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Is this 15 night Italy Itinerary Reasonable

Is this 15 night Italy Itinerary Reasonable

Jun 22nd, 2008, 11:29 PM
  #1  
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Is this 15 night Italy Itinerary Reasonable

Hi All,

We have booked 2 tickets into Rome on April 26th and out of Milan on May 11th 2009. This is our first time to Italy and have worked out this rough itinerary. Can you let me know if this is reasonable/feasible.

- 4 nights Rome
- Car rental out of Rome and 4 nights in countryside (down to Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and then up to Florence) Besides Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, open to suggestions where to spend the remaining two evenings
- 3 nights Florence then train to Venice
- 3 nights Venice then train to Milan
- 1 night Milan

Love to hear any thoughts/suggestions/revisions you might have. Nothing has been booked yet besides the international airfare.

Finally, how far in advance to you suggest booking accommodations for this trip?

Thanks!
jersey1977 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2008, 11:40 PM
  #2  
 
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I know that distances are not that bad but perhaps you should consider giving up either the Amalfi/Pompeii bit or Venice as you are criss crossing and may be a bit rushed. Just take it easy and explore Tuscany and the surrounds from Siena to San Gimignano (spelling?) leisurely...but thats just my opinion! Spend an extra day in Milan.
tongsa is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 04:31 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree with tongsa about not going south before going north.

After seeing the Forum in Rome, I think Pompeii is a bit redundant. And try substituting the Cinque Terre for the Amalfi Coast.

The "4 nights in countryside" should be devoted to Tuscany. And I'd not "Spend an extra day in Milan". I'd rather spend that extra day in Venice!
TuckH is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 05:17 AM
  #4  
lvs
 
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I would have suggested you skip Milan on this trip, One day in Milan is hardly worth the train ride to get there. However, it appears your tickets are already paid for. Then I would agree with others on this forum that you should head north from Rome and not go further south. That could be a future trip. The Tuscan countryside is so beautiful, including the Tuscan towns already mentioned.

Surely another day in Florence and Venice is worth considering. There are other cities enroute to Venice (Rimini, Ravenna) and Milan (Verona) that are also worth a visit. And I would then extend Milan to at least 2 nights!
lvs is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:01 AM
  #5  
 
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I concur - save south of Rome for another trip. I too would skip Milan unless you are already locked in to that. I might suggest spending 2-3 days in Cinque Terre and then drive to the airport area, spend the night and catch your plane the next morning. We did this and it worked beautifully. I'm assuming you are flying out of Malpensa which really isn't "in" Milan at all.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:44 AM
  #6  
 
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After seeing the Forum in Rome, I think Pompeii is a bit redundant. Huh?

Pompeii is one of the great tourist destinations of the world. If your heart is set on going there, you might do it as a day trip from Rome.

Then, drive your rental car through the wonderful towns of Umbria (Assisi, etc.) and Tuscany, such as Orvieto.

Drop your car in Florence, and take the train to Venice.

I assume your flight home leaves from Milan.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:58 AM
  #7  
 
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It's a bit "redundant" in the context of a "15 night Italy Itinerary" that includes Rome, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Venice and Milan.

I think it'd be a long and arduous daytrip...
TuckH is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 08:26 AM
  #8  
 
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I did one of my trips as this (in order):

1) 5 nights Rome (including a daytrip to Mt.Vesuvius/Pompeii and another daytrip to Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli)

2) 3 nights Florence

3) 1 night Milan

The daytrip to the Naples area is certainly doable but a LONG day. I'd do it again if I had the opportunity. The only reason Milan is on the list is because we had a flight out of Milan to Athens. The only 'sight' I took time out to see in Milan was the Last Supper (tickets pre-booked) and that wasn't a very long day.

3 nights in Florence is certainly doable. It's quite a compact city. The only thing I have to advise you on is the southern Italy portion. Instead of staying the night, make it as daytrips.
pointofnoreturn is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 09:26 AM
  #9  
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Wow, thanks for all of the thoughts so far. It is so very helpful.

We are flying home from Milan. We didnt have much of a choice using our American FF miles. American only services Rome and Milan in Italy.

Based on the comments so far, I think we will make Pompeii a psuedo-daytrip from Rome, meaning pick up our rental car after 4 nights in Rome and then drive down to Pompeii. Afterwards we will turn back north and head-up towards Tuscany where will we spend our time before Florence. We have our heart set on seeing Pompeii on this trip.

Regarding Milan, we have a 10:35AM flight out. Any way to avoid spending a night by the airport? Is there an early train we could get from Venice or such? Caroltis, you suggestion of spending a few nights in Cinque Terre before Milan sounds great, but what would you skip to make the time?

Finally, when do you recommend booking hotel rooms for April/May 2009. Is this something we need to do now in order to get our choice of accommodations or do we have some time?

Thanks again.
jersey1977 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 09:34 AM
  #10  
 
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I booked our rooms for May, 2008, in January, 2008, and we were happy with the results.

