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8 days in Italy - excluding travel

We are going to be in Italy - in the second week of May for 8 days. I have a rough idea on what we definitely want to see. We will be flying into Rome - stay in Rome for 3 days and then head onto Cinque Terre. I am not sure what we would like to do for the other 2 -3 days while we are there and I was thinking of the following
1) Rome - 3 days, head to Florence for 1 days, Siena for 1 days, Cinque Terre - 2 days and then head back to Rome to take the flight back (OR)
2) Rome - 3 days, Florence - 2 days, Cinque Terre - 2 days and return. (OR)
3) Rome - 3 days, Florence - 1 day, Pisa - 1 day, Cinque Terre - 2 days.

On a side note we are not THAT big on museums - so I know 3 days in Rome will be more than enough. In addition, Rome and Cinque Terre are the MUST's - I am fine with playing around with rest. of the iten. and open to suggestions of alternatives for FLorence, Siena and Pisa.

Thanks so much for all the help.

Posted by
864 posts

Italy remains my favorite destination (Tuscany in particular). I'd vote for Rome 3 days, Florence 2 days, Cinque Terre 2 days. I found Pisa to be a bit of a waste of time although I'm glad we went. Looked at the tower, walked around a bit and left. I'm sure there's more to see there but with your limited time I'd save it. Are you training or driving? If you are driving you might be able to squeeze in a half day in Siena but overall the trains are probably a much quicker option for you (high speed train from Rome to Florence). Cars in all three places are a dreadful nusiance, well, worse than dreadful actually.

Posted by
15448 posts

Hi Simran,

If you do go to Florence, the works of Michelangelo at the Academia are about the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and the Pitti Palace is gorgeous.

1/2 day in Pisa, to climb the tower and visit the museum, church, etc. is probably enough. You can leave your luggage at the train station, then continue on to your next destination.

There are several lovely towns - Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena. You'll enjoy yourselves wherever you choose!

Posted by
1201 posts

If roma and the cinque Terre are indeed MUST's, then here is my suggestion.

On arrival in Rome, immediately train to the Cinque Terre, stay three or four nights. Train back to Rome and stay the balance of the trip there. There is more than enough stuff in Rome to keep you occupied without being in museums all the time.

Less travel, less transferring hotels, etc. Remember that when you change your location and hotel you will usually lose at least a half day to the hassle and on a seven or eight night trip, that's a lot of lost time.

Posted by
1449 posts

I think 3 places in 8 days would be about right. Keep in mind that getting to the train station, traveling, getting to the new hotel takes 3-4 hours easy each time you move. (edit: I see Ron made the same point). Since Rome and Cinque Terra are your keypoints, I'd suggest Rome 3 days, leave early on 4th day and the approx 8:30am train to Florence, arriving around 10am. Drop bags at hotel, explore the city. Next day leave early and take 7:51am train to Cinque Terra and spend 3 days in that region. One thing I'd add is that in May the water in CT might still be somewhat cold for swimming, in case that will affect your plans.

Also I highly recommend doing one or more guided walking tours in Rome. I've done both one around the Coliseum and vicinity, and one that's a twilight stroll thru the city. Both were excellent; you can find recommended companies in Ricks book.

Posted by
104 posts

As above stated. A lot of traveling.

If you did (roughly - train)
Rome to Florence that is 1hr 40 min

Florence to Siena that is 1hr 30 mins

Siena to Cinqe that is 4hr 30 mins

Cinqe to Rome 5hrs

I double checked those last 2 and that is what it gave me both times.

Say you arrive in Rome 6am to get to Termini from airport is about 1 hour on the
train, then take another train to Cinque that is 6 hours after your flight you
could be in Cinque stay there for 3 days not including this arrival day?

Then do Siena, or Florence for a day and back to Rome.

There is plenty to do in Rome if you don’t like museums

Posted by
934 posts

I would suggest staying in Siena 2 nights using the full day in Florence.We have done that several times and it allowed us to visit David,the markets,the River area and just wonder.Its a 70 minute trip to Florence from Siena by bus.I also would suggest ending in Rome.Its an intense city and better to be there without jet lag.

Posted by
84 posts

Hi simran - A few thoughts. Fly into Rome and fly out of Venice. Lets you see another city (my personal favorite) and saves some travel time. Have not been to Pisa but have not heard many good things about it....skip it. Rome 3 days, Cinque Terre 2 days, Florence 1 day, Venice 2 days. I traveled for 15 days in October. Venice - 2 nights, took train to Verona - 1 night, took train to Florence - 2 nights, rented car and drove to Siena - 3 nights, drove to Sorrento - 3 nights, and drove to Rome and dropped off car on arrival - 3 nights. Flew out of Rome. Will you be back to Italy? If so just do the top or bottom half to cut down on traveling. Siena was nice but if you go to Cinque Terre I'd skip. You indicate Rome and Cinque Terre are musts. If you have not gotten airline tickets already I'd Do Rome - Cinque Terre - Venice. I'd rather see Venice than Florence. Florence has the art history but Venice is visually the most spectacular city I've seen.