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8 days in Italy Itinerary HELP!!!

Old Mar 9th, 2004, 04:01 PM
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8 days in Italy Itinerary HELP!!!

We'll be travelling to Italy for the first time during late May / early June for 8 days. We obviously want to see as much as possible, but don't have as much time to see everything! We're more interested in soaking up the atmosphere of the cities, by walking around the streets, hanging out in cafes, etc, and not as into seeing 'every' church/museum.
We arrive in Rome on a Saturday at about 2pm and have to fly out of Rome the following Sunday at 1pm. So really, we only have 7 1/2 days to experience everything.

We had thrown around 2 possible scenarios of itineraries. We'd like to ask for any suggestions/advice as to what all of you experienced Italy travellers think!!
Itinerary 1:
Day 1: Arrive Rome 2pm
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Train travel to Florence
Day 5: Florence
Day 6: Rent a car for 2 days and explore Pisa, Chianti region, and Siena, with overnight stay somewhere in this Tuscany region - either at a winery, or in Siena - any suggestions??
Day 7: ...continuation of 2 day Tuscany tour then return back to Florence late in the day.
Day 8: Florence
Day 9: Depart Florence 'early' enough to catch 1pm flight out of Rome

This itinerary seems more flexible, and laid back - a little more slow paced, enough time to really 'explore'.


Itinerary 2:
Day 1: Arrive Rome 2pm
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Train travel to Florence (early morning)
Day 5: Florence
Day 6: Train travel to Naples/Sorrento/Capri area
Day 7: Naples/Sorrento/Capri area
Day 8: Naples/Sorrento/Capri area
Day 9: Depart Naples/Sorrento/Capri area 'early' enough to catch 1pm flight out of Rome.

For some reason, I feel that this itinerary may be a bit more tight, and doesn't leave as time in the Florence area. But I guess if we leave Florence for the Naples area later in the day, we'd still get about 2 1/2 days in Florence, and also 2+ days in the Naples area.

Is there 'early' enough transportation on our 9th day to travel from Sorrento all the way to Rome's airport to arrive there by 11am for a 1pm flight? Or would it be a safer bet to return back to Rome the night before?

What are your opinions of these 2 Itineraries above?? The decision I guess would be whether to opt for a leisurely drive through the Tuscany region taking in possibly Pisa, Siena, and Chianti wine region, or to spend a couple of days down in the Naples/Sorrento/Capri area for a little R&R???

Please let us know what you think!
Thanks so much for your help!
gottheitch is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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Since there have suddenly been so many posts here from people who want to travel fair distances and return rental cars the same day they fly out of Europe back to their country of origin, I can't help but note, once again, that I think that is a BAD idea.

Other than that, your first itinerary looks pretty good to me.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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yk
 
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gottheitch-

It is hard for anyone to give you an "unbiased" opinion. You are asking us whether we think you should go to Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. Each person here has his/her preference.

To answer your other questions:
For itinerary #2:
1. It is a lot of back-tracking (Rome-Florence-AC). Since you fly into Rome so late in the day and you will be jet-lagged, you probably won't be able to sightsee much in Rome that day. I would suggest you go straight to Florence after you land in Rome and tour Florence first, then go back to Rome, and then to the AC.

2. You should head back to Rome the night before your flight back home. If you stay in Sorrento, and any of the trains you have to take get delayed, you won't make it to your flight.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Got,

In only 8 days I suggest that you try to stay in a compact area.

Either: Rome and Florence
Florence and Venice (my choice).

You could arrive Rome at 2:00 and be in Florence by 6:30.

4 days in Florence, (Visit Siena or Lucca on Monday when the museums are closed),

Train to Venice for 2 days and a night and

Return to Rome for 1 night before flying home.

Train schedules and prices are at www.trenitalia.com.

Enjoy your trip.



