16 day trip to Italy

Old Mar 12th, 2024, 08:17 PM
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16 day trip to Italy

I am planning a first time, 16 day trip in May. This does not include travel time. My plan is to fly into Rome and spend 2 full days, a day and a half in Bologna , a day and half in Venice, 2 full days somewhere in Lake Como area then 6 days in Florence. I would be flying out of Florence. I plan on taking the train to move around to the areas. I am open to any and all suggestions. I plan on doing day trips while in Florence but havenít nailed those down just yet. This will be my first European travel experience. My thoughts were it would be busy on the front end and hopefully more relaxing on the tail end of the trip.
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Old Mar 12th, 2024, 08:28 PM
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Welcome to Fodors -- IMO 2 days in Rome after an overnight flight and dealing with jet lag etc is at least 3 days too little. And 1+ day for Venice is also woefully short. This is your first trip so may be underestimating how much travel time is involved when changing cities.

I'd either cut a few days from Florence (adding them to other places) or cut out two (at least) destinations.
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Old Mar 12th, 2024, 08:59 PM
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One thing that will help is think of your itinerary in terms of nights versus days. 6 nights would give you 5 full days, 5 nights would be 4 days and so on. You also need to figure on transit eating into your time, not to mention time checking in/out of lodging, eating, etc.

Have you already booked your flights? If not, I'd suggest flying multi city: in one, out/home from another. And I'd actually suggest you fly into Venice and work your way down to Rome.

Your time is extremely short in Venice and Rome. 6 days (as in 7 nights?) In Florence seems like a lot, even with day trips. Florence itself is VERY heavy on Renaissance art. If you aren't into that, you may want to reduce your time there even with day trips.

Prebook any of your priorities for sightseeing. This includes Colesseum, Vatican Museum (Sistine chapel), Florence museums, Venice landmarks (even St. Mark's) - the lines can be atrocious in these cities. May is high season for Italy.

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; Mar 12th, 2024 at 09:01 PM.
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Old Mar 12th, 2024, 09:43 PM
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Bravo on your first adventure to Europe.
Is this trip for this year, in just two months? Have you already purchased tickets? If not, good because you need to give another bit of thought to the itinerary.
Landing in Rome, going North to Bologna, then Venice and West to Como, then backtracking to Florence is logistically a very inefficient plan since You would go right through Florence between Rome and Bologna. You will waste a lot of time and money doing that.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 08:19 AM
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There is a classic short tour of Italy that is logistically better than your plan, while including most of your destinations. It is to fly into Venice, train to Florence, train to Rome fly out of Rome. By inserting Bologna between Venice and Florence plus using your Como time to do justice to Venice and Rome, and, maybe, shaving a few days from Florence for the same purpose, you will have a great itinerary for a great trip. Are you locked into any of your original plan?
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 08:44 AM
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Good advice above
Your first trip, fantastic.
I assume you've found seat61.com to explain the trains
trenitalia to get majority of timetables
rome2rio to plan any bus/train combos etc
If I was doing this I'd cut down a bit on Florence, remove 100% of Lake Como, fly into Venice, pop into Padova, Bologna, Florence, Rome.

Depending on any religious needs to be in Rome I would split the time roughly equally between the 5 with Padova taking the short straw. Have fun.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 09:50 AM
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You say you're flying into Rome and out of Florence. Have you booked the flights? You've received a lot of good info here, including the fact that your route is wasting time. If you haven't booked the flight, the best would be to fly into Venice and out of Rome. You definitely don't have enough time in Rome and Venice. I love Florence, but that could be cut some to help give you more time elsewhere, as well as cutting Como. As mentioned, you aren't considering how much time you lose every time you move. If you have already booked your fights, I would do something like this:
Rome 5 nights (getting over jetlag plus SO much to see)
Venice 3 nights
Bologna 3 nights
Florence 5 nights

If you haven't booked your flights, flying into Venice and out of Rome puts all the stops in one direction so no backtracking.

