Help needed with Italy itinerary

Jun 12th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 42
Help needed with Italy itinerary

We're planning a trip to Italy in late September to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We were in Italy in 2004, but only hit Rome, Florence and Venice (with a day trip to Pompeii). So far I've come up with this first-draft itinerary, but I need some help and suggestions:

Fly to Venice: 2 nights (wanted to see Venice again!)
Venice to Florence: 3 nights (day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa). Question: should we stay in Siena instead?
Florence to Cinque Terre: 3 nights (is this enough time/too much?)
Cinque Terre to Sorrento: 4-5 nights. This is where I need lots of help. We want to see Capri and the Amalfi coast. Would also like to see the archeological museum in Naples and possibly Mt. Vesuvius. Should we base ourselves in Sorrento? Spend a couple nights in Positano?

Is there anywhere else that I should consider instead? Is this a doable itinerary? Thanks for any help!
Kim_George is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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If you're day-tripping to Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa, I don't see the reason to stay in Florence. I would choose Siena instead. 3 nights in CT is enough, and some might say more than enough.
How do you plan to travel to Sorrento and while on the Amalfi coast?
Grandot is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Thanks Grandot, I was thinking Siena might be the better place to stay. We're not planning on renting a car for any of these travels -- planning instead on taking trains and boat/bus while on the Amalfi Coast. Will we be able to get everywhere we need to go this way?

Should we stay two nights in Cinque Terre and add an extra day somewhere else?
Kim_George is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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We are going to CT from Florence, too. How long does it take to get there? And what means of Transpo are you going to use?
handy is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Hi Handy -- we are planning on taking the train from Florence to CT. I'm not sure how long it takes exactly, but I don't think it's more than a couple hours.
Kim_George is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Kim and George,

I understand your desire to return to Venice.

We spent 2 nights in CT and felt that was plenty. I think the only way you would want to spend more time there is if you wanted to do all of the hiking between the 5 towns. We hiked between 2 and took a boat the rest of the time.

If you are taking day trips from Florence to 3 different towns, you won't have much time in Florence. For that reason, I would think you would choose you have been to Florence, but not Sienna (from the sounds of it).

As far as the's been 25 years since I was in southern Italy, so I better not give any advice.

Have a great time!
take_time_2_travel is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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Moms, you suggest Umbria.
Kim George says that they do not plan to rent a car for their trip. Will they be able to see the towns in Umbria without a car?
Grandot is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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Hi K,

You have a good plan.

Are you sure that you want to visit the CT and the AC on the same trip?

FWIW, I think 2 nights on the CT would be plenty. Add the night to Venice.

If your major interest is to see Siena and San G, I suggest staying in Siena.

You can get to S from V by taking the train to Florence and the bus to S. The bus is located on Via Santa Caterina da Siena, near the train station.

For busing around Siena, see and

For getting to Pompei Scavi, Naples, Vesuvius and Capri, I think that Sorrento would be better than Positano.

I suggest that you consider a visit to Paestum as well. You will have to get to the Trenitalia station in either Naples or Pompeii.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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I would cut 5 terre to 1 night and do the hike. It can easily be done in one day if you're young and fit. Don't miss the archaeological museum in Naples.
carrom is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 08:46 AM
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"morris" has posted seven times in the past hour about Genius Loci...

Sounds like Morris might be the "young and handsome Michael".

I'm sure you will have a great trip, no matter what. You have only 13 nights and you are covering an aweful lot of territory.
My thoughts:
Venice for 2 nights: Good,especially because you have been there before.
Florence for 3 nights: Good...but, not with more than one (none would be better)day trip.
CT for 3 nights: Okay,but I'm not a huge fan of CT and since you are planning much of your time at Sorrento-I'd either skip it or do 2 nights.
Hit Pisa on your way to CT.
The remainder of your time at Sorrento: If that's waht you want ,then okay.
I'd take at least one of the CT nights and 1-2 from the Sorrento portion and do more than "hit Rome".
jabez is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Wow, thanks so much for all your helpful responses so far. This has given me a lot to think about! Based on feedback from you all, I'm thinking of revising our itinerary to look something like this:

1. start in Rome: 3 nights
2. Rome to Sorrento: 3 or 4 nights
3. Sorrento to Siena: 2 nights
4. Siena to Venice: 2 or 3 nights

As Jabez mentioned, it would be nice to see more of Rome. I loved it the first time and there's so much more to explore.

What do you think of eliminating CT? Since we are going to Amalfi Coast, should we skip it?
Kim_George is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Hello, just an FYI....the trains in Italy, specifically in the areas you want to visit are not that convenient...and there can be lengthy delays...I would highly recommend renting a car....Mikek
mike1728 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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Sorrento to Siena is a somewhat complicated trip by rail.
I think you can train to Naples and then train to Siena. You can easily spend more than 8 hours traveling that day.
With only 12-13 nights you are covering a lot of territory and that means lots of time "lost" traveling.
I would consider renting a car in Sorrento and driving to Siena. When you reach the Montepulciano exit off the autostrada get off and head toward Siena.
Leave early that day. Figure about 4 1/2 hours to the exit. Lunch in Montepulciano or Pienza.
This makes for a lovely alternative to the trains.
The only problem is that one day rentals costs as much as two days.

jabez is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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Another possibility to consider:

1. start in Sorrento: 3 or 4 nights
2. Sorrento to Rome: 3 or 4 nights
3. Rome to Siena: 2 nights
4. Siena to Venice: 2 or 3 nights

Either by flying directly to Naples, or heading south from Rome on your arrival day, this reversal of 1 and 2 could make your other travel days easier.

If you are arriving from the US, some would say that then traveling all the way to Sorrento would be unbearable. Others would say that since you're already tired, sitting on a train might actually be restful and a good use of jet lag time. It all depends on how well you do after a long flight.
ellenem is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Thanks jabez and ellenem for your feedback. I didn't realize that the train would be so difficult or take so long from Sorrento to Siena -- good to know! I'm a little intimidated about driving. Is it pretty easy to figure out where you're going? Maybe starting in Sorrento and then going to Rome is the way to go.
Kim_George is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Hi Kim George ,I am for canceling CT since you are going to the Sorrento area, are you going to leave Florence out? It is such a specilal place!!
Siena is very nice, but I shall take any time Florence.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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The drive from Sorrento is not difficult. Neither is the side trip I mentioned.
If you start in Sorrento, you can do this trip without a car.
jabez is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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We took the train from Sorrento to Siena. It's not that hard. (Easier than getting from the Cinque Terre to Sorrento in your first itinerary.) You take the Circumvesuviana commuter train from Sorrento to the Naples station, then switch to a northbound train. I'd go into more detail but the Trenitalia website seems to be down right now.

I do remember we took a bus instead of a train from Chiusi to Siena. The bus wound up and down and around the Tuscan hills past little towns and farms; it was like a magic carpet and we fell in love with Tuscany.

Sorrento is a good transportation base for what you want to see.

But, have you considered reversing your latest itinerary? Flying into Venice and out of Rome? I like Venice for recovering from jetlag. If you fly out of Venice, you usually have to leave very early to make a connecting flight, losing precious time in La Serenissima.
Mimar is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Hello fellow tourist adventurers. We are a party of 4 traveling on a cruise. One of our destinations is Florence / Pisa. We have a full day to visit Florence and Pisa. I'm kind of wondering if we should book a tour from the cruise or book a private tour for 4 at the dockside?
TAYNOS is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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You might want to start a bew thread.
Cruise tours are much more expensive than what byou can do on your own.
jabez is offline  

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