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First trip to Italy (Europe)

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Mar 31st, 2016, 05:58 PM
  #1
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First trip to Italy (Europe)

This is my first trip to Italy with my husband and 16 year old daughter. We are planning to travel at the end of June for 10 days. I would love some suggestions on where to go. I'm thinking two to three cities as I don't want to spend most of my time travelling between locations. I know this is a broad question but I would love advice on what cities to go to. Then I can start to workout the itinerary of sites and attractions.
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Mar 31st, 2016, 06:15 PM
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Everyone has their favorites but, I must ask the obvious, why did you choose Italy? Knowing that may give some ideas with which to make suggestions.
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Mar 31st, 2016, 06:28 PM
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Exactly - we really need to know what your interests are and why you decided onItaly.

Otherwise a lot of people will just tell you to head to Rome, Florence and Venice - which may or may not be what you want.
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Mar 31st, 2016, 07:46 PM
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My recommendation is to hit your local library and check out guide books and DVDs for the areas. Watch the Rick Steves' DVDs on Italy. You need to refine you own ideas a bit before anyone can really made good recommendation. Otherwise we just wasting a lot of time. My second recommendation is to book an open jaw ticket - into Rome, home from Venice or reverse. Into Milan home from ???? Almost always cheaper than returning to your original airport.
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Mar 31st, 2016, 08:24 PM
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Well, Rome, Florence and Venice tend to make many top three lists but this is your trip and you should choose what most interests you.
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Mar 31st, 2016, 08:37 PM
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http://wikitravel.org/en/Italy
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Mar 31st, 2016, 08:59 PM
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For sure Rome. Maybe rent an apartment on VRBO near Campo do Fiori and really enjoy the city before the heat. From there, you can do day trips by train to Florence and Naples (Pompei).
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Mar 31st, 2016, 09:34 PM
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"For sure Rome."

Why 'for sure"? Speaking from my own experience, I went to Northern Italy twice before I went to Rome. We have nothing yet on which to base any suggestions whatever. Why would the obvious choices necessarily be the right ones for these travelers?
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Apr 1st, 2016, 10:23 AM
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But until the OP tells us we don't know - are guessing blind.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 11:46 AM
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Rome, Florence and Venice are the classic three cities for many - take the train in between them - fly into Rome and out of Venice or v.v. For train info check www.trenitalia.com - buying tickets far in advance can result in large savings if you can nab the limited in number discounted tickets - for lots of Italian trains check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com.

Two cities I'd spend 4 days in Rome and 2 in Venice and two in Florence. Total travel time on trains about 5 hours all told.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 01:58 PM
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I think Rome "for sure" because they have never been there before and don't even know what they want to see-- therefore, a classic itinerary would be what they probably expect and want to see, the places they've heard so much about, capital, important historically, etc. I can't imagine someone not knowing exactly what they wanted to see in England on a first trip, and not even going to London, for example. So I think for someone who doesn't even know where they want to go, the obvious choices are the right ones.

I think PalenQ's idea is as good as any.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:04 PM
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I also wouldn't necessarily start with Rome. I've only been to Italy twice, and went to Venice both times. It was amazing. If I were leaving tomorrow to visit again, it would be Florence.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:06 PM
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Oh for our OP, I would suggest the 10 days split in Venice and Florence myself. Use the train between. That's a beautiful first trip, without getting into anything too hectic or overwhelming (like I picture Rome).
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:14 PM
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Thank you all for your input. I've never taken my daughter to Europe and thought I'd start with Italy. I wish I could say I had a major reason for choosing Italy but I just think it has list to see and do, looks beautiful and has great food. I was thinking of Rome, Florence and Venice but then I was wondering about Sicily or Tuscany.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:15 PM
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I would suggest starting with airlines. Who offers your best fare and what city would you fly into? Can you get an open jaw ticket and fly out of another city to save backtracking?

Start with that city - most likely Rome or Milan. If Milan, you could spend a day there, then move on to Venice via Verona. From Venice head on the train to Bologna or Florence. Rent a car and explore some hill towns then finish in Rome. This is a very well-worn tourist path but well-worn for a reason, being some of the world's most extraordinary sights contained within these places.

If you fly into Rome you could do a loop south to Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

Bear in mind it's June so things are busy and lots of places are already booked.

Take a look at some good guide books - DK Eyewitness or Lonely Planet.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:37 PM
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Again, melaly, you must give us some clue about your tastes and preferences. We can't list for you "should choose Rome because of abc, choose Florence because of ghk, choose Venice because of xyz etc." it will be 10 pages long and getting to nowhere. So, what do YOU like to see in general?

Ancient ruins? Beach & islands? Hillside villages? Museums? Gondola rides? Pizza? Spaghetti? Pretty people? Italian people?
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Apr 1st, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Our taste and preferences are really very open. Love good regional food and great sites. As this our first trip would like to see the major attractions. I'm hoping June won't be as crowded but from what I've read here sounds like it is the start of the busy time. Not too keen on standing in line for hours. We would also love to find those special gems off the beaten track especially for restaurants.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 03:06 PM
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Use this as a first orientation trip - do the biggies you've been dreaming about your whole life - Rome, Florence and Venice - then next time explore elsewhere - in ten days you don't have much time and not to see any of those three awesome cities would be a pity.

For a taste of rural Tuscany add a day into Florence and take a bus or train to a hill town - like Siena, one of the very best - about an hour by dirt-cheap frequent buses.
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Apr 1st, 2016, 03:51 PM
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Mr. Pickle and I spent 11 nights in Italy last May, visiting Milan, Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano, and Florence. Though we tend to move around on trips more than many Fodorites, we got to see almost everything we really wanted to see, and had a really good time overall.

Here's a link to our trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...y-may-2015.cfm

Lee Ann
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Apr 1st, 2016, 04:08 PM
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That makes things more complicated because of transportation. The classic triangle of Rome, Florence, Venice can easily be done by simple and direct train connections.
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