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First solo trip to Florence in April 2020

Hi everyone. I’m planning a solo trip to Florence. I’m flexible with the dates and length of trip, but I’m thinking early April for 7-8 days. I’m not a big fan of museums, so I’ll probably just go to either Uffizi or Accademia, and I’d like to climb the Duomo tower if possible and maybe see their museum. Mostly I want to just wander all the streets, both touristy areas and smaller areas and hike up to the city overlooks as well and just take in the culture. I’m thinking of doing day trips to Lucca, Sienna and maybe Pistoia.

I’m thinking it might make most sense to fly into Rome, catch the train to Florence, then maybe spend a few days in Rome before flying home. I’ve been to Florence years ago, but never Rome so I’ve got to research that as well. I’d like to stay somewhere safe, clean, with WiFi and near the hustle and bustle of the city. A hostel with private rooms and baths, a modest hotel or a B&B would be fine.

My biggest concern right now is that I’ve never traveled internationally on my own. I’ve never booked my own flights or reserved tickets for events myself. I’m used to doing everyday things on my own, so wandering through museums or shopping or dining alone isn’t an issue. It’s the logistics that have me nervous. How much should I pay for my flights (I’m near Baltimore/Washington so I can use any of the three major airports in this area), how can I be sure I get on the right train or bus, that sort of thing.

From what I’ve seen, the people here have offered good advice to others, so I’m hoping you can help me as well. Thank you in advance for any guidance you can offer.

Posted by
1155 posts

First, get the Rick Steve Florence and Rome guide books. Then watch the free YouTube videos that Rick Steves and others have on Florence and Rome. Paying for your flights with a credit card. Get a credit card that has no transaction fees so that if you make purchases in Italy then you will not get charged with an addtional fee. Make sure you tell your bank your going to Italy and the dates and find out what banks in Italy do business with your bank so you can get money out of the bank.

Make reservations for museums you may want to visit. If you do not make your reservations you may not be able to go to the Accademia and other museums. There are also many beautiful churches to visit in Florence and Rome.

Booking sites and museums can be done on line and print out the confirmation tkts and bring it with you.

As for taking public transporation, use your google maps and ask the hotel and people do speak English. If lost I always go into a hotel and I find the front desk of a hotel the personnel will be very helpful even if I am not staying in that hotel. Just a hint for when you may not know where your going.

Make sure your passport is up to date.

I am sure others will be able to offer a load of great advice and suggestions. This is just a start.

Have a fun safe trip.

Posted by
245 posts

Florence was wonderful, and a good spot for a week - I was there for 6 days last October, and could have happily spent more there. Whether you fly in and out of Rome involves a lot of variables - I chose that option because the only non-stop flights I could get were in and out of Rome, and that was important to me. There is easy and fast train access to Florence.

A couple of thoughts:

The historical area of Florence is pretty small, which means you're never more than a 20 minute walk or so away from wherever you
want to go. It's perfect in that sense.

I’m not a big fan of museums, so I’ll probably just go to either Uffizi or Accademia, and I’d like to climb the Duomo tower if possible and maybe see their museum.

If you are limiting your visits of museums, my recommendation of your first choice should be the Opera dell Duomo museum - I think it was one of the best and most beautiful I saw in Florence, and it's also often overlooked (so it has the added benefit of being less busy). Think of the Uffizi as what we would call an art gallery rather than a museum......if painting is your preferred style of art, the Uffizi is the place, but if you prefer sculpture to painting, go to the Bargello. Of course, you can go to both, but a lot of people overlook the Bargello and complain the Uffizi is too crowded. (I was in both, and far preferred the Bargello).

Consider staying in the Oltarno area of Florence - the "other" side of the river. It's a little quieter, near the wonderful Gardens (Boboli and Bardini), and has some great food. I rented a short stay apartment there that had free wifi and a washing machine (which was really helpful). Most evenings I'd go out for a gelato and wander across the bridge and back, taking in the views. And, if you do, grab a take-away pizza from GustaPizza. Excellent.

