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Please help me plan my vacation

New York
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Please help me plan my vacation

We will be going to Italy for the first time, in mid-Sept. for 8 nights. My husband does not love museums and just loves to wander and soak in the local sites/sights. We are thinking of flying into Rome, spend a day or two, then go to Florence for four nights. The issue is- I really wanted to see Tuscany but I am thinking four days is just not enough. Some people have suggested we take the train from Rome to Florence, stay a night or two in Florence and then drive through Tuscany for one of two nights. I read a lot on this forum about Siena and Lucca, so I am thinking they are nice places to see. I would also like to see Venice, but have read really conflicting reports about it. Anyway, not sure if we just want to spend one night in Rome and then on to Florence. Not sure if we want to spend four nights in Florence or split it between Florence and the smaller towns. Not sure if we want to do any driving or just enjoy the trains and take a private tour or two. The only thing I have decided is that we will fly into Rome and home from Venice, but not sure if we should spend one or two nights in Venice. Comments? Suggestions? Help!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Please help me plan my vacation

With all of your uncertainty, I would think reading up more on each of the places you are considering will help you reach a decision. Given the pretty much countless possibilities, not sure how to make those decisions otherwise.

Sure, a bunch of people on a forum throwing out ideas may be helpful but then how do you know if those are right for you personally? You have a very brief time in Italy so 3 spots would be the most I would shoot for in that amount of time and actually, I would stick to no more than two given all there is to see and explore just in Rome and Venice alone - in one day, why go to Rome? I'm not being facetious but it is a long way to fly to spend one day there in which you really won't see anything much - so, why not fly into and out of Venice and visit Florence/Tuscany if Rome is of no interest.

This is a lot of traveling and I would want to minimize that for a short trip - up to you, of course, but having actual time in places vs a lot of time in train stations, trains, checking in and out of hotels, getting to and from stations - is all a lot of time not being somewhere and enjoying it.

If you consider driving (and, for exploring Tuscany, it is a good idea to do so) be sure to get an International Driver's Permit as they are legally required in Italy; you get that at AAA offices and be sure to read up on driving/road rules in Italy as you can't drive into the cities and towns for the most part.

Tierra Verde...
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2. Re: Please help me plan my vacation

Flying into one city and out of the other is smart, but there is no way to visit the big three (Rome, Florence, and Venice) in 8 days-- much less have time for Tuscany. The first day in Rome will be lost if not physically, mentally due to jet lag. Then a half day is wasted at minimum traveling between cities. I'd do Rome for three days (two full days), Florence for two (one full day) and Venice for three (two full days). Skip the countryside of Tuscany-- you'll see some if it on the train from Rome to Florence.

New York
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3. Re: Please help me plan my vacation

It may sound strange but, even though Rome is an amazing city, I am more interested in Florence and Venice for this trip. So I am fine with Rome for two nights or three- just hit the highlights. You are exactly right- the first day is a lost day. I do get major jet lag. Same thing with Venice- I am fine with two nights there. I wanted to concentrate more on Florence/Tuscany. That would give me three or four nights in that region. That's why I am wondering if I am going in/out of the wrong airports. Maybe fly into Venice and out of ???

Forestville, CA
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4. Re: Please help me plan my vacation

hi: with only 8 nights, that is probably 7 days. I wouldn't try to 'see it all', even though all the places you mentioned (Siena, Lucca, Florence, Venice, Rome, the Tuscan hills) are wonderful. As stated, you need to read a bit more and then choose.

I will assume that your airplane arrival/departure days are outside of that timeline; if they're are to be included IN the 7 days, then you really need to limit your destinations. Here is what I would do if I only had 7 days/8 nights--- I would not fly into Rome nor would I fly into Venice--I would fly in and out of Florence and create a Tuscany adventure that is manageable and pleasant within your time-frame. This trip would not include Rome & Venice.

I would spend 3 days exploring Florence and then take the bus up to Siena on the 4th morning, explore all day/have dinner, spend the night (yes!) and wake up in that wonderful medieval city, explore some more and take the bus back to Florence for dinner. The next day I would take the bus to Lucca in the morning and stay all day & also have dinner there...then back to Florence. You have one day left....you could still be in Lucca or go visit Pisa or hike the hills around Florence and go to Fiesole for an al fresco meal in the amphiteather. You want to be in your departure city the night before. Venice is not a "day-trip" from Florence and neither is Rome. Siena, Lucca, Pisa and other hillside towns, though, are......

5. Re: Please help me plan my vacation

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