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Florence, Tuscany, Rome itineraries & accomodations

Florence, Tuscany, Rome itineraries & accomodations

Old Sep 11th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Florence, Tuscany, Rome itineraries & accomodations

My apologies for this kind of double posting. I should have combined this with my Venice posting but I'm just getting used to the forum and can't seem to edit that post. Anyway ...

My wife and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary with a 2 week trip to Italy, starting with 2-3 days in Venice, then similar durations in Florence, Tuscany and Rome. Were flying into Venice Oct 10 and out of Rome Oct 24. We're going to be reading guidebooks and messages here and elsewhere, and of course are aware of the standards like the Colosseum, but any recommendations on places to see/things to do while there, plus places to stay would be appreciated as would any other tips or tricks you could share.

As background, Im a very young just-turned-50, and she is 39. We both want to bask in art and history, and our focus is really feeling like we are in Italy. We love good food and good wine (sometimes a little too much!), laughter, and people. Were both physically fit, pretty hip & fashionable but still quite real, and want some good nightlife as well, so recommendations on dance, theater, and nightclubs whether more mainstream or a little more out there - are definitely appreciated. Were planning to walk everywhere, take tons of photos, and generally take a break from a very hectic business schedule.

In terms of accommodation weve got a fair bit of leeway in price, although when you get into the 300+ euro range we definitely flinch! We dont like polyester bedspreads or hotels that could be in any city. Its history and character were after! Having said that, reliable high speed internet access is mandatory, as are hot showers/baths and at least a moderate amount of room to move around. Balconies overlooking squares, thoroughfares, and canals are a serious bonus. Im a light sleeper, but I guess I can use ear plugs

We know were leaving the planning late, but any help you could provide would be much appreciated!

Rooster99 is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Since you're planning for arty and historical places, here's something nice I heard. There is something called the "Roma Archeologica Card." For 20+ euros you can gain entrance to the Colosseum, the Palatine, the Baths of Caracalla, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella and the Villa of the Quintili. I think you can buy one of those in the Colosseum area itself. It is valid for 7 days I think.

Also, if you're going to Venice, after seeing the city, you can try a tour of the Dolomite mountains for the change of pace from city tours too.

for accommodations, try renting a holiday apartment. You'll have a "home away from home" but it would have some hotel like services. there are plenty out there. We ourselves rented a nice seaside apartment in Marina di Cerveteri. There are some pictures here:

You can also try this list of apartments here:

Have a nice trip!
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 12:09 AM
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Ciao! well as far as Venice goes...
I can recommend Locanda Orseolo for lodging without hestitation. Barbara Matteo and the gang will treat you as family. Location is not very far from Saint Marks Square. I can recommend two restaurants ..Aqua Pazza and Marco Polo. The former is quaintly southern Italian in its cuisine and the Marco Polo is run by a hip young couple with an diverse menu sure to please the palate.
Do take the secret Itineraries tour at the Doges Palace(ask your hotel to make reservations for you).
In Rome I would suggest staying in Trastevere at the Hotel Santa Maria. This is a converted monastery with large rooms and baths per european standards and orange trees in the courtyard.
Nice hip neighborhood in Rome with many nice restaurants close by. When you are ready to catch your plane out of Rome, take a short taxi or tram ride to Trastevere Station and catch the regular train to the airport...much cheaper than the Leonardo Express from Termini which is across town. ciao!
russwuf is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2008, 03:35 AM
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Rooster, first of all, no need to despair about being unable to edit your old posts - that's not your fault. It's simply impossible - Fodor's doesn't offer this feature.

As far "really feeling like we are in Italy", you should absolutely book apartments, no hotels. Hotels never make you feel like you are anywhere than in - a hotel.

And as far as "generally take a break from a very hectic business schedule", I think your planning is still in the business pace: four locations in merely two weeks, is that what you are calling a break from a hectic schedule? You may well find it more exhausting than your everyday business life. I suggest limiting your trip to two locations, and exploring them somewhat more in-depth - not really in-depth, of course, since the two obvious locations are Venice and Rome, following your flight plan; and to explore those two cities really in-depth, you'd need about six weeks for Venice (at a quick pace, not exactly a relaxing holiday), and one year for Rome (still at a very, very quick pace).

