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Traveling to Italy for the first time by myself

Traveling to Italy for the first time by myself

Old Feb 12th, 2011, 11:59 PM
  #1  
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Traveling to Italy for the first time by myself

I am going to Italy the first week of June by myself and want to visit Venice, Verona (Cas
a di Giulietta),Florence and Tuscany. I am planning to be there 9-10 days. Any suggestions on how long to spend in each city and what order to go in. If anyone has any suggestions on where to stay that would be great too.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 12:04 AM
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I'm sorry I meant to say Rome not Tuscany.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 04:27 AM
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You'll get greatly different opinions about the length of time in each place.

Me, I'd say 3-3-3, with a day trip to Verona from Venice by train. As for order: probably Rome, Florence, Venice. Rome is hectic and crazy, Florence less so, and Venice (with no cars) is a good way to finish off the trip. A lot of people like the idea of starting off in a busy place and ending in a less busy place. You should be able to easily get a flight into Rome and out of Venice.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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personally, I would not try to fit in so much. if you try to visit verona, you'll have to take a night out of Venice or Florence, [or a day out of Venice, ditto] which would be a shame.

also, if you've never been to Italy before, you may find that after a while, you get culture-shock, and can't remember your tintorettos from your leonardos, let alone where you saw them.

also, you will lose at least 1/2 day each time you move and 9 days = 8 nights.

i do agree with k9korps that Rome is very busy, and that Venice and florence are less so. My suggestion would therefore be this - fly into Venice - stay 4 nights. that give you tome to recover from jetlag, get used to Italy [a little bit] and get your feet. if you like [and you don't have to decide til you get there] do a day trip to Verona.

Then get the train to Rome, and finish your trip there.

leave Florence for another time, or go there instead of Rome.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 05:47 AM
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I like to begin in Venice and end in Rome as Venice is small and a nice way to ease into a trip. Rome is large and bustling and we prefer to end our visits there.

Open jaw into Venice and out of Rome will save time and money.

For me, 2 nights in Venice is enough and I would spend 4 in Florence and 4 in Rome if you have ten nights. It really depends on what you wish to experience while in Italy. We go primarily for the food, wine, public markets and everyday lifestyle as these are our main interests.

Read up on the three cities on your list and then decide which appeals the most and allocate time accordingly. Lots of trip reports that will give you insight into what each city offers.

There are tons of threads on hotels that you can search to find options that work with your budget.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 07:11 AM
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With 10 nights, I would also spend 2 in Venice, 4 in Florence and 4 in Rome, in that order. I love Venice and find it is more the city itself than the specific sights that attract me. And the food is much better in Florence and Rome. It would be easier to make other suggestions, including places to stay, if you include a little about your interests and your budget. And you can find lots of hotel suggestions by using the search function.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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It really depends on what you want to experience while there. Me, I'd take 3 days Venice, 2 in Florence and remainder in Rome.

The train from Venice to Florence is 2 hours. From Florence to Rome, 90 minutes.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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The best times in Venice are at night and in the morning; in the daytime and early evening the place is mobbed anywhere near Rialto and San Marco. Verona is very easy to do as a day trip from Venice by train, so if you time it to get back to Venice in the evening and you have already had enough time to see the things you need to see during the day in Venice - museums and such - I would totally recommend a quick day visit to Verona.

I'd probably do 3 Venice, 3 Florence, 3 Rome (nine nights). But you can adjust that if need be after research and seeing what YOU want to see and do in each city. We are not all the same as travelers, so my specific recommendations for what to see may not match your interests. I'm not a museum person so I did not spend much time in the museums in Florence (I stayed a few nights there and still did day trips to Siena and Fiesole). There are more "sites" in Florence and Rome than in Venice, but Venice itself is an amazing, unusual city, where simply walking around and exploring and soaking the whole place in is the highlight in my opinion.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Oh my gosh, this is all so much. I am so thankful for the advice thus far. I found a couple of escorted tours so I think I might go that route.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 03:07 AM
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I have traveled solo to Europe and cannot imagine having done so stuck on a tour bus! I enjoy being the city center so I can explore in the early mornings and evenings and most tour group hotels stay out of the center. Other than breakfast I would not want included meals as they are rarely memorable and food is one of the great pleasures of Italy for many of us.

