Italy - First and only trip May 2016

Jan 9th, 2016, 02:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Italy - First and only trip May 2016

My husband, 2 adult daughters and I are meeting in Italy and have about 10 days tops. Planning on coming around May 5-15, 2016. It will be the one and only visit for my husband and I so we'd like to see the best highlights if possible.
our tentative plan:
Day 1- arrive to venice ( so far flights are late 10:30p)
> Day 2- venice
> Day 3- venice to florence (2 hr train ride??)
> Day 4- florence
> Day 5- florence to cinque terre
> Day 6- cinque terre
> Day 7- cinque terre to Pisa and then rome
> Day 8- rome
> Day 9- rome or day trip?
> Day 10 - rome or day trip? May have to leave?
> Day 11 - rome - leave

I'd like all advice on itinerary, travel, places to stay for 4, etc.
neelys5 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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Nine days on the ground, I suggest you have no more than 3 stops. Deducting 2 travel days, that leaves 7 full days: Venice 2, 5 between Florence or Rome.

Train schedules here using italian city names:

Figure an hour on either end of a train journey when changing hotels.

Pisa ia a hour away from Florence, and you can include Lucca in a day trip if so inclined. Siena is another popular one [1:2], buy here you take a bus which goes to the center of town.

The CT villages are small and crowded and take a lot of time going to and from.
RonZ is offline  
Jan 9th, 2016, 03:37 PM
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Agree that you are trying to do too many places. Not sure why the CT is so popular - unless it is the Steeeves influence. These tiny villages really offer cliff hikes between the towns and just relaxing. Are either of those key interests for you? Are they why you are going to Italy?
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 9th, 2016, 03:57 PM
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As to CT we call it the "Rue Cler Curse."
RonZ is offline  
Jan 9th, 2016, 04:09 PM
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Cinque Terre is fun, but as others have said, it does burn a fair bit of your time just getting there.

We visited for a couple of nights, and enjoyed it, particularly seeing how agriculture/horticulture was done, the legacy of a thousand years of back breaking labour. However, we had all the time in the world, part of an eight week visit.

Do your research on CT, seeing how attractive the place would be, and the time spent getting there, and then decide yay or nay.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Jan 9th, 2016, 10:05 PM
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ronz--- "rue cler curse"... sadly true.

i also feel that you've squeezed a bit too much in here... and that cutting c.t. would be the best bet. but i get it that you want to go there... it's what everyone will ask you about and want to talk about... and it is a pretty coastline. if you don't live anywhere near the coast, then it will maybe seem more amazing than if you live near a coast line (as i do.) how do you feel about leaving it out of this trip??

in venice, we love the reasonably priced Hotel Galleria. it's right at a vaparetto stop... and with only one full day in venice, you don't want to be far from transportation... when you get lost, it should be because you're wandering... not on the way home to your hotel. if you get a room with a canal view, just know that you will need earplugs at night because the waterway is also the main roadway for police, etc.

in rome, we love the "parlamento" for its location... perfect for walking anywhere, and close to a main bus terminus. famiy run... we have stayed there several times. if you all get rooms on the top floor, you will have a door out to the little (unspectacular) rooftop, where you can visit.

there will be more to do than you have time-- but if you can fit it in, we adore the Borghese Gallery and lovely surrounding park. Walkable (or by bus) from the Parlamento. Most (or all?) of the amazing art/sculptures inside were done especially for that space and it's just wonderful.
kawh is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 03:18 AM
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cut CT, it is lovely but it is not at the same level as your other sites. Rome has enough time already and there are easy day trips like ostia antica you can just drop in if you find the place too dull.

I would either enlarge Venice with more days and include a day trip to Padua a long trip along the lagoon (on public transport) to chiogga or go to Verona. Trains are great things

If that is not to your liking then enlarge Florence by going to Pisa/Lucca one day and Siena another. Siena is a wonderful place and is a good balance with Florence, the front of the Duomo is just fantastic while the views of the surrounding area from the top of Siena is just great, again trains make it easy.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 04:50 AM
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The key to enjoying Venice is to get quite a ways away from where every other tourist goes and wander the back streets and back canals.
julies is online now  
Jan 10th, 2016, 05:04 AM
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Love all of your suggested stops but you have at least one too many for your available time. We have been to Italy 9 times and didn't visit Cinque Terre until our 6th trip. We loved it but haven't returned.
Florence, on the other hand, we have visited 9 times, Rome, 6 times and Venice 3 times.

Whether this is indeed your one and only Italy trip, I would give these three cities more time. You will be glad you did.

Have a wonderful time!
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 07:54 AM
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I second everything above: skip 5Terre.
May can be a very rainy month: a reason more for not wasting your time in the fog of the slippery 5Terre hiking trails.

BTW: I suppose you know that most Italians have never been in the 5Terre and have not the slightest plan to go there (it's a bit like with Swiss people and Jungfraujoch).
neckervd is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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It really depends on what your family wants to do and see as their experience of Italy in May. You may not be glad you spent more time in the cities. There are many people who post on this board who have written trip reports who talk about why their favorite trips to Italy have skipped the cities or spent only minimal time there.

I live on the Italian Riviera, not far from le Cinque Terrre, and I have had many, many friends visit me with their families, the majority of whom arrive having first visited other parts of Italy, mainly the art cities. At least half these visitors -- of all ages -- say they wish they had spent less time sightseeing in the big cities and more time at the seaside enjoying Italian life and the natural beauty of the coast.

For other people visiting, coming to Italy was primarily about seeing famous sights of art and history, and while they certainly seemed to be enjoying their seaside meals and swims, they might not have minded skipping it.

May is not reliably warm on the Italian Mediterranean coast, so you run some risk of getting wet spring showers visiting for a day, rather than sunny skies and clear views.

Only you know your family and their interests, and what you all hope to accomplish and enjoy together on your trip.
sandralist is offline  
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