Rome, Florence, Venice

Old Jul 31st, 2006, 09:47 AM
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Rome, Florence, Venice

I've been reading the posts and there was such good information and friendly responses I decided to register. My two brothers and I will be taking a family trip in October.

We have 14 nights
Rome for 6 nights, beginning Oct. 14.
Pompei or Orivieto 1 night
Florence 3 nights(side trip Pisa),
Venice (3 nights).
Back in Rome on Oct. 27.

*Is this a realistic timetable?

*What is the best order to travel to these places?

*What's the best mode of transportation between them? I would like to drive some of it, especially around Florence.

*I don't see how I will avoid backtracking. Would I find it redundant to travel one direction by train and then drive back the same way? I don't particularly want to take a 4-5 hour train trip. I think we would see more if we drove.

Looing forward to your great Fodorite responses
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:00 AM
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I think you've made a good start...

I'd substitute San Gimignano for Pisa. Also, you needn't 'backtrack'. You can easily create a loop, thereby not traveling the same way twice.

For me, the car is best - just don't drive into Florence.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Frankly I think you see more if you take a train than if you drive -- or at least the driver would!

First of all, yes your itinerary is fine, although I'd certainly opt for Orvieto over Pompeii this trip.

I would do the trip by train -- but then I'm more comfortable riding a nice train (the Eurostar does this route) than I am in a rental car. But if you are convinced you want to do some driving, I'd probably rework the middle part of the trip and spend a couple nights in Orvieto or somewhere in Tuscany and reduce the nights in Florence itself to one or two. There is really no point in having a car in any of the main three cities you mention, and I think driving and parking in Florence is a bear.

I think my change would be to do the 6 nights in Rome, take a train to Orvieto and pick up a car, explore Orvieto that day and drive on to Pienza for two nights, spending a full day exploring some of the Tuscan towns. I might even reduce the stay in Rome to 5 nights and make it 3 nights in Pienza, for two full days of exploration. Then drive on to Florence, turn in the car and spend two nights there. Take a train to Venice for your three nights. Take another train to Rome. Too bad you can't fly into Rome and out of Venice.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:15 AM
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It's wonderful that you have 14 nights. If at all possible, fly in to Rome (or Venice) and out of the other city.* Orvieto makes sense for this itinerary; Pompeii doesn't --unless you stay in Rome another day and do a long day trip by train or private car. (Orvieto is also an easy day trip if you get an apt for a week in Rome and don't want the trouble of changing hotels. 3 times in 14 days would give you more sightseeing/relaxing time.)

* You might find Venice a better first city to fly into -smaller, no traffic, slower paced than Rome. Rome is fun and lively, but not if you'll still be jet lagged the first couple of days.

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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I suggest you keep Pisa in your plans and drive back from Venice to Orvieto, and drop the car off in Orvieto and then take the train to Rome. In that configuration, it makes sense to spend 5 nights in Rome, 3 nights Firenze (side trip Pisa) 3 nights Venice and then I would spend the night of the 26th someplace else between Venice and Orvieto. (I'm assuming your spending the night in Rome the 27th and flying out the 28th.)

Pull out a map and have fun. I would pick lunch somewhere in Emilia Romagna (Parma? Ferrara?) and dinner in Umbria. But I'm just tossing out an idea.

nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Did you already book your airfare? If not, go for an open-jaw (arr Rome - dep Venice or vica versa).

Your timetable is very reasonable.

If you are doing roundtrip Rome, I would start North (Venice) and work your way to ROme. Book a flight upon your arrival in Rome to Venice.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:43 AM
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book,

Everything looks perfect, including the order.

As mentioned above, the only way to improve it would be to fly into Rome and out of Venice or vice versa.

If you already have plane tickets, then don't worry about it. You have enough time in this trip to take a Eurostar train from Venice to Rome before flying home.

The best way to see the things is by train since you don't need to watch the road. It's also quicker and more scenic than major highways.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Looks good !
I would day trip to Siena rather than Pisa, but that is personal.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:35 AM
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The 'best way to see things' IMHO is by car on local roads (not major highways), stopping wherever and whenever you wish - 'especially around Florence', i.e. Tuscany.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for all the great ideas. Unfortunately, I already have return tickets home from Rome, so I have do a roundtrip. I have 7 nights in Rome when you count the 27th before I leave.

