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First trip - Italy and Greece - some advice on what to cut?


May 23rd, 2006, 10:39 AM
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First trip - Italy and Greece - some advice on what to cut?

This is my first time posting here. I am planning a trip to Greece and Italy this summer, july and august. I am so excited, this trip has been a dream of mine for several years. We have 26 days. I had made up an itinerary... but I think it is too much, and I need help figuring out what to cut. Any advice?

Here are the places we currently want to go:
Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Santorini, Athens.

We need to determine what our base will be on AC.. thinking maybe Sorrento? SUggestions? Also, we want to go to Pompeii from there, as well as possibly Capri if we have time.

Here is what I have tentatively so far:

13-Jul Depart Home
14-Jul 6:00 am Arrive Frankfurt, 9:00ish depart on O/N train to Venice
15-Jul Arrive in Venice in early am. O/N in venice hotel
16-Jul O/N in Venice
17-Jul spend day in Venice exploring. Depart on O/N train to La Spezia/Cinque Terre
18-Jul Arrive Cinque Terre
19-Jul O/N CT
20-Jul O/N CT
21-Jul Depart CT, Arrive Florence, O/N Florence
22-Jul Depart Florence, Arrive Rome, O/N Rome
23-Jul O/N Rome
24-Jul O/N Rome
25-Jul Depart Rome. Arrive Amalfi Coast (Sorrento?), O/N Amalfi Coast
26-Jul O/N Amalfi Coast
27-Jul O/N Amalfi Coast
28-Jul O/N Amalfi Coast
29-Jul Depart Amalfi Coast (early morning). Arrive Brindisi. Catch Ferry to Greece.
30-Jul Arrive Greece. Depart for Santorini. O/N Santorini
31-Jul O/N Santorini
1-Aug O/N Santorini
2-Aug O/N Santorini
3-Aug O/N Santorini
4-Aug Depart for Athens. O/N Athens
5-Aug O/N Athens
6-Aug Depart Athens 12:00pm (check in between 10-11:30). Arrive Milan 1:30pm. O/N Milan
7-Aug Depart Milan 6:30am. Arrive Frankfurt 10:00am (I think). O/N Frankfurt
8-Aug Depart Frankfurt. Arrive Home.

So far, all tha tis fixed is july 13, 14, 15, 16 and Aug 6, 7, 8. Everything else is open for suggestions!

Thank you so much for taking the time to help out a new traveller!

Oh, maybe I should tell you a bit about us? We are in our 20s, we like to explore, enjoy wine, hike, enjoy nature, beaches and being outside, experience cultures. We try to avoid too much structure, and though we appreciate art, museums, etc, we are not history buffs or art experts, so are not likely to spend days in doors. Of course, we want to do the "must see" major sites. But we thoroughly enjoy being outside walking, hiking, exploring, experiencing!
Thanks again!
cherrytomato is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Posts: 155
Hello Cherry:

I am 30 - and we spent 2 weeks in Italy last year (hoping to hit Greece this summer) - so I think we might have similar interest and travel styles.

I can't really comment on the Greece portion, as I haven't been there. But as far as Italy goes - I think you need to cut out one or two of Cinque Terre or Florence or Amalfi Coast.

Just as background - last year - when hubby and I went, we did:

4 nights Venice - could have stayed longer
3 nights Florence
3 nights Sorrento
4 nights Rome - could have stayed longer

Right now you are planning:
2 nights Venice (about 2 1/2 days)
3 nights CT
1 night Florence
3 nights Rome
4 nights Sorrento

I would suggest that 3 nights (2 1/2 days) in Rome will barely give you a taste. We stayed 4 nights, and quickly learned you could easily stay a week and not see everything. You will only have 1/2 day in Florence based on your schedule, which doesn't really seem worthwhile to me - either add an extra night or cut it out completely.

I would add a day or two to Venice, two days to Rome, cut out Florence (or add an extra night - 1/2 day won't be worth the train ticket to get there)

I know you want to do it all - because we wanted to do CT on our trip as well. You need to decide if you want just a "taste" of all these great cities, so you know where you might want to go back, or if you want to really savour the best places.
harrowgirl is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Since you want mostly outdoor stuff, you probably don't want to cut Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast, but you could sure use more time in Rome.

My main question is why you're hanging around in Frankfurt all day to take an overnight train to Venice. Unless there is something particular you want to do in Frankfurt, why not just get a cheap flight to Venice on the 14th and have more time there?

Same thing on the way back, why the stop in Milan and then another day and overnight in Frankfurt? Those days could be added to Rome. Just fly from Greece to Frankfurt on July 7, preferably on a later flight if possible.

I can't comment on the Greece portion, haven't been there.
SusanP is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
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Hi Susan

Thank you so much for the suggestions. You were absolutely right! I found a great cheap flight from Frankfurt to Venice... and booked it! So it basically adds one more day to venice in our holiday. As for the return flights, we have to do the stop over in Milan because it was the best we could find. Other options were much more expensive. THanks for the advice!
cherrytomato is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
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You are right... it does sound like we have similar travel styles! I have started to read your trip report... and I am thoroughly enjoying it! THanks for posting! I will finish reading it... and may just reply later with a question or two! THanks for the advice!
cherrytomato is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 03:09 PM
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That's great about the flight Frankfurt-Venice. However, you still need more time in Rome! There is so much to see there. Even though you like the outdoor stuff, I would take one day from Cinque Terre and one from Santorini and add them to Rome. That still gives you 2 full days in CT and 3-1/2 on Santorini, plus plenty of outdoor time on the Amalfi Coast. Just a thought.
SusanP is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Hi Susan...

So cut one day from CT, and one from Santorini and add them to Rome? Or maybe one each to Florence and Rome? Good ideas! Thanks for your suggestions!
cherrytomato is offline  
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May 23rd, 2006, 08:59 PM
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cherry, yes, that would work, too. Maybe:
3 nights in Venice 7/14, 15, 16
7/17 overnight train to Cinque Terre
2 nights Cinque Terre 7/18, 19
2 nights Florence 7/20, 21
4 nights Rome 7/22, 23, 24, 25
4 nights Amalfi Coast 7/26, 27, 28, 29
7/30 overnight to Santorini
4 nights Santorini 7/30, 8/1, 2, 3
2 nights Athens 8/4, 5
1 night Milan 8/6
1 night Frankfurt 8/7

I'm assuming you have checked that you can take that overnight train to the Cinque Terre. Can you really do that without getting woken up to change trains somewhere? (I don't know, just asking!)

This itinerary gives you a little more time in Florence & Rome but still lots of time for your outdoor stuff/hiking.

This is more moving around than some would want to do, but you're young and energetic. If I were your age, I would do it!
SusanP is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2006, 08:09 AM
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I have spent a lot of time in all the spots you mention in Italy and a fair amount of time in Greece. I like Susan P's revision of the Italy part of it a lot. Cinque Terre train is not an intercity train so you will have to change in the middle of the night. Good that you have enough time in Santorini
This is an awful lot of moving around but you are young and it will be fun. RE: a base in the AC: Sorrento makes a pretty good base but it is the less atmospheric side of Amalfi. If you have more time, check out the south side of the AC - Ravello is amazing, and then from there, take a day trip to Paestum,( Italy's Greek temples) an astonishing site that few make it down to, but it is worth the effort.
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