8 Nights in Italy

Jan 19th, 2018, 09:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 15
8 Nights in Italy

Hi, I am travelling with my wife and 5 yrs old son to Italy from San Francisco near the end of August . We are landing in Venice on Aug 18th evening and flying out of Rome on Aug 26th morning .

Here is my tentative itin :

Aug 18 : Land in Venice
Aug 19 : Explore Venice
Aug 20 : Leave for Florence after lunch
Aug 21: Explore Florence
Aug 22 : Take morning train to Naples then Hydrofoil to Capri
Aug 23 : Back to Rome
Aug 24 - 25 : Explore Rome
Aug 26 : Back .

Another option is to drop Capri , add one more day to Florence and take a day trip to Cinque Terre and back .

Can you please comment on any suggested modification. It is pretty tight, but trying to make the best outcome .

Thanks for your help with suggestions.

swagato is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 06:03 AM
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I don't think it's realistic to visit either Capri or the Cinque Terre on a day trip, especially when traveling with a small child. (I realize you planned an overnight in Capri, but it's not much more time than a day trip, and it has two back-to-back long journeys.) As far as your division of time, I might add a day to Rome and make Florence an overnight, or even just a day visit en route to Rome; you can leave your luggage at the baggage deposit in the station. If you want to visit art museums, you'd need more time in Florence, but since you're traveling with a 5-year-old, I have a feeling that museums aren't high on your list. Actually, it would help if you could tell us more about your interests.

Your trip is very short even for visiting Venice, Florence, and Rome. In August, all three cities are very crowded, and often also very hot. Both Capri and the Cinque Terre will be even more crowded, because more people are crammed into less space. I worry that your vacation will be stressful instead of relaxing, and that your son will be miserable.

When I go anywhere at high season, I try to avoid the "must-see" sights and seek out the off-the-beaten-path hidden gems. So I would suggest that if you want to visit the three most popular cities in Italy that you try to spend most of your time visiting things that don't show up on any top-ten lists. For example, in Rome, I'd suggest perhaps a quick early morning walk through the Roman Forum (to avoid the heat) and a visit to the beautiful Palatine Hill. I would probably choose to admire the Colosseum from the outside, but not try to enter; even if you have tickets, you can wait for a long time to get in to the Colosseum, because they have a limit on the number of people who can be inside. I once spent almost an hour under the broiling sun waiting to get into the Colosseum with some visiting relatives. I also wouldn't consider taking a small child to the Vatican Museums at any time of the year, unless you can visit on a Friday evening (usually not possible in August) or pay for an expensive early entry visit.

There are lots of wonderful but little-known things to see in all three cities.

You might be able to carve out a night in some other town in Italy, but I would suggest making it someplace that's not as far out of your way as Capri or the Cinque Terre. A day on Lake Bracciano, for example, with a visit to the castle of Bracciano; you could easily do this as a day trip from Rome. Or an overnight in Spello, one of the prettiest small towns in Italy; you could take a direct train from Florence to Spello, and another direct train from there to Rome the next day.

Last edited by bvlenci; Jan 20th, 2018 at 06:05 AM.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 274
I think you have way too much packed into your short trip, especially in August, and with a five year old. I agree with bvlenci.

If you already have your tickets purchased in to Venice and out of Rome, how about this? Fly into Venice, spend two days there. Then head to a hotel/agriturismo either in the countryside near Rome, or Florence...someplace with a pool of course! Some even have farm animals for your child to enjoy.Take day trips to Rome and Florence, as you wish, and return to the pool when you get tired of the heat, and crowds. Then fly back to SF from Rome.

Look at it this way....you will return to Italy, so you don't need to see everything at once!

BTW....while Rome, Florence and Venice are the top three cities, for good reason, I have found over the years, that there are always unexpected, interesting places, just around the corner.....especially in Italy.
Calabria62 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 08:17 AM
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The early afternoon train from Venice to Florence will cut the whole day. Considering the time you will need for transfers railway station - hotel, check outs and check ins, almost the whole day will be lost.
Leave Venice in the evening in order to have a full day in town.
Similar remark for Florence - Capri: leave Florence at 17.38 or so (trains every 30 minutes) and arrive at Naples at 20.30, check in your hotel (if possible close to the railway station) and you will be just in time for dinner. Visit Capri (and may be Sorrento) in a day trip (wihout all your luggage).
neckervd is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 15
Thanks for the feedback.

I know the trip is pretty packed. We have a long list of places to visit before will return to Italy for a second time . But I agree gettin rid of cinque terre or Capri May take some stress away. If we do , I think the idea to stay in Naples and do a day trip is better.

Museums / art galleries are not off the list , but limited . Last year we did a pretty packed 8 nights tour combining the Swiss alps and Paris. It was exhausting but pretty enjoyable. We spent a full day in the Louvre

Also checking out some less popular places might be nice too.

Thanks for all the input

swagato is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Book your train tickets way in advance for deep discounts at Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia or www.italotreno.com - two competing rail systems using same tracks and stations and similar trains. Easy to book own tickets online. First class is also discounted and sometimes not much more than cheapest 2nd class ticket. www.seat61.com has superb advice on booking your own tickets online; general train info: BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

If you want to visit Pompeii en route back to Rome take boat to Sorrento and train to Pompeii Scavi station by entrance and continue on train to Naples Centrale.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 08:47 AM
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Thanks PalenQ for the tip on the Railway booking. I remember I got a really useful advice from you about buying the railpass for our Switzerland trip last year which worked out very well.
swagato is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
thanks - Italian passes make little sense unless you want walk-up first class tickets and then maybe.
PalenQ is offline  
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