Rome/Florence/Venice help

May 25th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Posts: 79
Rome/Florence/Venice help

My husband and I are hoping to travel to Italy for the first time this November. We know it's cooler that time of year but it's less expensive, too! How does this itinerary sound? Is it too packed? Should we limit it to just Rome/Florence?

Arrive Rome 11/19 at 11:00am
Stay in Rome the 20th. 21st, 23rd
Pompeii/Naples tour 11/22
6 nights at Locanda Senatorum

Depart Rome by train on 11/24
Arrive Florence 11/24
Stay in Florence 11/24, 25, 26, 27
4 nights at Hotel Davanzati

Depart Florence by train on 11/28
Arrive Venice 11/28
Stay in Florence 11/28, 29
2 nights at Pensione La Calcina

Depart Venice 11/30 at 2:30pm

dahlie is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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I just got back from a similar trip. It was broken down like this:

5 nights Rome (side trip to Naples)

4 nights Florence (with 2 side trips)

3 nights Ligurian coast (Rapallo and Cinque Terre)

4 nights Venice

In retrospect I wish I had spent one less day in Florence and an extra day in Rome. I also wish I had spent one less day in CT and an extra night in Rapallo.

If I had to choose 2 out of 3 (Rome, Florence, Venice) I would choose Rome and Venice. Venice is a must see, in my opinion.

I think November sounds like a GREAT time to go, Italy was becoming hot and crowded this week!
vivi is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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If you are interested, here is a link to 3 MP3 itineraries I made. They are 20 meg zip files. They are free and allow you to see lots of things in a short period of time.

daveesl is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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I think your trip sounds wonderful and not rushed at all - particulary since you are flying out of Venice so you don't have to backtrack to Rome to fly home.

November is a bit cooler, but you will have fewer crowds and if you pack layers you should be fine. I have been there in the beginning of October and I was wearing capris during the day and a light jacket and scarf in the evenings. The cooler weather is also a great excuse to buy the fabulous pashminas!

I wouldn't change your plans at all, and I wouldn't try to cram too many "daytrips" out of Florence. I find, from reviewing peoples intineraries here, that they try to see everything BUT Florence when they stay there (want to go to Pisa, Lucca, Siena, etc., etc). Spend at least 2 fulls days in Florence, 3 if you are going to do the Uffizi. You can do 1 day trip (I would recommend Siena) if you really must, but there is so much to see in Florence that the days will fly by.

I am SO jealous.
camelbak is offline  
May 31st, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Thanks to all! Daveesl, I'll check out you MP3s when I get home. I'm excited to see them!

Camelbak, is it possible to do both Siena and Pisa in one day?
dahlie is offline  
May 31st, 2007, 12:47 PM
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I just got home from Rome, Florence and Venice. I know how personal this is and that there are the love/hate camps for Florence, Rome and Venice, but I would never spend 4 days in Florence. We did 6 days in Rome and could have easily done another 2 or 3. Then we went to Florence. Arrived early Friday morning and left Monday morning. In my opinion, that was 2 days too many. One full day would have done it for me to see the Uffizi and Michelangelo's David. I really disliked Florence. Maybe it will be better in November than in May, less crowded. But I'll never go back to Florence.

Venice, on the other hand was fantastic. Even with all the tourists, it was so beautiful and easy to wander away from the crowds. It was magical, relaxing and I'm so glad we had 4 full days there before we left. By the way, we stayed at La Calcina and loved it.

If you want restaurant reccomendations and full detailed food descriptions, click on my name and see my trip report entitled "My First Taste of Donkey"

Have a great trip!
plafield is offline  
May 31st, 2007, 12:58 PM
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I love Plafield's "Donkey" report and agree with her about so many foodie things that I hate to disagree about Florence. BUT, it is, IMHO, a marvelous place absolutely just as magical for us the 17th visit (two years ago) as it was the first. We lived in Italy for some time and Florence was our favourite weekend getaway. You will decide for yourself but don't let anyone (even the marvelously literate Plafield) talk you out of going!

You don't want to miss the Wax Museum, Fiesole, the mask and paper makers, Trattoria Antelessi, the tavalo caldi, the Arno at sunset, Santa Maria Novello, the Farmacia Antica,the silk tassle specialist, the Straw Market, the Etruscan Museo and so forth, do you?
LJ is offline  
May 31st, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Have you already made your hotel reservations? Just wondering, because if you've reserved 6 nights in Rome, you have 1 too many. If you arrive on 11/19 and leave on 11/24, that is 5 nights. Just don't want you paying for an extra night when you won't be there!

