Nov 20th, 2000, 03:49 AM
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My husband and 2 children are planning a 3 week trip to Italy this summer. We are flying into Venice for few days then to Rome. Would it be better to fly or drive to Rome? Approx. how long should it take? Is there anything worth stopping for along the way?
We are then driving to Naples down to the Amalfi Coast and Ravello.
We would like to end our trip in Sicily. What would be the quickest way to get to Sicily from the Sorrento area? Ferry?
Looking forward to hearing your advice.Lisa
Nov 20th, 2000, 06:35 AM
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Lisa, That is quite a trip--are you sure you want to cover that much geography in that time? Where do you fly
home from? And, you are bypassing the
best of Italy by not spending time in
Tuscany and Florence. I see this as really 2 trips---Rome and north, and Rome and south. Hard to do both on the
same trip. I would rethink your strategy
to avoid too much wasted time in a car
or on trains. It takes 3 trips like this
to see all of Italy. I suggest you look
at your map and plan for some geographic
continuity---especially with kids.
Nov 20th, 2000, 07:43 AM
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In general terms, I agree with Bob. In principle, though, it would be possible to divide your 21-day stay more or less as follows: Venice and Rome: 8 days; Amalfi coast: 6 days; Sicily: 6-7 days.

You wouldn't have enough time to spend a few days enroute from Venice to Rome and still maintain everything else in your plan. You'd probably have to axe Sicily.

If you decide to stick to your original plan, a car from Venice to Rome wouldn't make sense. Though the direct nonstop drive would only take about 5 hours, the strain having the kids confined in a small space that long wouldn't be worth it. The car won't serve you at all in Rome. On top of rental expenses you'd have to add parking expenses for no benefit whatsoever. Now, the Eurostar from Venice to Rome takes only 4:30 hours and you have to show up only minutes before departure if you're set with tickets. Chances are that transferring to Marco Polo airport, checking in an hour or so before take off, and transferring from Fiumicino to Termini station or to hotel would take about the same time as taking the train. Therefore, considering that kids normally have much fun in trains, this should be the preferred mode of transportation.

What do you mean by Sicily? Messina? Palermo? The nonstop fast drive from Naples to Messina (including the ferry from Reggio di Calabria) should take about 6 hours. Considering that to Palermo one should add some 3 hours more, this makes for a too much of a lengthy trip to do in a single shot. Unless one would plan to stop enroute, the ferry from Naples to Palermo (which may be taken overnight) certainly would be more convenient (and may even be cheaper).

If you decide axing Sicily, as Bob, I would recommend to visit Tuscany and/or Umbria instead. In this case renting a car in Venice would make sense. But I would then go to the Amalfi coast, wrapping it up in Rome. Among many other, Siena, San Gimignano and Assisi pop up immediatly as cities the kids would love.

Nov 21st, 2000, 01:04 PM
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Dear Bob and Paulo,
Thanks for your advice. We are now going to rethink our plans. My husband, however, wants to see Venice. We may fly from Venice for 3 days to Rome. Then do Rome and South. Thank you.
Nov 21st, 2000, 02:15 PM
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Lisa: I'd agree with Paulo on the train vs plane from Venice to Rome. I did a connecting flight from Rome to Venice, so I'll just run it backwards and give you an *rough* idea of the time and the costs for 4 people. The airport boat will take ~1hr and cost ~$30USD. With the boats schedule and wanting to check-in at least 1hr before, you could end up getting to the airport ~1.5/2hrs early. The flight takes ~1hr and I believe it cost me ~$120 in Feb98. The Airport-Termini train every 30min for a 30min journey will cost ~$30 plus add the time waiting for luggage, walking to the station and waiting for the next train, say 1hr from touchdown to train departure. Minimum I'd guess 5hrs from San Marco Sq. where you board the boat to Rome's Termini train station. The Eurostar train takes 4:21 and costs roughly $55/1st & ~$35/2nd class per person, the children might be cheaper. HTH Regards, Walter
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