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Italy - Florence, Venice, Rome and Positano by Car, am I crazy?

Italy - Florence, Venice, Rome and Positano by Car, am I crazy?

Jun 26th, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #1  
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Italy - Florence, Venice, Rome and Positano by Car, am I crazy?

Hello, All:

I've never been out of the States and my fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for March. I want to see some new places and enjoy the countryside of Italy by car. Am I crazy for thinking to do this? Am I going to end up completely lost? Obviously I will do some studying before embarking on this journey. I just like the idea of being able to stop places and really enjoy it. A nice, peaceful, romantic honeymoon.

Since we will most likely be spending 3 days in Florence I thought a day trip to Venice might be worth a shot since it's not too, too far away? Thoughts?

Help.
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:22 AM
  #2  
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Oh, and I'm planning on three nights in each place (Florence, Rome and Positano). Is this enough time in each? Too long for any?
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #3  
Hez
 
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I think we need more details, how much time do you have? You might want to consider flying into Rome and out of Venice, it rarely costs more to do so and saves a lot of backtracking.

You won't want to have a car while you are in the cities - they are just costly liabilities and make no sense. So you might want to fly into Rome, see Rome, train to Naples - hire car - go to Positano, spend a few days there then spend a few days driving up to Florence. Drop off the car, see Florence, then train to Venice and fly home from there. Or something like that.
Hez is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:39 AM
  #4  
 
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First of all, re-consider going to Positano in March. It's a warm weather resort area, and in off-season many hotels, restaurants and shops are closed. It won't be a ghost town, but it (and the nearby towns) will be very, very quiet. IMO, more cold and library-like than romantic.

Second, having a car in big cities is a negative. You pay for the daily rental plus overnight parking charges while the car sits in a garage. In Florence, you can't drive into the historical center, so you may have to park some distance from your hotel. The drive from Florence to Venice is 3 hours each way, or the train takes 2 hours.

Driving in the countryside isn't difficult, but most cities and towns have similar traffic restrictions to Florence. You need to learn about ZTLs (Zona a Traffico Limitato) and how to avoid driving into them wherever you go.

http://en.comune.fi.it/mobility/driving.html
Jean is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:42 AM
  #5  
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Thank you for the information!

What would you recommend as far as a honeymoon in that area? Stay in one place? If you could go anywhere where would it be? I don't want non-stop hustle and bustle but would like to see some things. Thinking about 7-10 days.

Thank you!
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:44 AM
  #6  
WWK
 
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I agree with the post above. I'd skip the Amalfi Coast in March, and add an extra day onto Venice-Florence-Rome. And it's a great idea to fly into Venice and out of Rome, since it will save you some time.

I'd also skip the car. It's a nightmare to drive in the cities, and simply not worth the aggravation. Plus you can easily hire a driver/guide for day trips from Florence to Tuscany. One I've used several times and highly recommend is: Luca Garapa of Hillsandroads.com. He will customize tours to your interest and is a really wonderful guide for the entire area.

Good luck, and congrats on your honeymoon!
WWK is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:50 AM
  #7  
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So it would be best to do Florence (3 nights), Rome (3 nights) and Venice (2) nights? All by train? And maybe do a guided day trip to Tuscany on one of the days in Florence? Does all of that sound doable? Do I need to tact on a day somewhere??

Thank you!!!!
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #8  
Hez
 
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That sounds great. If you can bump up your time so you have 4 nights in Rome (especially if you are landing there) that would be better. Otherwise, that looks like a good plan to me.
Hez is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:58 AM
  #9  
WWK
 
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Just a FYI: Venice is 2 hours from Florence by train, Florence is 1.5 hours from Rome on the train.

I would advise flying to Venice first, train to Florence, train to Rome, fly home from Rome. I would add another night onto Venice since you will lose at least part of the first day or two to jet lag, unless you drink vast amounts of espresso.

