14 days in Italy/Spain

Jul 9th, 2007, 06:52 PM
  #1  
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14 days in Italy/Spain

New to Fodor's.
I have 14 days to spend over in Europe.
I plan on visiting Italy (found airfare ORD - FCO) for about $930 in mid-September.
What cities do you all recommend visiting?
Also, do you think it is enough time to visit both Italy and Spain?

Cities on my list:
Rome
Venice
Naples
Sicily
Florence (?)
Madrid
Barcelona

I'll be using hilton hotel points where possible, what are thoughts on those locations?
andyrew is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:03 AM
  #2  
 
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Can you explain why you want to visit the places you are suggesting? Are some on your list more important than others? Does the 14 days include your arrival and departure days?

Keep in mind that each time you change cities, checking in and out of hotels, transfering to train stations or airports, and traveling between cities with take up at least half a day--between some of your desitinations even more.

Most here would say that for a 14-day trip you should narrow your choices to 3-4 cities, maybe 5 if you are particularly energetic.

If you share your interests, we can help you narrow your choices to an itinerary that would work for you.
ellenem is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:18 AM
  #3  
sjj
 
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In 14 days you can't hope to do justice to all the cities on your list. I'd limit myself to Barcelona, Madrid, and maybe a city in Andalusia or to Venice, Florence, and Rome. I also suggest avoiding internal travel in either Spain or Italy as much as possible.
sjj is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Are you flying roundttrip to ROme? Do the 14 days include air travel time? I would stick to one country in that timeframe, fiduring at least 3 nights in the major cities, and minimal travelling and backtracking. You could do Rome/Florence/Venice/Naples in 2 weeks without too much rushing. Sicily is too much with the others.
MFNYC is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Pick 4 off of your list and make sure the next one is no more than 4 hours from the last one. I would do the 4 cities in Italy---Sicily takes 2 weeks by itself.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:22 AM
  #6  
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thanks for all the suggestions. my friend and I are really more into this for a gastronomic experience of Italy.

i'm flying roundtrip from ORD to FCO, 9/13-29.

I'm willing to cut out Spain. would it be better to fly within Italy or drive?
andyrew is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:54 AM
  #7  
 
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Hi, andyrew,

if you are after a gormet tour, my suggestion would be:

bologna
tuscany
rome.

you could fly to Rome, train to bologna, pick up car, spend few days in the tuscan countryside [visiting vineyards and including day trip to florence, drive to orvieto, dump car, return to Rome.

to get the most out of Rome, consider spending at least 4 days there.

can't help you with hilton hotels, I'm afraid.

there is a recent thread on Bologna which will explain why I suggest it. Otherwise substitute florence for bologna, but the food there will not be as good, IMO.

happy planning,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #8  
 
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Way to many places. The more places you go to, the less you see and do, since you are spending all those at least half days in train stations or airports, on the transport itself, and getting into town.

With the places you have listed you have seven out of 14 days that will be mostly trasportation and unpacking.

I love both countries, but drop one. Then do three or four max in each city. (Sicily is too much. That is a week in itself, and is also my least favorite.)

I love Naples, but make sure the garbage strike is over.

If you prefer Spain, I would vote for a five in the Barcelona are and a ten days in Seville and surrounding - Cordoba, Granada, etc are must sees. The Alhambra is Granda is worth the trip.
dncdave is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 11:34 AM
  #9  
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thanks for all your suggestions.
My travel partner prefers spain over italy, so i think we'll do that.

Any suggestions for whether to train it from barcelona/madrid? should i rent a car in the seville area?
I'm doing my research now, but hoping for better recommendations from all of you who have been there.
andyrew is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 01:37 PM
  #10  
 
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I think you won't be disappointed by choosing Spain over Italy for food.

Flying is the best way to travel from barcelona to madrid and vice versa. Extremely cheap flights are available and aiports are easily reached by public transport or inexpensive taxis.

There is a fast train from Madrid to Sevilla, and Cordoba is easily reached by train from Sevialla. So no need for a car unless you wish to explore a bit of the countryside.

However, if food is your agenda, why not consider northern Spain --- especially since you are traveling in such a hot part of the year and Sevilla will be like a frying pan.

Check the Basque country and Galicia.
fall06 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 01:49 PM
  #11  
 
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Do I understand correctly? You're flying in and out of Rome, but doing all your travelling in Spain?
Mimar is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Hi there, we just got back from 3 weeks in Spain and Italy. If you are going for the food I have to say the food in Spain is much better. The seafood is outstanding as well as the local cheeses and wines. I am sure there is really good food in Italy but we were disappointed overall with the quality. We probably had built up our expecations too much. Spain is less expensive, and beautiful. I would also recommend Northern Spain over Southern Spain and I would put Santiago de Compostela in Galicia on the top of my list , then work your way to the Costa Brava and Barcelona. Go through Bilbao to see the Guggenheim and stay in the the Riojas wine region. Renting a car is the best way to get around that area. You can also fly Ryan Air out of Santander for very little money. I think they fly to Barcelona from there but not sure. I know they fly to Rome from Santander because that is how we went from Spain to Italy. Have fun!
beli is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 08:09 AM
  #13  
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Thanks Beli!
I haven't considered northern spain, as I've read that andulusia and sevilla are very nice. I'll do some more research on that area of the country.

andyrew is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 08:10 AM
  #14  
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Also, I'm planning to fly direct into Spain, either to barcelona or madrid from chicago.
andyrew is offline  

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