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A3M Mar 15th, 2017 05:31 AM

Italy in May

We're a couple planning to spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Italy and our itinerary is as follows:

Arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport and take the train to Rome Termini Station. From there Metro to Cornelia.

We will spend two nights in Rome and the third day go to Positano. I know we will have to take a train from Rome to Naples and then another train from Naples to Sorrento and from there a bus to Positano.

We will spend 3 nights in Positano. We would like to go to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast.

On the 6th day we will take the bus from Positano to Sorrento and the train to Naples and another train from Naples to Florence where we will rent a car for the rest of our stay in Italy.

I'm confused whether we should buy a eurorail pass or is there any other pass for public transport for the first six days and what is the best way to explore Amalfi, bus or boat.

Thank you!

A3M Mar 15th, 2017 05:45 AM

In Tuscany we will spend two nights in Vaiano and these days want to spend a day in Florence and another drive to Sienna and Chianti - is this reasonable?

Other three days we will spend in Lucca and just want to drive around and explore picturesque villages, also plan on driving to cinque terre one day and returning to Lucca the same evening- Any thoughts.

Could you suggest some vineyards around this area too.

From Lucca we will drive to Venice... advise on the drive please? Spend a day in Venice and go to Bergamo the next day, spend the night there, next day explore Citta Alta and then drive to Malpensa and drop off car at airport.

Any tips and suggestions are most welcome and eagerly sought!

Thank you!

vincenzo32951 Mar 15th, 2017 06:31 AM

As for the Rome-Naples-Positano part and leaving Positano:

I don't know what your budget is or your tolerance for inconvenience, but you might consider using a private driver to pick you up at either Naples or Sorrento for the trip to Positano. Obviously, the cost will be greater from Naples. Taking two trains and a bus, plus negotiating your way from the bus stop to your hotel in Pos with luggage can make for a long, unpleasant day. It's not impossible to do; it's not much fun, either.

Similarly on the return trip, leaving Positano: If you're going to rent a car anyway when you get to Tuscany, why not just rent the car in Sorrento and drive to Tuscany and keep the car for the rest of your trip?

Dogeared Mar 15th, 2017 06:56 AM

I suggest you try spending some time in the places where you plan to sleep.

You're planning to spend more days moving than whole days in any places. You are making the usual mistake of counting days when you are driving to somewhere as if it were a day spent in that place.

Sassafrass Mar 15th, 2017 07:27 AM

Do you already have all of this booked? If not, I suggest when you arrive in Rome, to go straight to Naples or Positano. Put Rome in between the AC and Tuscany.
Either stay 1 night in Naples and see Pompeii the next day, or see Pompeii on the way to Rome. Positano is great for the AC, but not as convenient for Pompeii. Use buses or ferries on the AC.

No need for any rail pass for Italy. Take trains. Personally, I would not rent a car except for Tuscany. Take the train to Venice. The drive is not interesting. You would just be paying for car rental and then to park it in Venice. You won't need it in Bergamo either.

Neither Vaiana or Luca is that convenient to Sienna, time wise. Besides, two nights in Vaiana gives you only 1 full day, so no, it is not reasonable to visit both Florence and Sienna in that amount of time. Have you checked maps and drive times? Of course, I don't like much drive time for day trips, but you might not mind the time and you want to drive around anyway. I would take the train into Florence for the day.

Maybe it is just me, but your trip seems a bit convoluted and I think you are trying to do way too many stops, especially near the end.
Spend at least 2 nights in Venice.
Have you been to Rome before? Three nights at least would be good.
You are doing one Coast already, the AC, so skip CT this trip.
What time is your flight from Malpensa?
Sometimes the hotel or apt where you stay in Bergamo can provide a driver or get a taxi for you to the airport. I forget which airport I used. It was not cheap. It was really easy though.

CaliGurl Mar 15th, 2017 08:56 AM

Arriving in Rome: Just take a taxi from the airport to your lodgings. After a long flight with luggage do you really want to navigate the train/subway? So you only have 1 full day in Rome?

For the Amalfi Coast portion of your trip have you considered staying in Sorrento? With only Two full days you can use Sorrento as a central place to visit Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. We are doing a similar trip in May and have hired a private driver to take us around the AC for a full day and will be taking a ferry from Sorrento to Capri for an afternoon. Also have you researched the train from Naples to Sorrento and the potential for no seats, no AC and pickpockets?? There is a tourist train called the Campania Express which ran last year geared towards tourist. The 2017 schedule is not posted yet, so we don't know if it is running this year. If we can't get the CE we are hiring a private driver from Naples to Sorrento.

Purchase point to point for the Fast train portion of our trip and for the regionale you can buy tickets that day, just be sure to validate them. The Regional Trains will be from

isabel Mar 15th, 2017 09:24 AM

I would choose Sorrento as your base for the Amalfi Coast since you plan to visit Pomeii. Sorrento is easier to get to than Positano making that first day much easier. With only three nights - you spend the remainder of day 1 in Sorrento, day 2 "do the Amalfi Coast" - bus one way, boat the other, can do both Positano and Amalfi in one day. Without schlepping luggage and looking for the hotel it can be a fabulous day trip. Day 3 day trip to Pompeii. (Pompeii from Sorrento is easy, from Positano it's either much longer or much more expensive).

