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ItalyItinerary breakdown....how does this sound?

ItalyItinerary breakdown....how does this sound?

May 1st, 2003, 08:49 AM
  #1  
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ItalyItinerary breakdown....how does this sound?

I just booked my tickest last night and have went through the Italy books I have been hoarding for over a year. I know this will be pretty generic for you seasoned Italy travelers, but I need some help. I have 15 full days (excluding the day over, and coming back)to visit. My flight lands in Rome the end of September and leaves out of Venice for the return flight in mid October.
First time to Italy. Have been to Amsterdam,and Paris several times. Have driven all across Spain for 18 days. After reading this board, and on the advice of my friend in the Czech Republic, Venice is a must. I definately want to see Rome and am also considering Florence.
I am thinking about a 7-3-5 or a 5-3-7 night mix, Rome-Florence-Venice. I enjoy muesums, ancient history, and just relaxing and enjoying the sights and restaurants, etc,
We have a 18 day action packed trip to Costa Rica coming up in Feb, so I don't want to be exhausted on this one too. I have no problems driving, but it is not a must do either unless I will be missing a lot if I don't. I am definately sold on the Rome/Venice portion, what are the views on Florence, and should I adjust the schedule and go somewhere else instead? I keep reading a lot about Tuscany and all the little towns. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. You guys are the best. Thanks.
Paula is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 08:58 AM
  #2  
 
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Seven days in Venice? It is too much.. How about 7-5-3? Florence is more central, thus it will give you an opportunity to take various day trips to Siena, Pisa, S.Gimigliano, Lucca... etc., Venice is a beautiful city, But frankly I would not want to spend a week there....
have Fun, you are going to love Italy...
Buon viaggio,
kismet
kismetchimera is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 08:58 AM
  #3  
 
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On the assumption that you will not rent a car but will want to take trains everywhere, I'd suggest a bit more variety in your trip without much more effort.
-Five nights in Rome
-Train to Orvieto; 2 easy nights there
-Train to Florence; 4 easy nights there, but a day trip to Siena/Pisa/Lucca/San Gimignano (you pick). I recommend Siena.
-Train to Venice; spend the rest of your time wandering around there.

I think this gives you a little variety, great art, museums, history, and cathedrals, plus a hill town. And unless you are hauling around an inordinately large bunch of suitcases, it should be easy in and out from each place. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:06 AM
  #4  
 
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I second Wayne's recommendation, with a suggestion. ELiminate Orvieto, great as it is, to give yourself reasonable time in the other places. We took the same trip (in reverse)a year ago and it was a fabulous time. San Gimignano is a little more manageable than Siena for a day trip but I, too, would recommend Siena. Whatever you decide, you'll have a grand time.
mamc is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Really Wayne, 2 Days in Orvieto??
kismetchimera is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:31 AM
  #6  
 
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I agree with other posters, 7 days in Venice is too much and actually 7 in Rome would be overkill as well. If you want to experience Italy you have to get out of the big cities. With 15 days I'd spend 4 in Rome, journey on to Cinque Terre area for 3 days, then to Florence for 4 and end in Venice. You can easily take side trips from Florence and the local train in Cinque Terre is fun to take to any of the villages along that stretch of coast. But hey, that's my two cents worth!!!
csroe is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #7  
 
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Try this: 4-5 days Rome, 2 days/1 night in Cinque Terre, 2 nights Florence, all trains. Rent a car leaving Florence and spend 3 nights in the Tuscany region, stay in Siena and explore San Gimignano, Volterra or Montalcino and all around there. Turn in car in Florence probably and hop on the train to Venice for 4 nights. Or leave out the car, stay 4-5 nights in Florence and day trip out on buses or trains. I like the idea of staying in a farmhouse near a little hilltown myself. Have fun!
e_roz is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #8  
 
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Dear Paula:

I would recommend the same itinerary as the previous poster: 4-5 days Rome, 2-3 Cinque Terre, 4 Florence with day trips to hill towns, ending in Venice with at least a 3 day minimum. This will be a leisurly pace and you won't be worn out. Will also get a good taste for the areas visited.

