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Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan - How many days?

Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan - How many days?

Jan 2nd, 2010, 07:15 AM
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Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan - How many days?

Hi guys

We will be visiting Italy in May 2010 and this will be the first time we're travelling to Europe (from Australia) so we have absolutely no idea of what we will be expecting.

We are planning for a holiday trip to Italy for approximately 17 days before heading to London. So the cities in Italy that we are planning to visit in particular order are:

1) Rome - we will arrive in Rome first from Dubai
2) Florence
3) Venice
4) Milan - our last stop before we fly to London

I am interested in herritage buildings, sceneries, cultural and the people. To elaborate on that, I love taking photographs of old buildings, sceneries and also the local people and culture. I have very little interest in art (but still would want to appreciate them since I am in Italy where art is big).

I love nature photography but because my wife is coming along, I don't think I would be able to travel out to the country side so we will be mainly stay around the cities itself. I also need to reserve at least a few days in Milan for my wife to shop around.

Also, is it worth visiting Pisa just to have a look at the leaning tower or should we just skip that? I don't really want to visit Pisa if the only attractions there is the tower.

In terms of transportation, what is the best way for me to travel to the different cities in Italy (e.g. Bus/Train/etc)? And how do I go about arranging the transportation when I am there?

Thanks, hope to hear some responses soon
edgarchieng is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Hi ed,

>17 days before heading to London. So the cities in Italy that we are planning to visit in particular order are:

1) Rome is worth at least a week. You can take a daytrip to Orvito. Many folks take a trip to Pompeii.
2) Florence is worth from 3- 5 nights. A daytrip to Siena would be good.
3) Venice is worth most of your life - at least 4 nights.
4) Milan, i suggest 1-2 nights.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 09:25 AM
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I'd do 6 nights in Rome, 4 nights in Florence, 4 nights in Venice and 3 nights in Milan. You can travel from one city to the other by train.

Castellanese is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Train is the best way to travel from city to city, the italisn train company is called Trenitalia. You can check fares and train schedules on their website but many people on this forum have reported that the website doesn't accept forgein (ie, non Italian) credit cards. Trains between these cities are frequent. Just by your tickets once you arrive in Italy. Remember to validate the train ticket before you board the train.

Since you love nature photography, have you considered a visit to the lake district?
justshootme is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 09:59 AM
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hi edgar,

I'm going to disagree with Ira, great though his advice is.

After Rome, instead of going to another city, stay in the countryside somewhere. IMO this will help you to appreciate what you see in the cities all the more - trust me, by the time you've done Rome, Florence and Venice, you'll have no idea what you've seen where, and you'll be exhausted with it all.

I would do 6 nights in Rome [one day for a day trip, possibly] then

get the train to Orvieto, stay a night, and then

drive to an agritorismo, stay 4 nights

drive to Venice, stay 4 nights [return car, you won't want one there] then

train to Milan, stay 2 nights.

I don't really understand why your wife coming along means that you can't see the countryside - is she allergic to grass?
annhig is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 05:15 PM
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Some people prefer cities. I must admit that I do - and while I like looking at pretty scenery I don;t like staying in small towns (not enough to do, not enough restaurants and shops, things close down at odd hours - for me anything less than 7 am to 10 pm) and staying in the country generally leaves me cold.

We did stay in a private chateau in the Loire while we toured that - but it was a pain having to drive back there after dinner - and one of us limiting ourself to a single glass of wine. I loved the experience - but if I had to do it again would have spent only 2 or 3 nights there and the rest in a hotel in a town where we could walk or cab to a selection of restaurants.

(Now I do like having a house at the beach in the summer. But it's a 7 minute drive to town - and a plethora of shops and restaurants. Plus lots of gourmet shops so we bring quite a few meals in. And it's OUR house and OUR beach - not just random countryside.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2010, 05:22 PM
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With that much time in Italy, it would be a shame to spend it all in big cities. Consider rural Tuscany or Lake Como as your change of pace.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 02:05 AM
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Como is a good idea Bob, if the OP's wife really can't stand the idea of the countryside, but i would suggest somewhere on Lake Garda as being more "en route" to Venice. Sirmione would be nice.

if it just HAS to be Florence, then i would suggest dropping Orvieto, and substituting 2 nights in Florence, then picking up a car and making for Lake Garda as above.
annhig is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 03:01 PM
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I note, Edgar, that you are flying Dubai - Rome. I'd suggest that you fly Dubai - Venice. We've done Melbourne - Dubai - Venice a couple of times, and involves a three hour wait at Dubai which is not too bad. Emirates is OK to fly with.

