Italy in June 2 weeks--1st timers

Dec 20th, 2008, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 356
Italy in June 2 weeks--1st timers

I am in need of your expert advice..want to spend 16 days visitng all of Italy. We don't enjoy group tours but prefer to travel at our whim..either by train or rental car.
Would like to start at Rome and travel around the car or train the best bet?? Prefer not to stay in hotels but bed and breakfasts or a rental apartment for a few days at a time. Hoping to find some good B and B's in certain areas and use them as bases to go on day trips in the area...then travel to the next B and B and do the same. Need an itinerary and number of days at each place--want to really get a feel for the whole country and prefer to avoid the crowds if possible
bornintheusa is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Good for you !
In 16 days you can make a dent, but I always say to plan 3 trips up front since you will return. Here is a broad outline of potential itineraires---you can mix and match. In your time I would plan a max of 5 destinations--something has to go. Here is a start:
After 24 trips to southern Europe, and having developed more than 220 customized TRIP PLANS for others, I am now older and hopefully wiser. Here is an updated version of my favorite itineraries & my “Bella Italia” photo gallery. I hope you enjoy.

1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See:

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,191
As Bob says, you can't visit all of Italy in 16 days. I would:
Fly into Venice, spend 3 nights there
Train to Florence, 3 nights there
Rent a car as you leave Florence for 5 days in Tuscany and do daytrips to numerous Tuscan towns (Montepulciano/Pienza area is good)
Drop off the car in Orvieto, see the Duomo and then train to Rome
4 nights in Rome, fly home from there
SusanP is online now  
Dec 20th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 162
couple thoughts--
June can be hot, so you should plan your days accordingly, with long lunches and naps [any museums, churches, etc, may be closed from 1 to 4]
Rome requires preparation -- research : general idea of what you want to see and can do taking into account that cabs are expensive and traffic heavy traffic. Best way to see Rome is on foot.
Florence and Venice will be crowded in June, lines to get into museums, restaurants, etc. Like Rome, they both require preparation.
To get away from it all, consider staying in Umbria rather than Tuscany. Choose a hilltown and visit the others by car up and down the Faminian Way. Assisi and Perugia, Spello [our favorite], Foligno, Trevi, Norcia, Castelluccio, Montfalco, Todi, Deruta -- lots of places to enjoy the glorious Italian June weather and Umbrian cuisine. Then a train fron Foligno to Rome or Florence depending which route you are following.

Visit the Umbria Channel of and judge for yourself.

Loads of agriturismo sites in Umbria
Motorino is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Susan has a good plan for a first trip. The open jaw is the key.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 100
For one of your B&B stops, I recommend Anne's Place in Palestrina. We stayed there in March 2008. After arriving in Rome we made our way to the train station, and bought tickets for the Leonardo Express. The weather was cool and dreary, and Rome looked dirtier and more graffiti-ridden than I remembered from our first visit. Upon arrival in Termini, we obtained some euros from the ATM and bought our tickets to Palestrina (2,30 euros). The ride to Palestrina took about 35 minutes, and as the city gave way to suburbs and finally the countryside, we wondered if we had made a mistake in staying so far away from the center of the city.
By the end our stay at Anne’s Place, our misgivings about its location were allayed by the helpfulness and kindness of our hosts, Anne and David. In addition, we truly enjoyed getting know our fellow guests. After dealing with the hustle and bustle of Rome, it was very relaxing to spend time in a peaceful small town (with Anne and David providing safety net). Spending time at Anne’s Place was something like going to summer camp for adults.

dickensdad is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
In 16 days you can get a taste of several places - now way can you begin to see all of Italy.

You must do Rome. After that if you want to do Florence and Venice - with a couple of day trips - trains make the most sense. If you want to spend more time in the county (don;t know when you'll be going) then a car is really necessary.

Avoiding crowds depends largely on the time of year.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Well you do know bornintheusa that there is no way you can visit all of Italy with having 16 days. Almost all of the Italian residents have not visited all of Italy. I have spent months in Italy and I sure haven't.

Avoiding the crowds will not be possible if you go to the major cities/areas of Italy.

I don't know how anyone can make any suggestions to you as you have not commented on what your interest are, and I do not mean that in a negative way be assured.

I would strongly suggest that you do some research regarding your trip to Italy. Check out the travel guides at your local library. Research via websites after that. Perhaps buy a book or two for guidance. And do get a map of Italy. I would suggest a map that gives the names of the various cities/towns in Italian versus in English.

It sounds like since you plan to fly into Rome that you want to spend some days/nights there I would assume. "Certain areas" you know what areas? If you are going to go from one city to another travelling by train would be the best but if you want to get to some small towns in the countryside you will want a car.

Regarding 16 days..does that include your travel time to and from Italy? It is best to figure out how many nights you will have in Italy. From your screen name if seems safe to assume you will be flying from the US. When you leave on day one you will arrive in Italy on day two. When you fly home you will leave on and arrive home on the same day due to the time difference. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  

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