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Hello !
My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy.
Below is the Itinerary

Venice 2 nights - Hotel Dimora Marciana , ------- Florence 4 nights- Hotel La Scaletta , ------ Sienna 2 nights- HOTEL ??? ,-----Rome- 4 nights - Hotel Cosomopolita

I am not sure if we should stay in Sienna overnight or take day trips from Florence. I did buy the Rick Steve's Guide Book but I would appreciate anyone insight on my itinerary and what sights to go to. Since I am not familiar with the transportation system it is very confusing to me.
Any guidance offered I would appreciate .
Thank you for your time.

Posted by
1533 posts

Welcome!

That’s a great itinerary. If you can add 2 nights, add 1 to Venice, 1 to Rome

When is your trip?

An overnight in Siena is fine, nice to be there in the early am and late evening hours after crowds have left.

Train from Venice to Florence
Bus from Florence to Siena
Train from Siena to Rome ( you will go back to Florence then transfer to train to Rome)

We stayed at Palazzo Ravizza in Siena, just a quick walk to center and has a lovely terrace overlooking the Tuscany countryside.

Posted by
393 posts

we did a day trip from Florence to Sienna with WalkAboutFlorence - we actually did 2. THE BEST OF TUSCANY that took us to Sienna, and 2 other amazing towns, and an amazing lunch on a Tuscan Farm. And CHIANTI WINE AND FOOD SAFARI. Check out WalkAboutFlorence website.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for responding so quickly .
Do you think 2 nights in Siena is too long ?

I would like to visit a winery . My sister said in Tuscany they do not have sweet wines.

We have wineries where I live and most of then have a different variety of wines . However a couple only have dry wine, which I do not like . Does anyone know of a winery that has sweet wine and how to get to it from Florence.
Thanks for any assistance.
Ann

Posted by
393 posts

as I mentioned above - look at the CHIANTI WINE & FOOD SAFARI TOUR with WalkAboutFlorence - we went to many wineries that day. It was a fantastic tour. The views were stunning. As far as sweet wines, I'm not sure. Not remembering much sweet there- but LOTS in Germany when we go there.

You may want to start a new topic with LOOKING FOR SWEET WINE/WINERIES/TOURS IN FLORENCE/TUSCANY so more people will see

Posted by
2126 posts

I like ChristineH's suggestions. I think Venice warrants a minimum of 3 nights. Rome- 4-5 nights if possible. One night in Siena sounds good. Lovely city. (I don't have a name of a hotel). We were on a tour of Tuscany a number of years ago and started our tour in Florence. Yes, wonderful wines in the region. I didn't read what time of the year you are visiting?

Posted by
20 posts

I appreciate everyone suggestions - We will be arriving on 9/23 and departing from Rome on 10/05 . .

I am so excited .

Posted by
393 posts

Two nights in Venice is only one full day. Def add more days there. We go for a minimum of 4 every time we go.

Posted by
20 posts

Once we book our flight ., I am going to start researching what exactly I want to see before I book a hotel. I am also going to take people suggestions and read Rick 's travel books.
I would love to stay longer but I have a handicapped son and have to make arrangement for someone to watch him . We actually will be gone a total of 14 days because of the flight .
What airport do you use go to when you depart from Rome. ?

Posted by
1533 posts

I am so excited

:)

Ann-
Venice airport= Marco Polo, VCE
Rome airport= Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicimo, FCO

you have 12 nights
1 night in Siena is fine- arrive early- I believe you will be there when the Duomo floor is uncovered- how lucky!
I'd give that extra night to Venice

4 nights in Florence does give you time for a day trip- there are lots of places/ways to do that- whether on your own via bus/train or with a guided tour.
Walks of Italy offers a few- this one is Lucca, Pisa, winery lunch
https://www.walksofitaly.com/florence-tours/florence-to-pisa-day-trip/

Are your hotels already booked? If so- Are they refundable?
Make sure you have air conditioning

Your Venice hotel is right on edge of S Marco Plaza, looks nice but it's super busy around there and looks like you'd have to drag your bags quite a ways, there are no canals nearby for a water taxi.

We have stayed at Hotel Ala twice now and would always choose again when we return to Venice. The location is excellent, in a quiet campo, steps from S M Giglio vaporetto stop with NO bridges, steps or canals to cross. About a 5 min walk to S Marco. Great bkft and nice roof deck.

Florence- hotel location is great. I have no hotel to recommend as the place we stayed was lovely but apparently bad reviews since!

Rome- also good location but on a very busy, noisy intersection.
I highly recommend Albergo Cesari or Hotel Due Torri. Both a bit more into the pedestrianized area, very central. We walk everywhere from there.

Transportation- once you settle itinerary- come back and ask how to get to and from- all the info is here.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you

Our hotels are not booked yet . I am going to look into the hotels you suggested .

Posted by
1533 posts

You're welcome

I love booking.com
You can set filters for price, location, amenities like AC, Bkft, elevator, etc
Read the reviews as they are only given by folks you have actually stayed there.
Check the hotel's actual website- then book with whoever gives you the best deal.
I always book free cancellation.

Posted by
4342 posts

Sienna is great, but we did it in one full day. Do a day trip from Florence, or just one night in Sienna.

Four nights in Rome is way too little, add more time there.
Check TripAdvisor, THINGS TO DO for Rome, LOTS to do

Posted by
2126 posts

As ChristineH suggested, Hotel Ala is very convenient from the Giglio Vaporetto stop. We stayed a week at Hotel Flora which was 2 minutes from Hotel Ala. Just another suggestion if no vacancies at Ala. Hotel Flora is tucked away in a quiet area. We were there in the month of September and were able to eat breakfast in their lovely courtyard. We had a room that overlooked the courtyard. We booked directly with the hotel.

