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2 Weeks Italy Itinerary - How does it look?

2 Weeks Italy Itinerary - How does it look?

Jul 3rd, 2013, 01:17 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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2 Weeks Italy Itinerary - How does it look?

Hi all,

Planned our first trip to Italy (thanks to great advises I received from another post here) and would like to get suggestions from you dear travelers...

Here is the day by day itinerary (not too detail yet):

9/8 Arrive Venice afternoon (coming from Los Angeles)
9/9-10 Venice
9/11 AM train to Lucca arriving by 1:30pm. Check in to a hotel or B&B. See Lucca for the remaining of the day.
9/12 Day trip to Florence via Train
9/13 Day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre via train
9/14 Check out from hotel AM and rent a car to drive to Montepulciano. This will be our base in South Tuscany
9/15 Val D'Orcia & Montalcino and maybe Cortona
9/16 Orvieto, Umbria
9/17 relax, drive on scenic routes etc
9/18 AM check out from the hotel and drive or train or both to Amalfi Coast. Check in at a hotel in Positano
9/19 Amalfi Coast
9/20 Amalfi Coast
9/21 AM train to Rome
9/22 Rome
9/23 AM flight back home

I know it might sound a little too much for the time we have, but we like to see as much as possible and don't mind if we don't just sit and relax (which we will probably be regretting once we are back from the trip

Any suggestions or comments? We like to hear from experience travelers or people from Italy. Thank you!
flieder is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 01:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
well, you're right, it is pretty busy. I think it's a shame to go to Lucca and then not really spend any time there, and are you really not intending to spend more than one day in Rome?

6 bases in 14 nights is really too many IMO especially with all those day trips. I would look to trimming it down to 4 - Venice at the beginning, Rome at the end, and 2 in the middle.

the Amalfi is a long way to go for 3 nights [and really only 2 days] so personally I would cut that.

if you kept in Orvieto just for one night you could then do this:

9/8 Arrive Venice afternoon (coming from Los Angeles)
9/9 - Venice
9/10 -Venice
9/11 - train to Lucca arriving by 1:30pm. Check in to a hotel or B&B. See Lucca for the remaining of the day.
9/12 -Day trip to Florence via Train
9/13 -Day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre via train
9/14- Lucca
9/15-drive to Montepulciano.
9/17 -Val D'Orca & Montalcino and maybe Cortona
9/18 -Val D'Orca
9/19 - Orvieto, Umbria. return car
9/20 - Train to Rome
9/21 - Rome
9/22 - Rome
9/23 AM flight back home
annhig is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 01:41 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Yes, you really are packing in a LOT. Personally, I would choose fewer locations with more time to enjoy each. i would encourage you to consider your goals in each location. For example, in Rome do you hope to tour the Colisseum, Forum, Vatican, and see a few of the sights like Trevi Fountain, etc.? Most people find 3-4 days to be a minimum in Rome. The Vatican alone pretty much takes up a day. Same for Venice... one day there doesn't allow much time to take in the city. So just consider carefully what you hope to see and do in each city (remembering that long lazy meals can also be one of the best parts of a visit to Italy, so factor in some time for eating).
msteacher is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:11 PM
  #4  
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I personally like history and art but my husband is not so found of. So we would only see a few not all the main historical attractions. We also probably won't go to Vatican... Maybe another time.

My husband really likes to spend time by the Mediterranean Sea and particularly by Amalfi coast. So, maybe we should cut down somewhere else... I like to see South Tuscany a lot so it's going to be very hard to make a decision (
flieder is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Pisa and the Cinque Terre in one day will be a whirlwind. If you want to climb the Leaning Tower, you need a timed reservation.

I'm not a big fan of Lucca, so an afternoon and evening would be enough for me.

Montepulciano to Montalcino to Cortona and back to Montepulciano is at least 3 hours of just driving, not counting time to park and walk into and out of the towns or stopping along the way to see interesting things, like Pienza and San Quirico or perhaps a short detour to the Abbey Sant'Atimo south of Montalcino. Don't forget to set aside time for lunch.
Jean is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:46 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 21
There is so much to see and so little time! Personally, I didn't think Pisa was worth the trip and would spend the extra time in Cinque Terre which was amazing, and sounds like it fits into something your husband would like too.

You mentioned Tuscany above and if you are looking for wonderful towns to visit their I would highly recommend Siena.
EandM is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #7  
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We will probably go to Pisa just to take pictures of Pisa and us trying get it in a funny shot. That's all. We don't care to go up on the tower. So, it will be a quick stop.

