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Just returned from Rome and Florence - Any Questions?

Just returned from Rome and Florence - Any Questions?

Apr 8th, 1998, 02:08 PM
  #1  
Lori S.
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Just returned from Rome and Florence - Any Questions?


My husband and I just returned from 8 days in Rome and Florence and are willing to answer any questions anyone may have. We found this site to be a great help when planning our trip, and now want to reciprocate.
 
Apr 8th, 1998, 03:27 PM
  #2  
Rudy
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We are traveling to Italy for the first time and will be taking our two younger children. We want to be in Florence and Rome, each, for three days. Hotels seem to have a problem with four people to a room or suite. In Rome we may book at La Residenza. In Florence we have heard from Hotel Brunelleschi, Hotel Berchielli, and J and J. We do not know the hotels or their location. Any comments?
 
Apr 8th, 1998, 04:05 PM
  #3  
Lori S
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Hi Rudy:
I'm not familiar with the hotels you have in Florence, however, it appears that J and J may be a bit out of the main town center. Brunelleschi is just south of the Duomo which puts you in the heart of the city. This can be good and bad, depending on your point of view. Florence (and Rome) are very noisy cities. No matter what you do you do not want a room overlooking the main street. La Residenza in Rome is right off the Via Veneto, and not far from the Spanish Steps. Also, a good area. About a 15 minute walk from the train station (Roma Termini). Again, you want an inside room, not overlooking the street. If you want to spend a little more, we stayed at the Quirinale on Via Nazionale. Our room had a connecting door with the next room which could solve your problem.
 
Apr 8th, 1998, 04:48 PM
  #4  
Sharon
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We are going to Florence mid-May. Have you any suggestions of "must do's" or not do's? I welcome recommended place to eat & see! How easy was it to get around in Florence and what kinds of things did you do at night? Anything else you think might be of help would be appreciated. Thanks again-Sharon
 
Apr 8th, 1998, 09:41 PM
  #5  
Jeff Weissman
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Nice of you to offer assistance! Will be in Florence with 2 teenage dtrs this June staying at the Porta Faenza. Do you know it? Good choice or not? Then we're going to Lucca, staying @ either Hotel Stipino (2-star) or Hotel Universo (3-star). Are you familiar with either of them? Then to Levanto (north of Cinque Terre) but having hard time finding hotel there. Know of any? Or a source of info, esp. email addresses &/or fax #'s. thanks for any help you may have to offer
 
Apr 9th, 1998, 05:01 AM
  #6  
Monica
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My husband and I will be in Rome (and other locations), but not Florence this time. I would love to hear about your trip to Rome, what you saw and did, where you ate. Anything that will add to my planning for our trip. I'll keep an eye out on this posting! Thank you in advance. PS: I plan to do the same for everyone here on this site when I return!
 
Apr 9th, 1998, 11:05 AM
  #7  
Vicky
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Hello. I'm planning to go to Italy during the month of May. I'll be making stops in both Rome and Florence and was wondering how many days I should spend in each place. Also, how much do things cost there? I'll be travelling alone so if you have any tips or advice, that'd be great.
 
Apr 9th, 1998, 01:51 PM
  #8  
kam
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The premier hotel in Lucca is Villa La Principessa just a little bit outside the walls, but quiet and set in lovely grounds, easy parking etc.FAX 011-39-583-379-136. They have connecting rooms too, if you wanted them for your daughters, but they can be a bit pricey--don't know current rates. Universo is well located but we don't know it. Be sure to eat at Buca di Sant-Antonio. Our favorite in Florence is the Lungarno which is on the other bank of the Arno with a view back to the Ponte Vecchio--a little quieter than some. Enjoy.
 
Apr 10th, 1998, 08:11 AM
  #9  
Jeff
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Hotel Berchielli in Florence is very nice. It's located near the famed Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the service is excellent, and the rooms are comfortable.
 
Apr 10th, 1998, 08:11 AM
  #10  
Jeff
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Hotel Berchielli in Florence is very nice. It's located near the famed Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the service is excellent, and the rooms are comfortable.
 
