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12 Nights in Rome/Florence!

It is finally happening: our dream trip to Italy is coming up in mid-September! This will be our first time in Italy and we are focused on Rome and Florence for the art, architecture, history and food. We'll be flying in and out of FCO from Miami. I've booked an apartment on the Campo de Fiori (Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori) with the idea that we would spend the majority of our time immersed in Rome but scoot up to Florence by train for a couple of nights near the mid-point of our stay, then return to our Rome apartment to finish the trip which will coincide with our 19th wedding anniversary. So: 9-10 nights in and around Rome and 2-3 in Florence ... any thoughts, recommendations, cautions for a couple of novices such as ourselves?

EDIT: Yes, for the sake of convenience we plan to keep our apartment in Rome the whole time even though we'll be in Florence for a couple of days. Under normal circumstance we wouldn't spend that kind of money but this is a splurge trip. For us it's worth it not to have to check in/out and we look forward to not having to lug all our stuff to and from Florence ... we can take only what we need for a short stay. My rationale for going to Florence mid-way through our trip rather than starting or ending there is so we can do our train travel on a Monday, when I understand most museums are closed. Thanks for the tips so far and please keep them coming! :)

Posted by
1696 posts

If I am reading your plan correctly it looks like you will be paying double on some nights for your accomodations? Is that the case?
Is the apartment rental changeable?

I would recommend heading straight to Florence on arrival- give it 4 nights minimum and be sure to check the open/closed days for sights there. Most sights will need pre-booked timed entry tickets (same for Rome)

After Florence return to Rome for the remainder- this way you have no double lodging cost and no split stay in Rome.
Campo De'Fiori is a great location- good choice!

A really fun thing to do is a food tour- Eating Europe offers several, we have enjoyed every one we have taken.

Is that a COVID tested flight from Miami?
Don’t recall Miami as being on of the departure points but maybe was added?
Just wanted to make sure you know that for now the only US passengers to Italy that don’t have to quarantine must arrive on a COVID tested flight
(American, United and Delta/AF from select locations)

Happy Anniversary!

Posted by
832 posts

The RS guide books will be a great help in planning and prioritizing. You are staying in a great location for walking to almost all of the major sites and some great neighborhoods (like Trastevere). Both Rome and Florence are filled with beautiful things to see. But don't forget to take time to just sit and enjoy being there. Don't do so much each day that the memories become a blur. The wonderful thing about Rome is if you get tired of one century or culture all you have to do is turn the corner at the next street - ta da! you are now in a completely different place! Florence is pretty much a 'one century' city, the Renaissance. And there's plenty to see so it won't get boring. Many sites require or offer specific time reservations - I suggest you plan those well. You don't want to spend lots of time waiting in lines. My favorite museum is the Duomo Museum. It just recently re-opened and is a very close up look at some amazing things. I'm not a museum person but I got there every time I'm in Florence. The Mercato Centrale is a nice diversion - lots of food and wine to look at on the first floor, lots of food and wine to taste on the 2nd floor. You can each select from different places because there's plenty of seating in the middle of the aisles. Don't forget the gelato.

You're going to get lots of more suggestions and ideas - enjoy reading them. Enjoy your planning!!! It will make the trip all the more successful.

Posted by
1018 posts

How exciting! Rome and Florence are fabulous choices. A good place to start is watching Rick Steves videos on you Tube for both places, once you do YT will suggest similar videos that can enlighten you to all the options you have.
We like to do walking tours and used Walks of Italy for the Colosseum, The Vatican and Florence. They used to offer a discount if you booked multiple tours. I agree with the PP who suggested a Food Tour in Rome, we used Eating Italy and did the Twilight Trastevere and I highly recommend it. I am reading that trains are at reduced capacity so I would book your train travel now using the Trenitalia website. I agree with PP, do not backtrack, you lose a lot of time that way. Depending on your flights you may want to spend the first night in Rome then head out to Florence. In Florence we did a full day bus tour of the rest Tuscany with WalkaboutFlorence and took The Best Of Tuscany in One day, it was a 12 hour day but we had so much fun! They take you to Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano and lunch at an organic farm and very reasonable (They have 5 stars on trip advisor!).

I would say figure out what your going to do, some tours are only offered on certain days, some locations are only open certain days, then book ASAP, with travel opening back up and the reduced capacity things will book up fast.

Posted by
12093 posts

Hi Dolphin!
What a great trip you have planned! A question for you? This sentence:

My rationale for going to Florence mid-way through our trip rather
than starting or ending there is so we can do our train travel on a
Monday, when I understand most museums are closed.

Do you mean your train travel to Florence, or from Florence back to Rome? Reason i'm asking is that just about all of Italy's state museums - including the Uffizi and Accademia - are closed on Mondays so you wouldn't completely avoid the issue by leaving Rome. Still, certainly not ALL museums or other attractions in either city are closed on that day so you can get around the issue by visiting some of those. As well, your train travel to (or from) Florence only takes 90 minutes so if you leave early in the morning, you'll have the bulk of the first day to work with. You hotel will likely keep what little luggage you'll have with you until check-in.

What are you interested in seeing in Florence?
Editing to add: the exact Monday date can make a difference regarding some of the attractions in Florence as a few close on certain Mondays of the month.