Italy 17 day itinerary suggestions..

Nov 12th, 2012, 07:54 AM
  #1  
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Italy 17 day itinerary suggestions..

Can you please see my itinerary (at the moment) and I will be very grateful if you can make suggestions. At the moment It is only the places we plan to stay.
* Fly in to Milan on Saturday 22 June. Collect our rented car and leave for Paciano in Umbria/Tuscany. (About 4 hours)
* Leave Paciano on Saturday 29 June for Sorrento to experience Amalfi coast.
* Leave Sorrento on Friday 5 July (1 day earlier than the change-over day Saturday) for Rome.
*Leave Rome on 9 July for South Africa.
In short:
* Paciano: 22 - 29 June
* Sorrento: 29 June - 5 July.
* Rome: 5 - 8 July
* Leave on 9 July.
We will have a car in Tuscany/Cumbria and plan to drop-off te car in Sorrento on arrival on 29/06. OR should we keep the car in Amalfi and drop-off on 5July in Sorrento as we do not need a car in Rome. (PLEASE advise on a car in Amalfi. I`ve read that the public transport is good in Amalfi, but we would not like to feel stranded or miss out on something.
Much appreciated.
Erna
Questions:
Should we stay over 1 night in Milan on arrival the Saturday? or should we immediately leave for Paciano?
Sorrento as base in Amalfi

(We have always travelled by car in the past)
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 08:31 AM
  #2  
 
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Sorrento is OK as a base, but it is a tourist center and will be crowded. I think you could manage w/o a car. Do you know what your parking situation would be in Sorrento or any place you choose a base? Parking in AC towns can be an expensive problem, unless your hotel provides it.

If you didn't keep the car on the AC, you could take the train from Sorrento to Rome, switching in Naples.
downtownbrown is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 08:40 AM
  #3  
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Thank you! They can arrange parking not far from the accommodation for 4 Euro`s a day OR we can park in the street for free. Is there any other place you can suggest as base? We found very nice accommodation with good reviews in Sorrento, but that does not mean we do not have to look for ather possibilities.
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 08:40 AM
  #4  
 
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We loved Sorrento as a base for exploring AC. Big enough to have plenty of restaurants of all varieties and prices, small enough to walk around, especially at night (when the main drag is closed to vehicular traffic for passagiata). Great hydrofoil links from Sorrento to Amalfi, Positano (best part of Positano is the view from the ocean as you arrive or depart), Capri. Easy link by local train to Pompeii (don't miss it). Best gelato in the world at Davide. If your budget permits, make sure you get a room with a view of Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. One of our top three cities.
zorrosf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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Forgot to comment on having a car in Sorrento. You do not need it, in fact it is a liability. Great public transportation as mentioned. Plenty of private vehicles with English speaking driver for rent for the day at Piazza Sasso (main square) if you are so inclined.
zorrosf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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In many trips "across the pond" I have learned not to attempt to drive more than 1-2 hrs upon arrival--its just plain dangerous with the level of fatigue, the number of decisions, and the issues of directions and traffic. Its your call and I don't know your flight itinerary but 4 hours from Milan to south of Lake Trasimeno is a long drive whether in daylight or dark. Perhaps this is why we attempt to arrive the day before a Saturday to Saturday rental.

The trip to Sorrento is another long (boring) drive and once again, its your call but most tourists don't want to drive the Amalfi coast and instead use the good public transportation there. It would be quite easy to drop the car off in Chiusi and train to Naples and Sorrento arriving relatively rested and free of the car. I, on the other hand, have driven the AC on several occasions and although challenged, have enjoyed the freedom. Parking will always be an issue there and the time of year should be factored in--June should be quite busy.

Have fun planning--Paul
macanimals is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Paciano doesn't seem a very convenient base. I would pick somewhere more convenient if you plan to do day trips.

>>>Leave Sorrento on Friday 5 July (1 day earlier than the change-over day Saturday) for Rome. <<<

What do you mean by change-over day?

>>>Collect our rented car and leave for Paciano in Umbria/Tuscany. (About 4 hours)<<<

I would be surprised if you could make that in 4 hours (Google says 4 1/2 to 5).
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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The drive from Malpensa to Paciano will take closer to 5 hours, not counting the unknown amount of time (perhaps up to 2 hours?) between the minute you step off the plane and when you're actually driving away. And that assumes your flight is on time and you make no stops along the way to Paciano. Attempting this after a transcontinental flight would not be my personal choice, but if you're arriving from elsewhere in Europe, then obviously it's a much less ambitious plan.

