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How would you cover Rome-Florence--Lucca-CT in 14 days?

How would you cover Rome-Florence--Lucca-CT in 14 days?

May 24th, 2001, 09:12 PM
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How would you cover Rome-Florence--Lucca-CT in 14 days?

I would appreciate your thoughts on my tentative itinerary for my trip next month. It will be our first visit to Italy and we are planning to take trains, buses and ferries throughout our stay. Our approach to travel is a bit carefree and leisurely, so we are open to any changes to our itinerary:

Rome - 5 days
Florence - 5 days(incl. possible day trip to Siena)
Lucca - 3 days (and possible stop in Pisa
Cinque Terre - 3 days
Rome - 1 day (back for one night and then to airport in the morning)

Does this itinerary make sense? Would you change the routes? Should we shorten our stay in Florence and Lucca? Add another town to the mix? How to avoid returning to Rome for our last night when our flight departs at 11:00am?

We have hotel reservations but I'd like to make final confirmations to free up our overlapping days for the hotels.

Thanks everyone for the great advice I've found so far on these boards.
May 24th, 2001, 09:21 PM
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I'd just like to clarify our travel dates: we'll be arriving on June 10th and departing on June 24th. Our check-out and check-in dates overlap, which accounts for the extra days.

Thanks again.

May 24th, 2001, 09:38 PM
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In the title to your post you indicate that you have 14 days for your trip, yet when I add up the days in each city the sum is 17 days. Could you clairify?

Based on 14 days, here's my two cents worth:
Rome 4 days (really three full days when you account for arrival tasks plus jet lag)
Florence 4 days (really three, due to travel time from Rome)
Lucca 2 days (I might shorten this to one day and add another day in Florence or CT) I'd skip Pisa, but that's a personal choice
CT 3 days
Rome or Milan 1 day--Could you fly into Rome and out of Milan to avoid backtracking?

Another thought is to take the train from Florence to Orvieto for a wonderful place to spend your last night in Italy. Then take an early train from Orvieto to Rome on the morning of your flight. I think the train trip is about two hours (Please tell JJ if you know for sure), so you could be at the airport by 9ish if you left Oriveto by 7ish. I understant that the trip from Orvieto to Rome is easy.

Buon viaggio

May 24th, 2001, 09:40 PM
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Looks like you clarified while I was composing my reply. Thanks!
May 24th, 2001, 09:48 PM
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I suggest the following changes to your itinerary for a good overview of northern Italy on your first trip:
1. Rome: 5 full days would be adequate to see the major sights.
2. Florence: Suggest allocating 6 days, with day trips to Siena and Lucca. Lucca can be seen in one day.
3. Substitute Venice for Cinque Terra for your first trip to Italy. Allow 3 or 4 days.
Can you adjust your return flight to depart from Venice? Would save a whole day wasted travel time in returning to Rome. I believe Delta now flies out of Venice to the US, and Alitalia has to connect in Milan whether you leave from Rome or Venice.
Great hotel in Venice is the Pension Wildner, right on the lagoon at the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop (100 meters from St. Mark's). We have booked a lagoon view double for early October at 380,000 lire/night ($180), including breakfast and taxes. Rooms are air conditioned and quiet. Great rate for Venice.
Email [email protected]; web site www.veneziahotels.com; fax 011-39-041-5265615.
Enjoy your trip.
May 25th, 2001, 05:34 PM
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Make that "possible" day trip to Siena a DEFINITE visit. It's well worth giving up a day in Florence for this lovely medieval city. I find Lucca quite a charming town --- however I'm not a big Pisa fan either & feel it can wait for a subsequent visit to Italy. Rather I'd consider a side trip to San Gimigano --- not sure if that's do-able w/train or bus (we'd rented a car for the Tuscany portion of our trip), however I suspect you could easily hook up with tour groups doing a day trip to San Gimmy, if needed.
May 27th, 2001, 12:30 AM
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I've not been to Lucca so can't comment..but personally, I would spend less, not more time in Florence, unless you are a huge art fan. I prefer Rome as I love the big monuments, piazzas, the vatican, roman ruins, etc. more than I like art museums. I agree with the suggestion of visiting Orvieto (a wonderful town) your last night rather than going all the way back into Rome for only one night as this would be very arduous and is not close to the Da Vinci airport anyway. I've not seen Cinque Terre but so many rave about it, I don't think you should necessarily trade it away for Venice. Venice is a marvel but VERY crowded and quite a distance from Rome. I do love Siena and agree it is a must that could be squeezed in either in a day trip from Florence or if you just reduce your time in Florence to about three nights and 1 or two nights in Lucca. I also agree that Pisa is less interesting than Siena...besides, for my money, rather than a day trip to Siena, you'd be better to stay overnight in Siena and perhaps visit some of the Tuscan or Umbrian countryside on your way back south to Orvieto...there are many medieval hilltowns to see in addition to Lucca that would be en route between Florence and Rome.
May 29th, 2001, 03:08 PM
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Thank you for your advice! We've decided to skip Pisa, stay overnight in Siena, and not return to Rome but make our last stop Orvieto. As for our last major hurdle - CT or Venice - it is still up in the air because we must fly out of Fiumicino.

Thanks again!
May 29th, 2001, 05:14 PM
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I went to Lucca with friends in Oct 1999 and none of us thought it was worth more than a few hours. I then won a trip and was back in Lucca in July 2000. No one in this group thought Lucca was worth more than the short time we spent there. Three days way too much. I would either cruise through or skip. Go to Venice instead. No one will ask you if you went to Lucca. Everyone will want to know how you enjoyed Venice.

Spend more time in Rome and none in Lucca. More time in Venice and less in Cinque Terre. Siena also nice. We were in a villa there for one week and used that town as base to explore the rest of Tuscany.
May 30th, 2001, 01:21 PM
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I can't disagree more about Lucca. It was one of the loveliest places we visited on our recent 2-week honeymoon in Tuscany. Sure, no one will ask you about Lucca, but the fact that it's a relatively undiscovered gem keeps is a wonderful thing. Unlike other Tuscan towns that have been taken over by tourism, Lucca is charming and civilized and a wonderful place to while away a couple of days. I could have spent half a day just bicycling around the town...there are gorgeous views to be found from the bicycle path and park that's been built on top of the medieval walls. The hotel I stayed at ("Palazzo Alexander," located within the medieval walls) was among the nicest I've visited in Europe. We had great food, did some wonderful shopping, and re-charged our batteries.
This was also the only place in Tuscany folks were actually nice to us...the rest of the tourist towns and hotels we stayed at felt rather cold (saying we were on our honeymoon, for example, solicited no warm congratulations or special service except in Lucca.)
Just my humble 2 cents...
Good Luck!

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