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Please Help With First Anniversary Italy Trip!

Please Help With First Anniversary Italy Trip!

Aug 5th, 2004, 08:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Please Help With First Anniversary Italy Trip!

My husband and I are planning to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in Italy. We will spend 10 nights there, beginning September 24th. We are trying to decide between two itineraries:

Itinerary 1
*3 nights in Florence (at the Continentale Hotel)
*3 nights in Positano (at Villa Franca)
*4 nights in Rome (at the Capo d'Africa)

Itinerary 2
*4 nights in Rome (Capo d'Africa)
*3 nights in Florence (Continentale)
*1 night somewhere in Tuscany (hotel TBD)
*2 nights in Venice (hotel TBD)

Here are my questions:

1. Which itinerary would you choose? I don't think we can go wrong, and we will go back to Italy again, so eventually we'll get to visit all of these places. But I'm certainly interested in opinions as to how we should spend our time on this trip.

2. With respect to itinerary 2, are my divisions of time reasonable? Am I correct that we will need more time in Rome than in Florence, and more time in Florence than in Venice?

3. Again with respect to itinerary 2, how do you feel about staying 1 night somewhere in Tuscany? Would it be better to spend that extra night in Florence and to save Tuscany for another trip?

4. Comments on our hotels? I've seen much written about Villa Franca, but haven't heard too much about Capo d'Africa and the Continentale. These are hotels that were suggested by a travel agent, but I am interested in feedback from others.

Thanks so very much for your help! I truly appreciate it!
TarHeel97 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
For starters, I would definitely choose itinerary #2. Being that it's your anniversary, you can't possibily leave out the magically romantic city of Venice.

Yes, you are correct that you will need the most time in Rome, with Florence next, and then Venice. However, you could also spend a week in Venice and not see everything.

If it were me, I would keep the remainder of Tuscany for another trip and spend all four nights in Florence. I would especially advise this if you both enjoy art. On the other hand, however, you could do a daytrip to some place in the Tuscan region.

So, my suggestion (take it or leave it) would be:

4 nights Rome
4 nights Florence
2 nights Venice


4 nights Rome
3 nights Florence
3 nights Venice

I'm sure you will also get a lot of other great advice here.

Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!
Statia is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:12 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 512
I absolutely agree with Statia, but if you are not a huge art lover and can stay in Tuscany and day trip to Florence. It will break up the touristy, big city feel to your trip. Still Florence IS wonderful, Venice IS romanic and Rome is just AMAZING. I will be there about the same time and will spend 4 days in Montelpulciano before Rome. You might consider Lucca (still many tourists)and day trip to Siena and Florence....so many options. Congrats on your anniversary.
panucci is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 427
I would also choose #2 - while Positano is interesting and the Amalfi Coast is beautiful, I think that you will enjoy Venice more - it is just so different from anywhere else. Rome, Florence and Venice make a nice trip because they are all unique in their own way. I would also do as your itinerary says and spend one night in Tuscany. Or better yet, go to Assisi for a night when you are going between Rome and Florence. Assisi is magical, totally worth an overnighter.
Amanda23 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 42
I also agree with Statia and would stay 4 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence and 3 nights in Venice.
bruces is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,227
What are your arrival/departure cities?
Betsy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Thanks to all who have replied so far! Very helpful!

Betsy - At the moment, we are flying into and out of Rome. But, if we go with itinerary 2, we will fly into Rome and try to leave from Venice.
TarHeel97 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
Good idea, TarHeel. Flying open jaw will not only be easier, but might also cut costs on your airfare.
Statia is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,227
Here's my two cents: Basically itinerary 2. Rome (3 nights), train to Orvieto for a flavor of a Tuscan hill town (1 night), train to Florence (3 nights), train to Venice (3 nights). Orvieto is on the way to Florence.

For a hotel in Venice, check out La Cacina.

Happy first anniversary!
Betsy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 459
I second the suggestion to spend a night in Assisi between Rome and Florence. Or you could visit Siena as a daytrip from Florence, or an overnight.

