Itinerary for 2 weeks in Italy

Mar 5th, 2017, 11:37 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Itinerary for 2 weeks in Italy

Hi! so this is my first trip out of the United States and I am planning on traveling to Italy with my parents (22,49,57) in late September to early October (this year or next- we haven’t decided yet) for 14 days (not including travel time there and back home) and I would love some ideas!! We are not very into shopping and fashion but love museums, wine, food, and architecture. My dad doesn't like wine but loves beer, so any ideas on that one? Two must see destinations are Rome (with Vatican City) and Venice, but we would like to also go to other parts of Italy. We are considering staying in a few central locations and doing day trips from those (Rome, Venice, and maybe one to two other locations). Some of the cities on our “short” list include Bologna, Florence, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and Assisi, but I know that two weeks isn’t enough to see them all. In Rome, I would like to see most of the major sites so how long do we need to spend in Rome to not be completely rushed? (That is not including Vatican City, since we were planning on one day strictly for there-- is one day enough for just the Vatican?) We were also considering doing a day trip to Switzerland.. is that feasible? I know it is vague, but there are so many places to visit in Italy and I don’t know how to narrow it down! Also, I was estimating about 250-300 euros per day, not including airfare, per person. That would include admission to museums and sites, bus and train tickets (we will not have a rental car), a hotel room split between three people, breakfast included with the hotel, and lunch and dinner out. Does that sound feasible or is it not enough? I know that spending depends on the person and what sites we go to, but for a rough estimate, is that doable?
What are your favorite/ must see places in Italy? What places do you not think are worth it and why? What guidebook(s) would you suggest? (I have Lonely Planet’s Discover Italy, Insight Guides Italy, and LP’s Make my Day: Rome) Any other advice would be much appreciated as well!!

A *very* rough plan for our visit is:
m-Day 0= Arrival in Venice (do we have time to do something the night we arrive or should we just relax? -arrival around 3PM)
t-Day 1= Venice
w-Day 2= Venice
r-Day 3= Venice or daytrip from Venice
f-Day 4=XXXX
s-Day 5=XXXX
s-Day 6=XXXX
m-Day 7=XXXX
t-Day 8=early morning arrival in Rome/ afternoon in Rome
w-Day 9=Vatican City
r-Day 10=Rome
f-Day 11=Rome
s-Day 12=Rome/ daytrip
s-Day 13=Daytrip?
m-Day 14=Daytrip?
Day 15= Departure

Thanks!
Temperance is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 12:03 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Our last trip to Italy was 12 days on the ground with the first 4 in Venice and the rest in Rome. I would have loved another day in Venice to do the islands. Our four days were spent mostly just wandering it seemed. We saw the big things, St Mark and Doge's Palace and some of the Chorus Churches. We got lost a lot, but that was part of the fun. The rest of our trip was in Rome. You may want to look into the Scavi tour at the Vatican, it is amazing. You may also want to consider an apartment. There is a lot more room to spread out in an apartment and you will have a kitchen if for nothing else but breakfast or to make sandwiches for lunch. In two trips to Rome we have never done any day trips so I can't help there. There is loads to do in Rome without leaving the city.
jscarbary is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 02:26 PM
  #3  
 
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Florence would seem a logical choice as a destination between Venice and Rome. Your 3 days in Venice look good and I would suggest at least 4 days in Rome, including your day at the Vatican. 2-3 full days in Florence would give you a chance to experience the highlights, depending on how many churches and museums you want to visit. Florence is also a good base for day trips; those that come to mind are Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and the countless Tuscan towns and villages. If not Florence, Bologna would be on the way from Venice to Florence as well. The Cinque Terre would be out of the way, and Lake Como even more so; Switzerland would be further. Possible day trips from Rome include Ostia Antica (ancient ruins), Tivoli, and even Pompeii (be prepared for a long day).
tripplanner001 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 03:23 PM
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"Also, I was estimating about 250-300 euros per day, not including airfare, per person. That would include admission to museums and sites, bus and train tickets (we will not have a rental car), a hotel room split between three people, breakfast included with the hotel, and lunch and dinner out. Does that sound feasible or is it not enough?"