As far as ideas about sightseeing, food and accomodation, there is PLENTY of information already available on this board; try these threads, for example (and there are many, many more):
Roman food and restaurants: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34792415
Roman sightseeing: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34792538
Roman districts/where to stay: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34792021
Venetian accomodation: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34791672
Venice sightseeing:
Venetian food and restaurants: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34791666
franco is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2008, 03:45 AM
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My main advice for Rome is that "2-3" days is a very short time since there is so much to see. I would plan as much time there as possible if you want to enjoy the city. You could also spend much longer than 2-3 days in Venice or Florence but they are smaller cities and therefore a little easier to visit with limited time.

Franco's advice to consider cutting down the number of destinations is definitely worth considering if you want to relax on this vacation. My husband and 16 year old son and I rented an apartment in Rome for a week and found that a good amount of time to spend it that wonderful city although we left with a huge list of things we'd like to do on our next trip there
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 04:30 AM
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Just a comment that when I am on vacation I really do not want to stay in an apartment where I have to make my bed in the morning and where towels are not replaced and the room refreshed. To me, that is what I have to every day and I am not interested in doing so on vacation.

In Florence, Il Villino is a very personal experience as is Villa Michelangelio. Both are more private than hotels, the second offers rooms with small kitchens if that is you preference. Both are reasonable. Hotel David also gets very nice comments.

Tourist House Ghilberti gets good reviews, great location, is well priced and has internet in every room.

In Rome, you might enjoy the energy of Trastervere. Arco de Lauro is a B&B that gets high marks in Trastevere, Hotel Santa Maria is well thought of but I have never been able to get a room there. Cesaer House Residenza gets high marks across the board but I am not sure about internet access. Albergo Cesari is a very nice three nice star with a rooftop bar that has recently been remodeled and is very near the Pantheon if you prefer to be in the very center of things.

Venice is trickier IMO and also quite expensive compared to Rome and Florence IME. La Calcina and Locanda Orseolo are mentioned often on this forum. Last year we stayed at the new Le Commedia which was in a great location and the rooms were very nice (hard beds though). It appears that prices here have soared though so not sure if that works for your budget.

You are going at a busy time and I will be there at the same time and made my reservations about 9 months ago.

I suggest Roma passes for us in Rome at the Borghese and also the Colosseum and Forum. I believe the Scavi tour will be impossible at this point but it is always worth a try.

Why not base in Florence and visit other parts of Tuscany or vice versa? We prefer to stay in Florence - we will be there 8 nights this trip - and may daytrips to wineries in the countryside, Assisi, etc. I would not spilt your time as you are already moving about a good bit IMO. We are both more city people than country people and really enjoy a bit of nightlife as well so staying in Florence is a better choice for out tastes.

Perhaps Venice for 3 nights, then Florence and Rome for 4 each would be a better option. I think you made a good choice starting in Venice and ending with the high energy city of Rome.

kfusto is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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First congratulations on the perfect open jaws flight for Italy. Into Venice, out of Rome is the best use of your time.

And let me tell you about the web site www.tripadvisor.com. Numerous traveler reviews of hotels there. www.venere.com is useful also.

I agree that you are planning a lot for only 2 weeks. Rome in particular has lots to see. Tuscany is better seen by car. Maybe skip it this trip. Or make a daytrip from Florence to just one place like Siena.

I disagree with kfusto. I love renting apartments, now that we're spending more time in one place. I must confess that I rarely make the bed and rarely cook. Well, just coffee for breakfast. But in an apartment there's more space, more privacy and you can live on your own schedule, no breakfast hours, no maid coming in. As for the towels, I rent places with a washer and just throw the towels in with the clothes.

Nightlife in Italy mostly consists of eating dinner. You can start with an aperitivo at a bar. Then dinner starts at 8 or so and runs long.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Mimar, to each his own and we shall agree to disagree. I always make the bed and cook so, for me, a hotel where someone does so is a major part of my vacation enjoyment.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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In Florence, GREAT B&B (have stayed there last 4 times) is the Relais Grand Tour. 5 minute walk to Duomo, quiet, very good accomodations and Cristina the owner is a jewel when it comes to information and assistance. You can find if you go to Venere.com under Florence B&B's.
Highly recommend for a romantic and yet convenient stay.
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