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Rome, Florence, and Venice in 7 days--Is It Doable?

Rome, Florence, and Venice in 7 days--Is It Doable?

Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
ekc: Yes, that sounds like the itinerary I had in mind! Gotta admit, it definitely sounds a lot more relaxing than what I was previously thinking of.

basingstoke2: That sounds like an excellent vacation plan too, but my main focus of this trip was to see Rome, so I'm leaning pretty strongly towards Rome/Florence right now. Really appreciate the idea though!
snoozermoose is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:39 AM
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annhig: I definitely didn't mean to discount their age (and apologize if that came off as rude). I'm basing it off of our previous trip to Paris 4 or 5 years ago where every few hours of sightseeing had to be followed up with by a nap (and they've only gotten older and more tired since). I can go a whole day continuously walking, propelled by my desire to see and do as much as I can (and I'm not a napper), but I've had to understand that not everyone wants that out of a vacation, so I'm trying to plan a more relaxed trip this time.

I'm doubtful about my parents going back to Italy, because my parents weren't crazy about Paris and have no interest in going back. They're going "just to see Italy once in their lifetime and say they did", and they'll probably be satisfied with that, whereas I'm going because there's an inexhaustible list of things I want to see there.
snoozermoose is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:19 PM
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snooze, I know that you really want to see Rome but your reply to annhig if anything reinforces leaving Rome for another time - without your parents- or following the second suggestion I made just doing a half day Rome highlights before heading home. My wife and I are considerably older than your parents and can walk all day, but people are different. Rome can be a tiring city for sightseeing with sites and sights often far between. Bottom line, unless you take taxis a lot or use the public transportation you will be walking probably much more than your parents want and find them a drag on what you want to do.

On the other hand, Florence and Rome are relatively compact and easy to get around. Sights tend to be not far from one another. In the case of Venice when there is some distance between sites you can always go by water which in itself is sightseeing not to mention a trip to the outer islands such as Burano, a delight in itself.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:20 PM
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annhig: I definitely didn't mean to discount their age (and apologize if that came off as rude). I'm basing it off of our previous trip to Paris 4 or 5 years ago where every few hours of sightseeing had to be followed up with by a nap (and they've only gotten older and more tired since)>>

snooze - no offence taken - it was just funny to be characterised as elderly before I've hit 60! I've never been one to walk all day - i like to pace myself - but I don't had for my bed for a snooze after lunch either. i wonder if taking things at a slightly more leisurely pace might actually allow them to see and enjoy more - a mid-morning coffee, a decent lunch, and a mid-afternoon "tea-break" can all help to keep us "oldies" going.

and if there is anything likely to encourage your parents to return to italy, IMHO it must be Venice, whereas if they did not like Paris, they might equally find Rome too overwhelming.

so my vote is still venice and Florence.
annhig is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:21 PM
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I meant Florence and Venice, not Florence and Rome - sorry about that.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Venice is exquisite and unique but based on your stated interests, I vote for Florence and Rome. Florence is our favorite city in Italy and, after first seeing it in my college years, I have returned 7 times. We visit Italy often and have seen most of the regions of Italy but always include a stop in Florence.

One suggestion to keep your parents at a pace that suits them and also allows you to see what you want is to build a time into the day (perhaps after lunch)when they return to the hotel for a rest and you choose something to see or do during that time.
mamcalice is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 02:15 PM
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If this is truly a "once in a lifetime" trip for your parents, then go to all three cities. They won't see everything anywhere, but it doesn't sound like that's the point of the trip. Follow mamcalice's advice of seeing/doing some things without them.
Jean is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 03:33 PM
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If you really want to consider visiting all three, I suggest:

Day 1: dep home
Day 2: arrive Venice
Day 3: Venice
Day 4: early train to Florence; check bags at train station--Uffizi, stroll around, nice lunch--late afternoon/early evening train to Rome
Day 5: Rome
Day 6: Rome
Day 7: Rome
Day 8: fly home

Here's MY one-day itinerary for FLorence that I shared in a previous thread:

On a quick 5-day trip to Rome with Italy novices, I took them on a day trip to Florence. It was one of their favorite days. These friends appreciate art, but don't know much about it, nor did they express any special interests in particular sights. Our trip was during Thanksgiving weekend—late November. I planned the day this way for our group of 5 adults.

We got a train at about 9 AM which put us in Florence by about 10:30AM.

From the station, we took the #12 bus to Piazzale Michelangelo. Therefore, our group's first real view of Florence was from this famous scenic overlook. Loads of photo opportunities, ooohs and aaahs. (If our group had been smaller, I would have opted for a taxi. Even so, a taxi might have been a good idea, since the bus skirts the center of the city and took 30 minutes to reach the piazzale.) Having just spent 3 days in the city of Rome, the group also appreciated the views of the green hills and houses on the hillside nearby and the different style of architecture than that of Modern and Baroque Rome.

