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2.5 weeks Italy Honeymoon - itinerary help please!

2.5 weeks Italy Honeymoon - itinerary help please!

Old Aug 1st, 2008, 07:53 AM
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2.5 weeks Italy Honeymoon - itinerary help please!

My fiance and I have chosen Italy for our honeymoon, primarily so that we can indulge in the wonderful Italian culture, way of life, and of couse, delicious foods and wines! We've both been to parts of Italy before (Florence, Venice, parts of Tuscany) but are keen to add some new spots to the trip. We're arriving in Rome Sept 29 and departing, also from Rome, on Oct 16. Here's generally what we're thinking so far:

Arrive, Rome, travel to Florence and stay 2 nights
Cinque Terra - 3 nights
Lakes (Como, Bellagio, etc) - 3 nights
Tuscany - 3 nights
Umbria - 3 nights
Rome - 3 nights

We plan to pick up the car in Florence and drop off before we arrive in Rome. I thought is best to head north early in the trip to catch the better weather, and leave Rome. As much as I would have loved to go to the Amalfi Coast, it would have involved too much driving.

Any thoughts/suggestions or ideas on the itinerary?

And do we really need to book hotels other than in Rome and maybe Florence at that time of the year? I'm hoping we could have a general schedule with some flexibility.

Thank you so much for your comments!!
seekya is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Your itinerary sounds pretty good, but you may find that a succession of 3-night stays starts to feel a bit rushed. A general rule of thumb is that each time you change locations, you lose 1/2 day, so in every place, you'd only have 2 1/2 days, at the most. Personally, the Italian lakes region just didn't do much for me, so I'd drop that and add days to Rome and somewhere else.

You're travelling at a popular time to visit Italy, and visiting popular destinations. If I were making that trip, I'd definitely book all my lodging in advance, but that's partly because I don't think that wandering around a town looking for a hotel with rooms available is a fun thing to do.
Lexma90 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 08:02 AM
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IMO, too much moving around, too many hotel changes. I'd do CT or Lake Como, not both. I'd pick one location in Tuscany/Umbria.

October is still very much high season. I think you'll need confirmed hotels in CT and Lake Como in addition to Florence and Rome. If you don't mind spending precious time and attention looking for lodging or what you end up with, you could probably explore Tuscany/Umbria without reservations.
Jean is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 08:18 AM
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I diagree about the need to book hotels in advance in Cinque Terre in October or even the lakes, unless you have your heart set on the one great room with the balcony and picture postcard view in the dead center of either place. (Meaning, if you are willing to stay in Levanto or Varenna, you can find rooms last minute.) And even if you want to book, you can caneel. The longest policies I know of are 72 hours, and most are only 24.

I would definitely want some flexibility with regard to weather when it comes to the lakes and Liguria. In general, I think 3 nights is too much for Lago di Como unless, of course, you really enjoy hiking, or just need to relax and do nothing. That's what I did for 3 days in Lago di Como, and I could have done it for another week. But it's not a place that needs time to cover its main attractions.

If weather makes you want to bail on Cinque Terre and/or the lakes while you are in Italy, I highly recommend that you at least consider shifting yourselves to Emilia Romagana. It's flat, for sure, but it's got great food and sights, in particular Parma, Modena, Cremona, Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna. If it's rainy, you might consider basing yourselves Ferrara and doing day trips to all of the above towns. You wouldn't nee a car.

zeppole is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Excellent choice.

I agree with others on a couple of fronts:

3 nights in each place seems a little rigid as well. For example, why not 5 in Rome, 2 in CT and 2 in Como?

Especially in Rome b/c as it is set now the last night is before departure next day. So you are only leaving 1.5 days to see Rome. Seems you both have not been to Rome yet. Maybe opt for more here.

Also seems there is lots of moving around here. Conservatively, you will burn 3 days, and likely more, in traveling to all these places.

I would suggest less hotel changes, and some re-routing of the itinerary so you may hit all the places you want to see and see the sights.

