Italy Trip September

Apr 14th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Italy Trip September

We have booked flights to Milan and out of Milan. Planning on starting in Florence one night and 2 nights in Siena. Renting a car for 2 days in Siena. Then driving to Positano returning car and staying 4 nights. Day trips to Capri and one other place. Then train to Rome plan on taking the ferry from Positano to Salerno and train to Rome. 3 nights in Rome and then take the train to Venice, stay 2 nights and then to Lake Como 2 nights. Later on the 3rd day take the train to Milan stay the night, leave next day. 16 day trip and 14 full days in Italy. Just starting planning the itinerary.....any suggestions.
mels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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Try to give Florence more than one night, especially when your only day is when you'll suffwr with jet lag.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Apr 14th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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I think it is kind of too bad you are not flying into Venice or Milan and out of Rome or Naples. Going all the way from Milan down to Positano and even further to Salerno and back to Venice and Milan, is a lot of backtracking. Maybe you got such a good fare, that even with the cost of backtracking it was better for you. It makes it a bit convoluted though and uses a lot of time. If it is set in stone, maybe someone will have ideas for making it better than it seems.

Perhaps, land and fly directly on to Naples and do the AC first, or visit Como first, then Venice and fly from Venice to Naples and work your way back up to Milan.

Are you flying into Milan to do sightseeing or shopping, or are you landing in Milan and traveling on to Florence your first day? Arriving in Milan in the morning, getting to the station, train to Florence, get to hotel, my guess is it will be early to mid afternoon and you will be exhausted. Were you planning on doing any sight seeing in Florence?

Where are you staying the two days you have a car in Siena? Two nights in Siena would give you only one day there, so it is not clear.

Are you certain you want to drive from Siena to Positano? Were you keeping the car while there? If so, your hotel must have parking.

Try laying out your trip and including travel time, getting from hotel or airport to the train station as well as actual train time.

Day 1, arrive Milan, travel to Florence, rest, walk a bit, get over jet lag, sleep in Florence.
Day 2, tour Florence. Sleep in Florence.
Day 3, bus to Siena. Tour Siena. Sleep in Sienna.
Day 4, rent car, tour around Tuscany, sleep in Sienna.
Day 5, drive to the AC (possibly Positano?) return car. This will take most of day from Siena. Sleep in Positano.
At this point, you have been in Italy for 5 days and spent 2 of them traveling. If you want to see anything, this is as fast as you could possibly go.
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 14th, 2015, 09:49 AM
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Seven hotels in about 2 weeks. That's too many for me. In some places, you'd only have one full day not impacted by travel. Less than a day in Florence? One day in Venice?

I suggest you research and calculate the travel times between destinations, including time between hotels and points of departure/arrival, and then note the limited sightseeing time that's left.

FYI, you can't return the car "in" Positano, so there would be additional travel time that day beyond the drive from Tuscany.
Jean is online now  
Apr 14th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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There is no place to return a car in Positano. You will have to return in Naples or Salerno. If you return in Salerno (better option IMO), you can then take the ferry to Positano.

But I agree, too rushed of a trip.
ekc is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 10:25 AM
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We have no plans just flights. We wanted to have them booked, and then plan the I am sure we will change it around. We have friends that lived in Parma and they suggested taking a car a lot of the time although parking could get expensive. There are no non stop flights going in or out of Naples for us. And yes Milan saved us about $600.00. And we do want to go to lake Como. And I only added Milan as last night due to proximity to airport.....I have a lot of research to do. We could spend more time North and go to the Italian Riviera, Portofino but I would hate to miss Positano. As far as Florence goes I am not big on art gallery or museums...I would like to see Tuscany more, not sure.
mels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 10:27 AM
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If you're not that into Florence, I would just skip it. THen you have more time for other places. Try not to move around too much.
sanderskn is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 10:51 AM
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My husband has been to Florence and wants to go back. Maybe we should skip Positano this trip and add more time to Northern Italy.
mels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 11:56 AM
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as you are already talking about a 2nd trip, restricting yourselves to the northern half of Italy might be a good idea.

Depending on your flight time, you might be able to put the Lake Como stay at the end, in which case you could do this:

Day 1. Arrive Milan. Train to Venice. Stay 3 nights.
Day 4: train to Florence. Stay 3 nights.
Day 7. Bus to Siena. stay 3 nights. do a one day tour with Hills and Roads or similar.
Day 10. bus/train to Rome. Stay [you've guessed it] 3 nights.
Day 13: train to Lake Como. stay 2/3 nights
Day 15/16: fly home
annhig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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Skipping Positano would be a good idea IMO. And I would choose either one of the lakes or somewhere on the Med, but not both.

I like to stay pretty close to the departing airport on the last night, but many people stay at Lake Como or Lake Maggiore the last night. If you decide to spend the last night in Milan and want to see the Last Supper, you'll need to make reservations. Currently, dates through July are bookable, and you should check in May and/or June for September dates.

