10 Day First Time Trip to Italy

Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:34 AM
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10 Day First Time Trip to Italy

My sister (68), daughter (30) and I (60) are planning a trip from Phila. to Italy arriving in Italy Sept. 2nd and returning on Sept. 10th. My daughter and sister do not care about visiting Venice but I would like to. So my daughter suggests we stay 1 night in Venice.
Then take a train to Florence and stay there 2 nights, then a train to Rome and stay 2 nights then take a train to Sorrento and stay 3 nights. They want to see the Amafi Coast-
She said we would take 1 day for Capri and 1 day for Politano and chill for a half day.
My daughter and sister are not that interested in seeing Tower of Pisa, museums, etc.
My questions are as follows: (1) Is 1 day enough time to spend in Venice? most of what I read said that 2 days was enough time. Not sure what we would miss.
(2) Is 2 nights enough for Florence and what sights should we see there?
(3) I know that we could not see everything in Rome in 2 nights but what should we see
(would like to see the Vatican)
(4) Is 3 nights good for Sorrento? And the things they want to see.
Also, please give some suggestions on places to stay (i.e. nice hotels, b& b's- not break the bank but nice) Also, would like to know some places to eat- local places also that do not break the bank?
I know that ideally 12-14 days would be good but that is all the time we have.
Or should we fly into Rome and reverse the trip? Instead of flying into Venice?
DianaK is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:46 AM
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Rome may need an extra day - Vatican can take most of a day, and there is the Colosseum and the adjoining Roman Forum - at least half a day and wandering around the cobbles of ancient central Rome - Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona with the famous Bernini Fountain - the Trevi Fountain, the awesome Pantheon just to scratch the service.

Pompeii is very close to Sorrento and even if not into old ruins this is a very unique memorable place.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:18 AM
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I think you are trying to do too much. I would skip Venice as it is quite a ways from the other areas you want to visit. Add a night in Rome and maybe a night in Sorretno if you want to see Pompei (which is incredible). You may want to consider dropping Florence as well. Fly in and out of Rome or into Rome/out of Naples.
bouldercolo is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:29 AM
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You want to see Venice and they want to see Amalfi. Unfortunately, those are not compatible for such a short trip.

What do you all want to see? Anything particular in Florence or Rome? They don't like museums. What about you? You would like to see the Vatican. Does that include Sistine chapel? If you went to Sorrento, do you want to see Pompeii instead of Capri - (certainly would be my choice) - or go to a museum in Naples? It is impossible to say how many nights are enough without knowing what you want to see in Florence or any other place.

Whatever time you arrive in Venice, you will be tired, so count that as a half day and stay 2 nts there.

You have only 7&1/2 days on the ground. It will take a half day of travel from Venice to Florence, a couple of hours, hotel to hotel Florence to Rome, another half day Rome to Sorrento and a half day back to Rome for your flight out. That leaves less than six days for actual sight seeing.

You could skip Florence
Arrive Venice - 2 nts (1&1/2 days)
Fly early to Naples - train or bus Naples to Sorrento - 3 nts (2&1/2 days)
Train to Rome - 3 nts (2&1/2 days)

Three nights works for Sorrento if all they want is to see Positano and Capri, but not those plus Pompeii.

Best would be for them to skip Amalfi this trip and see more of the Venice, Florence, Rome bit. You could also just do Rome (day trip to Florence from Rome) and Amalfi, but doesn't seem quite fair to you. How about you fly into Venice, they fly into Naples or Rome (for Amalfi) and you all meet up in Rome for the last three days? Guessing that is not the idea for the trip.

If you are going to Venice, then flying into Venice and out of Rome is usually is best.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:41 AM
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To be honest- none of us actually want to see museums.
Someone suggested going to Naples and viewing a museum.
My daughter and I previously went to Spain and were in Madrid.
I stood in line to see many exhibits at museums and now choose not to go to a museum.
Also, to answer the question about what we would like to see in Florence- not sure exactly what attractions we should see?
Again, not interested in museums.
DianaK is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Also, we can skip Venice and fly into Rome but should we fly out of Rome? Also, no one gave any suggestions about hotels, b and b's or places to dine?
I get from all 3 responses we are trying to cover too much so we can omit Venice.
Got that- now where to fly into and out of?
Also, places to see in Florence?
Also, places to dine and/or stay? Thank you.
DianaK is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:12 PM
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I think that one night in venice is not really worth doing - you'd only have less than a day to see anything. You can safely ignore the people who say that two days is enough.

A B&B in venice is http://www.venere.com/bandb/venice/bandb-al-campaniel/

But some ideas about Venice are here:

and here:


Youll gather that I'm a bit keen on Venice, and it's a great place to get over your jet lag. Quiet, no traffic.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:32 AM
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Ok- so we will skip Venice and go there another time (hopefully) Now what are some things to see and do in Florence. Remember that we are not interested in museums.
Also, please give me some good hotels, b and b's and places to eat with the local people? No high end restaurants. Thanks,
DianaK is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 05:34 AM
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Are you saying you don't want to see any museums because you had to stand in a line?

With such a short trip, I would plan on staying 2 places (3 max) so you don't spend your very short time traveling and checking in and out of hotels.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 06:03 AM
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OK, given the proposed modifications:

Can you fly into Rome and out of Naples? That way you could end your trip on the AC and be close to the departing airport.

Florence is compact and can be covered in a few days if you're not interested in art. If you would like to see David, suggest you book tix ahead by calling the booking office. There's no charge until you show up to pick up the tix, and you get a timed entrance so there's little waiting. The operators speak excellent English and will handle the transaction quickly. Don't book online.

