I plan on traveling to Italy next spring (end of March, beginning of April) and I was wondering if anyone had a good central city to stay in as a base for the major cities in wanted to visit?

I want to visit Florence, Venice, Rome and a day trip/hike to Cinque Terre.

Since I plan on getting a train pass, I was hoping to find a place to stay so we're not stuck on a rigid travel schedule (although I plan on probably staying one or two nights in or just outside of Rome).


  • 3
    Personally, I wouldn't consider a single location to travel from to visit these places. I would move accommodation otherwise you're going to be spending half your day travelling apart from your base location.
    – Berwyn
    Jun 8, 2016 at 8:27
  • I have voted to close this question as primarily opinion-based. Besides I agree with the comment of @Berwyn.
    – mts
    Jun 8, 2016 at 9:27
  • @Berwyn I completely disagree with you on this. It's better to stay in the one place and soak up the atmosphere. Regarding ridiculous tourist visits to dumps like Florence, etc, hopefully the OP lets go of the idea and just stays put in their town and absorbs!
    – Fattie
    Jun 8, 2016 at 12:06
  • Hey Rachel, the huge tip is pick an awesome SMALLER town such as Mantua. Stay there the whole time and soak up the experience. An incredible choice for you would be Parma. Half the fun is finding a GREAT place to stay in holiday-rentals.com (example homeaway.co.uk/p1878243 ) A week or two in Parma in a nice flat will change your life. If at all possible try to RENT A CAR, the cheapest is fine (Italy invented Ferraris, etc, you will love having a car there). Forget Rome, it's a dump. Sure you want to "say you have seen" Florence etc, a 1-2 hour visit is enough....
    – Fattie
    Jun 8, 2016 at 12:14
  • ..sure drive over to Venice, or take the train for a novetly as you say. You can even spend a nite there. (It's great to have an apartment for 2 weeks in Parma, say, and "go away" for one night in the middle - when you feel like it - to Venice for a night!) You'll have an incredible time and never forget Italy. Spend as much time as you can in the magnificent destinations - Bologna, Cremona, Aosta, Sienna, etc. - all of which you can easily get to from your base. See tourist spots like Milano and Verona. Go up to the lakes also! You're very lucky, enjoy.
    – Fattie
    Jun 8, 2016 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


For the cities you want to visit, the most central location would be Florence. You need to take into account the length of the journeys to go to these cities from your base.

Regarding visit time, I went to all four : you need to spend at least two days in Cinque Terre (3 to 4 if you want to hike), two days in Venice, 2 to 3 days in Rome, and 2 days in Florence.

Of course, these are minimum values, there are lots of things to do if you can stay longer!

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