My First Trip to Italy!! (11 Days)

Jun 30th, 2011, 09:28 AM
  #1  
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My First Trip to Italy!! (11 Days)

Hi, everyone. Just starting to plan a trip to Italy for August 1-12. We have 11 full days in the country and a few priorities already: Rome, Florence, Tuscany (we'd like to stay in the countryside for a couple days - wine tasting! truffle hunting!). We are happily skipping Venice. We had considered an excursion down to the Amalfi Coast but I've heard a lot about Cinque Terre on the threads but are concerned about timing. Flying in and out of Rome. My preliminary thoughts were spending a few days in Rome, then taking the train to Florence, spending a couple nights there, then renting a car to take us around Tuscany. That still gives us a night or two in another destination.

Can anyone recommend a good itinerary? Fast-paced is fine for us. We are young and fit but can't get to Europe frequently so we try to make the most of the time we are there (we did a 10-day trip 2 years ago which included overnights in Paris/Versailles, Amsterdam, Cologne, Rhine Valley, Wurzburg, Rotterdam, Munich, & Berlin and had a wonderful time so seriously, we can handle moving around).

Also, would appreciate add'l thoughts on places to go in Tuscany for great food, wine, and truffle hunting tours (this is at the top of my husband's list). By far the most fun we had on our first European tour together was not the Eiffel Tower or Versailles but a wine tasting and tour at a small, old family-owned vineyard in the Rhine Valley.

Thanks so much in advance!!!
PollyTheory is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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I assume you mean this August. If so, you need to book ASAP.

I would stick with 3 destinations and make Florence your first one and Rome your last.

Arrive Rome--train to Florence---3
Get car---to Tuscan base---4
Drop car in Orvieto--train into Rome---last 4 nites

That makes a great trip. Be sure to get AC in all of your accommodations--it will be hot.
Truffle hunting is best done in Nov.---may not work in August.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Thanks a bunch, Bob!!
PollyTheory is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 10:09 AM
  #4  
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We are booking the flights now and actually looking at it, it may be the same price to fly out of Florence, Bologna, or Pisa. If we did this, would it give us the time to see Cinque Terre?
PollyTheory is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 10:32 AM
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Pisa is the closest---if you mean 11 nites to sleep in Italy then yes for the CT.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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I probably wouldn't try to also fit in the Cinque Terre. Also, I'm guessing that in August that area will be jam-packed, and you may have a hard time finding a place to stay at this point.

And re truffle hunting, I believe it's in the fall, as Bob said, October-November.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #7  
ekc
 
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As usual, Bob's itinerary is great. August will be HOT, so be sure your hotels have air conditioning. No truffle hunting in August, but Tuscany is beautiful and there is plenty to see when driving around.
ekc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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I'm on board with ekc and Bob. They are well-seasoned travelers and the best thing to do is head to Florence first, so that you are already in Rome for your return flight. No worrying about train strikes, etc.

Bob's itinerary is the one I'd go with.

Buon viaggio! I'm sorry you're not going to see Venice. It is a very unique and awesome place. Maybe next time?

Have fun!
sarge56 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 12:22 PM
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PS In Tuscany, Montepulciano might be the place you'll want to head for a great Tuscan stay. Here is one of the regulars report on her trip to that area. Sounded great: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-bologna.cfm

You can also search for other trip reports to get an idea of where you might want to stay. But again, expedience is in order.
sarge56 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Thanks, Sarge. Just stumbled upon Montepulciano today in my forums searching. We are hard at work on itinerary-building, not to worry Thanks for all the tips!
PollyTheory is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 03:55 PM
  #11  
 
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Just got back from a week in Montepulciano in May---here are some images of that region---and some of Liguria.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4553
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 05:08 PM
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bob-great pics! I love Pienza, too.
sarge56 is offline  
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