FYI, if you flew in a day earlier (Friday instead of Saturday), you could train from Malpensa to Chiusi (about 5-5.5 hours), and as long as you arrived before 7:00 p.m. you could pick up the car there and drive about 30 minutes to Paciano. If you arrive after 7:00 p.m., you'd spend the night in Chiusi, pick up the car the next morning and drive to Paciano in daylight.

IMO, the decision on where to base for the Amalfi Coast depends on what you want to see/do while you're there. Getting to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples and to some extent Capri is much easier from Sorrento using public trans. But if one of your priorities is to go to Paestum, that would be easier with a car from a base town on the AC.
Jean is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Kybourbon--"changeover day" refers to the traditional Saturday morning out and Saturday afternoon in for a weekly rental. Most weekly rentals (esp. in the season) designate Saturday as their changeover day for departing and arriving renters.
macanimals is offline  
Nov 12th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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When I went to Italy with DD and SIL and 2 grandkids, he insisted on driving directly from Milan to Carrara, about a 4 hour drive. Big mistake!! He stoked himself with several cappuccini during the drive, but still dozed off at the wheel 3 or 4 times!! (This from someone who considers himself a strong type of guy.) I was terrified. He admitted later that it was a mistake.
charnees is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2012, 01:36 AM
  #11  
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Thank you for all your good advice!!
Please see before I pay my deposit. We do not like cities, except Rome, which is a must.
2 June 2013: Milan or a nice place on our way to Paciano.
23 June 2013: Paciano. Nice view, good rates and excellent reviews.
29 June: Praiano: Nice view, good rates and also good review.
5 July Rome: Area Traves
We do not really like to stay in busy places, except Rome which is a must of course.
If you donot agree, please can you help me with an alternative? Your help is muchappreciated.
Thanks a lot!
Erna
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2012, 01:37 AM
  #12  
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Rome: Trastevere area.
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Erna,

Just one comment for you - staying in Praiano during peak season will mean extremely crowded buses, no show buses and late buses. There are no boat options for traveling along the coast directly from Praiano as there is no public marina there.

I love Praiano and have stayed there twice, once in late March (uncrowded buses, no problems) and once in mid-Sept. (horrible, jam-packed buses and no show buses). This sometimes means you will be standing by the side of the road for 30 minutes - hour waiting for a bus to come along.

If I was visiting the Amalfi Coast during peak season, I would stay somewhere with direct boat transportation, or I would park myself at a villa and not even try to go anywhere else.

I would not try to drive/park on the coast highway either because of the traffic, not because of the road. The road doesn't bother me, coming from the Rocky Mountains.

It is a beautiful area, just be prepared for lots of traffic and tourists such as yourselves.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is online now  
Nov 25th, 2012, 11:58 AM
  #14  
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Thank you! I must admit that I am not 100% sure where to book. We found lovely (and affordable) accommodation in praiano, but I am worried about getting around. We would of course want to see the highlights of the Amalfi coast and also Capri. I read about the private drivers, but they seem to be a bit expensive for us. If you have any recommedations I will be very thankful. (Do you think we should stay in Sorrento or close to Sorrento?)
Thank you!
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 02:28 PM
  #15  
 
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Actually, Paciano makes a good base for visiting all kinds of places, assuming you're willing to drive a couple of hours in all directions. I spent several weeks there in 2008. On the other hand, it's absolutely teeny (I think it has 75 residents), one tiny store, one pizza place, and that's it. You might consider nearby Panicale - at least there are a few options there. Or Chiusi, a great town.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Erna,

I'm not a fan of Sorrento for several reasons which I will not go in to here, and for my tastes Positano is too "resorty" and overpriced.

If it were me, I would think about the town of Amalfi for ease of boat tranportation options.

Regarding Panicale - I have some friends who stayed in this small town as a base for their southern Tuscany trip and just loved it.

Happy planning!
Dayle is online now  
Nov 26th, 2012, 06:20 AM
  #17  
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Thank you!! Wonderful advice. At the moment we stay 6 nights in Tuscany/Umbria and 6 in Amalfi Coast (not booked yet). Should i take 1 day from Amalfi and add it to Tuscany/Umbria?
ErnaGrobler4 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2012, 08:44 AM
  #18  
 
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How you divide the days depends on what you hope to do in each place and how fast you like to sightsee. No one can really answer that question for you.

The drive between Tuscany/Umbria and the Amalfi Coast will take more than half a day.
Jean is offline  
Nov 26th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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Erna,

You might like to read my old trip report from my last trip. I visited the Amalfi Coast, Rome and parts of southern Tuscany and Umbria.

I'm a fairly ambitious sightseer and it will give you some ideas of how you might want to spend your time.

Just click on my name. Its "Just Back - Dayle's Solo Trip to Itay"

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is online now  

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