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Cajie Feb 10th, 2015 06:23 AM

2 weeks + in Italy - Starting in Milan
We will fly either from Tampa or Orlando to Milan - roundtrip - we hope to fly Delta as we are Silver Medallian members - and would prefer Premium Economy which Delta doesn't really have - airline suggestions welcome and thoughts on flying economy..
also not sure which airport in Milan is more desirable - We will meet 4 other friends in Milan.

Thinking of renting a van to travel around Italy or should we use train system?
This is a very rough draft of our itinerary.

We plan to leave Milan for the Piedmont Area - Alba, Barbaresco, Barollo, etc 3 nights
Drive to Cinque Terre - 2 nights
Drive to Tuscany - need a suggestion for a place to settle to drive around Tuscany - 5 nights
We are being hosted in the Val D' Orcia area at several wineries

Drive to Rome with a stop in Orvieto - 4 nighs
Then either drive back to Milan or take a train to fly back home.

We were originally planning to stay 21 days and go to the Amalfi Coast but thinking that may be too much to try and see in one trip traveling with 6 people.

Would love any suggestions on our itinerary or method of travel. We are all novices about Italy and ages 66-74 but all in good physical condition.

Cajie Feb 10th, 2015 06:31 AM

oops my first time posting and I forgot to post that our trip is planned for late April early May - we havn't purchased tickets yet. Searching for good rates so open to dates.

nytraveler Feb 10th, 2015 06:36 AM

You are very early i the year for the AC - will not be beach weather yet. Since you seem to already have a lot of places in your itinerary I would put more time in Rome (which you are giving short shrift) and forget the AC.

Jean Feb 10th, 2015 08:12 AM

"We are being hosted in the Val D' Orcia area at several wineries." Which ones?

For your Val d'Orcia time, do you want to stay IN a town, just outside of (walkable to) a town, or do you want to be at a more isolated property? What's your budget?

Unless your flight out of Milan is fairly late in the day, you should plan on returning to Milan/Malpensa the night before your departure. But I would add a day to the trip rather than reduce the time in Rome.

Although a van for 6 travelers sounds logical, I wouldn't want to drive one in these areas, especially if this was my first experience driving in Italy. I'd rent two cars. You wouldn't be able to accomplish the Piedmont and Tuscany parts of your itinerary by train only.

Cajie Feb 10th, 2015 02:26 PM

Thanks much, we have decided to skip the AC area.

Cajie Feb 10th, 2015 02:31 PM

Hi Jean, Sorry I don't know names of wineries, our friend has that info.
I think we are hoping for a cenral location in the Tuscany area to travel from. And we want a 3-4 star property for sure.
Like your tip of adding extra day and spending night in Milan before flying out.
We really would prefer to all drive together as 2 cars splits up the group, would you suggest a driver for these areas?

kybourbon Feb 10th, 2015 03:17 PM

You should fly into Milan (MXP is where Delta will fly into) and home from Rome FCO (use the multi-city search on Delta's website). There is no point going back to Milan when you can fly home from Rome.

I'm not sure why you made a point about silver status which really gets you little to nothing on Delta these days. Delta does have Economy Comfort which is a step up from Economy on flights. Silver's may get a discounted rate on it (they used to). Otherwise, I don't see silver status being a consideration on this flight unless you were trying to book FF tickets.

>>>We really would prefer to all drive together as 2 cars splits up the group<<<

You would have to rent two cars or a van as 6 people plus luggage will not fit in a car or a minivan (cars are smaller in Europe). Vans are not practical traveling around to hill towns with very narrow streets (often tiny cars barely fit).

>>> We are all novices about Italy and ages 66-74 <<<

This may present a problem on some rentals as age can be a factor. Most cars in Italy are manual. Can everyone drive a manual? You will need an IDP (required by law) which you can get at AAA. You will need to learn some road signs (especially ZTL as many towns, big and small, restrict driving to residents only).

Jean Feb 10th, 2015 05:30 PM

The problem with seeking a "central location" in Tuscany is that Tuscany covers 9000 square miles. You need to know which wineries and towns you're going to visit before you can select a geographically convenient place to stay.

FYI, the stars given to a hotel or B&B do not directly relate to quality or luxury. The stars are determined by the number and type of amenities offered by the property, some of which may not be of interest to you (business center, on-site gym, room service) while others might be important to you (elevator, 24-hour reception coverage, air conditioning). You should start searching in your budget range first, then compare the amenities and your perception of relative luxury. I like Depending on your budget and the type of property you're looking for, you might find,,, and/or helpful in your search.

I would find two cars more convenient overall than one, large-capacity minivan. You don't "need" a hired driver in Tuscany, but I wouldn't argue against it in your case. You could be together, the oversize vehicle would be the driver's problem not yours, you wouldn't have to deal with manual transmission, town restrictions, wine at dinner, etc. But a minivan with a driver for 10 days will be expensive. Getting separate vehicles and drivers for the Piedmont days and then the Tuscany days would probably save some money.

bvlenci Feb 11th, 2015 07:55 AM

April is fine for the Amalfi Coast if you go for the scenery. Hardly anyone goes there for the beach. However, it probably is a bit much for this trip, and quite far from the other places you're going.

The Cinque Terre is more likely to have rain than the Amalfi Coast, and there's nothing to do there if it rains. I would be inclined to spend more time in Piemonte and skip the Amalfi Coast. At the very least, I would get refundable reservations so you can drop it closer to the date if the forecast is grim.

From Orvieto on, your itinerary would make more sense by train than by car. If you go to Orvieto on a weekday, you can drop the car there.

photoman_6 Feb 11th, 2015 04:15 PM

definitely recommend you look to finish your trip in Rome, and not wasting a day getting back to Milan.

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