Suggestion on itineray

Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:45 AM
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Suggestion on itineray

Hi,

My wife and I are planning to go to Italy this coming February and need advice on how many days we should spend in Italy. We reach Rome on 6th February morning and back on 20th February noon. We are planning to go

1. Rome & Vatican City
2. Florence & Pisa
3. Venice

Please advice how many days I should spend in these cities. Thank you.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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Our initial planning is as follow

6th - Rome
7th - Rome
8th - Vatican City
9th - Rome
10th Rome
11th - From Rome to Florence
12th - Florence
13th Florence
14th -Pisa
15th - From Florence to Venice
16th - Venice
17th - Venice
18th Venice
19th - From Venice to Rome
20th - Rome

If possible, please also let me know which transport to each city is the best. Thanks
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 05:04 AM
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You have given yourself a good amount of time in each of the cities. The best way to travel between cities is the train. The train trip from Rome to Florence, from Florence to Pisa and return, from Florence to Venice and back to Rome is the best way to travel. Have you already made plane reservations? If not, consider an "open jaw" flight into Rome and out of Venice and you will save yourself the time and cost of travel back to Rome.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Looks like a solid plan. If you do go open jaw try to fly into Venice and out of Rome. This is because the flights to N. America (assuming you are from there) leave Venice very early in the morning which makes transport to the airport a bit tricky.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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If you cannot fly open jaw, I would personally head to Venice upon arrival and then reverse the order of your trip. I like to avoid the time and expense of backtracking and this also saves one hotel change.

Otherwise, kudos for spending a fair amount of time in each place on your list.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 05:40 AM
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Hi CJ,

I think that you will find it more pleasant to start in Venice and leave from Rome.

Venice is not as busy and bustling as Rome and you will acclimate more easily.

Orvieto would make a very nice daytrip from Rome. See www.orvietoonline.com/

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 10:41 AM
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If you have to fly in & out of Rome, I think you schedule looks fine. Move from city to city using the trains.

If you can change it to fly into Rome and out of Venice (or the other way around) that will save you backtracking at the end of your trip.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Re the post about early-a.m. flights out of Venice: I recently took a Venice-PHL flight on USAIR that left at 11:30 a.m.

Like others, I'd suggest you try to get a flight out of Venice instead of backtracking. Plus, that gives you another day in Venice.

One other possible suggestion: Have you considered taking a train from Rome to Pisa, spending the day there, and then going on to Florence? I think the Rome-Pisa trip takes about 4 hours, so you probably could get there by early afternoon, spend the day and then take a late train to Rome (about an hour, I think). Maybe others disagree, but I don't think Pisa is worth much more than a half-day.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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Thanks all for the comments. Unfortunately, my flight has to be to Rome and fly back from Rome. All of the inter-cities trip will be train ride and don't we are going to take flight since it might take more of our traveling time, agree?

Since the plan is good then how about the hotels? I am planning to stay near these places

Rome - around Piazza di Spagna (prefer Spagna Royal Suite)
Florence - Around Centro Storico (First of Florence)
Venice - we are thinking to stay in San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort which located in an island. Is it a good idea? Is it going to be troublesome for us to reach there? I am also thinking to stay in the main land. Any past experience?

We want to stay some where near the city and easy access to metro station and of course closest to major attractions. Thanks.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 01:58 AM
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You could make a connecting flight to Venice upon arrival which is what I would do were it my trip.

I am not familiar with your hotel choices. I am not fond of the Spanish Steps area in Rome personally and would stay elsewhere. The San Clemente Palace looks lovely but especially in winter, I would prefer to not be at the mercy of a shuttle or have to travel to the center of Venice. First Hotel Florence is not in the city center. I would recommend another hotel where you can walk everywhere. You will have to taxi in from the hotel you chose as it is on the Motorway exit and not convenient IMO unless you need to park a car.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Yes, switch to a hotel in Venice proper (which is not the mainland but a group of islands). Nice to be in Venice in the winter when it's not crowded. And the experience of staying in Venice wandering around the canals and bridges with no cars, no trucks, no Vespas is wonderful. It's a unique and beautiful city.

