Florence, Tuscany, Amalfi Itinerary

Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Florence, Tuscany, Amalfi Itinerary

My wife and I are planning a 10 day trip to Italy and were thinking of going to Florence, Tuscany and Amalfi coast. I was wondering first of all, is it doable to see all three places in 10 days, or will it be too rushed? Can anyone suggest the best way to break it down (ie. how many days/nights in each)? We're plan on renting a car after seeing FLorence to travel through Tuscany and Amalfi.

From NYC it seems it will be easiest to fly to Rome and take a train to Florence.

We were thinking 3 nights in Florence, 4 nights in Tuscany and 3 nights in Amalfi, driving back to Rome to catch a flight on the last day. Is this reasonable? since we've never been before I'm not sure. Any recommendations on itineraries would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

kjb is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 03:30 AM
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Assuming your 10 days does NOT include travel days for the international flights, then 0 days and three places is very doable, IMO. (However, if your trip is between November and March, I would consider skipping Amalfi as weather is not that good. Either spend more time in Rome and Tuscany or consider adding Venice, but watch the November flood season in Venice.)

I would do the coast last for a bit of relaxation. Toss up whether to do Rome or Florence first. If you don't want to do Rome first, I would look into an open jaw flight into Florence and out of Naples. There are no direct flights from the US to Florence, so you would have to change in Rome or Milan or elsewhere, but as your luggage would automatically transfer, etc, this will save you a lot of time and the hassle of getting into Rome to get the train to Florence, schlepping bags, etc. You can take the train from Florence and Rome about 2.5 hours, then Rome to Naples also about 2.5 hours, then transfer by car, bus or ferry to points along the Amalfi coast. If you can fly home out of Naples (again connecting through Rome, Florence or elsewhere) this will save you from having to travel to Rome the night before your flight, as most US bound flights depart between 9 -10 am from Rome. Again, your luggage would go automatically saving you a lot of time and hassle.

If you do Rome first, look into open jaw into Rome and out of Naples. Take a train from Rome to Florence. You can take a train from Florence to Naples in about 4 hours. You can also fly, but the train would let you see the different countryside and is usually quite a bit cheaper.

I would take trains as much as possible. The only place you might want a car is the Tuscan countryside, and you can rent in Florence. You do not need a car on the coast, and IMO they are a liability, as parking is expensive and hard to find, traffic can be a hassle, the driver misses all the views, and the ferries are so much fun anyway. You can hire a car and driver to pick you up in Naples and drive you down along the coast to your hotel. You don't want a car in Rome at all. Gas costs US$4.50 a gallon here, and renting cars is expensive to begin with, I would save the money for better hotels.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for your input. Actually I failed to mention we will be going in the last week of Sept. and first week of Oct. There will be 9 full days excluding the day we arrive and day we we return.
kjb is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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Hi kjb,

End of Sept is a good time to visit.

Any reason why you can't fly out of Naples, since you aren't going to visit Rome?

A car for your four days in Tuscany is a good idea. However, I suggest that you drop your car in Sorrento for your AC visit.

Alternatively, you can increase your time in Florence to 6 nights, forget the car, and do daytrips to your choice of Siena, Castellina, Montepulciano, Lucca/Pisa on public transportation.

This adds a day to the AC.

Train and bus schedules are at
www.trenitalia.com/en and

ira is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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Thanks Ira, I appreciate the feedback.

I'll have to look into flying out of Naples as that seems more sensible. I didn't know it was an option.

I would like to spend a few nights in Tuscany to experience staying in the countryside and relaxing, so I would still prefer to do 2-3 nights in Florence then 3-4 nights in Tuscany. For a first time visitor to Tuscany with an interest in doing some winery tours, where would you recommend staying? Should we base in one location, or do a couple of nights in 2 different areas?

Also, should I arrange a rental car ahead of my trip, or if I potentially could be dropping off in Sorrento, is it easier to make arrangements once I am in Florence?

Thanks again for your help!!
kjb is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Hmmmmm....so much to see...so little time. Given 10 days, your distribution is right on. Of course, it depends on how many museums, palaces and churches you want to see in Florence. We spent 4 days/3 nights in Florence (I had OD'd looking at Italian masterpieces after 4 days), rented a car in Florence and drove 8 days through Tuscany, and 4 days/3 nights in Sorrento and saw the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii & the Archeological Museum in Naples and Capri, in that order. It was just about right...although we agreed we COULD have spent, oh, 6 months in Amalfi or Capri. (We laughingly talk about buying a 44' live-aboard sailboat, anchoring it in Capri...and spending the rest of our lives there.)

Tuscany in 4 days is gonna be really hard; we spent 8 (2 in Gubbio, 3 in "Under the Tuscan Sun" (1 of 2 of my primary reasons for going) Cortona, 2 in Siena and 1 in Montepulciano)...and I could have spent 8 more in Chianti alone. Given 4 days, I'd say 1 in Siena, 1 in _______ in Chianti (pick a place), 1 in Montelcino or Montepulciano and 1 in San Gemignano ? or Cortona or Gubbio or???

Oh...and we were there the end of Sept (Positano/Cinque Terre) - beginning of Oct (Tuscany/Amalfi Coast) in 2003. Weather was perfect...ok, ok..it rained 1 day (I think) out of the 23 day trip.

I'm excited for you....you'll have a ball and will immediately plan on returning. We are...7 days skiing in Courmayeur next March, followed by 10 days in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands...if we could ever figure out how to get there.
Ramblero is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Hi kj,

I think you will find better rates if you rent your car before you go.

Try www.autoeurope.com or http://www.novarentacar.com/

For your four-night motor trip, I suggest that you do one night per town ending up in Sorrento.

Go to www.viamichelin.com. Enter Florence and Sorrento. Click "itinerary type" and change to avoiding tolls.

Your route will go by Barberino, San Gimignano, Colle, Siena, Sinalunga, Montepulciano, Castiglione del Lago, Perugia, Todi, Rieti, Naples, Caserta and Herculaneum.

ira is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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PS if you do the route via www.mappy.com, they suggest going along the coast.
ira is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I have an idea for your Florence/Tuscany portion of your trip. How about stay on the outskirts of Florence (15-20 miniute drive from the main part of the city) and this way you can see and explore Florence and see and explore Tuscany without having to change hotels. There is a place called Villa Montartino that I found in the Karen Brown book. I haven't stayed there yet but that is where I'm thinking of staying next time. It says on their website that there is a bus stop near the Villa and you can take a bus into Florence as well. It looks charming to me and would would give you the Tuscan Villa experience just outside of Florence. There are a few other places like this near FLorence where you have a country feel but have the views of FLorence, a pool, etc. This might simplify things for you and eliminate as much moving from hotel to hotel. Then you can return your car in Florence and take a train to Naples and then on to the Amalfi coast or drive to Naples and turn it in there and then head to the Amalfi Coast. We turned our car in at the Naples airport and took a cab to the port where we caught the boat to Capri. Hectic experience but fun and adventurous! All part of the adventure of travel.
Maggy is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:34 PM
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Great feedback from everyone, thanks for your input! Does anyone know how easy it is to go from the airport in Rome to the train station in order to catch a train to Florence? Is this a tall order for the first day? The reason I ask is that it seems no matter how I search for flights into Florence it involves long layovers so it would still be quicker to get to Florence by training it from Rome.
kjb is offline  
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