I'm sorry I can't advise about how to avoid a night at Milan airport, but I know the airport for international flights is a long way from downtown Milan. You can probably find the answer at www.trenitalia.com

Take an inter-city train, which takes about 2 1/2 hours.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 10:44 AM
  #11  
 
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Jersey, maybe you will spend the last night near lake Maggiore, that is closer to Malpensa airport than Milan is. In this way you can have one nice and relaxant afternoon in a small town near the lake (maybe in Stresa ( from where you can take in the next morning the bus to airport)
Adrian45 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 02:21 PM
  #12  
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Thanks happytrailstoyou, I am not going to worry about bookings then until October/November at the earliest.
jersey1977 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 02:29 PM
  #13  
 
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OK, here's my 2 cents worth, based on a similar trip we took in 2001.

Four nights in Rome, and take the train to Pompeii for a daytrip somewhere within that time frame.

Take the train from Rome to Orvieto, or even further up into Tuscany, and THEN rent the car. (It's only a few hours by train to Florence, I believe.)

Spend one week in a rental somewhere in central Tuscany and do daytrips to hilltowns and wineries.

Return the rental car in Florence and take the train to Venice for 3 nights.

Train to either Milan or the Lake area as suggested above for your last night.

Believe me, the less time you can spend in a car and the more time you can spend on a train relaxing and enjoying the scenery, the more you'll enjoy your trip. The only place a car is necessary is Tuscany.

We stayed in Milan our last night and enjoyed seeing the city. Their duomo and galleria are spectacular. Of course, the lake scenery would be fantastic too. So many choices!

But trust me, you'll be so glad you spent at least a week in Tuscany. We stayed in a converted 12th century castle 20 km out of Florence and it was the highlight of our trip, by far.
Hagan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 03:41 PM
  #14  
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Hagan,

Did you travel into Florence at all during your trip?

With 15 nights to play with would you suggest 4 nights in Rome, 5 in Tuscany w/ car, 2 nights in Florence, 3 nights Venice and then the last night in Milan.

It is definitely a challenge trying to allocate the days in a way that allows us to see the country without being overly hurried.

By the way, what is the name converted castle that you at stayed in Tuscany for that week?
jersey1977 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Jersey,

We saw Florence as a daytrip from our castle rental, since it was just about a 25 minute drive.
The place is called Castello di Montegufoni and there are several reviews of it (including mine) on Slowtrav.com I believe the castle website is www.castellodimontegufoni.it

In Florence, we had made reservations ahead of time for the Uffizi and the Accademia to see David. We shopped a little in the street markets, had a leisurely lunch and of course saw the Duomo and surrounding area. For us, it was enough, but might not be for others.

We also took daytrips to Siena, Montalcino and the nearby Abbey to hear the monks' Gregorian chants, San Gimignano,and even drove to Cinque Terre for a long and wonderful day. Some of the best times were spent just wandering the extensive grounds of the castle, visiting nearby wineries and small neighboring hilltowns.
We picked up and dropped off our rental car in Florence, and of course drove there one day to sightsee.

The castle is magical, but doesn't have all of the modern conveniences some might want. There's no TV, only a payphone in the courtyard, and no A/C. We brought a small portable CD player with CD's of Pavarotti, Bocelli, etc. and played them at night while we drank wine and gazed at the spectacular countryside. (CD's are great to play in your rental car while exploring the countryside!) We never once missed a TV.

Of course, this was seven years ago so things may have changed!
The reason I suggested spending a week in Tuscany is that so many of the good rental villas or castles rent from Sat. to Sat.
Slowtrav.com has a wealth of information on Tuscany rentals and is a good place to start.
Good luck and have fun planning. It will be a trip of a lifetime.
Hagan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Are you sure you have 15 nights? If you fly out April 26th, you don't arrive until the 27th which would give you 14 hotel nights in Italy.
kybourbon is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:35 PM
  #17  
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kybourbon, We fly out out of LAX on the 25th arriving at 7:50AM on the 26th in Rome. Thanks for checking, I have almost made that mistake in the past
jersey1977 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 07:56 AM
  #18  
 
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we spent two weeks in northern italy last September. at the last minute, we had to change our plans which added a few days (I know, tough luck). we added those days in milan and verona. I was not sure what we'd find in Milan but am now a fan - it would be a travesty to be in or near Milan and not see the Last Supper! this is a masterpiece and would be like going to Rome and not seeing the colosseum or Florence and not seeing David. The duomo there is magnificent, La Scala is incredible! We decided to drive from Milan and stay overnight in Verona before flying home from Venice. Again, Verona was well worth the afternoon, overnight and morning we spent. Sitting in the piazza and listening to a performance of an opera (it happend to be Romeo and Juliet) was so memorable. I also agree that heading south from Rome before heading north would be too much backtracking. We've been to italy 4 times and focused on just one or two areas/cities each time. Savor the experience, don't just endure!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 09:22 AM
  #19  
 
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I would spend a week in a rental in the Tuscan hills. I would do Florence as a day trip and reserve the museums you want to see ahead of time. I find Florence too noisy, too crowded, too expensive. The vespas there are a real nuisance. Personally, I did not find Milan all that interesting. I would only go there to catch a flight.
nametaken is offline  

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