italy logistics: top to bottom

Old Jun 11th, 2009, 08:51 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
italy logistics: top to bottom

hi fodorites,

i'm hoping you can help me out ... i have a DF who is tinkering with the idea of a family trip to italy next year ... herself, her DH, and her DD (who will be 7 yrs old). DF has family in turin and in sicily. the purpose of this trip would be to spend time with family (elderly relatives) and also show her DH and DD some of her heritage. DF is not a seasoned traveler and is looking for some help ... my italy experiences are from 20 years ago so i thought i would turn to you.

please help me organize this trip for my DF...here are some details:

- flying out of toronto (YYZ)
- three week trip - turin (4-5 nights), sicily (8-10 nights), rome (2 nights), florence (2 nights)

DF planned to fly in and out of rome and then use trains to get around from there ... i.e. fly into rome (stay 2 nights), train to florence (stay 2 nights), train to turin (stay 5 nights), train to sicily (stay 10 nights), train back to rome to fly home.

this seemed very inefficient to me (???) ... would it not be better to take an open jaw flight into milan, stay 2 nights in turin, then fly to sicily (stay 10 nights), then fly/train to florence (2 nights), train to rome (2 nights), and fly home from rome? my proposal also assumes that inter-italy flights are relatively affordable vs. the train.

my preliminary search showed flights between turin/milan and catania for about 300 euros vs. overnight trenitalia trips for a similar price. but like i mentioned before, my italy knowledge is VERY limited at best.

can you please helps us put these cities in order and also suggest how to get to and from?

thanks so much!
lilaki is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 09:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
I agree her plan is not very efficient. Train travel in Italy is not cheap (maybe if you are local and can take advantage of advance purchasing > 30 days+...). It can be substantially cheaper to skip this backtracking on train travel to land in Milan and leave from Palermo or Catania (whichever is closer to her relatives's location).
Viajero2 is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 09:14 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 33,143
Did you price budget airlines to Palermo, Catania or Trapani?
www.whichbudget.com
www.skyscanner.net
kybourbon is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 09:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Apart from the inefficiency of the plan, does your friend know how long the train ride to Sicily is? I just checked yesterday and the over night train to Palermo is 14 hours from Rome. If you take a day train you arrive late at night which I would not recommend. I wouldn't want to have a 7 year old on a train for that long.
adrienne is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi all,

thanks for the quick responses ...

my friend did the exact trip with her parents when she was 7 years old ... so i think some nostalgia is kicking in. i'm hoping that logic will also kick in before she actually starts booking thing ... i did do a preliminary check and found relatively affordable airlines that fly throughout italy ...

does my order of cities make sense? turin - sicily - florence/rome - home.

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 04:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
OP asked >>does my order of cities make sense? turin - sicily - florence/rome - home.<<.

Not at all. See previous comments.
Viajero2 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 05:43 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi viajero2,

how would you suggest visiting these cities?

flying into milan and out of palermo would work ... but how to fit in florence/rome??

thank you.
lilaki is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 39
The alternative you proposed (flying into Milan, out of Rome) isn't bad. I think I'd do something similar:

-- Fly into Milan, start trip in Turin
-- Train from Turin to Florence (about a five hour trip -- not much fun, but the "price of admission" for seeing Flo)
-- Fly from Florence to Sicily (Meridiana flies to both Palermo and Catania)
-- Fly from Sicily to Rome
-- Home from Roma

Doing that means you're interspersing family time (Turin/Sicily) with strictly tourist time (Flo, Rome), which I think would be a good strategy. I like the idea of starting off with a family visit, so you get a personal welcome to Italy. After a few days with the relatives, you'll have a little insight into the locals you meet when you launch out on your own. You might even pick up a couple of words of Italian.
Matt_Lombardi is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 08:32 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi matt,

thanks so much for the ideas ... i too recommend that DF starts off with family ... it's a more relaxed way to start a vacation rather than running around (jetlagged) trying to see the sites in rome/florence.

out of curiosity -- why not combine rome and florence?
lilaki is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 09:13 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Lilaki-- agree w/Matt w/ a spin:

OPTION 1: suggest Flying to Milan (Turin family days). Fly Milan to Sicily (Sicily family days). Fly to Rome (do a day trip by train to Florence). Fly home from Rome. OR:

OPTION 2: Flying to Milan- Train to Rome (day trip to Florence). Fly Rome-Palermo. Fly home from Palermo.
Viajero2 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi viajero2,

thanks for the two options ... i will present them to DF and she can take it from there.

ummm - quick question though -- what am i missing re: option #1. is this not the same order as what i had proposed above? turin - sicily - rome/florence - home?
lilaki is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 10:27 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 39
"why not combine rome and florence?"

Nothing really wrong with doing that, but there are two reasons I'd split them up:

-- Assuming that you will fly home from Rome, putting the Rome visit at the end makes travel simpler: you cut out the train trip from Florence to Rome, and you avoid what would be a long and possibly tricky trip home -- taking a domestic flight from Sicily to Rome and then switching to your flight to Canada.

-- I like the idea of splitting things up so the rhythm of the trip is family/sightseeing/family/sightseeing. Just my gut sense that that would be a good way to do it.

Viajero's options look pretty good too, though they both require day trips to Florence, and I think Florence needs more time than that. Florence turns a lot of people off because of the swarms of tourists. Go on a day trip, and inevitably you're going to be part of the swarm. Give the city a couple of days and you can find some quiet(er) corners and start to get a feel for the place.

I don't know how viable Viajero's idea of flying home from Palermo is. Are there Palermo/Toronto flights? The only direct flight from Palermo to North America I'm aware of is on Eurofly, and they won't get you to Toronto.
Matt_Lombardi is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 10:36 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi matt,

great insight...thanks for the tips. i think i'll just print out this whole thread for DF and have her read through all of the advice!!

DF is partial to flying air canada ... no service to palermo or catania ... and only partner service to milan. i'll have to look into other carriers for her.

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lavender
Europe
3
May 8th, 2012 05:41 AM
ASully
Europe
5
Sep 18th, 2007 03:13 PM
2006italysicily
Europe
10
Jun 17th, 2006 06:58 PM
CP2003
Europe
10
Mar 26th, 2005 12:49 PM
dawn
Europe
4
Dec 23rd, 2002 05:57 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO