Need help with 2-weeks Italy itinerary

Jan 7th, 2015, 09:42 AM
  #1  
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Need help with 2-weeks Italy itinerary

We are a family of 4 (2 kids- ages 8 & 4) , avid independent travelers, planning our first trip to Italy in July 2015. We like architecture, scenery, food and culture.

We will have a total of 14 nights in Italy. Plan to fly into Milan (cheaper tickets), and fly out of Naples. Considering our interests, we were thinking of the following rough itinerary :
Thursday, July 2nd - Fly from [email protected] 10:00 PM
MILAN- 2 NIGHTS
Friday, July 3rd- Reach Milan at 12:15 PM; check-in and half-day sight-seeing (The Last Supper)
Saturday, July 4th – Day Trip to Lake Como, Bellagio (Own or by private tour)
VENICE- 3 NIGHTS (Take 72 hours Vaporetto pass)
Sunday, July 5th – Check out and take train to Venice; Hotel Check-in, some sightseeing out of the following attractions - Accademia, Ca' d'oro – from outside is enough, Piazza San Marco, The Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Torre Dell 'Orologio, Frari Chruch (wooden screen), San Giorgio Maggiore, Rialto Market)
Monday, July 6 – Day trip to Murano, Burano & Torcello (a short 40 minute trip by vaporetti)
Tuesday, July 7 – Continue sight-seeing &/or half-day trip to Padua
FLORENCE- 3 NIGHTS
Wednesday, July 8th - Reach Florence by afternoon; check-in and see Uffizi Museum (advance Reservations)
Thursday, July 9th – Day trip to Sienna &/or San Gimignano (best by bus or private tour)
Friday, July 10th – Half-Day trip to Pisa & Lucca & local signt-seeing
ROME- 3 NIGHTS (–buy 3 day Roma pass – include free entry to Colosseum and one other gallery)
Saturday, July 11th - Reach Rome by afternoon; and half-day sight-seeing (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, and walking tours of the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere. (Download Rick Steve’s audio guides)
Sunday, July 12th - Local sight-seeing
Monday, July 13th - Vatican Tour - Book a tour in advance
SORRENTO -3 NIGHTS - Not much into swimming or beaches. Interested in Amalfi Coast only for the charm and scenic beauty.
Tuesday, July 14 – Reach Sorrento by afternoon; local Sorrento
Wednesday, July 15th –Day trip to ‘Pompiee &Herculaneum’ OR ‘Pompeii & Vesuvius’ (Take train from Sorrento to Pompiee)
Thursday, July 16th - Day trip to Amalfi (Positano - Amalfi - Ravello) – Hire a Taxi
Take bus from Sorrento to Positano – explore the village and take the boat from the harbor in Positano to Amalfi, explore Amalfi, take the bus from there to Ravello, then bus back to Amalfi from Ravello and either the bus or ferry from Amalfi to Sorrento.
Friday, July 17th - Day trip to Capri -
Ferry from Sorrento at 9 AM; once is Capri- take a boat trip to Blue Grotto; catch a bus to Anacapri; bus down to Capri Town; lastly funicular back to marina
Check-out and reach Naples at night – airport hotel
NAPLES- 1 NIGHT
Saturday, July 18th - Fly to JFK @ 8:15 am; Reach JFK @1 PM

Does the above sound doable ? Any suggestions would be helpful - anywhere where driving makes more sense - please let us know. This will probably be our first and last trip to Italy, so yes we do want to fit in as much as would be possible. We are used to a slightly fast paced travel.

Look forward to your guidance.
Himanshi is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 10:25 AM
  #2  
 
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Wow, busy days. Nothing much for the kids and lots of moving about to the main tourist spots.

While you may be usd to fast paced travel this is the country of slow food and slow travel. It might be better to slow down and reduce the load a bit. I'd cut the southern bit and expand the northern bit (more Rome) and maybe something like Ravenna or one of the bicycling cities.

To your question; it is basically possible (day 16 needs local knowledge) but in the heat of July why?
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 10:25 AM
  #3  
 
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Or maybe a day on Venice Lido
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 12:28 PM
  #4  
 
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good grief - when are you planning to have the holiday?

you know your kids better than we do of course, but when will they [and you] get the chance to run off some steam? IME children of that age have very short attention spans and need ample opportunity for running about and/or physical activity. Without that they become fractious and everyone suffers.

And in July, I would want to make sure that there would be at least once a day when the children would be able to swim - it has been the saving of many a family holiday.

That's why bucket and spade holidays were invented.

Addressing your itinerary specifically, you actually have very little time in each place and certainly nowhere near long enough to do even half the things on your list e.g.

