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HELP! 1st Time Travel to Italy.

My husband and I are travelling to Italy for one week in mid-August. We prefer to come in nonstop to Rome, but if more feasible will fly 1-stop to Venice. We would like to visit Rome, Venice, Tuscany, CT. Is this realistic and how much time should we spend in each locale. We are flexible. Is there a better route. We would like to see the major points of interest and the beauty of the land. Please help me map this out. I'm baffled. THANKS!

Posted by
344 posts

Rome is 2 full days to see all that old stuff ;)
Id stop in Pisa on the way to CT (we did not do CT).
Venice is done in 2 days. Id fly into Rome rest on day 1 see Rome the next 2 days. Go to CT with a stop in Pisa. (travel day + 1 or 2 in CT). Go to Venice and spend 2 full days. JMO, David

Posted by
11 posts

P.S. We don't want to see a lot of old stuff, just the most popular. We saw a lot in Paris.

Posted by
16 posts

If all you have is a week I would limit myself to Rome and maybe Siena or Florence. We loved Siena for its small town feel. The locations you mentioned are pretty distant from Rome and the travel time could be a factor. Rome itself could very easily take a week (we spent 4 nights). You have to consider that the first day is wasted to jet lag, so you really only have 6 days. Rome is wonderful, you could easily walk yourself to death.

Posted by
400 posts

Seeing this is your first time, it explains your desire to "see it all" but believe me, 4 different spots in 5 days....no way! Each of this places (except for Tuscany) are located in completely different parts of the country. Choose one. Rome needs 3 days at least and could use 4. Venice needs 2 and could use 3. CT is very hard to get to and takes 5-6 hours to get to from either Venice or Rome. If you choose one, then day trip for a day or two to surrounding areas, you would have a very lovely and memorable trip....instead of rushing to place to place and not taking the time to enjoy along the way. If you choose Rome, you could spend a day and a half in the hilltown, Orvieto (awesome village which is 1 hr train ride from Rome). If you choose Venice, you could split your days in Florence which is another beatiful city. But do not try for all the places you listed in this one trip....can't be done.

Posted by
11 posts

I meant, 5 full days for sightseeing and we do not want to spend more than a day in Rome.

Posted by
11 posts

Okay, okay, but please help me narrow my seach. We don't prefer museums, but would like to see the most famous sites. We love nature and prefer less hectic environments. With that in mind what are the 2 most beautiful, awe-inspiring places we should visit. And, we don't drink.

Posted by
400 posts

You did not say if it is this August that you are planning your trip for. If it is, you are going to have a very hard time finding a place to stay in any of the popular destinations you listed. That being said, for beauty, I suggest either Venice or Cinque Terre. Unfortunately, I don't recommend trying to do both. But lets play with it.... Fly into Venice and settle in for the next 2 nights. On the 3th day, on a very early train, head to CT. You will arrive sometime around mid afternoon. Use that evening and the whole next day to see the area (you will love it). On your 5th day, take train back to Venice to fly home on your 6th. Always try to book a late flight home, if you can, when using Venice because of allowing time to leave the island to get back to the airport. Hope this helps and see if other travelers agree with me.

Posted by
400 posts

Oh, I just thought of another idea. Flying into Milan and seeing Lake Como and the Dolomite area. Or flying into Venice and seeing Venice and the Dolomite area. All of these places are known for their relaxation and beauty.

Posted by
11 posts

Hey guys, thanks a million. I will get busy and do my homework because, yes, I am looking at this August.

P.S. Am grateful for anymore suggestions.

Posted by
11 posts

Okay guys, I have narrowed our travels to: fly into Venus for a 5 day stay in Venice and Florence. Should we go directly to the train station and head out to Florence...for let's say, 3-days, then come back to Venice for 2-days and departure? What would you suggest?

How far is the airport to the train station? And, which stations? Do we purchase tixs in advance?

Posted by
400 posts

Good choice Amanda! I fell in love with Florence. Make sure you take the bus (from the train station) to Michaelangelo's Piazza just before sunset which overlooks Florence. We got the most beautiful pics as the sun was setting and then strolled back down the hill back into the city. We had a dinner res. on the river for when we returned. That night, I will never forget! It's a tough call as to where I would spend my extra 3rd day. Both have so much to offer. We did not use the Venice airport so I can't answer your questions concerning it. But yes, I would take the train straight to Florence first and then back to Venice since you are flying out of it. We just returned from both cities so if there is anything I can help you with, please write me. Also, when you make your res. in Florence, ask the owner to call in res. for you to the Accademia Musuem to see the statue "David". It is jaw- dropping.

