Advice on Vacation in Italy

Updated on May 04, 2008
A.M. asks from Lewisville, TX
4 answers

My husband and I will be staying in Italy for 8 nights this July. I am currently trying to plan our trip and have been doing online research as I have never been to Italy before. I'd like advice from someone who has been to Italy. Should we stay in a hotel, or rent a villa/apartment? Any specific ones you recommend? I was thinking of flying into Milan,stay 2 nights, then take the train to Venice sand stay one night,then take the train to Florence/Tuscany for 4 nights. And finally fly out of Rome and stay one night and tour the city before our departing flight the next morning.
Where in Tuscany should we stay?? There are so many different areas. Should we rent a car? Should we do Tuscany 1st,then Venice? ANY recommendation on hotels,villas,and restaurnats you LOVED would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for all your advice! Due to your advice and more research, we've decided to "keep it simple" and do only Rome and Florence/Tuscany. We will stay 3 nights in Rome(in the Travastere area as recommended),visit the sights and Vatican city... then on to a castle 10 miles from Florence for 5 nights that is nestled in a chianti vineyard. We'll take "best of tuscany" wine tour one day to check out the other vineyards,olive oils, and other towns like Sienna. Then another day we'll do a Lucca and Pisa tour. We'll also check out the outlet shopping outside of Florence and do the Florence walking tour.
Next time we'll check out Venice and Milan but for now, we'll just concentrate on Southern Italy. Thanks again! :)

More Answers



answers from Austin on

I lived in Italy for 5 months a few years ago. I was based in Rome and traveled all over Italy and Europe - even though I lived and studied there, I still didn't see everything I wanted to see.

The trains are a great way to get between cities. I wouldn't rent a car - the driving rules and traffic can be very scary, not to mention the high price of gas. Italy is practically designed for tourists. lots of things are within walking distance (take comfy shoes). If you plan on visiting cathedrals, take long pants/skirt with you and shirts/blouses with sleeves - some places are very strict about dress codes.

Small family run hotels and B&Bs are usually your best bet - inexpensive and very friendly (remember, these are people who depend on tourists like you for their livelihood). The one Lisa recommended is in a great part of Rome - Trastevere. Just a short walk to the metro, which takes you practically anywhere you'd want to see in Rome.

Look into guide books by Rick Steves (or even DVDs). He's great about reviewing quaint, not-so-touristy locations, including hotels and restaurants. Frommers or Let's Go are also good guidebooks.



answers from Dallas on

Here are few pieces of advice from an Italian (born and raised there). Yes, you can fly to Venice from the USA, but there are not direct fligths from Dallas to any Italian cities. You would have to go Dallas-New York-Italy or change plane in Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc.)
Gas prices are higher than here. It will be cheaper to use the public transportation. Keep an italian-english dictionary handy and remember, not many Italians are able to communicate in english. But, if you stay along the turist areas you should be fine. Seven nignts it is not a lot of time. Keep it simple, I would do only Venice, Florence and Rome. Many things to see expecially if you love art. For safety reason, be very careful of your surrounding. Hide cash, camera and don`t wear a lot of valuable jewelry, expecially if you use public transportation. Crime rate is rising due to the open borders. Do not adventure unfamiliar streets, even with your husband.
Enjoy the food and the culture and have fun.



answers from Dallas on

I too agree with Anna. We went to Italy for 7 days with the intent to see as much as possible and we never left Rome! We stayed in a wonderful B and B, The Arco de Tolomei.
It is difficult to find, but if you fly into Rome, the owners will set you up with a driver who knows exactly where it is. You are within walking distance of everything there, we loved it. There is a wonderful restaurant right around the corner from it as well, I wish I could remember the name.
Do get tickets ahead of time for anything you want to tour or see or you might not get to see it. I also highly recommend the very touristy open bus tour. ;o) Great if you are only going to be there for a short time - it is cheap, easy to get on, and you can get on and off anywhere, if you wanted to look around more at a certain place.
And Anna gave you a very sound warning about taking care with your valuables. You must be very careful. We were warned many times by the owners of our B and B (for while we were out sight seeing,) by our tour guides and even by the wait staff at several restaurants.
YOU WILL LOVE IT!! We can't wait to go back.

HTH - enjoy your trip!



answers from Dallas on

My husband and I spent three weeks in Italy last summer, and we still did not even come close to seeing everything we wanted to see. I agree with Anna, keep it simple. You could honestly spend 8 days in each city and still not see everything you want to see. We spent most of our time in Northern Italy (Turin, Venice, Vicenza), and made a two day trip to Florence. It is extremely crowded in all of the turist areas that you are going to want to visit during the summer, so it takes a long time to get around, and actually see what you want to see. Make sure to plan for that. I cannot really help you on hotels, My husbands family is from Vicenza so we stayed with them and used public transportation to go everywhere. Here is the website we used to get tickets to the Uffizi museum and the statue of David in Florence before we left on our trip. It is MUCH easier to buy them beforehand, otherwise you will be waiting in line for hours and hours to get tickets and get in. Since we had bought our tickets online beforehand, we just met at our scheduled time and walked right in.
Message me if you have any questions! :-)

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