Workable Itinerary?

We are a family of 4 (Kids aged 14 and 10) traveling to Italy in mid-June for 11 nights/10 days. What do you think of this itinerary: Day 1: Rome - transfer to Florence Day 2: Florence (day trip to Pisa - kids want to climb Pisa) Day 3: Florence (mid-afternoon train to Venice) Day 4: Venice Day 5: Venice Day 6: Train to Rome Day 7: Rome Day 8: Rome Day 9: Rome Day 10: day trip to Pompeii
Day 11: fly out of Rome

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

It is not a schedule I would recommend. First, because of limited time I would use an open jaw ticket into Venice and out of Rome. Save a lot of time and probably cheaper. Add a day in Florence. You are going to Florence but not spending any time there. Hit Florence on the way from Venice. A day trip from Rome to Pompeii is OK but makes for a very long day. Something like this, Venice (3 nights ), Florence (3) and Rome (4) including one day to Pompeii. More efficient use of time and less travel time. Or you could reverse it.

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

It's not an itinerary I would consider. First off, you're going directly to Florence after an overnight flight, not the best idea but I can understand the logic. Then you have a day trip to Pisa the next day followed by leaving Florence for Venice the third day. You have absolutely no time set aside to actually visit Florence. Two days in Venice is fine but for Rome I would probably not leave the Pompeii trip until the last day. I would plan it earlier to ensure you have the energy left to do it. With only 10 days I would actually cut out one city. Based on this itinerary I would cut out Florence and visit Pisa on the way to Venice. That way the kids could climb the tower and you won't waste the time in a city that you won't be visiting. Donna

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3342 posts

I would fly into Venice and return from Rome (open jaw). Even if the airfare might be a little more expensive you will save in time and train fare. The train from Venice back to Rome is 80 euro one way (base price) so even if the airfare was $100 more, you'd come out ahead. I would do as follows (d#= day number n#= night number) D1: arrive Venice, check in hotel, visit around venice or rest in pm. N1: Venice D2: Venice N2: Venice D3: train to Florence, check in, visit around florence in pm. N3: Florence D4: Pisa trip in AM (1hr by train), back to Florence in pm. N4: Florence D5: Florence N5: Florence D6: train to Rome, check in, visit around rome in pm. N6: Rome D7: Rome N7: Rome D8: day trip to Pompei N8: Rome D9: Rome N9: Rome D10: Rome N10: Rome
D11: return flight to US. I might have given too much to Rome at the expense of Venice and Florence. You may want to reallocate a day away from Rome depending on personal preferences. As a rule of thumb you need a full day for Venice alone, 2 full days for Florence, 3 full days for Rome. However others might prefer different allocations.

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

We can't fly open jaw. Thanks for the suggestion! We have too good a deal on our flights in and out of Rome.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1391 posts

Leslie, I also think it would be best to go to Venice first. This way, you could stop in Pisa on the way to Florence. You will have had several days of rest after your long flight from San Diego. The 4 1/2 hour train ride from Rome to Venice will allow the kids, and maybe yourself, to get some sleep. I always hope that I will be able to get some sleep on the flight over. Unfortunately, it never happens. Have fun making lifetime memories with the kids.

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

@Denise... originally I had us going to Venice 1st... but we arrive in Rome at 12:30 pm... and I am guessing we won't be able to get on a train to Venice until at least 2:30 if not a little later... which puts us in Venice after 6:30 and it might be difficult to find our hotel, etc.... so then I switched Florence and Venice and even took a day off of Florence (to make sure we have enough time in Rome...) As it is now, we get about a day in Florence... enough time to go see Gallileo's finger (my son wants to see that) and the David and maybe a very quick "look see" at the Uffizi... I guess, before I book lodging, I want to make sure this is workable... Thanks.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

If you're worried about finding a hotel in Venice at 6:30 PM, be aware that it will be no easier (or harder) earlier. As long as it's light out (and in June, the days will be long), the time of arrival makes little difference. It is often difficult to find hotels in Venice - be SURE to look at your hotel's website and print out the directions and map. But that's a function of Venice's layout, not the time of day. Arriving after dark is another matter; then you could truly have difficulty.

Posted by Lexma
Denver
536 posts

I too would suggest starting your trip in Venice. The extra time out of your trip that it would take to arrive in and depart from Rome might be worth the extra money to change the tickets. To take the train to either Florence OR Venice from Rome, you will have to get to the rail station in downtown Rome. I can't imagine that you could land, get your luggage and get to the rail station within 1 hour. And you should leave extra time, just in case the plane lands late. Re climbing the tower in Pisa, with the short amount of time you have, make sure your kids really understand what it will mean to visit it: get to the rail station in Florence, take the train (about 1 hour 20 minutes, depending on which train you take), get off the train, get to the tower (how? by cab would be the fastest), then the reverse to return. So maybe 4-5 hours. Are they ok with that, including the 3 hours on the train?

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

OK... I have to work with what I got... realizing now that the sun does not set in Venice until 9:00... I think I am going back to my original plan: Day 1: Rome - transfer to Venice Day 2: Venice Day 3: Venice Day 4: train to Florence Day 5: Florence Day 6: Florence (day trip to Pisa) Day 7: Train to Rome Day 8: Rome Day 9: Day trip to Pompeii Day 10: Rome
Day 11: fly out of Rome I think the only thing I might toy with is taking a day away from Venice and giving another day to Rome.... My thinking regarding going straight to Venice is that we will be tired anyway from the flight over... so if we snooze on the train to Venice that will give us a chance to stay up to a decent hour and then sleep through the first night...