Posted by
468 posts

Welcome to the exciting world of solo travel! It’s great to be in total control of what you want to see and do. My general advice: Be prepared, do your research and have a plan. Keep your options open on the ground. Pack light. You may get on the wrong train, or get screwed up by the 24 hour clock. Things will happen, but they’re just mistakes. Coping with them and bouncing back is part of the challenge. You’ll be fine.

Don’t sweat the logistics too much. These days, your smartphone is going to help answer a lot of questions. Rome2rio is an app that I found extremely handy figuring out public transportation options. You’ll mostly be traveling by train and it’s all pretty easy to navigate. Not sure? Ask somebody, people like to help.

Flying into Rome and spending a few days there is a good idea. I actually think Rome is a much more interesting city to explore. My advice would be to go straight to Florence when you land, so that your first night is in Florence.

I actually find Airbnb’s to be a terrific value in Europe, with a range of options for solo travelers. Picking the right neighborhood can be a challenge, but usually worst thing that happens is you’re a little far from stuff. Though specifically, in Florence I think you’d enjoy staying in Oltrarno. The forums here are awash in good discussion on where to stay.

Posted by
2901 posts

You are correct in thinking that this forum will offer a great deal of support and advice. However, sometimes the advice can be conflicting or reflects another person’s travel style/budget rather than your own. Vet all the advice carefully to make sure it matches the trip you want.

I was pretty nervous my first solo trip so I understand. I think you will have a great trip and you are doing all the research to make that happen.

One other place to get planning support is through the Rick Steves Tour office. They have travel consultants you can run your ideas by or ask for help. There is a charge for this service, but if it eases your mind and builds your confidence, it could be money well spent.

Posted by
1524 posts

Hi KRS- welcome to the forum!

I live in Gettysburg, used to live in MD- I can tell you that your best bet price wise for flights might actually be from Philly.
Our first trip to Italy we flew from PHL to Venice, then home from Rome- both were direct flights- I think we paid about $1100- that was in 2014. This past May I found a better price flying out of EWR- to Rome, home from Venice for about $850.

Dulles is a possibility but I've just never found good prices there. BWI is lousy as any flight to Italy from there is not going to be direct- probably a plane change in PHL. Same for Reagan airport. (Which is why we just drove to PHL).
If your flight from BWI gets delayed as often happens (thunderstorms especially) you will miss your flight to Italy out of Philly- they will only hold the plane for so long. When that happens you are basically stuck in US for 24 hours til that airlines next flight. Hope that makes sense! We were once on a flight to Germany leaving PHL when this happened- a whole lot of people missed that flight due to weather in Baltimore.
I much prefer to have a direct non stop flight to wherever we are headed in Europe- no chance of missing connecting flight or losing luggage, etc. Coming home not such a big deal but still a direct flight is preferable.
I don't think the are any direct flights to /from Florence to US so your idea of flying to Rome is a good one.

Start monitoring flights/pricing now - you can use google flights or expedia or skyskanner.com. Book your flight with the actual airline- not a reseller like expedia. Once you see a price you can live with- book it and don't look back.
We do purchase travelers insurance (insuremytrip.com great for researching /comparing plans)- we both had aging parents on our first trip, 2nd trip we had aging moms and husband on Medicare- which does not cover him in Europe. I've never had to file a claim but the insurance is cheap compared to overall cost of trip.

Figure out your itinerary before you book flights! I see a lot of people here that have booked flights cuz they got a good deal- only to have to scramble to work out an itinerary that actually works with those flights.

Booking.com is great for lodgings. I alway book refundable rate.

RT to Rome is a good plan if you want to see both Rome and Florence. Head to Florence arrival, put all your Rome nights at end.
You've mentioned 3 day trips from Florence- advice would be 2 nights minimum in Florence then add a day for each day trip- so 5 nights Florence, 3 nights Rome would be good for a first visit. You'll never have enough time in Rome, so getting just a taste on this trip is perfectly fine.

