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147747 Mar 8th, 2009 02:14 PM

Need help with Italy
This will be our first trip to Italy. We can use hotel points to stay in Rome. Is Rome worth a week or less? Are we missing out on visiting Tuscany and Siena? Hopefully, with a better economy, we can visit again Thanks

bobthenavigator Mar 8th, 2009 02:24 PM

I do not understand--do you only have a week?
if so, stay in Rome and do a day trip by train to Orvieto.

147747 Mar 8th, 2009 02:34 PM

We can add more time; however, we are trying to be cost efficient by using our points to stay in Rome. We can change our itineray if it doesn't make sense to only visit Rome. That is why I'm asking as this is our first trip, are we missing too much by only staying in Rome and how many days do we need to see Rome. We're open to all suggestions and possible itineries. Thanks

ebcutler Mar 8th, 2009 03:01 PM

A first trip to Italy is very special!

On our first trip to Italy we went ONLY to Rome for 9 days(we are an older couple)and felt we could have stayed much longer). From Rome you can make a LONG day trip to Pompeii; you can make a much easier day trip to Tivoli to see Hadrian's Villa and the Ville d'Este.

Rome can be exhausting. Lines can be long at the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel and climb the dome of St. Peters. The more time you have, the more relaxed you can be.

Scala Reale, which now calls themselves "Context" gives marvelous tours. You don't need to do more than one, but we really enjoyed the tour of the ancient city.

Finally, there are parks (Villa Borghese), gazillions of fascinating churches (my favorite is the Church of the Capuchins on the Via Veneto with its elaborate Rococo desigss made from the bones of the deceased monks), and so many neighborhoods. The area of the Trastevere, the side of the Tiber where the Vatican is located, is a delight.

I know that many feel the urge to take in as much of a country as possible, but a week spent really exploring one city like Rome can't be beat. Besides, do not underestimate the amount of time spent unpacking, packing and traveling from place to place.

By the way, I don't know what you plan to do about accommodations, but I personally swear by apartment rentals. You have a kitchen, often laundry machines, everything you need. You aren't tied to restaurants and you can make your time your own. And in my experience, a rental is less costly than a hotel.

If I can help, write me at [email protected]

bobthenavigator Mar 8th, 2009 04:03 PM

After 14 trips to Italy we are going back in Sep for 3 more weeks. It takes that long.
I did not set foot in Rome until my 8th trip to Italy--then it was a week. It takes that long.
Come back once you decide how much time you do have. I have several 2 week itineraires I will be happy to share. Oh yes, plan your first 3 trips now since you will return.

TuckH Mar 8th, 2009 04:14 PM

>> We can add more time; however, we are trying to be cost efficient <<

Adding more time automatically makes your trip more cost efficient. With the air fare being a constant, the cost per diem decreases the longer you stay.

If at all possible you should complement your stay in busy Rome with something quite different. For example, add in Tuscany and/or the Amalfi Coast and/or Venice.

With a better economy, you'll be back for more - as Bob says, there are many attractions to Italy and you'll only be scratching the surface this time...

kybourbon Mar 8th, 2009 06:47 PM

Which hotel points are you trying to use?

jetsetj Mar 8th, 2009 07:01 PM

If you are flying across the pond, stay as long as possible.
This is being frugal.

Rome deserves as much time as you can give her. I have been 3 times and always want more. Find a centrally located apartment. You want to be right in the middle of everything.
Campo di Fiore area is my favorite.

Personally, I like to mix city and country with each trip.
If time permits, Maybe you can take a daytrip outside of the city.

Let us know exactly how many days you will have in Italy, then we can advice better.

SanCrz Mar 8th, 2009 07:40 PM

We have been in Rome at least 7 times and have only seen the surface! We like to stay near the Pantheon as it is, to us, central for walking. The Context tours that are mentioned above are really good since the maximum number on each tour is 6. These tours are a really good way to start to see Rome; reservatons can be made ahead and if the date they give on their website doesn't agree with what yuou need, contact them as they will try to meet your needs. We have done this, and they have been very accommodating.

Sienna needs lots of time. is a good guide for that area. Luca is very fluent in English and has good suggestions about restaurants in Sienna.

Pompeii is, as stated above, a full day's tour.

Weeks can be spent in each area.

147747 Mar 10th, 2009 03:16 PM

We were able to get 5 nights in May with our hotel points. I'm not sure if this enough time to see Rome. I'm fairly sure it is not. Since reservations with points are hard to come by, would you recommend the 5 nights and do another trip or venture out of Rome for a few more days? Can we get a good feel for Rome in 5 days. We would be in the Vio Veneta area. Thanks very much.

bobthenavigator Mar 10th, 2009 03:36 PM

Yes, 5 days is good !
The train to Florence is only 1:40--spend some more time there with a day trip to Siena.

147747 Mar 11th, 2009 02:29 PM

We have 5 days in Rome at the Marriott the Via Veneta area. If we want to Florence for a few days, should we train it or rent a car? I heard that Siena is wonderful. Can we get ther from Florence without a car? How many days would you recommend in Florence? Finally, any recommendation on hotels in Florence and can we train it back to Rome's airport. Sorry for all the questions; however, this is our first time and I'm trying to surprise my wife with this trip as an anniversary present.

jetsetj Mar 11th, 2009 02:42 PM


You are a dear to try and plan for your DH.
5 days in Rome sounds great.

How many more days do you have in Italy?

TuckH Mar 11th, 2009 03:07 PM

Correction : DW

147747 Mar 11th, 2009 03:45 PM

Witout getting too personal, I lost my job 2 years ago and my wife has been great on watching the money going out. I used to travel very often..over 90% of the time. That's why I'm using my Continental and Marriott points. We haven't taken a real vacation in years and I know she always wanted to see Italy. So, I'm looking to get to get the best bang for the buck without being cheap and aware of funds. Our time is open, our funds are somewhat limited. To answer your question, we could probably add a few days. Thanks

147747 Mar 13th, 2009 01:52 PM

All the suggestions are very much appreciated. If we decide to continue to Florence can you recommend any nice hotels. Can we take a train fron Florence to Siena and back? I would guess that we could take a train back to Rome's airport from Florence. What we don't want to do is try and see everything quickly as we have in previous trips. Based upon what I've read, there will be more trips in the future. Is Florence pushing it and should we just try and enjoy Rome for 5 days. Thank you all.

Henry Mar 13th, 2009 02:05 PM

Between Florence and Siena the bus is better. See
The Siena train station is about 2km from the center, the bus station is in town. The Florence train and bus stations are very close.
The train from Florence to Rome airport probably won't work for a morning flight.


kybourbon Mar 13th, 2009 02:05 PM

Between Siena and Florence you want to take the bus (70 minutes). You could train, but you would have to take a bus from the Siena train station to the old town. The bus drops you in the center. You catch the bus near Florence SMN train station and they run hourly except on Sundays. Make sure you take the one that doesn't stop in San G as that is the slow bus. The bus schedules are on Siena Mobilita.

If you want to travel to Siena from Rome, you can use the Sena bus.

What is your hotel budget and are you planning to stay in Florence or Siena?

147747 Mar 13th, 2009 03:24 PM

I thought of staying 3 days in Florence and doing a day trip to Siena if this makes sense. Thanks.

annhig Mar 13th, 2009 03:42 PM

hi 147747,

for what it's worth, IMO you deserve a nice rest in the countryside after the hustle and bustle of rome. don't try and do Florence as well - there's no chance you'll take it all in at one go.

why not rent a flat in an agriturismo in umbria after Rome? -it'd be a lovely contrast and May is a great time to be in the italian countryside.

regards, ann

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