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pippy May 19th, 2006 10:29 AM

Rome to Florence?
Fiance and I will be in Europe in September for our honeymoon. We're thinking of making a side trip to Florence from Rome. We will be going in Sept and are thinking of spending 4 nights in Rome and 1 night in Florence. What is the best way to get from Rome to Florence and anyone know of a nice play to stay for an affordable price? Thanks!!

barbmike May 19th, 2006 10:33 AM

The best way to get to Florence from Rome is the train and wait for IRA to respond to your Florence hotel question. Mike

jules4je7 May 19th, 2006 10:39 AM


Florence is lovely, we were there overnight on the way from Venice to Rome a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. We stayed at the The Hotel Enza, a budget hotel (I think it was about $80/night) close to the train station and within walking distance to the major sites, yet in a quiet area. The service was outstanding, and included breakfast.

The best way to get to Florence from Rome is a short (about 2 hours) train ride. Just go to the station and get your tickets. If I'm not mistaken they leave almost hourly, but you can check out more accurate schedules at

Happy travels!


pompa1 May 19th, 2006 12:00 PM

My wife and I stayed at an incredible bed and breakfast in Florence. Each of the rooms had a theme. I will try to find the name and post it for you. The museum with the David statue was only a few blocks away.


cantstayhome May 19th, 2006 12:32 PM

We stayed at a place called the J&J. 180 euros a night. It's an old convent and was quite nice. The staff was fantastic. As one reviewer on Venere said, "the nun ghosts are a bonus."

wiggin May 23rd, 2006 07:37 PM

Re train servce in Italy. If anybody's taken the regional service and the Eurostar, could you shed any light? Is the 2.30 hours regional from Rome to Florence something to REALLY avoid in July or is it just an average crowded train? They "say" it's got AC. Will my knees be knocking against the old man seated opposite me? What is the diff. in seat arrangements bet. 1st and 2d class on the regional?
Is the Eurostar a lot of needless, expensive pampering for a mere 1.5 hours? Or will I thank my maker I spent the extra money?

jabez May 24th, 2006 02:59 AM

If you are planning a side trip to Florence, I advise that you take the ES."mere 1.5 hours" represents 3 hours from one day (assuming round trip.
You won't be pampered on this train. It's a decent commuter type train that gets you to Florence fast.
IMHO towns like Florence need more time than a day to appreciate them, but many have done it and enjoy it.

ira May 24th, 2006 05:38 AM

Hi P,

I can highly recommend the B&B Peterson in Florence.

Details in my trip report.;tid=34451044


ellenem May 24th, 2006 05:43 AM

The Regional train is not just "an average crowded train." It is a train that does not accept seat reservations and stops at many small towns along the way. For certain days and times, it will be standing-room-only, packed like sardines. This is your honeymoon--spend the extra money for an ES which is all-reserved seating--2nd class will be fine.

MaureenB May 24th, 2006 06:48 AM

I also agree with taking the Eurostar from Rome to Florence. It's worth it for the slight price difference, to get a reserved seat and quicker transit time.

In Florence, the Relais Cavalcanti is a very charming little 'hotel', which is very well-priced. We paid 120EUR for a twin-bed room with a view (110 w/o view). It occupies one floor of a building located near the Uffizi gallery, in a very good central location. Because my daughter had just finished her semester in Florence, she was able to recommend her favorite location in town for lodging (as well as fantastic gelato and two amazing restaurants-- which I'll post more about when I dig out the cards and receipts from them).

The Relais Cavalcanti building has been in the same family's ownership for 100+ years, The owner/manager of the newish Relais is Francesca. She said she inherited this one floor of the building, so she recently renovated it to create a little hotel. So it's relatively new, with beautiful tile bathrooms, showers, etc. The rooms are very charming, a good sized. You have the feeling of entering a very nice private Italian home, when you unlock the Relais door and smell the potpourri set out on the beautiful tables in the hallway and entry way. It has a small elevator and a/c, too. No breakfast is served, but even better I think is that they have a beautiful little dining room/kitchen that is open 24/7 for guests. You have always available the makings for coffee, hot chocolate and tea, plus containers of pre-wrapped pastries and dessert cakes. That's about as much as you get in any Italian B&B for breakfast, and this way you can serve yourself whenever. One evening we bought wine, cheese, bread, and fuit and enjoyed our own private time in this beautiful room. The only thing to be aware of at Relais Cavalcanti is that the first floor of the building is the Old Stove Irish pub. The good news is that it's a decent little place for a panini, and has free wi-fi. However, it attracts a lot of students and young people, so it is quite noisy into the early morning hours. Our room window was directly above the pub's patio, with a beautiful view. The double windows, plus the wooden shutters, can close to block out about 90 percent of the noise from the pub below. I found that I could also turn on the a/c fan in our room, which would then totally cover any outside noise.

Francesca also cautions her prospective guests that she does not staff a 24/7 front desk. She is there during posted hours, mostly till 6 p.m., and has an emergency number on the door. But she is careful to tell guests that hers is not a hotel with full-services at night-time. I highly recommend the Relais Cavalcanti.

wiggin May 24th, 2006 07:51 AM

Thanks for the train info. Question re Vatican museum. If one walks up to the Vatican musuem at say 11am on a weekday in July, how long would the wait be? 3 hours? 1 hour?

MaureenB May 24th, 2006 08:41 AM

The Vatican museums line was very long when we were there about ten days ago. Here's a good way to avoid it, though: go to the Holy See website
and search for their Museums tour information. It's not easy to find, unfortunately I can't exactly remember how to, either. It may be listed under Education or something like that. Once you find it, you get their fax number and send a request directly to them. It's an antiquated system, and you won't get a confirmation back from them. You will, if you're lucky, get a fax back from them about two days before your requested tour date. So it's a pain, but it worked for me and gave us a confirmed time to skip to the head of the VERY long line and go in for our scheduled tour. (I have a post on this forum about it, so you can search for that post and maybe find more infor.)
It only costs about 8 EUR extra per person. You'll get a Vatican tour guide, and a two hour tour with headsets.
Then, the best tip is this: before 4:30 on most days, from the Sistine Chapel, you can exit through one of the side doors and go directly to St. Peter's Basilica without waiting in another outside line. It's a shortcut they don't seem to promote, but Rick Steves had it in his book, and it worked for us. Ask the tour guide which exit door to take, but it does lock at 4:30.
Doing the museum tour and St. Peter's this way saved my daughter and I at least 4 hours of standing outside in line.
Have fun!

MaureenB May 24th, 2006 08:42 AM

Jeez-- sorry! Somehow my reply above posted to the wrong thread!

MaureenB May 24th, 2006 08:43 AM

Ok, I am really jet-lagged.

pompa1 May 26th, 2006 05:57 AM

I finally found it. We stayed at the Relais Grand Tour. We stayed in the "mirrors suite" and the other 2 people stayed in the Divas suite. The location, price and quality were exceptional. Hope this helps.

Vera May 26th, 2006 08:49 AM

Nobody has mentioned Casci in Florence yet, so I'll be the first.
If you do a search here you'll find lots of recommendations. We were just there. Their rooms were priced at 150 E per night. Spacious, lovely decor, quiet. Convenient location. (walk to train station as well as most sites).It is a few rooms on the 2nd floor of an old Palazzo, run by a lovely family.
I'll have more in my trip report.

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