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Italy Logistics - Milan, Venice, Florence - Help

Italy Logistics - Milan, Venice, Florence - Help

Feb 25th, 2004, 05:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5
Italy Logistics - Milan, Venice, Florence - Help

Hi. My fiance and I are taking a 2 and-a-half-week honeymoon in Italy, this May/June. We would like to visit Venice, Florence, and then spend a large chunk of time at a farmhouse somewhere in Tuscany.

Maybe my brain is too taken up by the wedding plans themselves, but I am having a lot of trouble working out an itinerary. Can someone help?

We got a great deal on plane tickets, and are flying in and out of Milan (Malpensa) from JFK, though we don't really plan on doing much in Milan itself. Here are my questions --

1. We arrive in Milan at 6am. Is it worth it to stay in Milan that day to catch our breath, or does it just make sense to head straight out to Florence or Venice?

2. What order would make the most sense for our trip? Milan, Venice, Florence, Tuscany? Or should we hit Florence first? Is there one which would be easier to get to? Or just a better bet to start off with? Neither my fiance nor I have ever been to Italy.

Anyhow, thanks for any advice anyone can offer. I really appreciate it. I'm sure I'll have more questions later!
Oliverstreet is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You do realize that Florence is the "capital" of Tuscany, and more or less in its center, right?

I think there are a number of ways to skin this cat.

Although it's a toss-up, I would probably favor going straight to Florence. You won't be able to get right into a hotel room (in Milan) upon arrival that early in the morning; a room IS useful for showering, refreshing, canoodling, whatever - - even though I do not recommend doing any major "catch-up sleep" on that first arrival day. You do better adjusting to Europe time to try to keep going that first day.

So, the 2:45 train ride to Florence will gie you a reasonable size nap, and put you in Florence around noon or earlier. Florence is as good as place to start as any in Italy.

Plan on renting a car as you leave Florence for the Tuscany countryside - - do you have your farmhouse picked out? Keep in mind that most self-catering rentals are from Saturday to Saturday - - so you have to pick one that allows more flexibility than that (there are some choices with three day minimums), or stay in the kind of place that is actually more hotel like but retains that farmhouse feel. See domani-usa.com or much, much more info than you can possibly process on slowtrav.com

That takes you to about day 6, 8 or 10. You can drive yourselves to Venice and turn in the car. Stay a minimum of two nights. More than four might take a hit on your budget, since Venice accommodations are considerably more money for less room than other places.

This leaves you with 2 to 7 days left, depending on how you allocated time in the first 9-14 days. If you have more than two, consider two nights or more in the area around Lake Garda Lake Como or Stresa. For Como or Stresa, you might choose to take the train back to Milan, and even start another three day car rental, after you have spent 24 hours or so seeing the highlights of Milan.

In fact, basing yourselves at Como or Stresa either one,you can probably just return directly to Milan Malpensa directly on the morning of your departure.

This is a big luxurious honeymoon, in my opinion. Heck, I might even turn the tables on you and ask some wedding planning questions (from the perspective of bride's father). Approaching our first (of three) ourselves, later this year!

Whatever your decisions, congratulations on your new life in marriage... and...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Milan to Venice, Milan to Florence or Florence to Venice are all about 3 hour or so car rides. You probably should go Milan to Venice first if you want to spend most of your time in Tuscany. That way, when you leave Venice you can head to Florence and Tuscany and then back up to Milan to fly home. I would take the scenic route back to Milan from Florence by going along the coast through Liguria and turning north to Milan at Genoa. We stayed at great little place in Regello in Tuscany called Villa Rigacci which was just a little south of Florence and it was a good day tripping spot for the Chianti area. You'll really enjoy those parts of Italy, it's beautiful and the people are very friendly.
buongiorno is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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I am with Rex on this one. Unless you are dying to see some of Milan's sights, head to Florence on the first day. That way, you get the travel out of the way and can wake up on your first full day to experience the joys of being in love in Italy. Definitely don't save Florence for last. I would want somewhere more relaxingly romantic for the end of the trip, such as Venice or Lake Como. Doing the Tuscan countryside part in the middle would be a good break between cities.
dan_woodlief is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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I somewhat agree with Rex...if you aren't planning to do much in Milan, and since you cannot do all of Italy in a couple of weeks I think you can easily "miss" the sights in Milan this time around....then get in and get OUT of the city as soon as possible. Take the bus or shuttle to Milano Centrale and take the train to Florence or Venice ((I'd do Florence first)..you may be tired but you'll also be excited enough about being in Italy at last that I suspect you'll be able to stay awake long enough.
Although Milan has stuff to offer such as "The Last Supper" the wonderful Duomo, the being-renovated LaScala, the world's first covered shopping mall, etc., it absolutely pales in comparison to some of the other places you want to visit in terms of architecture and well-know art works..and nothing can match the magic of San Marco in Venice at night after the tourists are gone...have at least ONE very expensive coffee or drink at Florian while there.

Enjoy your honeymoon, and Italy.
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,381
Hi Oliver,

I go along with the "get out of Milan" group.

However, I would do Venice first. Train to Florence, pick up a car, do Tuscany and drive to Milan.

4 nights in Venice, 4 nights in Florence, 7 nights touring Tuscany and 2 nights and a day in Milan before going home.

What are you looking for in the way of accomodations? Both Venice and Florence have quite pleasant hotels and B&Bs at reasonable prices.
ira is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Not an Italy expert -- but I must admit that I was never particularly taken with Florence. Now, with Milan, I think that "The Last Supper" is well worth the effort, and you should try to see it. It's unique, as are the other works by Leonardo (like the unfinished "Adoration of the Magi" at the Uffizi in Florence). I was in Milan for only one day and while I had to queue twice for "The Last Supper" (morning and afternoon), I was really glad to see it even with this time wasted. You can make advance reservations and that should shorten the wait.

111op is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I agree with ira on sequence.
Train directly to venice on day one.
Train to Florence[3 nites is adequate]
Get car--to Tuscany
Drive to Cinque Terre or Santa Margherita on the coast--2 nites
Last nite near Malpensa

That means your first week in the art cites with no car, and the last X days with the car seeing Tuscany and the coast--a nice mix.

Best wishes and buona fortuna !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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I am surprised to see these votes in favor of Venice first. Those first twenty-four hours are too zombie-like, after a trans-atlantic flight to "waste" on Venice (its wonderful aspects), and a room that costs 50% more than it should (its unfortunate aspects).
rex is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You may want to check out getting a connecting flight upon arrival to eith Venice or FLorence (depending on where you want to go first). I would also spend the last night in Milan.

I see differing opinons regarding whether or not to do Venice first. The 2 mulit-city trips I've done ti Italy, I did Venice first. I felt it's a good place to recover from jetlag. Either way, it sounds like you have a good amount of time to have a nice leisurely trip.
MFNYC is offline  
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