We will be staying in Rome at Hotel Due Torri next September per Christine's recommendation. We like the central location.

All the best.

Posted by
3475 posts

There are a couple of white sweet wines in Tuscany. Vin Santo which is a dessert wine and
Moscadello di Montalcino which comes in a still or fizzanti, and a late harvest which has a more concentrated sweetness. You can find them all over the Montalcino area. The tasting rooms there should have several different producers labels. Or Castello Banif Borgo has its own,but you'd need a car.

Posted by
11733 posts

If tours may not include the sweet sorts of wine you enjoy, what about giving up the tour and just making a visit to a wine bar or enoteca instead? Maybe some of the RS wine connoisseurs could offer up a list of some sweet varieties to ask for, and some suggestions for the better enoteche in Florence as well? That would give you a late-afternoon sit-down activity when your feet need a break. :O)

Posted by
1774 posts

There is a direct bus going from Siena to Rome's Tiburtina bus station.

Siena is like Venice, if you want to actually "see" it, you must sleep there and walk around after dinner.

Posted by
2126 posts

I would also recommend trying the heavenly Vin Santo. It's a great compliment to "dunking a delicious Biscotti" after dinner.

Posted by
3475 posts

Other than Montalcino which you can reach by train/bus combo from Siena . You are likely to find them in Radda in Chianti, by bus from Siena

Florence has plenty of wine bars where you'll find wines from all over Italy.

Posted by
1667 posts

. However a couple only have dry wine, which I do not like . Does anyone know of a winery that has sweet wine and how to get to it from Florence.

As others have mentioned, you'll love Vin Santo, a dessert wine. Don't give up on Chianti, though. It is dry, but most people do a wine tasting without food. Dry reds like Chianti aren't sipping wines. They need to be paired with a complementary dish. When your do, you'll have a new appreciation of them.

I suggest you look for a day trip out of Florence that includes a winery tour that's combined with a food and wine tasting lunch. If possible, go to Castillo di Verrazzano. That was our home base for our trip to Tuscany. Both the food and wine are superb.

Posted by
20 posts

Hello ,
This is our itinerary:
Arrive 9/23 --- Venice --- hotel Ala-----check in 9/23----check out 9/25-----,Florence ---- check in hotel LaScaletta ----check in 9/25----check out ------9/29-------Sienna ---- I still have to book a hotel in Sienna--------------one of the suggestions was hotel Athena------We will check in 9/29 and check out 10/01----- We will go to Rome and stay at Hotel Cosomopolita ------ check in 10/01---check out -------10/06.
When we were looking for hotels ,a lot of the hotels were booked already . -----------I now to have research the transportation from the different places we will be staying at ----------Any insight will help - -------I did get basic information from my first posting which I really appreciated . -----------I was wondering if the Academia will be very crowded on the week end and if it is ,should we piurchase tickets now ?
Hotel La Scaletta contacted me and asked what time we would like to eat at their panorama restaurant .------the choices were 7:00 pm or 9 pm . ------- Friday- Sat- or Sun - --------- I now have to research where we should go in different cities and from the different cities ,transportation and advice on tours .----I would appreciate anyone's input on my plans .I am going to look in to the prior suggestions .-------Do they a mosquitos in Venice ?---------- This is going to be an expensive trip so I am going to have to substitute teach a lot until Oct . It is a going to be worth it . tThanks again for any input .------Ann

Posted by
17156 posts

It seems early for hotels to be booked up for September unless your dates coincide with major local events. It's possible some hotels are just now setting their 2020 rates and don't have rooms loaded into their booking systems yet.

I agree with earlier responders that two nights in Venice at the beginning of the trip is too few. You may be totally wiped out by sleep-deprivation and jetlag on your arrival day, leaving you only one full day to enjoy all that Venice has to offer. Many people with one day in Venice spend nearly all their time surrounded by mobs of day-trippers, since everyone want to see the Rialto Bridge and Market and Piazza San Marco. That tends to result in not liking Venice much. A second day would provide at least a little time to wander along the small canals and experience Venice on your own. Siena is very nice, but I am firmly of the opinion that Venice needs the second night more than Siena does.

Posted by
2126 posts

Ann,
To answer your query about Mosquitoes. When we were planning our stay in Venice (August 2018), I did some research about Mosquitoes. I had read that they could be more prevalent in the summer, especially by the canal. We found having AC we don't open a window. That said, we did not experience any bites. I do bring insect repellent as a preventative.

As far as booking accommodations for September, we are traveling to Rome and Sicily then and have our reservations in place. For us, we are booking mostly B & B's in Sicily and wanted to ensure availability on our first choices, (but that's just us.) **We always book for free cancellations.

I would concur with up thread suggestions. I would add a third night to Venice and take one away from Siena.

Posted by
103 posts

If your room in Hotel Ala is facing the canal, then yes there would be mosquitoes. The hotel provides an electrical mosquitoes repellent in each room. I never used it but simply closed the windows at my wife's insistence and shunned out the good view 8-( .

Posted by
1533 posts

Glad you were able to book Hotel Ala
We were there once in late August and had no mosquito issues...that year
Were also their in early June- no mosquitoes

I agree
3 Venice, 1 Siena

Posted by
17156 posts

I am lucky to be not terribly attractive to mosquitoes so am not a good source of information about their prevalence. However, I remember more than one comment on this forum about mosquitoes in Florence.

Posted by
745 posts

I'm going to say 2 nights in Siena is a nice break from all the big cities you have on your list but that said and knowing you are arriving into Venice my itinerary would be
Venice 3 nights
Florence 3 nights
Siena 2 nights
Rome 4 nights