I would take 1 night from Florence and add it to Venice.
SusanP is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Thanks all! Wonderful feedback. That's hilarious...I can't count! Yep, you're right, it's 5 nights! No, we haven't made our reservations yet. We own a restaurant and are waiting to see how the first months of the year go and then we can book our trip! I'm so excited!

We'll have three full days in Rome (not counting the day we arrive since we'll be tired) and a day trip to Pompeii. Has anyone done the Pompeii trip? I think it would be amazing...but I don't want to build it up in my head if it's not as interesting as I think it will be.

Hmmm, maybe I'll try to talk Mr.Dahlie into 3 nights in Florence and 3 in Venice.
dahlie is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 01:28 PM
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A lot of people seem to do day trips to Pompeii from Rome but it seems like an awfully long way to me. We told our son it was too far for a comfortable day trip when our family spent 8 days in Rome earlier this year. We spent 7 full days in rome and abandoned the day trip to Tarquinia I had originally wanted to do and have a long list of places we will go to in Rome next time.

Pompeii is an amazing place, though--hard to imagine you would be disappointed in it. Ostia Antica is much closer to Rome but not as spectacular.

as for Florence vs. Venice time allocation there is clearly a range of opinion and both cities are wonderful. I think you have it right with the 4 nights in Florence. if you are interested in art and architecture, I am sure you know you will find much more to see than the Uffizi and the David.

I am thinking November is not the ideal time to see Venice -- less pleasant weather than May for the type of strolling around that others are describing. Two of my visits to Venice have been in winter months (march and early February) and it was fairly cool. Venice is still a beautiful city to see then but different than in warmer weather.

The good news about seeing Rome, Florence and Venice is that you could easily and happily spend the whole 10 days in any of them.

Have a wonderful trip.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 04:41 PM
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We've made several trips to Italy in late October, most recently in 2006. Every visit, we've noticed the cities were more crowded than the last time. (Thankfully, the smaller towns and villages remain less congested in October.) After our last trip, we talked about traveling in early November in the future, so obviously I won't argue with your plans. Three hotels over 11 days is fine.

Just a few comments:

I think posters here tend to fall into either Florence or Venice camps, so you tend to get strong suggestions for cutting back on one or the other. This is really your choice, and unfortunately you won't know whether you made the right decision until after you've been to both places. Make museum reservations wherever you can.

As for me, Florence continues to be my favorite city. (We're considering leasing a place there for a year.) So my vote is not to reduce your time in Florence.

Siena and Pisa in the same day doesn't do either place justice. Pisa and Lucca in the same day OK. Siena and San Gimignano in the same day OK. But not two places in different directions from Florence. Consider how early the sun will go down in November.

Pompei is incredible. Visiting it from Rome is, as already mentioned, one very long day. If you're young and energetic and get an early start, it's definitely possible. But do NOT go if there is the possibility of rain unless you have a back-up plan (maps, info, etc.) to either visit the archeology museum in Naples or explore part of the city.

Have a wonderful time!
Jean is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Your itinerary sounds great. You can always choose to do a day trip out of Florence if you wish and don't even have to decide about that until you get there. I wouldn't change a thing - have a great trip!
KTtravel is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:51 PM
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Good plan - I believe you'll wish for an extra day in Venice - perhaps cut one from Rome...

We did 3 nights Venice - 4 nights Florence - 2 nights Cinque Terra & 4 nights Rome

Gregbo is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Your itinerary definitely sounds doable, tho I agree that you won't know which city is "you" til you experience them. I took a similar trip in November 02, everyone said I'd favor Florence, but I loved Rome.

BTW Nov. can be both cold AND humid. I had foolishly packed layers of cotton and I was soaked to the skin the entire time. Better: Ltweight wools & silks. I found Nov to be a little grey & deserted(but still charming). St Mark's did have some tables set out and live music just inside(close to the sidewalk). Rome was pleasant in the 60's, but the wind on the water can make Venice a little cool , so layer up. Also, I arrived to find long tables lining the square & thought oh! we've just missed a festival- but no! of course, the tables were to walk on- high waters only 2 days earlier!
In November, your hotel should be able to easily get you entry tix to the Uffizi Museum when you're in Florence, if you're so inclined.

Have a wonderful time!

ninasdream is offline  
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