Good luck,
MichelleY
MichelleY is online now  
May 1st, 2003, 09:46 AM
  #9  
RAR
 
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The "perfect" 15 day in Italy itinerary, according to RAR:

5 days in Rome
2 days in Siena (do a daytrip to one of the little Tuscan hilltowns, I liked Montalcino)
2 days in Florence
2 days in Cinque Terre (for those interested in hiking/nature) OR 2 days in Bologna (for those who like food and cities)
3 days in Venice
1 day to get back to Rome and fly out
RAR is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:48 AM
  #10  
 
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I also like Wayne's suggestions, but I would only spend 1 day in Orvieto,& add another day in Florence adding another day trip.
Wayne gave you some good suggestions, Siena is a must.
If you rented a car you could take a tour of some of the local wineries outside of Florence- I will top the post titeled Wineries outside of Florence for you.
I"ll be in Florence in mid Sept as well, if you want any of my restaurants/hotels info. email me at [email protected]
Best of luck
Fluffy
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May 1st, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #11  
 
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Paula-I topped the post on the wineries for you.
Be sure to take the Euro Star train to Venice, you can buy your tickets at the Florence train station a few days before you go, but you must have reserved seats on the Euro Star.
It gets you into Venice in just under 3 hours,I am doing this from Florence, as well.
From the comments on this board, I have decided to go second class, for such a short distance, best advice pack light.
la dolce Italy
Fluffy
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May 1st, 2003, 12:12 PM
  #12  
 
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I just recently discovered this forum and love it! I am not as seasoned as the other travelers, but have been to Italy 3 times -- going again in June this year.

I would recommend the following:
- Venice (3 days)
- Florence (1 or 2 days)
- Tuscany outside Florence (3 days) (rent a car to San Gimignano, Montalcino, Montepulciano & Lucca)
- Cinque Terra (2 days) (haven't been, but have many friends who say it was the best part of their Europe trips)
- Rome (2 days) - don't miss Sistine Chapel
- Amalfi Coast (3 days) (Capri, Ravello, Positano)
- Rome (1 day)
My 2 cents -- Have Fun!!


cheried is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 01:06 PM
  #13  
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You Guys are all sooo great. I just got back from Borders with a couple more books and maps. You all have so many wonderful suggestions and I appreciate them so much. Any other ideas on hotels or lodging? I'm going to have to go pretty cheap, hopefully 100Eur or under, since I originally wasn't going to go until next fall. Hope I don't have a problem finding places to stay. Are there any areas that you would just wing it finding a place to stay upon arrival? (I definately know not to try this with Rome and Venice!) Thanks again.
Paula is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 01:33 PM
  #14  
 
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Paula, we are pulling off 14 nights in late June (high season ) for under 100euro /night average double w/private bath. I did a lot of searching online and this board was very helpful!

Venice-www.hotelgalleria.it $145 for large double, I think $120 for smaller double, all a good deal in Venice and right on the Grand canal

Florence- www.hoteldali.com $75

search www.tuscany.net for affordable places in that region, www.lacrociona.com www.fagiolari.it

www.sangimignano.com for cheap rooms there or www.sangiapartments $65 room

www.cinqueterre.it we rented a room in Riomaggiore for $52/night.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
e_roz is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 01:49 PM
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The above postings go to show you how everyone has a different opinion! I could stay in each of those cities for a month each (for real)! We spent a full week in Rome last fall and it was perfect. To us staying long in a city doesn't mean cram in more~just means we get to take it at a more leisurely pace. My husband doesn't love big cities, but was able to handle the intensity of Rome by staying longer and taking it slower. If you want to not burn out I will make the suggestion to split it up quite evenly so you will have time to savor each city and not feel like you are always packing/unpacking. Maybe I would say Rome for 6 days(considering this is when you will be making the biggest time change adjustment), Florence for 4 days and Venice for 4 days. A longer than the usual stay in Venice would mean you could easily see the major sights plus do an excursion to the other islands in the Venetian lagoon (i.e. Torcello, Burano, Murano) or a nearby town (Verona).
SloPugs is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 01:52 PM
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I forgot to mention if you are planning to mostly staying in the main cities I would stick to trains. They are economical, comforatble and easier and faster (usually) than driving. If you want to take an excursion in the countryside you could rent a car for a day or 2. I've done the train/car thing in all combinations. Cars are usually more trouble than they're worth in big cities (traffic, parking). I save longer car rentals for "Road trips) between small towns/countryside driving.
SloPugs is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 04:51 PM
  #17  
 