That is more than I spend traveling solo and not scrimping, so your budget should be fine. Depending on the level of hotel you like, you can probably afford two rooms, a single for you and a double for your parents. 14 days together in the same hotel room with 3 adults sharing a bathroom could become tedious. And both you and your parents will appreciate the privacy after a few days.

"What places do you not think are worth it and why?"
You really need to think about what YOUR dream is. You and your parents should first make a list of your dream ideas . . . "I ALWAYS dreamt of riding in a gondola." . . . "I want to sit in a cafe and admire a beautiful view." "I MUST see the statue of David in person." Your desires are what counts.

For example, the first most important sight for me for various reasons on my first trip to Italy: The Scrovegni Chapel in Padova. I think it is definitely worth it, but it may be of no interest to you.

It is great that you have gathered the guidebooks to give you ideas. Watch and look for sights that may feed your personal passions. Do you like ALL types of museums? Art museums AND history museums AND science museums? Do you have special hobbies or interests?

In Italy I like to visit churches, any church with an open door. I love to look at the architecture. Often you will find a famous work of art inside, placed in the spot for which it was painted rather than removed to a museum wall. And a church is often very easy to visit, without lines or entry fees, and takes much less time and commitment than a museum. It can also be a cool place to sit for a few minutes. The most famous churches may have a fee to enter, but it is often a sign that the church will be well-lit so you can actually see the details inside. Some churches can be very dark inside, especially on a cloudy day. Bring coins to turn on the lights in the side chapels in churches so you can actually see the art.

If you plan to take a number of daytrips by train away from the cities where you are staying, consider a hotel within walking distance of the station, or be ready to pay for a taxi to make you daytrip go more smoothly. For daytrips, check which days of the week the places in your daytrip spot might be open or closed. You don't want to arrive in Orvieto to discover the one thing you wanted to visit is closed that day.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 03:50 PM
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Some random thoughts:

Are you open to renting a car? If so, I might choose someplace a bit smaller/more rural in the middle, some place in Umbria or Tuscany or even Le Marche could work, pick a base and do day trips from there.

On the other hand, Florence is an obvious addition. I love the art there but have never really liked it as much as Venice or Rome. Lots of people feel the exact opposite, though! Bologna would be another interesting city with some good day trip options.

The way you are breaking up your time so far looks good to me. I would want three full days in Venice at least and at least five full days in Rome. Rome in particular is more enjoyable if you are not just rushing from major site to major site and have time to visit some of the less crowded churches, museums, ancient sites, etc., take some walks, have some leisurely meals. La dolce vita. Orvieto is a good day trip from Rome, the only day trip I've ever managed after many visits to the Eternal City.

My favorite guidebooks are the Michelin Green Guides. Their Rome guidebook is excellent.
Leely2 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 12:10 AM
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1) Great question

2) dump Switzerland, you have too much to see

3) Venice 3 or 4 days is fine, a trip to Padova would fit in well and gets you used to the trains see seat61.com for best advice

4) Vatican (unless you are catholic) is half a day, you'll find Rome is heavy on the feet so pack sensible shoes.

5) I'd did dig out the ROugh Guide to Italy for this sort of tour

6) Florence is one possibility but you might also like Bologna with a day trip to Ravennna

7) Beer, without being insulting to your Dad, is a Bud man or does he like full on IPA complex beers, if he is a Bud man then the local beers will be fine though they will have beer flavours that he is not used to. If a complex beer man he will feel let down unless you seek out a few specialist beer places, for instance he may find some imported beers from somewhere like Belgium.

8) This might entertain https://musei.ferrari.com/en/maranel...-factory-tour/
bilboburgler is online now  
Mar 6th, 2017, 01:20 AM
  #7  
 
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It's true that Florence has a lot of amazing art but if book ended by Venice and Rome, I would be inclined to pick somewhere else for your in between stop but somewhere that still has transport. Maybe Siena, Perugia (from where you could visit Assisi), Ferrara, Verona, Vicenza or somewhere like that. Lot of choices for day trips from any of these. Lake Como is possible if you are happy for a longish journey to Rome. Wherever you choose, it's definitely a case of choosing what you like, not what others like. For myself, I would spend less time in Rome but know that others would howl me down. I think that you get a better feel for a place if you visit towns of varying sizes, from villages to cities.