Ask any questions you have about tickets, transportation here- there are incredibly knowledgeable travelers here willing to help you make the right choices.

Posted by
602 posts

Welcome to the forum. It is a great place to get advice and learn from the experience of others. I found that I get the best advice when I have specific questions and provide some color on my interests, budget, etc. As you get further into your planning, the people here are very generous with their time and recommendations. They have made my recent trips to Europe, including Florence and Rome better.

Booking travel can be confusing and there are some great information in the Rick Steves guidebooks. I travel solo frequently and have a few things that work well for me, especially if you are someone who travels domestically and has a loyalty account with an airline.

  • Flights:: I have used them all, but I find that Google flights gives me the broadest range of options and they can help you look at the options across all three of your regional airports and compare prices for different dates. Given you are going to be in Italy for a short period of time, opt to travel from an airport that will give you non-stop flight options. If you have an airline frequent flyer (loyalty) card and/or credit card, look at options to making your trip more comfortable or cost-effective (free checked bag, priority boarding, lounge access).
  • Transportation : Italy has a fantastic transport system and it will be easy for you to book your travels online. I used ItaliaRail to book my travel this past year. The site was not only easy to use, but you get detailed instructions on how to access and validate your tickets (if required). Traveling from Rome to Florence when you arrive and then ending in Rome a few days before the end can be done easily by train. Florence is very walkable and has a good bus system if you stay outside the city center. Rome has good public transport as well. Taxis are easy to find.
  • Lodging: Rick Steves has good guidebook options. We found however when we traveled with six people in June last year that most of his lodging options were already taken. I looked at booking.com and trip advisor and then validated some suggestions on the Forum. I used a VRBO rental in Florence and stayed in a hotel in Rome, both options were easy to secure.
  • Travel insurance: I use to scoff at travel insurance, but after running into some medical issues while traveling in Israel and China, I now make sure that I have some basic insurance, particularly for medical. If you are booking lodging or flights with no cancellation options, trip cancelation insurance is worth considering. Just search on this forum for the latest on the topic.

Finally, as Carol mentioned, you can get support for the logistics, either through Rick Steves consulting (have used it in the past for trip planning, not logistics) or a travel agent.

Solo travel is so much fun and Italy is a big adventure. Enjoy.

Sandy

Posted by
226 posts

Sounds fun! Flight prices will fluctuate, so if a price comes up that you can be happy with, buy it and don't look at prices again.

Once you have your arrival time, you can check train times to Florence. I wouldn't buy the train ticket until you get there just in case the flight is late. There is a train station connected to the airport and there are people you can buy tickets from or get it from the machine that will give you an option for English. There are trains from the airport direct to Florence (check times before you leave the US), or you go from the airport into one of the Rome stations, and from there to Florence. The stations were pretty good about showing what platform (binario) you leave from and where the train is going. Worst case, plead help from a train employee or some pleasant looking person on the platform, show them your ticket, and you'll get help. It's easy after you do it once.

For places to stay, if you are ok with VRBO, then the Rabbit Hole in Rome was great for one. It's in the Jewish Quarter that has lots of restaurants, so nice to have dinner in the area and be close to "home", and the host does keep in touch by text and is happy to recommend places to eat and go. Not the same as having a full-time front desk, but close enough. In Florence, I stayed at the Hotel Alexandra. It was more expensive than I like to pay for hotels and up a couple flights of stairs, but the location near the river and easy walk to the Duomo or to Oltrarno was pretty great. Can't remember if it was in the guide books, but it's something to look up.

Have fun!

Posted by
51 posts

This is making me feel better already. I’ll start watching google flights, and Philadelphia is certainly doable. I wonder if there are any hotels near the airports that will let you keep your car in their parking lot for free if you stay the night before and/or after you fly.