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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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For 8 days I also agree to stick to 2 locations and Rome should be the final destination. When you arrive you can either go directly to AC or FLorence (via train or plane connection). SPend 3 or 4 nights in the first location and the remainder of the time in Rome. You can do day trips from Rome to Pompeii, Orvieto, or some other nearby spots. You can also do day trips in Tuscany from FLorence. To really soak in the atmosphere, you need to spend at least 3 full days in 1 place. You can easily spend a week just in Rome.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 07:25 AM
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If you want to see as much as possible, investigate sleeper trains. You can cross the country for roughly the same price as a mid-class hotel and wake up in an entirely new destination. Venice, anyone?
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 07:41 AM
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Scenario 1 is more easygoing.
But I would change it a bit. I would extend the tour to some spots in the Umbria region (Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Todi, it's your choice), which is on the way "down" to Rome, and stay in Orvieto for the last night. This leaves you ample time to go to Fiumicino airport with the car, get rid of it at the airport and check in for the return flight.

It seems to me that both early morning trips back to the airport are a bit stressful, be it from Sorrento or from Florence.

Scenario 2 is too much.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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I agree itinerary 2 is too much for 7 days. In that amount of time, two destinations is better. If you prefer soaking up atmosphere and hanging out in cafes to visiting churches and museums, you might want to think about Rome and Venice. There is no place I can think of with more atmosphere to soak up than Venice.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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These were great suggestions!
Thanks so much!
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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So we've revised our itinerary!!!
You guys kept mentioning Venice, and we did think of that as well, so this may also be a tight schedule, but we figure we might as well get a taste of what Italy has to offer, and we can always return one day and spend more time there!
We also managed to change our free United Mileage flights on Lufthansa (anyone have any opinions on flying Lufthansa? We figured it was a 'free' flight, might as well take advantage!) to flying into Rome, and then returning out of Venice!!

Day 1: Arrive Rome 2pm
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: 1/2 day Rome; pick up car 1/2 day drive through Tuscany with overnight stay in Tuscan region (any suggestions? Siena?)
Day 4: Continue drive through Tuscany with arrival in Florence. Drop off car.
Day 5: Florence
Day 6: Florence
Day 7: Venice
Day 8: Venice
Day 9: Depart Venice 3pm

How does this sound???
It comes out to about
2 days Rome
1.5 days Tuscany
2 days Florence
2.5 days Venice
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 03:27 PM
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gottheitch-

Your revised itinerary is even more packed than your previous 2! You will be very rushed and constantly packing and unpacking. But if this is your once in a lifetime trip to Italy and you don't think you will return anytime soon, then go ahead.

Just to be realistic, your 1st day in Rome, don't expect you can do much sightseeing.
If you plane lands at 2pm, by the time you get to your hotel, it will be 4pm the earliest. I assume you are flying from the US- you will be so exhausted by then unless you are flying First/Biz class and get at least 6hrs of sleep on the plane.
That essentially cuts your time in Rome to 1.5 days.

On Day 3, by the time you finish sightseeing in the morning, have lunch, then pick up rental car and drive up to Tuscany, it'll be more like 3-4pm before you get there.

So, my suggestion is to cut out the Tuscany part (if you set on going to Venice) and spend more time in Rome & Venice.
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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Your new scenario is too much.

Your quote "but we figure we might as well get a taste of what Italy has to offer, and we can always return one day and spend more time there!" is, in my opinion, not the right thing to do.
Next time you'll come, you'll be rushing exactly the same way, having seeing once more hardly anything of a lot of things.

With your open jaw ticket, you have an excellent occasion to pass 5 days in Rome and 4 days in Venice, travelling by train between both cities, no car needed... You'll see already more than you can cope with.
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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ira
 
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Hi got,

You are getting there.

I would not recommend the car. You are not familiar with Italian driving styles, road signs, language, etc. Save a drive throught Tuscany for your second or third trip.

With only 8 days, I think that you would have an enjoyable visit with

Day 1 Arrive Rome
Day 2 Visit Rome
Day 3 Train to Florence
Day 4 See Florence
Day 5 Day trip to Siena
Day 6 Train to Venice
Day 7 See Venice
Day 8 See Venice
Day 9 Fly home

Or, if you prefer add a day to Florence and delete one from Venice.

You might find this link helpful.
Helpful Information: Italy http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34443340

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 03:38 PM
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Thanks Ira, that sounds like a good option!
Do you have some suggestions on Day tours to Tuscany/Chianti region that would possibly include Siena AND a winery visit?
Does one get a nice feel for the countryside by the train ride from Rome to Florence, and then Florence to Venice?
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