Italy help needed please!

Oct 13th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Italy help needed please!

I am new to this board, so "hello" to all! Hopefully someone here can give some advice to me =)
My Husband and I are traveling to Italy next May/June. We've had our itinerary set for a few months now and have booked our flight and *most* of our hotels. Right now our schedule is as follows:

Fly into Florence on Sunday 5/28 (we arrive early morning-9:30 am)
Leave for Rome by train on Wednesday 5/31
Leave for Naples by train on Sunday 6/4
Fly back to Chicago on Wedensday 6/7

After doing some research I've realized how much I really want to visit Cinque Terre now! The only hotel we have NOT booked is for Florence. So...I am now contimplating taking a day-or-two to go to Cinque Terre and only spending a day-or-two in Florence (instead of the full 3-4 days we orignally planned). Any suggestions/opinions on this? Do we need 3-4 days in Florence to get the full experience and to see everything it has to offer, or is it worth taking a few days to visit Cinque Terre? My thought is to spend Sunday and all day Monday in Cinque Terre, leave early Tuesday morning for Florence and spend all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday in Florence. Any help is much appreciated!
AmiLynn is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
Welcome to the board. Is this your first trip to Italy? You'll probably get most of the comments leaning to the side of that been too much if you add CT. You would constantly be on the move without really getting a chance to relax and enjoy the cities you're visiting.

I would leave out Naples and tack on CT up front if you have to see it on this trip. Or, start saving for your next trip as soon as you get back.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Posts: 61
I agree... including CT is too much in your current itinerary. What are you planning on doing in Naples? And what is it that attracts you to CT? Have you considered spending the 3 nights on the island of Capri instead if you're interested in some beautiful cliffs, hikes and water views. Quite unforgettable of a place and most beautiful after all the day-trippers leave.
roro is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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We just returned from Italy where we spent 3 nights in the Cinque Terre, 9 nights in Sicily and 5 in Florence. I would happily trade most of my time in CT for more time in Sicily or Florence. CT is quite lovely and I am glad we visited but don't cut anything else short to spend time there.
mamc is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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For many people, you would be doing WAY too much "big city". It will be very crowded in Florence and lots of crowds/traffic/congestion in Rome. I've never been to Naples, so I can't comment on that, but I suspect it will be quite crowded & congested also.

I always recommend 3-4 days in the countryside to get away, catch your breath, & relax a bit. The CT would do that if you don't want to rent a car, and the Tuscany countryside would be even better if you choose rent a car.

I agree with the others that you should drop a destination of you visit the CT. Naples would be my choice for a first timer. Remember, many/most shops close on Sundays and Monday mornings, so consider that when you plan your itinerary. Museums will be open, but they might be more crowded on Sundays (never been to Florence on a Sunday). The best plan would be to visit Florence first, then CT, then Rome - that way you won't have two cities back to back. Also, You may need to crash early the first day or two, and I think Florence would be a better place to crash than the CT.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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After having read Mamc's comment about the CT, I want to add that her opinion is shared my many other people who have posted trip reports, or have e-mailed me to tell me how their trip went (I have an Italy itinerary that I've handed out to over 400 people on the aol and Fodor's travel boards). Quite often, people will say that they spent 4 days on the CT and wished they had only spent 2. It's perhaps been "oversold" by Rick Steves - there are other areas I enjoy a lot more, specifically the Tuscany Countryside and the Amalfi coast. However, if you are committed to a "no car" transportation method, I think 2 days on the CT might be the best option. I wouldn't recommend Tuscany without a car, and the Amalfi coast doesn't seem feasible unless you shorten Florence or Rome(which I would not do) and keep the Naples visit in your plans.

I just re-read your post. Are you going to Naples to stay there till you depart to go home, or do you pass through there on your way to several days on the Amalfi coast? If you are really spending most of that period on the Amalfi Coast and not Naples, then forget the CT and enjoy your stay on the Amalfi coast.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Hi Ami,

If you will be visiting the Amalfi Coast when you go to Naples, you can skip the CT this trip.

Your time in florence is less than you think since all of the major museums are closed on Mondays.

You could use that day to visit Siena.

ira is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,884

You could use that day to visit Siena.<<


Our close friends who live just 45 mins. south of Siena say that most shops are closed on Monday in Siena - perhaps only in the morning (but afternoon starts at 3:00 or later). Do you know if that is the case??

BTW, I put back on the 5 lbs I lost in the Dordogne.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 04:15 AM
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Hi Stu,

I was thinking of the sightseeing, rather than shopping.

As best I can recall, there will be restaurants and cafes ioen for lunch and dinner.

The reason that you have put on weight is that you have stopped eating foie gras every day.

ira is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Thanks to everyone who responded! I think we've decided to skip CT and spend some time on the Amalfi Coast while in the Naples area. Thanks again ~ mush appreciated!
AmiLynn is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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With a 10 days stay in Italy I would skip CT.

Florence itself deserves at least 3/4 days and Rome at least 4/5 days.

You can then spend the remaining 2/3 days for one day side trips by train from Florence to Siena and/or to Pisa + Lucca

As alternative the the side trips from Florence, according to your priorities, you might spend these 2/3 days in Naples and Amalfi coast including Pompei before flyng back from Naples, but to be honest, once in Florence, I would see a bit more of Tuscany countryside and then Rome, saving CT and Naples for another trip, adding Venice on top !!!
Fabio is offline  
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