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i agree with slopugs. stick to the big three, because i guarantee you'll be back.
and while i just spent 8 days in venice, and could have stayed longer, i would say your longer stay should be in rome.
your interests in museums, history and relaxing will be more than fulfilled in rome, and florence has beauty and renaissance art that will keep you busy for quite a while.
and i can't think of anywhere more beautiful or serene than venice, a great place to end your stay for a few days.
iluvitaly is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 06:26 PM
  #18  
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Thanks so much. Wonderful ideas you all have. I've been going through hotel comments on the board all nite I must have 50 pages printed out.(inc. things to see too) I am thinking I may have to stay an extra day in Venice to get to Murano and the likes. I would love to buy a piece of glass there. Thanks everyone!
Paula is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 08:52 PM
  #19  
 
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Well, Paula this is definitely the place to ask and receive a ton of great advice. Can't say that I disagree with any of it...except, save Cinque Terre for another trip and while I think remaining with the big three is excellent advice--I still think the side trip from Rome to Orvieto is a great idea. I found the town really came alive after the passagiata in the evening hours. It was quiet, friendly, and I got to know some people there, just by spending an extra day. The stroll around the walls, La Rocca, the Luca Signorelli frescoes in the duomo, the small museum...you could do this as a daytripper, and enjoy yourself, or you could spend a night and leave mid-day the next day and really get a better sense of the place.
I'm also a huge fan of Venice, and think the islands, the churches (where a wealth of great art resides), the Accademia and the Guggenheim alone...well, there's a relaxed week on its own. If you want to get to know a place, a big chunk of time wandering there is an excellent way to do it.
Rome. I always end up spending an extra day in Rome because it is amazing. The bustle, everything you're looking for is in this one town.
Florence--well, if you like museums you have everything right here (includin one of my faves the Museum of teh history of Science), and you won't be in the super crowded summer season when many folk come home really disliking it. And it is an excellent spot to jump off to visit Siena or other great towns.
But you seem to be quite the traveller, and I know you'll go back so do the short hops, relax and soak it in.
Bottom line...6/Rome(including my one night in Orvieto!), 4 or 5 Florence, remainder in Venice. But hey, peruse the books and see what you must see and you'll make a great decision for yourself.

Hotels--
I love La Calcina in Venice-you can find it in a lot of guides. Also Albergo Guerrata-wonderful people, close to Rialto, but can be noisy in the morning as it's near the market. Albergo Doni is fun and inexpensive and close to San Marco. I tend to stay in Castello or Dorsaduro, but for your first trip, you may want to be closer to the action.
Rome, i like Albergo Abruzzi because there's nothing like opening your shutters in the morning and facing the Pantheon!
Florence, I usually stay Oltra Arno, which is not the thick of it unless you want to be a bit away from the touristed area. Part of the fun of the first trip is meeting tourists from all over and sharing our rapture!

I would make only one change, which you can't now, but bear in mind for next trip. It gets cooler towards mid October (our first trip was exactly the same time), and while you will probably remain very temperate the entire trip, next time go north to south and you'll keep the warmer weather ahead of you!

Finally, visit www.trenitalia.it and you will be able to plot out what trains you want to shoot for before you even leave. It will also give you the ride durations and costs. Bear in mind, for the Eurostar, you must reserve a seat and make that train. The next fastest is the IC line; if you reserve a particular seat (which I'd rec. for the Florence/Venice leg-it can get really crowded) you must make that train. There's a small surcharge to do that. Otherwise, you can purchase an open ticket, but you may have to stand or hover in the hallways as it will still be crowded among teh big three journeys.
Unless you're doing rome to Orvieto, which is around 20-30 minutes no matter what train you're on, steer clear of the Diretti (not at all direct)
sorry rattled on-I got taken away by the idea of 15 days in Italy! Buon viaggio!
loislane17 is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 08:00 AM
  #20  
ira
 
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Hi Paula,

You can spend your whole trip in Venice and not be bored. You can also find B&B's and hotels in the city for about 100E/night.

However, I would go with 5 nights Rome, 5 nights Florence (with day trips) and 4 nights Venice.

Have a wonderful trip.
ira is offline  

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