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15 nights in Italy

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May 25th, 2015, 06:16 AM
  #1
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15 nights in Italy

After several weeks planning here is what we have decided. Booked all hotels with free cancelation,

Fly into Milan, hopefully land on time. 8:40am, taking the train to the train to Venice. Staying at Hotel Saturina, 2 nights then on the Train to Rome. Staying 2 nights at Hotel Adriano in the Piazza Novanna area. Leaving Rome by Train to Salerno...ferry to Positano staying 4 nights at Positano Art Hotel.

Next we will take a car service from our hotel in Positano, to the Naples airport. There we will rent a car and drive to Radda in the Chianti Region. Stay 3 nights at Il Bergo di Vescine. Keeping car until we drive to Florence, drop car off at the airport and staying 1 night in Florence, staying at Hotel Pendini. The following afternoon we will take the train to Lake Como, staying 2 nights at Hotel du Lac in Belligio. We would like to stay 3 nights, but at this time no availability. Instead our last day we ctake the train to Milan and stay at Hotel Berna, great location for mid morning flight out of Milan. If we are able to stay the last night in Belligio I am told it is an easy car service to the airport. Busy trip, we are 4 adults traveling in September.
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May 25th, 2015, 06:25 AM
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Sept, good
A bit rushed for me, I'd drop a site and also, if you draw this out on a map, you will see it is a bit like a drunk man. I'd go south first and then north.
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May 25th, 2015, 06:37 AM
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I would save Lake Como for another time but my husband has never been there and would really like to visit. I know it feels one stop too many but we will manage. I am not one to push a lot of tours. Like to walk around and just take it all in. We were going to reverse trip South to North. But too late hotels especially in Positano are booked. To start out in Venice will be relaxing after a long flight from NY. Also I would rather be in Positano and Lake Como on Sunday's. Maybe this is wrong info but we heard some tourist sights close up on Sunday's.
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May 25th, 2015, 07:06 AM
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So, excluding travel time, you have 1.5 days in Venice, 1 day in Rome, 3 days in Positano, 2 days in Chianti, maybe 2 half-days in Florence, and 1.5 days on Lake Como. Is this really what you want? It's far too rushed to my mind. You will spend a lot of your trip not sightseeing but getting from one place to another, checking into a hotel, checking out of a hotel, finding your way to the hotels and then back to the train station for the next leg.

Why are you going to Rome at all? Even just walking around, you won't see hardly anything of Rome. I'd also consider skipping Florence.

Also make sure the ferry to Positano is still running that day when you arrive in Salerno.
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May 25th, 2015, 07:09 AM
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I'm not sure what "tourist sites" you're referring to, but IME, Monday is the closed day for a lot of places, such as the Vatican Museum and similar attractions.

I'm not clear on the one-night stop in Florence, unless I'm missing something. Since you're dropping the car off at the airport, by the time you get to the hotel, about all you'll have time for is dinner. Why bother? Seems to me it would be a better idea just to drive on to Milan (assuming you have two drivers), about 4 hours, and take the train to LC.
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May 25th, 2015, 07:20 AM
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wow, even for me this seems rushed. We were in Florence in the summer and would have liked more than the three nights we gave it.
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May 25th, 2015, 08:11 AM
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Yes, 2 nights, 1.5 days in Venice, 2 nights 1.5 days Rome. 4 nights 3.5 days Positano. 3 nights and 2,5 days in Chianit and 1 night and 1 day in Florence. 2 nights in Belligo and 1.5 days to tour the lake. It is busy but checking in and out of hotels is not a big deal to us. I have checked some tour packages and they are close to being as busy and traveling by bus the whole trip. We will be on some fast trains. We will check on all trains, ferrys and transfers. In Rome I am taking a 2 hour tour to the Vatican. We are staying in a good location and will spend one morning doing the Vatican and Colosseum. The other 2 afternoons will be sightseeing walking around. In Venice we will be meandering around enjoying the sights. Positano we have 3.5 days and that is just enough time.

Tuscany is where I may combine the nights to 4 and just do Florence for a day trip. The trip will be my husbands 3rd time to Italy.....and he would love to go to Lake Como, the only place on the trip he has never visited. If we have to go to Milan the last night it is 1 hour train rain. Probably should have added 2 nights but no turning back now.
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May 25th, 2015, 08:16 AM
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I know you said in your first sentence that you have spent a lot of planning and have decided on your itinerary. Is it possible that you will return to Italy again? If so, I'd split this trip into the north, staying your 15 days, between Milan, Como, Venice, Florence & Chianti. Save Rome and points south for another time. You will have more than enough to see and enjoy northern Italy.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:06 AM
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Not that interested in Milan and do not want more than 2 nights in Venice. There is really not much to do in Lake Como for more than 3 nights. That would leave me 10 nights in Tuscany. And honestly I really want to go to Positano. I could skip Rome but not sure my travel companions would agree. We booked our flights in April Arriving and departing in Milan....we should done arrival in Venice and depart from Milan. But we saved $1100. So I will give up a half a day for this mistake.

