Rome/Florence or Venice?

Dec 20th, 2006, 12:06 AM
  #1  
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Rome/Florence or Venice?

I only have one week in Italy, and I'm planning on 3 days in Rome, 2 in Florence and 2 in Venice. Is this too cramped? Should I do 4 days in Rome and 3 in Venice or 5 in Rome and 2 in Venice. Is it worth it to visit Florence. I'd like to visit Rome and Venice for sure, but not too certain about Florence. Please advise. Thank you.
alliecat is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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Hello alliecat, these three cities in one week is not impossible but let me assure you there will not be much you will enjoy regarding your trip.

First question..how many actual nights will you have in Italy?

I never know when someone talks about days whether they are counting the day they arrive and also the day they are departing. Giving the number of nights gives a clearer picture of exactly how long you will have in Italy.

You no doubt are arriving in Rome and departing from Venice I would assume. Most flights departing Venice leave quite early in the morning.

And of course there is the time involved getting from the airport when you arrive in Rome to your hotel in Rome. And the time involved getting to lets say Venice. I will assume you are travelling by train. So a good part of that day (checking out of your hotel, getting to the train station, the train trip, arriving in Venice, getting to your hotel, checking into the hotel etc) will take up a good part of that day.

If you will post back and give the number of nights that you will have in Italy or the date of your arrival (aproximate time of arrival) and the date of your departure (with time of departure) I and many others I am sure would be happy to give you our thoughts. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 12:31 AM
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I would do only Rome and Florence.
Tere is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 12:45 AM
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But alliecat said "I'd like to visit Rome and Venice for sure" so lets see if that is workable.
LoveItaly is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 12:56 AM
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I am sorry but I disagree with LoveItaly's statement about having very little to enjoy.

I've done this same trip in the same amount of time and found PLENTY to enjoy. It may not be the most ideal trip but if this is the only opportunity you might have (and no, some people do NOt have the chance to "go back") I would say go for it.

Why? Because at least you'll have had a taste of all three.

Dukey is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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Perhaps I was too hasty in my earlier post so let me expand on it a bit.

Is this an "organized" tour on which you will have no say as to the timing? If that's the case then I still say a taste is better than nothing at all.

IF, OTOH, you have arbitrarily decided on just a week I would expand the number of days to see all three.

If you are NOT on an organized tour but still have only a week then here's what I would do:

Make a list of the absolute "musts" in each place and try to fit in as many as possible

Be prepared to make the most of your time by traveling on the festest route possible between cities and also at the earliest possible times (very early trains, etc.) in order to maximize the time in each city.

You can wander around each place for days if you have the time but in order to see the highlights only you won't have a lot of "wandering around and soaking up the ambience time"..is THAT important to you? If it is, then cut it down to two places rather than three.

AND, if you are going to cut out one place, WHICH one will it be?

I think to make this work you need to make some hard decisions first and THEN decide the number of days to allot.

If museums and art works aren't at the top of the list you could probably skip Florence in favor of the other two.

Venice is obviously pretty unique; are you willing to forego it?

Dukey is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 01:59 AM
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Very good advice, Dukey.

...fastest route possible between cities and also at the earliest possible times (very early trains, etc.)

This reminds me of a mistake I made in my early travels (and one I see repeated here on these boards). On our last day in Paris I booked the afternoon train out, thinking it would give me "another day in Paris".

In actuality, by the time you pack up, store the luggage, get a cab, etc you might as well have left on the morning train. You never do as much "sight seeing" as you think you will on that partial day.
------------------------

alliecat:

What month are you traveling? I see on another thread you're flying from Paris to Venice. Will you be on the flight that arrives in late evening on your first night in Italy? I take it you're flying home from Rome?
JeanneB is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 02:33 AM
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Hi

I can't give you a 100% answer as I have not been to Florence (yet). But I have been to Rome and Venice and in my opinion Rome has more to offer compared to Venice. So I think the 5 days in Rome, 2 days in Venice sounds like the best option.

Here is my Rome trip report with links, maps and pictures: http://gardkarlsen.com/rome_italy.htm

And here is my Venice trip report http://gardkarlsen.com/italy_venice.htm . Hope this helps a little

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 03:09 AM
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I cannot imagine missing a chance to visit Venice.
sallyjane3 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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One week is wonderful!!
Last April we arrived in Rome on Saturday and stayed three nights, early train to Florence on Tuesday for two nights and then late train to Venice on Thursday for three nights...home flight on Sunday.

We enjoyed ourselves tremendously (contrary to LoveItaly's comments) saw all the sites and never felt rushed. Go for it!!!
redc is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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"saw all the sites"

I find this a stretch. It's downright impossible to see all the sites of Rome, Firenze and Venice in 7 days.

alliecat,

Can you tell us what you want to do in these places? Why did you pick Italy for a week of travel?

nessundorma is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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For a quick 1-week spring break trip, we

SAT arrived Venice
SUN Venice
MON Venice
TUE early train to Florence for lunch, stroll, shopping, visit Duomo and Baptistery (no museums). Arrived Rome in time for dinner.
WED Rome
THU Rome
FRI Rome (daytrip to Orvieto)
SAT Rome
SUN early flight home