From what I’ve read, booking trains through trenitalia is a good idea and doesn’t have to be done in advance, so I’ll have some flexibility deciding when I’m ready to leave my day trip sites. Is that correct?

Posted by
245 posts

booking trains through trenitalia is a good idea and doesn’t have to be done in advance, so I’ll have some flexibility deciding when I’m ready to leave my day trip sites. Is that correct?

Yes, but you can save some money by booking in advance. So, the Freccia (fast train) from Rome to Florence in May, 2020 will be about 30 Euros, but the same train this week will be 50 Euros. It's not really a big deal for day trips, which are usually relatively inexpensive and so any savings will be small......it's more important for the longer, more expensive journeys.

Just don't buy your ticket in advance for any train travel the day you arrive, because they're not refundable and there are a lot of delays that can happen flying in to Italy.

Posted by
51 posts

I’ve booked my flights. I’ll arrive in Rome April 1, and will take the train to Florence. I plan to do day trips to Lucca, Sienna and Positoia, although I’m open to other ideas at this point. On April 6 I will take the train back to Rome and stay there until I fly out April 9. Thanks to ideas from some kind people here, I booked my hotel in Rome, but have no other firm plans yet.

Now I need to work on pulling my list of “must sees” together (I’ve got a few in mind) and I need to book my hotel in Florence, as well as figure out train/bus plans for my day trips.

I would appreciate input about what to wear, what to pack etc.. I like to walk a lot, and I’m generally pretty casual, so I’m thinking jeans and chinos, nice tops, comfortable shoes and a thin down jacket for starters. I’ll check weather forecasts as it gets closer and adjust if needed. I also think I want to get a purse with a thick over the shoulder strap and inside zippers for when I’m out and about. I’d love to be able to pull off just a carry on, but since I’m taking direct flights, I think I’ll just pay the extra to check a bag. Plus, if I don’t pack it too full, I can use the space for items I purchase on my travels.

Does all this seem reasonable so far?

Posted by
245 posts

My recommendation on baggage would be to not pack more than you are personally able to carry up a flight of stairs.

What to pack will vary from person to person; I know I'm often warm, and I never wore the long sleeved t-shirt I took, let alone my spring rain jacket. I was 4 weeks in Italy, but that was in October. I wore my walking sandals (Chacos) and didn't pack any others; I packed 2 pair of lightweight cargo pants, and 5 nice t-shirt tops (unfortunately 1 was long sleeved). However, I stayed in apartments that had a washing machine, so I was able to wash my clothes every week or so. I had 3 pair of quick-dry travel underwear which I washed every couple of nights in the sink - and I found that it wasn't the bothersome task I thought it would be.

Posted by
1524 posts

Lots of good tips here:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips

If you can get away with a carry on you won't regret it. You can still check if you like but remember you will have to manage your luggage on/off trains, over cobblestone streets, etc. We travel for longer periods and go with a 24" swivel bag. It's not always easy getting on/off trains but I have my husband to help!

Clothes- 2 pants, 4-5 tops ought to be enough. Make sure everything goes with everything. Layers. Maybe a medium weight cardigan or nice zipped fleece or pullover sweater along with your light weight down jacket. I love my lightweight down vest- squishes up to nothing and fits under everything. Wash unders in the sink every few nights.

Shoes are my biggest problem! For a trip as short as yours I would still have to take 2 pair, a good walking shoe and a lighter casual sneaker or flat. You really don't need to dress up anywhere.
Make sure your shoes are broken in! Hopefully no need to buy new ones.

Rain gear- lightweight rain jacket with hood that can be worn over your layers is fine. We don't bother bringing umbrellas- if we needed we could buy on the street when it starts raining. We did take RS rain ponchos last trip and were very glad we had them.

