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13 days in Italy- Checking Itinerary

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Oct 26th, 2012, 11:35 AM
  #1
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13 days in Italy- Checking Itinerary

We are taking my daughter to her first Europe trip-Italy for her 15th birthday next year. We are flying into Venice and out of Rome. We love food, countryside and art. Can anyone tell me if the following itinerary is ok?
I added some sights to see, but if I have the time, you can suggest some more. Is this reasonable? Will we be running around?
Thank you!
March 23 Day 1 (Sat) Leave for Venice 

March 24 Day 2 (Sun) Arrive Venice 9:30am - St. Mark's Doge's Palace, Bell tower, Gallerie dell'Accademia
March 25 Day 3 (Mon) Venice - I believe museums are closed Mondays -Locanda Oreseola) Fish Market, Strolling Zattere & gondola ride ) (sleep in Venice)

March 26 Day 4 (Tues) to Cinque Terre (sleep in Vernazza) 

March 27 Day 5 (Wed) Cinque Terre (sleep in Vernazza)

March 28 Day 6 ( Holy Thur) Pisa then to Florence (sleep in Florence)
March 29 Day 7 (Good Fri) Florence - (sleep in Florence) Galleria dell'Accademia, Duomo, Uffizi Gallery (anything else?)

March 30 Day 8 (Sat) Florence- late train to Siena

March31 Day 9 (Easter Sun) Siena. (sleep in Siena)
April 1 Day 10 (Mon) Museums Closed. Siena (sleep in Siena)
April 2 Day 11 (Tues) To Assisi by bus (sleep in Assisi or to Rome). Dont' know what to do here.
April 3 Day 12 (Wed) To Rome (sleep in Rome) if possible, a mass in Vatican
April 4 Day 13 (Thurs) (sleep in Rome) Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Curia
April 5 Day 14 (Fri) (sleep in Rome) Church do Sant’lgnazio Di Loyola
April 6 Day 15 (Sat) Travel home. Flight leaves at noon.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Overall, good planning.

I have 2 comments to consider. The trip to the CT is a long one from Venice and this is March. I would not go if the forecast is not good---can you cancel any reservations with 24 hour notice?

Also, I think the bus trip to Assisi is not going to be easy. You may use that time to better advantage in Siena or Rome.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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A couple more things to consider. Your arrival day in Venice is very crowded. You will likely be jet laagged and visiting so many places might be tiring. Move something to the next day. The same is true of the 29th - you have a lot in that day. If possible visit the Accademia and the Uffizi on different days.

Nice trip!
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Oct 26th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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Marcast- you have 6 destinations where you are going to sleep in 14 days, which IMO is at least one too many.

consider this - every time you move from one place to another, you lost at least 1/2 day and when you are going say, from Venice to the CT, you probably lose more than that. so straightaway your 14 days are cut down to no more than 11.

also, March in the CT could be quite iffy weather-wise; instead of going all that way for what is essentially 1 day, I would suggest leaving it to another time in order to free up some time for the other places you have planned to visit.

if you did that, your itinerary could look like this: [my comments in brackets]

March 23 Day 1 (Sat) Leave for Venice 

March 24 Day 2 (Sun) Arrive Venice 9:30am - St. Mark's Doge's Palace, Bell tower, Gallerie dell'Accademia
March 25 Day 3 (Mon) Venice - I believe museums are closed Mondays -Locanda Oreseola) Fish Market, Strolling Zattere & gondola ride ) (what about the Frari and scuola san rocco? - both open every day, full of lovely art, and near the rialto markets)

March 26 Day 4 (Tues) extra day Venice - [trip to islands of the lagoon perhaps? Ca D'oro?] 

March 27 Day 5 (Wed) Pisa then to Florence (sleep in Florence)
March 28 Day 6 ( Holy Thur) Florence - Galleria dell'Accademia, Duomo, Uffizi Gallery
March 29 Day 7 (Good Fri) Florence - Bargello, San Marco, possibly Fiesole, or Oltrarno

March 30 Day 8 (Sat) Florence- early train/bus to Siena

March31 Day 9 (Easter Sun) Siena. (sleep in Siena)
April 1 Day 10 (Mon) [Use this day to travel to Assisi - if everything closed, no point in staying! Sleep in Assisi.
April 2 Day 11 (Tues) Dont' know what to do here - i[f you don't know what to do ,why are you going? Orvieto might be a better choice or somewhere with easier access from Siena and to Rome.] late train to Rome.
April 3 Day 12 (Wed) Rome [this makes it easier for you to go to mass in Vatican - but you mean St. Peter's which is the Basilica, not the Vatican which is a museum/nation state. What else?
April 4 Day 13 (Thurs) (Rome) Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Curia - nothing else?
April 5 Day 14 (Fri) (sleep in Rome) Church do Sant’lgnazio Di Loyola - again, nothing else?
April 6 Day 15 (Sat) Travel home. Flight leaves at noon.