Day 1 - arrive Milan [airport presumably] at 12.15. clear customs by 1.30 earliest, another 30 mins min to get to city, probably check into hotel by 2.30. 1 child very grumpy, didn't sleep in plane, the other hyperactive wanting to run about. go out, walk around, get too hot, come back and crash out.

Day 2 - day trip to Lake Como, never get to see Last Supper.

Day 3 - train to Venice, check in by 2pm. manage to see 2 sights - e.g. secret itineraries' tour of doge's palace and vaporetto ride down the grand canal. overwhelmed by numbers of other tourists and children sleepy so go back to hotel, all fall asleep again.

Day 4 - boat to the islands. get boat back to Vencie via the giardino stop and children get to play in the garden - buy gelati from local shop and children start to cheer up a bit. all have nap and then go out for meal.

Day 5 - early morning trip to the Rialto Market [best to get there early as it's closed by noon] then walk to the Frari, through Dorsodoro to the Zattere and get a boat over to the Isola san Giorgio and go up the tower there [cheaper than the one in San Marco, shorter queues and just as god a few] lunch. children want to run around again so get the boat up to Giardino again and repeat we yesterday. begin to relax and feel like you're on holiday.

Day 6 - really sad to leave Venice as we've hardly seen anything but we're booked to go to Florence today, so we drag ourselves and children to the station. drive midday, check into hotel. walk to Uffizi for booked entry and join the hoards in the gallery. children bored and want to know where the playground is. leave gallery and spend ages trying to find somewhere with something that the children will eat.

etc, etc, et.

OTOH, you could slow down and make some concessions to the fact that you have children with you. perhaps do Venice, then hire a car, drive to a villa with a swimming pool and on site swimming pool in Tuscany, spend a week there. Drive to Orvieto, see Duomo, return car and get train to Rome. spend last few nights in Rome, fly home.
annhig is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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oops, i didn't mean the villa should have 2 swimming pools, i mean on site restaurant.
annhig is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 02:09 PM
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Way too much, way too fast for me...

Will the 4 year old actually be able to keep this pace every day for 2 weeks?? Will both kids not be affected by jetlag and the time difference? How do all of you do in heat and high humidity?

You seemed to have planned nothing that would directly appeal to young children. FYI, there is a lovely carousel in Piazza Repubblica in Florence.

A "half-day trip" to Pisa and Lucca will take more than half a day unless you hire a driver for the day and even then you'd be running. Train travel times, walking from stations to the sights and back, actual sightseeing, plus lunch, could easily become 7+ hours. The kids will not be allowed to climb the Leaning Tower. If one of the adults wants to climb, you need purchase timed tickets in advance and must arrive before the reservation time.

Pompeii on a hot day can be brutal. Vesuvius would be a big fat bore for the kids and an expensive time-eater in an already tight itinerary. Your kids would not enjoy walking the last bit to the crater, if that was what you intended.

I'm not sure your plan for July 16th would work for adults let alone be an enjoyable day for little kids. Do they get motion sickness in cars or on boats?
Jean is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 05:27 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for your feedback! I will modify it to make it bit slower and see how things go.
Himanshi is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 06:10 AM
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good move Himanshi.

I'm sure we'll all be happy to help with a revised itinerary if you'd like us to.
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 06:44 AM
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>>>Friday, July 3rd- Reach Milan at 12:15 PM; check-in and half-day sight-seeing (The Last Supper)<<<

Does that mean you land at the airport at 12:15 pm? If so, by the time you get your luggage and actually get to Milan and checked into your hotel, you might find it's too late to see The Last Supper (this books up as there is very limited access).

Can you fly into Naples and home from Milan for similar price? If so, I would reverse the trip. I think you could cut that night near Naples that way (you didn't mention wanting to spend time there like you did in Milan). There's a shuttle bus from Naples airport to Sorrento (10€).

Ferries along the coast aren't as frequent as most people think and they don't run late (about 7pm or so). You may be ready to leave Positano or Amalfi and have to wait an hour or two for a ferry or an hour for a bus.

Keep in mind it takes time to pack, check out, get to train stations, travel, find way to new hotel, check-in. It will probably be hot also and you will discover many places won't have AC or barely have it (not Arctic like in the US). Sightseeing in the heat is draining (especially for kids). You might find your group needs to take breaks for several hours in the afternoons because of the heat.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 8th, 2015, 07:07 AM
  #10  
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@kybourbon- The tickets are booked so can't change them now.