Posted by
171 posts

I have been lucky enough to travel to Italy every year for the past 5 years now. I travel alone but am lucky enough to have friends who lives in Italy and has taken me to see so many places. It will take you a good 45 to 1 hr to get into Rome from Leonardo da Vinci Airport. I was in Rome on May 18th of this year. Walking on foot to view the major places of interest can take 2 days of walking all day. St. Peters alone is a couple hrs. Europeans tend to take their vacation in August so you will have to contend with bigger crowds. I had my friend showing me around and he knows the easiest way to get around. We spent 2 days of walking all day long just to see the major points and we didn't go into any museums. This is the 3rd time to Rome and I could go again. I believe that Florence is a 4 hr or 187 miles. Florence is my favorite. It would take at least 2 days and again not going into a lot of the places . So many wonderful museums there. Tuscany is such a beautiful region. Ct is quite a distance from Florence. You can see Venice if you are walking real fast but still a full, complete day. You have so much to see in so very little time. I would highly suggest giving up Ct. because of the distance and location. Pisa is just the leaning tower. Go to Italy another time for the places you missed or want to repeat

Posted by
11 posts

Yes, I have decided to fly into Venice, take a train to Florence for 3-days, then return to Venice and spend 2-days there before returning home. Any suggestions?

Posted by
11 posts

Kent, indeed you have and I am most appreciative. I could still use suggestions on hotels and restaurants. But hey, if there aren't any, I am sooooo relieved to know where we ae going!! We can flow with the rest.

Posted by
344 posts

We were just in Venice and our hotel was great!
A/C is a must in Aug.
If you fly in and out of Venice, Id go to your other stops first, then back to stay in Venice for the last 3 days. Getting in and out of Venice is a PAIN!
Bus, or Train then Boat and with bags its no fun.
Venice is a great way to end a vacation.

Posted by
1633 posts

Amanda, you previously indicated that you don't want to see a lot of museums and old stuff. Taking that into consideration, you might want to get out of Florence on one of those three days and see a bit of the Tuscany countryside. Check out the website www.sitabus.it for tours that are available from Florence. There's a bus tour that goes from Florence to San Gimignano and then on to Siena--returning to Florence in the early evening. Also, as a previous poster indicated, I would find hotels with A/C. When we visited these cities last year, a/c definitely allowed us to get a good night's sleep. Have fun!

Posted by
65 posts

No old stuff, just the most popular? WTF? Is this real? Where am I? What is this?

Posted by
38 posts

I'm missing the reason you want to go to Italy?!

Posted by
11 posts

Kent, unfortunately, I find the last 2 post before yours downright rude and yours unnecessary. It is impossible to explain personal reasons for doing a thing in a few characters. Nor should one have to. I am aware that everything is "old," but that it is not all Italy is. I love aesthetics...everything beautiful...places, people, food, drink, nature, art, architecture, etc. Italy or any other place is not just...one thing. It is mulifaceted. I was searching out the MORE than, and I my opinion with the help of everyone other than the last 2 immature, shallow posters, I found what I was looking for. As I expressed in my former post, I am very satisfied with my selections, Florence and Venice. We will visit Michaelangelo's David and other Museums, we will contact the tour company that was suggested(Thank you!). From all of the posts that I have read on this site and Trip Advisor, I understand Italy to be a magnificent place that people return to year after year. We will discover this magnificence and behold, in ALL of its majesty, the beauty of another part of the world that God created. And, I sure we will go back to explore more. If you can't provide me with the name of hotels and BB w/AC, please take the sarcism and negativity some place else. I neither need it or want it. Once again, thank you so very much to all of you who helped me finalize my itenirary. We look forward to visiting Florence and Venice! I am excited!

Posted by
2030 posts

Amanda, unfortunately in your post above when you said "we don't want to see a lot of old stuff, just the most popular" seems to have set several people off. This was a pretty blunt statement, and you do have room on this site to write more than one sentence and explain your interests in more detail, as you did later on. If you are clear about what you want to see, you will get much friendly help and advice. But we are mostly all Europhiles here, and may take an offhand comment a bit too seriously.
I think you should consult some good guidebooks and other sites to help you decide what you want to see. Learn about Italy on your own too, then you won't be at the mercy of the helpline!
Whatever you decide to do in Italy though, you really can't go wrong. Have a great time.

Posted by
2 posts

I spent 9 Months in Italy (2 separate 4.5 month trips). While I was there, my mom visted me for a week. We did this, and I can say that we didn't feel too rushed:

Day 1 and 2
Venice
Day 3 and 4 and 5
Train to Florence
Florence
Day 6
1/2 Day trip to Siena by train
Return to Florence
Rent Car in Florence
Drive along Chianti Road
Stop in Wineries
Stop in Monterregioni
Stop in San Gimignano
Spend Night
Day 7
Finish S. Gimignano
Back to Florence

Don't try to do too much in a week- you'll spend most of your time traveling! Spend quality time in fewer locations. The outcome of a quality trip will make you want to return for more (Rome).

If Rome is a can't miss - then you have to spend at least 4 days there. Remember that meals are meant to be savored, so you can't be running around all of the time. Save Venice for another trip - its too far North and you'll spend more time traveling.

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Amanda.. As some of the previous posts have mentioned , You will need Air-conditioning in Venice in August. And Venice is very expensive. We stayed at the Campiello. It is right of the main boat dock at San Zaccaria. Close to everything and easy to get to the airport and Burano if you chose to go there. Close to San Marco and restaurants. The Campiello is Air-conditioned, has a huge buffet breakfast, has a computer for you to use to email home ,and a wonderful shower. It is usually full as it is in Steves' books, but it is very convenient if you are only going to be in Venice a short while.