Italy Itinerary Help

Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Italy Itinerary Help

My husband and I started to plan a trip to Italy and have a few questions. I've been reading the posts out there, so I know how helpful you can be...
Our work schedules kind of dictate when we can go, right now we're looking at 4/24 - 5/5 or 8/31 - 9/11. Are there any benefits or drawbacks on either of those time periods?
We're planning 10 nights,leaving JFK about 5 pm arriving in Rome about 7 am. Our initial itinerary is:
3 nights in Rome .... take the train to Florence,
2 nights in Florence.... rent a car
4 nights in Tuscany countryside
1 night in Rome - leaving Rome at 10:30 am.
I've looked into the Rome to Florence train ride on Eurostar Italia. It looks to be about 1:40 hours. How much does that usually cost?
My thought was to start in Rome, then hit Florence and then take some relaxing time through Tuscany countryside. Or we could reverse the order - any comments?
We like to do the touristy stuff, see the history, art, shop and relax & enjoy the country. Do you think we have the right balance with the number of nights we're staying in the 3 cities?

That's all for now - Thanks for your help!
Mlgostyla is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:33 PM
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Hi ML,

Looks nice.

April/May might be a little too chilly.

August/Sept might be a little to hot.

You pick.
ira is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Thanks Ira!
Do you think late September / October is better?
Mlgostyla is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Congrats on your decision to go to Italy!

I think your itinerary looks great. I personally would choose the earlier dates (4/24 - 5/5) because its not quite peak season in Italy yet. You may find cheaper hotel prices, and you will encounter less crowds and lines. Summer is peak season in Italy, and late summer may still be pretty crowded, especially in the cities such as Rome and Florence.

The only thing I would consider changing in your itinerary is maybe to go straight to Florence once you arrive in Rome. This will give you three nights in Rome at the end of your trip and you will have to unpack less often. The ride from Rome to Florence is quick. I don't recall the exact price (we were using a rail pass), but the Eurostar Italia does require reservations so be sure to keep that in mind when you see the price of the ticket.

Be sure to check out Siena when you hit Tuscany. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Good luck planning!
tcreath is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 03:05 PM
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I would pick the earlier dates also. And, why not start in Florence to avoid the last nite in Rome. You have to get into Rome anyway--just ctach the ES train and you are in Florence in 1:40. Then do Tuscany--drop car at Orvieto--have lunch--then train into Rome.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 03:54 PM
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Probably no one else will agree with me, but if this is a first trip to Italy, I can't imagine not hitting Venice - even if it means rushing a bit. I agree that you should head straight to Florence for 2 nights. Then Tuscany for just 3 nights (would base in Siena), then Venice for 2 nights, and then back to Rome for the last 3 nights. If you've been before or will likely return to Italy, then stick with the original plan. But if this is a one-time trip to Italy, Venice is a magical place not to be missed. If you really prefer more relaxed travel, then my suggestion is probably not a good one for you - because it is more rushed.
althom1122 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:00 PM
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I think I would try for late May/early June. The weather will be that much warmer. I would tend to add one day and one night in Venice by either adding to your time or subtracting a day from Tuscany. Whenever you decide to go, wherever you end up, I am certain that you will have a wonderful vacation.
allanc is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Wow, Thanks Everyone! Good idea on starting in Florence and working our way back to Rome. We were thinking about keeping the more relaxing part (Tuscany countryside) until the end, but the pack/unpack thing might may the other way work.
I agree about Venice - we were there 2 years ago, stayed 5 nights and loved it! We want to see other parts of Italy now.
Mlgostyla is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:24 PM
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We went to Italy last april (end of April to May 4th) for 13 nights. The weather was awesome. Low-mid 70's, perfect for touring. We did 3 nights in Rome (spanish steps area) then rented a car and drove thru Tuscany and stayed in Siena. You have to visit Siena. Then we went to Florence for one night then to Venice and stayed 2 nights. You do need to do Venice. Then we flew from Venice to Naples (for $39 one way on and got a car and drove to Sorrento and stayed 4 nights at the Bellview Syrene. I'm jealous. Wish I were going again.
mnatella is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Mlgostyla is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Hi ML,

I really like midSept to midOct.

The weather is nice. The trees are turning. The porcini mushrooms are in season.

ira is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 03:58 AM
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Mlgostyla is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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I just wanted to add that we went to Italy last summer in late August/early September, despite people's warnings about the heat.

I was MAYBE uncomfortable for one day, and I was CHILLY when we arrived in Venice!!

Now, I think we were probably lucky to get some mild weather, but we did not find Italy in August as oppressive as people made it out to be. We only used air-conditioning at our Rome hotel -- the other places we opened our windows to hear the lovely bells in the morning.

BUT, the year before that was the heat wave!!
Jan 24th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Thanks everyone for you input! ! !
Mlgostyla is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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We worked out the timing with our jobs and booked our airfare. We're leaving JFK, Sun 4/24 and return on Thur 5/5. We fly in and out of Rome.
The current plan is to spend 3 nights in Rome, 3 in Florence and 4 nights in Tuscany. We like the idea of ending in the countryside, where it will be more relaxing.
Mlgostyla is offline  

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