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Italy Recommendations 9/9 thru 9/21

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Aug 15th, 2016, 12:14 PM
  #1
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Italy Recommendations 9/9 thru 9/21

Returning to Italy for my first time to hit some big cities for a 2 week vacation. It has been some time since I last visited and was just to see a friend in Paderno del Grappa and to see Venice so looking for some help. Reading up in travel books and online but would love to hear from those that have been.

There are 2 couples travelling together and we're more than happy to break off at points since our taste for what to see may differ. Open to pretty much all suggestions. The idea was to pack the beginning of the trip with the bigger tourist cities to see the history and art and then relax more on the back end.

Dates/days on trip:

Rome - arrive 9/10; depart 9/13
Florence - arrive 9/13; depart 9/16
La Spezia - arrive 9/16; depart 9/18
Lake Como specifically Varenna - arrive 9/18; depart 9/20
Milan - arrive 9/20; depart 9/21

With La Spezia, the idea is to head into Cinque Terre and walk/hike between the towns and just enjoy the scenery/food and wine. We have vacation rentals in each city with the exception of Milan where we have a hotel. We're actually headed to Munich for the last few days of the trip to enjoy Oktoberfest and see a few sites there as well. We are looking forward to eating/drinking our way through the country so if there are any great restaurants or wineries to suggest please do.

Any suggestions or tips are welcome. Thanks!
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Aug 15th, 2016, 01:22 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Going by train - if not consider it - cars are useless in the three big cities and of course the Cinque Terre - Lake Como take boats around - easy - for trains check www.trenitalia.com for fares and schedules and discounted tickets if you book NOW- way cheaper than full price but train-specific, non-changeable and non refundable I believe so booked in stone. For lots on Italian trains check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted ticketing process; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

You could probably use another day in Rome - the day you arrive you may be wasted - but overall a really nice itinerary though some will say too rushed.
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Aug 15th, 2016, 01:55 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It's not a 2-week trip; it's barely 11 days. It is rushed to me, but it's your trip.

The Cinque Terre in September would be too crowded for me, but again it's your trip. Have you seen recent photos of the crowds in high season? It has become so bad that the local citizens are asking the Italian government to figure out a way to limit visitors.

Are you aware the train ride from La Spezia to Varenna is 5 hours? In a relatively short trip, that's a lot of time lost to transit.

Traveling by ferry to sightseeing points on Lake Como is not like driving on the autostrada. It's a leisurely pace ultimately dictated by the timetables. You'll need more than one full day there if you want to explore much beyond Varenna and Bellagio.

If you want to see the Last Supper in Milan, you should check to see if any tickets are available as you would have to plan your brief time in Milan around that.
Jean is online now  
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Aug 16th, 2016, 07:47 PM
  #4
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Thanks for help Jean.
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Aug 16th, 2016, 08:17 PM
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I would eliminate La Spezia. Crowded and your itinerary is crowded.

Of course, this is my opinion, and it's your trip. But to me, four stops is plenty for your short time.
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Aug 17th, 2016, 12:57 PM
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The Cinque Terre is famous but yes crowded at that time still - I agree with tuscanlifeedit - too much on your plate.
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