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-   -   Italy 2 wk itinerary Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Venice (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/italy-2-wk-itinerary-tuscany-emilia-romagna-venice-1647294/)

the2bubs Jan 24th, 2018 08:08 AM

Italy 2 wk itinerary Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Venice
 
I know itinerary questions proliferate, but this is my husband's and my first trip to Italy (have only been to Europe twice - both times France) and we would appreciate input based upon our personal preferences and the related experiences of others. We are planning a trip next May (2019) and will have between 14-16 days for actual sightseeing (not including flight time from the U.S.). We want to balance seeing things we've always wanted to see with not cramming in too much. We are willing to cram some (after all, it IS our first trip to Italy, and if we wanted total peace and quiet, we could stay at a cabin in rural Pennsylvania 2 hours from home), but we don't want to be in a hysterical frenzy the entire time. We are in our 50's and in decent physical shape. We are open to trains and driving, depending on where we will be. We like art, food and wine, gentle bike rides, opera (doesn't need to be absolutely world class), prefer lodgings in countryside where possible but will obviously do city lodgings in some places.

These are MUST SEE things:
  • Florence art by guided tour and free time, and not just a "day trip"; want to arrive by train.
  • Tuscan countryside especially Val d'Orcia; vineyard(s), hilltown(s), want to have a car but could use train for part of it.
These are WILL DO AS MANY AS ARE REASONABLE in order of importance
  • Venice with guided tour and free time (with possibly a day trip to Padua or Venezia); do not want this to be the first leg of our journey
  • Emilia-Romagna food tours and a cooking class; will do train and/or car
  • Lucca (cycling along wall promenade, opera at San Giovanni at night, possible day trip to small coastal town within 1 hour of Lucca - not Cinque Terre this time) probably need a car for this
These are THINGS WE WON'T ATTEMPT THIS TIME, so please do not comment on adding them. We have nothing against these places, but they'll be for another trip. We will do nothing south of southern Tuscany (so no Rome, Amalfi Coast, Naples, Sicily, etc) nor anything in the far north (such as the provinces along the northern and northwest borders, the lake district, Milan other than flying into/leaving by train or flying out of/arriving by train NOR the Cinque Terre.

As I said above, while we will need to lodge in "the city" in Florence and Venice, we prefer the countryside in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna rather than "basing" in a city. Lucca can go either way.

Thank you kindly for any comments about the possible order or this trip and/or what is reasonable/unreasonable.

bilboburgler Jan 24th, 2018 09:52 AM

Seems like a smart plan, I'm not sure what i can add. May is a lovely time, I'd make sure I visited Siena in Tuscany and the Etruscan museum over at Chiusi, Buonconvento and the Monestry to the east of it (Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore). I like Emilia Romagna for bicycling but if you have to use cars and trains, fine. If you like pottery they have a fantastic musuem in the area. Port towns near Lucca, well Livorno is ok right in the centro historico but otherwise not that much fun (all beach, restaurants and ice cream).

the2bubs Jan 25th, 2018 12:53 PM

Thank you for your reply and for the tips about those two museums. I appreciate your honest comments about the seaside towns outside of Lucca. That was the only part of the trip I was Iffy about. I think what I’d really like is the Amalfi Coast but can’t fit it in this time, and I find the looks of the Cinque Terre appealing but won’t deal with the crowds. So this was me trying to find a substitute. I’ve heard Portovenere is nice, maybe I’ll look into that or skip it altogether. Anyway thank you again.

the2bubs Jan 25th, 2018 12:55 PM

Thank you for your reply and for the tips about those two museums. I appreciate your honest comments about the seaside towns outside of Lucca. That was the only part of the trip I was iffy about. I think what I’d really like is the Amalfi Coast but can’t fit it in this time, and I find the looks of the Cinque Terre appealing but won’t deal with the crowds and this was me trying to find a substitute. I’ve heard Portovenere is nice, maybe I’ll look into that or skip it altogether. Anyway thank you again.

Gwendolynn Jan 25th, 2018 03:36 PM

Another vote for Siena. Also, you would probably enjoy an opera (depending on the schedule)at the Fenice in Venice. I believe guided tours of the house are offered now. Here are their current offerings. Teatro La Fenice I'm pretty certain that is La Fenice's official site. (Can't be too careful with online ticket vendors these days.) Also, I think you meant you might do a day trip to Verona
from Venezia... Verona and Lucca are both lovely places. Also, if you plan to end your trip in Venice and are flying home to the US , be prepared for a very early morning departure. It's a great excuse to use a water taxi. An expensive luxury but an only-in-Venice experience.

bilboburgler Jan 26th, 2018 12:19 AM

Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche is very very large and often empty of people. In Fiano.

raincitygirl Jan 26th, 2018 12:44 AM

Forte dei Marme is a nice seaside town not too far from Lucca.


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