This worked for my niece and I since it was her first trip abroad and enjoyed the quick touches of a few places. Florence was brief but she has little knowledge of art and had few requirements.
ellenem is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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I've been to them all . Rome,IMHO,is best appreciated in a week. I'd spend the entire week there. Venice is just too far. Even smart travel (e.g. fastest,night,etc) takes away from your precious time.
Florence also is best experienced in more than a day or two. It seems that you only have 6 nights. I'd not leave Rome. If I did,I'd do a day trip to Orvieto to experince a hill town.
By the way, many people have done the 3 day,2 day , 2 day,etc trips. Rome, Florence,Venice,etc in a short time. They almost all will also say that they loved it. They won't be lieing. They did. Likewise,many enjoy the tour-bus type trips that move quite often. The difference is your preference and who's giving advice. I,for instance, always recommend Rome first. Others maybe Venice or Florence. It really depends on your "likes".
I,and others here, have been to Italy a number of times. Most will agree that "time is of the essence" when traveling. Last year,for instance,we were traveling with friends for 3 weeks. My wife and I were set to spend the last week in Rome. Our friends elected to go south to the coast and to then have three days in Rome.
They both agreed that the made a mistake. "There's just much to see and experience in Rome in just a few days. You find yourself rushing from place-to-place and not soaking it all in" became their mantra.
So if you must,do Rome and Venice.You'll enjoy it. But,I guarantee you'll say "Next time,I won't..."

jabez is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:28 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi A,

With only a week I would stick to Venice and Florence.

However, since you want to see Rome and Venice, I suggest that you fly into Venice - 3 days.

Train to Florence, drop your bags at the left luggage office, spend a day in Florence, go on to Rome.

A DAY IN FLORENCE:

Train to Florence SMN:
The Luggage Office is to your left as you leave the train.

From Piazza d' Stazione, walk up via Nazionale to via d'Ariento and the Mercato Centrale, wander through.

Take any street going NE to Via Degli Alfani and go right to the Accademia for The David.

Take via Ricasoli SE to the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Opera Museum (Originals of the bronzes on the doors)

From the Campanile, take via Calzaiuoli S (do some window shopping) to the Piazza d' Signoria. Look around, take a break.

Continue S to the Uffizi. Visit.

From the Uffizi, walk W along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio.

(You can walk up to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens if there is time. Great views of Florence from the top of the Gardens)

If you have time, walk E along the S bank of the river to Ponte alle grazie and cross over to visit Santa Croce.

If not, go W along the Arno from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte S. Trinita and go right. Go left on Via d'Spada to via d'Fossi and go right to Santa Maria Novella. Look around.

SMN is across the square from the train station.

Be sure to have lots of gelato (in a cup, not a cone), take some wine breaks and a light lunch.

Train schedules, prices and tickets are at www.trenitalia.com

Bus routes are at http://www.ataf.net/
Buy your ticket before you get on the bus. Stamp it in the yellow box on the bus.

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 1016868 (dial around number), 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

Have a nice visit.



ira is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #15  
nbujic
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Hi,
when people say they "saw" Rome , Firenze and Venice in 6 days, I guess that is exactly what they did . They race from sight to sight, take pictures and tell their friends they were in 3 cities.
How can one stay in Firenze a day and "visit" Uffici is beyond me.
And Rome... a week yould hardly cover it - just think how long it takes to see the Vatican, St. Peters, the Chapel (often there are lineups).
Maybe some start their day at seven in the morning, ignore galleries, museums, psrks

 
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:07 AM
  #16  
nbujic
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Hi,
when people say they "saw" Rome , Firenze and Venice in 7 days, I guess that is exactly what they did . They race from sight to sight, take pictures and tell their friends they were in 3 cities.
How can one stay in Firenze a day and "visit" Uffici is beyond me.
And Rome... a week would hardly cover it - just think how long it takes to see the Vatican, St. Peters, the Chapel (often there are lineups).
Maybe some start their day at seven in the morning, ignore galleries and museums, take cabs from place to place ,eat on the run and have agreat time. ( and no jatlag!)

Different strokes for different ...

 
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:09 AM
  #17  
 
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I would fly into Rome, stay 3-4 days, train to Venice, stay 3-4 days, fly home from Venice.

Actually if it were me, honestly, I'd just go to Venice for the entire time. But that's probably not appropriate advice for others. It is amazing and magical and unlike any other place I have ever been in the world.

Since you say you are "not too certain about Florence" I would definitely skip it with such a short period of time to work with.
suze is online now  
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:10 AM
  #18  
 
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Oh I see someone mentions above that this is a part of a longer trip? That makes a difference too, imo.
suze is online now  
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:19 AM
  #19  
 
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ira,

I note that you include the telephone number for museum reservations in Firenze and the Uffizi, but first time visitors to Firenze in the normal tourist season who try to follow your advice -- leave bags at station, go to Accademia first -- better be extremely organized and plan to arrive in Firenze well ahead of the reservation at the Accademia. The possibility of a late train arrival, the line for to deposit luggage and the chances of getting lost during the 20 minute walk to the Accademia in Firenze are significant.

People coming into Firenze for a day during the tourist season without reservations to the Accademia or the Uffizi should be prepared to skip them.

I think ellenem's blitz of Firenze is more realistic for people who are merely curious to look around Firenze.
nessundorma is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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The other good aspect of our blitz: we only checked in and out of two hotels in one week. Changing location takes so much more time than one thinks. Since I had visited all these places before, we were able to move efficiently without getting lost. First-time visitors might have a different experience.
ellenem is offline  

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