Help with Italy Itinerary

Old May 23rd, 2020, 02:18 PM
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Help with Italy Itinerary

Hello Fellow Travellers,
We hope to make it to Italy in mid September if our flight's not cancelled and I would appreciate any suggestions on my rough draft itinerary:

10/2 - 10/6: Assisi w/side trips to 2 of the following: Spello, Perugia, Spoleto, Gubbio, Montefalco
10/6 - 10/9: Train to Bologna: if we decided to take a day trip from Bologna, where would you suggest that would be within an hour's train or bus ride?
10/9 - 10/12: Train to Florence (was in Florence over 20 years ago) Again, if we decided to take a day trip from Florence within an hour away, where would you suggest?
10/12 - 10/15: Train to Rome (been to Rome 5 times so only need a couple of days)
10/15: Fly home
We have spent time in Tuscany so aren't interested in that right now and we've been to Venice.
We enjoy museums, culture, architecture, and we may want to see a couple of churches or cathedrals, but not many. We are not beach people.
Thank you in advance
pichulita430 is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2020, 04:06 PM
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Putting aside the issue of whether a holiday to Italy in September will be possible or wise, I think your itinerary looks good but I don't think that you really have time for day trips from either Bologna or Florence as you have only two full days in each, which I would spend just enjoying your chosen destinations themselves. However, if you still want to take those day trips, then I can recommend Ferrara, Ravenna or Lucca (the latter two might be more than one hour). Each of these places could easily fill many days on their own. There are, of course, a heap of other choices available, all of which would be lovely. btw, a car in Assisi area isn't critical, if that's what you're thinking. We found bus services in the area infrequent but adequate and train services are good. Your dates indicate October but you said September: either way it doesn't matter much.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 04:16 PM
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On reflection, I would not even look at places outside of Bologna or Florence with the time you have available. Both have an awful lot to enjoy and you need all of your time there if you are to not short change them completely. If you go looking for other places, you'll just wish you had longer, which presumably you don't. I'm guilty of doing this all the time. I keep researching, stumbling across new places and end up dissatisfied that I can't see more instead of enjoying the places I've already chosen.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 04:51 PM
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An hour from Florence: Pistoia



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Old May 23rd, 2020, 05:18 PM
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You're counting days twice, so it's hard to know how much time you actually have in each place. You can't count 10/6 as a day in Assisi and also a day in Bologna. It's a more than 3-hour train ride between the two. Even the time traveling between cities that are closer together (Bologna and Florence, Florence and Rome) can eat into sightseeing hours if you're not an early starter.

I agree with dreamon, but, IF I was going to make an excursion from Florence, my first-choice day trip would be Siena. If you've been to Siena, consider Arezzo which is much more interesting to me than Lucca. You should plan your Florence time with consideration to what specifically you want to see/do there. Your dates include Sunday/Monday which are tough days for sightseeing as many sights are not open every Sunday and/or Monday.

To be clear, Ferrara and Ravenna are day trips from Bologna. Lucca is a day trip from Florence.

If you're not going to rent a car (unclear from the info provided), I would stay in Spoleto or Perugia rather than Assisi to give you access to more frequent public transportation. And you need to decide on the day trips. I love Gubbio, but Assisi to Gubbio by public trans would take nearly 3 hours each way by bus. Perugia to Gubbio by bus is about an hour, but you'd have to check timetables to see if departures in both directions would allow for a reasonable visit to the town. For the most part, bus schedules in Italy are meant to assist workers and students, not so much tourists. Assisi to Montefalco is another 2+ hour bus journey, but Spoleto to Montefalco takes about 30 minutes.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 05:43 PM
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Siena is a beautiful town and Arezzo would also be great. And to add to Jean's information about transport, Assisi is a short bus/taxi ride from the closest train station.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 11:43 PM
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It’s impossible to count time like that, even if you are by car, also i think you should add days, 1 day in Florence is nothing, no less interesting and better by train from Rome Termini railway if you begin from Rome
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Old May 25th, 2020, 11:55 AM
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If you have a car, this is a nice outing: A restaurant off the beaten track which is located between Florence and Pistoia. Google Spazzavento for its exact location.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 06:50 PM
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I'm always interesting in how the math works out. And agree you can't really count days twice, like you did 4 times in your plan. That's a lot of time that you don't actual have. For me, 4 cities with 4 possible "day trips" is a lot for only 13 days.
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