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14 night trip-would you do this?

Los Angeles...
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14 night trip-would you do this?

Four of us-husband, wife and 2 college kids traveling for the first time to Italy. Flying in and out of Rome. Would you stay in Rome 5 nights, Florence 4 nights (with a day trip to Sienna), 4 nights in Venice, then travel back to Rome for the last night before we catch the plane in the am? If not, how would you break it up or where would you go?

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1. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

Did a similar trip last summer, I would stay 4 nights in Tuscany instead of Florence and visit Florence on a day trip or two. Tuscany is too wonderful to just do in a day. We loved Cortona.

5 nights in Rome is a lot unless you were going to do a day trip to Pompeii or Almalfi coast. We loved both of those places but stayed in Sorrento for 3 nights.

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2. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

I would go directly to Florence and put all your Rome days together. There is more than enough things to keep you busy in Rome but I would add a day to Venice or Florence (4/5 Florence or 5/4Venice and 5 Rome).

The suggestion to stay in Siena and day trip to Florence is also good depending on whether or not the art and sites in Florence are a priority.

TAB

pittsburgh
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3. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

I would suggest flying into Venice and out of Rome. If you can't do this then I would go directly to Florence on the day you arrive. I would spend 4 nights there then head to Venice. I would spend 3 nights there and then head to Rome. I would spend the rest of the time in Rome with a day trip to Pompeii and another to Ostia Antica. This will put you in Rome for your flight home.

There is plenty to see and do in Rome and I don't think 5 nights is enough to really enjoy it. You'll easily be able to fill up a week with things to see and do. It will also allow you to go at your own pace and really enjoy the city. The day trip to Ostia Antica will be some down time where you can really relax and take a picnic lunch if you choose. You'll still be able to spend the rest of the day exploring Rome if you choose.

Donna

albuquerque
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4. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

First off I'll say that you are very wise to limit yourself to 3 places for overnight stays. It sounds like a good itinerary for a first trip to Italy.

As many have said already, I would avoid backtracking to Rome for that last night by spending all of your days in Rome at the end of your trip. If you fly into Rome it is quite easy to get to Florence on the same day (I did this in May - it's a breeze). Take a short taxi ride or the Leonardo express train from FCO to termini station. With 4 of you I would actually go for the taxi.

From there it is only 1.5 hours to Florence . The train is relaxing and you can buy tickets when you arrive - no need to purchase in advance.

Florence is a good base for day trips to Siena and, if enough time, to Lucca.

5 days is not too much in Rome - it would be a nice way to end your trip. I actually would not do both Pompeii and Ostia Antica unless ruins / archeology are really you biggest interest but would definitely do one of these. Ostia Antica is an easy 1/2 trip - Context Travel does a great guided walk there if you are interested in some small group walking tours. Pompeii would be a long full day trip. You can stay in Rome and easily get a taxi or car to the airport for an early am flight.

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5. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

Thanks so much, everybody. I love the idea of just going directly to Florence and putting Rome all together at the end. I'm not sure why I didn't think of that! Now my dilema is how many nights in each place. 4 nights in Florence, (o Tuscany instead), 4 nights in Venice and 6 in Rome? Too much time in Rome???

Thanks!!

Le Marche, Italy
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6. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

Both Florence and Siena are good bases for day trips in Tuscany; if you want to see some of the art masterpieces in the museums and churches of Florence, I suggest you stay there. Otherwise, Siena is a good choice.

There are also several good day trips possibilities from Rome, so six days wouldn't be too much. You should try to make a list of the things you want to see in Rome, with the aid of a good guide book. If you decide that six nights would be more than you need, you could spend a few nights somewhere else. It's very hard to advise someone how much time they need without knowing what they want to see, or at least what their interests are.

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7. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

If you are stuck flying in and out of Rome then you should not begin your trip in Rome -- you should train immediately on arrival to Florence and do you Florence time there. I might do 5 or 6 nights there and day trip to Siena and Lucca (and perhaps Pisa) You can also join a day tour of the Chianti wine road easily from florence. Florence itself is so full of things to see that you could easily spend all that time there.

You can get train tickets to FLorence at the train station at FCO which will allow you to make the first reasonable fast train. The train only takes 90 minutes. That way you don't waste your final day just getting back to Rome. The first day is jet lag day and ground up in transit, so adding a couple of hours to get to FLorence doesn't waste good travel time but makes use of already miserable travel time.

Then from Florence head for Venice for 3 or 4 nights. Then from Venice to Rome, finishing in Rome and you are there for your flight out without grinding up that last day on travel. Five nights would be a nice amount of time for Rome giving you 4 full days -- which would allow a day trip to Ostia Antica or Tivoli.

Edited: 08 January 2012, 19:35
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8. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

I have been to Florence, Venice and Rome on two seperate trips.

Venice- we stayed 3 nights and it was a perfect amount of time, although 1 extra day would not have been such a bad thing if needed.

Florence- we stayed 5 nights there (4 full days). Two were spent in Florence and the other 2 were spent doing day trips to Pisa and Arezzo.

Rome- we stayed 5 nights there (4 full days) and used 1 day to see Pompeii as a day trip.

I would suggest what others have stated. Fly into Rome and make your way to the train station to go straight to Florence. Stay 4 days/ 4 nights there. Pisa is a must for one day and Sienna could be done on another day. 2 Days in Florence is enough I believe to get the idea of the city. It's fairly walkable and easy to get around.

Take the night train to Venice and stay 4 days/ 4 nights. Definitely take your time here. You can use 2 days to explore Venice and hit the attractions and spend the other 2 days just relaxing and enjoying the canals and scenery.

Lastly, take the morning train back to Rome. Spend the remaining 4 1/2 days/5 nights there. Get something central where you can easily walk around to the sites. If you have time use 1 day to take a day trip to Pompeii.

The reason why I only used 3 days in Venice is because I chose to use 1 day in Verona before continuing on to Florence. Verona is a very nice town to see but maybe more compact for you and 4 people.

Edited: 09 January 2012, 04:15
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9. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

I think these suggestions are Ok. I'm Italian and think that maybe 4 days in Tuscany are too much. Florence takes 1 day, Siena and Chianti another one, so you should take another day around and in the late afternoon leave for Verona or Venice.

For Venice 3 full days are enough.

For Rome 5 days are ok. In Rome it could be nice to spend one half day or one day visiting uncommon not touristic places. The center is mainly touristic (of course, there are so many things to see) but, when traveling in cities, I like to see also places where local people live and spend their time! In case you are interested in this "alternative" I can give you further suggestions. In addition as you are traveling in Summer take one day off at the beach. Your children will be happy! In Rome there is Ostia (1/2 hour train) in Venice the Island Lido. In Florence 1 hr train to Viareggio). Maybe not like Caribbean but one day of relax....

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10. Re: 14 night trip-would you do this?

If you haven't made your flight reservations yet, I would strongly suggest you fly into Venice, train to Florence. train to Rome, and fly out of Rome. The idea of breezilly hopping off the plane after a 15 hour flight from the West Coast, (with luggage) catching a train into Rome, detraining, and just hoping on another train to Florence on your first trip to Italy...makes me smile. I would suggest strongly that you fly into Venice (stay for 3-5 days), catch a train to Florence (3-5 days), catch a train to Rome (4-6 days), and fly home from Rome.