From there we went into the city, walking down the steep Via di San Salvatore al Monte, a pedestrian-only walk past green gardens. We entered the city at Porta San Niccolo just as the church bells were ringing noon, the fragrance of delicious lunches in the air. We followed the Via San Niccolo through quiet streets (One friend commented that she finally felt like she was in Italy.) to Via Bardi, eventually turning onto the busy Ponte Vecchio, decorated for Christmas.

From there we walked through town past Piazza della Signoria all the way to the Duomo, which took my friends totally by surprise. This seemed a good moment to stop for lunch, so we had a lovely lunch at Osteria Belle Donne.

After lunch we strolled back through Piazza della Repubblica and then visited the Duomo and the Baptistery. My friends really enjoyed the mosaics inside the Baptistery, spending a lot of time sitting and interpreting the stories depicted. I'm sure we stopped for coffee once or twice during the day since this group became quick converts to the Italian system of coffee—a quick shot at the bar and then on your way.

Then we went to the San Lorenzo markets, splitting off into smaller groups to explore the wares and setting a meeting place and time. I knew my friends would enjoy this market, especially since there is no equivalent in Rome. At the meeting time, 3 were content with their shopping while 2 were still looking for leather jackets, so I indicated a nearby coffee bar where we 3 would wait while they finished. We sat for at least an hour, enjoying our thick hot chocolates and watching the buzz of the busy bar.

With the group together again, it was just after 5 PM, so I thought it couldn't hurt to see how the line was at the Accademia. There was no line, so we walked right in and had David to ourselves and about 20 other people. Quite magical.

We shopped a little more and then had dinner at Trattoria Za-Za. Our return train to Rome left at 9 PM and arrived at about 10:30 PM. They loved this day, which was balanced with a short "hike", beautiful scenery, historic sights, shopping, relaxing in a cafe, and two good meals.
ellenem is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Now, considering the cast of characters, and your aim, I think you really can do all three. It will be just enough for you to know where you want to go back someday, and your folks will have bragging rights to three wonderful cities.

Fly into Venice. It will be easier to recover from jetlag in Venice. Spend two nights there. It gives you, actually, the first afternoon/evening (assuming your folks will want to nap when they arrive -- you can do a lot on your own, scout out someplace for dinner will be fun.) One full day you can enjoy the city...St Marks Piazza...ride Vaporetto #1 all the way around to see much of the city from the water. Take the train from Venice to Florence. Spend two nights in Florence. Visit the Uffizi, the gorgeous Duomo, shop for some leather. If you want to see David, you might schedule that for the morning of your last day there and then take the train to Rome. Finish your trip in Rome. You won't see everything, but you should be able to at least get in the Forum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican and it's museums. (Although if you really don't want to do the Vatican -- hey, not everyone does -- you can visit the Capitoline and some wonderful churches. Fly back from Rome.

Yes - it puts a lot into a short trip, but you and your folks will have seen "the Big Three."

What did they not like about Paris? That may help you decide to just limit the trip to Venice and Florence, or Venice and Rome, or Rome and Florence. Personally, I think both Rome and Florence can take a lot of energy to visit. Maybe just one would be best for this trip...and I really do think that because it is so unique, you should aim to include Venice. While it may seem crowded in the daytime, at night it is quieter and more relaxing.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 04:47 PM
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I am actually kind of blown away at how narrow-minded this forum is about people who want to see a lot in a short time. Of course you can do it. One option (something that Rick Steves even recommends) is doing Rome in a day (it's 1.5 hours each way by train from Florence) I did that once with my cousin and his family, and we saw the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters, piazza Navonna, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Forum (we didn't go into the Colisseum) and STILL caught an early evening train back to Florence. You can do this kind of thing easily. Do NOT let the narrow-minded snobbery on this forum get to you.
dfourh is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Your friend who thinks Venice just warrants a few hours is very, very wrong. However, it is a city that needs to be walked to really discover it, and it doesn't sound as though your parents are up for that. I guess they would enjoy a vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal and then the short walk to st mark's square.

If at all possible do you think they would work on their fitness for a fee months leading up to the trip? Otherwise, I suggest you head out with them in the mornings and then dump them back at the hotel and keep going on your own for a few hours. I hate the thought of you wasting all those hours while they have a nap.

I hope you follow the very good advice you have been given here! Cathie (56 years old and fit as a fiddle )
cathies is online now  

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