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Is Venice, Florence, Rome too much for 10 days in Italy...

Is Venice, Florence, Rome too much for 10 days in Italy...

Old May 31st, 2009, 08:02 AM
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Is Venice, Florence, Rome too much for 10 days in Italy...

especially if this is our first trip to Italy? If not, please advise on cheapest and most efficient travel between these cities. We fly into Rome July 6 and leave from Rome July 16.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:17 AM
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It's possible, but it'd be too much for me to want to do all three. The best mode of transport is by train.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Start in Florence after landing and do this sequence:
Florence--3[ with day trip to Siena]
Venice--3
Rome---4

It is a shame you did not ask before you bought tickets. You should be flying into Venice and home from Rome==that would save you half a day
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:30 AM
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A lot of people do the big 3 in that length of time and it is certainly possible. I would recommend limiting yourself to two for this first trip to Italy. Since you are flying into and out of Rome I would concentrate on Rome and Florence which is only a few hours away by train.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:43 AM
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I think it is possible!
We visited Venice, Cinque Terre and most of Tuscany (Florence, Siena, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Chianti, etc) in about 13 days.
We visited Rome and The Amalfi Coast (Naples, Positano, Sorrento, Capri, etc) in the same amount of time too.
check out my trip reports.
Rome and Florence are closer to each other - with Venice being further North. Plan train travel well, we were stuck waiting for our train from Florence to Venice for many hours because it was high season and we didn't purchase in advance. Who knew trains sell out?!? so we lost precious time there.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 09:16 AM
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We did Venice Florence and Rome in 8 days and it was a lot. We made it work because it was all the time we had. Plan wisely, and it will be great! We did Venice, Florence then Rome. It was good because Venice is so chill that our first day was just wonderful soaking in the sights. Have fun!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 09:25 AM
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yes, it is possible.

I just spent 5 nights in Rome in March. We also went to Florence for a day. If I was doing a multi city trip I might spend 2 or 3 in Florence nights depending upon when you arrive and leave the city - add a day if you go to Sienna (which I did on previous trip and it is worth). Maybe another day for Pisa - but I have never made to Pisa.

Venice needs the least amount of time. You see the square, walk the canals, take a gondola ride, go over to Murano and you are done (IMHO)

The high speed train (eurostar) is 1.5 hours between Rome and Florence., the regular train was 3 hours (I think). You can find the website that has the train schedules, it was cheaper to buy it at the station - but coming back one train was full (standard class) so we jumped an early one - otherwise we would have taken a later one (or picked first class or a standard train).

The big wild card is is your 'tourist type'. Do you hop on the tourist bus and quickly hit the most famous sites? Or do you walk the streets? Will you spend all day visiting the Vatican Museum? Or go straight to the Sistine Chapel and be headed to tourist spot in a few hours?

Almost forgot time of year, you will be there in tourist season, so the lines will be long. The line for the Vatican was long in the afternoon, we went the next day at 7:30 am and were inside in 15 minutes, and there were no crowds. But it was getting busy when we left (maybe the buses started to arrive). You will get less done each day - and be more stressed if waiting line gets to you.

Finally - Stay safe! I had no pickpocket issues this time, but I did last time in Italy and also in Spain. Keep things in your front pockets (and passports, extra cash and credit cards in a body belt). Wear a long shirt (not long sleeve) and don't tuck it in - this will cover your pockets and fanny pack (if used). After the Spain incident I added Velcro to my fanny pack belt so the end of the strap would cover the buckle. Or you can get a purse/fanny packs from pacsafe that are more secure (but probably overkill).
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:05 AM
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My husband and I stayed in Rome for 9 days a couple of years ago.
We took one day trip to Florence and one day trip to Venice.
Even though we were in each place for a short stay (especially Venice) we were perfectly happy with the way we did it.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Bettina,
How did you do your day trips? Did you take a train yourselves, or did you use a company that specialized in day trips?
Thanks!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:50 AM
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"Venice needs the least amount of time. You see the square, walk the canals, take a gondola ride, go over to Murano and you are done (IMHO)"

No one should ever leave Venice without getting pooped on by a pigeon.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Your three cities are "doable" in the time you have allotted.

I agree that you should decide which kind of tourist you are; THEN pick your sites. Personally, I love walking in Rome but it is time consuming. If you can, take the small streets that look like alleys - the neighborhood churches are truly magnificient and the local grocers are a great place for wine and cheese picnic supplies.

When in Florence, I say Florence is my favorite city in the world but in Rome I say the same. Rome for the history and the Vatican (you can easily spend the day in the Vatican OR do it in an hour or so but do see the Sistine Chapel; Spanish Steps (walk down them and along the boulevard at their base); the various names/historical churches in the city are worth it to me to see.

Venice is my husband's favorite city - romantic - but you can see it in a day or two at the most. We have. As another said, see the highlights: take a boat ride; go to Murano to see the glass blowers; shop then on to the next city.