You haven't mentioned much to do in Rome- there are literally 100s of things you could do there to fill days 12,13 & 14. Most guide books will have suggestions to fill 3-4 days in Rome. you could look for churches with mosaics [Rick Steves has a good tour of these] galleries like the Doria Pamphliji and/or Borghese [need to book in advance for that], the cathedrals of Rome [there are 4 of them] any of the many museums like the capitoline, the Ars Paris, the national museum of Rome, the Baths of Caraculla, etc. etc. etc.

have a great trip!
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Oct 26th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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Re your original itinerary:

You may want to check whether museums and galleries in Florence are open on Good Friday, given the significance of this day in the Catholic calendar.

You may also find that transport options are reduced right across the Easter holiday period.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Is there a bus from Siena to Assisi? Or do you have to bus to Perugia and take a train from there?

You have only 12 days not impacted by arrival and departure, so I would definitely skip the Cinque Terre and go to either Siena or Assisi but not both. Considering the timing of your trip, you might even think about seeing Siena as a day trip from Florence rather than moving hotels.

If you haven't already done so, research what events are held on Easter Sunday in both Florence and Siena. Florence parades a 17th C. cart accompanied by costumed drummers and flag-throwers to the Duomo, and then the Archbishop sets off fireworks on the cart. Not sure what it has to do with Easter, but it sounds like it would be an interesting and very Italian event to experience.

http://www.visitflorence.com/florenc...rt-easter.html
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Oct 26th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Hi Marcast,

I would agree to skip the Cinque Terre in March and spend that precious time in some of your other destinations.

Also, my first trip to Italy had us traveling Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, Rome in just 9 days the week before Easter. Florence was MOBBED with people and school field trips. Back then you couldn't make reservations in advance for the popular sites. Highly recommend you be sure to do this.

Venice was beautiful, moody and not at all crowded in mid-March. Not too cold either. We wore coats and gloves at night, but no need for hats.

Rome was very busy and the Sistene Chapel was closed on Palm Sunday.

I would skip the Accademia in Venice. I found it boring with too much of all the same religious art that had my eyes crossed after 30 min. Rather, spend the time wandering around in the day light - you'll get over jet lag faster.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 07:01 PM
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First of all, thank you all for taking the time to comment on my itinerary. Great points.

Annhig-I apologize, I didn't mean to say that I don't know what to do, it's more like, I haven't done enough research to decide what I want to do. I know it seems empty on some days.

mamcalice-You are totally right about taking it slower the first day.
I think I can stay a night in Assisi. Haven't booked any hotels yet.
For day 8- will take day trip to Siena instead from Florence. (thanks Jean, I will also take a look at your link)
For day 11, I think I better go to Rome. This way I can go to a mass at the Vatican for Day 12. I HAVE heard that Rome has so much to offer.

So pretty much it's Venice-Pisa(day trip)-Florence-Siena(day trip)-Assisi-Rome.
Do you think my itinerary between Florence and Rome are ok? I really do want to see the Tuscany side. I can also go to Assisi as a day trip from Rome, no?

A few questions: I thought March/April was the best months to go to Italy. Is it real rainy that time of year?
Do you think it would be better to spend Easter Day in Siena vrs. Florence? This way I avoid the overcrowds?
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Oct 26th, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Stay outside on Day 1 - you need daylight and Vitamin D to get over jetlag.

Skip the Cinque Terre at that time of year.

I would choose Siena over Assisi in a heartbeat; Assisi is a nice town all on its own, but dominated by religious sites, which hold no interest for me. Being more interested in history, I prefer Siena. YMMV.

Check out what's going on where on Easter by googling. There may be crowds, or places may be deserted.

Are you suggesting a daytrip from Venice to Pisa? Don't do that.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 09:49 PM
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>>>Is there a bus from Siena to Assisi?<<<

Yes. Sena has a daily bus from Siena to Assisi. It actually goes to S. Maria Degli Angeli and you have to catch the shuttle bus the mile or so to Assisi. Departs 5:30 pm and arrives 7:15 pm. (12€)

>>>I really do want to see the Tuscany side.<<<

You seem to have left this out of your itinerary.

I would rather be in Siena on Easter Monday although there still might not be much open, but there wasn't much open in Florence last time I was there on an Easter Monday. Drop Assisi from your list and take a local Siena Mobilita bus (abut 3€) to Montalcino from Siena on Tuesday for a day trip(see the Tuscan countryside).

Another option is do a bus tour to a couple of hill towns one day while staying in either Florence or Siena.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 02:45 AM
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Wow, you are going to have a great time. I took my youngest daughter to Italy for her 13th birthday about the same time of year. It was a wonderful experience that I would not trade for anything.

