Italy for 10 days

Old Oct 10th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Italy for 10 days

Ok, just about to book a 11 day trip to Italy with a girlfriend. Leaving on Nov 4th from Canada and landing in Rome on the 5th

I'd like to get the most out of this trip (museums, cathedrals, scenery and wineries). I'm just starting to plan the itinerary.
Here are some considerations of where we want to go and where we'd like to go
Musts:
Rome
Florence
Winery tour, so I suppose Tuscany is best bet

What else would you suggest:
Milan (fashion show), Cinque Terres, Venice, Naples and Pompeii, Pise, ...

So for those who have travelled Italy, where do you think I must go and what itinerary do you suggest?
Thank you,
Genevieve
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Hello Genevieve. You do mean this November I assume?

I would fly into Rome and stay there first.

Train from Rome to Florence (about a 90 minute train trip) and stay there next. You could take a winery tour while staying in Florence. If you do a search there have been some good recommendations by Fodorite's that have done this.

You could also take the bus from Florence to Siena for a day's visit while still staying in Florence.

You could than either train to Milan or to Venice. I love Milan but most people enjoy Venice more than Milan.

You could than fly home from Venice.

Or, since most flights depart Venice early in the morning you could fly into Venice and than Florence and Rome last and fly home from Rome. I say that as it does not sound like you have yet purchased your plane tickets.

If you chose Milan over Venice you could fly home from Venice.

Personally with 11 days (assume that is 10 nights in Italy) I would only want 3 different hotels maximum.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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This is your first trip to Italy?

I think LoveItaly is right and you should stay in three places: Rome, Florence and Venice. I wouldn't spend your limited time on the winery tour, unless you are really keen on the subject, or go to Siena from Florence. Milan, Cinque Terre, Pisa and Naples are all good destinations for trips in the future when you will have a better idea of what you really want to see.

Getting a good feel for the first three cities will be rich and demanding enough for one visit.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Your flight is obviously already booked. Where do you fly home from? If you fly home from Rome, it might not be a bad idea to continue on from Rome when you arrive to your furthest point and work your way back.

Assuming 10 nights in Italy, maybe 3 nights Venice, train to Florence for 3 nights (do a wine daytrip from there...do a search here for options), train to Rome for 4 nights. That will just barely scratch the surface. You could easily keep it to just Florence (4 nights) and Rome (6 nights) if you prefer that.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Well Genevieve posted "just about to book", perhaps I misunderstood as I thought she was referring to the plane tickets.

Actually if it was my trip I too would stay in Florence 4 nights (take the train to Florence after arriving in Rome) and return to Rome for the last 6 nights if the departure flight is from Rome. But I tend to like a slower pace than a lot of travellers and again since I guess I misunderstood about the plane tickets being booked I made the suggestions that I did. But actually the OP did not state which airport they are departing from to get back to Canada.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Oop, you're right, LoveItaly. I read it quickly and thought it said just booked. Sorry about that...

If they aren't booked yet, definitely fly into one airport and out of another.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Hello SusanP, I am not sure if Genevieve meant she was going to book her plane tickets or rather her hotel rooms, even thought I have reread the original post. Anyway, we are on the same page it seems. Genevieve if you will post back regarding whether or not you have booked your plane tickets it would help us give some more experienced advise.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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Thank you very much for this input. I have not yet booked. I was thinking about arriving in Rome but I haven't checked other cites in Italy. I will be departing from Ottawa, ON or Montreal, PQ. I can also make this a 12 day trip...

I have been in Italy about 15 years ago but on an organized trip through Europe so I barely visited Italy for 4 days (Venice, Florence and Rome).

This time, I definitively want to visit: Rome and Florence and ??? My friend has heard great things about Cinque Terres but I'm not sure if we could include it in our short trip. Plus, I absolutely want to visit a few wineries; therefore, I thought that area might be worth it?

I suppose we'll book hotels or B&B as we go or do you suggest I do that ahead of time?

Once again, all input is greatly appreciated!
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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November won't be a good time for Cinque Terre. You could do a daytrip from Florence to see some wineries. If you want more than one, you might want a private driver. I can highly recommend Luca Garrapa of www.hillsandroads.com. There is also a tour that does a winery that has been recommended a lot here, can't think of the name right now, but maybe somebody else can give the name.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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I agree that you should visit maximum three places,if we are talking of cities like Rome, Venice and Firenze. There is so mucho to do in each of them and to take the pulse of each place that to stay less is like a sin .
One place I loved in my recent visit to Rome that for some reason I had never visited before is the Church of San Clemente, near the Coliseum. This is a remarkable place, this is not another church in Rome, for a 5 euro fee, you can go down and find out the levels, on which this church has been built. This XII century basilica has been built on top of a well perserved IVcentury church, and this one on top of a pagan temple. It is amazing. Also the
Church at ground level is amazing in itself it has a beautiful XII mosaic and much more. Do not miss it.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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Genevieve, I mistyped on my 2:31p.m. post. I meant to type if you decide to go to Milan instead of Venice you can fly home from Milan.

