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Help finalizing 26 day Italy honeymoon itinerary

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Hi all! I have posted before, and gotten GREAT info re:car rental companies, etc. Also one awesome poster gave me loads of info on Puglia and even steered me towards the Cilento coast and Paestum, which we have now added b/c it looks so amazing! She suggested renting a car in Rome but I just don't want the stress of driving in Rome or any city. Anyway we are trying to figure out logistics (ie: where to begin and end) so we have come up with all the places we want to visit but need to hash out the order. we are wanting to go north or rome and south or rome, and rome itself and flying out of milan (used airline miles, no choice) So, here are a few potential itineraries (rough)...can you seasoned Italy travelers chime in on which makes more sense and would be more relaxing and a better use of our time?
1)
We fly to Paris on June 15.
Paris june 15-19 (or there is one flight on the 17th but that's only 1.5 days there)
Fly to Bari and rent a car there, spend ~one week in Puglia (Lecce, Ostuni, Matera)
Drive across to Cilento, visit Paestum and spend a couple nights in Salerno or somewhere small and NOT amalfi touristy
Return car in salerno
train up to Rome and spend a few days
train up to Umbria maybe to a small village a night or two
train to florence for one or 2 nights
train to Milan and fly home July 11
2)
OR basically the opposite (start on the other coast)
Fly Paris to Naples, rent car in Salerno and drive down to Paestum, Castellebate, etc, then head over to Puglia, week in Puglia then return car in Bari
Train to rome (4 hrs)
then umbria, florence, milan (like the first itinierary)

3)
OR....last option since it's hot and crowded the later into summer you get, we could start up north and end south:
Fly Paris to Florence (and maybe hit Umbria) and train down to rome, then train to Salerno, rent car and drive across to Puglia, stay a week, return car in Bari and take a LONG train to Milan (7-9 hours) to fly out

or spend our honeymoon in the Caribbean not stressing about itineraries? :)

*Also, Is the weather better on the coasts in summer than Umbria?? If it's super hot and uncomfortable inland in summer we could cut out Umbria and spend more time on the coastal spots (finace needs to see Florence though)


Thanks a million in advance!!

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    Won't comment on the Caribbean option but it is not necessarily cooler in northern Italy in June, especially Florence or other interior valleys. If you are looking for beach/swim time in the south of Italy, the later you go the better. If you pick coastal locations south of Salerno and in Puglia then you really don't have a lot to worry about when it comes to crowds in July. You will of course be sharing sightseeing space with some foreign tourists, but you can find plenty of elbow room in places like the Cilento or even little towns like Sapri near Paestum (or the beaches of Paestum itself). The major crowds for those beaches is August.

    I would pick option 3, but without a car in central Italy, I don't think you can "hit" Umbria. Personally I would pick the Cilento over Puglia but that is a very subjective call. And I would take a flight up to Milan whether you finish your southern Italy tour in Puglia or Naples (I think you may be able to fly from Salerno to Milan during summer).

    Also, you mention the word "relaxing" and even though you say you have 26 days, I don't see this as a "relaxing" itinerary, in particular that you are flying into Paris on the 15th and then getting on another plane so soon. Right now for Italy you have Rome, Florence, Umbria and Paestum and Puglia on your itinerary, plus hopes for something of the Amafli and needing to fly out of Milan.

    Can't tell if you would prefer to minimize your time in the cities but one or 2 nights in Florence or a few days in Rome is probably more hassle then it is worth. Nothing wrong with a honeymoon that eliminates these cities and enjoys the beautiful scenery and small towns for romance. The big Italian art cities will always be there and they are hard to just bomb in and out of. Better to go in cooler weather when you have more time. You can save money by elmiinating them as well.

    Would something like this work for you?

    6 days Paris
    Fly to Rome, take train to Orvieto, one night
    Pick up rental car next morning, then spend 3 nights in rural Umbria
    Followed 4 nights in southern Tuscany
    Drive to Paestum (lunch en route), spend one night
    see the greek temples in the morning then 4 nights in and around the Cilento
    Drop off car in Salerno and splurge to have driver take you up the Amalfi drive to the Naples airport, fly to Milan, get a car transfer or train to Lago di Como for 3 nights
    Car transfer to Malpensa for flight home

    However, I just eliminated Puglia from your honeymoon and you might want to put it back!

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    thanks!!! well we do want to see puglia, as all I have read sounds just wonderful, especially the food and wine. we are going on a budget so the puglia region being less expensive is another bonus. I think at this point we might eliminate Umbria (you're right, probably too hard to "hit" without a car) and start in Puglia where we will rent a car, drive across to Cilento, return car Salerno and train to rome, train to Florence then leave. If we are able to extend our trip, as in AA.com opens up some more miles flight options, then maybe we can add Umbria back in.

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