Italy - first trip

Jan 7th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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Italy - first trip

At long last.... we've booked our 1st trip to Italy and are now in the planning stage. We leave Mid April fly to Venice, have three weeks and fly home from Paris. Our simple plan is Venice 2 days, train to Rome, make our way up to Cinque Terre, southern France and then Paris. I welcome any suggestions, re hotels, B & Bs, itinerary, etc. I have gleaned some helpful information already.

snshine is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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You will be sorry to have spent only 2 days in Venice. I would say 4 days minimum.
glassman is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Hi snshine,

I agree, you are giving short shrift to Venice. You are skipping Florence?

How about giving us your proposed itinerary?
ira is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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Ok, here is our very rough itinerary. Fly to Venice, stay 2 full days, night train to Rome, stay 3 days, train/car into Tuscany 4 days, Cinque Terre 3 days, train to Provence 2 days and up to Paris for 4 days. That allows for 2 days of travelling. We are totally flexible on the days spent, we are in the very early stages of planning.
Any suggestions are welcome!!!
snshine is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:29 AM
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I agree that 2 days in Venice is not enough. I suggest giving up the Provence. IMO 2 days anywhere isnt worth it.
JandaO is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Hi snshine,

IMHO you're not giving enough time to most of your destinations. Your trip is fragmented. Absolutely agree with folks who say not enough time in Venice. Also not enough time in Rome and Tuscany. You're allowing only 2 days for Provence - which part? You can't cover all of Provence in 2 days. I would take those 2 days and add them to Venice and take Rome out of the mix. Add those 3 days (allocated to Rome) to Tuscany and include Florence. Also take one day from the CT and use it elsewhere (Tuscany/Florence perhaps).

How long is the night train to Rome? Can you really get a night's sleep? In the day it's 4.5 hours. Any how are you getting to Paris? Train? Fly?

I once did a 26 day trip to Paris and Italy. From what I remember, the itinerary was: Paris 5 days, Venice 4 days, 4 days with friends exploring the CT and area & Genoa, Florence 5 days, and Tuscany 1 week.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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I hear you!!!Thank you adrienne, you've helped immensly. I will revamp our schedule to spend more days in Venice (4), Tuscany (5) (include Florence 2), CT (2) and probably omit Rome. Provence isn't necessary this trip, just don't want to miss a good winery or two (guess we can do that in Tuscany!) We may just fly to Paris from Italy, or it would be the train again. Any recommendations for Venice, the Tuscany area, CT on where to stay.
snshine is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Can you take a look at this and give input please?
arrive in Rome Oct 19 stay three nights
Go to florence stay 3 nights and then to Venice for three nights.

Hubby wants to rent a car in Rome to drive to Florence and Venice. Is this the best way or is train the only way to go? Will we be able to get train tickets there in October or should I get them ahead of time somehow?
robbiegirl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Hi robbie,

Trains are cheap and reliable in Italy. If all you want the car for is to get to Florence and Venice, I wouldn't. The car will be expensive if you rent for less than a week. Also, you will most likely have to pay for parking in Florence.

Train schedule and ticket information is at You can buy your all of your tickets at the train station at FCO airport.

You can now purchase tickets on line from
ira is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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Ira, we wanted the car to drive from Rome to Florence, around florence and then Florence to Venice. Is it still not worth it?
robbiegirl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Hate to confuse things but I would drop Venice and keep Rome. So much more to see and do in Rome.
McCadden is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Hi Robbie,

I would rent a car to do a week in the Tuscan hill towns (In fact that is what we will do our next trip) but not for what you have described.

You can take the bus or train from Florence to Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca and Pisa.

You can take the No. 7 bus from the Florence train station to Fiesole for the Truscan ruins and a view of the city from the hills.

With only 3 nights in Florence you have, I think, only time for one daytrip.

From Rome, you can visit Orvieto, which is a lovely hil town.

See these threads
Ira?s Trip Report

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ira is offline  
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