Arriving in Venice is magic, and is a lovely inroduction to Italy - very low stress.

For an Australian perspective on Venice, here's my collected thoughts:

We took a three week trip to Italy a couple of years ago.
Venice - six nights.
Verona - two nights
Como - two nights
Florence - four nights
Assisi - three nights
Rome - four nights.

It worked pretty well - although Como in winter was a bit flat, and Rome was too short. But you can't do it all!

Personally, I would skip Pisa.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 05:51 PM
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Though I'm pretty late at the party, I must comment on the Pisa question. I have to admit that I don't trust my eyes. First of all, why "just" for the leaning tower?? What is this scornful "just" supposed to mean? If you mean it's "just" leaning and nothing else, then there would certainly be no reason to visit. But this tower is not "just" leaning, it's first of all an amazing piece of architecture - more amazing than most other towers you're likely to see in your life. And what's more important, Pisa is not "just" the tower, of course. Didn't you consider visiting the Duomo whose bell tower you are talking about? That's not "just" another church; it's arguably the most beautiful and most important Romanesque church on this little planet. Far more worth your attention than the tower (beautiful as the latter is, too). And Giovanni Pisano's pulpit inside the Duomo is the most astonishing piece of Gothic sculpture anywhere; this pulpit alone would be worth the trip, not only to Pisa, not only to Italy, but the whole trip from Australia to Europe, just to see this pulpit.
Have travelers totally abandoned reading guidebooks?
franco is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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franco - I'm in complete agreement with you here [sorry Pete!]

they don't call it il campo dei miracoli for nothing. I have to say though that it made a better impression upon me when we visited it the first time about 25 years ago - when we went with our kids three years ago the hawkers and general melee did distract somewhat from the general ambiance.

I am not surprised that all the tat puts some people off.
annhig is online now  
Jan 19th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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>>Have travelers totally abandoned reading guidebooks?<<

As far as I can tell, they've mostly abandoned reading. Anything!


tat put me off, but it's not inside the Duomo! Do you realize that some people -- I think maybe most people -- never go inside the Duomo when they go to Pisa?
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Ok, Ann, I understand that, too. But those overwhelmingly great monuments are not responsible for the melee, I think we agree on that. (And my remark was not directed towards Peter. He wrote he would "personally" skip it, and personal likes and dislikes are of course free.)
franco is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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tat put me off, but it's not inside the Duomo! Do you realize that some people -- I think maybe most people -- never go inside the Duomo when they go to Pisa?>>

steps - confess that that had never occurred to me. I can't conceive of going all that way and not sparing 5 minutes to go inside to have a look! What itinerary could possibly not have time for even a glance? I can live with Peter's decision not to visit Pisa at all, but having got there, what a waste of time not to look inside one of the most wonderful buildings ever built.

I am NOT of the "must look in every church, museum and old building ever built" school, [DH has leanings this way, particularly when it comes to uninviting looking streets] but if the green guide gives it at least a star, it's good enough for me.
annhig is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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5 minutes, or rather 5 hours, for a thorough visit of Pisa's Duomo?
franco is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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I've only been to Pisa once and that was more than 20 years ago. But I remember there was much to interest us just at the Field of Miracles. We climbed the tower (unguided and unreserved in those days), visited the Duomo and Baptistery, and also visited the Monumental Cemetery (Camposanto) in which the amazing frescoes were heavily damaged in WWII. We strolled away from this area to find a nice lunch.

Inspired by the Camposanto, we visited the Museo delle Sinopie (across the field from the cemetery, behind all the tourist vendors) where the damaged frescoes and fresco sketches found underneath were on display in a very modern setting for that time. It was fascinating to us to compare the sketches and frescoes. We thoroughly enjoyed this museum, but it may not be for everyone.

I've been thinking recently that is is time to return to Pisa again.
ellenem is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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5 minutes, or rather 5 hours, for a thorough visit of Pisa's Duomo?>>

franco - I was already assuming that you would be there with my DH, inspecting the smallest detail. but i was talking about the tourists who won't even spare 5 minutes to look inside such a building. BTW - I'm somewhere in the middle!
annhig is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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No, I was just kidding. 5 hours would be exaggerated, even in my opinion. But 1.5 or 2 hours is certainly realistic.
franco is offline  
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