Only 7 days in Italy

Old May 5th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Only 7 days in Italy

I am escorting my 80 year old mother to Rome for her 80th birthday in October. She is in pretty good shape for her age. This is her first trip outside the U.S.

Her primary focus is the Vatican and St Peter's. Obviously she would enjoy the ruins as well. I've read many of the other comments already in the Italy forum and they have provided tremendous insight -- thanks to all the contributors.

My question -- considering we only have 7 days total -- is what side trip(s) would you MOST recommend? And what to see/do/stay?

I've considered a trip to Florence and/or Venice as possibilities. Maybe something entirely different? I know she would enjoy a long train ride from Rome so that would not be a limitation.

Suggestions appreciated...thanks in advance
rah1425 is offline  
Old May 5th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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With only 7 days I would suggest only 2 destinations and Florence is the obvious choice--less than 2 hours by train and very walkable. I suggest 2 nites in Florence unless you want a day trip to Siena--then 3 nites.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 03:25 PM
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In 7 days, you are really limited to what you want to see. In Rome, you can easily take the local busses around to different areas of the city. Dependent on where in Rome you are staying, nearly everything is reachable off the #64 line that runs the length from the Termini train station and goes along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele Blvd.

While the Roman forum area seems compact, once there, there are a lot of things to see and walk through. You might consider taking the Archeobus - a get on/get off bus that makes a circuit of all the famous Roman sites, while paying just 1 ticket price for the entire day (~11 euros). The Circus Maximus, for example, might be a little far for your mom to walk to from the Roman forum area, as would the Mouth of Truth. Also, she might want to see the catacombs, located outside the city limits. We took a "Walk of Rome" tour bus that met at the Arch of Constantine and drove us out to San Sebastiano catacombs for the afternoon. The guides were knowledgeable and it was certainly a worthwhile trip.

I would agree with bobthenavigator - take a trip to Florence. It is a must-see besides Rome and is flat, so easy to walk around. You definitely should spend at least 1 day/1 night there to allow enough time to see the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, the Ponte Vecchio bridge, etc.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:09 AM
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Stay in Siena overnight or maybe Venice. Venice was a little bit of a disappointment. Siena was one of our favorites, but you probably would need a car to really enjoy the Tuscany area.

I thought Florence was just a big dirty city.

We loved Rome!!!

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Old May 6th, 2004, 04:53 AM
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Have seen two posts where mnatella refers to Florence as "just a big dirty city". In my opinion and that of many others over many centuries, that is simply not the case. It is no dirtier than Rome and is not very big. It is filled with treasures and, unlike Rome, is very compact and easy to get around. It has the most wonderful food in Italy. By all means go to Florence and if you have time, take a bus to Fiesole, a suburb of Florence, and have lunch overlooking the city - a beautiful sight.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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I am a fan of Florence and have found it to be neither big nor dirty, though a bit crowded. Nevertheless, I'll suggest my beloved Venice, just as a distinct change from the fast paste and demanding sightseeing of Rome. Train ride is about 4.5 hours (you could go in the evening) or the flight is about an hour.

Venice is unique, and the city itself is more memorable imo than any one of the individual sights. Go for two days, I don't think you will be sorry.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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that should have been "fast pace".
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Old May 6th, 2004, 10:28 AM
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Florence is pretty big, and very crowded, some of the worst traffic conditions in Italy, and very bad air pollution problems. They get inversions like LA and Denver.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 06:43 PM
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I just returned from my first trip to Italy, and I suggest you take your mother to Florence. To see "David" is an experience that is difficult to explain. I was there with 2 of my adult children, and we all agreed that seeing David was certainly one of the highlights of our trip.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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Since you are including the Vatican in your trip, I'll just pass on this bit of "news" I got today second-hand from the travel agent of a friend regarding lines at the Vatican. She puts out a newsletter on Europe and appears to be pretty savvy, but I don't have any personal dealings with her. Here's what she has to say regarding the Vatican museums:

<<VATICAN SECURITY- Even with tickets it is now up to two hours to pass through security. At Sunday Mass it is very strict searching. The less you carry the better!!>>

Two hours to pass through security sounds awful to me. I hope you and your mother don't encounter this or find a way around it. Good luck.

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Old May 6th, 2004, 07:13 PM
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We just returned from Rome about 2 weeks ago. We only had stand in a short line to get through the metal detectors, and were able to purchase tickets to the museum in less than 5 mins.
The only lines we saw was the one to walk up into the Dome.
we went on a tuesday, around 11 am.

Maybe we were lucky?
or maybe this person was unlucky?

The only thing is do not walk up to St. Peters on the left side,
one is not allowed to enter from that direction now, as all the metal detectors are on the right side.

You could easily spend all week in rome, and not be bored,
and while we liked Florence, Siena is lovely! and different .

Have a lovley time !
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:28 PM
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I don't have anything useful to add, but WOW! How exciting for an 80-year-old to be going abroad for the first time in her life! And to bella Italia! Have a wonderful trip!
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