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Rome or Florence

I am attending a week-long cooking school in Bologna in mid-October, then spening several days in Venice. After that I have two options:
A) Four days in Rome (and fly home from Rome)
B) Three days in Florence (and one in Milan, flying home from Milan)
Any experienced Italy travelers have any advice about option A or B (basically, Rome or Florence)? I am leaning toward option B as it saves about $200 in plane fare, some of which can toward an osso bucco dinner in Milan.

Posted by
466 posts


You have to do Rome!!!! Rome is incredible and it has so much history. Florence is beautiful and very historic but you can do Florence quickly in a day or two. There is so much to see in Rome that I think if you don't go, you will regret it a some point in your life. I give my vote to ROME!!!

Good luck and have fun!!

Posted by
3551 posts

Both cities are wonderful and jammed packed with great things to see, do and eat. I would opt for the one that gives you more time sightseeing which appears to be Rome. You will waste time traveling from Florence to Milan and there is little to see or do in Milan in comp to Flor or Rome. You will see alot for your xtra $200.

Posted by
1449 posts

I go with what Rick says in his books: assume you'll be back and don't try to do everything on one trip. So sure, Rome is great, but so is Florence. The museums, for one thing. You have time to check out a art-history course on DVD from a library if you're not already familiar with it, and it will make visiting the museums much more rewarding. My vote is save the $200 on airfare and spend it on fun; see Rome the next time.

Posted by
1127 posts

I absolutely LOVE Rome but I'd do option B. Go to Florence and save $200. See Rome the next time.

Posted by
705 posts

What a choice. Been to both and love to return to both. I don't think you can go wrong which ever way you go. If the $200 saving is important then do Florence if it really isn't an issue do Rome. I'm sure you'll have a great time whichever way you go.

Posted by
689 posts

I vote for Florence! But I perfer the smaller more quiet places. Our first trip there, I did Rome in a day and saw all of the city that I wanted to see. On our second trip we spent 2 days in Rome, most of the second day we spent on the Piazza Navona - people watching... this trip we are skipping Rome - other than the evil of flying out from there...

Posted by
37 posts

On our last trip we spent 3 days in Florence and 5 days in Rome, neither of which was enough. If I was choosing just one, I would go with Florence. It is such a fantastic city with everything you could want: atmosphere, food (try some of the restaurants on the other side of the Arno), architecture, museums, plus it is more compact, so you can see more in 3 days than you could in Rome. Rome can be your next trip!

Posted by
9 posts

I would read both of RS guides books, on Florence and Rome and see what you want to cover in both cities. However, I have been to both cities and find Florence much easier to get around. You can walk every where you need to go and see alot in a few days, and never need to take Public Transporation. For such a short time, I think Florence is the best bet. It is a great city and has lots of musuems and places to go and really great to walk around. Florence has great atmosphere, restuarants, musems, the Pitti palace and gardens and not nearly as over whelming as Rome can be. Of course it is up to you.

Posted by
175 posts

Rome is a world class city with so much to see and do. I would go with plan A!

Posted by
14 posts

I have been to both cities and both are great places. I will be going back to Italy in a couple weeks, this time taking my daughters and will spend 2 days in Venice and 3 days in Rome. Two days will be for Rome and will be taking an early train to spend the whole day in Florence coming back to Rome late in the evening. We fly back to USA from Rome. I vote for plan A. Good luck!

Posted by
36 posts

I'm sure everyone has their own opinion, but we were in Florence last fall for almost an entire week and didn't get to see everything. I question anyone who says you can do it in a couple of days. It might be possible if your the type of traveler that runs through places at break neck speed, never slowing down to take in the whole experience of a city like Florence.

Posted by
5 posts

Rome, hands down. Florence really didn't do anything for me.

Posted by
29 posts

Hi Thomas,
If you haven't booked your flight yet, you may want to check into flying directly out of Florence. We did so (changing planes in Frankfurt) and I don't think it was much more expensive than flying from Milan. Then you could have an extra day to explore Florence and the countryside. I loved both Rome and Florence, but would vote for Florence for its museums, atmosphere and great food.

Posted by
143 posts

Thanks for all your comments - have decided to spend the time in Rome. Talk about a win-win situation between two fun options. Now I just to decide where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc. Hope the trip is as much fun as the planning....