(Closed) What to see in Messina, Rome, Florence, and Venice

posted 4 years ago in Travel
Post # 16
816 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

My top suggestions for Rome are to go see the Forum and Coliseum– they’re drop dead gorgeous– and to get a granita di caffe at Tazza d’Oro near the Pantheon. It’s basically a coffee slushie with fresh whipped cream, and it’s amazing. If you’re not a coffee person, they also have the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life!

Post # 17
1200 posts
Bumble bee

Although I usually hate touristy stuff and guided tours, this was amazing:


It feels more like hanging out, drinking, and eating with a new best friend in Florence. I recommend the Nude and Food tour (or at the very least the food tour)–you learn how to avoid tourist trap restaurants, go to some florentine staples, learn about the culture and the region, and walk away drunk, stuffed, and happy πŸ™‚

Post # 22
1200 posts
Bumble bee

Monikax3x3:  oh, also in Florence you should climb to the top of the duomo! It’s a lot of stairs, but the view is incredible, as is the history. Don’t make the same mistake I did and confuse the bell tower for the duomo and end up climbing both in one day…that one hurt haha. Also the Piazza Michelangelo has some stunning views of Florence as well.

Post # 23
1412 posts
Bumble bee

Well if you’re Catholic the Vatican is a no brainer… get on line early for the Sistene Chapel tho!

Post # 25
1838 posts
Buzzing bee

I haven’t been to Messina so not sure how much time you’d need there. You only need a couple of days in Venice. Then I’d say 3 days or so in Florence to see most of the stuff (but be warned, many fall in love with Florence and don’t want to leave that quickly), and then the rest of the time in Rome/traveling. I understand why someone is saying to cut Messina if you are going to cut a city, because it is not as far up on the list of famous Italian cities as the others (I haven’t been there and I’ve been to the other three). But there’s another reason to cut it as well–it is very far south and Venice is all the way up north. You would basically be trying to travel the whole boot in, what did you say, 11-12 days? Not impossible but maybe not the best idea; Italy is a big place. Have you decided how to travel within Italy? Because train travel can be incredibly fast and convenient (I believe there is a 1.5 hour fast train from Rome to Florence and I think it is only a couple of hours by train from Florence to Venice), or not (it can take 6 to 9 hours to get from Messina to Rome, and that is assuming everything is running on time). 

As far as what to see goes, check out a guidebook. In Venice and Florence what to see/do is relatively straightforward, but Rome is big enough that you’ll have to make some choices. ETA: Don’t miss Vatican City–St. Peter’s and seeing Michaelangelo’s Pieta was my favorite thing in Rome. 

The Hotel Pausania in Venice, which I mentioned in a pp, is great and affordable option (stayed there in 2010)–but I forgot to mention that if you don’t do stairs well it probably isn’t for you (although accessibility is going to be an issue just about anywhere in Venice). I stayed in wonderful hotels in Florence and Rome as well, but it was long enough ago (2002) that I don’t remember their names! 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by  alamana.
Post # 26
28 posts

Rome: The colosseaum and the Trevi fountain are must sees at night. You can walk every where in rome, but the hoponhopoff bus is handy. And touters that come to you – you must be firm and say no thank you or they will get you just by trying to be friendly and talk to you.

There’s a way to get to the top of the typewriter building for free. People think you have to go via the museum which costs but you dont and you get fabulous views over rome;

How to get to rooftop of the white typewriter building ‘ Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele 11’

Stand facing the building with the Piazza Venzia behind you. Walk to your left following the perimeter of the building and keep following building until you come to a green police box (bit like a phone box). Keep the phone box on your left and as you pass it look to your right and there is an entrance via steps to the Monument a Vittorio Emanuele 11 through a black metal gateway that should be open. I think is signposted museum and terrace. Go up the steps then at the top there is an entrance to the building. Go in and up the steps to your right. There are a number of steps to go up so be prepared. You eventually come to a desk which is the entrance to the museum. You don’t go in to museum just go left in front of the desk and outside onto the terrace. Once outside you have a good view down the Piazza Venezia ( the red building on left of Piazza with flags flying from a balcony a few floors up is where Mussolini told the crowds below they had gone to war in world war 11, balcony not been used since). If you go to your right you should come to the terrace restaurant in the corner of the terrace. We went in its nice stuff. Its worth going in to watch the man make the drinks etc. Proper show off. Look down the side of the restaurant between restaurant and building, signposted to toilets. You should be able to see the green tubing for the elevator that takes you to the rooftop on the right hand side. The desk to get tickets is just behind the elevator tubing. It was 7 euros each when we went up but well worth it for the view.

If you go in the grounds of this building from the front you can still get to the terrace but have to go through museum and pay for entry so by going round side it is accessible for free. If you do go in the grounds and up the steps there is the tomb of unknown soldier at top guarded by soldiers. Don’t be tempted to sit on any of the steps on way up. The attendants will blow whistle at you to get up!!

To see the Colosseum lit up at night. Stand in front of the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele 11 facing the building. Go to your right. There is a flight of steps to your left. They only go to a church that is closed so ignore these. There is a second set of steps straight after. Go up these to the square at the top. I think statue of Nelson on horseback at top. The big building at the end of the square is the town hall. If you go to the left of it a good view of forum lit up but if you go to the right of it and down the short lane to the viewing point can see down to Colosseum. Worth a look.

This will make sense when you are there and have a map so might be worth saving it or printing it!


Edit: also the Trastevere area is the best place to go to get away from the major tourist areas, great food the locals actually eat and not as many touters to bother you, we wish we’d been there earlier when we finally went!

 Posted it on another thread thought you’d benefit too though! πŸ™‚

Post # 27
2130 posts
Buzzing bee

We did a week in Rome, a week in Venice and a week in Florence. A week is nowhere near enough time for Florence! 

Post # 29
958 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Monikax3x3:  I’ve been looking into Rome for our honeymoon in late October/early November. Check out expedia’s bundle deals (hotel and airfare) – I found roundtrip tickets from Chicago (becuase I live in Chicago, not becuase I’m stalking you) to Rome plus 8-9 nights in solid three star hotels for around $1000. Also, don’t discount Midway – no direct flights obviously, but there are flights out of there as well.

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