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17 Days in Italy

Old Jun 11th, 2012, 03:51 AM
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17 Days in Italy

I would love some advice. I will be traveling next summer with my two teens and Husband to italy for the first time. I have 17 or eighteen days to work with. So far we will fly into Rome for 4 days or 5 days. I would like to head to Almafi coast. How long should we stay? Then I want to stay in Florence and do Florence and the must do Tuscan towns. I would also want to go to Pisa and Perugia. How long should we stay?
After Florence I want to head to Venice for the last leg. I was thinking 4 days in Venice? Where should we spend most of our time and are we missing anything for the first trip to italy?

Your replys are much appreciated!!
We are staying at the Westin in Rome and Florence.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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Does the 17 days include the day of arrival or departure - it mkes a big difference. Will you have a car or will you depend on public transport? Are you flying out of Venice, or do you need to get back to Rome?

I think you may be being a little over ambitious, and you might need to modify your trip a little, otherwise you risk spending much of your time travelling and very little seeing the sights.
Personally I would look at 3, possibly a maximum of 4 stops.

"How long should we stay" is very subjective - what interests you and why do you wish to visit certain places?
For example, you could stay in Florence for a week, and use it as a base from which to explore elsewhere: Perugia in about 2.5 hours by train, Pisa an Hour, Lucca 75 minutes, Siena 75 minutes by bus, San Gimignano a hour by bus etc.

The Amalfi coast is beautiful, but not a great place from which to explore elsewhere - the roads are narrow and crowded, the boats may be a better option.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 06:01 AM
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I would reverse the itinerary and fly into Venice and out of Rome as most Venice flights depart very early.

You're trying to pack in too many places. While 17 days seems like a lot, it really isn't.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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feels great, I like Italy
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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Are you the type of family that does not mind doing quite a lot of travelling and don't mind catching trains etc? - If you would be renting a car, of course it would be much easier to reach destinations.

If so, and if you are so determined and you do intend to go to the places you mention, I would divide your holiday as follows in the same order for the 18 days:

4 days Rome (or first do Amalfi coast, then Rome)

4 days Amalfi Coast (to have time to visit Pompeii or Capri)

2 days Perugia

5 days Florence (also visiting Pisa, San Gimignano, Siena and
maybe Volterra

3 days Venice

I know, some Fodorites might say it is better to stay in just a couple of places, and see each area well, but each to his own. If you are not into entering every museum or visiting every touristic site in each area, do not mind the travel and really want to see some of the best sites and experience the feel of each town or region, then do what you feel is best for you.

However, if you can extend your holiday by just another couple of days, it would sure make a whole lot of difference and you can take it a bit more easy.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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We did 3 nights in each location when we went... sometimes 4. We did 3 in Venice, 3 in Florence, 4 in Cinque Tere, 3 in Tuscany, and 3 In Rome. We used the train the whole time and aside from making trains... it was great. We still felt like we missed a ton, but we really enjoyed everything we saw and did. We made stops to see Pisa, Sienna, Orvieto, etc along the way. Venice, Tuscany, Cinque and Florence were great... Didn't LOVE Rome - but the art there made it all worth it I would possibly skip Rome next time and do more of the small towns.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 06:37 AM
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Too much !
You have 5 major destinations that each require 3 to 4 days. Here is the best sequence:
Venice--4
Florence--3[ Pisa day trip]
Tuscany--3
AC----4
Rome---4

That is 18 nites to sleep in Italy--do you have that?
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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I have stayed at the Westin Excelsior in Florence and in Rome. They are both beautiful, and you should enjoy them. They are both well-located too.

Are you staying at the Westin (Europa & Regina) in Venice too? It is also beautiful and right on the Grand Canal almost across from Santa Maria della Salute.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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bobthenavigator - Tuscany is a region in Italy, and Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the provence of Florence (Italian regions are again subdivided into provences).

I cannot understand why sometimes on Fodors,Florence (or sometimes other cities in Tuscany) and Tuscany are mentioned like they are in two separate regions or two separate places.

My guess is that you mean some other city in Tuscany by mentioning 3nts in Tuscany - or maybe a stay in surrounding Tuscan countryside?

I can understand your suggestion probably suggesting that there would be less distance in travel by omitting the Amalfi Coast, as AC is southern Italy, and other stops are all in northern and central Italy, but still there would be 5 stops that OP would be accomodating in. And AC is lovely. Alternatively, maybe instead of AC the OP can include a stay at Cinque Terre, which is closer than Amalfi Coast to stops OP is interested in. It is a matter of where OP really would like to visit.