Below is the itinerary I recommend. It is no better or worse than those already offered. It is just a matter of preference.

You mentioned going to mass at the Vatican/St. Peters. I could think of noting better than Easter Sunday at the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. While most Italian cities close down on Sundays, Assisi springs to life. There will be Italians from throughout Italy making a pilgrimage to Assisi for Easter.

I am partial to Assisi having lived there for a short time. I think you and your daughter would love it.

Travel during this time of year will be a challenge so be sure to make arrangements well in advance.

If you do decide on Assisi and are having trouble with reservations let me know. We have friends there who own a small hotel. I am sure they can find something for you.

Your trip is going to be a winner no matter which itinerary you choose.

March 23 Day 1 (Sat) Leave for Venice 


March 24 Day 2 (Sun) Venice

March 25 Day 3 (Mon) Venice to Florence (late in the day)

March 26 Day 4 (Tues) Florence 


March 27 Day 5 (Wed) Florence (day trip to Pisa and Lucca)

March 28 Day 6 ( Holy Thur) Florence - Siena (bus would be best)

March 29 Day 7 (Good Fri) Siena

March 30 Day 8 (Sat) Siena to Assisi (late bus)

March31 Day 9 (Easter Sun) Assisi

April 1 Day 10 (Mon) Assisi

April 2 Day 11 (Tues) Assisi to Rome (the early (07:02 - 08:58) Intercity train)

April 3 Day 12 (Wed) Rome

April 4 Day 13 (Thurs) Rome

April 5 Day 14 (Fri) Rome

April 6 Day 15 (Sat) Travel home. Flight leaves at noon.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Jim- what a fantastic idea with Easter Sunday!!! I love it! I just have great admiration for saint Francis of Assisi, so I really want to go!! Great tips on transport too. Glad to know there's transport from Siena to Assisi.

Vitamin D? I will take that for sure. The same goes for jet lag on our return I assume? Stay outside and vitamin D?

I want to work on the Tuscany side too. Don't think I have planned that out well enough. Maybe one less day at Assisi.
Thanks
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Oct 27th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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I spent Palm Sunday in Assisi one year---Esater should be even better.
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Oct 28th, 2012, 06:41 PM
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I am really excited! Can't wait to go to italy!! Thank you all for all the great tips and suggestions!!
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Oct 29th, 2012, 09:40 AM
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I want to work on the Tuscany side too. Don't think I have planned that out well enough. Maybe one less day at Assisi>>

marcast - i think that may be difficult. if you follow Jim's excellent itinerary, you are going to find it very difficult to cut down your time in Assisi AND get the benefit of staying there. IMO "one night stands" are pretty unsatisfactory - you get poor value from your hotel, you barely get to know the place where you are staying, and most of your time is taken up with finding your way round,

and alternative would be to do Siena as a day trip from Florence - this would give you 5 nights in florence and 4 full days there; you could decide when/whether you wanted to do day trips to Siena and/or Pisa & Lucca when you were there. The snag is that the journey from Florence to Assisi is not as easy as that from siena - There is a train at 08.26 direct to Assisi but all the other trains require at least one change, if not two.

on balance, i think that I would stick to Jim's plan, but it's a close-run thing.
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Oct 29th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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I agree that you don't really have time to squeeze in Tuscany. Save it for the next trip, since you will be back!
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Oct 29th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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I am with the group that suggests doing Siena as a day trip from Florence. On our first trip to Italy (2000) this is what we did. Took a bus from the bus station beside the main train station (SMN) and returned later in the afternoon. Twice since then, we have hired a car for a day trip around the area and had the driver wait for us while we walked around the city. Works well.
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Oct 31st, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Not sure if you or your daughter are into modern art, but the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice is open on Mondays and is beautiful. Another suggestion is to do a mask making class in Venice. My kids wanted to do it in August but our timing didn't work. Ca' Macana is one shop that does such a class. http://www.camacana.com/
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Nov 2nd, 2012, 07:11 AM
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Thank you PCtraveler. I was given a name of a driver. Is it worth it vrs. going on a bus? Is it much more expensive? I am contemplating staying longer in Florence and just taking day trips.

Jamierin- your suggestion sounds lovely! And yes, we LOVE modern art!! I will add to my list. Now that you mention classes, I have always dreamed of taking a cooking class in Europe. Any suggestions? I love pasta, but I am open to pretty much all foods.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Hi Marcast, mind that in Florence during the Easter all hotels are heavily booked ( at their rack rates ) so better start the search asap. Then, please don't get offended but this itinerary ( I have been working in hotels for 40 years ) although it considers many gems seems to me a sort of "teusday must be Belgium " try and reduce some destinatyions eg. you can do Siena and San Gimignano with a day excursion from Florence using one of the many companies. Mind that private drivers must be authorized. Have a nice trip to Italy, Luciano
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