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Italy travel plan help

Old Aug 18th, 2017, 04:55 PM
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Italy travel plan help

First trip to Italy. Not sure where to begin or end. I want to stay in three different locations over a 14 day period. Also want to try out the bullet train, Rome, Venice Florence and Tuscany. Wine tastings if possible in Sicily and Abruzzo if possible. Celebrating our 15th anniversary and its hard to figure out what to do. Any suggestions? Coming from Florida.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 05:07 PM
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I should add that Rome Florence and Venice visits are a must. Not sure which areas are best to stay in. We are willing to drive and use public transportation. Some sightseeing as well as wine tasting and foodie spots are important. Overall we are flexible. I should also state I'm a bit of a hotel snob.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 05:28 PM
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Shouldn't be too hard to plan. You could easily fill your time with Rome, Florence, and Venice alone, if you like. That's a pretty standard Italy trip. But you should be able to find a few days for Tuscany if you like. That's where most people rent the car: just for the countryside and the towns of Tuscany (something I've never done) but take the trains between Rome, Florence, and Venice. You probably don't want a car in Rome and Florence, and you can't drive in Venice itself anyway, of course. Italian trains are great.

Try to do an open jaw flight: fly into Venice out of Rome or vice-versa (pay attention to early flight departure times from Venice; getting to the airport at the crack of dawn before public buses are running can be expensive).
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 06:02 PM
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If Rome, Florence and Venice are musts for you, then I'd stick with them and add day trips as take your fancy. You could potentially add a few days in a smaller Tuscan town than Florence in order to take in a vineyard or two. Plenty of small towns to choose from. I wouldn't bother with a car except perhaps for that - and even then you may not need one.

By bullet train, do you mean a frecce train? If so, that's easily done between Rome and Florence or Florence and Venice. Book ahead for cheaper tickets but with some loss of flexibility. trenitalia will have timetables and allow you to purchase.

You won't have time to visit Sicily which would take your 14 days on it's own.

I recommend a visit to your local library to borrow a guidebook or two. That will give you a better holiday.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 06:46 PM
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What is the time frame? Next month, next spring....
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 02:35 AM
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Thank you all for the awesome advice.

Timeframe is next May-June of 2018. Tickets aren't booked yet.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 08:51 AM
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Is it 14 days "on the ground" in Italy, or do the 14 days include the days getting to and from the US? If so, you only have 12 days in Italy.

Divide your time between Venice, Florence and Rome. Book a "multi-city" ticket, flying into Venice (easier to get over jetlag there) and fly home from Rome.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 10:57 AM
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Yes 14 days includes flights. So you're right only 12 days in Italy
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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So that's probably 13 nights in Italy. So you could do 4 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence, and 3 nights in Venice. Then you could have 3 nights in Tuscany outside of Florence.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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ekc
 
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So you have 12 days/11 nights in Italy. Your first day arriving in Italy will be mostly lost due to jetlag and logistics. Even in Venice it is really only good for wandering around.

One thing to keep in mind when counting days/nights is each time you change locations you lose up to a half day in transit: breakfast, pack, check out of hotel, get to train station, catch train, train ride, get from train station to new hotel, check in, drop bags and freshen up, now it's lunch time.

So not really counting your first day, I would suggest 3 days Venice, 4 days Florence (with a full day escorted driving trip through a part of Tuscany) and 4 days Rome.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 11:47 AM
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Yes Andrew and others have it right - do the big 3 and do a foray into Tuscany from Florence for a few days - like taking bus or rental car to Siena -classic hill town or really city and either drive or take buses or trains to a potpourri of other fine hill towns.

Driving would be best - could go Siena - Orvieto (another great hill city) and return car and catch trains to Rome.

Anyway book trains up to 90 days or so in advance to snatch up limited-in-number discounted tickets - much cheaper than just showing up - for high-speed trains - for a lot on Italian trains: www.seat061.com (professorial info on booking your own discounted tickets online at www.trenitalia.com or www.italotreno.com/en); www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 01:43 PM
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14 days

Land in Venice
3 nights
Train to Florence
3 nights
Tuscany
3 nights
Rome
4 nights

If you want to hit the big 3 and some countryside about the best you can do.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 04:01 PM
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I need to add my husband is big on driving and trying to hit the streets. I have to add in something Robert his appetite. Maybe a ride to bologna. Not sure. Any thoughts? Thanks all for your help.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 04:25 PM
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Since you aren't allowed to drive in most of these towns (zones restricted to residents), your husband will have to get use to trains. For Rome/Florence/Venice/Tuscany, it only makes sense to get a car for Tuscany and even the small towns don't allow non-residents to drive in the centers (nor does Rome/Florence). If you are from the US and you want to drive in Italy, you will need an IDP from AAA.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 05:21 PM
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Palenq has the right idea. To really get a good feel for Italy you have to include at least a few days visiting the hill towns of Tuscany. Would be a shame to go all the way there and only visit the big cities.
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