One thing maybe I would suggest, that if OP would not like to stay in Florence they can stay in another town or city in Tuscany or outskirts if they prefer the countryside and take a day trip to Florence and to other Tuscan towns, cities or villages, including Pisa. But maybe they would still prefer to base themselves in Florence. You can still view the beautiful scenary on the way and from most of Tuscany's beautiful hill top towns. Staying in or very close to a town or city makes transport easier if using public transport, if driving I would prefer to stay outside a city or town.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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OK, rural Tuscany.
After 17 trips I took a liberty--sorry.
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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It's ok, bob, I thought you meant rural Tuscany, it's just that I came across this a few times, and felt the need to point it out.
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 03:59 AM
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Thank you to all for all your advice on everything. The consensus seems to be I am trying to do too much and moving alot.
What is I would fly into Naples, then go to Almafi Coast for 4 days. I would love to stay in Postino. From Almafi coast go to Rome for 5 days. I wanted to then move on to Florence. I would stay in the city of Florence and do many day trips to other Tuscan regions, Pisa, etc. Then off to Venice for 3 or 4 nights. Is this more resonable. I could also do the Almafi coast on the back end after Venice. I would fly into Rome initially. fly out of Naples home. I was not sure rather to use public transportation or rent a car.
When I am on vacation I really want to see and do alot. I have a 14 and 12 yr old coming so I want them to see the most fantastic parts of Italy while we are there.
Is there any place i am missing or shouldnt go too.

Thank you.
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 05:34 AM
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How many days do you really have?
If you hope to fly home from Venice look at your flight options--often calls for a really early take off time.
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Often Venice flights require getting up at 4am or early. Start in Venice and end in Rome (better flights). Fly into Venice as the transport is easier.

Venice 3-4 nights
Florence 4 nights
Amalfi coast 4 nights
Rome 4-5 nights
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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The best way to avoid any unnecessary extra travel is to start from either Venice or Naples, and then move north or south, making your stops on the way. If you start in Venice and end in Rome, you would not have to travel all the way south to AC and then return again northwards to Rome. An unnecessary extra trip.

If you do manage to find flights direct from USA to or from Naples and to or from Venice, that would really be great.

Hiring a car would be the very best way to travel, it would save you lots of time going to trains stations etc, and you would be easily able to fit in more towns and cities. If you have any experience driving in Europe, then it should not be a problem. In one holiday we had managed to drive all the way from Monte Miniata near Pisa to Positano in one day. We had departed at 11am, on the way made a quick visit in Siena, and arrived late at 9.30pm in Montepertuso, up the mountain close to Positano. It should be easier for you since you would be breaking up the journey.

But I do have to tell you that it is a nightmare to drive in centre of cities, almost next to impossible, especially if you are not accustomed to driving in cities in Italy. You would have to park car outside city walls in the large parking areas. Also it is a nightmare to drive in peak season in Positano, we were there in December, so that is another matter. Also we have the blue sticker for the disabled, and our daughter always travels with us, so that always makes parking a lot easier for us, as we are allowed to enter city centres, everywhere except in pedestrian areas.

But if you are experienced in driving in Europe, and are prepared to park not in the centre it should be ok.

In the case that you are hiring a car, another option might be to land in Naples, after your visit to Positano you may take train to Rome from Naples, and hire car after your stay in Rome to drive around Tuscany, returning car at Venice airport.

There are quite a few ways you can go about it. I am sure other fodorites will also give you good suggestions.
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Hi!
I am doing a similar trip in just over two weeks (its finally here!) and have gotten some help on this forum and this is what we are doing:
We are Flying into Rome and training directly to Florence on Day 1
Florence - 5 nights (we will train to pisa on day 6 and rent a car from there for our time in rural tuscany)
Siena - 3 nights (From siena we will drive down to sorrento and having a driver pick us up and take us to positano)
Positano - 5 nights (From positano we will have a driver take us back to naples and train to rome)
Rome - 4 nights
We fly out july 2nd and fly home july 21st. So we basically have 18 nights in italy.
I have also heard the 'too much in not enough time' but this was the best plan we came up with and we are very excited. Have fun planning
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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oh looks like I left out one night somewhere.. in siena
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