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Italy First Timer (Northern/Tuscany/Cinque Terre recommendations)

Italy First Timer (Northern/Tuscany/Cinque Terre recommendations)

Jul 5th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
Oops, should have been drive to the south end of the lake and get the train to Venice. Not drive to Venice.
Improviser is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 09:02 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,532
Yep, now that you know where you're flying to and from, you just really need to read about these places and pick what appeals most to you.

As you can see, we are all enthusiastic about our favorites. What's is really nice about that, is you will return with the same enthusiasm.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 6th, 2013, 05:41 AM
  #23  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
I really appreciate the input- we'll get a guide book this weekend and once we narrow down an area, I'll
Post again for more specific area recommendations
LisaMP is offline  
Jul 6th, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 30
If you decide to go to Ligurian coast and rent a car then Levanto may be convenient spot considering the car. I would re consider need for car first. Levanto is convenient for train to any of the Cinque Terre. And you can take ferry between Portovenere and Levanto. So all modes of transport are available from Levanto. The Cinque Terre are set between Portovenere and Levanto. Monterosso is easiest to access by car but still a hassle unless you are a local with proper license plates. Since you are not, you will have to park at top of hill and walk down... Frankly, to move around that area you do not need a car. Train and ferry are perfect. If you want to stay in a more "italian" town then you may want to take a look at Camogli. Liguria is known for its white wine and seafood. Just south is the Tuscan coast. By train or with car you could visit in about an hour some other lovely Tuscan towns like Pietrasanta, Viareggio, and Lucca. Great food and wine... There are plenty of other very nice Tuscan towns just in from the coast which despite what may be posted here are totally undiscovered by Americans. These are authentic "italian" towns or maybe we should say Ligurian and Tuscan towns with real life Tuscans and Ligurians living "la dolce vita" daily. There are plenty of hikes all along this area. Enjoy.
Sculptor is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 07:29 PM
  #25  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
Thank you all again for your feedback- after doing more research this weekend, and I will probably start a new thread soon regarding this, but do you think we'd be crazy to :

Fly into Milan (still our best,option for prices, time and layovers), rent a car and drive to Santa Margherita/somewhere near CT, spend 2 days in CT/Liguiria coast, them drive to Tuscany, spend four nights in Tuscany and then drive back to fly out of Milan?
LisaMP is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 08:51 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,532
Well sure, why not?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 03:04 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
It's your time and your decision LisaMP. So no, you wouldn't be crazy. Just remember to include travel time in those plans. When you write, fly into Milan, drive to near CT and spend 2 days in CT where is the travel day from Milan? In the 2 days or in addition to it? When you then go to Tuscany for 4 nights, are you considering that you will then only have 3 days IN Tuscany, not 4? Does it include the day going back to Milan which means you will only have 2 full days in Tuscany in that case.

Every time you move you lose time IN places and you need to account for that. With one week, my own preference would be to go to ONE place and stay there. I might do a day trip out from there but I would not MOVE to another area and lose a day doing it. A one week holiday actually only has 5 full days in it. The first and last are basically lost arriving and departing.
Improviser is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 05:41 PM
  #28  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thanks improviser- we are looking into extending it to a 9 day tripi including two,days of travel so that will be a full 7 days in italy- but we still have to consider how long the drive from Milan to CT and then CT to Tuscany would be and then Tuscany back to Milan- looks like from the brief research all three drives seem do-able if we were to get up early, drive and then still have most of the day in each CT and Tuscany- we are early birds and don't mind driving, but still you bring up good points.....now if I could just get my boss to approve a full 2 weeks, then none of this would be a problem
LisaMP is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 05:54 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
That's easy. Tell him it's 2 weeks or you quit. Then it can be as long as you want. You can always find another job when you finally bother to return. ;-)
Improviser is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 05:59 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,986
It's a fairly long drive back to Malpensa from central Tuscany (near Siena) and definitely a long drive from southern Tuscany (Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc.). Unless your flight departs in the evening, you'd need to drive back the day before and spend the night in Milan or at the airport.

Please consider whether you'll be safe driving 3 hours or so after getting off an overnight flight. Jet lag, unfamiliar car, foreign language/signage, and driving to a place you've never been to before. If you don't get an early enough start, you could be looking for your lodging in the dark. (Sunset will be at about 6:45p.)

If it were my trip, I'd draw a smaller circle and go to the CT and Piemonte or Emilia-Romagna (rather than Tuscany). Or skip the CT. Or add more days.

But you get to decide.
Jean is offline  

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