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Need advice please. Italy itinerary in June.

Need advice please. Italy itinerary in June.

May 18th, 2011, 06:40 AM
  #1  
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Need advice please. Italy itinerary in June.

during my upcoming first trip to Europe, I will be spending 13 days in Italy (the end of June until early July). I will arrive in Milan from Lucerne (morning train), then I am planning to go to Venice, then Florence and then end my trip in Rome before I catch my flight back to bangkok.

my plan at the moment is to spend 2 nights in Milan, 3 in Venice, 3 in Florence and 5 nights in Rome. my questions are:

1. would it be worth to stay in Milan for only 2 nights? or
2. would it be better if I go straight to Venice as soon as arrive in Milan (thus skip staying in Milan), then spend more time in either Venice or Florence?
3. is there any nearby town which i can quickly visit by public transports when I am in those towns? (I heard of Verona, Pisa, etc)

I am into beautiful scenery (and countryside too ), history, artworks, churches and museums (not to spend too much time in the museum though), etc..

i will be travelling alone and plans to take public transports (train, buses) while I'm there.

thanks in advance!
Sky01 is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 07:38 AM
  #2  
 
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Milan and San Remo were the first two cities I visited in Italy many years ago. These weren't by choice. I was sent there to work. I'm in Milan every year now, if not for work then a means to get to Lake Como. I enjoy Milan but I think of it more as a work city.

For a first vacation style trip, I think Milan can be missed. It's an extra 4 hrs to Venice (by train) and, it's no secret, I'd do just about anything to spend another day there.

My first trip to Florence, also many years ago, was 4 nights. I was sick for 3, so that trip was a bust. I've been back many times since and, because Florence is so small, there's a lot to see in 3 days if you don't mind a packed daily schedule. Except in winter, Florence is always overwhelmed with tourists. It's difficult to escape them. So I prefer to hang in Tuscany and limit my nights in Florence.

My first trip to Rome was 5 nights, again, many years ago. Back then, Rome overwhelmed me. By day 4, I was longing to go home. I could live there now but it's not a place I go to relax. Venice (and Lake Como, Sardinia, and Positano) are just wonderful for relaxation while you explore.

There are easy day trips from all of these cities but I didn't start doing those until years later. And, even then, I couldn't wait to get back to my main city because that's where I felt the most joy.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 04:06 PM
  #3  
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NYCFoodSnob, make sense. Thanks heaps. I can include Milan on my next trip...adding another excuse to visit Italy again
Will do more readings to decide whether to stay in Tuscany or Florence....
Sky01 is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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I reluctantly agree with NYCFoodSnob. I have also transitted through Milan over the years and actually enjoy it, but with less than 2 weeks in Italy on this trip I wouldn't spend one of your nights there. If you wanted to break up your train time between Luzern and Venice, you could store your luggage at the Milan train station and spend a couple of hours seeing The Last Supper, the Duomo and a quick look at the Galleria before moving on.

Our preferences re Venice and Florence, however, are opposite. I much prefer Florence and would "do just about anything to spend another day there." I'll argue that there are more art masterpieces to be seen in Florence than Venice, not all in museums, but I think it's harder to avoid spending time in museums if that's your desire.
Jean is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 07:50 PM
  #5  
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Thanks Jean! how many hours would you reckon I have to spend to visit those places in Milan, in between my train ride? It might be a good option for me.

My plan now is Venice (4 nights), Florence (4 nights) then Rome (5 nights).
Sky01 is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 08:41 PM
  #6  
 
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You might like to take a one-day wine country tour out of Florence. Several have been mentioned in this forum or browse in "Chianti wine tours." That way you will get a nice view of the lovely Tuscan countryside.
crckwc1 is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 09:34 PM
  #7  
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Another entry to my "to-do list. Thanks crckwc1!
Sky01 is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 04:30 AM
  #8  
 
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"I much prefer Florence and would 'do just about anything to spend another day there.' I'll argue that there are more art masterpieces to be seen in Florence than Venice"

Jean would win that argument. Florence is fabulous for art. I can easily spend an entire day in a museum (often do) and never tire of it. It should be no secret on this board that I could never travel with someone who didn't love art museums and history. When a poster writes "not to spend too much time in the museum though," I respond accordingly.

A lot of people don't see Venice the way I see it. I hail from a family of boaters and living life on water conjures many happy childhood memories for me. With no auto, bus, or truck fumes, and no motorcycle noise, Venice is an oasis unlike any other. I find it very easy to escape tourists in Venice. Plus, there's rarely a line to see Venice's masterpieces. That said, Venice is known to experience extreme humidity in the summer. I have been there in June when heat and humidity broke records. But, still, I'd rather be on a boat in this weather than be anywhere else. The pool at Hotel Cipriani is sublime.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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NYCFoodSnob makes an excellent point about how differently we each experience/appreciate a place. IMO, for that reason, it's impossible to tell a stranger how much time to spend in one place versus another place.