You could fly or take a train directly to Venice on your arrival. I don't know if you're flying overnight through many time zones? If so, getting to the furthest point of your trip on that first jetlagged day is the best use of your time. Then you can work your way back to Rome.

Generally yours is a good, not too crowded itinerary. You can do Pisa from Florence as a day trip by train.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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definitely think about travelling onto venice as soon as you arrive - that means that you don't need to split your nights in rome, and you can spend the first day travelling while you recover from jetlag.

also, stay in Venice itself - if you stay outside you will only regret it when you get there.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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No, to a hotel on an 'island' for Venice. I would want to stay in Venice proper so you don't have to deal with getting a boat everytime you want to go anywhere and so you can walk to all the sights easily. I loved www.lacalcina.com and have stayed there twice.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Since you have to arrive & leave from Rome, I agree with the idea of going to Venice immediately upon arrival, then work your way back down, and do your time in Rome at the end of the trip.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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By all means, stay in the center of Florence and in Venice proper. I stayed on an outer island my first trip to Venice as a college student and regretted it at once. And the same for Florence. While you might find "fancier" hotels for the money if you stay a distance outside the center, you will not have the same experience and you will have to rely on water and regular taxis.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 01:42 PM
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A lot of Fodorites recommend staying near Piazza Navona / Pantheon / Trevi Fountain, or Campo dei Fiori. While I agree that those are good areas to look, I want to make a different recommendation.

This past spring, we stayed at Hotel Valadier just off the Piazza del Popolo. It's kind of a quirky hotel but we really enjoyed our stay there, as well as both of the hotel's restaurants (one a subterranean space, the other a lovely rooftop terrace). It's a 5 min walk to the metro as well as the Villa Borghese park, and we didn't have trouble walking most of the places we wanted to see (Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon). ...FWIW, the quirkiness had to do with the interior design - sort of a baroque meets modern effect.
www.hotelvaladier.com
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 09:18 PM
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Hi,

Thanks all for the recommendations on the hotels.

May I know which district/area is the city center of Florence?

For Venice, we confirm to book somewhere in the main land rather than the island.

For Rome, is staying near Spanish Step a good place to stay?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 20th, 2010, 03:38 AM
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In Rome, I prefer the areas near the Colosseum and Borghese.

For 5 star luxury at the Pantheon, I highly recommend Grand Hotel delle Minerve.

For a lovely 4 star, my favorite is Sofitel Roma and then Capo d'Africa.

For luxury on the Via Veneto, Westin Excelsior and also Marriott Grand Flora.

In Florence my personal favorites in the center are Antica Torre Tornabuoni for a lovely boutique hotel and Westin Excelsior for traditional luxury in a perfect location. For less money, I would choose the Berchielli or the Pierre with a room overlooking the Arno.
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Old Nov 20th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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After some investigation, I conclude it is actually preferable to keep to the poster's original itinerary and to travel between Venice and Rome by train rather than by air.

If you travel by train from Venice to central Rome at the end of the trip, you can take the high-speed Frecciargento for 73 E. With the 30% discount on an advance fare, that reduces the ticket price to 51 E. Limited changes are allowed.

You can buy an advance-fare ticket FCO-VEN or VEN-FCO (no changes allowed) from Alitalia for 48 E. No refund if you miss that flight.

The train trip takes 3:30. In other words, about the same as a flight, when you factor in the travel time from city to airport or from airport to city. Plus no security hassles.

If I were heading from Venice to central Rome, I certainly would choose the train over a flight.

If I were heading from Venice direct to Fiumicino, the air option might be preferable. But maybe not -- if you are not familiar with Venice airport, the length of time check in will take, etc. etc.

(I am assuming you cannot check your bags through to your final destination, if you are not flying Alitalia on your flight home)

A train to Termini and an unhurried transfer to the Fiumicino express train might take about 4h30. Travel to the airport + security + flight + luggage recovery might take a little less time but not much less!!!
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