In Florence, if you're in reasonably good condition, you may want to climb to the top of the Duomo for the view -- go early in the a.m. to avoid lines. Restaurant suggestion: Zio Gigi, near the Duomo -- little place where lots of locals go.
Another place for a nice view of the city and drink at sunset is the Piazzale Michelangelo. I believe the #13 bus goes there, but check that. Again if you're in reasonably good condition, you can walk back into the city. It's downhill on the way back.

Still interested in Sorrento/Positano/AC? Be aware that Positano is, as they say, "vertical." Lots of steps. There's bus service between the two towns.
downtownbrown is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 06:09 AM
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Another place for a nice view of the city and drink at sunset is the Piazzale Michelangelo. I believe the #13 bus goes there, but check that>

and for an even more removed but just as scintillating view of the Birthplace of the Renaissance hop a bus up to Fiesole, high up in the hills and known for its rave views over Florence all spread out far below.

Fiesole also has some stellar Roman ruins and some popular restaurants.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 07:02 AM
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Actually if you don't like museums, why are you going to Florence? What do your fellow travelers want to see there? Consider flying into Venice, spending 3 nights there, then skipping Florence, and going on to Rome. Can you fly out of Naples? Otherwise you could go from Venice to Naples and on to Sorrento, then end your trip in Rome.

Florence is best for enthusiasts of Renaissance art and architecture. Your group would probably enjoy Venice more. And you need to see it before it sinks. What do the others have against Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world?

I'd suggest you all get some guidebooks or maybe read up on your proposed destinations on the Internet. But you'll just find more you want to see. 8 days is not much time.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Mimar- My daughter has been to Florence before and she enjoyed it very much and did not go to museums. She had a cooking class and went to the restaurants, etc.
And thank you all for your very valuable information.
Downtown Brown and PalenQ, I am going to look into the suggestions that you made. They sound very solid and interesting. Thank you again. Diana
DianaK is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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A few things jump out at me.

Get/Download/print a map of Italy and mark the cities you are thinking about. Notice the distance between them. General rule of thumb: you lose 1/2 a day everytime you move cities, not including the actual travel time.

Go to the library.bookstore and read some guide books, figure out what you want to see/do. Don't rely on a bunch of internet strangers. What is important to me or to PalenQ may not be important to you. And it's your holiday.

Read the Fodors guide to Italy on this website. It will give you a basic knowledge.

Look at flights - some routing might be less expensive.

Use the search function on these forums, you can look at all threads tagged Italy.

Once you have decided where exactly you want to go, we can help you out with specifics.

"i.e. nice hotels, b& b's- not break the bank but nice) Also, would like to know some places to eat- local places also that do not break the bank?" How much is not break the bank? 100 euros a night? 200?

To effectively help you we need more information.
johnnyomalley is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Johnnyomalley, Thank you for advising me about the guide on the website. I actually did check it out and it says if you use Alta Velocta lines (presume high speed train) can go from Rome to Florence in 90 minutes. It says from Rome to Naples in 1 hour. That was very helpful info.
As most of you have suggested we are omitting going to Venice.
We want to fly into Rome, stay 3 nights, then go to Florence for 2 nights, and then to Sorrento for 3 nights.
My only question at this time is the best way to get back to either Rome or Naples to take a flight home leaving from Sorrento. We are not renting a car as no one wants to drive the roads near Sorrento. I have called about a cab but they want to charge a lot of money. Does anyone know if there are any shuttle services from Sorrento to either Rome or Naples?
If so, can someone give me a name, etc.
In addition, when I say eating where the locals dine- I mean meals of approx. $15.-$20. My daughter said they found meals that were delicious in Florence that were inexpensive.
DianaK is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Diane - are you flying into and out of Rome?

in that case I would suggest going straight from Rome to Florence, then from Florence to Sorrento, and finally back to Rome.

that will put you in the right place for flying home and eliminate the need to rush back from sorrento to Rome for your flight.

trenitalia.com is your friend for looking at train timetables.
annhig is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 11:07 AM
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oops - i posted too soon.

trains run at least hourly from Florence SMN to Naples and the journey takes under 3 hours. book far enough in advance and fares can be really cheap, even on the "Freccia" trains.

if you are flying out of Naples, then obviously it makes sense to put Sorrento at the end of your trip.
annhig is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 12:08 PM
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"I actually did check it out and it says if you use Alta Velocta lines (presume high speed train) can go from Rome to Florence in 90 minutes. It says from Rome to Naples in 1 hour. That was very helpful info."

And then keep in mind that you should probably add no less than another 2-3 hours to each of those travel times when considering how much time it will take to "change" cities: checking out of hotel traveling to train station, finding way through station to departure platform, waiting on platform, actual train ride, finding way out of station, traveling to new hotel, checking in. So 90 minutes may seem quick except that you will actually spend 3.5 hours or more to actually connect between Rome and Florence.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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annhig, Thank you so much for the info.
ellenem- Thank you so much for the info.
But I still have the question of how to get from Sorrento to either Naples or Rome to fly home. Since I did not book the trip yet- I am trying to find out how to get to either airport from Sorrento without costing a fortune for us?
Anyone know of any shuttle service?
Someone told me that they did not have a train from Sorrento to Rome? not sure- Do they have a train that goes from Sorrento to Naples?
And also, thank you so much in advance for all of your help and suggestions.
DianaK is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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You will need to take the local train to Naples and then you can catch a high speed train to Termini and then the Express train to the airport.

If your flight leaves from Rome I would be in Rome the night before...
jamikins is offline  

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