Italy Itenerary Review

Old Dec 29th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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Italy Itenerary Review

I've put together a very ambitious 2-week itenerary for Italy. My wife and I are very energetic sight-seers, so we don't tire easily. For us part of the enjoyment of travel is seeing the country from the train. Please let me know what you think! I checked all travel times and durations on this website: http://www.raileurope.com

Day 1 (Tues)Overnight flight to Venice.
Day 2 (Wed) Venice
Day 3 (Thurs) Venice
Day 4 (Fri) Venice
Day 5 (Sat) Venice to Verona (1:30hrs via train)
see Verona, train to Milan (1:30hrs)
Day 6 (Sun) see Milan, evening train to Florence (2:45hrs)
Day 7 (Mon) see Florence (possible day-trip to Pisa?)
Day 8 (Tues)see Florence, evening train to Rome (1:35)
Day 9 (Wed)Rome
Day 10 (Thurs) Rome
Day 11 (Fri)Rome
Day 12 (Sat) Rome to Amalfi Coast (possibly at Procido Island) (2:20hrs via train)
Day 13 (Sun)Relax
Day 14 (Mon) see Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius
Day 15 (Tues) Back to Rome for Flight home.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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Sorry, that should have been Procida (not Procido)Island. (At the Tirreno Residence)
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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HI,
with essentially only one day in Florence, I wouldn't make it a separate stop. You can daytrip to Pisa and to Florence from Rome and it's one less packing/unpacking/check in and out stop.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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I would skip Milan and add the time to Florence where you will not have enough time to see anything with this schedule, especially if you day trip to Pisa.

I think Verona deserves more than a quick few hours.

I would take a morning train to Rome, not an evening train.

I would simply not move around so much, period.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Hi Mr. Green,

Yes it's ambitious, but not too bad. Having been to all these destinations, my personal recommendation would be to skip Milan. Pisa would also be skippable. Instead see Siena as a day trip out of Florence, or on your way to Rome. Possibly Orvieto too. Very unique and a nice break from the large cities. I'm a big believer in mixing cities and countryside - Amalfi Coast definitely counts as countryside.

Buon viaggio!
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Wow !!!! That wouldn't be a vacation for me....to many big cities, too much travel, & too much concrete.

Skip Milan, like others have said. Your schedule has you there on a Sunday when all the shops will be closed.

Only 2 days in Florence, and on one of the days you want to do a day trip to Pisa???

Actually, I would skip Florence entirely - especially if you plan to be there between April and November. It is VERY crowded then, and for your 1 1/2 days, you will be in lines for a good portion of the time.

What's wrong with mixing a little "car" into the plans? You can stay in the countryside, visit some small medieval villages, drive on some roads where you'll see some of the most spectacular countryside in Italy, and take a vacation from your vacation. Perhaps consider a few nights in the lovely Tuscany countryside around Pienza.

Here is what I ould do:
1. 3-4 days in Venice.
2. Train to Siena (similar to Florence in look & feel, but less art & fewer crowds). Stay overnight in Siena.
3. Rent a car for 4 days and drive around the Tuscany countryside visiting small perched villages, Abbeys in breathtaking settings (Sant Antimo), the countryside (Val D'Orcia), perhaps a winery.
4 Take train from Orvieto (visit) to Rome.
5. Spend no less than 4 full days in Rome - and really, that isn't enough. If you plan to visit any sites like Ancient Rome (Colosseo, Forums, etc) or the Vatican museum, you will need more than 3 days there.
5. If the train goes there, take it to Pompeii & do Pompeii as a day trip from Rome (& stay in Rome and extra day).
6. I would skip the Amalfi coast - just not enough time in your 2 week plan.