Figure out what you want to do in Florence and then decide how much time you want/need to spend there. If your days in Florence involve Sunday/Monday, make sure you know what's open and when. I know you said you're not into art museums/galleries, but if you want to see Michelangelo's David at the Accademia and/or perhaps the Botticellis at the Uffizi, make timed reservations in advance.
Jean is online now  
Apr 14th, 2015, 03:17 PM
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Train schedules here, tickets except for locals up to 120 days in advance using italian city names:

Add about an hour on either end of a train ride when changing hotels.

It's wise to stay in Milano the last night, or at a hotel near MXP.
RonZ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Since we have the flights we are leaning toward a new itinerary.......Milan to Venice, staying 2 nights.....and that is fine. Train to Rome 2 nights, also fine. Train to Amalfi Coast 4 nights and then rent a car in Naples head up North with 7 nights to do as we please...Tuscany, Florence and Lake Como if we make the time. Probably to be on the safe side we will arrive in Milan late on the last day and enjoy the last to speak.
mels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 04:41 PM
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Driving tips here [note ZTL's]:

Naples car rental may well be at the airport. If your main interest is Tuscany, another possibility is to get one at the rail station in Chiusi and dump it at the Florence airport, trains from there.

Siena day trip [by bus from Florence]:

Also, Bologna is a 35 minute train ride away.
RonZ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 04:52 PM
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Thank you! I will check the details.
mels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 10:22 PM
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Driving from Naples to Tuscany is not very rewarding. Just tiring. If you can afford it, get a car transfer from the Amalfi coast to the Naples train station, and then get a train to Florence. Spend the night in Florence, and the next afternoon, pick up a car and start your road trip through the Tuscan countryside.

If you want to spend your last night in Milan, drop off the car at Linate airport and take the bus into Milan city. From there it is easy to get to the airport for your flight out.

If you would rather dawdle in Tuscany than continue north with the car, just call the rental company and tell them you want to change the drop off to Florence airport, and then take trains from Florence to Milan. I would especially advise doing this if the weather turns unfavorable.
sandralist is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 05:22 AM
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My husband wanted to drive...there is really nothing to see? With seven nights left at that point he is also hoping to get at least a night in Lake Como.

Thank you for the advice about Milan and car return.
mels is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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When in September will you be in Florence? We're there late in the month.
jabez is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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It would be much better to train to Florence and pick up the car. I would ferry from Positano to Salerno, and train from Salerno to Florence. It is a pretty boring freeway drive from Naples or Salerno to Florence (Tuscany).
ekc is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Two nites in any place means only one day. Venice, IMO, needs at least two days and Rome probably four.

As far as driving from Naples to Tuscany--Sandra and ekc are right: take the autostrada where there is little see, but travel is rapid versus taking the "scenic route" which would be really slow. In general, I think you're better taking the autostrada if you're going to drive.

However, if you're going to spend four nites on the Amalfi Coast, I'd train to and from Salerno, pick up and drop a car there, and have the car to drive up and down the Amalfi Coast, as well as go to Paestum, south of Salerno, one of the greatest Greek temple sites in the world. Your husband sounds like he loves to drive, and driving the Amalfi Coast was one of my most fondly remembered driving experiences. My spouse survived, even though she thought at the time she would not.

Then train to Florence and pick up another car there to explore Tuscany and Lake Como.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 11:48 AM
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There is of course a lot of wonderful things you could see and do picking up a car in Naples and heading north if you were willing to road trip and not rush right off to Tuscany. But if you want want to see the famous scenery of Tuscany, and possibly visit the lakes, and be back in Milan, all within 7 days -- it gets pretty complicated.

Picking up a car at Naples airport, head down to Pompei (if that interests you) and afterwards, drive to a town like Alatri to have dinner and spend the night. Next day, go see Tivoli, and then drive to someplace near Orvieto to spend the night. From there it an easy drive the next morning to places like Montepulciano in Tuscany. You could spend 2 nights there, before moving north to somewhere near Florence for another 2 nights, or linger in southern Tuscany before dropping off the car in Florence and spending a night there -- and then taking the train to Milan. Driving 5 hours from Florence to Milan doesn't make sense, especially if it is raining.

But if you want to explore Tuscany and the lakes, then you should put the train trip at the front end. Otherwise, if you head straight to Tuscany from Naples, you will be spedning 5 hours on the autostrade seeing nothing but trucks and toll booths and gas stations.

Italy looks small on a map, but covering distance in a car is much more time consuming than on a train. The train and the autostrade cover the same scenery. If you don't want to see that kind of scenery, then you need to drive the small roads --- but they take forever. You can't go from Naples to Milan in 7 days taking small roads.

So it would be best if you decided which stretch you are going to cover by train -- the front part (Naples to Tuscany) or the end stretch (Florence to Milan).
sandralist is offline  

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