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3 weeks in Italy- Suggestions, ideas, HELP

3 weeks in Italy- Suggestions, ideas, HELP

Old Feb 10th, 2014, 08:33 PM
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3 weeks in Italy- Suggestions, ideas, HELP

Hi my hubby and I are travelling to Italy in Sep/ Oct and staying for 3 weeks. We will be travelling with 2 teens (13&15years).
I am looking for suggestions on an itinerary as i have never visited Italy before and all the other blogs i read, people have different interests.
We normally take trips to beach destinations so this trip will be very different. We are flying in and out of Milan which unfortunately cannot be changed to leave an 'open jaw' itinerary. Places we wish to see are Rome, Venice and the Amalfi coast and welcome your suggestions for other places to visit.
We are not on a budget, we just want to make sure we get the most out of this trip without dashing around and not really seeing the true Italy.

Thanks in advance for your ideas
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 09:19 PM
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Two basic options:
Option 1
Land in Milan.
Fly straight on to Naples.
Train or car service to AC, 5-7 nights
Train to Rome, 5-6 nights
Train to Florence (Tuscany), 4 nights
Train to Venice, 4-5 nights
Train to Milan, 1 night
Fly home

Or
Option 2
Train straight to Venice
Train to Florence or another place
Train to Rome
Train to AC
Train to Naples, Fly Naples to Milan
Milan, 1 night
Fly home

Decide length of time in each place, depending on your personal interests.
You can substitute a different area for Tuscany.
You could skip Tuscany and add time to your other places.

Landing day is pretty much a bust due to jet lag, etc. Go ahead and use it to travel to next destination.
Rent apartments in most places.
Use point to point tickets for trains between cities.
Do not try to drive in cities.
Rent a car for countryside touring.

Venice is a great way to begin the trip with relaxing train from Milan and good place to get over jet lag, but September is still very touristy and can still be warm and sticky.

By October, ferry service may be cut back a bit on the AC. Option 1 takes that into consideration.

Because of those things, I would start on the AC and end in Venice.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 03:41 AM
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I'm with Sass on option 1. It makes sense if you're set on seeing the AC and you must arrive and leave at Milan. Also agree that with 4 of you, it makes sense to rent apartments.

If I were you, I'd start doing some research on which town to stay in on the AC, where you want to go, and your transportation options there.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 04:48 AM
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The problem with booking another flight on the day you land is what are you going to do if your first flight is late? Say you have booked cheap intra-Italy flights from Milan to Naples but you miss that flight due to delays on your trans Atlantic flights. Now you are out that money plus you have no way to get to Naples. How often does it happen? Not that often so if you are a gambler go for it, but be aware you are taking a chance. That's why option 1 looks better. Easier to get to Venice on that first day, plus Venice is a great place to spend a jet lagged first day in Europe.

I personally would do Venice, then Rome, then AC, then Florence on the way back to Milan and do it all by train rather than flying. (Although there are some pretty cheap, short flights between MXP and Naples). But flying to Milan the day before your flight home makes more sense than flying on arrival day.

With four people you can usually get quad rooms in hotels. Apartments are good if you plan to spend a lot of time in the room and need to spread out but they don't usually save any money and you frequently to pay a deposit or pay in advance which makes changing plans at the last minute difficult/impossible. Plus if its your first time it's nice to have hotel staff to answer questions and things. I've traveled to Venice, Rome and AC with four people and had no trouble finding quad rooms in decent hotels.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 05:40 AM
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I like option 1 best. At that time of year, it will be getting fallish on the AC and so it makes sense to go early in your trip.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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www.lacalcina.com

Just tossing this in because it's a hotel I stayed at twice in Venice that I absolutely LOVED!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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I LOVE Venice. However, with so much else to see in the Tuscany area, I would add a few more days in that area, and take a few days off Venice. That would give you time to explore some of the little towns in Tuscany, and still have some time in Florence. Venice is a very small area and I think 4-5 days would be more than you would need there. The weather in Tuscany is perfect at the beginning of October! Well honestly the weather is fabulous all over Italy in October!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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>>The problem with booking another flight on the day you land is what are you going to do if your first flight is late?
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Thank you everyone for your ideas they are truly helpful.
Well I am off to start the detail planning.

Cheers!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 06:00 PM
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I agree with isabel regarding being cautious when booking an inter Italy flight the day you are set to arrive. We have probably flown about 15 trans-Atlantic flights without ever having a delay. I, too had the impression that the trans atlantic flights are rarely delayed.

Then last year my daughter was headed to Rome to study abroad. Her flight from San Francisco to Munich was not only delayed it was cancelled!! While she stood in line at the ticket counter we were both calling United on the phone. Luckily, she got rebooked on a Swiss Air flight. She was supposed to arrive around 12pm in Rome - they needed to arrive by 4pm so someone would be there to greet them and give them the info she needed to get to the apt she was assigned to. She didn't end up arriving until about 9pm. Luckily she was able to contact someone from her program and they provided her with the info she needed AND luckily we had done a fair amount of international travel as a family the previous 8 years, so she was able to handle the whole situation fine, but never assume anything. Just make sure your plans are made knowing flights CAN be delayed or cancelled.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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Whilst researching where to stay on the Amalfi Coast i came across…..Puglia. Should I try and spend some time there also??
What are your thoughts
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:35 PM
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Hmm ... you are trying to see a LOT in just 3 weeks. Have you given any thought to skipping Naples and the Amalfi Coast? There is SO much to do in Milan, Rome, Florence/Tuscany, and Venice...

And no, IMO, you don't have time for Puglia! IME, you would need at least one more week for that. And you are already going to have to be very selective.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:37 PM
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Let me say that differently: Puglia is well worth visiting. If you want to visit it on this trip, you'll probably need to figure out how to carve out 7-10 days to make that happen.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:39 PM
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Ok kja Puglia is out….Thank u
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:50 PM
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You can go there another time!

From my point of view, the single hardest part of planning a trip is figuring out what to cut from one's itinerary so that you can really enjoy and appreciate what you do visit. With every trip I plan, I struggle to keep in mind what the "bones" of my trip are, and which are the "garnishes."

Good luck! And keep looking through those guide books -- you'll learn all sorts of things you never even thought to ask.
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