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Help with Italy itinerary -- 12 days, Amalfi coast/Cinque Terre/lakes?

Help with Italy itinerary -- 12 days, Amalfi coast/Cinque Terre/lakes?

Old Jan 11th, 2001, 11:10 AM
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Help with Italy itinerary -- 12 days, Amalfi coast/Cinque Terre/lakes?

Considering a late Aug.-early Sept. trip to Italy. Using frequent flier miles, and only availability is flying into Rome, arriving around 11:50 a.m. Thursday 8/23 and returning out of Milan Malpensa departing around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday 9/4. This basically gives us 12 full days and nights. I've been to Rome, Florence and Venice before so am not interested in the major cities this time -- this trip would be with my boyfriend, and our main interests are the Amalfi coast area and Cinque Terre (and I'm also thinking about Bellagio/Como too). We would really prefer not to rent a car and would rather rely on trains and ferries to get around to the extent possible (and the occasional taxi, bus, whatever). Seeking advice from all you experts out there on the best way to work this itinerary. Yes, we travel very light with just carry-ons, and yes, I am reviewing lots of old threads and will buy at least one guidebook & a good map too (haven't yet).

I'm thinking about spending 6 nights on the Amalfi coast (we know we're interested in seeing Capri, Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, Pompeii, and a little town nearby called Corbara for genealogical reasons, so I don't see how we could spend less than 6 days on this portion), 3 nights someplace along the Cinque Terre, and 3 somewhere around Bellagio/Como (don't want to be too far from Malpensa for our last night) -- does this sound OK? Please help with suggestions on where we should stay (preferably under around $150 U.S. per night if possible). If we stay 6 nights on the Amalfi coast, should we stay all 6 nights in one place or divide it up? Leaning toward either Positano or Amalfi for all 6 nights (I understand the train only goes to Sorrento, so we would need to take a ferry or bus beyond that?). Also, about how long will it take to go from the Amalfi coast to Cinque Terre on the train (I'm guessing the better part of a day), and from Cinque Terre to Como/Bellagio?

By the way, our priorities are beautiful natural surroundings & great views (enjoy photography), good food and wine at moderate prices, hiking, a little bit of shopping for ceramics, seeing some historical sites, and the occasional sunny day on a beach or by a pool.

Any suggestions welcome -- thanks!
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 01:04 PM
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Old Jan 11th, 2001, 01:24 PM
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Lisa, we are staying at Manarola (Cinque Terre) in July. We are booked into an apartment within a B&B called La Torretta.
Manarola is quiet so the story goes, but we plan to explore and we got a bargain for our 7 nights.
In Positano, we are staying at Villa La Tartana which is also a B&B. Triple room with ensuite, airconditioning, fridge, balcony with sea views...
We are not experts, first time in Italy, but cost and charm guided our decision. We don't like staying in Hotels as they seem less charming.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 12:00 PM
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Old Jan 12th, 2001, 12:12 PM
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Hi, Lisa, I cannot talk about the Amalfi coast but we took the train from Venice to Santa Margherita Ligure and used that as a base. Trains to Cinque Terre are quite frequent and there are boats between the villages as well. We had no trouble getting to Malpensa from SML to Centrale Station in Milan and Malpensa Express bus to airport. Be sure to take the short bus ride to Portofino and go to the top of the castle for great views. PF is a good place for lunch outside. In the CT, we liked Riomaggiore the best - a lot of people on this board have stayed at Edi's - you might do a search. A word of caution - the CT has a very large number of backpackers in summer. An inexpensive hotel right next to the train staion in SML is Angelo's Terminus - nothing fancy but clean. We really liked SML - hope this gives you something to work on - any questions, e-mail me.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 12:23 PM
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We were in Italy last September and I suggest you finish your trip in Stressa. This is on Lago Maggiore ( which extends into Switzerland). The Bristol Hotel is wonderful, and might meet your budget. This will meet all your end-of-trip requirements (beautiful, historic, poolside, etc.) and is within an hour of Malpensa!

Old Jan 13th, 2001, 09:15 AM
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Hello Lisa,

I am part of a group of women who hike literally all over the world. Our most recent trip was to Italy and Switzerland. I had been in Italy in October of 1999 and my friends took me on a day hike of the Cinque Terre. I was so excited about it I came home and told my friends and we immediately made plans for 2000. It's a fabulous hike - although usually quite crowded compared to the hikes we have taken in the past. But the CT is not to be missed. My recommendation would be to begin in Monterossa and end in Riomaggiore. The hardest sections are between Monterossa and Vernazza and the the next section to Cornigila. From there on it's relatively easy. It took us 5 hours each time - including a short stop for lunch in Corniglia.

We stayed in Portofino then on to Zermatt and then to Bellagio in Lake Como. We rented a car and had no problems until we drove from Como to Bellagio - that was extremely difficult and I might say rather dangerous. By the time to arrived in Bellagio we told the hotel to pick up the car and three days later we took a limo to the airport. That was the smartest thing we did for it is a tricky drive to Milan and well worth having someone who knows the roads to get you to the airport on time. We said if we did it again we would take a ferry from Como to Bellagio and avoid that road. But absolutely gorgeous country - not to be missed.

Enjoy your trip,ann
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 03:44 PM
Jim Tardio
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I think your plan sounds good. I can't recommend any hotels on the coast...we stayed in Sorrento....but I can tell you that Positano will be quite expensive, however it is very scenic. Since you are interested in photography perhaps you'd like to visit my website to see some pix of my last trip to Italy:


I was there the same time of year that you're planning. It's still quite warm on the coast even though we hit some rain. Enjoy yourself...you'll love it.
Old Jan 14th, 2001, 01:50 AM
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Whew! I felt exhausted just reading about your plans-they sound like three separate trips to me! We spent 10 days on the Amalfi coast (4 days in Naples visiting all the great museums, churches etc)We went to Pompei by train from Naples (allow all day here as there's so much to see). Then we went on by train to Sorrento and bus to Positano( bus stop right outside the station). Can recommend the Hotel Buca di Bacco in Positano- right on the beach and excellent sea food restaurant. We took trips to Amalfi and Ravello and Capri by boat from Positano ( much nicer than the bus)
Another trip we've taken was by train from Milan to Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Mantova (all within easy reach of Milan) Have a great time.
Old Jan 14th, 2001, 01:54 AM
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Useful web sites
Italian railway timetable www.fs-on-line.com (we planned all our recent 10 day itinerary to Northern Italy using this and all the trains were spot on time)
www.vesuviana.it (private rain line Naples- Pompeii-Sorrento)
Amalfi coast crmpa.it
Lake Como www.lakecomo.com
Lake Garda www.lagodigarda.it
Milan www.vivimilano.it
Naples www.ept.naples.it
Old Jan 14th, 2001, 06:31 AM
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Be prepared: 5 Terre in that period will be overcrowded! I live in Levanto, that it is greater and also here there are problems... The ideal period is may or late september, but I understand people has to travel when it is possible. 5 Terre and Levanto during july and august are very different as you could see coming in other months furthermore you will enjoy your travel, I'm sure! A tip: search for the train ticket that allows you to go through the 5 railway stations with about 5.500 italian lire ( about 2,5 US$)and don't forget to stamp it BEFORE you get the train or you'll have to pay (in italy it's possible to buy the ticket on the train but you have to pay a bill (about 5 US$)
Ciao from Levanto
------------> LOOK at www.cinqueterreonline.com

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