Italy in 30 Days

Sep 17th, 2011, 02:23 PM
  #1  
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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.
Can366 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 03:56 PM
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How do you plan to get to Italy?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 05:03 PM
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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.)
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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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.
Can366 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 04:41 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi Can,
For that sort of trip at that time of year I would get a car.

What's your budget for hotels?

ira is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 05:15 AM
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Why are you not flying directly to Italy---forget London.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 05:33 AM
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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.
mamcalice is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 08:51 AM
  #8  
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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.
Can366 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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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.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 19th, 2011, 09:33 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi Can,

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

In Florence I can recommend www.bedinflorence.it.
In Rome, we liked http://www.hotelmaikol.com/
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.

ira is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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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.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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For what you want to do, a car makes sense.

For a one-way car rental, autoeurope.com or kemwel.com might be the best option, although you can also check http://www.economycarrentals.com/ . 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 economycarrentals.com 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.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7623039746640/

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 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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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.
Michael is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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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.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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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 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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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.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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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.
annhig is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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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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