my wife and i are headed to italy for the first time in a few days. we don't have a lot of money. does anyone know of some unknown stores that offer great bargains? we are working our way down to rome for xmas, so anything along that route (from austria) would be greatly appreciated. we plan on being in rome on the 23, 24, 25. some cities we will pass thru and possibly stop in are pompeii, florence, pisa and vicenza. but all those possible stops wont be for more than an hour or so. please help. thanks
Don't bother stopping.
Pisa is a bit of a detour. While it would make a great stop (you can see the tower on the quick and leave), it is not worth the extra miles.
If you are stopping in Florence, make sure you stop for more than 1 hour. It is a great city that definitely deserves to be visited for a few days. It is not cheap, but one of the best places in the world to pick up fashionable designer gear and see gorgeous art. If you are hitting Florence spend at least a day there and visit the Uffizi galleries and the Dome, then go strolling around the old city.
Pompei is south of Naples, I doubt you'll be stopping there on your way to Rome. It could be done as a day trip from Rome though, its is about 3 hours driving time to Pompeii from Rome.
BTW, why are you so interested in Vicenza? If you have never been to Italy before and are not returning anytime soon, wouldn't it make more sense to visit Venice?
As for a timeframe, the typical Venice-Florence-Rome tourist tour of Italy usually takes about 10 days. 1-2 days in Venice, 3-4 days in Florence and 3-4 days in Rome with daytrips to Cinque Terre from Florence and to Pompeii from Rome.
Hope this helps.
You really need more time than an hour to see any of these cities. One hour is the time you need to park you car and to return to the car park. You'd need at least 4 or 5 hours, or so I think. You'd not see much, but you'd get to know what it feels like to be in these cities.
I spent 4 or 5 hours in Zagreb on my way home from Budapest, and I didn't see as much as I'd love to. But one hour is definitely not enough.