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Italy Trip-- Help Needed on Itiniary (naples-rome-florence-genoa??)

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Apr 14th, 2012, 10:07 PM
  #1
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Italy Trip-- Help Needed on Itiniary (naples-rome-florence-genoa??)

I have a week in Italy and must end up at Genoa on the 6th or 7th day to catch a cruise.
I have never been to Italy before. I would like to see as much as soon as possible and would anticipate returning to italy in the future to for further travel so its ok to see more cities in a little less detail. But i do not want to feel extremely rushed either. The trip is for me and my wife we have never taken a trip without children for 10 years so any suggestions that are romantic or places to stay that are romantic or unique would be suggested. We can afford to splurge a little bit.

I was thinking of renting a car and driving from naples- rome- florence and ending up in Genoa on day 6 or 7. In Genoa we will be boarding the premiere shakedown cruise (by invitation-only) of the new Oceania Cruise Line Riveria -- the cruise is limited to 400 invitees (for a ship that usually sails with 1200 passangers.) I'm excited about that!

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for itiniary and or places to stay/visit/ things to do as I have no experience with Italy and could really use your help and suggestions.
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Apr 14th, 2012, 10:27 PM
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we have been to italy many times-- and sometimes rent a car and sometimes use trains. if you are doing all cities (those you listed) then i would absolutely use trains. you want to relax-- and we find trains to be much more relaxing than driving. (well-- i've always said that there would be less divorce if, as a prerequisite to marriage, couples were forced to take a week-long driving trip- in a foreign place - with maps!! it will test your love and devotion!!)

all those cities are so easy to get to by train. from naples, you can even take the little circumvencia train-- or just hire a private tour to pompeii/or sorrento.

lucky you. i have been eying that new oceania cruise. do report in. one day, i will talk DH into one of their cruises.
kawh, sebastopol, ca
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Apr 14th, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Kawn thanks so much for your suggestions. Is it realistic to do all of these cities in 6 or 7 days? Should we "slow down and smell the flowers" and perhaps expolre any smaller places or the countryside? Are there any smaller towns or villages on the way to stop and sleep over at that would be worthwhile?
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Apr 14th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Did you automatically decide to rent a car because you always do that at home or did you go through a exercise or looking into advantages and disadvantages of operating a car in Italy especially the 4 cities you mentioned? For example, if you just wonder into Florence unprepared, you will most likely come out with several hundred Euros in fines for wondering into the restricted zones which are not necessarily obvious to new comers. Unless you are familiar with driving in these four cities, I am not sure if your trip remains romantic during and after the trip. Look at episodes of "The Amazing Race" TV show to see what happens to couples' relationships when they try to drive in chaotic foreign cities.

This is not to say there aren't places to drive in Italy. The cities you mentioned are troublesome places to drive for many people. In the areas of your visit, the places that make sense with a car is Umbria and Southern Tuscany. Cities in this region are Orvieto, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, etc.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 03:49 AM
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Actually, if you are planning to return to italy, you will see more if you visit one or two places with a bit of depth and with some finality rather than skim through a lot of geography, barely glimpsing one place before hurrying at warp speed to glimpse the next.

You have chosen 3 exceptionally complex places in Italy to plunge into and see anything in a short space of time. One thing you should understand about Florence and Rome is that is that the main attraction of Florence is its super-abundance of Renaissance religious art and shopping for women, yet Rome also has an abundance these things.

The port cities of Naples and Genoa share many features in common, but only Naples has a view of a volcano and Pompei at its doorstep. Both cities are extremely tough nuts to crack for the drop-in visitor and neither is a particularly romantic destination.

I suggest you reconsider renting a car and your plan to hurry all the time, and instead choose Rome and one other destination before making your way to Genova. If the world of the Renaissance excites your sense of romance, see Rome, then take a train to Florence and then take another to Genova. You should probably spend the night near the port the day before your cruise, so I suggest you spend the night in the beautiful small town of Camogli near Genova. You can get there by train, and then have a taxi take you to the docks when you need to be there.

Or if a volcano view and pizza and pasta sings out romance and Italy to you, see Rome but then take the train down to Naples (or Sorrento if Italian urban chaos will upset you) and see the sights, maybe take a day trip to Capri. Fly from Naples airport to Genova the day before your cruise departure. (Or arrive in Naples for your first stop, move on to Rome, move on to Camogli.)
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Apr 15th, 2012, 05:05 AM
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Another thought, Aaron_Dishon:

The poster "greg" above has the outlines of a good, romantic introduction to Italy for you if you like to drive.

Fly into Rome, spend some nights, but then rent a car and travel through the vinyards and castle towns of scenic Tuscany. This would be something quite different from the cruise you will be experiencing. This is something you can't get doing a cruise, and most people find it very romantic.

A rought itinerary would be

Day 1 -- Fly into Rome
Day 2 -- Rome
Day 3 -- After lunch in Rome take train to Orvieto (1 hour), spend night
Day 4 -- Rent car, head into scenic countryside. Lunch in Montepulicianio/Pienza. Hotel and dinner in Montalcino
Day 5 -- Scenic driving, exploring medieval towns in Tuscany
Day 6 -- drive to Pisa after lunch, see the leaning tower, drop off car, take train to Camogli
Day 7 -- spend morning in Camogli, maybe abbey of San Fruttoso, have lunch, have taxi take you to cruise dock in time for departure.

Or something like that.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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You made no mention of Venice, the most romantic and most beautiful city in Italy - IMO. No cars there.

And you don't tell us what time of year you'll be traveling. It does make a difference.

Like most posters here, I lean to slowing down, seeing more of fewer places. But I'm personally more interested in getting a bit of the local culture than just ticking off sights. Especially in Italy, living la dolce vita gets you more in tune with the locals.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 09:30 AM
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If you are starting in Rome and must be in Genova to depart from a cruise, traveling to the opposite side of the country to see Venice would mean that you face a long and unscenic car ride or train ride to eventually get to Venice. And if you want local culture, Venice is the last city in italy to go for it. Spend a day in Genova or time in Naples.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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Where is the cruise going? One press release says its maiden voyage starts in Venice, so is that where the shakedown cruise will end? If so, you can see Venice before flying home, and the cruise would likely be going to port at Naples for at least one day.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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In your particular case, if you really want to go to Naples, then I suggest you spend the whole time in Naples and the AC area, then fly from Naples to Genoa. There is plenty to do in that area for several days: Naples, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Positano, Capri, Amalfi, etc. Naples airport is small and easy to navigate.

If Naples is not imperative, then Rome and Tuscany or Florence and Tuscany would be a good few days. A car would work for the Tuscany portion.

If your ship is not going to Venice, but Venice apeals to you, then fly into Venice, spend a few days and train/fly to Genoa.

I personally, would not try to see Naples, Rome and Florence in six days, and certainly not with a car because driving is problematic in all three cities.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 06:02 AM
  #11
 
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I agree with all the posters about taking the train. I spent two weeks in Italy (Genova, Florence, Venice and Milan) in February and only took the train.

The trick however, is to pack light, and since you are going on a cruise, that might not be an option. However, many of the train stations have luggage storage, and perhaps you can work something out with that. Other posters can offer better advice.

I agree with Zeppole about the Tuscany option. Super romantic and different from what you will experience on the cruise.

Finally, there are several nice hotels near the Genoa Principe Station. And I highly recommend dinner at LUPO (Vico Monachette) for great food and a wonderful taste of the personality of Genoa. www.lupoanticatrattoria.it
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