Venice is less overwhelming and hectic than Rome, which is why I think you should go there first. Plus there's nothing quite like that water taxi ride from the airport to your hotel. It's absolutely unforgettable.
WWK is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:01 AM
  #10  
 
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Your honeymoon will be more peaceful and romantic without the burden of the car. In fact, if you only have 10 days, you might want to limit yourself to only Venice and Rome. The extra time for romantic dinners and strolls, wandering the back alleys of Venice, etc would also help ensure the stress level is low. If you have 14 days, you have time for Florence and a day trip to some of the smaller places in Tuscany. I can also recommend Luca Garapa of Hills and Roads.com to see a lot in one day (trading off some romantic for efficiency and ease). Otherwise, you can negotiate the trains/buses and spend some time in Siena/San Gimignano, both very romantic places that you could wander and perhaps spend a night or two in.
mocha_dolce is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:36 AM
  #11  
Hez
 
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I prefer to do the hectic bit first and the relaxing part later so that I go home feeling refreshed and not like I need another vacation.

I don't agree with skipping Florence. You have enough time and it's directly in between Rome & Venice.

Also - I don't believe there are direct flights from the US to Venice at that time of year, meaning you would have to change somewhere in Europe. If you've never been outside of the US that could be a bit daunting - but doable, just something to consider.
Hez is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:59 AM
  #12  
 
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At this point, probably the very best thing to do is check air schedules.

There may or may not be direct flights to Venice from your departure city.

Many people like to fly in to Venice and not out of Venice, to the US, because many flights leave Venice very early in the morning, and there are hassles involved in getting to the airport.

That said, we have a good departure time from Venice to PHL in September, on a direct flight, so it isn't really a problem. It's early, but not so early that we have to think about how to get to Marco Polo at 5 in the morning, which I have experienced in the past.

So do some research in to the air schedules and see which is best for you, in to Rome, or in to Venice, and then out of the other.

I do think you should include Florence, for the opportunity to take that day trip in to the quieter regions you are thinking about.

Another option would be to skip the middle journey, rent a car when leaving Venice (easier than driving out of Rome) and head in to Tuscany for two or three days.

You could drop the car off in a smaller town with rail connections to Rome. Chiusi is popular for this, as is Orvieto in Umbria.

You can reverse this order by training from Rome to one of the above places, renting a car for a couple of days, then either driving all the way to Venice, which isn't really difficult as it's highway and the car gets dropped off outside the city where boats are picked up for the ride to your destination in Venice proper.

Consider that Venice will not be frenetic in March. You can make the most of quiet and romantic time there. They don't call it La Serenissima for nothing.

My best advice is to stretch the trip to as many days as you can and if you really only have 7, limit yourself to two destinations.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #13  
 
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I would definitely NOT skip Florence because there are several day-trip options out of Florence that might appeal to you: Pisa, Lucca, Bologna, Siena, Chianti. Most are easy to do using only public transportation, and Pisa and Lucca can even be combined in one day. Since it's your honeymoon, I like the idea of hiring a driver one day to take you to more rural areas of Chianti/Tuscany.

Correction to someone's earlier link for Luca at Hills and Roads:

http://www.hillsandroads.com/
Jean is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:23 AM
  #14  
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Thank you guys so much!!!! I've learned a lot in the past few hours, haha. Do you think this is the best bet over France, Greece, etc? Italy seems like a good honeymoon spot, yes?
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Well, yes, of course. But France and Greece are nice too. It really depends on your preferences and interests.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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If you want romantic, then it's Venice all the way. Greece will be mostly closed out of season unless it's Athens as will much of rural France. Italy is fantastic and if you can do as everyone recommends, fly Venice--Florence--Rome or vice versa.

Stick to cities at that time of year.
Rubicund is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:37 AM
  #17  
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Will $2,000 be enough spending money for 8-10 days in Italy?

Thanks for the heads up on seasons. I forget how things shut down over there and how the seasons are different.
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:41 AM
  #18  
Hez
 
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when you say 'spending money' does that include hotels & travel? If so, no.
Hez is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:44 AM
  #19  
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It doesn't include hotel, flight, trains...Just food and whatever else we will need to get!
amandasouthcarolina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 11:46 AM
  #20  
 
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And is $2000 for the two of you or per person?

To give you a rough idea, on my two-week trip two years ago, I spent about $3000 just for me (traveling with a friend). Approximate costs: $922 for airfare; €60/night *each* for hotel (average cost of our rooms was €112/night); rest on train tickets, food, museum entrances, public transport, and minor shopping.
jent103 is offline  

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