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10-Night Trip to Italy - Feasible to do Venice, Florence, Positano, Rome?

10-Night Trip to Italy - Feasible to do Venice, Florence, Positano, Rome?

Old Dec 10th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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Interestingly, the consensus here on Fodors is that kids like staying in one place longer, getting to know the neighborhood, the bakery, the gelatoria, etc. It's those kinds of trips they remember fondly when they get older.

Are you sure it's the kids who are driving this itinerary?
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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You made a good decision when you dropped Positano. Your latest itinerary is more frantic than your first. Please think again about 3 destinations. If you want to include Positano, drop either Venice or Florence. Florence is my favorite city in Italy but I'm not sure how much it would appeal to kids.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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This will be long, but hope it helps.
Perhaps I just missed it, but when is your trip? That would affect my decisions.

On one of your itineraries, you have:
Day 7 - Venice
Day 8 - Rome
You didn't allow any travel time between.

You can do it physically, but a day trip from Rome to Pompeii ends up taking more time traveling RT, than the time you have once you are there. IMHO, whenever you spend more time on the road (unless the road is really what you want to see) than you do in the places you want to see, that is not the best return for your travel dollars.

My kids liked seeing a lot of things also, but more things in one place: walking and seeing, climbing towers, etc., not driving long distances to see one thing and driving back. There is so much to see in Venice and Rome. I bet your kids could be busy in either place for days and have great memories of what they see and do.

The only way I would include Positano (or Pompeii) would be if I could increase sightseeing time by flying into Venice and out of Naples (or Rome). If you absolutely must land in Rome, then the suggestion of going to Florence as soon as you land is a good one. I've created a couple of itineraries that might interest you. There are many options, but with ten days, you can do only so many things.

First: Two nts Florence, 3 nts Venice, 4nts Rome
Day 1 - Land in Rome, head to Florence, walk around bridge and markets, peek into a church or two - sleep Florence.

Day 2 - Florence: Duomo, Museums, etc, Afternoon train to Pisa - if you must see it. Sleep Florence.

Day 3 - Sleep Venice: Florence - in the morning, Academia or anything you missed on day 2. Mid afternoon train to Venice.

The only disadvantage of this is finding your way to your hotel if it is already dark, so gage your timing carefully. You could also spend all of day 2 in Florence, stash your luggage at the train station on day 3 and go to Pisa that morning before heading for Venice, but I broke it up this way so the kids would not be maxed out on museums and churches on day 2, and not have as much train time on day 3.


Day 4 - Venice: Major sightseeing in the morning, gondola ride, etc.

Day 5 - Venice: more sightseeing, walking, trip to Burano and/or Murano Kids might enjoy the boats, etc. There are several towers kids could go up in and look out for great views.

Day 6 - Venice to Rome - Afternoon in Rome walking around tour - sleep Rome

Day 7 - Rome - Ancient Rome, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, etc.

Day 8 - Rome - Sistine Chapel, Vatican, etc. Kids can go to the roof top

Day 9 - Rome - Ostia Antica

Day 10 - Fly home

The next one could work for you, but it is terribly rushed. Would I do it? No! However, I'm much older, and a slow traveler. It cuts out Pisa and gives only one day in Florence, 1&1/2 days in Venice, 2&1/2 days Rome. It does give you Pompeii and Positano and no one night stays (unless you do the overnight train). If you are not totally exhausted, you could also see only a couple of things in Florence in the morning and Pisa (by train) in the afternoon.

Two nts Florence, 2 nts Venice (or one nt, one train nt), 2 nts Sorrento, 3 nts Rome.

Day 1 - Land Rome. Head to Florence, etc. - sleep in Florence

Day 2 - Florence - day of major sightseeing - sleep in Florence.

Day 3 - Early train to Venice, sight see Venice - sleep in Venice

Day 4 - Venice - sleep in Venice

Day 5 - early if you can get a flight - fly to Naples - train to Pompeii - afternoon tour Pompeii - train to Sorrento - sleep Sorrento

Day 6 - Positano or Capri by boat - sleep Sorrento (kids should really love this) - sleep in Sorrento

Day 7 - train to Rome - sleep in Rome

Day 8 & 9 - Rome - sleep in Rome

DAy 10 - Fly home

Both are rushed, but doable. You might also be able to get a night train from Venice to Naples on 4. I know nothing about it and have not done it. Kids might enjoy it, but you would also have a one nighter in Venice.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Interestingly, the consensus here on Fodors is that kids like staying in one place longer, getting to know the neighborhood, the bakery, the gelatoria, etc. It's those kinds of trips they remember fondly when they get older.>>

that is definitely my experience travelling with our now 20 something kids - and I'm convinced that one of the reasons they carried on accompanying us for so long was that we were willing to adopt this style of travel. [though if you wanted to dissuade them, the opposite might apply!].