The only location I could cut at this point is Lake Como. That could be a day trip from Milan on the last day. But really I am fine with a shorty stay in Venice and Rome.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:10 AM
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I know it feels one stop too many but we will manage.≥≥

It feels like more than one stop too many for me.

Dare I say drop Rome? I know it's heresy to some, but I'd been to Italy at least half a dozen times before I got there and I'm not sure that I'd love it as much as I do now if I'd only had 2 nights there the first time.

<>

this sounds like an oxymoron to me - depending on where you are staying it will take approx 30 mins to get to the Vatican, then your 2 hour tour [for which you'll need to be there at least 10 mins in advance], then you'll need to get into the colosseum, [another 30-60 mins] get your tickets [booked in advance o line presumably] and tour the colosseum - which IMO is more than a morning's worth.

if that is typical of your planning, you are probably underestimating the time it takes to get to and from your hotels, check-in and check-out, orient yourselves in each city, work out the transport, etc, etc,

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh but IME these things take longer than you expect and with 4 of you, the time you need will expand exponentially. Yes, the tour companies do have tight timescales, but they do take care of a lot of the hassle for you - no queuing for tickets, buses, finding train platforms - or checking and paying hotel bills.

Venice is wonderful [I've been 6 times and never been bored yet] and will make a wonderful introduction to Italy if you give it time. with only 1 ½ days the temptation is to stick to the major sights where everyone goes; so many people do that and go away thinking that Venice is all crowds and queues whereas if you have the time to explore you can walk away from everyone else and find the Venice you imagined you'd see. I would stay 4 nights, which gives you time to see some sights, explore a bit, and spend a day or so visiting Burano and Torcello, which IMO are an integral part of any visit to Venice.

Then a week in Tuscany followed by some time on Lake Como would make a great holiday.

I agree with Calabria - stick to the area north of Rome this time and leave the south for your next visit.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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It is quite rushed. I would definitely drop Florence and just do it as a day trip- that way you can NOT do it at the last minute if you don't want to. You can't drive IN Florence anyway and this way you save the time spent checking in/out one more hotel.

For Rome, you won't have time to do both Vatican and Colosseum in a morning. You may have a two hour tour reserved but you have to take into account getting there - the entrance itself is a hike from the Piazza in front of the Basilica. And were you planning to go into the church itself or just the Vatican museums? So I would figure an entire morning for the whole St Peter's/Vatican area. You could go to the Colosseum area your first afternoon (are you taking a very early train from Venice?). Depending on how much time you have you can see quite a bit from the outside without waiting in lines to go into things. The Colosseum itself is really much more impressive from the outside. But do walk around to see it from different sides. The Forum can be viewed really well from the steps behind the Campidogio. Also from along via dei fori imperiali. Then the other afternoon wander around the Piazza Navona/Pantheon area.

Make sure you get an early train to Salerno in order to get a ferry to Positano. They don't run all that frequently. I'd check schedules ahead of time.

Yes, this itinerary is not more rushed than some tours but with tours they take you from hotel to hotel, while on your own (overall a MUCH better idea) you do have to consider time to get from train to hotel, etc. I'd also buy the train tickets from Venice to Rome and Rome to Salerno ahead of time.

Hotel Berna in Milan has the best breakfast of any hotel I've ever stayed in. Going back there this summer. Love that place.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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The Vatican Museums is not closed on Mondays. There are other popular places, such as the Colosseum, that are open on Mondays, as well as lesser-known jewels like the Baths of Caracalla, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, and the Villa Farnesina.

The Vatican Museums is closed on Sundays and religious holidays, and for that reason may be more than usually crowded on Mondays.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:37 AM
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Annhig said: I know it's heresy to some, but I'd been to Italy at least half a dozen times before I got there and I'm not sure that I'd love it as much as I do now if I'd only had 2 nights there the first time.

This is a very wise observation. I know a lot of people who didn't care for Rome at all, and the one thing I've noticed is that they spent very little time there, almost all of it rushing from one must-see to the next. These hugely popular sites, such as the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona, are overrun with tourists and selfie-stick sellers. There is a different, enchanting, Rome that you won't see at all if you spend only a few days there and insist on seeing all of the popular sights.
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May 25th, 2015, 09:51 AM
  #14
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Thanks for the suggestions. We spent time researching best hotel locations to make it easy to get around. My friend told me she was in Rome for 2 days and did not see the Sistine Chaple and felt as though she didn't miss anything. Anything you see in Rome will be fine and thanks I did tell my husband that I did not want to go inside the Colosseum.

Not sure why checking in and out of hotels in such a long process in Italy. But when arriving in cities we will dressed and ready to go for the day, I plan on just putting luggage in the room and on our way. When leaving Venice and Rome we will up and on the train early. Hope we do catch the ferry as that will be beautiful, so part of that transfer will be worth it. We will have all train and other schedules before we leave. Hopefully the connection will all work out. Anything we can do in advance will will do ahead of time.

