Italy...Need Advice!

Old Mar 14th, 2012, 04:01 AM
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Italy...Need Advice!

Hello All Fodorites,

This is my first post in Fodor's. I recently got married and I wish to have our honeymoon in Italy. I am living in Hannover, Germany.

I have roughly 10 days at my disposal. Till now what I have read about Italy, I wish to see Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples and Sicily (Is it too much for 10 days?) We plan to use public transport. We both are more into nature than city architecture and art.

Could you guys please draft me a rough itinary. Please add or remove places in your itinary if you wish so. We both are in our late 20's. The timeline could be from late April to lare May.

Looking forward to be part of this wonderful group.

Thanks in advance.

deutsch750 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 04:10 AM
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I think adding Sicily is far too much. It would be at most 1.5 days in each of your spots. The other half day would be travel.

I would eliminate Naples as well for the same reason.

This leaves you 3 days each in Venice and Florence, 4 in Rome, though it will take you half a day to get from place to place in each case. The train or plane won't take that long, but getting to and from the station, checking into and out of hotels will eat up at least this much time.

But you can see a lot in each of these places in the time you have at your disposal. Leave plenty of time for sitting in cafes watching the world go by. I would personally try to go to the Uffizi in Florence, but maybe you just want to soak up the city. There is nothing at all wrong, especially on a honeymoon, with walking around holding hands and looking at the buildings.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 04:32 AM
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Yes, these 5 places are too much for 10 days. I think they are also not the best choices if your focus is nature. You could easily spend 10 days outside Naples in the coastal towns to experience that natural beauty. Or maybe lakes of northern Italy, though I've yet to go myself. If you are less interested in cities or museums don't go to Italy's major cities for your honeymoon.
hamlet is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 05:32 AM
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For someone interested in nature rather than architecture, that is a very odd itinerary.

The great beauty spots of Italy that are reachable by public transportation are the Italian lakes, the Italian Riviera, much of small town Umbria, the Amalfi coast and the Aeolian islands of Sicily.

Because you are using public transportation, it would be better to identify just one or two of those areas for a 10 day trip.
zeppole is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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With 10 days, I would suggest 2 nights in Venice, then 3 nights in the Cinque Terre area where you can do some wonderful hikes along the ocean cliffs. You could then spend rest of the time at a farm b&b (agritourismo) in Tuscany where you could do a day bus trip into Florence. The Tuscany countryside is perhaps the most beautiful in Europe, and wonderful for hiking, biking and exploring the small villages. Many of them can be reached by bus.
zootsi is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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With only 10 days of travel, you will use up a whole day getting from Venice to le Cinque Terre. Also, an agriturismo in Tuscany is next to impossible without a car.
zeppole is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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Sorry - I hit the send button too soon:

Rural Tuscany is very difficult without a car. It is much easier to enjoy the hilltowns of Umbria using public transportation.
zeppole is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:40 AM
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Five destinations - including one that is an entire island - is clearly impossible in 10 days. The time involved in moving from one place to another reduces your actual time on the ground in each place to about one day. And if you are more into nature than city architecture or art, public transportation won't serve you well - how are you going to get out into nature? Sure, there are buses, but the schedules are limiting, and you still end up in towns and villages, not in "nature."
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Congrats, Shaheen and welcome! My husband and I only traveled by train or bus so it is do-able but your scheduling is less flexible.

You could combine Florence, Venice and Rome OR Sicily and Naples. I agree that 5 places in 10 days gives none of them justice.

Fly into Venice, train to Florence and to Rome and fly out of Rome.

Fly to Palermo and bus or train east (seeing sights along the way) and end up in Siracusa or Taormina. Then train to Naples--you will lose a day traveling. Fly out of Naples.

For a newly-wed couple, Venice would be my first choice for a romantic setting and lots of possible walking. More visits to the countryside/Cinque Terre possible from Florence. Spend the least time in Rome since it's a big city.

You and your bride now need to decide what specifically calls out to you to visit. Hub and I always borrowed travel books from the library and then bought the one that appealed to us the most! Much online info these days as well.
TDudette is online now  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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You have way too many palces for so few days. And if you prefer nature to city architecture and art - then why ar eyuo staying in cities instead of inthe countryside?

Do you want to drive through the nature, hike through it, camp in it, stay in an agriturismo with animals???

I really think you need to consider what YOU want to see and do. And in the days you have stay in 2 or at MOST 3 differnt hotels - and see what yuo can from there.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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In this case, the OP is already in Europe so probably has a working knowledge of public transportation.

Hub and I found when we traveled in Italy that there could be more than one local bus company and times were more limited and geared toward commuters. He and I were never looking for walking trails though so perhaps those schedules are different.

deutsch750 can easily google walking trails from any of the cities he mentioned.

Zeppole, I didn't read any haughtiness or sarcasm in StCirq's thread but certainly did in yours, not to mention name calling. Please don't lessen your great information with such comments.
TDudette is online now  
Old Mar 14th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Sorry you felt that way Tdudette but it is simply infuriating to read absolutely inaccurate information about Italy posted over and over again by the same people who really do their utmost to sound as if they knew what they were talking about. Is that really fair to honeymooners?