personally, I feel that the outlyers in this trip are Venice and Florence. I would fly into Rome [or Naples if you can] stay in Positano for the first half of the trip, then go to Rome for the 2nd half. if you really can't live without seeing 3 places, add in Florence and do Positano, Florence, Rome.

but [and I don't think I've ever said this before] forget Venice. It just doesn't fit with the rest of your itinerary.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Annhig, even though I gave the op all those options, I have to say I agree with you completely. The AC and Rome would be a great 10 day trip.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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lol sassafrass, the OP has probably gone to sit in a darkened room. i know just what it is like to have this compulsion to add in just one more place - I'm trying to plan a trip to Sicily and I want to see it all, even though at most we will only have 10 days or so. if it was for someone else, I'm sure that i could come up with a perfectly workable plan, but when it's for me, i make all the same mistakes that i see other people making.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Annhig, My mistake is kind of the other way. Unless I make absolutely firm (purchased) plans - tickets, hotels, etc., I get someplace, find I like it, chuck the rest of the trip and just hang out. I'm a super slow, traveler. Pompeii was a whole day for me - reading, walking, thinking about life there. The first time we went to the AC, it was to be only a couple of days, then on to Rome, Florence, etc. Instead, we stayed on the AC ten days. Sometimes I regret missing something, but mostly not. I fully accept that may not be the same for others though.

You will love Sicily. The Greek Temples at Agrigento were as impressive to me as the ruins in Athens. I started drawing pictures of Temple parts when I was about 12yrs old, finally saw Sicily and Athens in my late 50s, early 60s. If you like that sort of thing, the majesty and beauty of these will bring you to tears.

We had only 4 days, so not time to see much, and we want to go back. It is never enough, but 10 days should give you a wonderful trip. I will look for any threads you have started.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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Oh, LOL, when I try to plan trips for friends, I want them to see everything, so it is harder for me to cut for them than for myself. I know I will be happy and fine if I don't see everything. I always fear they will not.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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sassafrass - perhaps we should do each other's itineraries. i can add some stuff in for you, you can cut mine down.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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So, I do appreciate all of your input... To answer Sassafrass... we are planning to go in mid-June, just after school lets out. When I was last in Italy (almost 20 years ago) I went to Rome and Positano (Pompeii, Ravello, Capri...). When my husband was in Italy more than 20 years ago, he went to Rome, Florence and Venice! He has heard me rave about Positano and of course the kids would love Pompeii... and I want to see Venice and Florence and we both think the kids would love to see Pisa. I also think that for my kids that there is more history to be seen in Rome, Florence and Venice... but we are having a hard time giving up on the South! That is why I have solicited input.

Thanks...
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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It is so common to want to try to do too much in planning a trip. I always do this before I start cutting things to fit my time. The OP has 10 nights but only 9 full days. The first day is only a partial day after a transatlantic flight. Without a open jaw this itinerary of four destinations will require 5 moves which on the average will lose 2 1/2 days. This leaves about 6 1/2 days to explore Rome, Florence, Venice and the AC. We once tried something similar with an extra day where we fit in Florence for one day by taking the earliest train out of Venice to Florence, hiring a guide for the day than taking a late train to Rome. We than did 2 nights in the AC with a car and driver. Our children were 8/10 at the time and a year later no one remembered anything about Florence. Rome for 6 nights and Venice for 3 nights were no problem. I also think 3 destinations for 10 days.
I would pick V/F/R and leave the AC for another time. This itinerary could look something like this: Fly to Rome, train to Venice. You are going to be tired the first day so why not just use it to travel to your furthest destination. Night 1/2/3 in Venice will give you two full days in Venice. Take an early train out to Florence and stay nights 4/5/6. Day trip to Pisa and possibly Siena. Night 7/8/9/10 in Rome. Could cut one night in Florence for one more night in Rome.
Could also do AC and Rome and possibly AC, Rome and Florence. Would not do all four destinations without more time.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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lemsd,

On my first trip to Italy, I did almost exactly your itinerary - with the exception that we did have open jaw.

Our group ski trip to Cortina was a week. We finished in Venice.