If you really must do a tour look into Monograms by Globus. They take care of the bulk of the arrangements but you can select a hotel in the center and much of the day is on your own. I just booked clients on one of these as they wanted independence but the backup of having transport, trains, etc. handled and they are doing 3-3-3 Rome, Florence, Venice. Some guided tours are included but no moving around by bus, no hotel dinners and the hotel choices were good in each city. Might be worth a look.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Tarsha, I think your initial impulse to visit Italy solo is a good one -- don't be too intimidated by the planning process. I travel solo in Italy every year and love the freedom.

Just think: going solo, you can easily arrange your trip to do just what you want, when you want. You won't have to follow along with a big group, forced to pack each morning and unpack each night in some different hotel that you had no voice in choosing.

Really, you can get lots of great advice here and take just the trip that you want to take!

Once you have your flights booked and a couple of hotels picked out (which is very easy to do now, with great reviews available on the Internet) the rest will fall into place.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Here's mine. Venice four nights with a day tip to Venona. Two nights Florence, and I think thats plenty. Four nights Rome. In that order because its tough to get anything but an early morning flight out of Venice.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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I'm with DRJ.

The early morning flight out of Venice does require an early wake up. However, going from noisy to Rome to tranquil Venice as k9korps mentions is something for the soul. It's your call! You will have a super time.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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I did the same thing - got overwhelmed and wanted to get as much in as possible - I took a Globus tour and loved it! If you want to message me - feel free. I don't know what your circumstances are but it was much easier for me on that first trip to do it escorted rather than try to do it alone. I have since travelled alone and love it - but for the first time - I concur - easier with a tour.
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 07:15 AM
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kelsey22, I am not sure I understand how you can say one or the other is easier, having only experienced a "first" trip as guided. If you never did a first solo trip before a group trip, then I'm not sure you can say you wouldn't have had the same experience.

That being said, I'm sure it is a comfort-level thing. But I agree with those who say traveling solo can be done quite pleasantly and successfully. I think the planning part is half the fun.

Either way, have a wonderful time, Tarsha!
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 07:20 AM
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All that I can say is that I did a day trip from Venice to Verona and was very disappointed. I wished that I had just stayed another day/night in Venice or gone back to Tuscany!
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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I, too, was disappointed in Verona. First time, I did it as a day trip. Second time, spent a night there, and my impression didn’t change. Both times, I wished I had just stayed in Venice.

It bears pointing out that the trip is 1 hour on the Eurostar at 19 E. each way, or 2:25 hours on a regional train at 6.25 E. each way. One way or the other, it’s a lot of time on a train for a day trip, or it’s a very expensive ride.
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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Let me put in a plug for Verona - within its walls it is a beautiful and photogenic city that really can't be fully appreciated as a day trip. However, you simply do not have enough days to do it justice. As far as the purported site of Juliet's house and balcony, it is a popular touristic fantasy site, but that is all. The house is a semi-interesting museum mostly of the various Romeo and Juliet movies and the balcony is a place where there will be a long line of Giulietta's waiting to go out onto the balcony to open their arms to their Romeos busily taking a snapshot below. Having said that, with the frame of mind of what it is, it can still be fun - we enjoyed joining in the collective fantasy -and the courtyard is a great place to people watch.
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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Tarsha:

I travel solo all the time to Italy. I recommend you go it alone rather than travel via a tour group. It may seem intimidating to travel solo for the first time, but I think you will find it surprisingly easy, and it's fun to plan your own itinerary, and it's so rewarding because you do what you want to do, when you want to do it. The trains between the destinations you mention (Venice, Verona, and Rome) are very manageable. You don't have to book long in advance; train tickets will be available when you arrive in Italy, and the trains run often and get you where you want to go. In Rome, I would recommend a hotel near Piazza Navona or the Spanish Steps; for someone coming to Rome for the first time, I would finally opt for a hotel near Piazza Navona because I think it is finally more central to the sites you'll likely want to see. Verona is worth a trip, but I would focus on Rome and Venice. A side trip from Venice to Verona is very easy by train. Whether you choose a day trip to Verona or an overnight stay is up to you.

In any event, think of this trip as an appetizer. You'll want to come back to Italy for more substantial meals.
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