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Desperately seeking advice for 17 day Italy itiniery

Desperately seeking advice for 17 day Italy itiniery

Oct 6th, 1997, 06:29 AM
  #1  
Peggy
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Desperately seeking advice for 17 day Italy itiniery

I'm planning on going to Italy for 17 days next July with my boyfriend. We are planning to fly into Rome for 4 days, go down to Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri for two days, go up to Florence for 5 days (do a side trip to Pisa and Siena), then to Venice for two days, Milan for one day and then Zurich for a day. Is this about the right amount of time to spend in each place? Does Italy shut down in July because I heard that in the Summers, the Italians all close up and go on vacation. Any advice regarding going at this time of the year would be appreciated. Also, we can't decide whether we should drive or take the train. What are the pros and cons of each? Are train tickets easy to buy at the station or should I buy them ahead of time? How often do they run? Last question: does anyone know of anything about Zurich? Thanks for any info you have to offer as I desperately needed some advice.
 
Oct 6th, 1997, 08:40 PM
  #2  
Janice Nagano
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I think you can cover everything you want in 17 days. Personally, I like Rome the least, so 4 days would be too much for me. I'd rather spend the time in Sorrento and Capri.

I have been to Italy in July and did not notice that everything was closed. Actually, I heard everything closes in August, which is why I decided to go in July instead.

I've been to Italy twice. The first time I did the northern and central areas. This last time I did southern Italy and Sicily. Both times I relied on the train.

Buy a 15-day Italian Railway System train pass. That way you don't have to worry about buying single train tickets all the time. Then, for Zurich, you'll just have to buy a supplemental ticket.

In 1995, a 2nd-class 15-day train pass cost 306,000 lire, which is a pretty good deal. You can buy it in Italy at the train station or you can get it in the States before you go. See Rick Steves' website. I think you can order through CIT, too.

The Italian train system is sprawling and we never had any problems with it. Well, actually, our itinerary had to change for one day because of a train strike (scopero, I think is the word). They can be frequent and it's hard to say when they're going to strike.

So that's one con for the train. However, one con for the car is that gas is sold by the liter and is very expensive. Also, I understand there are tolls everywhere.

Have a wonderful trip, and wear a money belt tucked under your shirt, especially in Rome. We were accosted by little girls outside the Coliseum. No harm, but a little unsettling.
 
Oct 8th, 1997, 12:43 PM
  #3  
Tom
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Peggy - A few thoughts. I've been to Italy before and plan to return in the spring. I'd vote for the train - although you'll miss some of the countryside and freedom in seeing the small medieval towns. The train is just more convenient. You don't want to be driving anywhere near Rome, Naples, or Florence - it would be a zoo and you/your boyfriend would be at each other's throats! Re: Zurich, it is a cosmopolitan city (on par with Dublin in terms of sights). It's rather uninteresting except for a few churches and a walk thru old-town A river runs through the city (hence similar to Dublin). It's a good place to shop - especially if you're wrapping -up a trip in Switzerland. I wouldn't allow/spend more than 1/2- 3/4 (4 - 6 hrs) there. Enjoy your trip!
 
Oct 12th, 1997, 01:06 PM
  #4  
Donna
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Two days in Venice is not enough. At least three, you'll be walking and shopping, and taking a boat to Murano is a must. Don't miss out on this enchanting city. Also, in Italy I vote for trains anyway. Buy your tix here, get reserved seats (costs about $11 more, but you GET A SEAT). Just because you have a ticket does not mean you get a seat. Have fun!
 
Oct 13th, 1997, 07:11 AM
  #5  
Lynn Valvona
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My husband and I (age 29) just returned from our first trip to Italy 2 wks ago (so, by no means am I an expert ) We spent 3 days in Rome and that was more than enough. We loved Capri! Great food, beautiful views, a bit overcrowded during the afternoons, but wonderful in the evenings. We
stayed on the island for 4 nites and daytripped to the mainland (Sorrento, Pompeii). We were sorry that we didn't make it to Positano. I would definitely budget more than 2 days for those areas. We saw quite a bit of Florence in 3 days, but didn't get to see any of the hill towns as we had hoped. After Florence, you might also want to think about taking a couple days to see some of the Lake country. We took the train to Como and then the ferry to Bellagio. Too beautiful for words!! Make sure you
have hotel reservations if you do the same (Hotel Florence was very charming and romantic). We then continued by train to Venice for our last 3 days (a good amount of time to see everything and just enjoy
wandering around the island). We never had problems getting seats (1st class) on the trains without reservations. We purchased a 1st class Flexipass here in the states. Make use of the info counter at the train stations. They saved us from a lot of wasted time and frustration trying to decipher the schedules (except at the Rome station). My suggestion, read a lot of guidebooks and www sites! We found that to be invaluable. Have a great trip.
 
Oct 13th, 1997, 12:30 PM
  #6  
rick
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We just recently returned from a year in Italy while my wife was a student. Sounds like your schedule is about typical. I probably would spend one less day in Rome and more time in Venice, be sure and visit the outlying islands . Water taxis go to most and are an excellent way to get around. As far as getting around, I would definetly go with the train system. It is a little confusing at first but once you get onto it, it's a great way to travel. I am not aware of the areas shutting down in July, but rather August for vacations. Read lots of travel books before you go. The "Lets Go" series give a lot of good tips about how to get around. Enjoy!
 
Oct 15th, 1997, 09:59 AM
  #7  
Peggy
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Thanks everyone for all the advice and info. My next project is to find some hotels/pensiones. If anyone has any suggestions regarding places to stay at these cities, I would appreciated it.
 

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