Broad plan for 2 weeks in Italy

Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 03:05 AM
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Broad plan for 2 weeks in Italy

Hello,

It would be great if travellers can comment on this broad plan for a 2 week holiday in Italy. We are travelling with our 4 year old daughter, so dont want to be too rushed, and dont need to see every single thing in architecture & art. We would be flying into and out from Rome. Besides rome, we want to cover tuscany region and the amalfi coast.

Day 1 - 4: Explore Rome
Is it better to spend all 4 days together or break the roman part into 2? I havent done much research into train trips, so not sure if we can go staright from chianti / florence to amalfi / sorrento or need to go to Rome first (from tuscany) and then onwards to amalfi coast.
On the flip side, we might get a good deal by spending all 3/4 nights together at 1 hotel in rome.

Day 5 - 8: Chianti & Florence
Is it a good idea to base ourselves in chianti fo all 4 days? I am thinking some nice villa or monastery converted into a hotel. Where to book a car for these 4 days? Can we do a day trip to Florence from here, or is it better to explore chianti for 2 days and then move to Florence and stay there? Should we take a train from Rome to Florence, see the city, book a car and then drive to chianti?

Day 9 - 12: Amalfi coast & Pompeii
We want to base ourselves in positano here and explore nearby areas / coast / beaches. Any recommendations on restaurants, what to do / see would be appreciated. Can a day trip be done easily to Pompeii? Would it be prudent to again hire a car for a day or two to explore nearby areas?

I realise the above plan is very sketchy and lots of variations are possible, but all tips / suggestions are welcome to help me plan better.
Thanks.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 04:35 AM
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Suggest you do some checking before deciding on Positano. It is a fairly small town cut into the side of a cliff and getting places usually requires climbing a large number of stairs (up or down - to beach or highway to hotel, shops and restaurants. I would assume you will end up carrying a 4 year old a lot of the time - since she probably wont want to climb hundreds of steps a day.

With a small child I would tend to stay someplace flatter - where she can get around on her own - with easier access to all amenities. Sorrento has much better conections to other places in the area (traina dn many ferries as opposed to primarily bus for the coast town (or limited ferry service).

I would not have a rented car in the area in summer. We have done it twice in May - when it's much less crowded - but have chosen ahotel with parking (very few have parking and street parking is a huge PIA).
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 07:52 AM
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I suggest that you fly into Florence, rather than Rome. If that's not possible, I would go straight to Florence or somewhere in Tuscany by train from Rome when you arrive. That way it won't be necessary to break your Rome visit into two parts, which you would really have to do otherwise, because you'll need to be in Rome the night before your flight home.

You could spend one night in Florence, then rent your car and visit rural Tuscany. Or, if you won't be too tired to drive for an hour or so, you could take a train to Chiusi or the Florence airport, rent a car there, and go straight to your lodging in Tuscany. You could visit Florence as a day trip from somewhere in Tuscany, leaving the car at a train station or bus stop.

After Tuscany, you could head to the Amalfi Coast; it's a bit of a long haul no matter how you do it. The drive would take about five hours, and doing it by public transportation would involve multiple trains, buses, boats or whatever. I can't see myself doing the trip y public transportation with a toddler, especially if you'll have more than a little luggage. On the other hand, the drive could be hair-raising unless you stay somewhere that you can reach without using the coastal road. But then you'd be staying in a place that wouldn't be very convenient to the coast, which is probably what you want to see, unless you drive there. Are you sure there isn't some nice seaside location north of Rome that you'd enjoy?

