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Curryscurry Apr 24th, 2003 04:06 PM

I finally have my 13 day iternary to Italy - Please comment
Hi Fellow Fodorites: Thanks to you all who helped me make this rather daunting task of making an iternary.

Here it is in short (I leave with friends in three weeks)!

Rome - 4 days and 4 nights (will see the usual museums, shop, eat, hang out, go clubbing etc)

Venice - One day, one night (train from Rome)

Florence - Train from Venice - We spend 2 days, 2 nights - see the Uffizi, Academy, Santa Maria Novella, walk around, eat gelato

La Spezia - From Florence we are renting a car to drive to La Spezia (to have more flexibility to reach in the morning to hike Cinque Terre.. please let me know if you think this is not needed.. because most of the trains from Florence seem to reach only late morning)

Cinque Terre - hike the towns. Stay overnight at La Spezia in the monastery

Pisa/Siena - From La Spezia to Pisa we drive and spend that day around Lucca, Pisa and San G. Overnight in Siena

Tuscany - From Siena we drive from here into the small Tuscan villages including Chianti.. We drive to Orvieto to return the car. We take the train to Rome.
In Rome, we take the evening train to Sorrento

Sorrento - We stay in Sorrento that night
The next day - we go to Pompeii, Naples and time permitting the bus ride to Amalfi Coast (personally I think this is adventurous.. please let me know if not so)
Take the evening train back to Rome

Rome - We leave the next day evening after relaxing in Rome for one last day.

HOw does thsi sound?? I tried to include a little bit of everything.. adventure, relaxation, acitivity, sight seeing... is this doable .. or is this too adventurous??

We are staying at budget places along the way and tried to mix apartments, villas, hotels, monastery... (but no farm house :(( )
We cut out one night in Umbria to be able to go to Naples. I hope we made the right decision.. :)

I will send you my travelogue on my return.. I am sooo excited. :)))

RufusTFirefly Apr 24th, 2003 04:44 PM

Forget Venice if you have only 1 day--it is not a good city for a 1 day visit. You will just be buffeted about by the day trip crowds and come away with an impression of crowds, trash, lousy tourist restaurants, and tacky souvenir shops. It would be a better use of that day to add it to your southern leg.

sjk Apr 24th, 2003 04:53 PM

Rome - 4 days sounds good. There's lots to do and see here. However the end of your itinerary seems a little tight so consider spending 3 days here and heading out on the 4th.

Venice - One day doesn't seem enough; this was one of the highlights of my trip and really different from anywhere else.

Florence - Consider alotting another 1/2 day to Venice, and arriving late morning. Pick one museum to see; it's really easy to get museum-ed out here especially if you're only here for a day or two.

La Spezia - drive to La Spezia
Cinque Terre - hike the towns. Stay overnight at La Spezia in the monastery

Pisa/Siena - This is a really full day. Have you looked at driving distances / times? Instead of trying to do both, pick either the Cinque terre or driving around hill towns. IMO trying to do both will leave you rushing and not enjoying either one. Or pick one/two towns to enjoy.

Sorrento is a neat town and an easy reach to Pompeii. However trying to visit Naples AND Amalfi AND Pompeii in one day is really ambitious. Prioritize. My picks would be Pompeii and then Amalfi as I was less than impressed with what I saw of Naples. Pompeii is a 1/2 day trip from Sorrento at least. Amalfi coast bus trip is similar amount of time, or you might want to catch a ferry back to sorrento.

Amanda Apr 24th, 2003 04:54 PM

Boy are you going to need a holiday to get over your holiday!! There's not a lot of "relaxing" going on there - or time to look at much scenery. I think you are squeezing a lot between La Spezia and Siena - not much time to look around San Gim or Sienna or the other towns/cities either. You haven't allowed for the fact that parking can take a lot of time as can getting lost which is very easy in a car given that the Italians idea of road signage is to put up 7 or 8 signs to towns AT THE CORNER where you have to turn, and nowhere before! We ended up going around Poggibonsi 3 times before we headed to San Gim due to signage! So did several of our friends on different trips.
I think you may have to pick between the Amalfi coast and Pompeii timewise. If you haven't prebooked all your accomodation, then if you miss one town because you want to spend more time at another site, you'll probably enjoy it more. Save some of Italy for another trip!
Buon Viaggio Curryscurry, but less scurrying!

