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Can366 Sep 17th, 2011 02:23 PM

Italy in 30 Days
My husband and I are planning to travel to Italy for 30 days from January 29-Feb 28. We fly into Gatwick and out of Gatwick to Canada. We would like to visit Venice, Verona, Lucca, Pisa, Cinqe Terre, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome. We are considering renting a car. We would appreciate input from other travellers as far as our itinerary goes and mode of transportation. We are a mature couple who are adventurous. We have been to Florence but the rest of Italy is new to us.

bobthenavigator Sep 17th, 2011 03:56 PM

How do you plan to get to Italy?

nytraveler Sep 17th, 2011 05:03 PM

You need to realize that days will be very short and that many sights may have reduced opening hours in the off season (many museums etc are open only in the mornings) - so you will have to plan carefully when you will do what. Also the countryside will be brown and crunchy and you are likely to run into quite a bit of rain.

If it were me I would rent a car - so you can take advantage of the hours and days that are better weather and not be stuck with local trains from one small town to another.

And I would definitely do open jaws into Venice and out of rome rather than making a stop in the UK - unless you are planning on spending time there. Otherwise you are just throwing away a couple of days of your vacation (you would have to return to the UK the day before your flight out to be sure of not missing it due to weather or othre delays.)

Can366 Sep 17th, 2011 06:51 PM

We fly into London Gatwick from Canada on Jan 29 and fly out of London Gatwick back to Canada on Feb 29. We had planned on flying to Gatwick Jan 28 from Rome after spending 4-5 days there. An overnight in London is all we had planned on before catching our flight back to Canada. We won't mind the weather and are considering the journey through the country as important as sight seeing.

ira Sep 18th, 2011 04:41 AM

Hi Can,
For that sort of trip at that time of year I would get a car.

What's your budget for hotels?


bobthenavigator Sep 18th, 2011 05:15 AM

Why are you not flying directly to Italy---forget London.

mamcalice Sep 18th, 2011 05:33 AM

DO you already have your airline reservations? If not, fly into your first city in Italy and home from your last. You will maximize time, probably save money and definitely save the hassle of extra flights and hotels in London.

In the dead of winter, I would not include Cinque Terre in an itinerary. The rest of your destinations are easily reached by train. Because of the short days, I would leave the driving to someone else. The countryside will not be especially pretty that time of year so getting from place to place quickly will be best.

Can366 Sep 19th, 2011 08:51 AM

We are flying into gatwick because we can get a good flight from Canada. We can get a flight to Venice same day we arrive at Gatwick...we will have an overnight in UK on return. We are considering B&Bs and our budget is 2000-2500 euros for accommodation. Thanks for the tip regarding Cinque Terre. Also thanks for weather info. A possible itinerary is 5 days in Venice, take train to Verona for 4 days, rent car in Verona drive to Lucca or Pisa for 4 days onto Florence for 5 days with day trip to Siena, then onto Rome for 5days with day trip to Assisi. Drop car in Rome upon arrival.

kybourbon Sep 19th, 2011 09:14 AM

You can't drive in Florence so unless you need a car to day trip from Verona, I would wait to pick up the car. Fly to Venice (5 nights), train to Verona (4 nights is too many unless you are doing day trips), train to Florence (5 nights). Pisa and Lucca can easily be visited from Florence by train and Siena is easily reached by bus. Assisi can also be reached by train on the way to Rome. If you want to visit some small towns that are more out of the way, you will need the car, but I wouldn't pick it up until finished with Florence.

ira Sep 19th, 2011 09:33 AM

Hi Can,

>...budget is 2000-2500 euros for accommodation.<

In Florence I can recommend
In Rome, we liked
Both will fit your budget.

>5 days in Venice, take train to Verona for 4 days, rent car in Verona drive to Lucca or Pisa for 4 days onto Florence for 5 days with day trip to Siena, then onto Rome for 5days with day trip to Assisi. Drop car in Rome upon arrival.

Is there enough to keep you occupied in Verona for 4 days?
I think that 2 nights in Lucca/Pisa is plenty unless you are just wishing to chill out.

I suggest that you consider a daytrip to Ravenna from Venice, a couple of nights in Bologna, and a daytrip to Orvieto from Rome.

Enjoy your visit.


PalenQ Sep 19th, 2011 10:50 AM

cars are fairly useless in the cities you mention and indeed now can be a liability as many city centers ban them, parking can be really expensive and many hotels may not offer it.

Michael Sep 19th, 2011 11:02 AM

For what you want to do, a car makes sense.

For a one-way car rental, or might be the best option, although you can also check . The issue is the deductible. If the first two agencies have a deductible and you are worried about it, you would have to purchase a super-CDW insurance from the rental agency, and that might turn out to be more expensive than Economy cars which has no deductible.

But it might be just as good to do a RT from Rome, at which point might be the cheaper option. That is what we did, represented by the pictures from Tuscany and Umbria with the exclusion of the Florence set.

I could imagine making a loop between Rome and Venice that includes all the locations you list without backtracking in the least.

Parking in any city will be a problem, although many have large parking areas available outside the city core. You can reach the Cinque Terre coast by car by driving to Levanto.

Michael Sep 19th, 2011 11:24 AM

I should add that for our trip in Tuscany and Umbria, we picked up the car at the Rome airport and drove directly to Tarquinia, ending the trip in Rome.

PalenQ Sep 19th, 2011 12:58 PM

We would like to visit Venice, Verona, Lucca, Pisa, Cinqe Terre, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome.>

All of these places are best done by train and or bus IMO - if you want to meander thru the Tuscan or Umbrian countryside then drive - but if your focal point are the above places go by public transit - excellent service to all of these places and all of these places are places where cars are useless - especially the Cinque Terre where only two of the five villages even allow cars to drive around town.

tuscanlifeedit Sep 19th, 2011 02:09 PM

I see no reason why you couldn't get a car after Florence (maybe in Siena) and use it for Tuscany and Umbria, then ditch it and train into Rome.

You certainly would be burdened by a car fro much of the this itinerary.

Four days in Verona could give you good day trip options. By train or bus.

tuscanlifeedit Sep 19th, 2011 02:11 PM

I forgot to mention that with your very low accommodations budget, planning in advance will be good. The best budget digs seem to book up quickly, even though you aren't going in high season.

annhig Sep 19th, 2011 02:28 PM

can I suggest a slightly different way of setting about this?

apart from your stays in Venice and rome [which BTW I would lengthen for a 5-7 days each, I would pick a maximum of 2 places, preferably one - I suggest Florence - and use it as a base for exploring, by train. [bus to siena].

from Florence you could do day or even overnight trips to places like Bologna, Parma, Orvieto, Pisa, Lucca, etc. etc. you would also have a terrific opportunity to get to know Florence without the normal hordes of tourists.

My other suggestion goes to the other extreme - on leaving Venice, hire a car to return in Orvieto the day before you are due in Rome. them just take off, touring where your whim takes you. with just two of you, you should have no trouble getting places to stay on spec.

PalenQ Sep 20th, 2011 11:03 AM

Nearby Lake Garda is a splendorous day trip from Verona - easily done by train and then boats around the lake. Sirmione is the most famous lake city - known for some of the best Roman ruins outside of Rome.

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