See less, enjoy more

I've been vacationing in Europe for over 25 years. Since we retired early in '99, we spend 2 months in Europe each year - almost exclusively in France & Italy. SLOW DOWN.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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I wouldn't be that discouraging about crowds in Florence if you do decide you want to go there.
Yes, summer is very crowded I'm told, but I didn't think it was bad in Sept-Oct. For the two most popular museums (Uffizi and Accademia) you can order in advance tickets for a particular time slot.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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>>>I wouldn't be that discouraging about crowds in Florence if you do decide you want to go there.<<<

I've had dozens of people tell me that they had a "meltdown" in Florence because of the crowds - especially after doing the Rome/Venice/Florence jaunt. If huge crowds don't bother you, then "no problem".

Mr Green is planning on 3 days in Venice followed by Verona & Milan on the same day, Milan, then Florence. Add to that, about 7 train stations (6 stations in 2 days). I, personally, would go "wacko" by the time I hit Florence - and then after 2 days, on the train again to Rome. Where is the "down time" in this plan??? Trains can be relaxing, but I have never found stations to be a lot of fun. If a friend of mine had planned this itinerary, I would talk a lot about having a restfull spell somewhere in the middle of the "adventure".

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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I agree with Stu !
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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To Stu: Thanks for the advice, but with all respect, "to each his own." Like I said, we are very energetic travellers. If I wanted to relax, I'd stay at home. Besides, we'll have a few hours of "downtime" on the trains between the cities. Driving in other countries would be very stressful for me. And I do not make a very good passenger in a car!!!

Anyway, this is my first attempt at an Italian itenerary. I wanted to see what could physically be accomplished in two weeks. (We will be backpacking and travelling VERY light, so there will be minimal packing/unpacking.)

We are not at all into shopping. We love history and seeing the beautiful buildings. (I happen to love concrete!) There are a couple of buildings in Milan we would like to see. That is why we want to swing by there. The same with Verona, although I could possibly skip it.

The place we are looking at for Florence is an old Medieval Hamlet outside of the city limits. We could relax there in a pinch! Although, the Florence and Pisa Day trips from Rome isn't a bad idea.

This is our first (and maybe last) chance we will have to see Italy. There are so many other places in the world that we want to see. If this is my only chance to see Italy, I want to make the most of it. For me, that means seeing as much of it as I can in the amount of time that I have to see it. I do appreciate ALL of the comments. I will definitely take them into consideration as I refine my itenerary! (You should have seen the long list of things we wanted to see when we started planning this trip; this is nothing!)
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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I do not think this is a bad itinerary although it might be alittle too ambitious for me. I would skip Milan and Verona and add time to Florence or Rome. If you wish more time in Tuscany I would add a day in Siena and perhaps a 1/2 day for Pisa to see one the the world's great icons. Remember the museums in Florence may be closed on monday. I would also consider going directly from Florence to the Amalfi coast so that you have aliitle quiet time on the coast before tackling Rome. Ending up in Rome also decreases any possible problems of getting from Amalfi to Rome for your flight home. This schedule is more simple than your orginal plan and cuts down the number of hotels you need and the amount of transportation. This schedule also gives you alittle flexability to change things abit on the fly. Anyway just my thoughts. Happy traveling!
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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Yes, it's very ambitious, and you've gotten some very good advice from some savvy travelers, which I'd encourage you to heed, as your plan sounds a bit gaga.
Please note that the correct spelling is Itinerary. This is one of my personal bugaboos. If you're planning a trip, I like to know that you can spell itinerary properly.It seems like a good honest start to a trip if you can spell it right.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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MrGreen, the pace is grueling, and the Rome-Amalfi-Rome loop is quite a backtrack. I would suggest you cut out 1 area - Amalfi or Milan/Verona. And I would find a way to see more of Tuscany. But if you must, then I think your itinerary is quite doable for a high-energy couple. I used to have that kind of energy. Ciao.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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I'm a bit breathless reading this -- one question about your stay in Venice: do you arrive in Venice on Tues. or Wed.? If you actually arrive on Tues. morning, I'd suggest you're spending too much time in Venice (esp. in high season) relative to the other cities where you are only there for 1 day. But if you're arriving Wed. morning, I understand more or less writing off much of Wed. to jet lag.
 
