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Rome, Florence or both?

Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:16 AM
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Rome, Florence or both?

My wife and I will be traveling on a 7 night cruise that starts in Niece and ends in Rome, but we litterally just end in Rome, no alloted time there per the cruise. The cruise trip ends when the ship docks on a Friday morning in Rome and we have extended our trip until we fly out of Rome the next Tuesday morning. So, should we just spend all 4 nights in Rome or should we go to Florence first for a night or two and then come back to Rome for 2-3 nights? I know the express train trip is only about 1 1/2 hours between Rome and Florence. My wife has never been to Italy and I was there 25 years ago after college graduation and have not been back since, but I remember both Rome and Florence fondly. We are Catholic, so being in Rome on Sunday is particularly desired. Thanks!
jfdut84 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:24 AM
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It would depend on whether you want just a taste of both or a chance to see one without constantly rushing. I would definitely stay the whole 4 days in Rome, not because I don't like Florence, but because there is just so much to see in Rome. Even with the 4 days, you will only scratch the surface.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:42 AM
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You will really have 3 days in Rome because you will only have part of Fri and will most likely leave early on Tuesday morning. Stay in Rome.
jay is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:47 AM
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another vote for staying in Rome the whole time and saving Florence for another trip.
Vttraveler is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Hi j,

I would stay in Roma also! So much to do and see, you will find 4 days not nearly enough.

Dayle is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 07:57 AM
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First, thanks so much to everyone for the great feedback. Our cruise ship arrives at the Rome dock at 7AM on Friday, so we will have an entire day to do whatever we choose, travel to Florence or stay in Rome. Our flight out of Rome is on Tuesday at 10AM, so we see ourseleves as having 4 full days and nights at our disposal. We are not big international travelers (as I said in my original post, this is my first trip back to Europe in 25 years), so it is not likely we are going to be back to Italy anytime soon, so that is why we were inclined to think we would want to at least get to Florence to see David, the Duomo and a few other major sites. Plus, for what it is worth, neiter of us are huge art/architecture buffs, so we are not the type to spend 1/2 day or more in one museum or church, so we feel we can enjoy ourselves at a somewhat leisurely pace and still see alot of different things in a day. I hope that does not sound sacrilegous to anyone! Again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.
jfdut84 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:14 AM
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With your added info, I'd say you could easily get a good taste of Florence as a long daytrip.
degas is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:15 AM
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What are your stops between Nice and Rome? Are you sure there isn't a day with an excursion option into Florence?
Jean is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:19 AM
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A day trip from Rome to Florence would be easy to do. If that's what you wish to do then go for it! It's just a 90min train ride which takes you right into the heart of Florence.

In my opinion Florence would make a nice day trip. Yes, you could spend more time there if you had it, but you don't. Since you'd be staying at the Rome hotel that night you can travel light, without suitcases.

If you went Saturday or Mon (check which days the Accademia is open) you could be in Rome on Sunday.

J62 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Accademia is closed on Mondays. If this is to be your only chance to visit Italy and to see the David, Duomo, etc. then I would go to Florence for a day or a day and a night to do so. Be sure to make advance reservations for the Accademia so you aren't wasting precious time in line.

Otherwise I would have agreed with the others to stay in Rome.
bfrac is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Having just returned from both cities, I would recommend you go to Florence upon arriving in Rome. It's not to be missed even if you have limited time.
Make your reservations for the Accademia for as early Sat. as possible. Work the Doumo and other siteseeing around your appointment time. I would take a later train our of Florence Sat. evening.

We stayed at Hotel Centrale in Florence and loved it & the location. Very reasonably price.

In Rome, most musuems will be closed on Monday so use Sunday for church and inside things and Monday for the Forum, Palantine Hill and the Colliseum.

Bon viaggio!
jbella is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:43 AM
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If you are interested in getting into the Vatican museum (Sistine Chapel) be certain to clearly understand the days and hours it will be open when you visit and that suggestion would apply to any other museum or monument you may wish to see.

Go to Florence. The choice between making it a day trip or an overnight trip comes down to what you believe will be the easier. Either way is doable and it sounds as if you are unlikely to return so go for it.
floydvic is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:27 AM
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I understand the logic of wanting to see Florence if you don't think you will be back in Europe for a long time.
I recommend staying in Rome all 4 nights rather than trying to move luggage and change hotels which eats up quite a lot of time. Given the days you have and your desire to be in Rome on the Sunday I would plan a long day trip to Florence on Saturday. I know lots of people visit the city that way and you can certainly see the Duomo and the David and some other sites and wander around. I strongly recommend climbing up in the dome and reading Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King in advance. (Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling is also great preparation for Rome). The view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo or (better IMO because less crowded) San Miniato al Monte is spectacular.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:30 AM
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If you've never been to Rome before 4 nights is just enough to scratch the surface. I wouldn't try to cover two such dense cities in so few days. NOr would I waste time on travel back and forth.

(Our first trip to Rome was 6 days and we got through about half out list of must sees - since once you start to enjoy la dolce vita you tend to stop rushing from one place to another.)
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
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I also recommend a day trip to Florence; a few years ago, I made the same trip but the opposite direction--my hotel was in Florence, and my daughter and I went to Rome for the day--and the arrangements were VERY easy. If I were you, I would check into a hotel in Rome on Friday morning and spend Friday seeing some of the sights in Rome. Get an early start on Saturday and take the train into Florence. Everything is walking distance from the train station (in my opinion). After a day of sight-seeing and a dinner in Florence, take a late train back to Rome and you are in your hotel room by 11:30!

Then, you will have Sunday and Monday for the other places in Rome.
Have a good trip!
Drowden is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 10:54 AM
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I agree with the other posters, you can do a day trip to Florence and see the main sites. If you're into art the Uffizi is a must but again you'll need to pre-book to avoid standing in line for an hour or so. the same is true for the Vatican tour. Find a company that will by pass standing in line for two or more hours. We used Presto tours and they were great.

Florence is easy and quick to do in my opinion. We spent 2 full days and saw everything and more than enough compared to Rome which our 6 days weren't enough.
directions is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Hi j,

From what you say, I suggest staying in Rome.

Orvieto is a nice daytrip, if Rome gets too hectic.

ira is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Stay in Rome.
While you are there you can decide whether or not to day trip to Florence.
Staying one night in Florence is too much moving around with bags. Staying two nights is worse as you'll shorten your time in Rome!
highflyer is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Do a daytrip to Florence from Rome. As mentioned, it's easy to do so.
francophile03 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:45 PM
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I vote for the Florence daytrip.
KTtravel is offline  
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