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

First Trip To Italy. 7-9 Days and I need your advice!!

First Trip To Italy. 7-9 Days and I need your advice!!

Jan 1st, 2006, 11:15 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 22
First Trip To Italy. 7-9 Days and I need your advice!!

Hi all. My husband and I are planning our 10th anniversary and would love to spend about 9 days touring either a section of Italy, or part of Italy and some of France. We are really at a loss as to where to start and are finding all the info out there overwhelming. I'm hoping some of you might have some favorite itineraries you could suggest for areas that may touch on Venice, Rome, Florence, areas of Tuscany or even areas near Paris. Two things we are coming from Canada and we are not interested in a group tour...would rather explore ourselves. Thanks for any tips!!
StephsTravels is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 11:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,577
If you haven't done so already, you might want to check out the Destination link above and then go to Italy. You might get some information that will help you narow down your choices. Myself, I would probably spend 2-3 days in Venice or Rome and the rest touring around Tuscany. But that might change depending on the time of year. There is a wealth of information in this forum, have fun planning!
cls2paris is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 11:44 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks! I have just started looking at the Tuscany area. I should have included in my post that we will be travelling in late September or the very first part of October.
StephsTravels is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 11:46 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,660
For a 9 day trip, I would choose just one country. In Italy, ask yourself which places you would like to see the most, and then limit yourself to two, and at the most, three of them. And three only if the trip is 9 full days and 9 nights. That's my advice until you come back with more info on dates, preferences, budget and such things.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 01:45 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 22
Hi again. We think we can swing 8 nights plus two days to fly in and out giving us about 10 days total. From what I have been reading ...Looks like I should be flying into Rome and out of Venice and trying to see some of Tuscanys countryside in between? Opinions on this?
StephsTravels is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 03:18 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,577
Will you have a car for the Tuscany part? That might make a difference in what you decide to do. It is a little difficult to rely on public transportation in the countryside. You might want to spend all of your Tuscany nights in one town and daytrip from there. Siena is beautful and from there you could easily daytrip to Montalcino, Montepulchiano, San Gim, Cortona plus lots more interesting towns. With 8 nights, you might break it up with 2-3 nights in Rome, 3 nights Tuscany, 3-2 nights Venice. Your idea of flying into one city and out the other is very wise. I'd pick up the car in Rome or nearby and maybe drop it off somewhere where you can get on a train directly to Venice (can't advise you on that one). Whether you should start in Rome or Venice has been debated a bit here, you might want to look for some of the postings about it. Have a great time, that is a wonderful time to travel!
cls2paris is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:11 AM
  #7  
dcd
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,026
I would do either Italy or France but not both. For Italy, my wife and I did essentially the same trip you are considering last March. We flew into Rome, spent 4 nights there, spent the next 3 nights in Tuscany (1 in Siena and 2 in Florence), and the last 2 in Venice where we flew out of. That would be too fast paced for many but it worked very well for us. We loved all the areas. The key for making this itinerary work was hiring a private guide/driver to take us from Rome to Siena (with stops in between at some fabulous hill towns and a winery) and then from Siena to Florence with more stops in between and another winery. We used Luca Garappa who owns hillandroads.com. Very reasonable rates and a great, great guy.

Ultimately, I think you should seriously consider your travel styles. Whirlwind trips aren't for everyone. If both of you are comfortable being of the constant go, hitting all three regions is very doable altho 8 nites would be cutting it close. When planning our trip, I went on the websites of the major tour companies (globus, tauck, etc) to see what kind of itineraries they put together to get a feel for what was realistic. They all offer the Rome, Florence and Venice trips but require round trip flights which are very inefficient. So I borrowed some of their ideas to come up with our own itinenary Planning is daunting but very rewarding. Good luck!! Dave
dcd is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
  #8  
dcd
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,026
Sorry, Luca is at hillsandroads.com Dave
dcd is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 10:48 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 22
That's great advice! Thanks.
StephsTravels is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 04:40 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 140
dcd - my husband and I are planning the same itinerary to Italy in May (Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Venice). I'm curious as to why you guys had opted for the private driver instead of the trains. We are planning on 2 weeks in Italy and are still working on the amount of days in each place.

Also, may I ask where you stayed in each city and would recommend them?
didi is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 07:14 AM
  #11  
dcd
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,026
didi - We opted for the private driver for several reasons. First, we had a pretty limited amount of time to see parts of Umbria and Tuscany, time which we would have lost by taking a train from Rome to Siena. If we had a full 2 weeks, we probably would have taken the train to Siena. Second, we didn't want the hassle and stress associated with renting a car for just a couple of days to explore those regions on our own. I would have been the driver, meaning I'd miss out on being able to fully enjoy the scenery, and my wife would have been the navigator, a role she doesn't particularly relish, adding unneeded stress and keeping her from fully appreciating the landscape also. Luca was surprising affordable, especially when you factor in the cost of the rental car. Other companies were more expensive because they provided 2 people, one to drive and one to guide. Luca does both jobs and does them very well. The bottom line was that we both wanted to devote our full attention to the beauty of those regions and to have the benefit of a guide to show us around the various towns and to explain their history, art, architecture, etc. Renting a car would have hindered that.

As for hotel recommendations, you can find my trip report where I discuss those in depth by clicking on my initials and going to the post which is entitled: "Trip Report: Rome, Tuscany/Florence and Venice, we can't wait to go back". It's post no. 14 or close to it. Dave
dcd is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 07:32 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,463
The open-jaw ticket makes perfect sense. Given 8 nts and that you'd like to see Tuscany, I would do 3 Rome, 3 Florence/Tuscany, 2 Venice. Maybe the 3 tuscany nts could be spent in a central location with days trips to Florence, Siena, etc. If you are a ral art lover, you may want to devote 2 days to Florence, if not, 1 day would be adequate time to see the basics.
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 12:30 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 140
Dave - that makes sense using a driver for the amount of days you had. I too feel bad for my husband who always ends up driving and not being able to take in all the beautiful scenery when we go on vacation.

This is our first trip to Italy and one we have been trying to plan for quite some time. It just seems so overwhelming planning this. I will definitely check out your trip report.

Grazie!!
didi is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nancylgartner
Europe
13
Sep 30th, 2009 07:47 AM
devedi
Europe
18
Apr 2nd, 2008 06:14 PM
tinaerrico
Europe
6
Apr 13th, 2005 06:28 AM
lauratherese
Europe
6
Aug 16th, 2004 07:11 AM
doodlebugg
Europe
16
Sep 27th, 2003 05:06 AM

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 -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:16 AM.