Old Dec 29th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Mr. Green, yes it is an ambitious itinerary. But if you and your wife are physically and mentally up to it and can handle all the moving around than it sounds to me like to have your program worked out well.

Not dragging around lots of luggage will be a big help for sure. And imagine you are not interested in sitting in outdoor cafes "people watching" so that will be a help also.

Imagine you two have traveled enough that you know what type of trip works for you.

If you are interested in architecture than stores etc. being closed on Sunday in Milan will not be important to you.

Do have a beautiful trip and hope you file a trip report when you return.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 03:15 AM
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I would leave the Amalfi coast for another visit. This way you can do it leisurely - Napoli, Capri, etc etc. But if you do go, I'd strongly advise you to forget Procida. I wouldn't put it on an A list or B list of places to visit in Italy, or dare I say even C list, and I really think you'd be disappointed. It's certainly not worth a special trip.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 03:29 AM
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I agree with Dayle's comment somewhere toward the top of this thread.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 03:33 AM
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Although I think the pace is hectic I would say all the best! I agree with Loveitaly on this - you know what works for you. I personally feel not driving is a good idea with this kind of schedule - better to use your train time to relax and as "down time". I recently went to Milan for the 2nd time (pull up my trip report) and I thoroughly enjoyed it and agree that it is architecturally quite rich - the city suffers in travelers perception due to it being "gray" and less romantic than other Italian cities IMO. I would definitely suggest re considering Pisa - unless the Leaning Tower is a huge priority given this schedule it could be dropped. I agree with the earlier poster re trying to include Siena which I thought was one of the most charming cities I have been to - you may enjoy the colour of the buildings even though they are not grey concrete! It is just an hour by bus from Florence.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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Mr. Green:
Florence deserves more time. You'll be sorry if you don't spend more time there.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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To StCirq: I think you are "gaga" coming onto a message board about travel just to complain about my spelling! If I were writing a college term paper, I'd use spell-checker. I've taken much of the advice here into consideration. And as you seem to not have any advice of your own to give, bug off! I will not waste another word on you. I care not for your personal "bugaboos"!

To others:
Mjs and 39Steps: That's a good idea switching Rome and Amalfi. I hadn't considered that. It would make sense not to have to back-track to Rome for the flight home. I am definitely incorporating that into the plan. If the museums are closed on Mondays in Florence, that would be the day to take our day-trip to Pisa to see the tower, then. We don't want to spend the 30 Euros or whatever it is to go up into the tower, but it is a National Monument and the symbol of Italy. We want a couple of pitures to bring home. I may have to do some rearranging to allow for more time in Florence, though. I'll report back with a new, improved (but still ambitious) itinerary!

To Cassandra: According to the Itinerary, we would fly overnight, sleep on the plane and arrive in Venice on Wednesday morning. I'm not too concerned about jet lag. I've been to London three times, all on overnight flights and have never experienced jet lag. We kept a pretty intense pace there, too. We loved every minute of it. You want to talk about crowds? Try riding the tube during morning rush hour in london! The only reason you can stay standing up is because there are so many people in the car that it's impossible to fall down!

To Nutella:
Ok, so Procida, bad! Got it! I do still want to visit the area so that I do not have to take time away from Rome to see Pompeii. Also, we want to spend a little time, even if it is only a couple of days, on the coast. Is there another place in that area that is close enough to pompeii and is not quite so "touristy" that you would recommend?

Unfortunately, we have to plan this trip as if it may be our only chance to see Italy. I do not plan on retiring for another 35 or so years and it will take me a year and a half just to make up the time off work that I'm using for this trip. (It will probably take me twice that long to pay it off!) I do not have the luxury of going off to Europe every year for six months. If I did, I'd spend my time looking into every nook and cranny in every small village or ancient ruins I could find.
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