I would either do: first 2 nights Rome, next 3 Sorrento, then rent car and drive to Lucca and spend your time exploring the Tuscan countryside/hill towns. Turn in the car before you go to Florence. You can do a day trip to Siena by bus and you don't want a car in either Florence or Siena. Then train to Venice. You only need the car for the couple days you are exploring Tuscan rural area but if you put that part right after Amalfi Coast you can make the transfer from there to Tuscany by car rather than train.

It's not clear how many total days/nights you have for the trip. In any event do as much as possible by public transportation. And you don't need a pass at all. For the longer trips (like Rome to Naples, Florence to Venice, etc.) if you book well in advance you can get very cheap fares - but those are non-refundable so you need to decide what time/day you want. You can do it just buying train tickets on the day of travel but it will cost you more and it is possible the first train you want will be sold out and you'll need to take a later one.

dwdvagamundo Mar 15th, 2017 11:10 AM

It looks to me like you've got around two weeks and you are trying to stay in seven or eight places. That's way too much. What you are going to be doing is visiting a lot of places without really seeing anything.

You don't say what your interests are, so it is hard to know how to advise you, and you also don't say whether you've been to Italy before. I assume you have not.

Basically, I'd do either Rome and the Bay of Naples/Amalfi Coast OR Rome and Florence/Tuscany OR Florence/Tuscany and Venice. Anything else is going to be sort of a drive-by vacation.

You don't need a Eurail pass, and a rental car (unless you want to pick one up and drop it around Sorrento OR upon leaving Florence for the Tuscan countryside) will be more of a burden than a benefit.

bvlenci Mar 15th, 2017 11:37 AM

Positano is actually <b>on </b> the Amalfi Coast, but it's not a great base for visiting Pompeii. It would take several hours to get there. Sorrento might be a better base. It's on the other side of the peninsula from the Amalfi Coast, but convenient to both that and Pompeii.

You seem to be assuming that you'll have time for considerable sightseeing on your travel days. You really need to trim some destinations from this itinerary. Here is an example of double counting:

<i> In Tuscany we will spend two nights in Vaiano and these days want to spend a day in Florence and another drive to Sienna and Chianti - is this reasonable?

Two nights in a place give you one day, not two. The day you arrive in Vaiano will be spent entirely in getting there, since you plan to leave from Positano. When you leave, you'll have another long trip ahead of you, so you can't plan to use any part of the travel days for sightseeing. You'll have one full day there, so you can either visit Florence <b> or </b> Siena, but not both. Florence is closer to Vaiano, but don't think of driving there; take the train.

Lucca is not a good destination for visiting picturesque villages. It's near the coast, in a fairly flat countryside, and densely populated. You might want to stay longer in Vaiano and visit Lucca as a day trip from there. Or, given your interests, stay somewhere south of Florence, rather than Vaiano.

I would skip the Cinque Terre altogether. I don't recommend ever going there on a day trip. If you really must go there, spend at least one night, to be able to see the towns after the hordes of day trippers leave. Even one night will give you hardly any time there; two nights would make some sense.

If you stay in Vaiano four nights, and skip the Cinque Terre, you could visit Lucca one day, Florence one day, and the Chianti countryside on the third full day.

This would leave an extra night for Venice. It would make no sense at all to drive to Venice, spend one night there, and leave for Bergamo the next day. You'd arrive late in the afternoon and have to leave early in the morning. I would take the train to Venice, because it's faster and cheaper. Stay there three nights and skip Bergamo also. Unless it's a very short trip, it's never worth your while to spend one night in any town.

A3M Mar 16th, 2017 03:52 AM

Thank you all for the invaluable advise and I have amde a few changes to my trip.

Added a day in Rome, cancelled Positano, will stay three nights in Sorrento. Will stay two nights in Vaiano and two in Lucca. Will drop off car in Florence and take the train to Venice. Stay two nights in Venice and take the train to the Malpensa airport.

The only thing I feel sad about is cuttin a day off from Lucca :(

Mimar Mar 16th, 2017 10:02 AM

You're flying out of Milan? When does your flight leave?

Depending on your flight ETD I recommend arriving in Milan or at an airport hotel the night before your flight. In Italy stuff happens, like strikes, breakdowns or, one time to us, a suicide on the track that closed that track and forced a complicated work-around. All announced at the train station in Italian over the loudspeaker and over the noise of trains on adjoining tracks.

If you miss your flight, you have to buy new tickets at the full, last minute price -- on the next flight with available seats.

Or change your flight to a departure from Venice.

Jean Mar 16th, 2017 03:56 PM

Which Vaiano? Province of Viterbo or Prato? There's also a Vaiano in Perugia Province...

FYI, there are car rental offices (and train stations) in Viterbo, Prato and Lucca, but most (all?) of these offices are not open Saturday afternoons and all day on Sunday. You could also return the car in Lucca and train to Florence and then to Venice from there.

FYI, the train from Venice S. Lucia to Malpensa is 3.5 hours. I agree with Mimar; it would be safer to travel to Milan the night before or change your departure airport to Venice.
[Use Italian spellings; i.e., Napoli, Firenze, Venezia, etc.]

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