Notices

10 days in Italy - 4 cities?

Reply

May 12th, 2011, 11:08 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
10 days in Italy - 4 cities?

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to Europe with my family end of June/early July. This is going to be our first trip to Europe. We're a family of four with college grad kids. The current plan that has already been set in stone (ie hotels/tickets bought) are as follows:

Arrive in London (Wed Morning) - stay two nights in London
Train to Paris (Friday Night) - stay three nights in Paris
Night train to Venice (Monday Night, Arrive Tuesday morning)

From here we have 10 days, 9 nights in Italy. Ideally my tentative plan would be to see Venice, Florence, Sorrento+Capri+Pompeii (Stay in Sorrento), Rome

Looking at the days.. I think 4 cities might be too packed to fully enjoy our trip, but I can't figure out what to drop. Rome and Venice are a must because that's where we are arriving and leaving from.

Anyone have suggestions on how many days in each city if we were to stay in all four places? How many if we were to cut one out and if so what city?

Thanks a bunch in advanced!
quack1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 11:21 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,881
Not only is 4 cities too much for 10 days, 6 cities is too much for 15 days.

London will be pretty much a wash out. day one will be a jet lagged fog, day 2 will have you dashing around to see something and getting ready to leave the next morning.

Paris will only be a tiny bit better -- 3 nights means 2.5 days free in the city. Then squeezing 4 (or even 3) Italian cities into what is really 8.5 days is REALLY hectic. You can't count the last day since it is spent packing and leaving.

IMO you should spend the entire time in Italy (eliminating London and Paris) -- or -- about 5 nights London, 5 nights Paris, and 5 nights in Rome (or 2 night Venice and 3 nights Rome). What you have planned now is pretty much a blur.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 11:29 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,190
Definitely eliminate Sorrento. 2 days Venice, 2 days Florence, 5 days Rome. Yes, that's only 9 days. The 10th day is for traveling.
adrienne is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 11:40 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks for all the quick responses! Unfortunately my time in London and Paris have already been set...

If we forgo Sorrento, would it be possible to make Pompeii a day trip from Rome?

I don't think we'll be visiting too many museums. My family isn't quite into art. With that, would it make any sense to skip Florence and do Sorrento instead?

Once again thanks!
quack1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 11:47 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Definitely eliminate Sorrento (and if you can change your London/Paris plans I would - change your flight so you fly into Paris if you have to leave from there for your overnight train).

Instead of Pompeii think about Ostia Antica - its a good option that is much closer to Rome.

Just remember every time you change locations you lose 1/2 a day at least with that many people - thats time you could be spending sight seeing but are wasting dragging luggage through transit.
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 12:17 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
Sadly London and Paris might end up being a blur. My goal for this trip was for my parents to see some of the big cities of Europe because without me physically planning the trip for the entire family, I don't believe they'll ever end up going back.

Hmm okay Sorrento will most likely be off the list. My mother though really wants to see Capri (Mostly because my uncle says that he much preferred that over Florence)

Is Capri as a day trip doable? Worth it? Or do I need to convince her why it we won't be going?

Great advice from everyone so far btw, much appreciated
quack1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 12:21 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Definitely NOT doable as a day trip and also dependent on weather for the ferries. I would not even consider it on this trip. Unfortunately you cant see everything and its better to plan a realistic trip that you can enjoy rather than trying to fit in everyone's must sees regardless of how unrealistic they are. You will need to make choices.

Enjoy!
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 12:53 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,053
If you think your companions would prefer Capri to Florence, why are you bothering going there?

IN fact, why waste time in Venice? You haven't got time to see it (or anywhere else in your plans) properly: but it's actually the one place in your itinerary where a rushed 24 hours makes sense. Venice gives more bang for a superficial 24 hour wizz-through than anywhere else in the world (except possibly Sydney) - and if your "family isn't quite into art", it's a total waste of everyone's time delving any further into the city (or going within 100 miles of Florence).

Holidays are for you. If you're really stuck with no worthwhile time in London or Paris, and don't like museums anyway, do a quick gawp at Venice, work out how long you want to stay in Rome, and if you've got time left over try to fit in three days getting to the Naples area, seeing Capri and relaxing.
flanneruk is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 10:14 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,881
It seems you are locked into flights (to London and from Rome) and trains (London/Paris and Paris/Venice) -- correct?

If so, you really have painted yourselves into a corner. Sad to say - but true.

I'd first look into how expensive any change/cancellation fees would be. If that is totally out of the question -- and if Capri is a must -- go there and drop Florence.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 10:42 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,424
I agree with the others.