Baggalini has great cross body bags- don't get anything too big. Just big enough for phone, small coin purse, guide book, map, bottle of water, etc. I carry a medium size knapsack on plane (with important stuff- electronics, meds) and this bag can fit inside that if needed
This is the one have
https://www.ebags.com/product/baggallini/horizon-crossbody/252272?productid=10333057

I wear a money belt- would never go without, I keep my passport in it on my person at all times. I know some here store their passports in hotel safe- to me my passport is the most important thing I carry - it's my ticket home if anything should happen, so I keep it right on me.
In money belt --passport, my extra credit card (diff from the one husband carries), and usually some cash.
I carry just a few euros in my cross body bag- what I think I need for that day- the rest of cash is in my money belt or my husband's. (We do keep our iPads, kindles in hotel safe)

Money- notify all your banks/credit cards that you will be traveling in Italy.
We do get some euros to have on hand on arrival less to stress about- (use for taxi to hotel, trains tix, a meal, whatever) til we can get more cash as we go- from a Bank ATM- preferably inside a lobby and during bank hours.

Electronics- you will need a few adapter plugs. RS sells them or can get on amazon. Most smartphones etc do not need a converter. Don't bring any appliance that you do not need. Every hotel we've stayed at has a hairdryer.

We take 2 of these- love the 2 USB slots in it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A5FD8HQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sightseeing- you will want to get your tickets in advance to Uffizi, Accademia, Colosseum, Borghese etc. Once you have a list of the sights you'd like to visit post another question- all the info for booking those sights is here.

Posted by
3314 posts

Definitely buy the Rick Steves guidebook if you haven’t already. It will answer many questions, including the ones travelers didn’t know they should be asking.

You will benefit from packing as light as possible, but it’s not such a deal breaker since you will just have two hotels during your trip. Just think “more room for souvenirs” when deciding whether to pack more! ; )

My two most important items when I’m traveling solo are my money belt worn under clothes and my phone. Money belt contains my passport, ATM cards, a credit card and large Euros. As Rick says, you can recover from most anything with that safely secure. My phone is my camera, communication with people back home, and I have my entire itinerary loaded on the TripIt app.

Have a great time!

Posted by
3314 posts

Oh, also, you can use the Trenitalia app to just purchase day trip train tickets. Sometimes the lines for the kiosks get long at the station.

Posted by
1 posts

I studied abroad in Siena and am eager to return. It's a lovely city with lots of charm and great food. I hope you get the chance to visit. Have a great trip!

Posted by
986 posts

Congrats on your first solo trip to Europe! My first solo trip abroad was also to Florence!

You've received a TON of good advice in this thread. Don't hesitate to ask more specific questions as you narrow down your list of things to do. I just want to echo what a couple of people said above and add a couple of things which was important to me to remember while I was there.

1 - You may get lost while you're there. This is okay. I've yet to take a trip overseas where I didn't get lost at least once, and I'm still here to tell the tale. Especially in Italy, your cell phone will be a huge help if this happens, but don't discount the power of a good paper map in your day pack. Remember to contact your cellular provider and select the international phone plan that's best for your budget/travel style. And make sure you have a card from your hotel/take a photo of the hotel name/address in case you have to ask directions to get back to your base!

2 - Florence is crowded during the day. So is Rome, but I thought Florence felt more congested. Either way, in the evenings most day trippers go elsewhere and it feels more like you can breathe. If you're traveling solo, make sure that you wear a neck wallet/hidden waist wallet and don't carry all of your cash in one spot.

3 - If you're not a museum person, skip the Uffizi. I LOVED that place, but I seriously adore art. I'd never take my other half there, b/c he's not really into that like I am. The Accademia gives you a glimpse at the David which is what people will ask about when you get home.

4 - Many churches in Rome and Florence are art galleries in their own right. Don't forget to take something to cover shoulders/knees in case you want to wander into one.

5 - And last - the thing that's most difficult for me to remember b/c my little town has very little public transport - make sure you validate your train ticket each time before you board a train. Otherwise, you could face a considerable fine.

Hope you have an amazing time!!!