We travel up and down the East and West Coasts in the U.S. 2 nights here and 2 nights there......checking in and out of hotels...it takes 10 minutes. Is Italy different?

Whatever I get to see in each location will be wonderful! I am also going for the wine and cafes, and the beautiful view in Positano.

Thank you for the suggestions....I will think of how to do Florence for the day that will work. Can you book entrance to see the David without waiting on line? I think from Radda it is only a 45 drive, so if we stay in Radda for 4 nights and get up to return the car in Florence, spend the morning and early afternoon, before we catch the train to Lake Como. We will have the end of the day in Lake Como plus the following 2 days. Since it is a hour train ride we did not plan on leaving Lake Como
for Milan until mid afternoon on our last day,
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May 25th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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My thoughts after a good think
1) Agree with Annhig, I'd been to Italy at least 5 times before I went to Rome and while it is ok, I'd seen large Roman Empire cities before and Rome is just a bit bigger, while Religious stuff (old bodies, bits of gold) either sickens me or is just a bore. Despite being in Rome twice now I still have not seen the Sistine
2) You mention that your route-march (my words) is not faster than a tour by bus. True, but most of the writers here think a tour by bus is the worst possible way to visit a country
3) Why do you want to see David???? It's a big lump of stone and there are many finer pieces in the Uffizi a stone's throw away.
4) You know how you want your honeymoon to be, so, I guess if you want it to be as rushed as this we cannot help you but it...just ...seems .... crazy.

Have a great one.

To answer your questions, checking in and out of a hotel is just like at home except you have to hand over your documents

Florence has left luggage
http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/i...003f16f90aRCRD
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May 25th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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It isn't that checking in and out of hotels takes so long, it's that when you figure travel time you have to figure from checking out of one hotel until you are checked into the next. All of that time is not available to you for sightseeing, exploring, relaxing, sitting in a charming cafe. So from the time you check out of one place, you have to get to the train station, wait time there, train ride, transport to your next hotel and check in. It is virtually impossible to do that in less than half a day. The more stops you have the more time you waste. You have very little time to see/do/experience the things you came to Italy for. If this is ok with you, fine. But especially for a honeymoon, I would want time to just enjoy being together.

NEVER use a tour company's itinerary to plan your own trip. They are renowned for moving too fast, many places they list on the itinerary are mere drive-bys.

Figure out what is important to you and make sure you have the time to have those experiences.
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May 25th, 2015, 12:17 PM
  #17
 
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But when arriving in cities we will dressed and ready to go for the day, I plan on just putting luggage in the room and on our way. When leaving Venice and Rome we will up and on the train early..>>

Kathies puts it better than me - the process of moving base takes time. I will add to it the time taken to work out the transport system, how to buy tickets, locating the right bus/vaporetto stop, finding a nice bar or cafe - it all takes time and if you are doing it over and over again, it also becomes tedious.

<>

Italy is a foreign country. you will by and large not be driving but arriving by public transport. you may not easily be able to find your hotel. There may even be language difficulties. [yes, not everyone in Italy speaks english though many do and many others will try].

<>

not sure which ferry you are talking about - as I understand your itinerary you are arriving in and leaving Venice by train, so there won't be a ferry involved. as for taking the vaporetti, you may need one to get to your hotel [I missed where you are staying in Venice, if you have posted it] but I hope that you use them for more than just coming or going - the Grand Canal at night for example from the deck of the No 1 is gorgeous, and they run quite late so you should be able to get on when it's not too busy.

The best deal is to buy a 24 hour vaporetto pass when you arrive; single journeys are €7 each and buying tickets each time is a pain, whereas the pass is €20 - so you get it back in 3 trips. When I was there in February they were busy installing automatic ticket barriers so I suspect that by now you have to use your pass for every journey, which may cut down on the numbers of people using the vaporetti of course.

I like Rome much more than bilbo does but if you are only there for less than 48 hours you are likely only to see the chaos and traffic, rather than thrilling at the excitement and beauty. [yes, bilbo, I really like Rome, though my DH feels about it like you do]. like most capital cities, it deserves a week, but even 3-4 days may be enough. IMO 2 nights is literally worse than nothing.

As for seeing David, you can book ahead to visit the Academia but you will then have to organise your day around that visit, which may be inconvenient, and you could instead spend a few minutes looking at the reproduction in the Piazza della Signoria.
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May 25th, 2015, 01:08 PM
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"My friend told me she was in Rome for 2 days and did not see the Sistine chapel and felt as though she didn't miss anything."
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May 25th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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"Why do you want to see David???? It's a big lump of stone. . . . "
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May 25th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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The reroducrion of the statue of David is not at all comparable to the real statue which takes your breathe away. Do not miss seeing it!
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