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First Time Trip To Italy

So i am going to be taking my first trip to Italy in late May. and I need a starting point. I want to visit Rome, Florence, and Venice. How long should i stay in each city to get the most out of it? Does anyone know of any good airline to take that far? I have traveled to hawaii with Delta, and United before but, they were short trips. Also, I am will be traveling with my Grandfather who is 60 (and in good health). So i kind of need some advice instead of crucial walking if the train systems are beneficial for a senior citizen?

Posted by
3313 posts

Lorissa, it depends on how much time you have. Rome, Venice and Florence are great starting points. Try to make a plane reservation so you can fly into one city and out of another.

Your 60 year old grandfather will do just fine unless he has a serious disability. 60 year olds in Italy are the generation born after the war and are the healthiest, most active people in the world.

Take the airline that gets you the best fare. Coach seats are all the same these days.

I would spend more time in Venice than Rome (while spending at least three days in Rome) but that's just me.

Posted by
2000 posts

Well, gee 60 is not exactly senior citizen is it?? Very early senior if at all! I am at least as old as your grandfather and I just got back from taking the train all over Italy, visiting Tuscany and Rome. Just pack as light as you can, one bag. I was able to schlep mine on and off the train with relatively little problem. I know a 19 year old that went to Europe at same time and he was dead from all the walking too -- happens to all ages, you just have to suck up and do it!
I've been to Venice,Florence & Rome. I flew Delta from JFK directly to Venice. Definitely do Venice & Florence-at least 3 days in each city. but research all and decide on your must sees. If you must see "David" and the Uffizi, plan more time in Florence. Venice is exceptionally beautiful so you can't spend too much time there. Rome wasn't that inspirational to me, except for Colisseum & Pantheon, and if it's at end of your trip it will be exhausting. You could possibly skip it -- stay up North.

Posted by
486 posts

Gee, I feel old! I'm 60 and my wife is 62. We are overweight and don't exercise enough.

We stayed in a place in Florence on the 4th floor with 50 steep steps and did it 6 times a day for 8 days and yet walked all over the city.

We stayed in Sorrento on the 4th floor at a place with 70 steps a day yet and did it 6 times a day for 5 days and yet walked all over Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento, and more.

We spent 3 weeks. Years ago we were so concerned, we'd only go for a week to Europe. I'd never do less than 3 weeks now. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and the worst part is the trip over and back. It also is expensive so spend as much time as you can there. Rick's guide to Italy is pretty good when it comes to how many days in each city so check it out. But be flexible. Bored? Move on. Loving it? Stay an extra day. On almost every trip we have made, we changed something on the fly.

Posted by
63 posts

Lorissa, we visited Italy last May. We flew into Rome and spent three nights. We had busy days but saw everything we wanted to. We found the Metro was easy to use to get around in Rome. We took the train to Florence and spent three days there as well. Florence is small and very easy to walk around. We took the train to Venice and spent the day walking around which was also easy to do. Train rides are an enjoyable way to relax and talk about your vacation.

Posted by
24 posts

My husband and I just returned 2 weeks ago from italy. We are 62, 63, and each had a carry on size bag and back pack . I did get tired of getting the luggage on and off trains and going up and down steps, but that is just the way it is. We made out just fine, and all the exercise allowed us to eat more cheese and gelato and not gain ANY weight :) ! We went to many places, and next time will stay longer in some country towns. Three nights in Florence seemed like plenty....3-4 nights in Venice allows time to sight see, walk and relax. Time in Rome depends on how fast you get tired of seeing museums, etc., but it is a good base to spoke out to other places. will love it !

Posted by
423 posts

Hi Lorissa,

I will be taking this very trip in May and will repeat it in December.

I would also recommend and open jaw ticket, flying in to Rome and then home from Venice. I took the train from each city to the next. I traveled light, and I struggled just a bit with the luggage on and off the train sometimes, mostly because you aren't allowed much time to get on or off, depending on the station. That said, I got the hang of it and all went well.

I have had back surgery, so I am not the most mobile person (age 53), but I had minimal issues (nothing a good glass of wine didn't fix at the end of the day).

Other than the trains,I walked all over and also took the vaporetto in Venice. It was nice to know that if I needed to, I could take a taxi, metro or bus.

Posted by
160 posts


Rome has so much to see, I would recommend 4 days. Florence 3 days and Venice 3 days. We are leaving in a week to go back to Italy and used Delta airlines. I have also used Alitalia and Luftstanza, I found all were fine. In Rome and Florence there are buses and taxi's to use but Venice is mainly walking. Personally I have a breathing problem and I handled Venice o.k., we just took our time. Good luck and have fun.

Posted by
139 posts

Lorissa, I have spent the last month making arrangements for our first trip to Italy. We are flying with Delta. I am using points and upgrading to Business class. Only way I will fly that far. I am over 60 and visite France last spring. Walked all over. I am a runner so walking is not a problem. Here is our itinerary; Rome arrive AM and stay 3 nights, train to Venice 2 nights, train to CT 2 nights, train to Pisa for day trip, then evening train to Arezzo to pick up rental car, then 6 nights in B&B just out of Cortona. Last evening we will train to hotel by airport and fly out next AM. Can't wait. Book your flight before anything and be flexible. Saw last night that airlines are raising prices so act fast.