Back to Sky01's question about a quick spin through Milan... I'm afraid I didn't focus on how soon your trip is when I suggested The Last Supper. I just checked ticket availability for June and July, and there are only tickets available for June 10th. Sorry! Anyway, I would still recommend seeing the Duomo, if nothing else. The interior is (to me) only somewhat interesting (but worth a look), but the ability to walk around on the roof is the real (and unique) draw. Seeing the architecture, building techniques and drainage system up-close is fascinating, and the views (especially on a clear day) are fantastic. Facing the same piazza is the Galleria which I think is worth strolling through, and, when you exit the Galleria you'll see the La Scala opera house on the far side of a small piazza. If you're interested in opera, there is a small museum in the building, and your entry ticket allows you a peek of the theater interior from one of the boxes (if rehearsals are not going on). There is a metro stop in Piazza del Duomo. How much time overall? If you can limit your time in/on the Duomo and aren't terribly interested in La Scala, I suppose you could round-trip back to the train station in less than 3 hours.
Jean is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 07:17 PM
  #10  
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great advise guys! thank you very much for your help!
Sky01 is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 10:47 PM
  #11  
 
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You have received a lot of great advice here which has given you many options. I have visited Milan many times and, while I like it, the reality is you can see most of the best sites in 4 or 5 hours...those sites being Il Duomo, La Galleria and La Scala. As pointed out by Jean, they are all within a few minutes of each other and the Duomo metro stop. I recommend checking your luggage per her advice and spending the time checking out Milan before heading to Venice.

Based on your stated preferences..." I am into beautiful scenery (and countryside too ), history, artworks, churches and museums (not to spend too much time in the museum though), etc.."...I would recommend the following itinerary.

Venice for 3 nights, arriving late the day you tour Milan and leaving early for Florence on the third day.

Florence for 3 nights with a day trip to Pisa & Lucca (both can be done in the same day).

Siena for 2 nights so you get an Italian hill town experience. Siena's medieval ambiance complements Florence's Renaissance ambiance well.

Rome for 5 nights.

Your timing for Rome is good in that the room prices drop by 30% on July 1. On the other hand, it will more than likely be very hot. We were there last July (in fact we will also be there this July from the 6th to the 9th) and the heat was oppressive so be sure your hotel has AC.

Although it would take weeks to see Rome, if you wish to take one or more day trips Orvieto and/or Ostia Antica are good options with the latter giving you the "ancient Roman city ruins" experience.

Buon viaggio!
jim21 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 07:42 AM
  #12  
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Jim21, wonderful suggestion! Oh I am so gonna love my trip, I'm sure!! I better go and search for some info on Siena now ;-). Grazie!
Sky01 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #13  
 
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I don't know whether there is "more" art in Florence--but there is more art in Venice than you can possibly see in 4 or 5 days. Florence is more focused on Renaissance art than is Venice, though there is a lot of Renaissance art and architecture in Venice, too.

I get overloaded on the Renaissance easily--I'm not a huge fan of Renaissance art and architecture, so I got bored with Florence pretty quickly. I much prefer the more eclectic mixture of styles (especially in the architecture) that you get in Venice. But it is personal preference.
Yostwl is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 10:02 AM
  #14  
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I guess I just have to wait until I got there ;-). Thanks Yostwl!
Sky01 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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And once you've visited both Florence and Venice, you can cast your own personal preference vote!

Yostwl would probably include the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in the "eclectic mixture" he enjoys in Venice. We did too.

Siena and Lucca are Medieval, Florence is Renaissance, and Pisa is a little of both, so following jim21's itinerary would give you lots of contrast in art and architecture.
Jean is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 07:09 PM
  #16  
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sounds terrific! i do like this itinerary . Thanks a mil everyone!
Sky01 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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i think it is perfect as you have outlined it and there is plenty for you to do in each place.... if i made any alteration it would be to cutout milan and go directly to venice
rhkkmk is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 10:49 PM
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Sky01. I just noticed you mentioned you were traveling alone. In that case the best place to stay in Siena is Hotel Alma Domus. Not only is it inexpensive, €45/night including breakfast, it is very clean and you have available to you the best possible security...nuns. We, my girlfriend and I plus a friend, will be staying there June 22-26...we have also stayed there before. If they are booked a good alternative is Albergo Bernini which is a very nice family run place just around the corner. Here are the websites if you are interested.

http://www.hotelalmadomus.it/

http://www.albergobernini.com/

I am sure you are going to have a great trip.
jim21 is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 12:10 AM
  #19  
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Thank you so much for the recomendation Jim21! I will look them up on the internet. It looks like I will be travelling that way only a few days after you
Sky01 is offline  
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