Italy Newbie - HELP : Business Trip in Rome + Booked Side trip to Milan and Florence!

  1. Hi everyone!

    I am going to Rome for a buisness trip in 2 weeks and since I've never been I've extended my trip and I plan to make day trips (via train) to Milan and Florence. The travel agent my company set me up with has helped me book my departure flight from Milan so I'll probably be at Rome, Florence, and Milan in that order.

    Since I've never been to Italy before and I am wondering what are some MUST SEE attractions in each city from the more well travelled tPFers? I also planned for an additional day in Rome (so three days, three cities).

    I'm looking for more cultural and touristy things since shopping can be done anywhere and at home, but I can always fit in shopping if there is a good recommendation :graucho: Plus, I've saved up some money to purchase some designer items in Italy, but I'm not sure what designer... Prada? Miu Miu? Is there any local quality brands in Italy? I'm more into accessories such as shoes and purses :smile:

    Thank you in advanced!!! :biggrin:
  2. I`ve been on a roundtrip of northern Italy earlier this year, one day per destination: Venice, (Verona), Milan, Florence (San Gimignano, Siena), Rome, Bologna.
    I have however been to Italy before, so I didn`t need to see every small little thing.
    Since you are a little more pressed for time, I`d suggest you go shopping in Milan, it`s shopping heaven and in my honest opinion, not the prettiest town.
    In Florence you need to see the Ponte Vecchio, but you should not necessarily buy any jewelry there, because it`s really not the best quality and almost all of the shops belong to the same owner. Of course you should also see the Dome, the entrance is free. If you walk the few hundred meters from one place to the other you will see some other sights as well, but your best bet would be to check what you are most interested in (Art? Churches? Architecture? A general picture?). I have a very good Restaurant recommendation, but would have to look up the place if you are interested. It was a smaller place, not well known with tourists, very affordable - if you don`t plan to dine in the most exquisite settings, they have amazing food there!
    If your trip should bring you by Siena and/or San Gimignano or Pisa, those towns are definitely worth a stop.
    For Milan: you will probably end up right in front of the Dome, if you go for a little shopping spree. Then you should see the Galleria, but the Scala is no highlight, it is right behind the Galleria, though, so you can easily walk by that.
    I blogged about my roadtrip, but I`m not sure I can link back to that here, so just go check it out, if you want to.

    About Rome: I have another very, very, very good restaurant recommendation (affordable, too). The homepage is:
    You should see the Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi (throw in a coin, too!), Vatican City, the Colosseum and the castel sant` Angelo. It`s not the nicest building, but if you go to the top you will have a beautiful view from up there!

    These were really just some typical touristy places. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
  3. The restaurant in Naples was this one, I think: it should be on the right hand side if you walk down "Borgo La Croce" coming from "Via di Mezzo"/"Via dei Pilastri" walking towards "Via della Mattonaia".
  4. Thank you so muchhh!! I'm going to check out your blog now! :smile:
  5. I visit Milan regularly to go shopping, because that's one of the city's strong points. I don't think Milan offers a lot for sight-seeing. In 4 hours max. you have seen it all: Quadrilatero della moda->San Babila->Duomo->Galleria Vittorio Emanuele->Castello Sforzesco.
  6. check if you can book tickets for Leonardo's "Last Supper" in Milan, and go to S. Ambrogio church too.
  7. How wonderful! I studied art in Italy for a little while so maybe I can help out a bit. To add to some of the already mentioned spots...

    Rome: St. Peter's Basilica (home of Michelangelo's Pieta - even if you're not much of an art fan or particularly religious, this piece of work is stunning, and St. Peter's alone is worth checking out); Sistine Chapel (within Vatican city); Piazza Navona (the most popular piazza, always full of fun entertainers & lots of beautiful sculptural fountains); & the Pantheon (resting place of the painter Raphael & an overall very interesting site). Of course, don't miss the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain & The Colosseum, I highly recommend those too!

    Florence (this is one of my most favorite cities in the world!): Il Duomo (unreal cathedral, breathtaking); Uffizi Gallery (home to some of the most famous Renaissance paintings in the world, including The Birth of Venus, The Adoration of the Magi, etc.); Academia Gallery (home of Michelangelo's David and an amazing collection of sculptural pieces); & Piazza Michelangelo (for the absolute best views of the city). Since you're only spending a day in Florence, it would be almost impossible to do both galleries, so I would pick one or the other. Academia is much smaller than Uffizi and personally, I think David is more worth seeing than anything else, but that's my view.

    Milan: Do your shopping here for sure. However, if you're into art, I would also highly recommend calling ahead and booking a viewing of Da Vinci's Last Supper, as previously mentioned.

    If you're limited on time though and more interested in absorbing the culture/touristy aspects of Italy, I don't know if Milan is the best day trip to make. You can pick up your Prada goodies by the Spanish Steps in Rome. If you have extra time, I would more so recommend going to Pisa (very fun) or taking some extra time in Florence so you can visit both the major galleries. I'm biased towards the art though. ;)
  8. Thank you everyone so far for your incredible help!!! all these suggestions are making me really excited for my trip!! :smile:
  9. Good advice, although I would pick Siena or San Gimignano rather than Pisa. But in Tuscany you can't wrong anywhere you go!
  10. ^Ooh yes, I forgot about Siena! Also very beautiful.
  11. Hi guys! I just heard about the outlet mall "The Mall". Have any of you ever been? Is it worth the trip and if I do go, how much time do you think I'd spend there? I would really love to get my hands on a new designer bag - I just retired my daily bag recently cause the bag was getting worn out!!!
  12. I've been several times, prices are quite high even if it's an outlet but you can still find good deals. For instance, a Gucci all leather bag can still cost around 500 - 800 euro. If you have a free day it's fun to go there, but don't have too high expectations about low prices.
  13. I have to can ABSOLUTELY see both galleries in one day. You just need to buy your tickets in advance so you avoid the lines. The Accademia is very small....not much to see aside from David and the other sculptures. Maybe 1 hour tops (if that). Uffizi can be done within 90 minutes as well. Unless you're someone who has to stop at every.single.painting and listen to the audio guide for every one.
  14. Well, maybe, if you rush through... but if she is only spending one day in Florence, including travel time to/from, that makes for a very rushed day to include all the other stops as well. It also depends on how one views fine art. I'm speaking from an art history background, so the idea of 90 minutes to get a full appreciation of the works at Uffizi seems impossible to me, but to get the highlights, sure.
  15. I was at The Mall last year in November. It's a tourist trap in my honest opinion. They sell old merchandise (of course) at a rather high price. I did not find any bargains when I was there. Additionally, it is full of tourists and quite out of the way. I think the US has better outlets, so save your precious time.