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First timer to Italy-Need advice on this!

First timer to Italy-Need advice on this!

Jun 10th, 2002, 01:58 PM
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First timer to Italy-Need advice on this!

We are going to Italy for the first time this summer. Here is one way we could go:

Fly into Venice (2 nights)(is that possible to fly into venice)
Cinque Terre (1 night)
train to Florence (4 nights)
go to Tuscany (1 night)
trainto Rome (4 nights)

My question is: I have heard that the Amalfi Coast is a wonderful place to go, but from Rome it looks like a bit of a shlep to get there....I am looking to spend the last 2-3 nights of this trip at a 'resort-like' expereince in italy.....somewhere we can just chill out for a few days after the hustle and bustle we will do.....

is it worth it to head to Capri or is there some sort of lake or countryside 'escape' we can do out side of rome that is not too far away for 2 nights? Need advice and your opinion on this!! We are flexible on pretty much everything, can come/go from wherever....

Also, we're planning on going in August, if this is the case, should we go first 2 weeks of august b/c things close down in the later part of August?
Jun 10th, 2002, 04:08 PM
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1. Yes, it's possible to fly into Venice. All of the European airlines have flights from their respective hubs. Delta has a nonstop flight from JFK as well.

2. One-night stays are the pits. They don't allow you much time to explore the city, and you'll be back at the train station the next day. About the only time I will willingly spend just one night in a place is if I am flying out early on the following morning. For instance, three years ago I had spent 5 weeks in Montepulciano. My flight to come home left Rome early in the morning, so I could have schlepped two hours from MP at 4:00 AM, or I could have (and I did) go to Rome that evening and get a hotel there.

3. If you insist on this schedule, I'd rearrange it into a more geographically-logical order, like Venice -> Florence -> Tuscany (day trip to Lucca or Pisa en route to 5T?) -> Cinque Terre -> Rome

4. Maybe if you combined the Tuscany/Florence stays into one, contiguous 5-night stay somewhere and make day trips (by rental car, by bus, by train, etc.) it will be less stressful.

Jun 10th, 2002, 09:51 PM
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Matt: 5 wks in MP sounds like a dream and we can do that. Is it well located for leisurely day trips throughout Tuscany and into Umbria? Or is there another central location you would recommend? Syd
Jun 11th, 2002, 09:52 AM
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I wish I could talk you out of going in August. It will be so hot and crowded everywhere. If you can change it to Sept. or Oct. you will be so happy that you did.
I wouldnt go to the Cinque terre for 1 night. I would stay 3 nights in venice and go to the CT a different time. You will tire yourself out.
I love the Amalfi coast. We stayed in Praiano and had a wonderful time. Capri is real touristy. And in August, well lets just say that I wouldnt go there for anything.
Wishing you a safe and fun trip..
Jun 11th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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I think I'd suggest Venice 2 nights, (train to) Florence 2 nights, rent a car for 2 nights in Cinque Terre and 2 nights in Tuscany, l night in Orvieto where you drop car, then train to Rome for 3 nights.
Jun 11th, 2002, 11:04 AM
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Since the last day doesn't count, you have 11 days in Italy. You could simplify things by staying

4 days in Rome
3 days in Amalfi
4 days Florence and Tuscany

We did that trip in 12 days and were very glad we cut out Venice because it would have really made the trip way too hectic. Every time we cut a place out of the trip, we decided to add it to our wish list for our next trip to Italy.

The Amalfi Coast is just breathtaking and definitely worth a stay. You could end your trip in lovely Tuscan town relaxing with the locals.

I've never considered August in Italy because of the heat. But if you do go then, research the areas where you will be visiting, check out whether they will be open and try to make reservations at the museums in advance so you won't be disappointed if the site is closed and you won't spend unnecessary time in line. Do the legwork before you go for a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

Good luck.
Jun 11th, 2002, 11:14 AM
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i would also recommend an itinerary like Diane's suggestion. Maybe choose between CT and Tuscany. You'll enjoy your trip more. If Aug is really necessary, I would spend more time in Tuscany & skip Amalfi & CT.
Jun 11th, 2002, 11:18 AM
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Getting to the Amalfi Coast from Rome is a synch. The express train from Rome to Naples takes 90 minutes. Did it last Friday - quick and scenic. There are plenty of good services to then get you to the heart of the Amalfi - ferry from Naples to Capri (40 minutes), or, on the mainland, to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi etc. We used the ferry to Amalfi, then ferry to Positano and then a car service from Positano to Naples (39 089 875 485 - Ask for Lucca. A cop who drives his brothers Merc during the day. Safe in more ways than one). We had four days on Capri and four days in Positano. My American wife loved Capri - yes, its a little ritzy but we had a superb hotel (Villa Krupp), with the only evening sounds being the seagulls and the water. The view of the Fraglionis was priceless (145 euros a night - complete bargain). We had the most fabulous walks and swimming. Hire a private boat and scoot around the island - look for Alesandro and his blue boat near the wharf. Great food (Da Gemmas is a must), and all the accents were Italian. Our four days in Positano were nice, and if you like a tourist town (with lots of American, British and Australian accents) then you'll be in heaven. It serves as a good base to explore elsewhere - Ravello and its Villa Cimbrone is unique. In Positano, try the boat tour of Genaro and Salvatore. They are local identities and it is a very entertaining day and a terrific culinary experience. The Amalfi Coast, especially Capri, exceeded our expectations. Not sure why Capri gets such a bad wrap as a tourist destination - perhaps we were fortunate to be there in late May and mid week. Presumably it would get chaotic in July - August. But it strikes me that most people who play down Capri's merits have been there on a day trip. Capri requires time - and no matter how many tourists visit, they can't break the peace at Villa Krupp, which is only a 10 minute stroll from the centre of town.
Jun 11th, 2002, 05:44 PM
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Montepulciano is in southern Tuscany. By car, it's about 20 minutes from Chiusi (where the Autostrada is), 30 minutes to Cortona or Montalcino, 60 minutes to Orvieto, Siena or Perugia, and about 2 hours to Rome or Florence.

