Italia

Apr 16th, 2011, 05:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8
Italia

My husband & I will be arriving in Milan along with my parents and will be staying there from June 17th- June 20th. We would then like to tour some of Italy until June 25th when we fly back to Canada. Places of interest would be Rome, Venice, perhaps Florence and Pisa--trying to cover all the main attractions. We are thinking of renting a car form the 20th to the 25th to travel. Any ideas on how to go about this, which route do we take? Where do we stop overnight? and which hotels do we stay at?
can_tra11 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 06:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,157
Since the places you want to visit are cities where having a car is a real problem, your itinerary might be better by train.

Do you fly home from Milan? If yes, then I assume you need to be in or near Milan the night before to catch your flight home. Based on these assumption, your plan looks like this:

June 17: arrive Milan
June 18: Milan
June 19: Milan
June 20: depart Milan; arrive ___
June 21: ___
June 22: ___
June 23: ___
June 24: depart ___; arrive Milan area
June 25: fly home

As you can see, this doesn't leave much time to "cover all the main attractions." Keep in mind that every time you change hotels/cities whether by car or train, you will waste at least half a day checking in and out of hotels and traveling between locations.

Is there some reason you will stay in Milan for so long? Just wondering because for most travelers, Milan is not a great priority.

For the blank days in the itinerary above, I would choose one or at most two other locations. Here are two possible variations:

June 20: depart Milan; arrive Venice
June 21: Venice
June 22: depart Venice; arrive Florence
June 23: Florence
June 24: depart Florence; arrive Milan area
OR
June 20: depart Milan; arrive Rome
June 21: Rome
June 22: Rome; daytrip to Florence
June 23: Rome
June 24: depart Rome; arrive Milan area

If you have not yet purchased your flights, I suggest you fly to Milan and home from Rome. This would save doubling back to Milan to fly home, a real waste of precious vacation time. Then your schedule might look like this:

June 17: arrive Milan
June 18: Milan
June 19: Milan
June 20: depart Milan; arrive Venice
June 21: Venice
June 22: depart Venice; arrive Rome
June 23: Rome
June 24: Rome
June 25: fly home from Rome
ellenem is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 06:13 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,874
I like to use maps.google.com when planning driving routes.

For this itinerary though I recommend you travel by train not car. All of these cities are served by frequent, comfortable high speed trains. Check www.trenitalia.com for schedule information. Exact schedules for anything after mid June may not be posted yet but the won't change much if at all from current schedules. Just put in similar days of the week for May to check schedules.

Here's what you could do. I'm trying to write this with all seriousness even though I think it adds up to an absurd plan.

June 20. Morning: train Milan to Venice. Afternoon visit Venice, hotel in Venice. That gives you 1/2 day in Venice.

June 21. Morning: train Venice to Rome (about 5-6hrs total travel, door to door). Afternoon visit Rome. hotel in Rome.

June 22. Visit Rome. hotel in Rome. That gives you 1 1/2 days in Rome.

June 23. Morning train Rome to Florence. (90min train). Visit Florence, hotel in Florence.

June 24. Morning - side trip to Pisa, hotel in Florence.

June 25. Train to Milan, then to Milan airport, fly to Canada.

That will let you cover 4 cities in 4 days. I'm assuming your flight home will be in the morning, so you may want to be back in Milan or close to the airport for your last night.

Half of that time will be spent on train, checking in, checking out, but you'd accomplish your stated objectives of covering all the main cities. You will only scratch the surface of seeing the main attractions though.

More realistically I think you need bare minimum 2 days in Venice, 2-3 in Florence, and 3-4 in Rome to even see the main attractions. So since you have 5 days I recommend Venice/Florence or Florence/Rome. Backtracking to Milan to fly out will hinder you somewhat, depending on the time of your flight home.
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Apr 16th, 2011, 06:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,085
Hi can_tra11, Have you booked your plane already? May I presume that you have a planned activity in Milan for the first 3 days?

5 days with the last taken up by travel is not enough for 4 cities in my opinion. You will have to decide about your favorite things but here are some possibilities:

Just do 5 days in Rome and depart from Rome airport; or

2.5 days in Florence (with day trip to Pisa) and 2.5 days in Venice and depart from Venice (it's probably an early flight).

If you are locked into the Milan flight both ways, maybe go to Venice for 2 days, Florence for 3 (with day trip to Pisa) and leave Rome for another trip.

You can travel between these cities easily by train. Hotels will have to come from other posters.
TDudette is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 06:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Once you gel your itinerary and give us a per night budget, we can recommend hotels. Or look at www.tripadvisor.com, where there are many hotel reviews and you can get a wider range of opinion.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:06 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8
Thank you all for your responses. I have not yet booked my air tickets and am definitely going to depart back to Canada from Rome (great tip!). I really prefer not compromising on "covering all the main attractions" but seeing my itenerary in print makes it sound awfully ambitious I definitely want to do Venice and Rome. I thought renting a car would work out cheaper seeing as there are 4 of us but it seems like most of you think train will be the best mode of travel. I was looking up Trenitalia and found some trains at quite a reduced price under the category 'Mini'. Is it alright if I choose this option to book?
So as things stand:
June 17: arrive Milan
June 18: Milan
June 19: Milan
June 20: depart Milan; arrive Venice
June 21: Venice
June 22: depart Venice; arrive Rome
June 23: Rome
June 24: Rome
June 25: fly home from Rome

Also, are there any daytrips I can make from Milan to surrounding areas of interest?

Regarding accomodation I am looking for apartments at about $200ish/night. I was browsing through Expedia and found quite a few choices with breakfast/wireless included but am not sure of their proximity to the downtown. Ofcourse I would be willing to pay more for something with a better location. Any ideas?

Thanks again for all your great replies. Wish I had stumbled upon this site for my previous travels.
can_tra11 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:17 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,085
From Milan, Como and lake would be do-able. Or you could add a day to Rome and do a very long day trip to Florence from there.
TDudette is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:01 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,812
Whether it actually is cheaper or not by car requires actual computations including all relevant costs not thought to be significant where people come from.

Several of my acquaintances automatically thought that they would save time and money by renting a car on their first trips when all they were visiting were big cities. They came home regretting just how much more expensive were car trips after adding parking fee, highway tolls, gas, and the ZTL fees for just the rental company part alone not to mention what followed from the municipalities. They also realized that parking the car consumed a lot of time in big cities.
greg is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:10 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
By all means, grab those Mini train tickets. That's the way to go if you can get them.

You really don't want to drive in Italian cities. (Well, you can't in Venice -) ) And it costs to park the car.

If you give us addresses or links, we can help you with apartment/hotel locations. As a rule, stay central, especially on a short trip.

Rome to Florence is only 1.5 hours on the train, so not such a long daytrip.

From Milan, you could take the train to Lake Como (beautiful lake set at the foot of the Alps) as TDudette suggests. I'd go to Varenna rather than Como town. Varenna is midlake and connected by ferry with other towns on the lake. And Varenna is a pleasant little town in itself. Or hop over to Torino or Bergamo for a day. All of these train trips are an hour or less.
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