First Draft of Our Italy Itinerary

Old May 20th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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First Draft of Our Italy Itinerary

So the three of us - my husband, our 14 year old daughter and myself - are going to Italy at the end of June for around 13 days. I'm so excited - it's only about a month away! Here's what I've sketched out so far -

Flying into Venice and staying for 3 nights:
Nothing is really planned out for Venice other than taking the Vaporetto #1 at night, waking up early to walk around Piazza San Marco and also Rialto Market and spending a day looking at Biennale exhibits that interest us. We're staying at the Antico Doge, near Ca D'Oro, I believe. I'll try to get in a visit to the Doge's Palace and maybe book a Gondola Tour through Artviva.

Train from Venice to Florence and staying for 3 nights:
On day 1, after arrival and lunch, see the Duomo and possibly the Uffizi, as late as possible. On day 2, get to the Accademia first thing in the morning and tentatively, take a Segway tour in the afternoon. On day 3, do some shopping and walking and go to Fiesole in the afternoon and walk back to Florence. Here we're staying at the Hotel la Venere, near Piazza San Marco.

Then we'll rent a car in Florence and drive to Siena for one night, then on to Orvieto for another night. So far, I think I want to see San Gimignano and then Montalcino, Pienza, etc. in Tuscany. Around Umbria, I'd like to see Todi and Civita di Bagnoregio. But basically just drive around and/or lay around the pool

Finally, Rome for 5 nights:
We're staying in an apartment in Trastevere, so we'll drive in, return the car, and walk around the neighborhood the first day. On the second day, we'll spend it in Pompeii. My daughter takes Latin and would love to see it. On the third day, we'll get to the Pantheon early around 9AM and later on in the late afternoon, go to the Colosseum and Forum. The 4th day will be at the Vatican and I have nothing planned for the 5th day yet.

My questions / to-do list include: to go to Pompeii, take the Enjoy Rome bus there, or take the train to Naples and then the private train to Pompeii? Or keep the car for an additional day and drive there?

I also need to make advance reservations for the Uffizi, Accademia and Vatican museums. Should I do the same for the Colosseum? Is the Romapass worth it? And I assume there are plenty of ATMs in the three major cities, like there is in Paris?

I'll visit the AAA and get an International Driver's Permit and rent through Autoeurope. And I read the recent thread about having difficulty making advanced reservations at Trenitalia so I guess we'll spend some time in Venice going to the train station to get tickets for Florence before the day we leave. It might be a fun excursion!

Thanks for all your help!
totorofan is offline  
Old May 20th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Yes, you need museum reservations.

You should consider doing Siena as a day trip from Firenze (adding a day to Firenze) and then picking up your car in Firenze and heading to San Gimignano, and then on to southern Tuscany, where I assume you are staying put for a few days in a place with a pool in order to see the val d'Orcia (montalcino, pienza).

It doesn't look to me like you have time for Umbrian towns other than Orvieto, where I would suggest you drop off your car.

Not to disappoint daughter, but Pompeii is not a convenient day trip from Roma and in July it is gaspingly hot, with no shade. Ask her to do some research on Ostia Antica (shady, by the sea) and consider that as a much easier and perhaps even more rewarding day trip. There is plenty of Latin for her to decipher all over Rome and she can make it a project to find it as a way of organizing your touring agenda.

The Pantheon is a very small site, and you can walk from there to see ruins -- but I would reverse the order in order to be in the Forum in the coolest part of the day (no shade there either).

In general, for all your sightseeing, plan to do the outdoor walking in the morning, and retreat to the cool of the museum in the afternoon. Take a nap before dinner so you can stay up late to enjoy the night air. Buy mosquito repellant for Venice and your Tuscan poolside.
zeppole is offline  
Old May 20th, 2009, 02:25 PM
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hi, totorofan,

at first blush, it looks like a nicely paced trip.

I've only really got two suggestions - in Venice, try to make time for a trip to the islands of Burano and Torcello.

in florence, the day you arrive, I would do the accademia on the day you arrive [it'll take no more than an hour and if you get there late, you may not even need a reservation], and the uffizi on day 2 - try to get a reservation for as early as possible in the morning. you'll need at least 2 hours to do it justice.

have a great trip!

regards, ann
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Old May 20th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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You won't be able to do all the Tuscany/Umbria things you have planned. You could visit San G. on your way to Siena, but that would only leave you late in the day to see any of Siena. The next day, you would have to leave very early to visit Montalcino/Pienza/Todi. Just too many places and not enough time.

Drive in to Trastevere? Rome? No, I would drop the car in Orvieto and train to Rome. Much of central Rome (and Florence) is limited driving to people with permits (ZTL zones). You can't just drive where you want and there is little to no parking in Rome/Trastevere.

I don't think Enjoy Rome runs that bus to Pompeii anymore.

>>>private train to Pompeii<<< This isn't a private train. It's just a commuter train similar to taking the subway.

Marozzi runs a bus from Rome to Pompeii at 7 am and arrives Pompeii at 10 for 16.50€. The return bus is at 5:45. If you buy r/t ticket it's 28€. As zeppole said, Pompeii can be miserable in summer.
kybourbon is offline  
Old May 20th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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Hi totorofan,

From what I see, you are running out of nights!

3 Venice
3 Florence
1 Siena
1 Orvieto
5 Rome
13 total

If you spend 1 night in Siena and drive down to Orvieto, where you spend another night - that's it. All 13 nights accounted for.

There is no time in your plan to see anything of Umbria, or lay by a pool.

If seeing a couple hilltowns is a high priority, I would skip Siena (it's nice, but NOT small and very touristed). Instead, spend only 2 nights in Florence, just seeing your highlights.

Rent a car upon leaving Florence and stay in the Montepulciano/Montalcino/Pienza are for 2 nights. Return car to Orvieto, stay the night.

On to Roma!

3 nts Venice
2 nts Florence
2 nights Tuscan countryside
1 nt Orvieto
5 nts Rome

I would not try to do Pompeii as a day trip. Do another daytrip outside Rome - Ostia Antica, Tivoli, somewhere closer and easier.

This will give you a more balanced trip - between cities, sightseeing and countryside. A much better intro for your first trip to Italy!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old May 20th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Good advice from Dayle except I would not stay in Orvieto---I hate one niters and you need more time in Tuscany. That gives you 4 hotels and makes your life easier.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Thanks everyone! Sounds like I really need to rejigger the Tuscany/Umbria part of my trip as well as the Pompeii visit. I'll go over it over the weekend and still welcome any other suggestions!
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