@Jean what do you mean walk into and out of towns? Can we not park in the town itself? Also, we do similar 3-4 hours (round trip) of driving in one day trips here in California. I know its tiring but hoping it wont get us exhausted for the remainder of the trip.
flieder is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 05:53 PM
  #8  
 
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Not sure you are expecting of the Amalfi coast - but you should do a lot of looking before deciding to stay there for the beaches.

Beaches are not not good vs the US - mostly rocks or pebbles rather than broad white sand, narrow, in the town and many times with boats and other paraphernalia pulled up on them. And the Med in that region - while pretty from a boat - is to me kind of boring (but I'm used to the North Atlantic).

As for getting there - driving will be difficult that time of year and you will have to find a hotel with parking (not easy). There is no train to the coast - the closest you can get is sorrento on the local train from Naples. After that it is bus (mobbed and slow) or boat to get down the cost.

agree you need to cut back on destinations - or you will spend a huge percentage of your vacation just getting from one place to another - rather than seeing sights - whatever sights you choose
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 12:46 AM
  #9  
 
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when you say your husband "likes" to spend time on the beaches of the Amalfi, do you mean that he/you have been there before and know the area, or that he thinks he "would" like to?

you do'nt go to the amalfi so much for sitting on beaches as for the spectacular coastal scenery. They aren't beach resorts.

those are to be found north of Rome on the coast south of the CT - Viareggio, Forte di Marme, etc. If beach is what you want, that also fits in with staying north of Rome as I suggested above. swap Lucca for a beach resort and see Lucca as a day trip.
annhig is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 01:33 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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You would be making a huge mistake to go to someplace like Forte dei Marmi (use the Italian spelling) and Viareggio instead of the Amalfi coast!

Driving in Italy is not like driving the incredibly boring freeways of California to get from one lonely tourist destination to the next one 95 miles away, with nothing but gas stations and McDonalds in between to tempt you to stop. It is more like spending all your time driving through the back roads of Mendocino or Southern Oregon, or the canyon roads of Los Angeles, only much slower and without many signs. You will encounter parking lots at the edges of the medieval towns, but you can't drive into them, and parking fills up quickly with tourists like yourselves. Imagine trying to drive into Carmel on Memorial Day weekend. Or Cardiff by the Sea.

It sound to me like you want to rush around trying to pack everything in, so no point overthinking this trip. You do need to look at train schedules, however, if you are trying to do a day trip from Lucca that includes a stupid photo of yourself in Pisa plus elbowing your way into the lockstep tourist march in le Cinque Terre and getting back to Lucca before midnight.

A lot of people fling themselves into a trip like you are planning, accomplish 1/3 of what they set out to do because they are quickly totally exhausted, but they drink a lot of wine and actually didn't really want to go sightseeing anyway, and they come back and write they had a FABULOUS time. Italy is fun even for totally ditzy impossible itineraries.

But I suggest you go to Venice, southern Tuscany, the Amalfi and Rome in that order. Spend longer in Venice (take a day trip to Verona and the Venetian islands if you find out you hate Venice), then take a train from Venice to Chiusi, rent a car and go to Montepuliciano. After some days there, drop off the car in Orvieto, take a train to Napoli, have a driver take you to Positano. Find your way back to Rome and fly home.
stevewith is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 01:52 AM
  #11  
 
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You would be making a huge mistake to go to someplace like Forte dei Marmi (use the Italian spelling) and Viareggio instead of the Amalfi coast!>>

stevewith, with thanks to you for correcting my spelling, perhaps you would care to explain to the OP why my suggestion is so off-beam? it's not clear what the OP and her husband are looking for and until we know that, giving definitive advice on that subject seems a little premature.
annhig is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #12  
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Sorry for the delay in my response to you invaluable advises. We were at the Yellowstone National Park with no access to internet!

So, when I said my husband likes beaches it's more for the beautiful scenery we've seen on pictures than swimming or sitting on the beach. It just looks amazing on the pictures.
We could take train and then hire a cab to make it easier.

Also, seems like many people think Lucca and Pisa can be eliminated from our itinerary. We wanted to see Pisa just to take pics of the Tower and Lucca just to stay in a more central city between all of them. We wanted to see Cinque Terre as well for its beautiful colorful buildings on the coast. It's going to be a tough decision...
flieder is offline  

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