Help with Planning a Trip to Italy

Jun 5th, 2011, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Help with Planning a Trip to Italy

Hi! Here's my dilemma. I want to bring my husband to Italy next May (2012). Having been there with 25 high school students in 2007 on an EF tour, I kind of missed the romance! I definitely want to return to Rome and Florence. We'd love to see the Amalfi Coast. My husband's family was from Sicily, so I know he'd like to go there. I have heard amazing things about Siena. Have heard that Venice can be disappointing. But as you can see, I don't know much. And here's the kicker - we have 12 days. I'd love someone's advice on getting to these places and anything else we could see along the way. Where do we start and end? Do we rent a car? Take the train? Consider an "open jaws" flight (in one airport, out another)? Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
PHLew is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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In 12 day this early may just flew into Rome RT

Open jaw usually lots more for me...

and trained around to Sorrento/Amalfi Orvieto Florence Venice

had an awesome time at great prices.

www.hoteldelfino.com and www.hotelpausania.it

were great and priced cheaply for me on Otel.com

Go a lot had fun did not spend too much

might consider something like that.

Go a lot prefer train seat61.com over car

ok in rural areas expensive a liability in cities

eurocheapo.com ricksteves.com 2 good planning sites

Along with my trusty Fodors Gold Guide...

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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You say you will have 12 days, PHLew, does that include the day you arrive in Italy and the day you depart Italy? How many nights will you have?
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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You can also go to slowtravel.com there is tons of posts, on hotels, sites, restaurants etc. and many knowledgeable travelers who can hlep you make the most of your time and money.
JoanneH is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #5  
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Thanks, LoveItaly, for the response. Just started planning. If we left on a Saturday (27th of May, perhaps), then we could get away with 11 or 12 nights, returning on June 6th or 7th. It's open right now. We could swing an extra night if it would help a great deal. Thanks!
PHLew is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:00 AM
  #6  
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Thank you so much!
PHLew is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:01 AM
  #7  
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Oh, one more thing. I'd like to get to Pompeii, too. I could not believe how amazing that was. I think my husband would find it fascinating as well. But it's not mandatory.
PHLew is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:30 AM
  #8  
 
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PHLew, do you reside in the US or in an European country? I clicked on your profile but it doesn't indicate. I ask as if you are flying from the US on the 27th of May you would no doubt arrive in Italy on the 28th. If you fly home on the 7th you would have 10 days in Italy. But if you live say in the UK you would be leaving and arriving in Italy on the same day for example (I would think) so you would have the night of the 7th in Italy.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Rome and Florence, you say, are a "must" on the 12-day trip you're planning
with your husband. You'll be there in high season, so both "musts" will be
jammed with travelers. Venice, which you also mention, will be doubly jammed.
These taxing conditions will affect your stamina and appetite to travel yet to
more places during your short stay.
Getting to Sicily after visiting your two "musts" will be a challenge, but if your
husband can't forego his pilgrimage to family roots, then fly there rather than
take a train or drive.
Given your tight schedule, a visit to Siena means skipping Venice. If Venice had been on your "must" list, I'd have suggested skipping Florence or Rome. To see all three cities in 12 days in high season, you'll need loads of energy. But, then, your husband and you might be up to it.
shermy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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With 12 days you need to choose either north or south, and then pick no more than 3 places to visit. Otherwise, you will be getting a romantic view of trains and packing/unpacking. Get a good guidebook, look at a map, and make some lists of priorities with your husband. For eample, if Pompeii is at the top of the list, plan a trip around Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento, etc. Visit the Slow Travel site, read trip reports, look at the Italy forum. Come back and ask questions.
socaltraveler is online now  
Jun 5th, 2011, 10:53 AM
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Looks like you really have only 10 or 11 days. That being the case and if Florence and Rome are mandatory, you really don't have time for the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. If your husband wants to see his ancestral home, you could do just Rome and Sicily.

Think about what you really want to see and do and limit your choices to 2 or 3 places: Florence, Siena and Rome; Rome and Sicily; Venice, Florence and Rome or Rome, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. Having visited all more than once, I would choose either Venice, Florence and Rome or Rome and Sicily but this is your trip, not ours. Do your research and come up with your ideal combination. Italy is so wonderful that you will have a great time no matter what you choose.
mamcalice is offline  
Jun 5th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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I have planned over 300 trips like this and my advice is to pick 3 destinations--not including Sicily---and start from there. I suggest Rome, Florence, and Amalfi Coast---that is a very full plate.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Thanks, everyone. You are so helpful. I guess I just wanted to do it all. Can't be done, I see. (Glad I didn't tell you we wanted to include a cruise to the Greek Isles, too!) It looks like Rome, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast might be our best bet. LoveItaly, we live in the states. I'm going to try to extend our trip to maybe 12 nights. Has anyone ever done any European cruising? If so, do you recommend it?
PHLew is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 01:09 PM
  #14  
 
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As many of the responders have noted 12 days sounds like a lot of time but it really isn't and you don't want to spend all your time traveling from one place to the other so I think you need to make some decisions. I just got back from a couple of weeks in Italy, including a few days in Florence. It was crowded, but it wasn't awful.

One of the nicest trips I have taken to Italy was when my sister and I took the train from Rome to Taormina in Sicily. We flew into Rome and out of Palermo (not a great place to visit but it does have an airport that services other cities in Italy, so we flew back to Rome and then home). The train takes all day so you would only want to take it one way, but it is a beautiful and relaxing ride. Plus you get to take the train onto a ferry to cross into Sicily which was fun!

If it were me planning your trip I would save Venice (and Verona one of my favorite places in Italy) for another trip and stick with Rome and Florence and then Sicily. You can take a day trip to Siena or Lucca (another one of my favorite places and easier to get to from Florence than Sienna).

Enjoy planning that is part of the fun!

Jackie
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