Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

If you were going to Italy for the first time and only had seven nights...

Notices

If you were going to Italy for the first time and only had seven nights...

Old Oct 4th, 2003, 08:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 331
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you were going to Italy for the first time and only had seven nights...

What would you do and where would you go? This is not an idle question; it is our situation.

We got a great price flying Lufthansa R/T Dulles to Rome, leave Mon., March 8 and return Tues., March 16. $779 total for two!

This is not just our first trip to Italy, but due to a number of factors, it is likely to be our last for at Least 10--12 years...maybe ever...which sort of colors how much we'd like to see in our limited time. Gosh, that sounds foreboding; nobody is sick or anything, that's just how things are playing out.

Anyway, given those parameters what would you do? Our interests are typical, the three "A's"..Art, Architecture, Ambience.

Present thinking is to rely solely on trains; have driven in England and on the continent before, so not necessarily averse to using a car, just feel that for this trip, the train makes more sense...unless you can make a strong case otherwise.

One final thing; this time around, budget is a factor. Sorry this turned out so long but I have found that the clearer the question, the more useful the response. Looking forward to lots of great suffestions!
Robdaddy is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 08:54 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 331
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And if you're fresh out of "suffestions", suggestions are also welcome!!
Robdaddy is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:08 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We faced a similar situation on our first trip to Italy in 1989 (and it took us 11 years before we returned). We were limited to 6 days and spent 5 exploring Florence with a day trip to Rome. It was a perfect solution--we got to some depth in Florence, where any lover of the 3 A's can easily spend months--plus a wonderful train ride to Rome which I still remember as one the high points of travel.
Joe_in_Silver_Spring is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,325
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It might be too late for this but could you get an open jaw ticket, flying into Venice and out of Rome? That would save you backtracking to Rome at the end of the week. If you could do that, I'd suggest two nights Venice, train to Florence,two nights there, train to Rome and three nights in Rome. If you can't get an open jaw, I'd fly into Rome and take the train directly to Florence. Spend three nights in Florence, and take a day trip by train somewhere; possibly Lucca/Pisa or Siena. Then I'd spend the last four nights in Rome.
Grinisa is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:22 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since your time is so limited, perhaps you should base in Rome, with an exhausing day trip to Naples/Pompeii and maybe Herculaneum. Another day to Florence. I know one day does not do Florence justice, but even a small taste is better than nothing. Both are easy on Eurostar trains and in Naples, transfer to the Vesuviana train.

We did a day trip to Florence from Rome and while we scarcely saw anything, we enjoyed going and have since returned to stay there. Seeing the Duomo/Baptistry, walking the streets and stopping for a gelato may not have done Florence justice, but I'm glad we went.

Ostia Antica is even closer, as is Tivoli (Villa D'Este and Hadrian's Villa). And Orvieto would be another possibility. All three interesting and should fill the bill with your interest in architecture and art.

With such a short time I don't think changing hotels and spending a lot of time enroute to other places is a good idea. Just my opinion.

Sorry you can't stay longer and hope things will change so that you can return sooner.

Giovanna is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:28 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Robdaddy, if budget is a factor and you only have a week or so, I would recommend doing an apartment in Tuscany and taking day trips throughout the area. The cost of an apartment would much much less than the cost of hotels, and you won't have to be packing & unpacking for the week. Also, you can make a few meals, lunches, and coffee, juice, cheese, and bread for breakfast. Won't break the bank.

Lots to see in Tuscany, Florence, etc for your 3-A's. I would add a "W" for wine. Great wine in the region.
Budman is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:39 AM
  #7  
Degas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is plenty to do in Rome and much of it is free or doesn't cost much.

Stay the whole time there and do daytrips to Orvieto (1 hour) and Ostia Antica or Tivoli.

