Italy Itinerary Help!

Aug 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 105
Italy Itinerary Help!

Hi Everyone,

I have been reading and posting on these boards for a few months now in preperation for my friend and my trip to Italy in 4 weeks!

I'd like some help with our proposed itinerary. I am somewhat advanced traveler and she is a newbie, taken under my wing (hope I don't disappoint her). We are both female and 30. So being active is not a problem. We both have never been to Italy.

Anyway, here is some background. We both have somewhat different ideas about what we want to see. I love history and some museums, but I am also about staying put in one location for a while to get a sense of the place, wander around, talk to locals, that sort of thing.

I don't enjoy moving around too much b/c then you never feel like you actually saw anything.

She wants to see it all. Especially countryside. As a first time traveler, she wants to explore it all. I understand that, but I don't want her to miss out on capturing the spirit of the country. Hard to do when you are on a train the whole time.

Well here it is: NB: our rooms are all booked for Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris.

September 30th (Arrive in Paris-fly to Rome) in the evening
October 1st -Rome

October 2nd (she wants to do day trip to Pompeii, with dinner on the Amalfi Coast) I would prefer to either go to the Amalfi Coast and spend the day or stay in Rome

October 3rd- Rome-Vatican City

I know Pompeii would be amazing...but so is Rome, and I don't think 2 days is enough.

October 4th-Arrive in Florence in the late morning

October 5th-Florence (museums: Uffizi, Accademia already reserved)

October 6th- Siena Day trip

October 7th- She wants to go to Cinque Terre for the day. I would prefer staying in Florence or somewhere much closer to Florence (Volterra or San Gimignano)

October 8th-Full day wine tour pick-up in Florence (to Chianti I believe)

Ocotber 9th (Morning in Florence)then off to Venice

I know Cinque Terre would be amazing but as a day trip from Florence??? Doesn't sound like a good idea.

Ocotber 9th-Venice (Arrive early evening)

October 10th- venice

October 11th-Venice (flight to Paris at 8pm)

October 12th (Paris)
October 13th (Paris)
October 14th-Leave in the morning for flight to Montreal.

I am tired just typing it all! Just as a side note we flew in and out of Paris b/c we found a very good deal on the flight.

I am interested in the fodorites expert advice, as I have been telling my friend that Pompeii and Cinque Terre might be too much, but perhaps hearing it from other people might help sway her.

Or maybe I am off the mark, maybe we do have time for it all. I somehow doubt it, without both of us being frustrated and very tired by the end of it.

I know we do not have enough time in Venice. 2 days will just have to be enough.

Thanks for all your advance.
Travelbug13 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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My answer focuses on the fact that your ages are 30 and therefore, your lifetimes are ahead of you. Surely, you'll be returning time and again in the future and that's when your friend can "explore it all".

I agree with your objective - "staying put in one location for a while to get a sense of the place".
TuckH is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,116
Hi T,

A rather rushed itinerary.

1 day in Pompei/AC and 1 day in Rome?
A daytrip to the CT from Florence?

Your friend likes riding trains?

You have too little Rome in your itinerary.

Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris is more than enough for the time that you have.

ira is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
and if in your lifetimes you don't return to Italy you'll have your whole lifetimes, or at least your friend's, saying...if only we had gone there!
I, like EVERY the other Fodorite who responds, who will say the same like TuckH - is that granted your limited time in both Florence and Rome these excursions are first too time consuming and secondly will come at the expensive of really experiencing Rome or Florence or the day trip destinations.
Even if you wanted to i think a day trip to Pompeii (easy enough to do from Rome) and then dinner on the Amalfi Coast is completely unrealistic if nie on impossible.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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I agree with all responses.

Ira, we are 3 days in Rome. One of the days my friend would like to go to Pompeii, so that means only 2 days in Rome.
But you are so right, a very rushed itinerary indeed. I've done this enough times to know I hate moving too much.

I've told her she can certainly go on her own if she wanted to explore Pompeii and Cinque Terre.

I would rather spend the full 3 days in Rome, and not go to Pompeii or the Amalfi coast. I can certainly do those another time.

We have 5 days in Tuscany, one of those days will be a full day wine tour, and one day in Siena. I'd like to spend the other 3 days in Florence.

I appreciate all of your honest and candid advice.
Travelbug13 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:38 AM
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Posts: 45,322
Hi Travelbug, I too certainly agree with you.

I had a friend who invited herself to join me in a trip to Italy. At first I thought it might be a nice idea until she started telling me how the trip would be such as we would NOT be wasting time sitting in some outdoor cafe, lingering over any meals etc as we would be "hitting" every museum possible from the time they opened until they closed.

I had to explain to her that her style of travelling was so different than mine that I knew she would not be happy going to Italy with me.

If your friend understands in advance that you are not going to participate in all of the activities she wants to do and if she is alright with that your trip could work. But if she ends up having her nose out of joint so to speak this trip could be a disaster. Only you know what your friend is like. In my case I knew my friend would be angry at me the entire trip as she had never been to Europe before and consequently wanted to go with me so I could sort of be her private tour guide!! Best wishes to you in getting this worked out.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
I will comment in the hopes of getting your friend to realize she is just trying to fit too much in. I have now spent a total of 5 weeks in Italy and still haven't made it to Pompeii (both trips I started out by having it in the itinerary but took it out both times as there just wasn't enought time). Rome in 3 days is barely enough time as it is. Skip Pompeii.

I also wouldn't bother with the Cinque Terre. We enjoyed our day there, but not worth it to drive all the way from Florence for a daytrip. Spend the time exploring things closer to you.

You seem to have this dialed in, but just to let her know, you will enjoy the trip even more if you don't just "see" as much as you can, but slow down and "experience" everything.
jgg is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,523
OK,my opinion, and you can tell her I said so:

If you were visiting New York for two days, would she want to go to the Jersey shore for a day? That to me is like taking a day trip from each of your short stays in Rome and Florence. I know she wants to see everything, but by keeping to her plans, your friend won't see anything.

Tell her that your travel expert (tongue in cheek, of course) buddies say NO!

And if she wants to spend all her time in trains, let her do it on her own. It would spoil a trip for me.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 04:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 105
Thanks for all your help. I spoke with my friend last night, and she is willing to sit down and re-work the itinerary.

Although she wants to see Pompeii and The Cinque terre, she understands that she would only be seeing these things and not experiencing them.

So it looks like she has decided to omit Pompeii and Cinque Terre.

Thanks for all your help!
Travelbug13 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,116
>So it looks like she has decided to omit Pompeii and Cinque Terre.<

Hooray for our team!

ira is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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That's good she's willing to reconsider the plan.

I would encourage her as you mentioned to go off on her own often. I really think that is the best solution when two people traveling together have different wants and expectations. That way she shouldn't feel you are "holding her back" and you shouldn't feel drug all over tarnation when you'd rather be sitting in a sidewalk cafe.

I have a fond memory of Venice on a very hot day where I was sitting on the pavement outside, drinking Gatorade, while my friend was touring one of the museums. Same trip, same friend went off to Pierre LaChaise (sp?) cemetary on the Metro while I wandered around the Latin Quarter lost in Paris.

suze is offline  

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