Apr 10th, 1998, 12:25 PM
  #11  
Lori S.
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Hi all,
To answer all the questions posted let me say that a few good web sites we used for hotels are travel-italy.com, romeguide.it, venere.it, and italymarket.com. I would spend at least 4 days in Rome in order to cover all the major sites, and 2 days in Florence. In Rome, make sure that you see St. Peter's, the Vatican Museum (free on the last Sunday of each month), Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, the Roman Forum, St Maria Maggiore, Villa Borghese, Spanish Steps, etc. Take the time to discover the off the beaten path places. We particularly enjoyed walking around Trastevere. We also discovered some beautiful, small churches and squares not mentioned in the guide books. Believe it or not, your best source for a good map is McDonalds. There are 3 types of restaurants in Rome - italian, chinese, and McDs. We found 3 exceptional restaurants in Rome: Abruzzi - near the church Dodici Apostoli - 5 minutes from Trevi fountain; Polese - Piazza Sforza Cesarini - near the Piazza Navonna - in the fodor's guide but also recommended to us by someone who used to live in rome, and LAngoletto - Piazza Rondanini - near the Pantheon. All excellent, and under 100,000 lira with wine and mineral water. The subway system while not extensive is safe and can get you just about anywhere. The bus system is extensive, but be careful of pickpockets. the number 64 bus is the main 'tourist' line as it goes to St. Peter's. In Florence, we mostly walked. Stay away from a restaurant named La Falterona - absolutely awful. A good one is Il Toscano - Via Guelfa. Make sure you see the Duomo, Baptistry, Ponte Vecchio, San Lorenzo, the Uffuzi, and the Dell'Accamedia. Everything in florence costs to get in, change your money in rome as they give better rates and no commision. the Eurostar train from rome to Florence is a good way to go, about $55 per person and you need reservations. Also, best way from airport to Rome is the train which leaves the airport at 10 minutes after the hour and goes to Roma Termini (the main station) and leaves there 20 minutes after the hour. Have a great trip
 
Apr 10th, 1998, 04:49 PM
  #12  
Linda
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You have to try Vivoli's in Florence--their ice cream is world-renowned. It's near the Duomo & just follow the ice cream cups in the trash cans--the more there are,the closer you are. Everything is fresh & excellent.
 
Apr 10th, 1998, 06:16 PM
  #13  
C J
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Lori---Thanks so much for starting this page I have found this forum to be the best. I have one simple question to ask --- Did you shop in Rome and how expensive is their gold compared to ours? Thanks again.
 
Apr 11th, 1998, 08:04 AM
  #14  
Kelly
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So thankful to find this offer! One of the info I'm definitely keen to know but can't find in any guidebooks and web sites is the new opening hours of the museums. Certainly going to visit a few of them in Rome and Florence this May, read that they lengthened their opening hours. It's good news cos most of them are closed in the afternoon. Do you have the info on their new opening hours? Also, wonder what's the performances in May and how to book them. Understand that practically the lower cost places don't accept credit cards, it is that bad? Look forward to your response and thank you!
 
Apr 14th, 1998, 02:03 PM
  #15  
Lori S.
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Message to CJ Re: shopping for gold in Rome. I bought my gold bracelet in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio for $83 US. This was actually the cheapest price for it, as it comparison shopped. There is a store near Santa Croce called the Gold Corner which had decent prices, but to my surprise this particular bracelet was cheaper on the Bridge. I didn't buy any gold in Rome, but I did buy a cameo at a store called the Cameo Corner, Via Principe Amedeo, off of the Via Nazionale, across the street from the Hotel Diana. Much cheaper than in Pompeii and you can bargain with the owner. Also, remember the gold in Italy is 18K as opposed to 14K here. Good Luck!
 
Apr 14th, 1998, 05:31 PM
  #16  
Bob G
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Do you know of any inexpensive english language walking tours in Florence and Rome?
 
Apr 18th, 1998, 03:03 PM
  #17  
Sandi and Tom
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Dear Lori, We are leaving for our first trip to Italy in a week. Will land in Rome and staying there at Casa Santa Brigida, Piazza Farnese. Can we take a bus after we get off at the Stazione Terminale to Piazza Farnese. What is the exchange rate? Where is the best place to get money. Should we get travelers checks or can we get money with a MasterCard ,Bank 1? Do stores and restaurants take Mastercard?
Thank you so much for volonteering to answer questions. I shall try to do the same for someone when we come back after 3 weeks in Tuscany.
 
Apr 19th, 1998, 09:09 AM
  #18  
Lori S.
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Sandy and Tom:
The exchange rate is hovering around 1770 lira to the dollar. Make sure you use a change place that does not charge a commission. They will advertise this. Travellers checks will get a lower exchange rate than cash, so we usually do not use travellers checks. Most all stores and restaurants take Mastercard/Visa. Ask your bank if your ATM card is good for use in Europe. This is better than getting cash advanced on your credit card. We used the Cirrus network and had no problem. Have a great trip!
 
May 1st, 1998, 08:56 PM
  #19  
Tom
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Just returned from Italy myself. My advice on Florence: walk around the Duomo area at night and the Piazza Republica to get the vibe of the city.
During the day, see the Uffizi and Accademia (2nd floor under restoratiion unitl August) in the late afternoon/early evening (hours extended until 10 p.m. for both museums on certain days). Other notable and interesting museums include: science,
archeology, and the Barghello. Also, Vivoli's for gelato is on the way from the Duomo to Santa Croce church. Re: Rome, do see the typical churches, squares, and museums. (Note: St Peter's facade and parts of the Sistine Chapel are under restoration.)
Do see the Trastevere area as cited above - it's certainly off the beaten path. Also, consider walking to the Caracella (sp?) baths and to Rome's pyramid (south of the Colosseum). Lastly, for an extremely different sight, consider seeing the
church of the Cappucine Monks whose basement crypt has rooms decorated with skeleton bones (located on the Via Veneto near Piazza Babberrini).
 
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