Don't miss Venice!
strass is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Posts: n/a
We spent 2 wonderful weeks in Italy in June. My husband and I always had a romantic double room, and my 22-year-old son and 2 teen daughters(18 and 17 yrs.) had a triple room.

Here's the family consensus on romance and Italy. Venice is a must-do for romance. 3 nights in Venice. My daughters plan to return to Venice on their future honeymoons.

Florence is a do-it-quick-and-get-out-of-there choice. Son and teens agree with me that Florence is too crowded, smoggy, trafficky, so it's best to do 2 nights in Florence to see the Uffizi Gallery and Michelandelo's David at the Accademia and then get out of Florence and go someplace else.

Rome is awesome, exciting, and romantic. 4 nights in Rome was what we had and everyone agreed it was perfect.

So that adds up to 9 nights so far...3 in Venice, 2 in Florence, and 4 in Rome. My personal choice for 2 more nights is Siena or someplace similar in Tuscany...We only had 1 night in Siena but it was my personal favorite for romance and atmosphere. Siena, and other smaller towns in Tuscany, has a tranquility, peace, and an atmosphere that Florence lacks. Our garden view from the Palazzo Ravizza hotel in Siena was just picture-perfect romance...I threw open the shutters and my husband and I looked down into the lovely garden of the Palazzo Ravizza, out over the wall of Siena, and out into the breathtaking green hillsides of Tuscany. Wow! It was a take-me-right-here moment...

As I was planning my trip, many people tried to talk me out of that 1 night in Siena, saying it would be too annoying to travel, I should just spend an extra night in florence. I am soooo glad that I kept that 1 night in siena because it holds some of my favorite memories of Italy. I imagine a place out in the country of Tuscany would have similar tranquil, romantic views. But it is true that only 1 night involves more pack-up-and-move maneuvers, so I would recommend 2 nights in Siena (or someplace similar) and 2 nights in Florence.

If you wanted to you could also do Florence as a day-tour, and spend more nights in Siena or the countryside of Tuscany.

Skip Positano on this trip, only because we had 2 weeks and we barely managed to have time to include Rome, Sorrento (with a day-tour to Positano, Amalfi, Praiano, and Ravello), Florence, Siena and Venice. If you are going for 10 or 11 nights you don't have time for Positano.

While Positano is definitely beautiful, Venice is more unique. And absolutely you must stay in the main part of Venice, where all the canals are, don't stay in Mestre on the mainland, it's ugly.

Happy anniversary.
Aug 5th, 2004, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 412
I have to give a dissenting opinion. I recommend itinerary #1 instead, for the simple reason of breaking up the tourist-only mayhem that Rome, Florence, and Venice all have. Now admittedly I am no big fan of Venice anyway, but those three cities are the three cities that everybody and their brother visits. Save one of them for another trip.

Rome and Florence have history, architecture, and culture. Positano (and the rest of the Sorrentine peninsula/Amalfi coast) has sun, fun, and food. Positano is small, and the scenery can't be beat. Use it as a sharp contrast to the chaos and bustle of Rome and Florence.


If you're willing to take an itinerary #3, may I recommend something like this:

3 nights Florence
3 nights Umbrian hill town (Perugia, Spoleto, Gubbio, Todi, etc.)
4 nights Rome

My favorite city in all of Italy is Perugia. Perugia, in addition to just being a fun place high on a hill, has good logistical connections to all of the important area attractions: Assisi (St. Francis), Lake Trasimeno, Deruta (ceramics), Cortona (Under the Tuscan Sun), and Valdichiana area of Tuscany (from Chiusi to Arezzo). All of these places are significantly less touristed than the main Rome-Florence-Venice-Amalfi circuit. Since this will be your first anniversarry, use the time in Umbria for some quiet time.
tdyls is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Posts: n/a
I would save Venice for another time, and spend four in Positano, Five in Rome, and three in Florence.
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