 
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 09:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I went to Rome and Florence twice before I ever ventured into Venice. Since you probably can't change your ticket (Grinisa's initial suggestion is best), I would recommend you pass on Venice. Rome and Florence are SO WONDERFUL, you'll be grateful you didn't try to cram too much in. I think less is more. Your memories will be more solid, urging you to return and discover Venice and more. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should limit themselves to one trip to Italy in a lifetime, no matter what the circumstances. Where there's a will there's a way. Just dream it and then make it happen.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2003, 11:00 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 80
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend Rome and Florence....but if you do only have one week and you want to see Venice you may want to consider a late afternoon train from Florence to Venice. Overnight in Venice, spend the day there, and perhaps take the overnight train (you can get a roomette) back to Rome arriving about 6AM. Really depends on whether you want a very leisurely trip or want to see as much as possible. DOn't forget..you can easily make reservations by phone for many museums.
johnian is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2003, 05:08 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would spend 4 nights in Rome and 3 nights in Venice. Florence hasn't thrilled me on any of my visits there--1959, 1984, 1996, and 2002. But I'm not really a big fan of Renaissance art and architecture, and that's pretty much what you get with Florence.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2003, 09:16 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,631
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi
given all the factors, I'd say
this:
Spend 4 days in Rome.
Use one of those days to daytrip to Florence, and reserve admission tickets in advance for the Uffizi and/or the Accademia since you are art fans.

Then spend the remaining 3 days in Venice. Try and travel there in the evening to lose less sightseeing time. Look into flying; it may not be significantly more expensive than the train, which takes about 4.5 hours. If you can open jaw great, if not go back to Rome on the last night, ready to fly out the next day.
elaine is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2003, 05:23 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If the three A's are what you are looking for, I would base your trip in Florence. I'd spend at least four days there, taking day trips to Pisa and Lucca for one day, Sienna and San Gimignano for another. You can hit up two towns in one day easily. While in Florence, I would definitely recommend a day spent in the Boboli Gardens and bring a bottle of wine and a blanket to watch the sunset from the Piazzale Michaelangelo which is absolutely breathtaking. I'd spend two days in Rome, as one day isn't enough to take it all in. Spend some time at the Villa Borghese--it's in a beautiful park and is filled with beautiful artwork. If you have any time left, I'd visit Elba, a short train ride away from Florence and then short boat ride. It's worth it to visit, even for a night. Rent mopeds and you can drive around the whole island, stopping at the fortress overlooking the whole island and the Mediterannean Sea and stop at Napoleon's home during his exile. It's stunning.
bizus is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2003, 06:51 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 770
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND AMBIENCE = Florence, Rome, and Venice. It is hard for me to say which to leave out if you a week. Florence has great art but so does Rome. All have great architecture. Venice is possibly the most romantic place on earth. Happy travels.
mimipam is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2003, 09:32 PM
  #14  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,359
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with Grinisa
mjs is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2003, 10:16 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
agree with mimipam, all 3 cities are incredible in art, architecture and ambience. trains in Italy provide great transport. save money on food by picking up bread, ham, cheese, etc. at small grocery stores and eating outside to stare at the wonders around you.
sillygranma is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2003, 08:00 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Robdaddy,
If you've not yet read the 'Helpful Information: Italy' thread, then I suggest this as an excellent source for anyone planning a trip there.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34443340
FilmNoir is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2003, 12:34 PM
  #17  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,700
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Rob,

I go with Bizus. Upon arrival at FCO go directly to Florence. Return to Rome the night before you leave.

I suggest that you stay at the B&B Peterson in Florence. Excellent budget accomodations for about 60E/nt dbl. We spent 11 nights there.
ira is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2003, 03:05 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

If I was you I'd pick Rome-Florence-Bologna-Verona-Venice
Franit is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2003, 07:50 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
RobDaddy,
I would spend the entire time in Rome.

I think with only a week and the effects of jet lag you'd be better to stay in one place...
Plus you mentioned cost and staying in one place you could consider an apartment rental which could be cheaper.
I love Rome and everytime I'm there I wish we had more time...It's the sheer breadth of the history that is unforgettable. What is great about spending more time in one place is that you can take the time to just stroll around and see what you find without worrying about ticking things off your list. I'd recommend Romeby.com as a good place to look for reasonable places to stay. We like the Pantheon View B and B very much and the location can't be beat.
Hope that helps
There are so many beautiful churches. last time we made a point to look at early Christain mosiacs which took us to a number of churches we had never seen before.
Just my two cents!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2003, 04:52 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 551
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you have such limited time, I suggest spending the entire week based in Rome. This will give you several days for seeing Rome, plus one or two days for day-trips. You can use one of these days for visiting Florence (90 minutes from Rome via high-speed rail). It is impossible to see all of Florence in a day, but you will still be able to see the most important sights, and decide if you want to return on a future trip.

Venice is wonderful, but your time is just too limited on this trip, especially since your airfare is for Rome.
JoyceL is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information