Personally I would book your accomodations rather than trying to find rooms during your trip. I have been in Italy a lot when we didn't but that was due to two month trips so that makes quite a difference. With your time frame I wouldn't want to lose time trying to find a room for the night.
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Perfect. Thank you for your input. Here's our latest info. We'll be in Italy for 12 days now (cause losing 1 day for travelling)

Landing on the 2nd of Nov. in Rome (staying for 4 or 5 nights). Then, taking the train to Florence (4 or 5 nights and while there take a full day road trip to visit wineries-btw Susan, thanks for the suggestion). Then, Venice (2nights) and fly back home from Venice.

Now, next question if I may: Any suggestion where I should stay while in Rome, Florence and Venice? Somewhere close to the action in Rome but something more relaxed in Florence and something else well located in Venice. I don't want to spend my budget on hotels so maybe something nice but reasonnably priced. Any ideas for a B&B in Florence or something really more local and worth trying?

Also, what are visits I MUST do while in these locations (meaning Cathedrals, Museums, etc.)

Thanks again, I'm so glad I can get your input!

Genevieve
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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I won't recommend the hotel that we stayed at in Florence, as the walls were made of tissue paper and the breakfast was abysmal.
In Venice, the hotel Ai do Mori was good. Very central, very easy to find.

http://www.hotelaidomori.com/
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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I would recommend in Fkorence the Hotel Casci and in Rome the Arco del Lauro b&b . Both great and not very expensive.
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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One item about flying into Rome and out of Venice - the planes leave Venice for North America at a very early hour, and I've heard it's a hassle getting to the airport at that time of morning. Any chance you can switch your trip, and fly into Venice and out of Rome?

We recently stayed in Florence (and Venice and Rome, BTW), and stayed in a lovely B&B, Casa dei Tintori. It's close to Santa Croce, but within walking distance of pretty much everything else. The hosts were wonderful, and the B&B is gorgeous. The prices vary depending on the size of the room and time of year, so check their website.

What's your idea of reasonably priced hotels or B&Bs?
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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One time I flew into Venice and out of Rome, and thought that was a perfect plan. Venice is kind of dreamy, so it suits jet lag quite well, and you don't have to jump right in figuring out train tickets, bus routes, car rentals, etc. On the other end, I love the energy of Rome, and a last night out in Rome seems like a great way to end an Italy trip.

Graziella, I visited San Clemente a few years ago, too - what an interesting place! I loved the mosaics (esp the Tree of Life over the altar, I believe) and the mysterious underground temple.

I can recommend these two places in Venice:
www.casamartini.it
small and charming little hotel; it was the family home for generations, and has a real Venetian feel. The owners will send you to out of the way (so out of the way we got lost, but no worries) restaurants and bars filled with locals. It is located near the Jewish ghetto.

Ca'Turelli, booked through:
www.veniceby.com
It is a small B&B, very comfortable (and nice large bathroom) in a convenient Dorsoduro location, on a little canal. Scroll the website under B&Bs and you will find it (and many more options).

In Rome we liked:
www.nicolasinn.com
Owned by an American woman and her Italian/French/Lebanese husband. They are super helpful. We liked the clean and contemporary decor, a surprise to find in this old building on a busy street near the Roman Forum. We found the location convenient for ancient Rome sites and other historical areas, and there were good casual restaurants right there.
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Oh, I missed that you already had booked the flight into Rome. Never mind re: flying into Venice. It's all good!
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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I second Hotel Casci. I love the staff there. Very nice and incredibly helpful. They also have a good breakfast. Decor isn't great, but the rooms are very clean. Also a fantastic location about 2 blocks away from the Duomo.

In Rome, I stayed at Albergo Cesari located near the Pantheon. Walls were a bit thin, but the price was decent, location was great, nice staff, and very good breakfast as well.

As far as must sees, that list could go on and on. If you are into museums, check out the Roma Pass website or you can search Roma Pass on here for more info. In Florence, the two main museums are the Accademia and the Uffizi. I also liked the Bargello, Medici Chapels, and Santa Croce. There's also both the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The markets in both cities, all the piazzas, etc. I'd even list certain gelato places for my 'must see'. The list really could go on and on.
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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We haven't already booked our flights so I will see about flying into Venice and getting back to Canada from Rome. Thank you!

I will check out those hotels/B&B shortly. My idea of reasonalble hotel or B&B pricing is anywhere around $150US.

Now, here's a tough question: What would you say is a must to visit in these 3 cities?

Rome: Vatican city (St-Peters, Vatican Museum), Roman Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, Borghese Gallary, National Museum of Rome.
Florence:
1 day of Winery tour
Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, Bargello, maybe 1 day trip to Siena?
Venice:
Grand Canal, St-Mark's Square and Church of Frari?

What should I skip, what would you suggest I add?
Geneviève
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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Hello Genevieve, since you haven't booked your plane tickets IF you can get a flight arriving in Venice and departing from Rome that would be the best. But if not don't worry about it as many travellers end up departing Italy from Venice but yes, most planes do depart early morning.

You have a nice list for your itinerary.

And SusanP's recommendation for a winery tour was the company I was trying to think of. Good friends used them and loved them and many other Fodorites have also.

If you decide to take a day trip from Florence to Siena do use the bus versus the train as the bus takes you into Siena.

An intinerary is good to have and than once in Italy you can make adjustments depending on your mood, the weather etc.

Do check as to when the various "must do's" are closed. For example the major museums in Florence are closed on Mondays.
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