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2 weeks in Italy - Any suggestions for beginning our visit?

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2 weeks in Italy - Any suggestions for beginning our visit?

Old Mar 8th, 1999, 04:45 PM
  #1  
Tilley
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2 weeks in Italy - Any suggestions for beginning our visit?

We will be spending the last week in May and the first week in June visiting Italy. We will arrive/depart from Milan.

We are very interested in seeing Pompeii, Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan. Any ideas on where we should start? Should we depart Milan for the South of Italy or cover the Northern section first?
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 06:16 AM
  #2  
mwg
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Generally, its easier to pick up a car at the airport and then drive away. for this reason, I usually pick a first night destination a short comfortable distance from where I land. When you return to your original destination, you can drop off the car (you won't need it) and get to the airport by public transportation. Some people are troubled by jet lag and would prefer to just go right into town immediately, find a hotel and crash and then pick up a car afterwards. I go for the first option. I try to make the first stop a smaller city or town a short distance from where I land so that I can ease into my vacation.
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 06:24 AM
  #3  
anne
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A great way to either start or finish a wonderful Italian journey is in the lake district. We started out our last trip in Bellagio, on Lake Como. It is a gorgeous area, also peaceful and relaxing. We even decided to stay an extra night before heading off to Venice.
The places you mention can easily be visited by train, a more relaxing way to travel than car. We are returning to Tuscany the same time you are going, and are planning to rent a car in Florence (will train there from Milan, which by the way is not worth spending time in, in my opinion - just a few "must sees" that can be done the afternoon and evening before you fly out). The hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria are the one area where we will need a car to enjoy the "off-the-beaten-track" areas. Otherwise the train is very satisfactory.
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 06:26 AM
  #4  
pam
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If you are using the trains, I'd do the north first. You could take a night train from Venice to Rome & save a hotel night. WE'll be there the same time but are flying into & out of Rome, concentrating on Rome, Florence, Siena, & Orvieto w/ a 1/2 day to show son the leaning tower of Pisa. Using trains. I'd think a car would be a pain (parking in the cities).
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 07:26 AM
  #5  
John
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If I had my choice, I would have flown into Rome and done Rome & Pompei, first, then Florence, Venice and Milan and departed from Milan. Although you are flying into Milan, I would still start the trip as far South as possible and save the north for last since you will be departing from Milan. You can do Florence on the way down or on the way back up whichever you choose. I drove from Rome to Venice and it took about 6 hrs. Personaly, I am not a big fan of Milan and would not spend to much time there. I would see the Duomo, the Galleria, and Da Vinci's Last Supper. I wouldn't even spend the night in Milan. I prefer the smaller towns outside of Milan. Remember, Lake Como and the Swiss border are only around 30 miles north of Milan. Bellagio, Locarno, Lugano, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore are all within a short distance from Milan and many travellers prefer these locations over Milan. The Milan airport is also not in Milan. I think Malpensa is around 30 miles west of Milan. Coming from Venice towards Milan is the Medieval, walled, hill town of Bergamo where Pope John XXIII was born, about 30 miles east of Milan that you may consider seeing.
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 11:25 AM
  #6  
Dayna
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FYI-I read in Sunday's LA Times that The Last Supper will be closed through the end of May for restoration.
 
Old Mar 9th, 1999, 07:50 PM
  #7  
hyacinth
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Tilley,
Definitely do Rome before Venice. The traffic in Rome is mind-boggling. If you visit Rome after car-free Venice you will experience a bad shock. Your own driveway probably would seem a hellhole after Venice.
You can do Pompeii as a day trip from Rome. Take the early train to Naples; follow the signs or the human tide to the Circumvesuviana, the local commuter train. It's right in the Naples station so no worries. Buy a ticket to Pompeii; the CV stops right at the main gate to Pompeii. Reverse to return to Rome. You will find Pompeii fascinating; so don't hesitate to start very early to maximize your time there.
I think you should definitely use the trains since you want to cover so much ground. Rail is very efficient in Italy.
Check out www.fs-online.com for railway timetables to help you plan. Be aware a lot of attractions close very early by American standards, and on odd days (Monday, for example). So do a little research and use evening and overnight trains to make good use of your sightseeing hours.
 
Old Mar 10th, 1999, 03:50 PM
  #8  
Linda
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In Florence be sure to see Michaelangelo's David, eat gelato at Vivoli's, go to Fiesole & see the museums. It is small enough that you can comfortably walk around & see Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Duomo, etc.
 
Old Mar 10th, 1999, 04:15 PM
  #9  
Carol
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Not so sure about heading south to Pompeii with a two week time period in Italy. You've identified the big three; i.e., Rome, Venice, Florence...plus expressed an interest in Milan. This trip, including Pompeii, can be done, but you might end up feeling quite rushed. If you'd rather be more relaxed, drop Pompeii this trip and get to it next one!
I also don't agree with the nay-sayers about Milan. True, it lacks the luster of other Italian cities, but it has a great deal to offer in its own right.
Carol L
 
Old Mar 10th, 1999, 04:16 PM
  #10  
Carol
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Not so sure about heading south to Pompeii with a two week time period in Italy. You've identified the big three; i.e., Rome, Venice, Florence...plus expressed an interest in Milan. This trip, including Pompeii, can be done, but you might end up feeling quite rushed. If you'd rather be more relaxed, drop Pompeii this trip and get to it next one!
I also don't agree with the nay-sayers about Milan. True, it lacks the luster of other Italian cities, but it has a great deal to offer in its own right.
Carol L
 
Old Mar 17th, 1999, 03:53 PM
  #11  
Maya
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Wow! You want to see a lot in 2 weeks...what you are planning can really be 2 separate trips. We normally spend a day or two just taking it easy, and the lakes are perfect for that. Lake Como if you plan to head down to Florence first(short distance from Malpensa Airport) or Sirmione, on Lake Garda if you want to see Venice first - you can stop in Verona on your way to Venice, too. Drive time from Milan to Venice is about the same as taking the train - 3 hours - taking the train is less stress but they could also be on strike, who knows! We are going to Italy the last two weeks in May and I found that a mid size car(Hertz) prepaid(including 20% VAT tax and mandatory theft insurance) was only about $200 more than buying point-to-point tickets for 2 adults and a 9 year old. Its much more convenient. I think - but don't quote me on this - that you need to reserve/prepay by the end of March - its cheaper than paying when you get there. You could head south to Florence stopping in Lucca. Take day trips around Florence and small Tuscan towns and drive back to Venice and drop the car there(can't use it there) - check what drop fees are(we did't have any last Summer) - spend time in Venice and then take the train back to Milan. After spending time in Milan you can take a bus that connects the main train station with the airport every 30 or so minutes. Depending on how you want to structure your time, maybe you could squeeze in Rome. We've always liked to find a base and take trips from there - but maybe you really want to visit the major sites and cities and go back at a later time to fill in the rest? Enjoy your trip!! Ciao, Maya
 
Old Mar 23rd, 1999, 04:49 PM
  #12  
donatello
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We did our first trip to Italy in two weeks (15 days) and, while our itinerary was "full", we did not feel too rushed. Started in Rome and trained immediately to Sorrento, where we spent two days. Saw Pompeii on the morning of our third day on the way back to Rome. We did four days in Rome, trained to Orvieto in the morning and spent the night in Assisi. The next evening we trained to Florence and spent four days there. Then trained to Venice for our last four days. We didn't see *everything*, but it was a generous taste of Italy and gave us an idea of what we want to concentrate on the next, oh, five or six times we return.
 

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