more information

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 03:08 AM
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Gard Karlsen..where is your report from your most recent Thai trip??
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 03:12 AM
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Gard I forgot to say how much I enjoy your reports!

Ash: With 9 days I would do only one city outside Florence.
ekscrunchy is offline  

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