Or you could cut a night in Bologna and add it to Venice. Its over four hours on the train from Rome to Venice, so you will lose over half a day on that move.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 12:22 PM
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As has been said already, we'd need to know how many nights you plan on spending at each destination. A '16 day trip' could mean spending 16 nights in hotels or only 14 nights.... my general advice for a trip of this nature is more time for Rome.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 01:03 PM
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midnitej said it didn't include travel time, so I assumed 16 nights.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 11:04 PM
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You've got some pretty good suggestions here. I agree that you need more time in Rome, at least 4 days, 5 would be ideal. I would say cut out Bologna and shorten the time in Florence to 4 or 5 days. Imo you should fly into Rome and then out of Venice to save time and energy.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 06:10 AM
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Sorry, Roseanne, but flying out of Venice with early flights and somewhat complicated transport from central Venice to the airport makes flying into Venice and out of Rome a much better idea.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 07:05 AM
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I agree with AJ. Also, flights leave from Venice really early, making one need to get to the airport in the wee hours, hence the suggestion to fly into Venice and out of Rome.

I think most depart before 8am. Ugh! No way!
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 07:45 AM
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Ditto both AJPeabody and Travel_Nerd. In to Venice and out of Rome would be a lot easier if possible. Getting to VCE at 0500 is a real pain.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
I agree with AJ. Also, flights leave from Venice really early, making one need to get to the airport in the wee hours, hence the suggestion to fly into Venice and out of Rome.

I think most depart before 8am. Ugh! No way!
I agree that flying out of Venice would be tiring but so would be Rome as a last stop. I suggested flying into Rome and out of Venice for them because they want the end part of the trip more slow and relaxed, Venice would definitely be that compared to Rome.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RoseanneCenner
I agree that flying out of Venice would be tiring but so would be Rome as a last stop. I suggested flying into Rome and out of Venice for them because they want the end part of the trip more slow and relaxed, Venice would definitely be that compared to Rome.
It might be IF OP adjusts their time in Venice to add additional days AND stay near the airport the final night. But having the limited days he or she has now, would make Venice very rushed plus having the stress of getting to VCE early in the morning, also defeating the purpose of "relaxing." Venice is a city to be taken in and enjoyed, not to dart around if one really wants to relax into it. OP has not allotted for that at this time. Rome CAN be relaxing, if one allows for enough time for it and plans their sightseeing accordingly, and that includes ALL or most of the destinations the OP is thinking of.

With that having been said, OP has not yet returned to their thread to let us know what she or he is thinking or if any changes are being made.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RoseanneCenner
I agree that flying out of Venice would be tiring but so would be Rome as a last stop. I suggested flying into Rome and out of Venice for them because they want the end part of the trip more slow and relaxed, Venice would definitely be that compared to Rome.
Venice is not relaxing when one has to go to bed at 8 PM to be up at 3:30 AM to get to the airport by 0500 . . .
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Old Mar 16th, 2024, 11:11 AM
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Thank you for all the advice. I believe I will cut out the Lake Como part of the trip and add more time in Venice. My flights are already booked. I donít want to go to the hassle of changing them.
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Old Mar 16th, 2024, 11:28 AM
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That's a good move to eliminate Como and add it to Venice. It would still be really smart to take at least a day from Florence and add it to Rome.
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Old Mar 17th, 2024, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by midnitej
Thank you for all the advice. I believe I will cut out the Lake Como part of the trip and add more time in Venice. My flights are already booked. I donít want to go to the hassle of changing them.
We're in the same boat (vaporetto?) as you regarding an early morning flight out of Venice. We will have been in Venice for five nights in an airbnb, and have decided to stay in a hotel near the airport the night before our flight home. There are actually some pretty nice places to stay - some that might even be a destination hotel rather than a generic airport stayover - and we're much more comfortable with this option, eliminating the stress trying to find a way to the airport from Venice proper in the wee hours of the morning.
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Old Mar 17th, 2024, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by scdreamer
We're in the same boat (vaporetto?) as you regarding an early morning flight out of Venice. We will have been in Venice for five nights in an airbnb, and have decided to stay in a hotel near the airport the night before our flight home. There are actually some pretty nice places to stay - some that might even be a destination hotel rather than a generic airport stayover - and we're much more comfortable with this option, eliminating the stress trying to find a way to the airport from Venice proper in the wee hours of the morning.
The OP is flying out of Florence, so this won't apply. It's an easy ride to the airport.
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