COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Italy 2-week itinerary help please!

Old Apr 1st, 2019, 04:02 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 4
Italy 2-week itinerary help please!

Hi all, we're a newlywed couple looking for some help planning a 2-week trip to Italy. Here’s what we are considering so far:

Day 1-2 - Fly to Rome
Day 2-4 - Rome
Day 4-7 - Amalfi Coast
Day 7-9 - Naples
Day 9-11 - Balogna/Modena
Day 11-15 - Florence
Day 15 - Fly home

Some notes and questions…

We don’t really like places that are too touristy. We were originally going to skip Rome but there’s a direct flight and since my wife hasn’t been there before, we figured we’d spend a full day there. We’re currently skipping Venice because our friends have all said they found it too touristy. Any opinions on Venice?

We want to go to Naples entirely for pizza (Pizzeria Da Attilio and maybe one or two more?). While I was originally thinking of having a full day there, I am now thinking of cutting it down and wondering if I can get away with one night, or even training in, leaving our luggage somewhere, grabbing a pizza, picking up our luggage, and then continuing on our way to the Amalfi Coast. I’ve also been reading and hearing a lot of bad things about Naples (crime, garbage, toxic waste) so I’m starting to wonder if we should skip it altogether. If we do shorten up Naples or skip it, we’ll probably add more time in the Amalfi Coast or Tuscany/Florence.

We want to spend a good amount of time relaxing in the Amalfi Coast. Definitely going to Positano. Might go to Sorrento and Capri.

We have a reservation at Osteria Francescana. Accordingly, we have to be in Modena on day 11.

We’re hoping to explore wine country while in Tuscany. Would we need to rent a car for this?

Are we spending too little/too much time anywhere? Should we push to visit other cities (Como, Milan, Cinque Terre…)?
FrancoS88 is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2019, 04:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 504
I love Venice. I am going there for a fourth time this summer with my daughters. Maybe your friends stuck to to Plaza San Marco and Rialto Bridge during the day? The best time to visit those spots would be early morning and in the evening when the crush of the day trippers and cruise boats goes away. During the rest of the day, try just walking a block away from the crowds and suddenly you have a magical Venice for yourself.

Naples does get mix reviews; I do not care for it. If that pizza is that important to you, you can leave your bags at the train station and go for lunch/dinner in the city.

When are you going to Italy? The Amalfi Coast gets crowded in the summer. But I still think it is worth it in the summer and the views are breathtaking. I really enjoyed my stays in Ravello and Capri.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2019, 04:50 PM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,522
"We’re currently skipping Venice because our friends have all said they found it too touristy. "

Well, that's true if you never venture past St. Marks as the prior poster states. The same could also be said for everywhere else on your list as well, so if you don't like touristy places then it may be better to rethink going to Italy. Amalfi Coast & Florence in particular can get mobbed with hordes of tourists from all corners of the globe.
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2019, 06:42 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,998
Maybe it will work for you, but your itinerary is WAY too rushed for my tastes! I would not want to spend that much time in transit for so little time to actually see and experience these places; YMMV.

Still, you say you "want to spend a good amount of time relaxing in the Amalfi Coast" and yet are giving yourselves only 2 full days, and maybe tiny bits of two others, for that area. It's an area that can easily occupy a week.

As for your concerns:
Ditto what others have said about the tourists in Venice and elsewhere.
I love Naples and did not feel the least bit unsafe there (and I'm a woman who was there solo)

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2019, 07:21 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,121
I don't find your itinerary too rushed for our taste, but I do agree that it will be hard to avoid tourists. The important thing is YOUR travel style and what you want to see and do. We preferred Bologna to Florence, found places across the Arno river to go (Boboli Gardens, for example) to get away and a day trip by rail to Siena. Here is our trip report for that area from last fall.

Google alternatives to top Italian destinations, and you will see some suggestions that are less touristy. Here is an example: https://www.forbes.com/sites/catheri.../#aac9229b660e
whitehall is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:13 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,798
Congratulations on the wedding

You have decided to go to all the most touristy places of Italy and yet you don't want to go to touristy places. The season is important but perhaps I can suggest a few alternatives that might satisfy you

Bologna is a great base to get to as it acts as a train hub. I would plan to stay here a bit and then visit some of the local cities. Ferrara is especially pretty with its walls intact, also Legnago, Monselice. In the same region you can also visit Padua (ok a bit touristy) but worth the stress before a day in Chioggia (like a mini Venice but without the fat boats in the harbour).

You will find that with the great food and resonable wine of the region time will fly by but if that i not enough you could visit the Po delta which is packed with european wildlife.

You will note that with this plan you don't need to travel too much, you can enjoy the countryside and see lots of different things. I might even consider moving hotels a few times in this region, but is it worth it.

Finally if you want a mountain or two why not travel north to Brescia or the Dolomites, again fascinating places to visit and you will find very few American voices.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 03:58 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,539
Every single place you have identified is super-touristy. One day in Rome is practically criminal. So is skipping Venice - too touristy? You don't want to see one of the wonders of the world before it sinks into the sea? I have spent WEEKS there and never got bored or tired of tourists (they are easy to avoid if you have a map and some navigation skills).

With a mere 2 days, you're not going to "relax" on the Amalfi Coast.

Your impression of Naples is about 30 years out of date, and going there just for pizza seems a bit precious. There's a lot more to Naples than pizza.

Yes, you'll need a car to explore Tuscany.

