Rome to Florence to Pisa

Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:22 PM
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Rome to Florence to Pisa

My husband and I will be in Italy in mid-April, but only have six full days to explore. We arrive in Rome Sunday morning, and will leave from there by train Tuesday afternoon, heading to Florence for two days. Since we fly out from Pisa Saturday morning, we have 1 1/2 days that we could spend between Siena and Pisa (one night each). Is travel by train to Siena practical and then easy enough to get to Pisa? We understand that 1/2 day in Pisa is enough, and we would like to see what we can in these last two days. Of course, we would love to see much more of Italy...but perhaps another time. *One more question: we have booked a room near the Vatican. Is that area okay, or would it be better to cancel and find a room closer to ancient Roman sites? Without a vehicle, we need to be somewhat close to train station or bus stops.
sanleahcam is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:06 AM
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I don't know about Sienna so cannot comment on it but it sounds like you are hopping around alot which can get very tiresome. Packing and checking in and out of places takes up valuable travel time. Can you use florenceas a base and then explore from there? I would leave an extra day or 2 in Rome. Pisa is not that far from florence. Then I would look into apartment rentals in both rome and florence it is often cheaper and much more comfortable. Most people on this site vote for a more central area in Rome and not staying by the vatican but there is transportation.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:56 AM
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Hi Sanleah - I agree with Rose. Hotel-hopping for one night can be more trouble than it's worth IMO.

Siena is an easy day-trip from Florence (- best by bus) - so you don't gain anything with an overnight there ...

In your situation I would have an extra night either in Rome or Florence.

Hope this helps ...

Steve

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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Hi S,

I think you are moving around too much.

You can visit Siena from either Florence (SITA bus) or Rome (http://www.senabus.it/).

I suggest that you stay in Rome, visit Orvieto as a daytrip, maybe Siena, train to Pisa the day before you fly home.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Pisa is extremely underwhelming. If this is your first visit, skip it altogether.

Siena is well worth staying overnight for the restaurants and ambiance, but on a limited time, it might mean missing out on other equally charming sites, that you can get to with less hassle. There is a very easy to use Florence-Siena express bus (about an hour or so) that drops you off right at the edge of the Siena city center. We have been there twice, once for three days overnight, and once on a daytrip. But with only a few days in Florence, I am not sure what could be cut from Florence to make it worthwhile.

I'd split the time between Rome and Florence only, and then plan another trip!! Pisa should only be used as an airport. (Lucca is far more interesting, if you make it to that area.)

As for a Vatican hotel, well, with two days, if the Vatican is high on your list, it makes sense. It is about 30-40 minutes by subway from the Vatican stop to the ancient Roman parts. If you want to see the Roman Forum more than the Vatican, I would change.

In general, I would spend more time in less places. We spent two weeks in Florence alone, and did not have enough time.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:38 AM
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"Pisa is extremely underwhelming. If this is your first visit, skip it altogether."

Nonsense. The Field of Miracles is absolutely no to be missed. The rest of Pisa isn't much. So 1/2 day is right.

If you go Siena, take the bus. It's alo faster and easier. There is no direct train to Siena from Florence. If Siena is very nice, but a bit of a stretch. If you like museums, the Florence will fill your time. If you don't care much for museums, the Florence isn't all that great, so do go to Siena.
I wouldn't stay near the Vatican. Too far from most of the action. Don't worry about subway stops. The bus is better in Rome.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Imhornet: "bus is better"

Not if you have to schlep from the Vatican to the Forum in a limited time. The metro is twice as fast.

I have been to Italy 6 times. If the Pisa tower wasn't about to fall over, it would not be on the map. The area lacks all charm and is an overpromoted tourist trap. YMMV, of course.
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Thank each of you for your responses. No doubt we will reflect later on some misjudged plans for our first trip to Italy, but we do want to also see a bit of the countryside of Tuscany...so we have decided 2 1/2 days in Rome, 2 1/2 days in Florence, 1 day in Lucca and Collodi (very close) and 2-3 hours in Pisa. This will give us the opportunity to explore a few important sites, and view in part a small region of Italy. Thank you for your suggestions, however. We'll definitely plan more days for our next trip....but this is just a short sidetrip coinciding with a 4-week trip to Scotland.
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