If you aren't really into art and art history, then just do Venice and Rome (although lots of great art in Rome too). From Rome you can do a day trip or 2 (possibly Pompeii and/or Florence). With all the moving around prior to Italy, you will be loosing steam by the time you get there. Spend 3 low-key days in Venice, then the rest in Rome. If you do too much, you aren't even going to remember where you saw what.

Big cities like London/Paris/Rome can easily keep you busy for a week. So with just a couple of days in each, you'll be cramming in a lot. You'll need to slow down the pace by the time you get to Italy.
MFNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 12:27 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12,938
also, July can be really hot in Italy....keep it in mind !
danon is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 12:51 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
If you are going to Rome in the summer, you need at least 2-3 days to see just the main sites. The lines for the Vatican and Colisseum are going to be really really long...

Sorrento is gorgeous but may be a little out of the way. Pompeii is ok, but I wouldnt go out of your way to see it. It is definitely not a day trip from Rome.

Rome, Florence and Venice are all easily accesible by train so I would stick with those. You could do a quick day trip to Pisa from Florence as well.
Bridget91382 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 01:26 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks everyone. Yeah I did paint myself into a corner with London/Paris. First time planning a major trip. Next time I'll get all my days set before starting to book.

I think for Paris and London, my focus will just being getting rid of jetlag, seeing one or two sites max, and go from there. Definitely won't be trying to see everything the cities have to offer. I'll definitely be back at some point but I think that'll be enough for my parents.

I'm throwing around two options now. Doing a quick 1 day Venice, 4-5 days Rome, and 3-4 days Sorrento. Or 2 days Venice, 2 days Florence, 5 days Rome.

On that note, there are a bunch of tour companies that offer a 10 day Venice, Florence, Rome tour. Has anyone done those? Worth it? My alternative would be to start booking smaller one or half day tours to get past the lines for some of the major attractions.

Once again very grateful for all the help!
quack1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 01:41 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 924
How about: 2 days in Venice, Day 3 train to Naples (5-1/2 hrs), then switch to Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento (1 hr.), stay in Sorrento. Day 4 ferry to and explore Capri. Day 5 explore Pompeii. Day 6 train back to Rome in the AM, Day 7 - 9 Rome, Day 10 depart Rome. I think this is a doable, not too crazy itinerary.
hazel1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 02:04 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,881
hazel1's plan is a way to make lemonade out of this potential lemon

IMO one day in Venice is just really difficult - you'd be thrown in w/ all the other day trippers and then have to leave first thing the next AM - I think two nights/best part of 2 days is about the bare minimum for Venice.

And you'd get 3.5 days free in Rome.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 02:17 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks a bunch hazel1 for the great suggestion! I think that does sound very doable. I can see Florence on my next trip with friends that will share more interest in art...

Thanks everyone! This could have been even more disastrous without all of your advice
quack1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 04:30 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 9,619
I agree that Hazel has saved the day! And don't worry about 5 1/2 hours seeming like a long time on the train, just regard it as a rest day as you'll be ready for one by then. If you want some extra space and a bit more peace and quiet then book 1st class on the train otherwise 2nd class is fine.

Do make sure you all take minimum luggage. I don't think you've said how old your parents are but they may need some assistance with dragging their luggage up stairs at train stations etc so keep that in mind when packing.
cathies is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 05:06 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 924
Glad to hear you liked my suggestion. And I agree, the train ride can be a peaceful respite from running around and a nice way to check out the countryside. We took what I thought was going to be a god-awful long train ride from Sicily to Naples a couple years ago and I actually quite enjoyed it. Bring a picnic lunch, a bottle of wine (don't forget a corkscrew) and some glasses and you'll have a good time watching the scenery go by.

And Cathies definitely right about packing light - it may seem impossible if you've never done it, but it truly is easy to fit everything you need for this trip into one 21" or 22" rollaboard plus a tote bag, and you will be eternally grateful that you did after a couple train rides.
hazel1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 05:25 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Keep those spirits up Quack. My first two trips to London were for 2 days each. Had a great time.

We did Hazel's route in Italy backwards in 2009 (started in Rome, ended in Venice, only carry on, 3 kids). It worked out very well.
colduphere is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 06:50 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
In Rome, buy a Roma Pass, at the entrance to the Palatine Hill, which is not so crowded. This also lets you into the Colosseum and Forum. When you enter the Colosseum, keep to the left. The line on the right is for people who don't have a pass or tickets. You will save a lot of time. The pass is good for 3 days and includes free bus rides. I like it because you don't have to hassle with having the right change on the bus. And the map of the buses is great to have, believe me! You will also be able to get in free at another place like the Capitoline Museum (which has much more than art) or some other place. I forget the list, but you can look it up on the Internet.
charnees is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:53 PM.