Honestly, your trip as planned is a rush, and one based on a lot of misconceptions.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 07:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Book train trips far in advance - trains are best for cities and Amalfi buses or ferries - use bus tours for Tuscan vineyards - or rent a car for a day or two but not needed. Book train tickets far in advance to score discounted tickets - www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com have great info regarding Italian trains and booking own tickets - regional trains just buy at station.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 09:18 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 36
Hmm. I would skip Naples and add a day each to the Amalfi coast and Rome so that you are not too rushed. Maybe then visit Naples from Amalfi. Or if you are deadset on staying in Naples maybe skip Rome. All the places you are visiting with the exception of Bologna and maybe Naples are very touristy. The key is learning how to avoid the crowds. For example I loved taking walks in Rome at night when the weather is cooler and there are less people on the streets. During the day we also walked from Piazza to Piazza and visiting some of Rome’s other neighborhoods. Lot’s of people hate Venice because they think it’s too touristy but I bet you those same people have never ventured out San Macro’s and the Rialto Bridge. Pick another neighborhood of Venice to stay in. Explore each neighborhood during the day. At night after the cruise ships have gone go and see St Marco’s and the Rialto bridge. We found Venice magical. Also I find that most people who complain that a city is too touristy only give that city a day or two so they are rushed and don’t have time to explore. That’s why I suggest nixing either Rome or Naples so that you have enough time to explore. That being said we are all tourists so embrace it and enjoy
Reeshiez is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 09:23 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 36
Also I disagree that you need a car to explore Tuscany. Not everyone has the luxury of time. Obviously a car is better. But if you only have a few days you can go on a tour (we did a private one) and see part of Tuscany at least. We spent two days exploring Tuscany with Siena as our base. First day we went to Lecce (which we loved) and Pisa (which I didn’t enjoy) and we used buses. Second day we went on a private tour of the Valle D’Orica. It was expensive but definitely worth it. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore Chianti but we will be back
Reeshiez is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 10:41 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Lecce however is in Apulia in southern Italy not Tuscany.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 11:44 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by Reeshiez View Post
Also I disagree that you need a car to explore Tuscany. Not everyone has the luxury of time. Obviously a car is better. But if you only have a few days you can go on a tour (we did a private one) and see part of Tuscany at least. We spent two days exploring Tuscany with Siena as our base. First day we went to Lecce (which we loved) and Pisa (which I didn’t enjoy) and we used buses. Second day we went on a private tour of the Valle D’Orica. It was expensive but definitely worth it. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore Chianti but we will be back
My apologies I’m planning a Puglia trip so Lecce is in my mind. I meant Lucca.
Reeshiez is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 12:25 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,539
For me, spending money for private tours of Tuscany would be a complete waste of money, when it's incredibly easy to rent a car and determine your own pace and identify your own preferred stops.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 12:30 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
for such limited time day tours to Tuscany say for wine tours could be good - renting a car in Florence and getting out, etc. maybe easy to you but could be daunting to others.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:07 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,457
I agree with a lot of what has been said. St Cirq put it perfectly when she said your itinerary is based on a lot of misconceptions. Venice shouldn't be missed. A day in Rome isn't enough to do much. The time on the Amalfi Coast most certainly doesn't give you "a good amount of time relaxing." I love Naples, spent five nights there in September and never felt unsafe as a woman traveling alone. And as much as I love their pizza, it seems a waste of time to go there just for a slice of pizza. There is a lot to see in Naples. The whole trip is a lot of time traveling from place to place and not much time at each stop. The only place where you have a reasonable amount of time is Florence.
SusanP is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:30 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,877
You are "over counting". Your plan is actually:

Day 1- Fly to Rome
Day 2 - 3 - Arrive Rome (1.5 days in Rome!)
Day 4 - 6 Amalfi Coast (2.5 days)
Day 7- 8- Naples (most of 2 days)
Day 9-10- Bologna/Modena (less than 1.5 days)
Day 11-14 - Florence (3.5 days)
Day 15 - Fly home

and ALL in extremely 'touristy' places.

>>We’re currently skipping Venice because our friends have all said they found it too touristy.<<. Your friends make me sad. Sure it can be touristy if you only follow the crowds -- but no more so than a million other places and most of those million other places aren't one of the most beautiful cities on Earth.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:35 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Venice to me is one of the world's finest looking cities and one of its mos unique too - end up in Venice and fly home from there - I'd drop the Amalfi and Naples and add days to Rome and Venice.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:52 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,877
>>end up in Venice and fly home from there <<

Not the best plan because most flights (but not 100%) from Venice to the US leave at 0 dark thirty - before the Vaporetto even run.

It is usually easier to fly IN to Venice and home from somewhere else.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 01:55 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,675
We’re currently skipping Venice because our friends have all said they found it too touristy.
That is ridiculous. And of all the places you are considering, is the #1 place I would recommend!

Any opinions on Venice?
YES i LOVE it

We don’t really like places that are too touristy.
Then honestly you need to rethink basically the entire itinerary.

Last edited by suze; Apr 2nd, 2019 at 01:58 PM.
suze is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 03:44 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
For me, spending money for private tours of Tuscany would be a complete waste of money, when it's incredibly easy to rent a car and determine your own pace and identify your own preferred stops.
Maybe. But if they only have 3.5 days to see Florence and the rest of Tuscany then booking a tour may be more efficient
Reeshiez is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO