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HELP! How to squeeze in Cinque terre into our itinerary?

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Apr 28th, 2010, 03:39 PM
  #1
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HELP! How to squeeze in Cinque terre into our itinerary?

My husband and I are going to Italy in less than two weeks and we have already planned and booked our hotels for our visit. So far, our itinerary looks like this

May 9: arrive Rome, train to Florence.
May 9-12: Florence, with day trip to Pisa and MAYBE cinque terre
May 13-16: Venice
May 17-22: Rome

So we were originally planning to do a day trip from Florence to Pisa and Cinque Terre. However, the more research I do, the less feasible and desirable the trip becomes! It looks like it is better to at least spend overnight in one of the towns in Cinque Terre but I don't know how to squeeze it into our schedule

Any suggestions? Thanks!!
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Apr 28th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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There may be others who disagree but my suggestion - unless you can take a couple of days off your stay in Rome, save the Cinque Terra for another time. You wouldn't be doing the area justice by spending an hour or two there. And that would be one long day trip. Once in Pisa, you could take the train to La Spezia but you'd have such little time to explore the other villages I doubt you'd think it was worth the effort. Enjoy Pisa for your day trip instead of trying to cover too much ground.
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Apr 28th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Of course, I have a different view I would take away days off Rome and spend time in CT. It is not that Rome lacks things to do; Rome is a gateway city and as such you will likely to visit Rome over and over on subsequent trips to Italy. If you visit the Amalfi coast, it is trivial to include Rome. If you visit Umbria or Tuscany country sides, you will likely to pass through Rome. The CT is out of the way for most itineraries, so you have to purposely include CT in any itinerary.
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Apr 28th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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You can squeeze in anything you like, as long as you know you'll be skipping other treasures.

Because of the dates of your trip, you face a minor dilemma in Florence. Not all of the museums and major sights will be open on Monday, May 10th. You need to decide what's most important to you, research the days and hours these sights will be open and then schedule your days. May 10th might be the best day for a day trip; however, you will have only arrived the day before and hardly got your bearings before you skedaddle out of the city. On May 11th, after you've started exploring Florence in depth, you may regret you don't have a third day there.
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Apr 28th, 2010, 08:04 PM
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Hi chaznangie ,
I would recommend a minimum of two nights (although I really recommend 3-4) in the CT. There is so much to see in the CT and a day trip just does not do it justice. It will just be a blur in your memory. You could split your time with Rome and just do the highlights in Rome, but then only you can decide if you want to do that. There is so much to see in Rome, six days for us wasn't nearly enough time....so much to see...so little time.

Have fun,
Michele
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Apr 28th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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Like Greg, I too would take a day from Rome for the Cinque Terre, which was one of the highlights of my first trip to Italy. Of course, nothing topped visiting the Roman Forum and the ruins there - but personally (no offense to the people who LOVE Rome!) I didn't need that much time in Rome. I spent three nights and that was enough for me. Some people could spend weeks there; I wasn't one of them. Maybe you are.

Doing a single night in the CT is indeed going to make your visit tight, two nights would be better, just because it's great to have a day solid where you can hike and be tired at the end of the day and not face changing cities or a long train ride. I guess if you can get up there REALLY early from Florence and get started hiking as early as you can, you could fit in hiking from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare (the typical hike most first-timers want to do) and still have enough time to relax in the evening.

Pisa itself was something I found very overrated, at least the touristy stuff most Americans feel compelled to see. I mean, I HAD to see the (leaning) Tower of Pisa and the Field of Miracles, but the area right around it is overwhelmed with the worst tacky tourist carts you can imagine, making it almost feel fake or like a poorly-maintained Disney attraction. If I had more time, someday I'd like to see more of Pisa itself AWAY from there...but that's nothing something you can do quickly with the time you have in your trip.
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Apr 29th, 2010, 04:16 PM
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Me? I would take time from Venice unless you are keenly interested in its art.

If you are not interested in fantastic architecture, you can skip Pisa.

