Italy - Flying into VCE and out Naples

Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Italy - Flying into VCE and out Naples

I'm planning an 16 night/18 day trip to Italy, (next April) flying into Venice - 3 nights, train to Florence - 3 nights, Train? to Lucca, Pisa, then on to Cinque Terre for 2 nights. Train to Rome- 5 nights, Train to Sorrento, 3 nights, and plan to spend the last night near the Naples airport for the return home. Two questions, ok 3... (and I would love itinerary input)
1. Should we spend another night in Venice and only 2 in Florence? I really want to see Michelango's David, and was hoping to find my way to the marble mines. (not fully researched), but I am told Venice will be hard to leave.
2. Are 5 nights too many for Rome or is there a way to enjoy Tuscany for a day or two before Rome without a car? (is there a way to rent a car for 2 days after Cinque Terre?)
3. Can someone recommend a hotel in Naples near the airport that will have an airport shuttle in the morning before we leave?
I have booked a few rooms, but my flight is not reserved yet, so I still have a lot of flexibility.
BTW, the Vatican, collisseum, pantheon are all "must see" sites.
Thanks for any input.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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Venice and Florence have to be your call. You'll get advice on either on ranging from don't go to don't ever leave and all the possiblities between.

Me personally, I'd spend more time in Venice at the expense of Florence.

five nights is fine for rome, but once again you could always spend more or less.

You could pick up a car in either La Spezia or Pisa for Tuscany.

No matter what you decide to do, there will always be things you won't have time to see or visit. Plan on coming back.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Rather than relocate to a new hotel your last night, check into the cost of a driver picking you up from your Sorrento hotel and driving you to the airport. In general in Italy, hotel shuttles to the airport are not always reliable. They often don't run early in the morning, and sometimes when they do run they take "milk runs" that make for a long trip to the airport.

I live near le Cinque Terre, and April is an iffy month for weather. It is of course lovely around here, but I suggest that you drop le Cinque Terre from your itinerary, and add the days to central Italy.

I would suggest your rent a car after your stay in Venice and drive to the marble quarry of Massa Carrara. (4 hours). After that, drive to San Gimignano to spend the night. The next day after lunch, drive to southern Tuscany for two nights. Drive to Firenze (Florence) and drop off your car, and visit Lucca and Pisa as day trips from Firenze. Go to Rome by train from Firenze (90 minutes).

Or:

Take the train from Venice to Bologna. Have lunch in Bologna and pick up a car after lunch. Drive to Montalcino in southern Tuscany. Spend 2 nights in area, drive to San Gimignano for a night. Use the car to visit Carrara, drop it off at the Pisa train station, stow luggage in the station, see the monuments in Pisa, return to pick up luggage, take train to Firenze. Stay in Firenze, visit Lucca as a day trip, take train to Rome.

Those itineraries will seem illogical to many people, and if you drop Massa Carrara from your wish list, you will do less back tracking and driving.

I don't think 5 nights in Roma is too much, especially if you leave one day unplanned to relax and be spontaneous. You might enjoy a trip to Ostia Antica if you don't plan on seeing Pompeii from Sorrento.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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Im not sure that the marble quarries are worth a drive all the way across the Italian peninsula. At least have a nice stop along the way for lunch in a place like Parma! Visit them then stay the night in the Lucca/Pisa area and spend the eve/next day exploring those locations. No reason to backtrack to them. Then drive to Southern Tuscany or maybe siena for a night or two, returning to Florence with the car.

If you want to skip the cross-boot drive, it could make more sense to take the train to Florence, spend your time there and then pick up the car for say a 3 day circuit. Or, you could just continue on for a drop off in Rome or Orvieto.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Have you been to the marble quarries? Do a trip report?

Parma would make for quite a bit of extra driving in an already-long trip from Venice to Cararra. Italy abound is great eating spots. No need to drive that far out of the way for them.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Thank you for your ideas and responses. I think the marble quarries are out. Is there a general agreement that cinque terre might not be worth visiting in April? I bounced some of these ideas off my husband and he is reluctant to rent a car in Italy. (cost plus we've been warned about italian drivers)
If you were to spend 2 days after leaving Florence and arriving in Rome, what would YOU do if you didn't have a car?
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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Zeppole - you are probably routing through bologna and Florence to Mass Carrara. It is also possible to take the A4 to Verona, drop down to Modena and then over to Parma and on to Massa Carrara from Parma. Not that much difference in the time.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:26 AM
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>>If you were to spend 2 days after leaving Florence and arriving in Rome, what would YOU do if you didn't have a car?
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Is there a general agreement that cinque terre might not be worth visiting in April?

I would certainly drop Cinque Terre and use the 2 nights somewhere else. Perhaps an extra night in Venice and an extra night in Naples - both are very light and could use more time.

If you were to spend 2 days after leaving Florence and arriving in Rome, what would YOU do if you didn't have a car?

Sienna? Orvieto? or maybe ADD two nights to Florence or Rome and do day trips?
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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>>If you were to spend 2 days after leaving Florence and arriving in Rome, what would YOU do if you didn't have a car?
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Old Nov 8th, 2009, 07:04 AM
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zeppole and all, GREAT advice. I have always been afraid of not having hotel reservations, but I think you struck on something here. I'm going to follow that advice and leave my agenda open for those two days and base it on the weather and our mood. This sounds obvious to some, but as a planner, I had not EVEN thought of a open agenda for part of the time. I have changed my itinerary since this posting based on your suggestions. I'm going to repost after I get off work today with the newest itinerary. You have all been very helpful!!
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Old Nov 8th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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On my last trip to Italy, I booked hotels for my first 5 nights and last 5 nights. I left the middle 5 nights open and am glad I did. It was mid-September and turned cold (I was in Tuscany) so I decided to go to the Amalfi area. I booked a hotel online while in Tuscany and then headed south. I got a great last minute rate.
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