Order of Cities; Places to Stay

Old Feb 27th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Order of Cities; Places to Stay

Thanks to the help of everyone posting, I've decided to go to 3 places for 4 days each. I'd like your help on the order I should go between Rome, Venice and Tuscany. I'd like to minimize the tranportation time and maximize the sightseeing. I may be able to swing a flight into Rome/out of Venice or into Venice out of Rome, but what would you recommend if I had to fly in to and out of the same city.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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This is very similar to an answer I just gave, and things I have said here many times before. I would recommend Florence (or Tuscany countryside) first. And maybe subtract one day from Venice to add to Tuscany, if you want to save a little money.

In general, I recommend NOT putting Rome first, unless you are already a "big cities" person - - it can be quite an adjutment when you first arrive because Rome is so "intense" - - the sights, the sounds, the scooters, the people and traffic. And Venice deserves your full enjoyment - - hard to have when you are fatigued with the sleep loss from the trans-atlantic flight and time zone adjustments of the first day or two.

This might not be entirely consistent with your "minimize transportation time" objective - - because it inherently involves covering the Rome-to-Florence distance (95 minutes) twice, but I still think it would be a good idea.

You can't fly trans-atlantic non-stop into Florence (or larger nearby airport Pisa), but you an get there with a connection in Rome, Milan, London, Paris, Frankfurst, etc.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 06:31 AM
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actually, I'd recommend making sure that you fly into one and out of the other, even if it means using one of the European airlines that will require a change of plane in a hub like Frankfort or Paris or London.
If given the forced choice, I'd rather have a 3 or even 4 hour layover in an airport on my way home then waste part or most of a precious sightseeing day traveling back to a city I've been to just to leave the next morning.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 06:59 AM
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Agree in one out other best.Rome IN, Venice out sounds good.Airfare shouldn't be much higher.Are you fraveling from east or west coast?
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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I'll be flying from the East Coast, from the DC area.

So, to summarize, I should fly in to Rome, go directly to Tuscanny for 5 days, where I can relax, catch the countryside, and visit Florence. Next, I should travel to Venice, where I will spend 3 days in a more up-beat pace. Finally, I will return to Rome, where I will spend 4 days at a harried pace before flying out. This sounds like a great idea. It does conflict with the advice to fly in one city and fly out another, but is it worth it to immediately go to a relaxing area rather than touring Rome or Venice first?

How would you recommend traveling between Rome and Tuscany, between Tuscany and Venice, and between Venice and Rome? If you recommend renting a car (or hiring a driver), are there sites along the trip where you would recommend a stop?

Thanks so much, y'all are so very helpful.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 12:12 PM
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You didn't say what you were most interested in seeing and doing. We went for 10 days, starting in Rome for 5. After Rome, Florence seemed boring.This is just totally mho - so it would help to know what you are interested in.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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If you can fly open jaws, go to Venice first. The airport is small and the city more relaxing/less daunting than Rome. It would also mean that you'd not have car parking problems. So go to Venice, then Florence then Tuscany and home from Rome. If you're driving, as I assume, pick up your car when leaving Venice (or train from Venice to Florence and pick up a car when leaving Florence to have with you in Tuscany, then drive to the Rome airport and drop your car and cab into the city to avoid having a car in Rome.

In Venice we've stayed at the Hotel Flora, lots of raves for it on this ssite. I'm working on finding a hotel for Florence myself and haven't decided yet. Stayed last time at the Kraft, it's nice but relatively pricey. In Tuscany I'd suggest staying in Pienza or someplace close. It's very centrally located for the Tuscany area. We stayed at Il Chiostro which is nice. Others suggest smaller, more charming places but I don't think they have as good locational advantages. In Rome we've stayed at the Locarno, very Art Nouveau trendy by Piazza di Popolo. Loved it. Were set to stay at the Carriage on another trip when Locarno not available but that part of our trip was cancelled since we were set to depart on 9/11 that year.

I think you've chosen a wonderful trip. Hope you can get the open jaws flights. You'll love all 4 areas/cities.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 02:42 PM
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We fly from the DC/Baltimore all the time. You may get the best deals flying in/out of Rome, with only a stop in Philadelphia. If so, your Tuscany first, then Venice, then Rome is ideal. When we went a couple of years ago we started at a small town in Tuscany and really got comfortable with Italy before we hit the "big" cities of Florence, Venice, and (eventually...we nearly 3 weeks so we saw more) we finished in Rome. By then we were eating dinner at 9PM and speaking pretty decent "courtesy" Italian, and were ready to take on Rome. Of course the Venice, Tuscany/Florence, Rome route would also be pretty easy paced, if you can work out a good open-jaws flight plan.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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The open-jaws works well starting in Venice (where you won't need a car) and picking up your car on the way out, driving to Tuscany/Florence and back to Rome (stop in Orvieto on the way) where again, the car isn't needed. Of course if you end up flying in/out of Rome you can drive to Tuscany, then to Venice. We went via Verona (stopped in Mantua on the way) and then through the Dolomites and back down to Venice, but as I noted we had more time. You won't need a car in Venice, and there is a train between Venice and Rome that you might enjoy.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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We're doing the open Jaw - In Venice out of Rome next month from Atlanta. 2 days in Venice (posh hotel on Grand Canal), 2 in Florence (Farmhouse/Vineyard outside of town), 2 in the Tuscan countryside (Small "retreat") and 4 in Rome (4 star near spanish steps).

We are renting a car in Venice and dropping off in Orvieto (at the advice of the fine travelers on this site!) and taking the train into Rome.

It's a pretty full itinerary for the amount of time, but I think the changing scenery and differences in accomodations will make it really enjoyable.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 09:19 PM
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wandl02 - here's some additional food for thought.

