Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

First time to Italy for 16 days, recommended itinerary?

First time to Italy for 16 days, recommended itinerary?

Jan 9th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 30
First time to Italy for 16 days, recommended itinerary?

Tavelling with our adult kids mid May for 16 days. Flying into Milan and leaving from Rome. We plan on visiting Venice, Florence, CT, Tuscan countryside with a rental car and Rome. Our plan is to take the train from Milan to Venice for 3 nites, train to Florence for 3 nites. Not sure if we should train from Florence to CT and then go to Tuscany or the reverse. Thinking of 2 nites in CT, 3 nites in Tuscany and 3 nites in Rome. We want to stay central in Tuscany, probably near Siena, so we can go to Cortona, San Gim. possibly Lucca and just explore. We plan on visiting the cities for the architeture, art, history etc, CT for it's beauty and hiking and Tuscany for the county and wine tasting. Are we spending enough time in Tuscany, or should we delete 1 day in Florence. I'm hesitant to delete a day in Venice as that will be our first stop and we'll need to adjust to time. Would appreciate comments on itinerary. Thanks!
brendalena is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I think you are short-changing all of the places listed and should consider dropping something. If ou look carefully you will see that you have not accounted for time to get from one place to another. Granted, none of the distances are great - but packing, checking out of a hotel, getting to the train station, taking the trip and then doing the reverse at the other end will take at least 1/2 of a day.'

After landing at Milan then trekking to Venice you won;t have a half a day there - you will have perhaps an hour or so. Similarly you ar elaving yourself 2 days in Florence and Rome - which is short but not so bad for Florence - but close to useless for Rome.

I would give up either CT or Tuscany - but then I'm a city person.

But, if you look at the most basic sights you want to see in each place you will realize that you simply aren;t leaving enough time for them. (If you need specifics have a look at the micehlin guide books - they tell you how long you need to see each major sight.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,645
Personally, I would skip CT and add those 2 nights to Rome (assuming this is your first trip to Rome. 5 places in 16 days is alot of traveling, keeping in mind that you lose 1/2 day each time you change towns/hotels. For instance, although you will have 3 nights in Venice, you will really only have 2.5 days (if that), assuming your flight arrives in the early morning, by the time you get out of the airport, get the train then boat to Venice and then find and check into your hotel. Same for Florence and Tuscany and Rome. 2.5 days in Florence will give you enough time for a brief view of the "highlights". In fact, since your stay in Tuscany will involve alot of driving, I may take the 2 days from CT and add 1 to Tuscany and 1 to Rome. If you are really set on hiking, you could spend one of your days in Tuscany hiking in the countryside.
ekc is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 157
Hi brendalena,
You have lots planned for 16 days!It almost seems like not quite enough time in each place (since this is your first time), except for Venice. For a first trip, 3 nights in Venice will allow you to see most of the main sights, and not be rushed.

You will be backtracking if you spend time in Florence, then train to CT, then back to Tuscany area. Best to decide where you want to head after Venice (i.e CT or Florence/Tuscany). You will need a car for Tuscany, not sure if you were planning on that. Florence deserves at least three nights, and Rome probably more (well I think much more, but I've found once you get the travel bug and with limited vacation time, compromises need to be made ) depending on your interests and what you want to do and see.

On my last trip to Italy (May 2010) I was there for three weeks and spent time in Venice, CT, Bologna, Florence, a small town in Tuscany, and Rome, and still wish I had more time in each spot.
Your plan sounds good in theory, but with travel times between spots you might find it a bit rushed.

You will certainly find a lot of great advice on the many postings already on here for Italy itineraries. Were you planning on speninding any time in Milan? If so, will that cut into the 16 days alloted for the rest of the trip? If the flights are not booked and are flexible, you may wish to fly into Venice and out of Rome, for example, to save yourselves some time.

You will surely love Italy! Sounds like a lovely family trip!
Jenn_Mitch is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
I think your trip is doable, but I would drop a day from Florence and add to Tuscany. I would do the CT after Florence and get your car as you leave the CT--- at La Spezia or Pisa.
You will like May. We will be in Tuscany in May as well for a week--our 16th trip to Italy.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
brendalena, you are trying to do too much, although it's physically possible to make your trip. But when you are in tuscany there will be no way to see all the towns you are talking about. It will take hours to go to museums, you need to stop for lunch somewhere, the roads are slower than you think because many of them are winding and narrow two-lanes. I'd cut out one destination. It's up to you to decide which, depending on your interests.

Rome can barely be dipped into in 3 nights. That's really only 2 days. We have been there 4 times for several days each and I am still frustrated at how little I was able to see.

Sometimes I get the feeling that newcomers to Italy think everything is much closer together than it is. And that it takes no time to see stuff. and they don't think about getting lost, tired, delayed, etc. I am not saying this as a criticism of you personally. Many people start out that way. It's just that it takes longer than you think it will.
charnees is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
I agree with many of the comments above. I would cut out one destination - much as I love Venice, I would eliminate either Cinque Terre or Venice. If you eliminate Venice, go from Milan to CT, then to Florence, rent a car; to the Tuscan countryside and then Rome. If you are not hikers, you could cut CT and go from Milan to Venice, Florence, etc. I think you will get more out of the trip if you cut back a bit.
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 03:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 30
Thank you all! I appreciate your insight. I realize there's so much to see in Rome and actually we will be there 4 nights, not 3. Venice and Tuscany is a must and friends highly recommended the CT for an overnight. Most of you said to cut this and I'm stuggling with that as it's sooooo beautiful. I realize there's so many towns in Tuscany and if we only see Siena and Cortona, that's okay.. we can have some down time there. Bob, we actually did cut a day in Florence and added to Tuscany.. thanks for your advice on that.
brendalena is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Why Cortona?
There are better options more convenient.
bobthenavigator is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:54 AM.