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Just Returned from Rome and Florence and Happy to Answer Questions

Just Returned from Rome and Florence and Happy to Answer Questions

Mar 28th, 2002, 10:12 AM
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Just Returned from Rome and Florence and Happy to Answer Questions

I plan to write a trip report when things calm down at work but if anyone has any quick questions, I'm happy to help you out. We were in Rome and Florence for the past two weeks and had a great vacation. The weather was gorgeous - sunny everyday and quite warm in Rome. We enjoyed Rome MUCH more than we did Florence, as Florence was packed with tourists and not enough Italians to dilute them.
Stayed at the Pantheon hotel in Rome and the Beacci Tournabuoni in Florence. Both were great for rooms and location. Especially liked the Beacci Tornabuoni.
My one quick piece of advice - stay in a hotel in an area that you want to spend time in. Staying near the Pantheon and spending time wandering the streets of Old Rome and the Campo di Fiori area was wonderful. It was worth every penny to be able to run back and grab a jacket, relax for a few minutes, etc.
As I mentioned before Florence was absolutely packed. If you even think you may want to get into the Uffizi or the Accademia, book your tickets in advance with www.weekendafirenze.com or else you will stand in line for at least an hour (or even worse stand in line then get in which is what happened to others at our hotel).
Mar 28th, 2002, 01:48 PM
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I am sad to hear that you were disappointed in Florence. My husband and I are due to be there in early May. Thanks for tip about the about the Uffizi and the Accademia, we'll be sure to get tickets in advance.

Just curious, how were you received as an american tourist?

I'm looking forward to your trip report.

Thank you. Anne
Mar 28th, 2002, 03:30 PM
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Mar 28th, 2002, 03:54 PM
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Can't wait to read your report, we're going in June. How was the pickpocket situation? A friend went in Oct. and said it was awful, another couple went in Feb. and said they had no problems. I hate money belts and am wondering if it's okay to carry a small purse that lies flat on the front? Thanks!
Mar 29th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Can you tell me more about the Beacci Tornabuoni. I am interested in staying here, but the left photo of the guest room on their website don't seem to do it justice. Also, More importantly, was it traffic very noisy outside of the Beacci? If you liked your room # and can share it, that would be great. Last question: were the rooms fresh smelling vs. musty/smoky? The smoking is hard to avoid overseas, but I'd like to know what your opinion was of how smoky it was at this hotel.

Thanks a million!
Mar 29th, 2002, 08:09 AM
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A few quick answers:
Anne - we never had any problems feeling like we were treated badly because we are Americans. I am sure you will enjoy Florence, it is a beautiful city. We were just hoping for something somewhat less touristy but that does not take away from what Florence itself has to offer.
Gaye - we never had a problem with pickpockets. we did see some people begging but never felt threatened. I think Rome has undertaken an effort to deal with pickpocketers. In waiting for a train at Termini we saw the police asking some unsavory characters to leave the station. Rome is a big city like any other so if you aren't careful (leave your wallet on a counter, etc.) which happens often while traveling and trying to figure things out, then you may have a problem. I just carried a shoulder bag (not a money belt) and didn't have a problem but you should always be careful.
Sarah - The Beacci Tornabuoni was very nice. It is not a super luxury hotel (no hairdryer in the room, small minibar, no safe) but tons of character, sparkling clean and very friendly. Our room was 28 and quite small. THe more expensive doubles were all booked by the time we booked ours. It smelled very clean and all the windows open for fresh air. It was quiet as well.
Mar 29th, 2002, 08:50 AM
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Thanks Sally for the warning on lines in Florence. I have already reserved admission to Ufizzi, but do you think Academia also needs reservation? I am going to florence in April

BTW, you can make reservations by calling up Uffizi or your hotel, costs much less than those websites.
Mar 29th, 2002, 08:58 AM
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Florence can be really annoying and overwhelming when it's too crowded (though even at its worst, I think it is worth visitng). I was there 4 weeks ago (end of Feb./beginning of Mrch) and it was definitely NOT packed with tourists. It will always be a city with visitors, including lots of foreigners(like me), but when I was there a few weeks ago, it was not unpleasantly full of tourists. I was able to get a last-minute hotel reservation at a popular 10-room hotel that is usually booked far in advance. So if you take advantage of winter airfare sales next year, Florence might be a good place to go.
Mar 29th, 2002, 09:11 AM
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The lines for the Accademia were very long when I was there. I would definitely reserve. Especially if you can do it less expensively then on the websites. Even the website only charged about $5 a ticket (a lot considering the ticket itself costs about the same).
Mar 29th, 2002, 11:37 AM
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I agree with Sally...

Rome is much more 'fun' than Florence and far less touristy. See my websight on Rome for some details!

Mar 29th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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How much time should I set aside for Academia if I have reservations? I am not an art afficando, but do appreciate sculptors in general.

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