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20 days in Italy- Help with itinerary

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Jan 28th, 2014, 09:20 AM
  #1
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20 days in Italy- Help with itinerary

Hi Guys,

We are a little obsessed with Europe and to continue our European escapade after last year's Paris and Netherlands, this June it's Italy!
A few questions:
Is June the right time to go? Last year we traveled in March and the cold nearly killed us
Suggestions on how we plan a cheap, budget trip in italy. Our main focus is beaches and nightlife, usual young stuff combined with a bit of art.
We are traveling from 17th June to 9th July and flying to and fro from Milan.

We are thinking of starting in Milan and then Venice, Tuscany and Rome. Any help with an itinerary for 15-20 days would be great!

Thanks,
Vinita
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Jan 28th, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Paris and the Netherlands in March is barely Spring - Italy in June/July is mid summer. Totally different weather. I always travel in either March or late June/July and I like Italy in June/July but some people will tell you go earlier if you can - like May. These days May is just as high season as June/July so the crowds won't be much thinner (if at all) but it might be a tad less hot.

You mention beaches but none of the places on your list are beach destinations. Venice of course is on the water and there is a beach area but that's not the reason most people go there. If you really want beaches (which in Italy are mostly pebbles, it's not the beach but the water and the view that are spectacular) - then consider Cinque Terre/Liguria region or Amalfi Coast.

In 3 weeks I would do something like Venice 4-5 days (with day trips to the other islands, maybe one day trip to either Verona or Padua), 4-5 days Tuscany, 5-6 days Rome, an 4-5 days either Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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You mentioned budget - if that's a concern go to booking.com and look at hotel prices for both May and for June/July. I think you will find in Venice and Rome the prices are actually lower in July. You have to weigh that will airfare though since that will be higher in summer. But you can easily check all of these things as you decide when to go.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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hi Vinita - 20 days in Italy in June has the making of a great trip!

First of all, are you locked into your round trip tickets into Milan? it can be more time and cost effective to do "open jaw" flights [often called multi city on airline website] eg into Milan and out of Rome; open jaw tickets should not cost a lot more than a round trip. [not the same as 2 singles which could be much more expensive]

secondly, if you can't do that, then I suggest putting Milan last, and using your first day [assuming you are coming from the US and arriving about breakfast time] to do your travelling. THat will put you in the right place for flying home at the end of the trip and will avoid splitting up your time in Milan.

What had you hoped to do in those places? there is not a lot of beach life in any of them. There are places where you can find beaches in Italy -eg the italian riviera, the west coast around Viareggio, the adriatic coast around Rimini - but in June they won't be really getting going.

and how had you planned on travelling? Many people here will recommend using the trains, but when we were young, we flew into Venice and stayed a few nights, then picked up a car and took off for the next 2 weeks. you could get the train from Milan to Venice, stay a few days, then use your car to explore the adriatic, then tuscany and the Tuscany coast, and ending up in Milan. or you could head up into the Dolomites and have a look at the mountains before going down through the Lakes back to Milan that way. with just two of you, you shouldn't struggle to find somewhere to stay which isn't too expensive.

That would work if you want to go to less well -frequented places, but not if you want to see Florence or Rome, where hotel reservations are essential and cars absolutely not needed.

so you really need to go away, read a few guide books, and work out what places you want to see, and how you're going to get there, before you can start work on a detailed itinerary.

have fun planning!
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Jan 29th, 2014, 05:54 AM
  #5
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We are planning on using local transport as much as we can.. wud rather spend on food and tickets than on renting a car n spending our days driving.. however, even if we do, we might rent a car just for a day or two..

From what i researched and all ur suggestions. m thinking the following:
1st day-Land in Milan,spend a nite there.
2nd day- train/bus to Venice
4-5 days- Venice and nearby places
6 day- Florence
7-10 day- Florence, Pisa
11- Tuscany, Perrugia?
12-14- some island/ rural countywide.. help?
15-19- Rome
20-deciding
21- MIlan and back

Kindly let me know whether am on the right track..appreciate all ur suggestions..
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Jan 29th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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Italy is surely the most beautiful country in the world, but it has not nightlife, and the beaches are not the best. If you are an Architecture lover or a foodie, Italy is must, but since you want nightlife and beaches mainly, a better European choice is Greece or Spain. And I don't say that cause I'm a Greek, it just has the best beaches and the greatest nightlife in Europe. Check it. But if you still want to go to Italy, Sardinia has nice beaches and beautiful Architecture but its off the mainland Italy, if thats a problem. Then Sicily has great places too, and generally the Magna Graecia region.
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Jan 29th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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If Amsterdam seemed perishingly cold in March, I suspect vinita is not from the US.

vinita, I'm confused by your itinerary. Is this right? (Showing 4 days in Venice.)

