First time to Italy

Old Feb 26th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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First time to Italy

My husband and I want to plan a 10 day trip to Italy in October. It's our first time there and we don't really know where to start. We thought about going the typical route and seeing Rome, Florence, and Venice, but I have heard wonderful things about Cinque Terre as well.

Also, what is the best amount of time to spend in each of these cities and where should we start/end. We don't want to feel too rushed.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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Start with some good guidebooks, and research on the internet. It's not too early to do so.

Decide what is most important to you....art, history, architecture, food, wine, countryside vistas? Do you want to hit the ground running, or explore at a more leisurely pace? If you want to "sample" Italy only, I suggest pick only two cities, and explore them. You could easily spend 10 days in any one of those cities if you really wanted to delve into all of their wonders.

To save backtracking, fly into one city and out of the other.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 03:51 PM
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You lose one day arriving and one day when you leave. And the days you travel between cities are unproductive.

If at all possible, try to stay another couple of days. Rome's a minimum 4 day destination, Florence is a minimum 3 day destination and Venice is a minimum 3 day city. It'd also be nice to spend a couple of days exploring Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra.

I agree about flying into your northernmost city and out of Rome. You can see Cinque Terre on your next trip, as it's out of the way and there's not enough time.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Roll Tide !
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 04:56 PM
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On our last trip we spent 4 nights in Florence, 3 nights in Cinque Terre (Vernazza), 6 nights in Pienza as a base to tour the villages of Tuscany and 2 nights in Rome. We flew into Florence, trained to Cinque Terre, trained to Siena where we picked up a rental car, drove all through Tuscany for a week and returned our car to the Rome airport. We loved each part of the trip. We didn't feel rushed, hiked CT during the day when the villages were packed with day tourists, driving in the country was great. We had been to Rome on a previous trip thus only one day before departure. I still have not seen Venice but some day.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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When you think of Italy what do you think of? Maybe that will help you decide on what you really want to see

When we went we started in Santa Margherita (did a day trip to cinque Terre) Pienza for exploring Tuscany, Todi for exploring Umbria then finished in Florence. We flew in and out of Milan because it was the cheapest.

This time we are staying in Lucca, Orvieto and Rome (with our children!)

We prefer the countryside over cities. I would go to the library and check out travel books, grab a cup of coffee and look through them to see what captures your interest

How many nights do you have?
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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Marissa, to save moving around too often, you could fly into Venice, so end a fee days there, then catch the train straight to rome. Rome to Florence is an easy day trip if you decide you'd like a little taste of Florence.

Another alternative is to fly into Milan, train to cinque Terre, spend a few days, then train to Rome. Fly home from Rome.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:52 PM
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Sorry for the typo! 'Spend a few days........'
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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How many nights will you have on the ground in Italy?
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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First time there I'd do yes the old Venice-Florence-Rome thing and eschew the Cinque Terre - a big detour and in October the weather could be iffy - probably but not but could be.

Trains are the best way to go between those cities - cars are useless once in cities like those - check www.trenitalia.com - Italian State Railways site for schedules and advance discounted tickets - which however are hard to change or refund and since they are sold in limited numbers must be booked in stone weeks in advance but you can save a lot off full price by just showing up and buying tickets. For lots of good info on Italian trains check out these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.com - good info on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

I'd land in either Venice or Rome and fly out of either Venice or Rome - try to go for a few more days than 10 so you can spend three full days in each place - not including travel days in between which take a half day or so.
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