help with Italy itinerary

May 9th, 2007, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 93
help with Italy itinerary

Hello, I am going to Italy in August with DH and two daughters, ages 14 and 12.
Here's my rough itinerary:
Fly in to Rome:
4 nights Rome,
train to Florence,
3 nights Florence,
rent car,
2 night Cinque Terre,
drive to Montepulciano,
7 nights Montepulciano,
drop off car in Florence,
train to Venice,
4 nights Venice,
train to Milan, and then Lake Como
3 nights Lake Como,
fly out of Milan.

My one concern now is that I'm allowing too much time in Tuscany. At that time of year, the places that have a pool (I figure the kids deserve at least one place with a pool during this trip), require a Saturday to Saturday one week stay. I was able to juggle my itinery to fit that, but are the kids and I going to get bored out of our minds going to one little village after the other, (we had loved spending a few days in the Loire Valley two years ago, but I'm not sure about a whole week.)
So, the question: spend less time in Tuscany. If so, then go where? Add time to Venice or Cinque Terre?
Thank you in advance for all your help.
monica007 is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I would had more time to Rome because if one of your four nights includes the day you arrive, you only have 2 full and 2 half days in Rome. Not enought time at all.
motor_city_girl is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Sorry, I meant 3 full days and 2 half days, still not enough time.
motor_city_girl is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Hi monica,

I was thinking the same. It's going to be hot in Rome and you may not do as much each day as you would like. Add a day to Rome.

Personally, I would take a day from Florence and add it to CT. The favorite sights in Florence are more concentrated than Rome and Florence is really going to see hot and crowded.

Just a thought: how about taking some time from Tuscany (gasp!) and spend it in the Dolomiti? Perfect place to be in August!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Posts: 249
while i simply love montepulciano..why seven nights there and only 4 rome and even less ..3 in firenze?
take a day from montepulciano and add to Rome and the same for Firenze. That would still leave you 5 in montepulciano for whatever reason you have there. while the town is mystical and great...I feel that unless you have plans there, after about 4 days at most you will get restless.
russwuf is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Hi Monica, your trip sounds beautiful so far, i just have few ideas. Can you go to Montepulciano after Rome before Florence? It is between the two and instead of driving north to Florence, then north again to Cinque Terre then all the way back down to Montepulciano, seems easier to avoid so much time traveling. As for your girls, I think cities will be fun but exhausting and especially in August so you have the right idea of the "pool/relax" time. I would suggest adding another day to Cinque Terre as it is amazing, especially for kids, mainly Vernazza and Monterosso and maybe take off a day from Venice as in my opinion, you don't need four days there. As for too much time in Tuscany, you can do fun day trips if your up for traveling, Siena, chanti where there are many castles you can visit and if you are really motivated you can drive a few hours west and take a ferry for the day to Isola del'giglio, Elba, etc.. Also, someone mentioned Dolomite which is a great idea as you head north or even Val'daosta, both are beautiful in the summer. Have fun!!
jaimi is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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I highly recommend adding a day to CT. the towns are safe for the kids to explore on their own, and most have water /beach access. but it will be crowded! We stayed in Santa Margherita for 3 nights and went on day trips to CQ. It was great!

Maybe split Tuscany into two locations 3 nights each. Lots of places have pools. 6 nights in Tuscany is not too long.

4 nights in venice is not too long. I think Rome for 4 or 5 nights is plenty. Savor what you do and see, save what you don't for another trip!

Just my opinions.
4everywhere is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Hi Monica007

I would also add a day to Rome for the above reasons; so much to see and you will want to take it slow and easy.

If it is hot, start early and consider an afternoon siesta or cool shower back at your hotel; then you will feel refreshed enough to head out again to enjoy night walks around the lit up monuments and fountains.

In the day, allow lots of stops for cool drinks. Drop into any open church and sit in a pew to cool off as well. (I often would do this, enjoying some unknown-to-me church while cooling off and peacefully looking at my map, etc.).

San Clemente church (in the general area of the "ancient Rome" main sights) has an interesting underground area, an ancient pagan temple below the church, with a spring running through it -- nice and cool on a hot day and the mosaics in the church, esp the Tree of Life over the altar, are pretty.

Not too far from here is the Mouth of Truth (Bocca di verite?? not sure of the Italian) featured in the movie Roman Holiday.

Florence could be the hot spot (sits in a basin and bakes!). In August, I'd drop a night there and just hit the highlights you really want to see.

Also agree that the beauty of the Cinque Terre, combined with the small size of the area, may appeal to the girls. The towns are charming and not overwhelming in size (although maybe with people in August). The views of the water are gorgeous. The food here --the home of true, wonderful pesto --is delicious.