17 June - Fly into Milan, spend the night
18 June - Train to Venice
19 June - Venice
20 June - Venice
21 June - Venice
22 June - Venice
23 June - Train to Florence
24 June - Florence (daytrip to Pisa one day)
25 June - Florence
26 June - Florence
27 June - Florence
28 June - to Tuscany or Perugia?
29 June - Island or countryside
30 June - Island or countryside
1 July - Island or countryside
2 July - Rome
3 July - Rome
4 July - Rome
5 July - Rome
6 July - Rome
7 July - ?
8 July - Travel to Milan
9 July - Fly home from Milan

For your time in the countryside are you willing to rent a car? Otherwise I assume you'll be traveling by train. Depending on your island choice, flying might be a good option.

Petros is right. Beaches in Italy are only OK. And nightlife mostly consists of eating a long dinner. Most visitors to Italy come to see the beautiful towns, the scenery, the historic remains, the art and architecture. Oh, and eat the food. Does any of this appeal to you?
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Jan 29th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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Yup,I am from India and while I have traveled quite a lot- the zero degree still gives me a chill every time!

Since we are already on for italy and booked our tickets, as well- we are planning to make the most of it.

I devoted 4 days to rome in the itinerary, since we've read so much about it.. we are still open for suggestions.. and we were planning for day trips to Sicily and Sardinia (Do we need to give more time to these places?)
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Jan 29th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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We are doing 19 Days in May, and this is our itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive Milan; train/ferry to Bellagio to relax and overcome jet lag
Day 2 - Tour towns on Lake Como
Day 3 - Tour towns on Lake Como; maybe a day trip into Switzerland
Day 4 - Ferry/Train to Venice
Day 5 - Venice
Day 6 - Venice
Day 7 - Day trip to Padua or Verona
Day 8 - Train to Florence
Day 9 - Florence
Day 10 - Florence
Day 11 - Florence ; day trip to Lucca/ Pisa
Day 12 - Florence; day trip to Siena
Day 13 - Florence; maybe a day trip to Cinque Terre
Day 14- Train to Rome
Day 15 - Rome
Day 16 - Rome
Day 17 - Rome
Day 18 - Rome; maybe day trip to Orvieto or Ostia Antica
Day 19 - Fly home from Rome

There are beaches on Lake Como, though I don't know what they are like. There is also a beach outside of Rome, and I have read about people who did a day trip from Florence to a beach on the coast.I would agree that Italy is about art, architecture, history, food, and scenery - not beaches. You might save those for another trip and focus on what Italy does best.

To save money, you might consider apartments instead of hotels. We are staying at Bauhaus Bethusy in Bellagio, Residenza il Carmine in Florence, and apt Giulia from Bed & Breakfast Asociation of Rome in Rome. In Venice, we're staying at a B & B.

Enjoy your travels, wherever you choose to go!
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Jan 29th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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I devoted 4 days to rome in the itinerary, since we've read so much about it.. we are still open for suggestions.. and we were planning for day trips to Sicily and Sardinia (Do we need to give more time to these places?)>>

vinita - i think that you have perhaps underestimated how much there is to do in Rome - far more than you could see in 4 months, let alone 4 days. so it's highly unlikely that you would want to do a day trip in that time.

However, if you did, Neither Sardinia nor Sicily would be suitable - they are too far away, it would take too long to get there and back, and they are very large islands so you wouldn't be able to see much of them in a day anyway.

suitable places for day trips from Rome are Ostia Antica, [the Roman harbour for Rome] Orvieto, Tivoli, Frascati - none of these take much longer than a hour to get to by public transport from central Rome.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 05:31 AM
  #11
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I have been reading up a lot and want to give some time, an overnight in these places..


-Milan (devote a night here at least)
-Rome
-Florence
- Venice
-Verona
-Amalfi Coast (1 night?)
-Cinque Terre (seems picturesque- 2-3 days?)

Can you help me chalk out an itinerary? We will be flying in and out from Milan..
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Jan 30th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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Vinita - ideally as you are flying out of Milan as well as into there, it would be better to put your time there at the end of your trip. However this rather depends on what time your flight arrives as if it is late afternoon or later, you probably won/t want to do this.

assuming you arrive by lunchtime, one sensible order in which you could go is this:

Day 1 - arrive Milan. Train to Venice. stay 3 nights.

Day 4 - train to Verona - stay one night.

Day 5 - train to Rome - stay 4 nights.

Day 9 - train to Amalfi - stay 4 nights

Day 13 - train to Florence - stay 3 nights

Day - 16 - train to CT - stay 3 nights

Day 19 - train to Milan - sty one night

Day 20 - fly home.

this is a bit rushed for my tastes [I would prefer longer in Rome and on the Amalfi to take best advantage of going all that way] and I don't really think that you need to include the CT and the Amafi in the same trip, but if you want to, it can be done.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Now, we think we will go this:
Milan- 1 night
Rome-5 nights ( includes Palmorola Island- Day trip, Vatican City- Day trip)
Naples- 1 night
Capri- 2 nights
Florence- 3 nights
Venice- 3 nights
Cinque Terre- 3 nights
Remaining: 2 nights (which we haven't thought of)

Should we skip Sicily?
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Jan 30th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Sicily is a fabulous place but to see even part of it, you will need a week or more. Your trip is getting a little more managable but it will be rather hurried. Remember that a lot of your days will be taken up traveling from place to place. You expressed an interest in a "cheap budget trip". All of the moving around you are doing will make your trip quite expensive. I think I would skip the Naples/Capri portion of your trip and add some time to your other destinations.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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vinita - you seem to be taking two steps forward and one back [or should it be the other way round?] eg where did Palmorola come from and how do you think you are going to get there? it's a tiny island slightly closer to Naples than Rome but more importantly, I couldn't find any ferries that go there. [that may of course be the winter schedule but I'm surprised that there aren't any mentioned at all].

really, unless you have some compelling reason for going there, and a private jet, i would forget about Palmorola.

