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Itineraries for Rome / Florence / Venice...Thoughts?

Itineraries for Rome / Florence / Venice...Thoughts?

Old Jul 29th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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Itineraries for Rome / Florence / Venice...Thoughts?

Okay, I've got a month to go till I leave for Italy (first trip) and I'm trying to confirm my "itinerary" for Rome, Venice and Florence. (Please read "itinerary" loosely, as I want plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere.) Please let me know your thoughts - and thanks!
Rome: Aug 31: Arrive at 7:30 am on Sunday
- St Peter's and Vatican (is there a mass?)

Rome: Sept 1:
- Palatine Hill, Colosseum, Pantheon

Rome: Sept 2:
- Day trip to Pompeii
- Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps (night)

Florence Sept 3:
- Santa Croce Church / Leather School
- Shopping
- Piazza Michaelangelo (sunset)

Florence Sept 4:
- Duomo, Uffizi, and Accademia

Venice Sept 5:
- St Mark's Square & Basilica, Campanile, Bridge of Sighs

Venice Sept 6:
- Murano, Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge

Venice Sept 7:
- Regatta Storica, Shopping

Rome Sept 8:
- walk / soak in atmosphere, ??
kwn333 is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2003, 06:22 PM
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Very unrealistic; you'll never be able to 'soak up the atmosphere' at that pace. You're overreaching. Where is the time needed to get from city to city?

This being your first trip (there will be others I assume), concentrate on Rome and its environs. There's plenty to do and see in your 9 days, believe me!
TuckH is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:42 PM
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I'll offer a slightly less critical opinion. It's not too bad. You have intentionally left Rome out, for the most part. The worst part is that you may feel like you never want to return to Rome. Rome is VERY "intense" and it takes clost to 72 hours to learn to appreciate its multi-layered, chaoptic and noisy rhythms and sounds. I have been with folks on 48 hours or less in Rome and they were as put off as they were awed.

I assume that your flights already require you to fly back home from Rome. Unfortunate, that's a wasted four hours returning from Venice to Rome.

But allocation of time to get from R to F to V is not such a problem. Many firstime travelers to Italy visit the "big three" in 9 days (or less). It's only 95 minutes from R to F, and 2.5 hrs from F onward to V.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:18 PM
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1) Everyone has/develops their own travel style and pace. Personally I never use an itinerary of any sort. I can only comment on Venice where I spent 5 days (twice, separate trips) and simply wandered thru town. I saw about half of what you listed just poking around, both using a map, but more often getting blissfully lost.

2) Don't overlook the effort and time it takes to change cities. Although these aren't hugely long train trips, each city change is the same drill (check out of your hotel, taxi/bus/walk to train station, train trip, taxi/bus/vaporetto/walk to new hotel, check in). I'm not saying this is difficult and may go smooth, but it does take a good chunk out of each of three of your days.
suze is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 03:53 AM
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I can only comment on what you have planned each day in Florence and Venice and IMHO, you are leaving plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere in those two cities. Places are much closer together than they appear on maps.

We just returned and did more than you have planned each day, and were still done with touring by the afternoon, with plenty of time left for shopping and cafe sitting.

Good luck.
Statia is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 04:27 AM
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Hi kwn,

Its a doable itinerary. I would just ask, "how important is Pompeii"?

I would suggest adding a day to Florence or Rome, instead.
ira is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 05:59 AM
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I agree with those that think your trip is manageable. Unless Pompeii is very important to you, another day in Rome would help. Rome is widespread and more difficult to navigate than Florence and Venice so you will need time to get from place to place. In Venice, I would definitely try to include the church of the Frari.
mamc is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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We did Pompeii and thought it was out of this world. I would highly recommend doing Pompeii, but it will be an all day trip. Walking through the ruins (completely), will take you about 4 hours. If you are driving, it takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get there (that is adding in "getting lost" time). I would definately add more days to Rome....there is soooooooo much to see.
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Why, oh why, journey to a foreign land only to rush around and, then before you know it, return home again? In a short time the trip will be one big blur.

I agree with Suze and I like her use of the term "gettting blissfully lost". The heck with a rigid timetable! Being on holiday is NOT having to check your watch all the time, like getting to and from your job everyday.

Did I read it right, that you "want plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere"? Do you want to enjoy this fine meal or do you want to gulp down your food?
TuckH is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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I don't think your list in unrealistic at all, as long as you have reservations for the art galleries in Florence. Just be flexible. You may encounter a long line to get into the Duomo in Florence. You will see the Bridge of Sighs if you take the Doge's Palace tour. You will see the Rialto bridge if you take a vaparetto ride down the Grand Canal. We found the Rialto area to be the least attractive and preferred Dorsudoro and Castello. Look for my trip report, "Familiar Sites-Fresh Reviews." It's not done yet, but will cover the same places you will be visiting.
Lina is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 10:30 AM
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I assume like Rex you have deliberately left little time for Rome, but again I agree with Rex that, as discussed here before, Rome and many large cities are far from at their best in August (or early Sept) due to heat and crowds.
Rome is demanding even in cooler weather because as said, it is spread out, busy and noisy. You will have little or no time to soak up atmosphere there, or find the quiet, out of the way streets and pleasant neighborhoods.

The Vatican Museums are not open on most Sundays--there are some special summer hours, but I'd check to make sure about the Sunday.

I have files on your cities; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 11:33 AM
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Hi, kwn333.

For Rome, instead of the out-of-town trip to Pompeii, plan a walk around town and visit other local sites at a leisurely pace.

For Florence, be sure to make advance reservations for the Uffizi and Accademia. If you don't linger at either (and you won't, unless you are an art history afficiando), then try a visit to the Medici Pitti Palace and its Bobli Gardens.

