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suebasloe Dec 21st, 2009 03:28 PM

Help with my Rome trip for me and my 16 year old daughter
I'm going to be in Rome with my 16 year old daughter for 5 nights in Jan. I'm arriving on a Tues morning flight(we should be at the hotel by 10:30am, if everything goes smoothly). I have 2 scenarios and would love your input. Scenario 1: We stay the 5 nights in Rome; and take a day trip to either Florence(with the fast train) or possibly Pompeii---what do you think? (we would do that on Thursday which is day #3)) Is it too rushed to do Florence in a day?
Scenario 2: Arrive in Rome Tues am, tour for 3 days(sleep in Rome for 2 nights); on day #3 in early evening, go to Florence for 2 nights. Unfortunately, I need to return to Rome on Sat night since our flight is early in the morning, returning home. So that's a lot of jumping around for 5 nights. Do you think it's too much, or should we just stick with our first plan? Any suggestions? Thanks.

J62 Dec 21st, 2009 03:39 PM

With only 5 days I'd just do a day trip to Florence. You really only have 4 days, since day 1 can be very difficult with jet lag.

It's only 90min to Florence by fast train. If you change hotels twice you'll kill a lot of your short vacation time packing, checking out, lugging bags to train station, and doing the same thing on the other end.

With a day trip you can just bring a day pack, travel light, see what you want, then be back in your Rome hotel to sleep.

LoveItaly Dec 21st, 2009 03:41 PM

Hello sue, I assume your daughter is computer savy and consequently I would have her do some research on the computer. Just a thought but have you thought about when flying into Rome catching the train to Florence for two nights and than taking the train back to Rome and enjoying your time in Rome until it is time to fly home? Or, which I would probably be inclined to do, is to spend every night in Rome and perhaps take the train to Orvieto (one hour trip) for a day trip. From Rome to Florence is about a 90 minute train trip, btw so it is also doable for a day trip. But again it depends on your and your daughter's interest and I would sure get her involved as to her thinking. Best wishes and have fun planning your time in Italy, time in Italy with a teenage daughter can sure make for some special life time memories.

suebasloe Dec 21st, 2009 03:52 PM

Thanks. I was also leaning to staying in Rome for 5 nights and taking a day trip out. I thought about going to Florence first, but my concern is that we'd be doing too much traveling on the first day, and I think we'd both get very grouchy. Thanks for your help.One more question; is the Pompeii/Naples trip worth it or should I stick to Florence? (my daughter is interested in Pompeii, but I think it might be too much for a day). Any thoughts?

dickensdad Dec 21st, 2009 04:36 PM

On our first trip to Italy, we spent 10 days in Rome, and barely scratched the surface of what the city has to offer. Italians use this phrase: Roma, non basta una vita - For Rome one lifetime is not enough.

LoveItaly Dec 21st, 2009 04:55 PM

Hello again, sue. I know some people have done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii but personally it would not work for me. It is just too long of a day but we are all different of course. A day trip to Florence (leaving early morning and returning after dinner) would work for me however. Personally I know my daughter when she was a teen would have gotten grouchy with a daytrip from Rome to Pompeii/Naples. But again we are all so different and I am sure you will receive other Fodorites thoughts regarding your itinerary.

And going along with dickensdad's thoughts, with five nights in Rome which means four full days I would just enjoy Rome and not even think about any daytrips. Don't forget when you arrive the first day you will no doubt have some jet lag and the last day will be packing up, checking out of the hotel and getting back to the airport so again you will have four full days in Rome to explore that beautiful, vibrant and enthralling city. Best wishes for a wonderful trip no matter what you two decide, a trip that will be life time memories I am sure.

suebasloe Dec 21st, 2009 05:15 PM

thanks everyone for your help--now I feel really good about our itinerary and can't wait!!I love this site!

bjl Dec 21st, 2009 05:42 PM

If you decide that Pompeii is too much for a day trip, consider a visit to Ostia Antica, easily reached by Rome's metro. It would be a nice compromise between travel time and the chance to see an ancient city. I visited in January 2006 - it was nice not to have many other tourists there at that time.

nytraveler Dec 21st, 2009 06:03 PM

I would stick with one hotel in Rome and visit another town. Do some research to see what hours things are open in Jan (opening hours are somewhat shorter) and you may need to get to Florence (or wherever) VERY early to take advantage of the opening hours.

ellenem Dec 21st, 2009 10:07 PM

I think it s a good decision to stay in Rome the entire time. In any case, a daytrip to Florence is easy to do, with frequent trains available, so you can wait to decide until you are actually there and see how things are going. Keep it in mind as an option, but not as a must-do.

(As an aside, I've found that heading on to Florence after landing in Rome is not such a bad idea. You are concerned about being grouchy with so much travel, but there are no guarantees that your hotel room in Rome would be available by 10:30 in the morning. That might make you more grouchy. Spending another 90 minutes on the train isn't as bad as it sounds.)

Dobermina Dec 22nd, 2009 02:33 AM

It's true, you can spend forever in Rome and hardly scratch the surface of that fine city....However, 2 girls and the Florentine mercato, along with the scenery and change of taste and pace are not qualities to be knocked or forgotten by any means. I always had the most fun splitting between Rome and Firenze, but if she's not so familiar with Italy, she may want to get acquainted with each city a little more at first. And if she's expressed an interest in Pompeii, it's a fine day trip from Rome, very accessible, and totally feasable.

stepsbeyond Dec 22nd, 2009 03:48 AM

Since you are traveling in January, I suggest that you keep your daytrip plans very flexible and go by the weather. Cold rain (and ice and snow) in Firenze (Florence) is not unheard at that time of year. I wouldn't want to be locked into a plan to head directly to Firenze. Likewise, a day trip to Pompeii or Ostia Antica is unbearble in the pouring rain.

I agree with the suggestion that your 16 year old will have a more enjoyable time if she researches the possible destinations and indicates what interests her most. People often assume that 16 year old females will want to go shopping. Many don't, especially in freezing outdoor markets, and would prefer seeing Michaelangelos, the Villa Borghese, mosaics and gladitorial sites.

suebasloe Dec 22nd, 2009 05:46 AM

thanks everyone--this has really been helpful.

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