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Help! Italy, 5 cities in 12 days? Is it possible?

Help! Italy, 5 cities in 12 days? Is it possible?

Old Jan 15th, 2001, 12:10 PM
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Help! Italy, 5 cities in 12 days? Is it possible?

Please help!! I have never been to Italy before and will be traveling with my husband and another couple all ages 28-34. We would like to cover as much of the country as possible in 12 days as possible (doesn't everyone!) We all like to skim the surface sights on each city and maybe spend some time shopping. We don't want to see every museum and catherdral in Italy or even in each city we visit so a somewhat fast pace is okay.

With that in mind please comment on our first proposed itinerary we will be flying into Rome and out of Milan:

Rome - 4 nights
Amalfi maybe Vietri Sul Mar) - 2 nights
Florence - 2 nights
Venice - 2 nights
Lakes Region (Bellagio or Stresa)- 2 nights

Is this too much, what would you change?
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 12:14 PM
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Possible? Of course.

Do remember that "2 nights" really only gives you one full day and parts of two other days. You'll typically lose >>at least<< a half day on travel days, generally even more, everything considered.

"4 nights" does give you three full days in Rome which is (barely) adequate to skim most of the top sights.
( www.twenj.com/romesights.htm )

For the others, I recommend considering which one to drop so that you have some decent time, even for a skim.

Old Jan 15th, 2001, 12:34 PM
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I think it's a shame that you won't spend any time in Milan, especially since you're flying out of there. I would prefer it over the Lakes or the Amalfi coast. Milan is a breathtaking city with much to recommend it.
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 01:03 PM
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Angie, Well, one destination does not fit with the others and you know which one. Forget buying pottery at Vietri sul Mare and enjoy the other 4 destinations. We spent hours there last March and found nothing we wanted. You can do as well with the sale catalog from Crate and Barrel. And, each of the other 4 deserve at least 3 days.
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 01:10 PM
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I agree with Bob about dropping the Amalfi coast, but for a different reason, namely, its location. Better to divide up those two days in any of the other four locations. And, you can easily spend more time in any of the four!
Assuming you start off in Rome and then went to Amalfi, you'd have a lot of ground to cover to get to the other destinations. Save southern Italy for your next trip.
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 09:59 PM
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Hi Angie,
First, forget about Wendi's suggestion of breathtaking Milan.It's worth a half day at most.I wouldn't do it this way, but if you like to skim & shop, do Rome 3 days, Amalfi 2days, buy your ceramics in Ravello, not Vietri, Florence and Venice 2 days, and Como at the end.
Buon viagio,
Old Jan 17th, 2001, 06:39 AM
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Yes, 5 cities in 12 days is possible, but not nearly as much fun as 4 cities in 12 days, or 3 cities in 12 days. Like someone else said above, 2 nights in a place really gives you only 1 day, because the day before and the day after you'll be travelling (and recovering from travelling, which can be exhausting). I would narrow down your list to 4 cities at most. If you do 4 cities in 12 days, that would give you 3 nights in each (which is really only 2 full days in each -- still not much). Rome and Venice are (in my opinion) musts. Florence is nice also. I would drop either Amalfi or the Lakes (although I'm sure both are wonderful, there's just not time). Of those two, I would probably drop Amalfi just because it is the farthest south and the most out of the way. Since you're flying into Rome and out of Milan, it would make sense to do them in this order: Rome, Florence, Venice, Lakes -- each for 3 nights. 3 nights is not nearly enough for Rome, so you will come back someday and see the rest of Rome and do the Amalfi coast then.
Old Jan 17th, 2001, 06:50 AM
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Hi, agree with Lisa and the others. Less Cities, more days, seems so much more managable, IMHO, Judy
Old Jan 17th, 2001, 10:11 AM
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When are you going? The weather may determine which places are best to drop/keep.

Really, for a first time to Italy, I think Rome, Florence and Venice are the "must" cities. And if you were to whittle it down to two (I know, it hurts), I would make it Rome and Venice, although I think that Rome, Florence and Venice would be a great, if somewhat busy, trip.