Any where you would all recommend a car instead of train?
Himanshi is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 07:10 AM
  #11  
 
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i think we'd need to know what your revised itinerary is before we can tell whether a car or train would be better, Himanshi.

but if you are going to race pell mell from one city to another, the train will be much better, whereas if you are going to be staying in a villa or agritourismo in the countryside, a car will be essential.
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 08:02 AM
  #12  
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so I removed MILAN from my itinerary and increased a day both in VENICE & FLORENCE. I know it's still still hectic in SORRENTO area but I think we can manage.

Thursday, July 2nd - Fly from [email protected] 10:00 PM
VENICE- 4 NIGHTS (Take 48 or 72 hours Vaporetto pass)
1. Friday, July 3rd- Reach Milan at 12:15 PM; take train to Venice; check-in & relax
2. Saturday, July 4th – Local sight-seeing
3. Sunday, July 5th – Check out and take train to Venice; Hotel Check-in, some sightseeing out of the following attractions –Ca' d'oro – from outside is enough, Piazza San Marco, The Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Torre Dell 'Orologio, Frari Chruch (wooden screen), San Giorgio Maggiore, Rialto Market)
4. Monday, July 6 – Day trip to Murano, Burano & Torcello (a short 40 minute trip by vaporetti)
FLORENCE- 4 NIGHTS
1. Tuesday, July 7 – Reach Florence by afternoon, Sight-seeing
2. Wednesday, July 8th - Uffizi Museum & DAVID (Reserve tickets in advance)
3. Thursday, July 9th – Day trip to Sienna &/or San Gimignano (best by bus or private tour)
4. Friday, July 10th – Half-Day trip to Pisa & Lucca & relax
ROME- 3 NIGHTS (buy 3 day Roma pass – include free entry to Colosseum (Reserve tickets in advance if interested in underground guided tour) and one other gallery)
5. Saturday, July 11th - Reach Rome by afternoon; and half-day sight-seeing (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, and walking tours of the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere. (Download Rick Steve’s audio guides)
6. Sunday, July 12th - Local sight-seeing
7. Monday, July 13th - Vatican Tour - Reserve tickets in advance
SORRENTO -4 NIGHTS
8. Tuesday, July 14 – Reach Sorrento by afternoon; local Sorrento
9. Wednesday, July 15th –Day trip to ‘Pompiee &Herculaneum’ OR ‘Pompeii & Vesuvius’ (Take train from Sorrento to Pompiee)
10. Thursday, July 16th - Day trip to Amalfi (Positano - Amalfi - Ravello) – Hire a Taxi OR
Take bus from Sorrento to Positano – explore the village and take the boat from the harbor in Positano to Amalfi, explore Amalfi, take the bus from there to Ravello, then bus back to Amalfi from Ravello and either the bus or ferry from Amalfi to Sorrento.
11. Friday, July 17th - Day trip to Capri (Ferry from Sorrento at 9 AM; once is Capri- take a boat trip to Blue Grotto; catch a bus to Anacapri; bus down to Capri Town; lastly funicular back to marina)
12. Saturday, July 18th – Leave early morning for NAPLES by taxi for airport
Himanshi is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 08:31 AM
  #13  
 
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Your revision is better, though still quite busy, especially with kids. I'd just suggest not getting too fixed on completing all the day trips. Consider them "maybes". If your family is in the mood for a day trip, do it, but give yourself permission to instead enjoy the city you are in if that feels right. It's a vacation, after all.
msteacher is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 09:40 AM
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it's a minor thing, but you haven't revised the first part of your itinerary - you're now getting the train to Venice twice!

it's definitely better at the front end but still pretty hectic.

it's not a trip I'd like to do with small children in July.
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 10:13 AM
  #15  
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Aannhig- That was a mistake in typing- We will now have 4 nights in Venice
Himanshi is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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great - I think that's a very good idea.

now to rethink the rest!
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 03:08 PM
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>>>ROME- 3 NIGHTS (buy 3 day Roma pass – include free entry to Colosseum (Reserve tickets in advance if interested in underground guided tour) and one other gallery)<<<

I can't see the Roma Pass being economical for you. It is for 3 days and you don't have 3 days. It will be cheaper just to book a ticket for the Colosseum/Forum directly with them (12€). They offer their own tours on their website (about 5€) or underground tours

>>>5.Saturday, July 11th - Reach Rome by afternoon; and half-day sight-seeing (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, and walking tours of the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere. (Download Rick Steve’s audio guides)<<<

You can't do all that in half a day. Perhaps you don't understand the the Sistine Chapel is in the Vatican Museums, not St. Peter's. If you are doing a Vatican tour (assuming that is the museums) it would be part of the tour.

I would have added one of your extra days to Rome.
kybourbon is online now  

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