I like the idea of renting a car in Orvieto, and traveling around the area.

*Is it easy to rent a car in Orvieta?
*Where would I return the car since everyone seems to agree not to drive into Florence. I'm staying at the Florence Sheraton Airport Hotel (only because of award points)
*Anybody else's thoughts about Pienza?
*When would I go to Pisa?

Thinking about it, it might be relaxing after all those days to "return to Rome" on a train from Venice to Rome even if it is 4 1/2 hours.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Hi Book,

Since I'm biased toward Venice, I would add one night there and take one night from Rome.

I would also fly into Venice.

Since you want to do some driving, I suggest getting the car in Venice, driving through Tuscany (including Florence and Siena - add a night for this and take it from Rome), and dropping the car in Orvieto.

Take the train into Rome from Orvieto, and fly home from Rome.

Pompeii is too far out of the way for this visit.

Enjoy your trip.

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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Agreeing with the others - Pompeii is probably a bit far- although it is possible to do as a day trip from Rome by train (Search this board - the topic comes up frequently).

Pisa is an easy day trip from Florence - Just over an hour by train. Many people find it over rated - I don't - The Duomo and baptistry are magnificent on there own. Personally, if I had only 3 days in Florence, I would tend to stay there, with maybe an afternoon trip to Fiesole.

Siena may be a possibility instead of Orvieto - maybe as your last stop on your return to Rome from Venice.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Yes, books, it looks good-but I agree with one or more of the posts above-particularly, no need to do Pisa, (Pisa -you can buy a postcard, I don't really see the need to visit it) when you can go to San G. instead-it's quite lovely-even with the crowds of tourists-should think it would be a bit less crowded in October as well.

Would definitely take Pompeii off the list, and would take a day off Rome and add to Venice-since I don't do cars in Italy, I can't really address that issue-but driving around the Tuscan countryside seems a better way to see the smaller hilltop towns, and gives you the mobility to see two or three in a day, if you want, rather than taking the train and making a day of it for each town you want to visit.

But other than that, plan away!
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:57 PM
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I'm with the OPs to leave out Pompeii on this trip. Instead, take a day trip out to Ostia Antica [metro B to piramide, then the local train towards the coast]. It makes a very pleasant day trip, interesting ruins, nice cafe. Give yourselves 3-4 hours there, plus lunch and travel.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:24 PM
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So I guess you didn't go into the Duomo in Pisa. Where else in Tuscany haven't you been?

I posted what I did not because I think "Pisa is the greatest place in Tuscany to visit" (which I certainly don't) or because I imagined that you care how others receive your advice. I posted it because I didn't want book6783 to overrate your advice just because it was stated in such absolutist fashion. I pressed you to reveal what your personal experiences have been with the things you try to sound authoritative about, and what I got back was bluster.

I'm sorry 26 years of traveling haven't taught you that the world is full of differing sensibilities, but not surprised.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:41 PM
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Nessun, notice I didn't ask you about how much experience YOU have in Italy-because frankly, I couold care less, and you're beginning to sound more shrill by the post, so it might behoove you to chill out, and get over your little puerile snits when I disagree with such great recommendations of yours like Pisa.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Geez, girls, chill out. One of you likes Pisa and the other doesn't. Anyone who comes to a travel site and seeks advice and is told to see or not see something should have the intelligence to know it is a personal opinion, not an absolute. Do we have to get into a battle over which decision is based on a greater travel background?

Personally I liked Pisa and spent a couple nights there, but if the people haven't seen any of Tuscany before, it wouldn't be the highest priority on my list! On the other hand there's something about seeing a landmark as famous as that leaning tower. I think the original poster has enough now to decide if Pisa should be a priority for them or not.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:03 PM
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Book6783, I think Neopolitan's plan sounds good. Pienza is surrounded by gorgeous Tuscan scenery and is a good geographic base.

You can day-trip choices from Florence to San Gimignano, Siena, Pisa and/or Lucca in some combination or singularly. Do some research about each place and decide what sounds most interesting to you. Then search on this board for the transportation options to each town.

You won't be able to see every wonderful thing or town in Italy on this trip, but you're going to have a great time and you're going to want to go back and see more.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:32 PM
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I think you have a good plan-please,though,don't even consider moving a day from Rome to Venice or elsewhere!There is soooo much to see in Rome.
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