I agree with those who have suggested dropping Amalfi, if anything is to be dropped. The Lakes are beautiful, but how will you get there -- train from Venice?
Old Jan 19th, 2001, 05:01 PM
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Your itinerary sounds a bit exhausting. Take it from me...we honeymooned in Italy a year ago and spent two weeks - Rome, Florence & Venice - there. Even though you say you don't need to see every museum, etc., just traveling from city to city takes it's toll. As much as we adored the country, we came home needing "a vacation from our vacation". My suggestion would be to narrow it down a bit, as it seems most people have suggested. Spend more time in Rome and don't miss Venice, no matter what. The best day we had there was when we got lost for about 4 hours (the maps are not too great, with all the meandering canals)and ended up wandering through some not to be believed neighborhoods.

You'll have fun when you return planning your NEXT trip!
Old Jan 19th, 2001, 05:46 PM
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Have not been to Milan, but I must admit I blinked a few times at Wendy's comment about "breathtaking" Milan as well. Everyone I've ever spoken to who's visited that city says that, with the exception of seeing the Last Supper, there's not a whole lot to attract the traveler in Milan unless you're *very* interested in international high fashion or in international business. A friend had planned 2-3 days in Milan during a 3-week Italian trip this past fall, and he ended up leaving after half a day.
Old Jan 19th, 2001, 07:33 PM
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I sympathize with your adrenaline-d urge to: seeasmuchasyoucanasfastasyoucancuzlook whatyouarespeningjustonairlineticketsand

I tend to do the same thing, still ....even tho I know I'll regret it.

The very best trips we've ever taken, whether in the US or abroad, have been those that give us a chance to just slowly take in where we are, absorb these sights, that culture..and sink in just a bit. You will have so much more memorable, and enjoyable, a holiday, if you take that approach. OK - so you don't see every quickquick,fastfast highlight of Italy's top cities...There will be another time, to do more.

Remember the Hepburn-Tracy movie...where 'the two' have just met...and someone says to Tracy: "There ain't a lotta meat on her." And Tracy agrees..."No, but what there is, is cherce (choice)."

Slow down. Simplify. Try a Tracy kind of holiday, make your time slow and 'choice,' and you'll be much enriched for it. And a lot less weary!
Old Jan 19th, 2001, 08:35 PM
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Hi Angie,
We are planning a trip to Italy in June and will be joining the Globus Leisure Style vacation - "Italy at Leisure" tour. We are going for 12 days (getting to Rome one day before the tour starts.) Our itinerary looks similar; since you are going on your own, might check out Globus itinerary as a comparison to planning your activities. Good Luck! Have a great trip... see www.globusandcosmos.com
Old Jan 20th, 2001, 05:00 AM
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Sounds like a reasonable pace to me, especially if you drop the south of Rome section. I wouldn't drop any of the others. What's wrong with needing "a vacation from your vacation" as someone said. If you wannted a relaxing vacation you could just go to the beach and not bother going all the way to Europe. I really don't mind coming home from Europe feeling a bit tired as long as I had a great time and saw the things I wanted to see.
Old Jan 20th, 2001, 06:00 AM
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I went to Italy 2 summers ago... We did Rome, Florence and Venice. There is a lot to see in Rome but it gets exhausting!! You have to decide just how many churches you really need to see! We were told by everyone (even friends who are Italian and go to Italy every summer) to skip Milan. It is a big city and nothing special or different from NYC. I spent one day in Venice which was plenty for us. Florence we really loved! Maybe take 3-4 nights in Rome and 3 nights in Florence and only one night in Venice. I don't know about the other 2 places you mentioned.
Rome is tiring (just so you know) 3 nights would be enough.
Old Jan 20th, 2001, 11:17 AM
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Susan, you must be lots of fun to travel with! To elaborate:
*"[Milan] is a big city and nothing special or different from NYC." (Comparing it to NYC would make me want to go there!)
*"I spent one day in Venice which was plenty to us." (No further comment needed.)
*"Rome is tiring (just so you know) 3 nights would be enough." (Yeah, but how many DAYS?)
What DID you like about Italy?
Old Jan 22nd, 2001, 06:02 PM
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With so many great suggestions, I almost hate to add to them...but I agree with most-
For a first trip to Italy, save Southern Italy for another trip. They are completely different animals.
However, take it from me, I've been writing these itineraries and traveling for quite some time to get the 'perfect' balance! Even with skipping the museums and cathedrals and 'flying' through, I barely remember what I saw. Venice, Florence and Rome are MUSTS, (skip pollution filled Milano)but also, too many cities and not enough countryside is disappointing too! I suggest Venice, Florence and then Sienna, Chianti, Rome and Umbria.
Even then, that's faaaaast.
Best, ciao and buon viaggo!

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