For guidebooks, I generally like the Rough Guides best. But don't spend too long browsing them or you'll be torn about what to see and where to visit! I think your per person budget is generous. booking.com will give you a good feel for hotel prices. trenitalia is a great reference to work out how long it will take to travel between places by train. As mentioned sea61 is great. If you need bus timetables, don't hesitate to ask.
dreamon is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 02:31 AM
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Bilbo said it all.
esp about the beer.

Basically I would rent a car and go to Siena Firenze and some small villages en route. Dump the car when arriving in Rome. After visiting the villa d'Este and Hadrian's villa.

Your budget is real fine, you can find some amazing small charming hotels when having the car.

I remember that hotel in Tivoli, close to the Villa, whihc was great. We booked for one night, then came back for a second. They had a good restaurant too (my info dates from 2007).

Torre Sant'Angelo Hotel
WoinParis is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 06:40 AM
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For architecture, a place most people miss, but you should not, is Vicenza, a short day trip from Venice, but you could also overnight there on your way to someplace else. I have stayed there, but would probably just do it as a day trip, not change hotels, etc.

Vicenza is a charming town filled with the beautiful buildings of Andrea Palladio. The most perfect interior I have ever seen is Teatro Olimpico. Absolutely astonishing, a visual feast.

Of course, Venice is almost architectural overload. Read about the construction and see some of the great churches. List too long to name. The islands are charming, especially Burano. The synagogues in the Jewish Gheto are interesting architecturally and historically.

In Rome, IMHO, the gallery not to miss is the Borghese. Both building and sculpture are fabulous. Reserve ahead. Timed tickets.

Don't miss the Pantheon in Rome, the dome that showed Brunelleschi how to build his.

Read Brunelleschi's Dome before you go to Rome and Venice.

Yes, it is said that Rome has everything, but no, not quite. I suggest Florence even for just a day to see Santa Croce, Porte Vecchio, the Duomo, the Baptistery Doors and The David. Maybe no time for a tour, but it is worth going to the Uffizi just to see the Botticelli's.
If you decide not to see other places in Tuscany, and have no time for nights in Florence, but want to see some of the great stuff in Florence, stash your luggage at the train station for the day on the way from Rome. See what you can, then on to Rome. Central Florence is really, really small. You can easily walk everywhere.

Personally, I love Assisi, but it is, I think, harder to get to than Sienna, which is beautiful, but different. You could not possibly do both, maybe no time for either. Someone else can tell you how best to do them.

Budget is fine.
Skip Switzerland this trip.
Check travel times carefully and never underestimate the time it will take from hotel to train, walking to sites, etc.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 06:42 AM
  #10  
 
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You mentioned architecture as an interest. Then you'll enjoy the whole cityscape of Venice and how they make those buildings look like they're floating.

In the vicinity of Venice are many buildings by the famous 16th century architect Palladio. He inspired many other architects including Thomas Jefferson's design of Monticello.

You can see Palladio's work in 2 churches in Venice, Il Redentore and San Giorgio Maggiore, and in and around the city of Vicenza, 45 minutes by train from Venice. Or you could take a slow trip by barge up the Brenta Canal to see the Palladian villas as the Venetians of the time would travel. (ilburchiello.it)

Finally lots of fine examples of Renaissance architecture in Florence.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 07:18 AM
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I agree with Bilbo that the regular ol' corporate beer is ubiquitous and will satisfy a "Bud man." But as a big fan of Italian craft beer ("birra artiginale"), I feel compelled to proclaim its existence--and quality! We have found it available in most restaurants, and we rarely visit major cities.
yorkshire is offline  
Mar 6th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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yorkshire, I sit corrected, and I'll look out for it ;-)

and the Brenta canal is lovely, you can do it by boat or hire a bike.
bilboburgler is online now  
Mar 6th, 2017, 07:44 AM
  #13  
 
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Def do so Bilbo--if you like Belgian, you may find a rival. They make all types though--even IPAs.
yorkshire is offline  

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