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Italy/other - first draft itinerary - comments pls

Italy/other - first draft itinerary - comments pls

Feb 17th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Italy/other - first draft itinerary - comments pls

Day 1 - Fly to London (overnight flight)
Day 2 - 4 - Explore London
Day 5 - train to Paris
Day 6-7 - explore Paris
Night of Day 7 - night train to Venice
Day 8 - 10 - Venice
Day 11 - train to Cinque Terre
Day 12 - CT
Day 13 - train to Florence - stop in Pisa along the way
Day 13-15 - Florence
Day 16 - train to Rome
Day 16-18 - Rome/Vatican City
Day 19 - train to Naples/Sorrento - stop in Pompeii on the way
Day 20 - Capri
Day 21 - return to Sorrento
Day 22 - Train back to Rome
Day 23 - Fly home to Canada.

This is just my first draft

I'd like some input from the experts.

A couple notes:

1) 2 people - age 30 (me & husband)
2) This is the first trip to Europe for either of us
3) We plan to start a family next year, so we likely cannot return for at least 10 years - likely more like 20
4) We really do want to see London and Paris - since we aren't sure when or if we'll get back. Italy is our primary interest.
5) DH has some interest in hitting Switzerland - any thoughts as to where we would enter Switzerland (just a day or 2) - my thought was between Paris and Venice. If we do go to Switzerland - what should we cut out of Italy.

Thanks in advance.
pamelaca2002 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
As I suspected, you are trying out Rick Steves' whirlwind tour (or a variation of it) to see what reaction it gets without having Steves' name attached to it.

The same as his does: total nonsense!
Eloise is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,497
I haven't been to capri. But Sorrento area includes scenic rocky coastline. The CT area also inlcudes scenic rocky coastline. Maybe you can leave one of the two out, and add that time to the other cities?

Jolie is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23

Been through a similar experience since my DH had never been to London or Paris, and wanted to see them BK (before kids) so we did short trips to those two citites, and longer trips to Italy. Never been to Venice so I cannot comment on the length of time you are spending there, but as for the rest of your Italy itinerary:

I recommended cutting out the Cinque Terre portion of your trip. Go straight from Venice to Florence and use the time visiting more of Tuscany. Whether you use Florence or Siena or somewhere else as your home base for that leg of the trip, it will be worth your while.

Count on a day in Vatican City, and the other two days seeing other parts of Rome, so good choice with the amount of days you've alloted there.

Day 19 - you will need the entire day for the train, visiting Pompeii, and then getting to Sorrento (we had hired a car service to take us from the Naples train station to Pompeii, he waited for us there, and then brought us to our hotel in Sorrento.

Day 20 in Capri -- staying over there or is that a day trip from Sorrento? We did it as a day trip returning in enough time to have dinner in Sorrento.

If you cut out CT, maybe use one of those days for a day trip to Positano? I'd like to see another day added to your Sorrento leg of the trip.
KarenKL is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
I agree with Eloise--far too much travel time. And, you missed Gimmelwald and Civita. I would skip London and the CT in this itinerary.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,945
I think you will be exhausted after this trip. It looks like the first 5 trips we took to Europe when we were your age.

Here are some "rules about vacationing in Europe". These are rules I've compiled from going there every year for the last 25 or so.

1. Don't visit big cities back to back. You will do London, Paris, Venice, and then maybe Florence all back to back. These cities have lots of noise, traffic (not Venice, of course), people, congestion, concrete, etc. I think you will need a break from all of this. The CT or Tuscany (my favorite area) would be a good place to do so.

2. Do less, enjoy more. Everyone on this board will tell you the same thing.

3. You can't pack as much into a day in Europe, as you can in the US or Canada. Most stores & many museums close for a 2 to 3 hour lunch. Museums also close 1 day a week. Few stores are open Sunday or Monday mornings.

4. Paris is fantastic in the off season. I enjoy Paris the most when it's the only place we visit on a trip. Wait for a spring or fall air sale before the kids arrive, and go to Paris for 5 days then. Same for London.

Here is what I would do.

1. Fly to London & spend 3 good days there - 4 nights. It's a good place to recover from jet lag.

2. Fly to Rome or Naples, and get to the Amalfi coast. It will still be summer there, and it's a fun place then. We've been to the Amalfi coast 4 times in early Sept. Stay in Positano, and take an overnight trip to Capri.

3. Get back to Rome (visiting Pompii along the way) & spend 4 nights there. You can do this entire Rome/Amalfi/Rome by public transportation.