The open jaw ticket makes great sense when planning to see both Rome and Venice because it takes a full day by train to get from one to the other. So when comparing the additional cost of an open jaw ticket to the trainfare plus an additional night's food and lodging, the cost/benefit is usually realized.

Second, I don't agree that arriving into Rome is overwhelming. It is, in fact, positively exhilarating! The thing you don't want to do is immediately rent a car and start driving from the Rome airport to Tuscany when you are jet lagged the first day. If you decide to fly RT to Rome, then I'd recommend you only drive as far as Orvieto the first day and plan to stay overnight there. It would also make a lovely first night locale in Italy. Another option, if your return flight is in the afternoon, is to go ahead and visit Rome first and use Orvieto as you last night before flying home and using the rental car for transport to the airport.

Basically, you want to avoid returning to Rome at the end of your trip to sleep only one night, since getting into the city with a rental car is intimidating (easier to drive out of Rome) and also because Fiumicino is really quite far out from central Rome. Further, there aren't any lovely places to stay over near Fiumicino.

You'll need the car for your 4 days in Tuscany. You don't mention Florence, but you could return the car to Florence. The train between Florence and Venice is only about 2.5 hours and it's a very nice Eurostar. OR, if you don't want to go into Florence, you can just drive to Venice from Tuscany and leave the car.

A 4 day rental will cost about the same as a one week car rental. You certainly don't need to hire a driver for countryside driving as long as there are two of you and one is a good navigator. The autostrade is easy. Just be careful of the very small and one-way (or pedestrian only) streets in the Tuscan and Umbrian Hill towns.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 09:25 PM
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I meant to add: if you fly RT to Rome, the option of a one way flight between Rome and Venice is worth considering, but I think the safest is to use that one-way flight to return from Venice to Fiumicino for your flight home.

It's a little riskier to try to connect with a flight Rome to Venice immediately after your arrival due to the chance of delays in your transatlantic flight. Also, I'd rather have maybe a 3 hour or so layover on my way home than just upon arrival...I've done that and it sort of takes the excitment of arriving in Italy away.
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Old Feb 28th, 2003, 07:45 AM
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Everyone has been so helpful, and if I could send a souvenir to everyone with great advice, I would. This honeymoon would not be anywhere close to as cool without you.

I am now convinced that I should fly to Venice, stay 3 nights, rent a car and drive to an undecided location in Tuscany, stay for 4 days, drop the car in Florence, take the train to Rome, stay in Rome for 5 days, and fly out on the fifth day.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 28th, 2003, 04:14 PM
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Have a fantastic time. That sounds simply delightful!
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Old Feb 28th, 2003, 10:25 PM
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This makes sense if you want to see Florence and depends on which parts of Tuscany you want to see. If you're driving Tuscany south of Florence and don't actually mean to visit Florence, then there are easier places to drop the car off - then hop the train into Rome. Orvieto, Chiusi, or Siena are among those options. It's a bit harder, though not impossible, to bring the car into central Florence for a drop off. Also, the Florence airport is a possible drop off point, though I think you might be charged a premium for aiport drop off.

Talk to the nice people at www.autoeurope.com for car rental pricing.
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Old Mar 1st, 2003, 10:03 AM
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We flew into ROme,travelled next to Tuscany, ontoand out of Venice. Rome is harried and depending on your wants can be quite overwhelming or just the thing! We had jet lag in Rome which I think made it a bit harder to love. We went onto Tuscany for a full week. We took the train from Rome to Florence(easy) picked up our rental car in Florence and dropped it off again before taking the train from Florence to Venice. I don't think either Tuscany or Venice could possibily prepare you for Rome which is so very different from either of these places. We travelled in the last three weeks of October which could mean we didn't experience nearly the crowds you would in Venice in the summer. We did find Venice to be the most relaxing of any of the places we stayed. Tuscany, while beautiful, meant for us driving everywhere we wanted to see. Venice has no cars..you hop on a vaporetto and you travel all over the city. I returned from our trip to Italy(3 weeks)more relaxed than I have ever felt coming back. I think a great deal of this had to do with Venice being at the end of the trip. We flew British Air and there was absolutely no difference flying open jaw in the price than had we flown in and out of Rome.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 10:50 AM
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I'm getting very excited about this trip. For the Tuscany Florence portion, I was thinking about getting a train from Venice to Florence. Would we miss much of the countryside in doing that? In Florence, we would pick up a car and drive to a place (to be decided) in Tuscany. We would stay for 2 nights, and have the option of going to Florence for the 3rd day, or just arriving there later at night and spending 1 day in Florence. We would return our car in Florence when we got to the city, and use taxis when necessary, then catch the train to Rome.

I would appreciate any feedback on this portion of the itinerary.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:23 AM
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Train to Florence--you will miss nothing of note. After Tuscany, drive as far as Orvieto--drop the car and spend 3 hours here--then train to Rome.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:13 PM
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You're getting advice all across the spectrum. Put me on the side of recommending doing Rome FIRST! I agree with Leslie that Rome exhilarating and should be tackled first. You'll be excited and it's a exciting, active city.
Conversely, Venice is a quiet, wonderfully relaxing place which you will welcome after your first eight days! It's a perfect location to end your trip!
From my experience, no matter how much or how little you do during those first eight days, you're going to want to slow down at some point. And, I don't think that Rome is the place where you should be slowing down!
So, I say, Rome to Florence (and Tuscany) and then Venice.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:51 PM
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Our first trip to Italy, we went Venice, Florence, Naples/Sorrento, Rome. In retrospect, I think we missed some things in Rome because we were so tired by the time that we got that high energy city. On the other hand, I can imagine a person who either hasn't travelled much or is not used to big cities being overwhelmed by the combination of such a busy place and getting used to a foreign atmosphere.
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