March Travel -Rome/Florence: First time

Feb 18th, 2007, 07:48 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
So sorry, you know I am in the same boat, I shall be in Florence three nights,also coming and going back to Rome.
Only difference will be we are going in the first week of March. I might have used it had I known earlier, now I do wish to reshuffle my trip. Good luck.
Graziella5b is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 252
Hi Miz

Because of the time change and my desire to be up and about early, I was usually out of the hotel by 7:30. I really enjoyed seeing the town come to life and many museums and churches opened at 8. I usually spent my day seeing as much as I could and ate a slightly later leisurely lunch. Many sights were opened late and I was usually sightseeing until 7 or so. This combined with all the walking meant I was in bed earlier than usual.

There is only one thing I do differently when I travel alone. I do not like to eat dinner by myself in a restaurant. This is especially true in Italy where the service is slow and the dinners are long. In Florence, I sometimes had a piece of piazza from one of the many take away place or I ate at a nice little cafeteria by the Doumo. Every night I made of point of it to have some gelato. I also walked the town people watching. I never was bored or felt lonely.

To answer one other question in your original post regarding the bathroom, all museums have bathrooms although not all churches. There is also a department store Coin that is centrally located. I used their bathroom a few times. Also, the Davanzati is very centrally located and if worse came to worse you could always return to the hotel. This wasn’t necessary for me but I did return to the hotel on occasion to drop off purchases or my coat if the weather turned nice. If you have any other questions, let me know. Have a great trip.
roadlesstraveled is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:37 PM
  #23  
miz
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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So posting this question to others who have travelled to Florence solo:

(Female)Tell me how did you spend your evenings/nights where were you able to go & what did you do?

roadlesstraveled...thanks for your reply
miz is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #24  
E_M
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Oh OP, I realize this is new to you, but trust me. Don't worry. Relax. The best advice I can give upon leaving the airplane is to just follow everyone else.

I went to Italy with horrible stress-related ezcema on my hands and left with smooth palms and fingers.
E_M is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 06:08 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Roadlesstraveled gives good advice. However, you can buy your ticket for Rome-Florence at the FCO train station when you buy your ticket for the Leonardo Express. This may save you a little time.

It's difficult to predict how long the arrival procedure might take. We arrived at 7:30am, and were buying train tickets at the FCO station by 8:25, which meant we could get the Leonardo Express a few minutes later (they run every half hour) and catch the 9:30 ES to Florence. Arriving at about 11:00am, our hotel was a short walk, so we were in our room beofre 11:30am.

However, I've heard some horror stories about waintg for luggage at FCO that could add an hour (or more) to this schedule.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:19 AM
  #26  
miz
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ok thanks now what about luggage locks travelling to Europe?
miz is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 07:38 PM
  #27  
miz
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Only have Fri aft, Sat, Sun, leave Mon AM so trying to plan.

I will arrive Fri mid-day and leave Mon AM how should I should I plan my visit to these 2 places....Uffizi and the Accademia (reserving via hotel). I am thinking see them on Sun.

I assume my arrival day of Fri will be mainly an orientation day. I expect to be there in the aft. Should I do them both Sun AM and leave Saturday for other sites & shopping etc that may be closed Sunday?
miz is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 07:16 PM
  #28  
miz
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bmp
miz is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 08:38 PM
  #29  
miz
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roadslesstraveled -

when you stayed at the Davanzati did you use the hotel safe?
miz is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 01:26 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Hi, miz -

IMO you should try not to put your visits to the uffizi and accademia on the same day. The uffizi could easily take you most of a day [min a whole morning] especially if there is a specail exhibition on. When we were there it was Leonardo, and it was a whole visit by itslf!

We made that mistake last year; we had an early slot at the uffizi [8.30 am] and a 2.30 pm slot at the accademia, and really, it was quite a rush to see the uffizi properly, have some lunch, and walk to the accademia [allow 30 minutes].

The accademia is really only David and the musical instruments - so an hour should do it.

Best option is to get early slots on two different days - you'll have plenty of time to do other things on the accademia day, and you won't wamt to do anything else much on the uffizi day.

Good luck!

Regards, Ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 05:00 AM
  #31  
miz
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more questions:
is there tax on the hotel rooms?

do you leave a tip in your hotel room forthe cleaning staff when you leave?
miz is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 05:55 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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No additional tax is added to hotel prices. As in restaurants, the price posted includes the tax.

I never use the hotel room safe for fear of forgetting to retrieve the important item that required such security before I leave. I also don't travel with anything particluarly valuable.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 05:30 PM
  #33  
miz
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Ok Uffizi and Accademia booked. Uffizi for Sun AM & Acaademia for Sat AM.
miz is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 04:21 AM
  #34  
miz
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Getting down to the wire now. I leave one week from today. Wow!
Ok..more questions: Plse bear with me...