Bob1 Apr 24th, 2003 04:56 PM

Rufus above is correct on Venice. I was going to tell you to take longer as you were not allowing enough time. Venice in the day can be too crowded and is better enjoyed when the daytrippers leave. If you only have that much time save Venice for another trip to Italy when you can stay awhile.

Lucca gets raves on this board. I have been 2 times...once on a tour, once by myself. Still find nothing to get me to rave about it versus other things to see in Italy.

Stay out in the hills and visit Siena from there. More fun in the smaller towns.

You have an action packed trip planned. Be prepared for the hustle, bustle of Rome. That is one busy joint! You will appreciate the smaller towns, but Rome is a must see place. HAVE FUN!

Cicerone Apr 25th, 2003 02:29 AM

To chime in with everyone else: you have much too ambitious an itinerary and won't enjoy it, and I suspect actually won't complete it.

It is not possible to "do" Pompeii, Naples and the Amalfi coast in one day. Can't emphasize that stongly enough. Even if you cut out the coast (a real shame IMO)it is not worth going that far south just to see Pompeii for an afternoon. If you want ruins, goes to Ostia Antica oustide Rome instead.

Also as suggested cut out Venice, or add more time to that portion. Seeing a city in one day is really not worth it, and esp a city like Venice, where you have to walk most of it, no bus tours to get a quick look....

I would concentrate on the north as you are, and leave Amalfi for another trip. Your schedule for Rome, Florence, CT looks very good a doable. Enjoy that part and come back to Italy another time for other parts.

elaine Apr 25th, 2003 05:18 AM

no wonder your name is "scurry"

Skip my beloved Venice, going all the way up there (4.5-5 hour train ride) for one day, and not even continuing in the area, is overly ambitious, to state it kindly.

From Florence you can day trip to Pisa, San G, Siena. Lucca can be daytripped from there or from Rome, or even stay over in one of those places if you like.
The driving day La Spezia-Pisa-Lucca-San G sounds like a long day in the car, plus parking hassles, with very little time in each place.

Don't go back for one more "relaxing" day in Rome. If you can't rearrange the order, and fly home from Milan, then go back to Rome just to sleep and fly out the next a.m. Or have all your time in Rome at the end--at least you will not have moved around for the last 5 days of the trip.

Patrick Apr 25th, 2003 05:37 AM

I too am a little confused by your one day and one night in Venice. If you're coming from Rome by train which takes over 4 hours, I'm not sure where your full day in Venice comes from. But I wouldn't miss Venice -- there is simply no other place like it in the world.

I'm usually one who supports the idea of seeing a lot and I do like to keep moving, but I think trying to cover Tuscany, Amalfi coast, the Cinque Terra,in addition to the big three cities really is too much for slightly less than two weeks. I'd probably cut out the Sorrento segment -- it is quite a way to go and return to Rome for this trip and you will have no time to relax in that area, which is what it is really all about. I'd save that for another trip when you can spend at least a week in that area and now you can settle into a few days in one spot in Tuscany to explore, and add a second night to Venice!

ira Apr 25th, 2003 05:37 AM

Hi scurry,

If you can't fly into Rome and out of Venice, I suggest you take Elaine's advice.

Also, as other's have said, your visit to Sorrento is a long trip with little time to see anything.

I urge you to reduce the number of places to those that you really want to see. There will be other trips.

Have a great time, whatever you do.

elaine Apr 25th, 2003 05:49 AM

How about this

Fly into Rome (I assume that's locked in now)
Train to Florence.
From Florence, plan daytrips, or overnight trips in the Tuscany area.
You could include Pisa, Siena, San G,
Lucca. I have heard that Pisa is often disappointing, but haven't been there.

Move on the La Spezia/Cinque Terre.
Do your thing there. Or, alternatively, go to Venice for at least 3 days including travel time.