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2208 posts

I think the only thing I might toy with is taking a day away from Venice and giving another day to Rome.... My thinking regarding going straight to Venice is that we will be tired anyway from the flight over... so if we snooze on the train to Venice that will give us a chance to stay up to a decent hour and then sleep through the first night...
Your second itineray is a good one. We once did the Rome to Venice transfer after a flight in from the U.S. and it did give us time to nap a bit and have the energy to stay up untill a local bedtime that first night. While I LOVE living in Rome, I love visting Venice very much and would not take a day from there. Venice is your recovery city. Take your time there and stay the 3 nights, which only gives you two days on the ground. Don't just rush about seeing sights, slow down and acclimate. Your kids will be enchanted and so will you. Spend one day in Venicve proper and then take the vaporetto to the islands Murano, Burano and Torcello for one day (if it is sunny). Wander the city in the evening too. Go to San Giorgio Maggiore fo the bell tower view over the lagoon adn Venice. Magnificent!

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

@Laurel - Since you live in Rome... can I ask you this... do you think we should spend 3 nights in Florence? I am just wondering if I should leave the itinerary as is, or should I try to move a day to Rome... Thanks,
Leslie

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2208 posts

Drop Pisa and add a day to Rome, especially if you are intent on the daytrip to Pompeii. Your kids will not appreciate Florence as much as they will Rome. BTW, as an alternative to Pompeii, Ostia Antica is a half-day adventure close to Rome. You can go in the morning and be back in Rome for a late lunch. I have been to both, but saw Pompeii while in Sorrento so not as arduous. Pompeii has the mystery and tragedy of Mount Vesuvius; at Ostia time and the river did what the volcano did to Pompeii. This will give you an idea of what is in store for you at Ostia. Day trip to Ostia Antica. Rome is so full of marvelous places that two days (your newest itinerary) is just not enough.

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

@Laurel... have to keep Pisa (will be memorable and different for the kids)... have to keep Pompeii (husband says it is a must... :-)... Do you think I can skim a day off of Florence, see Pisa, see The David, see Gallileo's finger (5th grade son "has to see that" learned about it this year in school...). One rushed thought I had was to go to Pisa early, climb it and return to Florence... so we will have a couple of hours in Florence that afternoon... plus we can leave Venice in the morning... so we would have the afternoon and evening in Florence that first night... Thanks, Leslie

Posted by ekc
Portland, OR
282 posts

Leslie, I would see Pisa on your way from Venice to Florence. You will in transit anyway, so you might as well make the most of it. Then you can take one day from Florence and add it to Rome.

Posted by Jennie
Missoula, MT
76 posts

Venice is a wonderful place to visit. I wouldn't suggest trying to cram in 'must's if its only for a picture. With a trip like this you will want to enjoy what you're doing, take the time to get a feel for where you are. The museum in Florence with Galileo's finger is immense with lots to see. And while his finger was interesting I wouldn't go in there just for that if you have other things that your family would like to do (just a suggestion). Enjoy this trip, try not to rush through it. Have a wonderful time.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1391 posts

Leslie, I like your new itinerary. Like others have said, the only change may be to see Pisa on the way to Florence. The kids are going to love Venice and I think two days will be fun for them. Florence is very compact and easily seen in one day. Be sure to make reservations for the museums ahead of time so you won't have to stand in long lines. We had our hotel make reservations for the Academia. Check with your hotel. I'll throw another idea out there. If you are unsure about so many days in Florence/Rome, you could stop in the hilltown of Orvieto on the way from Florence to Rome. From the train station in Orvieto, you take the funicular up to the hilltown. You could stop there for a few hours. However, we loved staying the night there. It would be something totally different from the other places you are staying. It's fun for the kids and a refreshing break from the larger cities. We stayed at Hotel Valentino which had a family room with breakfast and A/C.

Posted by leslie
san diego, california, United States
7 posts

@Laurel - Question... so we are moving forward with flying into Rome and then taking the train to Venice. From looking at the Trenitalia website it appears that most trains are "fast" taking about 3 hours 20 minutes to get to Venice from Termini. My question is this... after a transatlantic flight arriving in Rome on a MONDAY... do you think Termini would be too busy around 1:30 - 2:30 to buy tickets, or should we plan on taking the FCO Train to Termini and purchasing our tickets to Venice at FCO to avoid the Termini lines? (I ask this because I believe that Alitalia now offers a bus from FCO to Termini... and we may take the bus...) Thanks, Leslie

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2504 posts

Leslie, I think it's great that your children are so interested in this trip! Definitely keep the things that they want to do. Venice has a. ery nice public garden which could be a refreshing change for the kids and you after a flight and train trip. You can buy the train tickets from kiosks at the airport or from kiosks at Termini, but the airport is probably a better option. Check out the Ron in Rome website for details. As for the suggested stop in Orvieto, the kids might enjoy the funicular ride from the train station up to the city, and they can climb around some castle ruins and visit St. Patrick's Well.