Italy Itinerary: Which way do I go?!?

Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Italy Itinerary: Which way do I go?!?

FINALLY settled on our Rome apartment, so I now have the first 6 days of our vacation covered! So now I have to figure out the rest of it (June 28 - July 6).

I was going to do Siena and the Palio, but the more I hear about the crowds and cost, I'm not sure it's the best idea (it's me, husband, and 8 and 15 year old girls), though I do want to go to Siena/Tuscany.

So my question is, which would you suggest for the balance of the trip - Naples/Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, or the Tuscany/Florence route (maybe a coast town closer to there?) We leave out of Rome very early on July 6th, so we have about a week.

Thanks again all!
esklader is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Cant discuss the other spots, but Tuscany, Tuscany, Tuscany....... Next trip we'll try Florence.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 09:03 AM
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Hi esk,

>which would you suggest for the balance of the trip - Naples/Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, or the Tuscany/Florence ..<

You can't go wrong either way.

>..We leave out of Rome very early on July 6th, ...<

Have you considered splitting your time in Rome?

You are going to have to leave wherever you are to get back to Rome the day before you fly home anyway. If you split Rome 3 and 3, you won't have to pack/unpack for just a night.

ira is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Ira, they can't split it if they have an apartment for 6 consecutive days. We went to Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast last year and you can't go wrong either way. I would avoid the Palio as we were there last year for the time trials and the place was a zoo. Personally I adore the Amalfi Coast but it is a toss of the coin.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 09:17 AM
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Anywhere you go in Italy is wonderful. Amalfi coast was the most beautiful spot I visited on Mediterenean. If you decide to go there I highly recomend Hotel Onda Verde. We were there in 2001 and I loved it.
Hotel website has a lot off useful info as well.
Driving on the Amalfi coast is a bit dangerous. I had to adjust to curvy, mountainous roads. The car did prove to be very useful. We were able to visit Pompeii, Amalfi, Naples, Vesuvius, Ravello and Herculenium. One of the most memorable trips of our life.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 01:10 PM
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I notice Venice is not on your list of possible destinations. Kids really like Venice. So do adults! And it's possible to get open jaw tickets to fly out of Venice.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 01:39 PM
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I think it all sounds good. So which apartment did you end up choosing in Rome? (I was following your questions about the apartment on your other thread.)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Mimar - I would love to do Venice, but I think it's just too far and too much for this trip. We can't do an open jaw with the tickets we have without paying a change fee at this point.

Nikki - While I really would have preferred to stay in the Navona/Ghetto area, comfort for a family of 5 won out, and we picked the one near the Spanish Steps/Plaza Popolo, as it had 3 bedrooms and a real kitchen. Which my budget allowed for more, but I'm hoping this will be okay.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:23 PM
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I think any of those apartments would have been fine, and everything is fairly close together. There's a lot to be said for more space in an apartment. Make sure to write a report when you return!
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Hi there!
Siena and the Palio may be out of the intended scope of your visit -- the crowds are huge, and you must arrive about 3 hours ahead of time, when you are herded into the centre of the square and can't exit or reenter until the races are over. The races are actually quite, well, violent, with lots of fallen riders being dragged (literally) out of harms way, and a number of horses break legs and are put down right away. Perhaps not the best kind of family entertainment for your kids...
Since you might consider Naples/Pompeii as a day trip from Rome -- my husband and I did this as a day trip from Firenze, north of Rome may serve as a nice hub for various travels.
You can rent a reasonable apartment in Firenze and make this a base for your travels for the next few days. Firenze is, well, Firenze, and you will have no trouble finding things to do. If possible, book your visits to museums in advance: Call the Firenze Musei at tel. 055 294883 (add the country code if calling from outside Italy) and you can speak with a governmental museums worker who speaks English. He/she will give you a confirmation code and an assigned entrance time for the major museums (Uffizi, Accadamia, etc.) for a cost of 3 Euros, added to the cost of your ticket and payable upon entrance to the museums (i.e. no money up front!) Bring your confirmation code to the entrance of the museum at your reserved time, and just walk in. The cashier will confirm on computer that you have the right time, and after you present your ID, you will be given immediate access. Calling directly yourself is much less expensive than the internet groups who will call them on your behalf and send you a confirmation code and charge you 25 or 30 Euros to do this!
From Firenze, you can catch a city bus up to Fiesole (the number 7), and see the old Roman ruins, including an amphitheatre. There is also a display of Etruscan artifacts, and from here, a small hike up the hill will give you a great view of Firenze.
If you like, you can rent a car in Firenze and make day trips in the Chianti region, or can travel to a number of hot springs (called terme) in the area. There are hot springs near Firenze at Montecantini, and also just outside of Siena. Speaking of which, you can take a train (or bus) to Siena as a day trip, and also either drive or bus to San Gimignano as day trips.
Finally, there are a number of interesting sites accessible as day trips from Firenze by train. Venice is actually a day trip from Firenze (early train there, about 2.5 hours, and an evening train back) if you like. This is well worth it. From Firenze, you can go also by train to Pisa as a day trip (1 hour each way), and even as far as Assisi (which is really, really nice). For train schedules, see This will give you an ideal of travel times and trains to and from most of the sites that you might want to visit.
Happy planning!
Old Dec 5th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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freiamaya: Thanks for the great info. I have actually come to the same conclusion - while I definitely want to go to the Tuscany region, I don't think my family will enjoy the wait in the heat and the crowds for a horse race that lasts a couple of minutes.

I'm thinking now that we'll stay in the Siena or somewhere else in that region for 3 days and look around, then perhaps end with Sorrento or Naples, where we can do Pompeii and the coast.

Are there any real (sandy) beaches in the Amalfi Coast area?

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