4. Take the train to Orvieto, rent a car, stow the bags in the car (leave it in the rental lot), and explore Orvieto. Drive to Pienza, stay there 5 nights & explore Tuscany. Visit Siena as a day trip. Also San Gimignano, Volterra, & the dozen other hilltop villages.

4. Take the train from Chiusi to Venice & stay 4 nights there. Fly home from Venice.

This skipps Florence. I would not go to Florence in mid Sept, unless you are a BIG art fan. It's VERY crowded & several visitors have experienced meltdowns because of the congestion. Siena has the same look & feel without the art.

Notice on this itinerary, that you are doing big city, small coastal resort, big city, beautiful countryside, and big/unique city.

I have a 20+Italy itinerary that pretty much covers this same thing, but with much more detail & more side trips. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:15 AM
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Posts: 74,320
Hi Pam,

I agree that you are trying to jam too much in.

However, we each have our own styles.

The Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre are rocky coastlines; you needn't do both.

Why are you going Venice to CT, back to Florence then reverse again to go to Rome.

What will you do with your luggage when you stop in Pompeii on the way to Sorrento?

Will you be paying for two hotel rooms on the 20th day?

I was in Florence in mid Sept of 2003, I didn't find it that crowded.

>We plan to start a family next year, so we likely cannot return for at least 10 years - likely more like 20<

Pish, tosh. Do you expect to stay at home for 20 years?

>DH has some interest in hitting Switzerland ...<

Save that for another trip. This one is too crowded already.

Have you considered
Fly into London week 1,
Train to Paris week 2,
Train to Venice week 3,
Fly home?

ira is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 27

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming.

Seriously - we will not be travelling to anywhere in Europe for a 2 -3 week trip until our youngest child is at least 7 or 8 - which means probably 10 years (hoping for 2 kids about 2 years apart) I won't travel that far and try to lug little kids around. Personal preference. Doesn't mean we won't travel - but not to Europe.

I will work on my itinerary - I do really want to do Paris and London - so those have to stay in - maybe add a day or 2 there. Skip Switzerland. Skip Capri. Skip Pompeii - I think there is a ruin site closer to Rome (starts with an "O") Maybe rearrange some things. I will try again later tonight maybe.

I understand everyone's thoughts about cramming too much in - but since we really won't be back for a while - we want to hit the following for sure


Maybe someone can help me out. 5 cities in 21 days doesn't seem all that rushed to me. Maybe we'll rent a car and drive from Florence to Rome? Spend a couple days in the country?
pamelaca2002 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,320
Hi Pam,

Your itinerary is looking better.

>I think there is a ruin site closer to Rome ...<

Ostia Antica, about 1 hr by train.
Also Orvieto, a very nice hill town - abt 1 hr by train.

ira is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
How about the following:

Day 1 arr. London (probably a.m.)
Day 2-4 London (three full days)
Day 5 arr. Paris (by Eurostar & Chunnel; probably by mid-afternoon; I've never done this, so check it out)
Day 6-8 Paris (three full days)
Day 9 arr. Venice (fly Ryanair Paris Beauvais to Venice Treviso; beware of Ryanair baggage limits; I've never done this either, so check it out; it has to be faster than by train in any case)
Day 10-12 Venice (three full days)
Day 13 arr. Florence (by train; roughly noon)
Day 14-16 Florence (three full days)
Day 17-18 Tuscany (somewhere small and relaxing; preferably with car)
Day 19 arr. Rome (by train; mid-morning; 1.5 hours from Florence)
Day 20-22 Rome (three full days)
Day 23 return home

With the exception of the two days in Tuscany, this does not give you any "off time," but with three full days in each of the cities, you can perhaps use one to do a more relaxing day trip; in Rome, you can use your day trip to go to Ostia Antica).

You can also tweak a day from one city to another if you have a stronger preference for some cities than for others.

It won't be a very restful or relaxing trip, but it would allow you to get more than a superficial impression of the cities you are visiting.
Eloise is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
I like what Stu says. It is a matter of style, but spending all of your time in big cities is not seeing Europe.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10
The itinerary is too ambitious. This itinerary could backfire, leaving you wanting to travel more to make up for not spending enough time in each place to satisfy your wanderlust before starting a family. Don't let the prospect of having kids stop you from travelling... especially for ten to twenty years! Travelling with kids, when done right, can be a very special delight.
Susanne is offline  
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