Return to Rome for the last 5-6 days assuming you have to fly home from there.
Include one day for a daytrip to Pompeii. There are even bus tours that combine a short visit to Pompeii with a short stop in Sorrento or Capri. You can also add on a day here for a daytrip to Lucca if you didn't already go.

I'm no Bobthenavigator, but that's my suggestion.

bugswife1 Apr 25th, 2003 06:10 AM

Too much!!! You haven't taken into consideration any delays - trains, traffic, lines at attractions, jet lag, checking in/out of hotels. Try this:
Fly into Naples. 3 days in Positano with side trip to Capri. Hit Pompeii on your way back to Naples. Naples train to Rome. 3 days in Rome. Train to Florence. 5 days in florence with side trip to Tuscany/Pisa, etc. Train to Venice. 2 days in Venice and then fly out of milan.

dugi_otok Apr 25th, 2003 08:10 AM


The above is all excellent advice. You are trying to do in 12 days what Rick Steves proposes as a "Whirlwind" trip in 16 days. Start over is probably not practical at this time. But I would at least tweek the plan.
Drop Sorrento. If you must go to Pompeii do it as a day trip on your 3rd day in Rome. Enjoy Rome has such a trip.
Your Venice is OK if you arrive early afternoon and spend the following morning there. At least you will be able to say you were there.
You have a good whole day plan for Florence. Be sure to have reservations for the Uffizi made from home.Gelato at Vivoli's.
La Spezia is not a biggie. But staying in a monastery sounds interesting. You may even have time to see the sea.
Pisa/Siena-Skip Lucca,take your picture holding up the Tower, wave to San Gimignano and head for Siena.
Tuscany-Hill towns. Skip Chianti. Do Montalcino(include Sant'Antimo)have a Brunello lunch, Pienza,and stay in Montepulciano for a Noble dinner.
Next day to north Umbria. Assisi is the biggie here. Choose between staying in Assisi, staying in Perugia-you can turn in your car and train to Rome, or seeing Assisi,Perugia and get back on your plan and stay in Orvieto.
Back to Roma. You out did Rick Steves.


JandaO Apr 25th, 2003 08:24 AM

If I had 13 days this is what I would do.
Rome for 4 days
Sorrento 4 days
Florence 2 days
Venice 3 days

In my opinion you are trying to see too much. You will be exhausted and wont know what you have seen.

I would fly into Rome and out of Milan or Venice or visa versa.

I have been to Italy 2 times and it is fabulous. Take a moment to enjoy.

bardo Apr 25th, 2003 11:40 AM

I agree with other posters that this is just too much traveling. I would pare back as follows:

Rome - 6 days
Florence - 4 days
Venice - 2 days

back to Rome and do "nothing" for final day.

Natalia Apr 25th, 2003 01:39 PM

Even if you are young and/or very peppy you have too much to see in too many places in too little time. What is the point of rushing from place to place?

Calm down, Italy is to be seen as a delicacy, not as a fast food. Go and savor just a few places, I am sure you won't be sorry you have taken the advice of so many experienced Fodorites.

JoshP Apr 25th, 2003 02:11 PM

As many above have stated, cut back and enjoy each place a little more. I am honeymooning in July for 28 days and will only be seeing a couple more towns than you listed for 13 days....and we are trying to see a lot of Italy. Slow down a little and be open to things. Best of luck....Josh

MichelleY Apr 25th, 2003 04:13 PM

Dear Curryscurry:

OR--- add another week to your trip!!! That would be the ideal alternative.

Good luck,

angeleno Apr 25th, 2003 04:27 PM

waaay too ambitious. with 13 days (twelve really since you'll lose a day on the plane) i would spend 4 days each in Rome, Venice and Florence.
From Venice you can day trip to Verona or Padua if you're so inclined (but you'll probably just want to see outlaying islands) and from Florence you can daytrip to Siena, San G or Pisa. (there are bus tours that take you to San G. and Siena in the same day).
Save Naples, Pompeii, Capri and sorrento for another trip.

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