Venice is definitely worth seeing but never during the summer.
Tuscany and Umbria are tough to beat.
Don’t miss the Borghese Gallery when in Rome.
Scholar’s Lounge in Rome is a great Irish bar and the friendly Irish guys there will work to get an Astros game on a TV for you.
Hiring a guide for a half or full day tour of a given city/area there is worth it. They’ll also tell you where to eat.
Hiring a guide for a day trip to tuscan wineries out of Florence is great. You can see some of the Tuscan countryside, which is a big part of going to Florence. We took a small group tour bus, and it was fine.
Hiring a guide in Rome, at least for one day is a good idea. You get to skip the line at the Vatican Museum which at times can be hours long. Save a day in each location with no sight seeing. Pick one place in the morning and one in the afternoon and just hang out. Drink coffee, mineral water, beer; snack; people watch. You will remember that experience after the memories of paintings, sculptures, palaces have merged and faded. In Rome try the Villa Borghese/Piazza del Poplo area and Piazza Mattei.
This thread is really making me want to revisit Rome.
We stayed near the Vatican in Rome. Don’t.
I know several very well world-travelled folks who say Rome is hands down their favorite city in the world.
There are a number of nice hotels within a few blocks of Piazza Navona, which is nice. Also, do not miss Santa Presseda - 11th century Byzantine mosaics everywhere. Just down the street from Santa Maria Maggiore, which is also worth seeing.
It makes me want to revisit places in Italy and also Sicily/Greece for the first time.
Let me make a pitch for the Amalfi coast. If you are still working and want to have a relaxing couple of weeks, going from one museum/historical sight to another won’t do it. Fly in to Rome and be a tourist for a few days. Then hire a car and head for Positano. You definitely do not want to drive yourself. Stop at Pompeii for a few hours along the way. Get a room at Le Sirenuse. Do almost nothing for a week. Take a walk in the surrounding hills where the lemon trees have fruit the size of a small football. Sit on the beach and watch the sea change through the day and sardine boat lights at night. (The marinated sardines are other worldly.) Take a day trip to Ravello which has one of the most stunning vistas in Europe if not the world. You can also take a ferry to Capri. Florence, Tuscany, Venice and all the rest are a terrific experience but maybe they can wait until next year.
Another great suggestion. La Sirenuse is great, but too expensive. Go for a negroni in the early evening, but consider Buca di Bapo (closer to the beach with great private balconies) for your stay.
This is the point. What if there is no “next year”? If given the choice of missing out on Capri or Venice, I’m going to Venice. Capri will have to wait. But I appreciate all the suggestions, we’re still putting together our plans, so who knows.
I agree. Capri is spectacular, but Venice is one of a kind. You will not regret Venice!
If you are travelling Florence to Venice and you can shoehorn in a couple extra days, Lake Garda is more or less on the way and good place to decompress. Laid back, natural beauty as opposed to the man made beauty of the cities and relatively few tourists. Stay a couple of nights at San Vigilio - you will never forget it.
I’m not that world-travelled but I liked it a little better than Paris, Florence, Venice and London. And that isn’t to complain about the others. Just a vibe I felt in Rome that I enjoyed.
Anyone have Kansas City recommendations? We are definitely going to hit up the Negro League Museum and WW1 museum on Saturday. We are staying in the Crossroads area, which has a bunch of breweries I plan on hitting up.
The Hallmark Visitor’s Center is across the street from the WWI museum. Use that information as you wish.
Hallmark Visitor Center | Hallmark Corporate Information
Lots of good brew stuff, and good bars/restaurants in the downtown area. Thoroughly enjoyed KC.
Kauffman Stadium is as pretty as any MLB stadium.
Will also take recommendations for Seattle or the Bronx, the boy and I are checking off two more stadiums this summer.
(Nuking the Bronx is an understandable suggestion, but not one I will accept before or during our trip.)
Don’t wear Astros gear in the Bronx. Take the ferry to Victoria from Seattle.
KC is great, and the Museum is a must. Enjoy yourself!