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TheModoc Mar 18th, 2011 11:18 AM

We'll be flying into Rome from the Barcelona leg of our trip in late June. My tentative plan is something like this:
Day 1 - fly into Rome in early PM, eat, enjoy night
Day 2 - Rome
Day 3 - Rome
Day 4 - travel to Orvieto in early AM, explore and then onto Florence for dinner
Day 5 - Florence
Day 6 - Florence
Day 7 - back to Rome for flight back to Barcelona

I have been to both Rome and Florence before but my girlfriend hasn't, so we plan on doing a mix of must-sees (Sistine chapel, David, etc.) and "secondary" sights (Galleria Borghese, Medici chapels, etc.) time allowing.

Anyone who's been to Orvieto - it looks very interesting to me and I'd love to explore it if I can but I was wondering if it's 'worth' the time (considering our tight schedule) and if it is, is an afternoon sufficient to explore or does one really have to spend the night and at least a full day?

All comments and recommendations welcome!

vjpblovesitaly Mar 18th, 2011 11:23 AM

I was in Orvieto in January and I really liked it. It is a small town. I can't remember exactly how long I stayed but I got there in the morning and I think I left maybe around 3.

Are you driving?

annhig Mar 18th, 2011 11:32 AM

Hi TM,

not sure how long you are spending in Barcelona, but IIWY, I would seriously consider spending the whole week in Rome with day trips to Florence and Orvieto [which is very easy to so in a day trip][ if you feel like it. Honestly there is so much to do and see in Rome that a week [or in fact 5 days or so] is barely enough to scratch the surface.

however if you can't bare the thought of not staying in Florence, i would suggest going straight there from Barcelona, then stopping off in Orvieto for a night on the way to Rome, and ending in Rome, so that your time there is not broken up, and you are in the right place for flying home.

this would give you the following:

Day 1 - fly into Rome in early PM, get train to Florence.
Day 2 - Florence
Day 3 - Florence, then train to orvieto
Day 4 - Orvieto in early AM, explore and then onto Rome for dinner
Day 5 - Rome
Day 6 - Rome
Day 7 - Rome for flight back to Barcelona

if you wanted a whole day more or less in Orvieto, but not to stay overnight, you could leave florence early on day 3, spend most of the day in Orvieto, then get the train [about 1 1/2 to 2 hours] to Rome, arriving early evening. that would give you an extra night in Rome.

that might be a better choice in June when it won't matter if you are late arriving in Rome as it will still be light. [i always like to arrive in the light if I can in new places, but that may just be me!] .

tedgale Mar 18th, 2011 11:42 AM

Re-locating to Orvieto and then Florence and returning to Rome is just too much travel in the scant time you have.

I wd also re-think your "must see" approach. You'll be standing in lines with crowds in what cd be blisteringly hot weather...

I'd take the metaphorical "step back" and ask

"What would make a perfect 5 days?"

instead of "How much can my GF and I see in 5 days?"

I was in Orvieto in October. Very sweet town but if the trade-off is less time in Rome or Florence, I'd pass.

DRJ Mar 18th, 2011 12:00 PM

Orvieto is a very easy day trip from Rome. Its one hour by train and the funicular to Orvieto Alto is across the street from the train station. The town is very walkable and the duomo is magnificent. Plan for lunch at I Sette Consoli, my favorite in all of Italy.

TheModoc Mar 18th, 2011 03:27 PM

vjpb & DRJ - thanks for the tips (especially the restaurant!), if we do visit the town it will be a nice leisurely day trip.

ann & ted- I will reevaluate and perhaps base out of Rome, or at least reverse the order to put Rome at the end, it makes sense now that you bring it up. Thanks for your perspective, our interests are so varied it's a real bearcat trying to peg down even a basic itinerary!

uhoh_busted Mar 18th, 2011 03:58 PM

Years ago we were in Orvieto and took a tour of the caves from the tourist office. It was delightful and we learned a lot about what it must have been like to live in that town, being attacked from below, but knowing you always had water & food because of the caves carved out of the tufa that the town is built on. We're going to visit Orvieto again this fall. I really am looking forward to it.

annhig Mar 19th, 2011 10:21 AM

mmmm- we did the cave tour last year and were less impressed that u_b.

if you've only got one day there, do everything else first!

ml15 Mar 19th, 2011 11:58 AM

Love Orvieto...but second annhig opinion of the cave tour.

TheModoc Mar 21st, 2011 01:20 PM

Interesting about the cave tour, is it short or long?

I now see there are direct flights from Barcelona to Florence (for some reason their were none the last time I looked) so the new itinerary is:

3 nights in Florence
train south to Monteriggione, Siena, or Orvieto (or other?)
3 nights in Rome

Does anyone have a good day-trip experience from Florence? The last time I was there I spent the afternoon in Siena and loved it. Looking for good ideas.

annhig Mar 21st, 2011 04:24 PM

the cave tour is about an hour.

you walk down a path and into the caves. the party wanders around following the guide, who tells you something about the lives of the etruscans and what all the caves were used for- but we don't appear to know a lot!

then you walk out again, getting a lovely view of the hill village opposite. that was the best bit, IMHO. then we left.

spend your time in the cathedral!

kybourbon Mar 21st, 2011 05:44 PM

Siena is better reached by Sita bus (from Florence is 1 hour). You can also bus (Sena) from Siena to Rome (just as fast as train).

I'm not sure the train goes all the way to Monteriggioni. You may want to check for bus service.

TheModoc Mar 22nd, 2011 08:37 AM

Think we'll skip the caves, thanks ann.

Ky - thanks for the link, will certainly check timetables and look into bus.

bardo1 Mar 22nd, 2011 09:14 AM

Rome is 10X the size and population of Florence (and has at 10X as many "must see" sights, yet you are dividing them equally.

Have you been to both Rome and Florence before? For how long?

I would at least consider basing yourself in Rome and doing Orvieto and Florence as day trips. Not only because it demands more time, but because that's where you are flying into and out of.

Mimar Mar 22nd, 2011 09:54 AM

Does Orvieto station have luggage storage? Otherwise, you'll be lugging that luggage up and down and around. Ditto Siena. I'm pretty sure no baggage storage in Monteriggioni.

From Florence the bus leaves from across the street to the main train station (SMN) and drops you off in the middle of the historic center of Siena. The Siena train station is outside the walls and at some little distance from the Centro Storico.

kybourbon Mar 22nd, 2011 10:49 AM

There used to be luggage storage at the ticket office under Piazza Gramsci (where the buses drop).

Orvieto train station does not have luggage storage, but supposedly a nearby hotel will let you store it there. No clue what they might charge.

TheModoc Mar 24th, 2011 09:09 AM

bardo1 - I've been to both before (quite some time ago), spent 3 days in Florence and 5 in Rome and I prefered Florence (also spent 2 days in Venice which I adored, and 2 in Milan).

Thanks for bringing up the luggage storage, that's a practical necessity I hadn't thought of!

bardo1 Mar 24th, 2011 10:00 AM



I that case, do consider basing yourselves in different neighborhoods this time around. Both cities have multiple areas that are all super-charming and worthy of a stay.

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