Similarly with Sicily, as i and others have said up thread, it's too far away for a day trip and it's a place to visit for a week or more, not just part of a day. forget it this time.

As for the rest of your trip, you seem to have forgotten how long it takes to get from one place to another. the usual rule of thinmb is that you need to allow at least half a day every time you move. so the one night in Naples, two in Capri section of your trip doesn't really work as apart from the day on Capri, virtually all your time is going to be take up with travel . it would be much more sensible to pick somewhere on the mainland like Sorrento and base yourselves there, or better still, forget about the CT entirely and spend longer on the Amalfi coast in which case you might be able to base yourselves in two places.

if you have a night in Milan at the beginning, you will STILL need a night at Milan on the way back, unless your flight is late in the afternoon or the evening - so that's one of your "spare" nights. Add the other one to the amalfi section - you don't have enough time there to make it worthwhile.

finally, you don't do a day trip FROM Rome to the Vatican city - it's right in the middle of Rome, and surrounded by it. you just go there and see St Peter's and/or the Vatican museums just like you go to the Colosseum or the Capitoline museums. [perhaps you should look at a map of Rome, and you'll see what I mean] .
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Jan 31st, 2014, 09:17 AM
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oh my god! i am just sooo confused..

Few things:
From our research, CT looks much more appealing to us than Amalfi coast..
Sicily- yes, plan to skip it and nothing different there to offer either.. at least not from what we read.
Palmarola Island- there is a ferry/ boat and as per one comment (By car join the porto of Anzio,then after 45min on the hydrofoil join Ponza (or by boat 1,5 hour from Fiumicino); rent a fast zodiac at Diva Luna, join Palmarola in 30min!! )
Vatican City- I know, its in Rome and not a different entity but we are just making note to devote a day to the place.
Capri- been a dream to go there from years.. ! I just don't know how to skip it.
Naples- wine, vineyards, pizza...i don't want to skip this either..

Now I need suggestions as based on our current itinerary we would be free 2 days before our flight back home.. what do you suggest we do? Doesn't make sense to go to nearby Nice or Monaco or Switzerland, right?
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Jan 31st, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Vinita, forget Palmorola. There is absolutely no reason to try to force that into an already crammed itinerary.

I suggest you add those "extra" days onto Rome or Naples. I would absolutely not go to Monaco (blech!) or Nice or Switzerland. Stay in Italy.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 10:38 AM
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Agree definitely skip palmorola! It doesn't make sense. You are trying to do way too much. Focus on your must sees and give the rest. Also tree that Monaco is not worth the time!

Cut 1 nighters...they don't allow for much time. Consider you will lose 1/2 day each time you move so 1 night gives you 1/2 day one day, and maybe 1/2 day the next...not worth the time or effort.

With 20 nights i would pick 4-5 hotel locations and stick with that.

More locations doesn't = seeing more. You will see more of the locations you do decide on by limiting yourself and spending the time seeing them. More locations wastes time and money and you will see more of the logistics of movement like train stations rather than enjoying your chosen destinations.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 02:11 PM
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There are some very nice beaches in Italy. Sardegna, as mentioned has some truly lovely beaches, but it takes some time to get there and you'd need to spend at least three or four days there to make the trip worthwhile. The Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast have some lovely seascapes, but not the kind of beaches where you stretch out on the sand. These are places where the cliffs come right down to the water, and the beaches are small and often gravel or pebbles.

I would say to pick either the Amalfi Coast OR the Cinque Terre, but not both. Given your life-long desire to visit Capri, the Amalfi Coast would be the logical choice. There's really very little to do in the Cinque Terre except hike, and if you're not interested in hiking, it's really not worth the long trek to get there if you just want to see the scenery.

You should absolutely not plan to spend just one night in any place, unless it's necessary for logistical reasons, or if it's en route to some other place and you just want to spend a few hours there. Two nights should be the minimum, and for a big city like Rome with lots of things to see, three or four nights should be the minimum.

If you want to take day trips from a base, you should always make sure you have one full day for the day trip, in other words it shouldn't be a travel day, and it should be in addition to the days you'll need to see the base area.
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 02:44 AM
  #20
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yes, that's how we are planning to do..I am choosing Cinque Terre for the place itself, more than anything else. Amalfi seems too commercial, CT seems quaint and beautiful. At Rome, we are giving 5-6 days. Venice around 3 days. Florence around 3 days. Milan around 2 days. Naples 1 night. Capri 2 nights. I read about Trieste, the other day, how about a night or two there?
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