Don't feel like you have to take a museum, churches and ruins of tour of Italy if you don't generally enjoy that as a way of spending your free time. I happen to love all three, but I live not far from le Cinque Terre, and this spring is just gorgeous.
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Apr 29th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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I agree with zeppole - one less day in Venice - maybe even a day less in Rome - and you will have two wonderful days in the Cinque Terra
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Apr 29th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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Assuming it's your first time in Italy, I'd keep your itinerary as is. And I'd skip Pisa and the CT and spend a day or so in the Tuscan countryside.

If you subtract days from any of Rome/Florence/Venice, I'd subtract them from Florence. That is, unless you are great fans of Renaissance art and architecture. Most everybody likes Venice, and Rome has at least 4 days of must-sees.

Did you consider going to Venice on your first day, then working your way back?
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Apr 29th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Unfortunately, you won't know which places you prefer until you've been there. I can't get enough of Florence and Rome but have never been swept away by Venice like so many others. To each his/her own.

I'd also keep the itinerary as is. In a trip of less than two weeks, I wouldn't add another hotel anywhere.
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Apr 29th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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I would recommend skipping a day in Venice and maybe one day in Rome (or Florence, although I would keep your days in Florence). Cinque Terre is so beautiful, especially now, in the spring. I went there last April and love the entire Liguria region.
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Apr 29th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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I think you have the right amount of time for Venice, Florence and Rome. CT is lovely but best for hiking the trails between the towns. If you like the out of doors and hiking, skip the day trip to Pisa and take one day from Venice and spend 2 days in CT. We've been to Italy 9 times and to CT once. We really loved it but wouldn't skip or take time from Venice, Florence or Rome to spend time in CT.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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I don't think it's true that you can only know which travel destinations you'd prefer unless you've been there.

First of all, there is no enjoyable travel without taking into consideration what the traveler most wants and enjoys. So you should always start with yourself and why you are going to a foreign country. If you are going for an education in art, you will prefer going to art cities. If you are going to meet Italians, you will prefer going to places with more Italians than tourists. If you are going to get away from looking at modernity, you will prefer well-preserved pre-industrial towns. If you are going to relax and look at natural beauty, you will prefer to avoid noisy polluted cities.

And so on and so forth.

Obviously this thread could go on forever with however many posters who care to post saying "I'd do this" or "I'd do that" and "I recommend you keep this and skip that."

I recommend the travelers start with themselves. Anonymous posters on the internet whose subjective tastes are elaborated on in their posts -- including mine -- can really mislead you. Especially misleading is the idea that you should go with the "consensus." You probably don't do that when buying a house or buying comfortable clothes -- or anything else that is personal and expensive. I wouldn't spend two weeks and all that money conforming to other people's ideas of what does and doesn't belong in your first trip to Italy. THere is no objectively beneficial or right way to approach the country.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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PS: Thousands of people go to the CT and love it who never hike between the towns.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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Well, by all of my own criteria, I should love Venice perhaps more than any other city in Italy. After spending time there, I've decided that I don't. To each his/her own.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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While I agree that sometimes you just don't like a place you think you will, I like the advice zeppole has offered to the OP. Trying to keep in mind what I and my husband like and require in a vacation has led to some fantastic trips--after a lot of trial and error!
Perhaps chaznangie should express to us what they want out of the trip and why squeezing in 5T is of importance to them.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 02:59 PM
  #17
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Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions! My vacation is usually not very flexible and I don't get a lot of them, so I feel that it will be difficult to go back to Italy again in the near future... at least not the same region of Italy. I saw pictures of CT and it just looks like such a wonderful place and my husband also loves hiking! I think if we do decide to take a day trip to visit CT, we will do the hike between Riomaggiore and Manarola, simply because it is the shortest and easiest hike, and the name "Lover's lane" just sounds to irresistible to us honeymooners! From the look of it, we will end up doing a day trip to CT on May 10! Like Jean said, it will be a monday and a lot of major sites are closed anyways!
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