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Rome - how many days do you need to see it all?

Rome - how many days do you need to see it all?

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 01:43 PM
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Rome - how many days do you need to see it all?

I am going to Italy for the first time in May. We only have 8 nights and would like to go to Florence and Siena for a few days. We fly in and out of Rome........how many days should plan on for Rome? Favorite restaurants, sights, etc. would be appreciated. Going on a moderate budget.
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:11 PM
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I think you already know that you can't see it all,not in any of the places you mention, not even if you stayed the whole time in one place.
Some people like the concentrated approach, others the smorgasboard.
The choice of time also depend a lot on what you like. Rome is very large, spread out, and a big bustling sometimes noisy city which contains treasures that span thousands of years.
Florence is quite small and yet has so many treasures of Renaissance art and architecture that it's easy to overload on it. Siena is even smaller, but charmingly preserved in its medieval
atmosphere, and close to vineyards and beautiful small towns in Tuscany.

With 8 days, I'd suggest, reluctantly, 4 days Rome, 4 days Florence and Siena.
Alternatively, 5 days Rome and three in Florence/Siena. If you're flying across the Atlantic, your first day is likely to be spoiled by fatigue and jet lag.
And getting from one city to another (travel, checking in and out, etc), even when all goes smoothly, takes up at least half a day.

I have files on those cities; if you'd like to see them, email me.
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:29 PM
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Elaine, You are a gem !
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:53 PM
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It depends also on your vacation style... how early do you like to get out and sightsee, what pace of sightseeing do you use? I spent 7 nights in Rome in March and was out every day very early, did A LOT of walking, used the city buses and subway at times. I spent one entire day via train and bus to visit (briefly) Paestum and Amalfi. I also spent a good half-day visiting Tivoli via the public bus. I got to see every sight in Rome I wanted to in about 5 days (except maybe for Nero's Golden House, and I actually could have fit it in timewise but didn't realize how much I would have probably enjoyed it until I was already home). This also included a half-day of bicycling along the Via Appia Antica that I originally didn't plan for either.

My last day I was basically wandering around, a little homesick too, because it was my first solo travel experience and I was ready to get back. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my trip experience for anything. I was just wishing I had planned to visit, say, Venice for at least a couple days and flown home from there.

I really enjoyed the bike ride along Via Appia Antica. If it's a pleasant day and a Sunday, which it was for me, I highly recommend this. I think Sunday is the only day that vehicular traffic is restricted from the road.

The Baths of Caracalla are fascinating also, which doesn't seem to be mentioned as often here.

If you have made any sense of this, you've probably deducted I'm a little nuts. That's okay. I've never denied it. Happy planning!
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