rome and florence in 5 days

Jul 14th, 2012, 09:36 PM
  #1  
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rome and florence in 5 days

We are planning my family (2+2) vacation in Italy as follows. Any ideas and suggestions to make it better.

I went throught this thread which had good information.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...#comments-open

7/23 - arrive in Rome at noon from US
7/24 - Rome
7/25 - originally planned for day trip to Pompeii - cancelled
instead staying in Rome
7/26 - leave to Pisa in the morning by train
go to Florence at noon and stay in Florence
7/27 - Florence and return to Rome around 7pm by train
7/28 - fly out of Rome at 7pm.

Is this going to be hectic or OK?

Any chance to fit in Pompeii day trip?

Thanks.
ayyavis is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 09:52 PM
  #2  
 
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There's nothing whatsoever in Pisa but the damn leaning tower. A monumental waste of time.

Maybe you ought to stay in Rome. You've made it such that you really shortchange two cities.

I thought you said it was a vacation?
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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I strongly suggest you let Rome have it's way with you for all 5 days. It's little enough as it is.

The biggest mistake tourists make is trying to do everything and ending with nothing. Many don't know the difference.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 10:01 PM
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I would stay in Rome also and day trip to Florence one day. If you are determined to go to Pisa/Florence, I would train there upon arrival.
kybourbon is online now  
Jul 14th, 2012, 11:22 PM
  #5  
mjs
 
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You really do not have that much time for this vacation. How old are your children? How many hours will it take you to leave home and arrive at your hotel in Rome? I would just stick to Rome. I too would skip Pisa with your time constraints. If you must do Florence I would go there directly from Rome on your first day, spend the next day in Florence, than return to Rome in the evening. The first day in Europe is generally not a very productive day and you might as well use 3 hours of it to train to Florence.
We once did a whole day in Florence by taking the earliest train out of Venice and the last train to Rome and a few years later no one could remember much about Florence. Later we spent a week in Florence with side trips to Pisa, Siena etc for a much more memorable trip. I think the time you have is perfect just for Rome.
mjs is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 12:58 AM
  #6  
 
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It is understandable that you want to see as much of wonderful Italy as you can. However, you only have 5 days, so limiting travel would seem a good idea. Rome is chockablock full of treasures - Colosseum, Pantheon, Forum, Villa Borghese, catacombs, churches. Then there is Vatican with St Peters & Vatican museum. Both of these require lots of time. Tivoli out of town is great with Hadrian's villa & Gardens with fountains. Both give a different aspect to Rome, as in the hills. Ostia Antica are ruins closer than Pompeii. Or maybe daytrip to Bracciano castle or Assisi. Enjoy planning
SusannahT is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 02:03 AM
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what susannah [and everyone else said]

if you decide to stay in Rome, you can always decide when you are there to do a day trip.

the obvious one as well as Ostia antica and Tivoli [which are both fun] is Orvieto.

but in 5 days, you don't want to spend so much of your time rushing about on trains - there's more than enough to fill your time. our kids [teens at the time] loved Rome and we spent 2 whole weeks there with them. What they most hate/d is rushing about from place to place, and what they most liked [apart from the sheer size of the city] was having breakfast in the same cafe, going to the same bar for a drink, and having our evening gelato at the same place. Locals start to recognise you, to say "ciao" and even in 5 days, you can get a "sense" of living in Rome. rush around from place to place, you'll never get a sense of anything, except perhaps how the trains work.
annhig is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 05:17 AM
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You really only have 4 full days. That is hardly enough time to see Rome, let alone race all over the countryside.

It will be hot while you are there and crowded. Take the time to enjoy Rome. Forget about the trains and train stations because at the rate you are moving about, that will be your most vivid memory.
mamcalice is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 07:12 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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ditto everybody else.

You can do Florence as a daytrip from Rome.

ira is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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Agree with the posters that suggest stay in Rome and maybe do a day trip to Florence (make sure you go on Eurostar)
cruiseluv is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 07:58 AM
  #11  
 
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"I went throught this thread which had good information.

http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/rome-pompeii-florence-venice-in-5-days-to-be-or-not-to-be-.cfm#comments-open"


That thread indeed had good info - EVERY response correctly pointed out that it is utterly foolish plan too much into a limited time frame.

You time frame is extremely limited - 4 full days on the ground.
Rome requires 7 full days just to skim it's endless highlights - 8 if you include a day trip to Pompeii or Florence.

Florence could work for your 5 days. You could then allow a day (or even 2 days) for a day trip(s). You can see all Florence has to offer in 3 or 4 (full) days.

You have to choose what you want to see.

IMO, while both Rome and Florence are jewels and both are well worth seeing, Rome is by far the greatest treasure - surpassed only by Paris. Again, just MHO.

FWIW, Rome is 10X the size/population of Florence and has 10X the number of don't miss sights.
bardo1 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Italy is the candy store of travel destinations. If you do a visit to Italy from the point of view of the kid in the candy store, you run from goody to goody without spending any time in one place. Just like the kid, all you end up with is the touring equivalent of the tummy ache.
AJPeabody is online now  
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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This is incredibly hectic - and not something I woud even consider. Much better just to stay in Rome and do one long day trip to Florence. You will be really cutting short your time in Florence - but at least you will have the time to see the basics in Rome. IMHO a first trip to Rome requires 4 night - 3 full days (you can;t count the day you spend in Florence).