WARNING: outside the Vatican a gypsy tried to get into my travel purse by asking for $$ for her supposed baby in her arms while her other hand was working its way into my purse. Caught her!! I only had tour info in the bag/purse, but be forwarned. We have made it a practice since traveling to Italy in the late 70's to: always keep any purse/bag on the inside toward buildings on the sidewalk; not to wear jewlery that will draw attention to yourself; to, as others suggested, hide $$ on you person; if driving, NEVER to open the trunk of your car, close it then walk away - always, open your trunk, then drive to another location before leaving your car. At an intersection, do not be the first person in the crowd to cross the street - the vespas will speed by and grab whatever you have, or can try.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Leonora We took the train and planned it ourselves once we got into Rome. We went to the train station a few days earlier and booked our trains. I know for some people it wouldn't be enough time but both days we took the earliest train out and the latest train back into Rome.
We packed just a small backpack with what we might need for the day.......books etc.
Schuler, I did get pooped on by a pigeon!!! Luckily I had the hand wipes from the train to clean myself!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:28 PM
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I'd think that two cities in ten days is pushing it pretty hard - you might consider Rome + Florence or Rome + Venice. I think that a day trip to Venice from Rome is a big day with not much time in Venice, as the train is about four hours each way. There's more to Venice than San Marco, Murano and the obligatory gondola ride (at 80 Euro for 40 minutes). On out first trip, we spent six nights there, and on our second trip, we spent about nine weeks there. Seeing Venice as a day trip is like seeing say London or New York in a two day visit.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:40 PM
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I would not attempt a daytrip from Rome to Venice. It's a 4 1/2 hour train trip each way.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Another suggestion - don't be too worried about crime. Sure, it happens. But there's no need to be too paranoid. Use the hotel safe for passports and most of your money and carry the minimum. Don't stress about jewelry - Italian women don't seem to worry about it too much and wear significant amounts of bling. Bum bags (aka fanny packs) really are an open invitation, though.
Check out the "10 most common scams" on Rick Steves for some amusing reading.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Sure it's possible, especially since you already have tickets in & out of Rome. I would land Rome and spend just 1 night then head by train to Venice, spend 3 days there, by train to Florence for 2 days, train back to Rome for the remaining 4-5 days of the trip.

(If you hadn't already purchase plane tickets, I would have suggested flying into Venice & out of Rome and just doing the two cities to avoid backtracking on the ground.)
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:05 PM
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Well, when I visited Italy, I also few in and out of Rome, and I took a train immediately to Venice, without spending the first night there (while an open jaw to Venice would have been nice, in my case I started in NYC so got a direct flight from JFK to Rome; flying to Venice would have required a connection and not really saved me much time, anyway.) I spent my time in Rome at the end.

My flight into Rome was early enough that I made it to Venice by mid-afternoon so I had enough time to enjoy a leisurely first evening in Italy there. I did travel in October so was able to book trains as I went without great worry about them selling out (as opposed to having to make reservations ahead of time, hope my flight was on time, etc.) July might be different.

As for me, I enjoyed Venice in the evening and the morning but hated the daytime crowds. I had an apartment in a nice location so that helped. Florence really wasn't for me - much preferred my day trip to Siena. I absolutely loved touring the ancient Forum in Rome but otherwise didn't care much for the city itself and would have been OK spending just two nights there. But you always find people who can spend a whole week just in Rome and feel it wasn't enough time. Everyone has a different travel style and interests.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Andrew is right on track. Venice gives a lovely entre to Italy, and is the best place to recover from jet-lag. He's right about the day time crowds - the middle of the day is the best time to explore the more out of the way places. At 7:00 AM, The Piazza will be almost deserted, and by 9:00, it's packed.

We flew Australia to Rome, then Alitalia to Venice, which was a waste of money. We should have taken the train, which would probably have been just as quick.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:32 PM
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I wouldn't do all three in 10 days. Happy Travels!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:12 PM
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I think you can do all three. Just don't feel you must see everything in each city. Prioritize the things you want to see. What you miss this time, you can see next time. Take time to relax, walk and just enjoy being there.

If it were me, I would take Andrew's suggestion and go directly to Venice, if your flight is getting in early enough for you to get to Venice for dinner. You will be going anyway; might as well use your jet-lagged time on the train.

As for seeing Venice in a day or so. You can see San Marco, take a gondola ride and walk a bit in a day, but there is a lot more to Venice than most people see. I have been six times and still haven't been to any of the museums. I didn't make it to the islands until the fifth trip. Of course, there is the Doges' Palace and The Accademia. There are also some of the most beautiful churches (S. Maria dei Miracoli, S. maria Dei Frari, etc.) with original paintings and sculpture (by Titian, Tintoretto, etc.) hanging in the places they were designed for, so you see them just where the artist intended them to be seen. The Ghetto is fascinating. Traveling the Grand Canal very late at night is mysterious and romantic. I am barely scratching the surface here and not even considering the islands. There is at least one glass blowing place not far from San Marco, so you really don't have to go to Murano to see that. I love Burano, but don't think I would do it with only a couple of days in Venice.

I am not telling you not to do it as part of your trip, only, as Peter said, there is a lot more to Venice than San Marco and a gondola ride, so you shouldn't rush it.

The same is true for Florence, but I would do a day trip to Siena anyway.

It will probably be pretty hot. Plan your outside time for early morning and evening.

Train is best for this trip, IMO.
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