And when a non-English speaker refers to wanting their honeymoon to be more about "nature than art and architecture", there is something rude about lecturing them on the finer points of the meaning of "nature." I think most of us English speakers understand quite well that these German honeymooners are saying that they are more interested in being around sea, hills, sky, trees, flowers and animals rather than looking at man-made attractions.

Contrary to what is being posted about Italy, it is quite easy to use trains, buses and ferries in Italy to have a honeymoon that takes you -- within 10 minutes of the train stop or bus stop or ferry dock -- to hikes through national parks in view of the sea (the Italian Riviera, the Amalfi, Sicily), or hikes in the parks and sanctuaries outside the rural towns of Umbria.

These people aren't asking to go camping. They know they will sleep in towns. They aren't fools. They are only not familiar with Italy. And neither is St Cirq, so I don't know why she posted in this thread.
zeppole is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2012, 12:55 AM
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If you really want to see them all, then you definitely have to take planes to arrive, otherwise you would waste hours till you arrive to destination - could be whole days as well.

You are still young, so I do think that if you really want to visit these places, and you do not mind travelling, then go for it. The advantage you have is that you are not that interested in visiting all the cultural towns and cities, as that is what takes lots of time, like queus to visit museiums etc.

Ryan Air and Easyjet both do low cost flights all over Europe, and even often two flights daily between provences and towns in Italy, even Sicily. If you do not book at the last minute you very often get very good prices for tickets, sometimes much cheaper than trains.

I am going to stick to your places of preferences (I can give you another couple of places that scenary is breathtaking, like the Dolomites or near Lake Como or Lake Maggiore, but then for sure you would have to lessen two of your places).

I would imagine you are travelling by a German airline like Lufthansa. Let us assume Lufthansa has a direct flight to Rome, and you would also take the return flight from Rome.

Get a morning flight to Rome, then get internal flights by Ryan Air or EasyJet from Rome to Venice, Pisa (in Tuscany) Naples, Trapani in Sicily - which is on the north west coast and has the most breathtaking scenary in its surrounding countryside, and lastly Rome again where you would spend the last two days and fly back to Hanover on the last day.

Plan it out well, and you will do it. I also have the character that I like to go around everywhere in rather short holidays, and that is the only way I really know how to do my holidays, I still enjoy every minute of it, and I do know quiet a few young people (unlike myself) that go around everywhere in a short time.

But as I said, it would take far too much time to cross all over Italy by train, even having to take ferries to cross to Sicily. Air travel would save you a lot of time for sure.

In Tuscany try and find an agriturismo that is very accessible in the outskirts of Florence, and is still in the countryside, that way you can wake up to the beautiful scenary and spend a whole day in Florence and maybe even fitting in another town like Siena and San Gimignano.

The advantage of staying two nights in one place, is that you have a whole day of sightseeing or relaxing in the place, as you wish. It won't be a relaxing holiday staying in one place, but I do completely understand you as I just love seeing different provences of Italy, when I visit that country, and even stay sometimes again in the same provence but in a different location.

Umbria is lovely, in my opinion the countryside is even lovelier than Tuscany, as it is wilder and not so touristy, but since you are interested in visiting Florence, then you need to take a flight that is not too far, and the nearest low cost airport would be Pisa.

Enjoy your holiday and congratulations on your marriage. If you need my help in accomodation, I would be happy to assist you
Anna_Galea is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2012, 06:28 AM
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I really can't agree that the honeymooners can visit all of the places on their list and still see something other than the inside of trains and train stations. Best to limit the trip to 2 or 3 places. Public transportation from Venice to Florence and Florence to the Cinque Terre area is easy and will allow you a mix of nature and magnificent sights of Italy. Hiking on the Cinque Terre is beautiful. The hills surrounding Florence are wonderful - visit Fiesole while there. Venice is a marvel and mixes nature and architecture.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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Not only are you obnoxious, zep, you're totally ill informed. You have NO idea how familiar I am with Italy. At all. Apparently you think because you live there you are a cut above everyone else. You're not. Fortunately, there are other posters here, some of whom also live in Italy also, who manage to impart their knowledge without the snide, imperious, sniping attitude you so regularly impart.
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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I hope reviewers would be more polite to each other and tolerate others' views, after all everyone has different opinions, likes and dislikes.

Some people just love visiting ancient cities and cities and their museums, churches, squares, etc,younger travellers might think this is boring (or young at heart) and prefer to go abroad for the nightlife or for a beach holiday just idling around.

Some people love touring or driving around the countryside, or mountainous regions, or near the coast. Soome even take a holiday to go to a theme park, even in Italy, a visit to Gardaland in Summer is living proof of this.

Some people love to stay in one place for many days or even weeks, whilst others love moving constantly around towns, cities and villages.

I could go on and on, all a matter of taste, and us fodor reviewers all should give different opinions and we let those who have the queries decide for themselves what is applicable to their liking.
Anna_Galea is offline  
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