Sorry - you can obviously do whatever you want - but I think will find your itinerary just really frustrating.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Stay in Rome and do one day trip to Florence or Pompeii...if you decide you want to leave the city once you are there.

A train trip to Pisa in the morning will basically put you there in time to get on the train to Florence at noon.

You've just planned too much for too little time. Now if you could double the amount of time there...
kwren is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:34 PM
  #15  
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Thank you all for the responses.

Kids are 12 and 9 years old. Will be reaching Rome after ~13 hrs of flight time (IAH-CDG-FCO). Will be staying in Paris for 2 full days on the way back from Rome. We had been to Paris 10 years ago and stayed there couple of days.

Based on the feedback we are leaning towards the option of skipping Florence/Pisa and stay in Rome. Still thinking of Pisa/Florence since kids want to see the leaning tower and Statue of David. If we decide to go to Pisa/Florence we will directly go to Pisa on 23rd and and return back to Rome by 24th night.

I wish I did some research and had seen this forum before booking the flight tickets. I would have booked return flight from Florence and added couple more days. Well, there is always next time..
ayyavis is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Paris in "two full days?" You have an interesting way of traveling - zooming off to major destinations and then spending virtually no time there.

WAY too rushed, IMO. The kids will spend about 10 seconds admiring the Pisa tower. Just stay in Rome. You hardly have any time there anyway.
StCirq is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 01:38 AM
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if you DO decide on going to Pisa, make sure your kids get the chance to climb the tower by booking your slot on www.opapisa.it. you need to get there a little early to get your tickets and to deposit any bags in the lockers next to the ticket office.

have a great time!
annhig is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 04:23 AM
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AJPeabody just provided the BEST description of tourist travel to Rome (Italy) I think I've ever read. It is a candy store and you can end up with a tummy ache if you do too much!

dave
daveesl is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 04:57 AM
  #19  
 
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I do agree that it will be a hectic holiday - just one more night would have helped so much, but if your kids really prefer seeing those sites, and that is what makes them happy, then do it, otherwise they might keep regretting it during and after the vacation. I am telling you this, considering that you stress that your kids really want to see the Pisa tower and monument of David in Florence in its city centre, and it is also clear that you do not mind doing lots of travelling for a really short one night stay.

I must admit that also regarding my kids, the Pisa tower was a monument they also longed to visit. We spent an afternoon near the tower and they loved taking pictures in front of it, you know taking images like they were pretending they were holding the tower with their hands etc. And I like the area around the tower as well, (it was my third visit) the long road with the souvenir shop, the surrounding greenary, the basilica, and even the take-out pizza close to the tower, lol. But it is not a place that you would need more than a few hours.

I agree with annhig that if you go there you should book your tickets to enter and climb the tower prior to your holiday online, otherwise your slot time to ascend the tower might be hours later, and you would waste a lot of time waiting for your slotted time (and in your case you certainly can't afford to away waste time waiting) - that is what happened to us, and the boys ended up not climbing up the tower. I think that there is a limit on when you need to book tickets before day required, so check it out on their website - silly me, I had a look at it prior to our holiday, but still did not book.

Remember, you have you have to take into consideration the time to arrive in Pisa, to check-in at accommodation and to walk to the tower. Otherwise book for an early morning visit prior to leaving to Florence. (as I already mentioned, there are a few good B&Bs close to the tower).

Regarding Florence - you would not have the time to enter museums etc, but maybe experiencing the atmosphere of Florence, visiting the main square, wander around city centre, cross over the bridge and take photos, visit the basilica etc and having a good meal would suffice for your family. Maybe you would be able to leave luggage at station on your arrival in Florence, otherwise consider the discomfort of having to visit Florence having to carry luggage along with you everywhere. Otherwise you might have to consider staying two nights in Florence or Pisa.

Maybe you might consider taking a low cost internal flight from Rome to Pisa (or Florence if you decide to sleep there) on your arrival at Rome Airport. Both easyjet and ryanair do internal flights in Italy, check them out. Pisa airport is very close to the centre of Pisa, only a few kms away, and it is a small airport in comparison to that of Rome ( if travelling by air, make sure that the low cost airline departs from the same airportas that of your arrival in Rome, as there are two airports in Rome, one in Ciampino and one in Fiumicino). There are quite a few good B&Bs in Pisa which have reasonable rates, I know this because I did some research for a friend of mine about a year ago. We had not slept in Pisa itself when we visited,, but stayed at an agriturismo on the Monte Miniata (called Agriturismo Settesoldi just in case anyone is interested), which is in the provence of Pisa. Not recommendable for you of course as you definitely need a car to get there.

Maybe you can then leave Florence for Rome by train early evening and spend the last 4 nights there.

Then you might spend the last 4 nights in Rome, visiting the Coleseum, the Vatican, Via Veneto and other lovely streets in the city centre, the Fontana dei Trevi and the Spanish Steps, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza Navona etc. Many sites in the city centre are within walking distance to each other. There are also the open bus tours which are so convenient to drive you to various sites. We had a hired car, but we still used it so that we do not drive around too much in centre of Rome, we found it very convenient, and again something our children, our boys were in their early teens at the time, loved.

Enjoy your trip!!!!
Anna_Galea is offline  
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