Posted by
51 posts

I’ve got a question about tours in Rome, I contacted Francesca and she isn’t available in my time frame. I contacted Sonia. She is available for a one on one tour, but it’s quite expensive. The Roman guy tour sounds good and is more in my price range, but it’s for group tours and I’m not sure if that means I can tag along on someone else’s tour. I’m going to email them now. I’m most interested in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican tour, although the colosseum tour looks interesting as well. Am I missing anything about tours? It’s apparently Holy Week, so I think just getting a ticket and waiting in line on my own won’t be efficient. I’m content to just wander around the city on my other days, but I’d like to specifically see the Sistine Chapel.

What are your recommendation for this? And thank you for the help you’ve already given. I’m feeling more confident already.

Posted by
11412 posts

The Roman guy tour sounds good and is more in my price range, but it’s
for group tours and I’m not sure if that means I can tag along on
someone else’s tour.

By "group tour" they mean a tour for a set maximum number of people and is open for anyone, not just a private group of individuals. When you go to the website, you'll find the tour you want, then see what days/time it's offered, and sign up for whatever time/day works for you. If that tour is already full to capacity, it won't allow you to book so you'll choose a different day and/or time.

Does that make sense? :O)

Posted by
1524 posts

We did Pristine Sistine with Walks of Italy and felt it was worth every penny.
Those early entry tours are offered by several companies, I’d grab whichever one still has availability on your dates.

Also did 2 other tours with WoI- Colosseum and Crypts/Catacombs- both very good
I believe they do offer a discount when you book multiple tours with them and possibly a Rick Steves discount ( email them, not sure about that )

WalksofItaly.com

Posted by
602 posts

I love taking group tours when I travel solo, it is not only more cost-effective than a private tour, but I have always met interesting people on my group tours. As for tours in Rome, when I went last, I was with 6 people and we hired a private guide. The advantage of a private guide is the tour is tailored to your interests and pace. I have, however, taken Walks of Italy tours in Venice and my tour there was excellent.

If you are also looking for other types of tours, some of my favorite tours are good tours and the Eating Food Tours are excellent. In Rome, took the Trastevere tour.. Here is the link to the Rome tour options. https://www.eatingeurope.com/rome/ . For food tours, I try to go the first night in the city as the guides are very knowledgeable and you find places that you may want to go back to. In Rome we took the tour on a Saturday night and my college-aged girls were upset that many of the places we visited we closed on Sunday as they wanted to go back for the Suppli and the vegan bakery cookies.

Hope this helps,
Sandy

Posted by
51 posts

I just discovered there’s a trip report section on the forum. Is there a way to search specifically for reports about Florence and Rome? Thanks!

Posted by
51 posts

I canceled my trip and I’m working on getting refunds. It looks like I’ll get most of my money back, but not all. Still, I’m blessed to be able to afford to travel, so I won’t complain too much. So my next question.... is late October or early November a good time to go to Rome and Florence?

Edit: I was able to start another topic about canceling my trip, so please disregard this one. Thank you!

Posted by
11 posts

I’ve traveled solo for much of my life and I’m hoping to go back to Italy once again this October.
I can add two things that I haven’t seen mentioned—first Charles Schwab offers a checking account with a debit card. You’ll be able to withdraw money from an ATM & they will refund all your service charges. If you decide to do this, start early. I found it took a lot of time to set up the account and to make the arrangements to transfer funds from my regular checking account into the Charles Schwab account while I was overseas. And of course capital one credit cards do not add a fee when you use their card to buy overseas.
The best security item I found is the tank top with hidden zippers, Amazon offers these, search under “clever travel companion “ or “tank top with zippers”. These cannot be seen under a regular T-shirt or blouse so your money is totally secure, (knock on wood). As a single older woman (76) traveling by herself these give me a feeling of security that even a money belt doesn’t provide, and I find they’re much more comfortable.
Happy solo traveling!