For Venice, for 9/6, reserve the Secret Intineraries tour at the Doge's Palace in advance and do that first. The ticket includes you own tour of the Palace, which you can do before or after the guided Secret Intineraries tour. Then, catch one of the many free boat rides to Murano. Walk around Murano, then catch the vaporetti to Burano. Upon your return, take the vaporetti that stops at Fondamenta Nova and walk from there to the Rialto Bridge.

If you have time in Venice, also walk across the Accademia bridge and walk to and visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum.

Have fun!
dflawyer is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 01:17 PM
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how far a walk is it from the fondamente nuova stop to the rialto bridge? My hotel is between them and upon arrival from the airport I was thinking of taking the aliguna to the fondamente nuova stop and walking to the hotel. Thanks.
eschule is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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Wow! Thanks for everyone's comments! To answer a few concerns / questions: Pompeii was very important on my list, so I really want to keep the day trip in the itinerary.
I agree with your assessment of Rome, as we probably won't get a chance to "soak up the atmosphere" in Rome because it is huge and there is so little time. I just want to make sure I hit the main sites in Rome, and make plans to return again. I live in Detroit, which is pretty fast paced, so I am hoping I will like Rome's chaos.
If we don't get to see a site for some reason, (any city), then we'll have to make plans to return! (Darn) ;-)
I'm just happy to be going!! Thanks again for all of the great feedback! KWN
kwn333 is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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To eschule - it's about a 15 minute walk from FN to Rialto. Make sure you have a map before you do the walk.

To kwn333 - I would do the Trevi and Spanish Steps on Sept 1. I think you'll be beat after a day trip to Pompeii and may not enjoy the atmosphere as much.

Sept 3 in Florence - that's a very light day. I would take one of the museums from Sept 4 and do it on Sept 3 so you're not on sensory overload. Are you going into the Duomo museum as well?

Things to add in Florence if you have time and energy: San Marco museum, Bargello museum, Medici Chapel.

While you're at Pza Michelangelo see the minareto, it's just a couple of minutes away.

Venice - entrance to the bridge of sighs is from inside the Doge's Palace. Check out the Secret Itinerary tour of the Palace - must book ahead.

Have a great trip!
adrienne is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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Eschule -
I think that walk is more like 20-30 minutes, and a good map is necessary. However, I would not do it with luggage because their are many small bridges, and steps up and down each bridge, along the way.

dflawyer is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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In my opinion, that is waaaay too much. Usually, when I read someone's itenerary and they have every single day planned, it is much too busy. You'll be exhausted and need a vacation when you return.

You're going to arrive in Rome at 7:30am and then spend the day seeing St. Peter's and the Vatican? Where are you arriving from? If it's from the U.S., you'll be too tired. Day 2 is next to impossible unless you're only going to be at Pompeii for a couple of hours, then why go? I'd drop Pompeii and spend time in Rome.

Your "plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere" will be a few minutes.

MarkY is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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I don't think it's too much. But leave time to wander of course. Haven't been to Rome but regarding the other 2:
Florence- add Boboli Gardens/Petit Palace if possible. IT's a very easy city to walk around, we liked the side West of the Arno river actually. The Duomo only had a line first thing in the a.m. Accademia can be done fairly quickly compared to some musuems, make advance reservations.
Venice-get a 24 hr vaporetto pass and bounce around, it's also a great way to cool off. We liked the Gregorian mass at San Giorgio, 8am daily I believe. I second seeing the CHurch of the Frari and the market by the Rialto bridge. Again, the only time there was a long line for the church was first thing when it opened. (we were there earlier this month!)
Have fun! It's amazing!!
e_roz is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2003, 11:54 AM
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I have been through a similar itinerary and you will find that there are a few things you can combine and have a little more time to get lost. I would flip day one and two, St Peter's and the Vatican is a lot to take in and you will be wiped out. On the first day see the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Senate then make your way over toward Piazza Navona, have a meal or drink outside, visit the Pantheon and grab some gelato from giolotti's (sp?). It's a lot of walking, but the Vatican is SO rich in details. Get up early after a good rest and go to Vatican City. Spend the rest of the day wandering from the spanish steps down via veneto to trevi fountain.

That is not a lot of time in Florence, it is such a great city. Everything is very close, walking distance. I hope you find the Ponte Vecchio and spend some time there around sunset.

Venice - most of the "sites" you listed are a lot closer together than you think. Make sure you visit Dorsudoro area and I would not recommend a map. There are plenty of signs guiding you toward the tourist areas. It is nice to wander through the streets. You will be amazed at what you discover at each turn.
travel2k3 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2003, 02:59 PM
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I think this is very doable and you will still have time to absorb alot. We arrived in Rome about 11:30 AM and after checking into our hotel and freshening up we were off again by 2:00. Taxied straight to the Spanish Steps, wandered around the streets there stopping for a glass of wine then walked to the Trevi Fountain for our Kodak moment; found our way to the Pantheon and on to the Piazza Navonna where, surprisingly enough, it was time for another glass of wine. I was surprised that these sites were all within walking distance and it couldn't have been that hard of a walk because we are not "walkers". I have to admit we didn't examine every stone of the Pantheon but we weren't rushing either. We did a 4 hr Scala Reale tour of the Vatican and St. Peters which, for us, was enough time. Plus we walked from the Campo Fiori to the Vatican Museum entrance and then walked back to Piazza Navonna afterwards. Although, that wasn't by choice, we couldn't find a cab. Florence and Venice are very walkable. It probably all depends on how in depth you get with each of the sites you are visiting. For us, after seeing the Vatican Museum, we found the Uffizi to be disappointing and were able to get through there in just over an hour.
lm is offline  
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