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Getting close to finalizing our 1st trip but need some "expert" opinions

Getting close to finalizing our 1st trip but need some "expert" opinions

Aug 9th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 95
Getting close to finalizing our 1st trip but need some "expert" opinions

Wow -- what a great forum. I have learned so much over the past few weeks reading. Thanks.
My husband and I are going to Europe for the 1st time. We only have 10 days. I am struggling with driving or hiring drivers but here is what we are thinking:

Arrive Rome - drive immediately to Siena or surrounding area. Stay in Siena (or nearby) as a hub and tour around for 4 days.
Drive to Florence - stay there 3 days. Drop car off in Florence and take the train to Rome.
Spend last 3 days in Rome.???

Any comments? I am also toying with a few hotels -
Florence: Tourish Hotel Ghiberti or Villa La Sosta.
Rome: Leonardi Fiamma Hotel, Hotel Del Mellini or Golden Tuipl Mecente Palace
Siena: Hotel Cannon, HOtel Santa Caterina.

Nothing is confirmed yet but ready to start booking asap. We are going the 2nd week of November.

Thanks!!! Mishka
Mishka is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,476
As a general comment I would not advise going to Italy and NOT seeing Rome and depending on your interests you can easily spend a full three days there, dividing your time between Rome itself and Vatican City.

As an alternative you could, if it is possible and financially practical, drop the car before you even get to Florence and take the train or bus from Siena to Florence (about 1 1/2 hours).

Regardless, I would NOT KEEP a car in Florence because it is not necessary, and parking is a pain there.
TopMan is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Good start Mishka, but the wrong sequence. Land at Rome and train to Florence the first day---the drive to Siena would be a killer after the flight. Do 3 nites in Florence.
Get the car in Florence and drive south. See San Gim. and Volterra enroute as you head south. Stay near Siena or south. The Piccolo Oliveta is next door to the St. Caterina and has better parking and is more helpful. But, also look at Palazzo del Capitano in San Quirico---best location.
Drop the car at Orvieto as you head to Rome---see Orvieto, and then train into Rome for your last 3 nites. Hope this makes sense--less hassle this way.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Aug 9th, 2004, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
BobtheNavigator posted a great plan, proving that he does indeed deserve the name Navigator! His recommendation allows you to also see Orvieto, which is one of my favorite towns. Arrange to be there in the late afternoon, when the sun is on the heavenly facade of the Cathedral. From Orvieto it is only 1 hr. to Rome by train, very convenient...
tashak is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 04:25 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 555
Florence may be the worst city for driving in Europe -- don't do it!! Bob's suggestion is good, but be sure to rent the car on your way out of town.
Eleni is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 92
A vote for the Tourist House Ghiberti in Florence. Great location, great hosts and great price. The room was large, as was the bathroom and there was free internet access in the room.
nbs_mjs is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Wow - thanks everyone. And yes, I heard that Bob the Navigator was nothing but the best!!!
I will "re-plan" and advise. Merci!!!
Mishka is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 95
Any comments on the hotels?
Rome: Hotel Gambrinus or HOtel Tiberio?
Florence: Grand Hotel Mediteraneo or Pitti Palace?

Mishka is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 95
NB-mis -- you mentioned that you liked Tourist Hotel? Why ? We are thinking about it because it has been referred numerous times but the pictures and description seems "plain?". Comments?

Mishka is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 11:28 PM
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Traffic on the north side of the Arno in Florence can be so bad you can probably walk faster than you can drive. Also there's no parking.

We walked everywhere in Florence with no problem. The only time we need a ride was to the laundromat, so we had the hotel call a taxi because we had too much laundry to walk (laundry for family of 5.)

Rome is exciting and has the best food in Italy, in our experience. Rome is worth 4 days and may become your favorite city.

Florence and Siena are totally different, even though they are only about a 1 1/4 hour drive apart, I would still consider staying in both cities. Stay in florence only long enough to see the museums...Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia (David). I recommend about 2 nights in florence. It's a noisy, smoggy city with great art museums.

Siena is more tranquil, and has a very medieval atmosphere. We only had time for 1 night in Siena, and I fell in love with Siena...I'm going to return someday for a week in Siena, as my base for seeing more of Tuscany and the Chianti region!

Good luck.

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