1.Shopping for a piece of luggage this weekend any suggestions/styles/size etc?


2.'What things are "good buys" while I am there? Where to find them?


3. What is a "must buy"?


4. What have you found to be the best souvenirs to bring back to folks?


5. What has been your experience in shipping items back to the USA?


6. What would you suggest I add to this itinerary?

Arriving Rome Fri AM ffrom USA (train from Rome to Florence)
-reservations for Sat AM Accademia & some shopping
-reservations for Uffiz Sun AM
-Leave for Rome Monday

7. What misc items were you happy you took on your trip?
("glad I thought of that " things)

8. Need to meet people arriving from the USA at Rome (FCO)airport Monday. Where is the best "meeting location" in the airport?


9. Does it make sense to buy 1st class on the train trip from Rome to Florence?



Thanks
miz is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:11 AM
  #35  
 
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1.Shopping for a piece of luggage this weekend any suggestions/styles/size etc?
I would stick with a 22-inch rolling case and a shoulder bag that can slip over the pull-handle of the 22-inch case. These two smaller bags will be easier to manipulate on your own.

4. What have you found to be the best souvenirs to bring back to folks?
For souvenirs many enjoy the open-air markets near San Lorenzo or Mercato Nuovo in Florence. There are many diffferent carts offerings leather goods, silk scarves and ties, souvenirs . . . Rome doesn't seem to have a similar market.

My thoughts about a "good" or "must" buy
= You must like it.
= You can't get it at home.
= You will keep thinking about at home if you don't buy it.

6. What would you suggest I add to this itinerary?
Plenty of wandering, sipping coffee, and gelato.

7. What misc items were you happy you took on your trip?
My small down travel pillow

8. Need to meet people arriving from the USA at Rome (FCO)airport Monday. Where is the best "meeting location" in the airport?
Can't you meet in Rome?

9. Does it make sense to buy 1st class on the train trip from Rome to Florence?
Only if you feel you need more room and are wlling to spend the extra money for it. Second class ES is more comfy than coach class on airplanes.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 11:18 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I like ellenem's reply on what is a "good" or a "must" buy. I've been to Florence twice. The first time, I admired the beautiful leather gloves of many colors in the shop windows (selling for about 25 euros). When I got home I regretted not buying any.

The second time I went, I bought 2 pairs (1 orange, 1 pea green). When I got home and winter came around I regretted not buying more (for myself, for Christmas gifts, etc).

My son is flying to Italy today and I've asked him to buy me another pair of gloves in Florence -- his choice of color.

So, I guess I would say that leather gloves, for me, are a "must buy"!

The only thing I have had shipped from Italy is a large glass vase that I bought in Murano and had shipped from a reputable store. After 2 1/2 months I wrote a note to the store asking where it was. It eventually arrived, 3 months after I returned home, with a note of apology about it the delay.

Have a great trip!
aprillilacs is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 11:23 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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On a short train trip 1st and 2nd class are about the same except that with reservations in 1st class it's less likely some odd person will wander over and sit next to you.
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 03:57 AM
  #38  
miz
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Ok Thurs is fast approaching.
Got the luggage - I bought a 21" riller Diesel bag with lots of compartments and it is expandable.
Reservations are made at the museums. Got my travel insurance with TravelGuard. Hotel reservations are made.
Is there anytime besides clearing customs that I will be expected to show my passport?

Any issues with dining along at night?

Need to know about using luggage locks and what type to buy?

Are all credit cards excepted and how much did you use your credit card?







miz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 04:04 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
You will have to show or surrender passport at each hotel.

I never had an issue with dining alone. Enotecas are a great choice for that.

I use TSA locks these days and bring another combination lock for my bag at the hotel to lock specific compartments.

Credit cards are not accepted everywhere. I use my ATM card for cash and bring a VISA and AMEX.
kfusto is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:21 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,169
I use very-well-twisted twist ties on my luggage instead of locks. Easy for the TSA people to remove, easy for me to replace, still a deterrent to thieves who want to work quickly, and a signal to me that the bag hasn't been tampered with.

In Italy, you are required by law to register your presence with the local police. The hotel takes care of this for you when you first arrive. Sometimes they make a quick copy of your passport, sometimes they hold your passport briefly to record the data.

I agree with kfusto about the credit cards. I try to use them whenever possible, but don't expect them to be everywhere. Also, some hotels will offer a discount for a cash payment, so you must decide if that has any appeal.
ellenem is offline  

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