I would combine Florence and Tuscany sightseeing into one hotel, unless you are set on staying in a Tuscan town. If so, San Gimigano for 2 nights? Siena 2 nights? Or you could stay in a Tuscan town and if you feel the need for Florence, train in for the day. After interior Tuscany you may do the coastal part of Tuscany such as Lucca, and Pietrasanta from CT area.

This way you get up to Tuscany/Florence and begin to get adjusted. After this head up to Como and Bellagio if your heart is set on it for two nights. Then back down to Umbria on way back to Rome.

I find Perugia a day trip to the museum plenty - 4 hours. It's just not the same town it once was for a varity of reasons...

Assisi is a must see. Make sure to see the Basilica on the plains. We love Spello. Both of these can be done in a day b/c they are 8 minutes apart. Or you could spend a few days to see Orvieto, Spoleto etc. and relax in bello Spello.

I find Assisi is best EARLY, about 8A - 11A then head down to see the Basilica and then have lunch at Elide:


We love this hotel in Spello:


CT is gorgeous and a must see. But there isn't much to do, unless you like to hike. If you like to hike you can spend three days doing that. If you want to see the CT, the water, the cliffs etc and enjoy the towns, opt for the water taxi. By water taxi from Levanto you can do all five and Portovenere in 2 days. We stayed in Levanto this past May for three nights, traveling the CT by water taxi down to Portovenere and also riding train to Northern Tuscan town of Pietrasanta. Worked out great.

I am not sure you need the car for the whole trip. Tuscany and Umbria for me car is OK. I am not comfortable on the highways (although i do do it), cities are confusing, parking is expensive (in Como cameras will send you a parking ticket months later), and my pet peeve is wasting time traveling, hitting traffic jams and getting lost when I am on vacation.

Like Zeppole, I am a huge fan of Emilia Romagna; Parma, Bologna, and Ferrara. LOVE IT! The food is so special. The people are wonderful. The plains are a sight to see, especially coming from the Tuscan coast. And there is plenty to do.

Sounds like an unforgettable honeymoon. Mine was in Italy also, and has been every year since.

Buon Viaggio!
WebVisionItaly is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Thank you for the responses! We're both in our mid-30's and are looking forward to the hiking in CT and maybe the Lakes, but based on your feedback, we may consider to opt out of going to Lake Como.

On a previous trip I spent 5 days in Florence, but my fiance spent only a day there; and he's been to Rome, but not me! So, that the reasons why only 2 nights in Florence. I also thought we'd rent a car after Florence and drop it off right before Rome. If we skip the Lakes, we may take the train to CT and back to Florence and then rent a car from there. Is that too much back tracking?

In Tuscany and Umbria, I think we'll pick one spot and do day trips from there. I've been to Montalcino and Sienna and would love to go back there. Umbria I'll have to research a little more.

Thanks again!
seekya is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 12:22 PM
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If you are only going to Firenze to pick up a car after le Cinque Terre, you can pick one up in La Spezia.
zeppole is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 02:06 PM
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I think it's good that you're considering dropping Lake Como. You had too many destinations, too much moving around, plus you really need more time in Rome.

It's a good idea to continue on to Florence the first day. I would stay there 3 nights, the Cinque Terra for 3 nights since you want to do a lot of hiking, then Tuscany for 6 nights and Rome for 5. Less moving around, and it gives you a chance to really enjoy each spot while still seeing a good variety of the country.
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 06:30 PM
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I agree with others, too much moving around. It's a honeymoon, not an attempt to do all of Italy in a short time.
In Umbria I'd consider Todi, a great little town that's easy to get into and out of.
I'd definitely book hotels. Do you want to spend your time in Italy looking for rooms or seeing things?
2Italy is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2008, 06:41 PM
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If it rains when you go to Cinque Terre, it is not safe to hike. I'm not saying don't take the chance of going there. I'm saying don't take the chance of hiking on dirt paths if it is wet when you get there. Some trails are closed. Don't try to beat the system.

You are likely to have dry fine weather during that time, but if that doesn't work out for you, find something to do other than hike. The terrain is quite slippery, with sheer drops.
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