Wherever you go, you should make Rome your final stop.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for your responses. I can see that getting to and staying in amalfi coast could be challenging. Unfortunately, Delhi has connections only to Milan and Rome, so flying has to be in and out of Rome. Even though the idea of more travel immediately after an international flight is not too appealing, we can take a train to Florence (from Rome) and start our trip in Florence and Tuscany.
That way I can rent the car I. Florence and drop it off in Rome.
Now the question of how to get to and back from Rome to amalfi coast. I have heard about the crazy scenic coastal road, so wasn't thinking of driving there. Also it's a bit difficult with Irving on the right side of the road.
Sorrento from whatever I have read is touristy and not charming. E are not fixated on position though. It could be amalfi or some other town.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 09:14 AM
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Whether you split your stay in Chianti and Dlorence or visit Florence as a day trip, I do recommend Chianti refion. Look at the charming village of Panzano, half way between Siena and Florence.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 11:07 PM
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For the tuscany region, I am increasingly getting inclined to take a train from Rome to Florence, stay in Florence for 2 nights and explore that city. Then pick up a car and go to chianti. Stay in panzano or greve. Then drop the car in Rome before taking a train south.
It is this leg of the journey which is proving to be difficult. If I dont find a good hotel in the lower side f positano, is it worth considering capri to stay for the 3/4 days. Would it be too inconvenient to then explore amalfi coast?
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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I am currently in Sorrento. This is my third time in five years. Yesterday I went to Positano (2nd time). I think the absolute opposite of what you have heard - Sorrento is much LESS touristy and much MORE charming than Positano. Positano is absolutely gorgeous when seen from the boat, and also pretty impressive when seen from a distance on land. But up close it is all expensive boring clothing stores and over priced restaurants. And the thing that makes it as scenic (from a distance) as it is, is the vertical aspect. Meaning if you stay there you will constantly be going up and down stairs. Positano exists for the tourists these days. Perhaps it was different ten or twenty years ago (or more) but it's like walking though a mall with only one or two kinds of stores. Really, do yourself a favor and stay in Sorrento. Much easier to get to (from Tuscany or Rome). Do a day trip to Positano and Amalfi - go one way by boat and the other by bus. The scenery is amazing.

If you must stay in one of the "villages" on the Amalfi Coast then pick Amalfi (or better yet Atrani, literally a ten minute walk from Amalfi). But unless you can afford a private driver you are looking at a long day of tiring travel to get from Tuscany to Positano/Amalfi. Sorrento is bad enough, to then have to take the bus another hour plus after already having taken two or three trains is not relaxing (and worse for the child).

On your arrival you can take a fast train from Rome to Florence (first you have to take a train from the airport to Rome so it will be at least an hour before you can board the train to Florence). But if you want to try to get anywhere else in Tuscany it's going to take time. I would really suggest you simplify things and just do Florence (you can do a day trip or two to sample rural Tuscany - and not need to rent the car), Sorrento and Rome.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 10:05 AM
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Agree with Isabel. Do the Amalfi Coast as a day trip by bus or private driver from Sorrentoor take a ferry or hydrofoil from there to Positano and/or Capri).
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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Depending on your arrival time in Rome, you might want to position Rome differently. It looks like flights from Delhi can arrive in Rome as early as 6:40am or as late as 11:50pm. I don't know your arrival. If you arrival is in the evening, you would have to overnight in Rome.

On the other hand, if your arrival in Rome is 6:40 am, you will have a different issue. What are you going to do until you can check-in which in many cases you would not know until you get to the hotel, etc. to be told, "sorry, your room will not be ready until the check-in time in the afternoon," etc. You can walk around, take a nap at hotel lobby, etc. You can also use this waiting time to travel to Florence (easy) or Sorrento (more involved, but you would still have a lot of time and be there before the stated check-in time, if you Rome flight arrival is 6:40 am). Your 4 year old daughter can sleep on the train.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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Frankly, I would start your vacation on the Amalfi Coast. Since you are outside the majority of the time on the AC, it is great for getting over jetlag. Assuming you are traveling during high season (April through October), you can train direct from Rome to Salerno (2 hours and the little one can nap), then catch the 9:40 or 10:40 ferry from Salerno to either Amalfi or Positano. Amazing views of the AC from the water. I stay in Positano each June because, IMO, it is the most picturesque of the AC villages. The closer to the beach you stay, the easier the stairs are. Sorrento is not on the AC and involves extra transportation if you want to visit any of the villages on the AC.

To see Pompeii, it would be easiest to visit in on your way up to Florence. Driver to Pompeii, store luggage at the site, train from Pompeii to Naples or Salerno where you can pick up your car to drive to Tuscany.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Well, I have an entirely different point of view.

To reach the Amalfi Coast, take a fast train from Rome to Salerno. In Salerno, catch a boat or bus to the town of Amalfi, and do you sightseeing from there.

A day visiting Florence may be quite enough for a small child.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 10:48 PM
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greg - We are travelling this June. And our flight from Delhi would land at 640 am in Rome. Also the departure after 2 weeks to Delhi is in the morning so would stay at sheraton airport hotel (most probably) the night before.

- After a over-night flight, i have to think whther train + taxi or train + ferry to AC seems doable.
- We could pick up a rental car at the airport and drive to tuscany (but thats depends on whether we are able to get our international driving license sorted!)
- Train to Florence is absolutely doable on this day. We would just need to stretch our legs at a cafe while they are preparing the room.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 10:52 PM
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HT, bvlenci - any suggestions on accomodation in chianti? Even montalcino is appealing as a base. Budget under eur 300 per night.
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