Posted by
226 posts

I was in Tuscany at the end of October and Rine the first week of November. It’s a good time. Cool but not too cold to walk around at night. The museums were still busy, esp the Vatican museum, but that was a normal year. This may not be but fall is a great time to travel.

Posted by
51 posts

It’s hard to even imagine visiting Italy and enjoying museums and wandering through the crowds with all the sadness spreading through the world right now, but I appreciate your input.

Posted by
24 posts

Hello KRS:

So sad you have canceled, and I get it.

October in Italy is lovely. November is way too cold for me, so check the temps and see what is open that you want to experience.

Happy planning!

Posted by
408 posts

I am a solo man traveler. I was 32 when I took my first solo trip. I went to Italy in July 2017. At the time I wasn't smart enough to realize I should have waited until September or October when the temperatures would have been cooler. I wore nylon hiking/travel pants and lightweight long sleeved shirts, in Italy and trips to other places more recently. I only take 1 to 2 changes of clothes and wash them in the sinks in my hotels. My original reason for staying in hostels was to increase my chances of having minimal contact with other English speakers. I stayed in 3 hostels in Italy. On other trips I have stayed in private rooms when I didn't see an appealing hostel.

I bought my ticket to the Florence Cathedral on the Italian official website, but then when the staff scanned my ticket, the machine showed that my ticket was already used earlier that day and there was nothing I could do about it. Maybe I accidentally presented it at another museum and it worked for the wrong museum because both tickets are sold by the same organization? Also on this trip I got more sophisticated and wrote myself a day-by-day itinerary, although perhaps not everybody finds writing an itinerary necessary.

Whatever tickets you buy in advance - Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world - print them, carry them around in a rigid plastic folder. Tickets can be displayed on a phone or tablet computer but on another trip my phone quit working.

I spent $99 US dollars on a small group guided tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. I believe I would have had almost just as good an experience if I had toured those areas on my own. My tour was with "The Roman Guys"; the guide took us into the basement of the Colosseum, which can only be seen with a guided tour. It almost wasn't worth the high price. The basement has a replica of an elevator which has pulies and ropes; animals were loaded onto it; 8 slaves turned cranks to operate it.

You are smart for postponing your trip. You will get to go to Italy eventually.

Hi KRS!
Welcome to the Forum! First, let me say, that I understand and support your decision to cancel your trip in April. I also decided to cancel my trip to Croatia and Northern Italy, May 4. It is just not a good time to be traveling.....

Second, I spent 3 weeks a few years ago traveling through Italy in October. It was Spectacular! The leaves on the trees and on the wine vines were yellow, orange, red, with green mixed in. It was warm during the day and cool during the evenings, but not cold. Plus, the crowd are much less!!!

Have a wonderful time planning your trip!!!

Posted by
1037 posts

I would wait till October.
We were in Italy most of last September, and it was so hot and humid I just couldn't enjoy myself as much as on previous visits.
We had AC in every accommodation we stayed at; but walking around was just brutal.
My only thought every time we were out was how long it would be before I could get into my next shower.
I counted that I had at least three showers a day the whole trip.
I've been to Italy many times in September, and it seems to be getting hotter and hotter each time.
Happy planning!

Posted by
31 posts

I can confirm the opinions of the last contributors. It's possible to visit Italy in Autumn. According to me it's possible to enjoy a good temperature even till November. Normally On this month the prices are more affordable and most of time the temperature is ok

Posted by
51 posts

Anne, I love architecture and I enjoy soaking up the personality of various cities. Additionally, I’ve been to Florence years ago. This was going to be my first solo trip abroad. The primary reason I chose to base myself in Florence was because, for me, traveling to a foreign country alone is a huge step, so basing myself in a place where I know my way around, at least a little, was important. Florence has so much to offer aside from the many amazing museums.

Posted by
4 posts

When I was in Paris in October, I used an app called City Mapper. It was invaluable. I can't even tell you how much I love that app for getting around. Florence isn't included, but Rome is. Give it a try!