We stayed just at the edge of the CT national park (the 5 towns are w/in the park) in Levanto. Just minutes from the CT proper by train. Levanto is bigger than the villages, but not too big -- it has a beach, nice restaurants & shops, and at least in the non-high season, friendly people.

Santa Margherita, as mentioned above, is another good choice in this area.

As far as the Tuscany week, it really depends on you and your family. A week with a pool, maybe a bike ride or horseback ride, some nearby towns or cities to explore -- sounds good. Figure 2 days to hang out at the villa, 1-2 days to explore around Montepulciano, a trip to Siena, a trip to San Antimo monastery to hear the monks chant and picnic on the grounds and it is easy to see how to fill a week both relaxing and doing things. I like a day just to do laundry and space out, personally!

I love Venice, so could easily fill 4 nights.

If you are considering adjusting some of the itinerary, I also like the idea of the Dolomites - spectacular and a completely different atmosphere from other parts of Italy.

Also, allow time to go to Internet cafes (all over Italy) so the girls, and you, can stay in touch with friends.
annabelle2 is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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I was thinking about adding a day to Rome, but wouldn't you know it, the apartment I like is only available for the 4 nights I had originally planned.

I was thinking about doing day trips from Montepulciano, (to Tuscany and Umbria, but now I don't know). My week in Tuscany has August 16 in it, so everything near Siena seems booked.

I had originally planned Tuscany after Rome, and before Florence, but that wasn't working out for a Saturday to Saturday stay.

Keep the comments coming. Thanks again!
monica007 is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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hmm ok I thought you might have some agenda for the seven days in Cortona is a nice day trip ...we biked from Montepulciano to Cortona other transport is def doable be sure to eat dinner at Osteria del teatro and order a bottle of Bramasole In Cortona you have wonderful views of the countryside and on one side views into Umbria with Lake Trasimeno before you. A charming town to wander around shop eat relax....
If it is nice weather, take a visit to the spa at Bagno Vignoni. Our group also biked to this location. Of course we were on bikes seeing the countryside going to each town. If you are going by car etc. you can easily take in one and certainly two towns in a day. Pienza is close and can be conbined with a visit to Bagno Vignoni.
russwuf is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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Four days is not too long in Venice because you can use one going to Burano and Murano. While it isn't the most fabulous beach in the world, and may be crowded in August, the Lido isn't bad. You could spend part of a day there.
Sassafrass is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Hi Monica,

We recently toured Italy with our teenagers (Girl 19, Boys 16 and 12). Granted it was winter so there was no swimming but this is what my 12 year old said about Tuscany - "you see some rolling hills with a town in the distance on top of one, you go up to the town, see the church, the fort and that's it. Tuscany is a day trip!" While we were in Tuscany for our 4 days we visited Siena for a whole day, Montalcino, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, San Antimo Abbey, Radifocani and we stayed in San Quirico. We saw a lot but anymore would have been too much for the kids. (Personally, I could spend more time there but next time just with my DH). I would try to add more time to Rome as the others have said. My kids loved, loved loved it and they could have stayed a week there. Or - stay longer in Florence and do day trips to Tuscan countryside from there.
aussiefive is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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OK, I'm going to doublecheck with the owner of my apartment in Rome and see if it is still not available. This is the place we're staying in Rome.

From all the comments on this site, this seemed to be a good location. Any comments otherwise?
If that doesn't work out, I'm thinking of doing a trip to Pompeii for a day before heading out Florence/Tuscany. Any of you out there with teenagers: Will the kids like this?

I think I will have to revamp my idea for 7 nights in Montepulciano. I hate to give up on the place we liked.

Even with catching up with the laundry and downtime and doing daytrips, I might get bored silly.

I'm hesitant to spend more time in Florence (right now 2 full days scheduled) because I would have to worry about car parking if we did daytrips from Florence.

I don't know too much about the Dolomites, but I'd rather spend more time in the places we're already going rather than to be on the move even more. I guess that's why the 1 week in Montepulciano seemed so attractive.

Thanks again for all the comments.
monica007 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Sorry if i've missed the boat and am too late with this suggestion, just saw the topic - if it was me i'd chop some time off of montepulciano too. Instead of adding time to the stuff you already have though (the amounts of time you're spending look good, though of course you can always add time to a place like rome), consider heading south at some point. If you were considering going to pompeii, why not stay around there for a few days? If you have teenagers I'm sure they would love the amalfi coast. And it'd be a nice relaxing stop when sandwiched in between places like rome and florence. Sorrento, positano, capri, pompeii - all worth a visit and very close together. Hope that helps
cmay is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Hi cmay,

I did end up revising my itinerary early on, adding Sorrento for 3 nights at the very beginning of the trip. (See my post of "revised Italy Itinerary, please advise." Let me know what you think.
monica007 is offline  

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