Side trips from rome

I am going the 3rd week in April to Rome. With my two daughters age 30,28. I want to Know whether a train up to Florence to see the sites for a day is recommended. There are no non-. To Florence stop flights from nyc. We have 6 days with flying. If not can any one suggest a good side trip from rome. This is my 60th birthday present. Thank you

Posted by Mark
Henson, Florida, USA
466 posts

You must see Orvieto. It is a walled in hill town between Rome and Florence. It is absolutely beautiful. It is very Tuscan and full of shops and restaurants. If you are into the hand panted ceramic plates, vases, bowls, this is the place. You will not be sorry, It is Italy at its best!!!! Train service between Rome and Orvieto runs about 13 Euros each way and it is an hour and a half trip through the beautiful Tuscan countryside!

Have fun and happy 60th!!!!

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

I just got back from Rome with my daughter (27) We did a day trip to Orvieto. Florence was way too expensive. Get ready for sticker shock if you plan to take the train. The slow train to Florence (4 hours) was about $130 round trip for ONE. The fast train (2 hours) would have been over $200 each round trip...and that was with the Euro at $1.43

So-go to Orvieto, it's a wonderful town, the church is beautiful, and the ceramic shopping is great. It's a wonderful place to spend a day..trains run almost every hour, so easy to plan your day. Cost per ticket to Orvieto is about $20 each.

Also, take a morning to see Ostia Antica. You use the metro to the pyramid stop, then transfer to a train, all for the cost of one metro ticket! Entry to Ostia is about 7E each. They are closed on Monday - so plan accordingly.

Unless you have big bucks to spend...just plan on skipping Florence, we could not justify ONE day there for $400 train tickets!

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

Yep...Kent, I had NO idea it was going to be that much! We've traveled by train lots of times, and I certainly don't remember that kind of expense for a rather "short" trip! I tried it several different ways to find the least expensive ticket, but it was way too much for our budget this trip.

If we'd planned on leaving Rome and staying over night for the remainder of our trip on Florence, I would have spent the money, but to go for ONE day....too much $$.

The Euro was about $1.43 the first week of November, and it was about $1.49 today. We won't be going to a EU country until we get more parity! (or England for that matter!!)

Posted by sandy
flushing, ny, usa
5 posts

thank you all for the advice. I was thinking of 3 days in Rome and 2 days in florence. Or should we just stay in rome for the 5 days and do side trips sandy

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

Ellen...where and how did you purchase your tickets? Trenitalia shows second class Rome-Florence aboard a EuroStar fast train (1:40 trip time) at 66 Euro round trip...about $100 U-S. Their Amica fares are 53 Euro round trip...about $79 U-S.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

Norm, at the train station at the automated machines - I checked all methods of travel and those were the prices. I didn't go stand in line to double check, the machine would have issued the tickets at those prices.
I rounded up to get an estimate for US$ with the added exchange rate for using my credit card, but those were the prices for the tickets for the times we needed to travel.

We needed/wanted to leave as early in the day as possible, then come back to Rome at a good time too.

My daughter (and I) didn't want to spend 8 hours on a train for a few hours in Florence, so we needed the fast train, and that was about 92E each one way.

Posted by Jeff D.
USR, NJ
277 posts

I am of a different opinion, which makes the world go round. If you do not plan to return to Italy for a while, I would spend the money and enjoy yourself. I would suggest that you skip Florence and travel to Venice. It will be a long day (13 hours)but well worth it. 3-4 hours in Venice is enough for an overview. Upon leaving the train station, you will come upon the Grand Canal. You mouth will drop at the site. It is beautiful. Take the water bus a few feet from the exit of the train station to St. Marks. Walk around, eat lunch, and return. The other travel alternative is to fly from Rome to Venice. You can catch the water bus from the airport to St. Marks. Whatever you choose, make your arrangements in Rome.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5776 posts

I second the suggestion to not bother with Florence since you're only going to be there for six days. Too much time would be eaten up in traveling. (And Venice is just way too far away, as much as I love Venice.)

We're going to Italy in May for 18 days and we're going to fly into Rome's airport (Fiumicino) and go immediately to the nearby resort village of Ostia (with the ancient ruins of Ostia Antica nearby). A friend recommended doing this for your first night in Italy to get your bearings before going into the HUUUGE city of Rome. We're also planning a day trip to Orvieto, but on our way out of Rome to stay in Assisi.

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

Wow Ellen...that's too bad...you sure got ripped off. I wonder if you were travelling on a holiday or something, or the machine had a glitch? Or maybe they were selling the last seats available at a premium? I've never had to pay anything like that for Rome-Florence....heck, you and your daughter could have hired a limo for the day!:)

Posted by Sally
In the Mountains, USA
689 posts

I ditto the Orvieto vote. It is a fabulous place to spend a day.

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
1476 posts

Both Florence and Orvieto are about 1.5 hours from Rome and equally doable as a day trip from Rome. Florence has great art that's well worth seeing. Orvieto provides a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of Rome. Can't go wrong with either. The Ostia Antica suggestion is a good one, too. It's like Pompeii, but without fences and crowds. Basing yourself in Rome for the entire trip gives you the most options - e.g. you could go to Florence on whichever day the lowest train fares were available. On the other hand, staying in Florence for a couple of nights gives you the best shot at Uffizi and Academia tickets. Decide what's most important on your must-see list and let that help you make your decision.

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1463 posts

I agree with the other posters regarding Orvieto. It is a charming little town with an amazing Duomo. There are several nice restaurants there but for an outstanding lunch go to I Sette Consoli--reservation may be needed depending on when you visit. There is an Etruscan museum near the Duomo that is worth a visit.