It's a small city (maybe 10,000 people), which means that it's big enough to have all of the comforts of home but small enough to be quiet at night and not overwhelming. For seeing southern or eastern Tuscany (Siena, Chiusi, Cortona), northern Lazio, and Umbria (Orvieto, Perugia), it's a perfect location. If, however, you want to see stuff farther north, like Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Bologna, etc., it's out of the way.

There is a 45-minute bus ride from MP to the Chiusi train station that is reasonably-well coordinated with the train schedules (Chiusi is the main rail junction for southern Tuscany). Beware, however, because some buses between MP and Chiusi give you the scenic tour and take you through Sarteano. This field trip adds about 15-20 minutes to the duration and will make you carsick (bus-sick?).
Jun 25th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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I have read your itinerary, and it is too cumbersome. One must break Italy up in two trips. Venice should be out on first trip. So should Cinque Terre.
Fly into Rome. Do three nights in
Rome, take the train to Florence, do two nights there, thats all you need for the first trip.Then train to Sorrento do four nights there, see all of the Amalfi Drive and then back to Rome for two nights. I think this way you spend less time on trains and get to see all that there is in the major destinations of Italy. Next time, you do the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre, Milano and Venice.
Gaius Julius
Jun 25th, 2003, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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She went a year ago.
Grinisa is offline  
Jun 25th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Beware the word "must" in ANY recommendation about what you should do.
Jun 26th, 2003, 02:34 AM
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You can't go to Tuscany from Florence, for the simple reasont hat Florence is the regional capital city of Tuscany, so once you are in Florence you are already in Tuscany.
Alice_Twain is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 05:06 AM
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Here's one simple option: Fly into Venice and out of Rome. Spend 3 nights in Venice, 4 nights in Florence and 4 nights in Rome.

You can easily do daytrips to Siena, Lucca, and San Gimignano via train and/or bus from Florence. You can also train between Venice, Florence and Rome and not deal with the hassle of renting a car. Additionally, you don't waste time checking in and out of hotels or back-tracking on the trip. Adding the "resort" increases stress and travel complications, given you are late to make reservations and are a first-time traveler to Italy. You can and I bet you will go back again.

Add CT, Italian Lakes and Amalfi Coast later when you have more time, are more experienced and can make good reservations well in advance.
Jun 26th, 2003, 07:27 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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The Amalfi Coast is beautiful but so is the Cinque Terre. I would spend an extra night there and save the Amalfi Coast for another trip when you can spend more time to truely enjoy it. The Cinque Terre although getting very touristy is still a magical place in my option. We stayed in Vernazza for two nights in a private studio. We showed up mid morning and were approached by a local gentleman in the square who asked if we were looking for accomodation. He had a cute studio loft with full bath and kitchen for L80,000 per night.. just a stone's throw to the waterfront square. We took the train the next morning to Riomaggiore and hiked the entire day to get to Monterosso al Mare. We then took a boat shuttle back to Vernazza. It was one of the most satisfying travel experiences to date. Stopping on the way to eat a picnic lunch with wine, stopping again for a chilled local made wine on the hilltop above Vernazza. The pesto is incredible and the scenery very magnificent.
kmed is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 07:46 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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I would not take advise of GaiusJulius who has recommended taking a train from Rome up to Florence ...then back down to Sorrento...then back up to Rome. What ever you decide to do...back tracking wastes precious time. Work your trip into a triangle. An "Open Jaw" where you fly into Venice and home from Rome will save time too if they have a air carrier from your city that has that arrangement. I think you were on the right track to begin with. You could fly into Venice...stay 2 night, Florence for 4 nights with a day trip to Siena or somewhere else in Tuscany, Cinque Terre for 2 nights, Rome for 4 nights and fly home from there. Your choices are all good ones...it's hard to go wrong in Italy as "It's all good".
kmed is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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Hi all,

As Grinisa mentioned, this post is from **last** June.
ira is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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Yes, you think Marcy would have written her travel report by now, wouldn't you?
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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Posts: 341
We just did a similar trip in May. We did the following:

1 night venice
3 nights rome
2 nights siena
2 nights florence
2 nights Camogli (near Portofino and CT)
1 night Milan

We loved Camogli - I highly recommend our hotel the Cenobio De Dogi - it was a 4 star water front resort. Beautiful. The highlight of my trip was the day we spent hiking and taking the boat through C. Terre and back to the hotel on the poolside terrace - over looking the water with a glass of champange! This was a welcomed relaxing, resort experience after heavy site seeing in Venice, Rome and Florence. It was also relaxing during the 2 days we spent driving thru tuscacny and wine tasting in Chianti. We did that in between Rome and Florence. We were more rested that way for all the museums in florence. I hope this helps a little. If you have questions....let me know.
mgfit is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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HAH! I have done that too. Answered a post that was over a year old.

It would be helpful if the date of the original post could be appended. Something like:
1st Post 6/1/02
Last Post 6/1/03

I have seen that format on some newsgroup, but it would be cumbersome I suppose. And more work for some poor programer.

I guess we just need to read more carefully, and not be in a hurry like I always am.
Brahmama is offline  

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