We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Going to Rome, but then where to?

Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
65 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Going to Rome, but then where to?

My husband and I are going to Rome spring 2012. He has won this trip from his work. I don't have the itinerary yet, but typically these trips will have us there for about 5 days. We are planning on adding another 5-7 days on our own, either before or after Rome. My question is...where should we go? I want to see everything, go everywhere, north to south! But, I also don't want to spend the time time on the train or in the car driving one place to another. I'd rather stay in one or two places that we can use as a home base and take a day trip or two from those locations.

I am just starting my research, so I am open to lots of suggestions to research before I start narrowing it down. Neither of us know Italian at all, but I hope to become somewhat traveler literate by the time we go.

Thanks in advance to any help/suggestions you all can give! We've never been led wrong by TA suggestions!

Piacenza, Italy
Level Contributor
662 posts
188 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

There are lots of interested towns in Italy and a lotof experienced travellers here in the forum, your question can get so many suggestions!

I want to tell you something not related to places, but an old suggestion from a friend of mine that I always keep in mind when I go somewhere: see less, but in a better way. He always tells me that it doesn't make sense when you go somewhere to jump from one place to the next one just to "see a lot". So, what I want to tell you is that 7 days to see Italy out of Rome are really few, try to concentrate on few other places or maybe in one region only instead of running from north to south. For example, you can consider the "popular" Tuscany, you can settle down in a place and visit towns around it that can be reached in a short time. IN this way you won't spend all your time on train/busses and you can have a better taste of the place you're visiting.

albuquerque
Level Contributor
976 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

Mona77 gives good advice. Much better to get to know an area well rather than see a ton of cities that all blend together by the end. For a trip of 10 - 12 days total I find that 2 or 3 hotels / different cities is a max. Otherwise, you spend too much time changing locations and settling in. So, I would definitely not try to go both north and south from Rome.

After doing some research, find what really grabs you most and then build the rest of your trip around that. Some possibilities: Train from Rome to either Florence or Lucca and then spend the rest of your time there, perhaps doing some day trips (Siena, Pisa). Choose a place in central hill country and then see all the small towns by car (check out the recommendations for Cretaiole - a friend recently stayed there and raved about it, every review agrees). Go way north to Lake Como (gorgeous, fly out of Milan). Good possibilities to the south too but that's not an area I know well enough to be helpful with ideas.

Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
Level Contributor
7,563 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

I so totally agree with your first post. Since you are visiting the beautiful city of Rome, you should try the countryside. Either that of Tuscany or Umbria. There are SO many fascinating hilltowns to discover, wineries, walled towns, breathtaking vistas and delicious foods, markets.

In Tuscany, you could visit Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona and so many more. You could rail into Florence for a day. In Umbria, there is Spoleto, Todi, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, Lake Trasimeno and more.

I suggest getting a good travel book and learn about these places. See what you like.

You can fly into Rome and return from another, if air service is available.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
19,871 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

I also agree with post 1. Seeing Italy North to South in ten days would be akin to trying to cram in Maine to Florida--you might drive by everything on the Eastern seaborad, but you certainly won't take away any lasting memories.

Depending on the time of year, you could start in Rome, and stay there for five days, then head south, visiting Pompeii. Stay in Sorrento, and visit Capri the next day or days. Then move on to the Amalfi Coast (I recommend Positano) and fly out of Naples to avoid backtracking.

Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
65 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

Thanks for the suggestions....but to clear up something...I said I WANT to see everything...but I KNOW that is not a smart thing to do in the amount of time we have. I only said that to imply that I am open to going anywhere in Italy.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
19,871 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

Sorry, it's just that we do see a lot of posters who come to the forum with the "I want to see Italy in a week" mentality. Kind of wears on one after a while.

I hope you have a lovely trip.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
85,270 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

There are many hundreds of places in Italy that are worth visiting but, without knowing anything about you, it really is difficult to know which of them might interest you.

If I had only 5 days or so, my preference would be to rent a car and spend the whole time in Tuscany. Stay in (say) Montepulciano and spend the days visiting some of the interesting towns in the area: Montalcino, Pienza, Cortona, etc, etc. But I don't know whether this would appeal to you.

New Lenox, IL
Level Contributor
267 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

With 10 days I would train to Chuisi, rent a car and then stay the remainder of my trip somewhere near Pienza or Montepulciano. There are plenty of old hill towns to keep your interest in this area for a full week especially if you like good wine. You can do day trips to most of Tuscany and even Umbria from this area depending on what you want to see.

Or if you like cities you can train to Florence or Venice and spend the rest of your trip there. After 5 days in Rome I would probably prefer the quiet of the Tuscan countryside for a week. You may prefer the bustle of the cities.

CA
Level Contributor
549 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

I suggest that you start by figuring out your arrival city, number of days, and departure city. Then after that, you can plan the number of "bases" / number of nights each, and plan your trips form those bases.

My wife and I did 15 nights in Italy just last month (documented at my wife's blog http://cathyscamera.net ) where we started in Catania Sicily and departed from Milan. While there was too much driving for some, for us (who have done countless motorhome trips with much more driving here in the US) it was not too bad with only one day having a long drive (Sicily to Pompeii) -- but even that was only 8 - 10 hours with plenty of scenery and stops along the way.

To the extent you can, I encourage you to add on as many extra days you can to award time from work. Ten days is better than 5, 12 is even better, 14 or more gives you a lot more possibilities to work with.

If you are starting in Rome, you do not need a car for your time there. Once you get out of Rome, a car helps in my book, though a lot of people swear by trains -- me, I like the freedom of a car. If you are going to get a car, keep an eye out on the Hertz UK site for a "WOW" rate -- World on Wheels. I was able to book a prepaid 14 day rental of a Ford Fiesta (stick) for $375 total (included tax, fees, insurance, one way fee) and then added a trip insurance policy from TravelEx for $71 [total for wife and I] that included both $0 deductible primary medical insurance (most US policies will not cover you out of country, and if they do they are out-of-network coverage which is typically 70% or less paid) and full excess coverage on any car rental (i.e. it covers the deductible that is not included in most car rentals, CDW insurance is mandatory in Italy but there typically is an "excess" that is not covered unelss you pay a lot of $ extra per day, and credit cards with the rental coverage say "not in Italy").

Any way, there are tons of people here on Trip Advisor that will help you with any and all questions...

Have a great time!!!

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
19,871 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Going to Rome, but then where to?

One of the reasons many people stick with trains in Italy is that they are efficient and reliable. Depending on where you go in Italy, a car can be an absolute hindrance. Many, if not most of the older cities in Italy has ZTLs--Limited Traffic Zones--and you can be fined by a camera not once, but several times a day. The fines are quite steep.

Please read the article Driving in Italy under Top Questions, upper right, if you have thoughts of driving.

Edited: 21 October 2011, 13:23