2 nts Venice
2 nts Florence
3 nts Praiano (12 day to Pompeii)
2 nts Rome -fly home from Rome

I would never do this again and would not recommend it to anyone.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 08:31 PM
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Just a thought-Rome, Florence and Venice are all cities heavy on history, art, churches, museums. Kids can get burned out by too much of the same thing. (My friend and her brother had a sitdown strike on Beethoven's stoop after too many museums!)Positano and AC are more scenic, beachy, boat trips, walking and hiking, so it's a totally different experience than all the others. So Positano might give the kids a break from all that culture. You don't want to be trapped with 3 bored kids.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 06:50 AM
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joanw makes some good points. unless you are the type of people who are real art buffs, by the time you've got to Rome you won't remember what you saw in Venice or Florence. Tintoretto, Titian, and all the rest will just be a blur. We used to keep our kids interested by playing silly games [spot the ugliest baby springs to mind] but even so, we all benefitted from doing other activities.

and you don't want a rebellion on your hands when you get to Rome, do you? There is so much to see there that the kids should like, it would be a shame if they were too fed up to enjoy it.
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 04:24 PM
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OK... Here is my latest idea at our itinerary... LMK what ya'll think:

Day 1: fly into Rome around 12:30 and take train to Venice
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice
Day 4: Train to Florence
Day 5: Florence w/ day trip to Pisa (really a 1/2 day in Pisa)
Day 6:Florence w/ day trip to Sienna (really a 1/2 day in Sienna)
Day 7: Train to Rome
Day 8: Rome
Day 9: Rome
Day 10: Day trip to Pompeii
Day 11: Airport

Thanks for your opinions!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 05:44 PM
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lemsd,is there a reason you can't fly open-jaw? Sorry if I missed it, have read all the posts and can't see it. It just seems such a shame with such a short trip to have to train to Venice from Rome when you could fly into Venice and then out of Rome.

Otherwise I think it looks do-able although you really don't have time in Florence to see much, by the time you get to Pisa, see the tower etc and get back you will have used most of that day.
(We did an Italy trip at the same time of year with our then-14 year old son. He wanted to climb the tower in Pisa but we hadn't known to pre-book and there was a giant line so if your kids want to do that I suggest booking a time online.)

And the Siena day will be much the same. Actually I'm wondering how much your kids will enjoy Siena, other people may have different ideas but when we were there they were choosing the horses for the Palio so there was a great atmosphere, lots of excitement, and it was fun watching the process. After that though I think our son was pretty bored just walking around sight seeing.
One of his favourite days was when we went to the beach at Forte dei Marmi and spent the day at a beach club, he loved that.

It will be pretty warm at that time of year so drink lots of water! ( and have frequent gelato breaks) Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 06:32 PM
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I think you're going to regret flying into Rome then taking a train to Venice all on the first day. That's a lot to do, especially with kids in tow. By the second day, everyone's going to have irritable travel syndrome. Trust me- I've taken many family trips to Italy with our kids.

Since you already have your plane tix, I guess the only thing I can advise is splitting up your time in Rome so that you spend two nights there upon arrival BEFORE going on to Venice.

Then a last night in Rome before your flight home. Not a great way to do it, but I don't see too many options.

About Florence and Siena: My kids loved Pisa and were bored to death in Siena. So were their parents, but don't tell anybody. I think with such a short trip, you might want to consider skipping Florence all together, and head for some downtime in Sorrento.

This would solve a few of your itinerary problems. You could easily visit Pompeii, Capri, and Positano using Sorrento as a base. Book a hotel with a pool, so that when you're done touring, your kids can relax in the late afternoon.

Then you could take the fast train from Naples to Rome ( it's about a 75 min. ride).

Hope you have a fantastic time!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 06:34 PM
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I should add that we flew from Venice to Naples several years ago, then arranged a private transfer to our hotel in Sorrento.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:09 AM
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@ Raincitygirl, thanks for your input... We already have our tix in and out of Rome - which is why we can't fly open-jaw. @Weadles - my thought was that we would be jet-lagged anyway so sitting on a train for a couple of hours is doable.

Believe me, I have been wrestling with the whole Northern/Southern Italy thing since we started planning this trip. I have realized that it would be impossible with our timeline to see, Venice, Florence, Rome, Positano... We could drop Sienna, but I have seen posts that it is a pretty bus ride and beautiful city... I know that my kids would like to climb Pisa... so as soon as I figure out our dates certain, I will look into booking that on-line...

hmmmmm....
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:04 AM
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We are planning to go sometime in late summer for 10 nights. We plan to book a hotel in Rome (next to Termini station) for all ten nights. From there, we plan to go to Pompeii, Amalfi coast for 3 days and 2 nights. It would, of course, cost extra because we will be paying two hotels for these 2 mights, but the hotels in Pompei are reasonable (You can get decent rooms for about $75 a day). This way, we leave early in the morning at 7 am and cover Pompei during that day, the next day, we can go to Amalfi Coast (via Sorrento and Positano - circumvesuviana and then Bus). Come back to Pompei for the second night. On third day, come back to Rome via Naples, or spend the day in Naples and come to Rome in the evening.
We also plan to go to Florence on a day trip. for ex: leave by early morning train. Spend whole day and take 8 pm train back to Rome.
Hope this gives you a differnet way of thinking. Of course, this is our first time to Italy, so any advise will be useful to us, too.
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