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9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

Mission Viejo...
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9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

I will be flying into Rome with my wife (arriving at 9:30 a.m.), styaing for 9 nights, and flying out of Florence. Our flights were booked with points and we are pretty much locked in. We also have 4 nights booked at the front end of our trip at the Rome Cavieleri, and will have to pay for any other hotels.

We're having a hard time deciding how to allocate the rest of our time and I'm hoping you all can help! I'm thinking about the three following options:

(1) 3 nights in Rome (cancel one of the 4 free nights), then 3 nights in Positano, then 3 nights in Florence.

(2) 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in a city in Tuscany (Siena? Lucca?), and 3 nights in Florence.

(3) 4 nights in Rome, 5 nights in Florence (with day trips).

Some background on us: we are 32 (me) and 29 (her), no kids, and we think this may be our last big trip before we start a family. We have many other places we would like to see in the world as well, so odds are we won't get back to Italy for a while.

We would LOVE to go to Positano (or elsewhere on the Amalfi Coast), but I'm worried about losing too much time traveling down from Rome, then all the way back up to Florence. That said...it looks amazing, and maybe it's worth it, even if we lose some time. We both love history and would to see Pompeii on a day trip, perhaps go to Capri, rent a zodiak and motor up the coast, laze on the beach, etc.

Also, one of our favorite things to do together is wine tasting. We go a few weekends a year in CA, and we went on our trip to Spain last year. We plan to take a day trip wine tasting in Tuscany, and we may add a second day depending on which option we choose. We would have plenty of time to do this if we don't go to the Amalfi Coast. We would also really like to visit different Tuscan towns and experience the main attractions in Florence.

So what do you think? Is 3 nights enough time to see Rome or should we bump it to 4? We would really like to see ancient Rome, the Vatican, and the other popular sites. Are we wasting too much time travelling down to Positano or staying in another Tuscan city in addition to Florence? Are we better off picking one hotel in Florence for 5 nights to serve as our base, and take day trips to the extent we want to visit other towns, wine taste, etc.?

Any thoughts are much appreciated. Many thanks to all!!!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

As beautiful as the AC is...it sounds like #3 is for you. Make one of your day trips in Florence a day trip to CT which is on the coast and is beautiful. Just my opinion...

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

You will be back to see the Amalfi coast, and as you are wine connoisseurs divide your time between Rome and Florence.

Trains www.trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html www.italotreno.it

Accommodation www.venere.com

Trenitalia train will take you from Florence to Pisa and Lucca, bus to Siena www.busfox.com/timetable

www.rome.info

www.discovertuscany.com

canada
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3. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

For Rome, 30 days is not enough, let alone 3. Your hotel is not exactly in the tourist area, allow time lost in commuting, and taxi fare.

Since you are leaving from Florence, the last 2-3 days should be spent there. (3 preferred). If possible squeeze in time to see one hill town.

Obviously you want to spent time in Positano, 2 nights. But you want to see Pompeii and Capri, so what about changing location to Sorrento? which is a transport hub, and then do day trips out.

Mission Viejo...
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4. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

Thanks you guys. Still torn. Leaning towards skipping AC...but hard to cut anything out. Lots of thinking to do from here on out. Heading to CT is a great compromise, so I'm going to start looking into that as well.

Le Marche, Italy
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5. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

With three nights in Positano, you wouldn't have time to do all the things you want to do in that area, anyway, so I think it's better to leave that for a future trip. I would divide the time between Rome and Tuscany.

While you're in Tuscany, I'm not sure you should stay in Florence; it might be better to stay in some place a little smaller, like Siena, or a small town, or an agriturismo (farmhouse lodging) in the vicinity. If you want to explore the Tuscan countryside and do wine tours, it would be best to rent a car for that part of your trip, and cars are a major pain if you stay in Florence. I didn't hear you say art museums, so I think maybe a day trip to Florence would be enough. Siena is about an hour's drive from the Florence airport, so you could turn your rental car in there.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

I would go with 2 days in Florence and 1 in Sienna. Haven't been to Rome.

Mission Viejo...
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7. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

Ok, Rome and Tuscany it is. We're tempted to use points to book the Hilton Metropole...but I see it is located outside of the city center. We stayed a little outside of Barcelona last year and ended up missing the night scene all together b/c we would head back to the hotel after a full day, and be too tired to go back. It would be nice to be within walking distance of great restaurants, places for an after dinner drink, etc.

We do want to see the churches and museums in Florence, so I think we do want to spent 3 full days there. I'm leaning towards three days spent in Florence, with two day trips (or just stay two nights in Siena, a villa, etc. elsewhere).

Forgot to mention that we do not pack light. I have heard many times how we are better off packing light, washing stuff here and there along the way, etc....but just not how we roll. So I'm leaning towards 4 nights in Rome and 5 nights in Florence. That way we only lug our suitcases once between hotels.

For 5 nights in Florence, with 3 days spent in the city and 2 on day trips, do you think I would be better off staying outside of the city so it is easier to get out wine tasting and visit other Tuscany cities? Is it a pain to get out of the city center to go on day trips?

ohio
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8. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

First of all, you are young. My first trip to Italy was when I was 40. Now I am 49 and leaving tomorrow for my 5th time. If you love Italy as much as most on this board, you will be back.

I suggest 3 full days in Rome. Yes it will be busy, but some say Rome is best to be seen quickly. (4 Nights)

Then the morning you leave, get up early, get a car and drive to Civita di Bagnoregio. It is a little different than Rome. Go to Orvieto for lunch and a few hours. Then end up in Siena.

To me Siena is worth 2 nights and one full day. I can't even describe Siena lit up at night.

From Siena, drive to Volterra and the Tuscany countryside with ending up in Florence, where you will drop off the car.

This will give you 3 nights and 2 full days in Florence.

Next trip maybe Rome for a few more days then head south.

Have fun Planning.

We like Rick Steves books

New York City, New...
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9. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

Bruin (don't get me started), you are asking some questions that might be better asked in the florence forum, but in general, you don't want to have a car in central Florence, ever, if that's what you are asking. Also, a lot of people will tell you if you really want to enjoy Siena, you should stay over. But as I say, I think you should ask about this in the Florence or, better yet, Tuscany forum.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: 9 nights -- Rome/Florence or Rome/Positano/Florence? HELP!!

Rome is best seen quickly? Who said that? (Ah, realized that was probably Rick Steves) I've been 21 times and still haven't seen it all.

Just goes to prove - everyone is different.

Do not drive in Florence - it's not worth the chance of getting dinged for fine(s) for driving where you do not have permission to drive.

Info on driving in Italy:

roninrome.com/transportation/driving-italy

You will need to get an International Driver's Permit - you get them at AAA offices, it requires a passport style photo which many AAA offices can do on site, costs about $20 and IS legally required in Italy - together with your regular driver's license.

Edited: 28 February 2013, 20:14