Italy trip

Jan 8th, 2008, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 67
Italy trip

My husband and I and our 2 sons (ages 19 and almost 22) are planning a trip to Italy in May when they get home from college. We would like to spend 2 weeks there--the first week touring Rome, Florence and Venice and the second week in Cinqueterra, wandering thru the little towns. We really need some help on what would be the best way to use our time. I have been to the 3 cities before, but the others haven't so we need to see the basic "tourist" sites. We are not big on museums per se, but want to go to the major places. What is the best way to do this? Should we rent a car and try to do it on our own? Book with a tour company, at least for the cities? And how about the flights--should we fly into Rome and work our way up to Cinqueterra then leave from Milan? We need a lot of help!
nwbniteowl is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Hi NW,

First of all, with 2 weeks, I think you need to re-distribute your time. You can have a very good trip seeing just the "big 3" in 2 weeks, but trying to do it in just 1 week is too rushed.

Also, even though I enjoyed the Cinque Terre, I think a whole week there is longer than needed, unless you really plan to do some extensive hiking and day trips. Loved the Ligurian Coast.

So, I would spend 9 - 10 days (minimum) seeing the big 3, then the remainder in Cinque Terre. It was about a 2 hour train ride from Santa Margherita Ligure to Milan for us.

Day tours in the cities are nice if your fmaily has a strong interest in certain areas, like ancient Rome, or art.

No reason to get a car for this trip. Trains are easy for your destinations.

You can go either north to south or vice versa. Fly into Rome, train to Florence, train to CT, train to Venice, fly out of Venice or the reverse.

Hope this helps a little!

Dayle is online now  
Jan 8th, 2008, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
PS - I would distribute my days this way:

3 nights Venice
4 nights CT
2 nights Florence
5 nights Rome
Dayle is online now  
Jan 8th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,157
I would arrange this as a north-to-south, or south-to-north itinerary. Something like:

Venice 3 nights
Cinque Terre 5 nights
Florence 2 nights
Rome 4 nights

or reverse it

Rome 4 nights
Florence 2 nights
Cinque Terre 5 nights
Venice 3 nights

You could fly into Venice and out of Rome or vice versa.

You will notice that I stole days from Cinque Terre to give to your other locations. Cinque Terre may not have enough to keep you busy for 7 nights, even at a slow pace.

Other considerations: Each time you change locations, whether by car or train, it will eat up at least half a day of vacation time traveling and dealing with hotels. Having 3 nights in Venice and 4 nights in Rome also takes into consideration minimal activities on arrival day (jet lag) and departure day (usually you can't do anything that day but head to the airport). I've allowed less time in Florence since much of interest there has to do with museums.

Most here would say that you can do this entirely on your own. You might book some special city tours if that appeals to your family. You could do this entire trip by train. A car would be of aid if you were doing something like touring the hill towns of Tuscany--it's not really necessary for the trip you've described..
ellenem is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I agree with those who suggest redistributing your time.

We spent 3 days in Cinque Terre and it allowed us to hike from Vernazza, where we stayed, to each of the other 4 villages and to spend plenty of time relaxing and enjoying the small villages and the scenery.

Rome, Florence and Venice, on the other hand, are so full of things to see and do that two weeks will only scratch the surface. Based on many trips to each of them, I suggest:

5 days Rome, 3 days Venice, 3 days Florence and 3 days CT.

Your idea to fly into Rome and out of Milan is a good one. I wouldn't get a car until you leave Florence for CT. Trains are an easy way to travel from city to city.

Be sure to make hotel reservations in CT early. Despite its popularity, especially with Americans, hotels are not as plentiful as you would expect.
mamc is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Posts: 67
Thanks to all of you. This is a big help since we've never travelled to Europe as a family, so don't know how everything works. I realize we will only be scratching the surface of all there is to see and do, but at least it's a start. My sons are big on hiking and outdoor activities, so the CT portion is aimed toward them. I have never been to that region so am also looking forward to seeing it. I hope it is not too strenuous walking between the villages, altho I have heard there are trains and ferries available, and it is best to stay in one place and visit the other towns from there rather than moving about. I thought we'd save the CT visit for the end of the trip after the sightseeing, but that will depend on if we fly home from Venice or Milan. Is it difficult to travel by train with suitcases? Will the weather in May be warm there? Any recommendations for where to stay in Rome, Venice, Florence or CT?
nwbniteowl is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 576
I love Vernazza in Cinque Terre. We always stay here.
jnjfraz is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 95
I would suggest getting your airfare ASAP and then finalize your itinerary so you can book accomodations. May is a wonderful time to visit Italy, but many others think so too!! I would definitely NOT book with a tour company, but enjoy being together as a family and exploring Italy together. Pack light, use the trains, and don't be in a hurry.
KatGio is offline  

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