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Last minute trip 9 days on a budget Help!

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A surprise birthday gift of two tickets to Italy has me begging you all for help with the itinerary, because 7 of the 9 days are during Holy Week. The "must sees" are Pompeii and Matera. (My friend wants to see Pompeii; I don't especially, but am compromising. would love to see Paestum, as well. The budget is that of two backpackers, although we are both in our late 60s. I am very fit as I don't have an auto, so must walk all winter and use my bicycle for all transportation and recreation year round. We will have a Eurailpass for 4 days. ETA Rome at 9 am on the 22nd y. My thinking is to train to Naples and then down the coast to Pompei. The ruins on the next day. Or would it be better to go to Paestum right away and the next afternoon begin working up the coast by bus?

Or should we skip Paestum and just enjoy a couple of nights on the coast, after visiting Pompeii on Wednesday? That would mean Matera on Saturday, if you think the bus would be running on Sunday.

Or Pompeii Wednesday, overnight Naples, Matera Thursday returning Friday, with a night in a town on the coast, Naples on Saturday and Easter, Easter Monday free. Rome the next 2 days.

Can we take a chance on finding last minute lodging without reservations that week? I say no; my friend says yes.

Is there a forum I could look for about transportation, because of the holidays?

I hope you can help us with suggestions. Obviously I don't know distances. Thank you very much.

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