Need help with 3 week Italy itinerary

Aug 16th, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #1  
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Need help with 3 week Italy itinerary

Hi all,

My husband and I will be traveling to italy in the begining of October for 3 weeks (22 days) with our 16 month old son. It is our first time in Italy and I'm having trouble deciding how many days to stay in which places. We will be arriving in Venice and departing from Rome and will have a rental car. So far my Itinerary looks as follows:

Venice 3 nights
Dolomites 2 nights
Verona and Parma 1 night
North Lakes Milan 2 nights
Cinque Terre 2 nights
Florence 2 nights
Tuscany 2 nights
Rome 3 nights

Is this a good allocation of time? Also i was wondering if it would be better to skip Milan and Lake Como and instead spend a few nights on the Amalfi coast?
We are also travelling with a baby so things will probably take a lot longer to get from place to place.
Any suggestions would much appreciated.
Thanks!
Shiriw is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Correction: Tuscany 5 nights
Shiriw is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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I loved the Amalfi Coast, however, I would save that for another trip and stay in the Northern half of Italy due to the travel time. The only thing I would caution about is that you are moving around a lot, for every 2 nights, you really only have a day and half in each place. We did this a lot on our last trip and had a great time, but we had wished that we were moving around a little less. Just something to think about.
Ninkette is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for the input. I know it is a busy itinerary - but its are 1st time and we wanted to fit everything in! The 5 nights in Tuscany are supposed to be our relaxation time. Do you have any suggestions as to which places I could cut out and which places to stay longer instead?
Shiriw is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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We've been to Italy 3 times. You are visiting too many places. Better to thoroughly see an area, then to be running around like a mad person trying to see it all, which is impossible. I would definitely stay 4 nights in the Tuscany region, 4 nights in Umbria (including Perugia, Cortona & Assisi)I would go to Pompei (1 full day) and 2 nights is enough on the Amalfi Coast. Also I hated Rome, so 2 days, I think, would be enough. You didn't mention Siena and Lucca, both towns are relatively close to Florence. We did not like Milan/Cuomo region...too much like NY City. We preferred the small towns, more typical of Italy. Watch your belongings in Rome!
mar35ge is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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I have no kids and have never travelled with one but, if it "takes a lot longer" with a toddler than without, you will spend all your time travelling and little enjoying.

IMO, this itinerary has far too much moving around, child or not.

My suggestions would be to base in Florence and see other areas of Tuscany from there, limiting hotel changes. You will find a car more of a hindrance than a help in Rome and should consider the train from Florence to Rome.

I love the Dolomites so would add time there and I would eliminate the CT and add time to Rome and Florence, perhaps another day to Venice as well.

I would eliminate any one night stays, forget the CT and add one night to Rome and one more to Tuscany.
kfusto is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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You have 8 destinations and I will suggest no more than 6 with a baby in tow. I would skip the Verona and lakes segments and go to the CT from the Dolomites. I would also do the Tuscany segment before Florence so you can drop the car at Florence. I would add the time to both Florence and Rome. That way you have your rural segments all in the middle of your trip--and with the car. Hope this helps.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Our trips to Europe are always for 3 weeks and we've found it best to find 3 (7 nights) or 4 places (5 nights) to stay (use as a base) and daytrip from there. This way we're not picking up and moving so often.

In your case, I'd skip Milan and not go to the Amalfi Coast. I'd visit Florence from the Tuscany base. I'd choose between The Lakes and the Cinque Terre. I think you could find a place from where you could daytrip to the Dolomites, Lake Garda and Verona.

I'd try to have the car for exactly 14 days (between Venice and Rome) to get the best rental (weekly) rate.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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I reckon it would be plain sinful to omit the Lakes and couldn't imagine a first trip to Italy without it!

My favourite is Garda as it's the biggest and most varied with the most to explore - and it's also a bit cheaper than Como. But both are easily accessible from Verona and Milano and both are great.

The Lakes have a really special and really different atmosphere to anywhere else in the country - and indeed to other European lakes which just swallows you! When I went at the end of September last year, it was still warm and sunny enough to top up my English tan and the water was still warm enough to swim in so with a bit of luck at the beginning of October you'll be fine. But warm or not, it's the views and colours of the water and the mountains which will captivate you.

Recommended places to stay close to the major cities:

Garda - Sirmione (will be nice and quiet in October; lots of good hotels; great boat connections; and a fab town to wander) or Malcesine if you don't mind driving a bit further.

Como - Varenna (cute and not over-touristy, a great easonably priced hotel with a top view there is ww.hotelvillacipessi.it )

Near to both you'll find great walks, gardens and villas to explore.

Dee
deeboy is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Hi S,

I agree with the other posters that you have planned too many destinations. Personally, for a first trip, I would skip Verona & Parma, and skip the lakes and Milan.

Add those days to your other destinations. (I would add 1 to Venice, 1 to Rome and 1 to Tuscany). You already have a good deal of countryside time with Cinque Terre, Dolomites, and Tuscany.

I agree with TuckH, to stay in the Tuscan countryside and do Florence as a commute in (not with the car).

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is online now  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I think we will have to cut Milan and Lake Como. I'm definitaly realizing that I have been too ambitious in my planning. Should I cut Verona too? I wanted to see Opera there but I think it is closed anyway in October. Also I don't want to be doing more than 3 hours of driving in one day (since my son gets antsy in the car for to long) which is why I wanted to break it up.
How about this Itinerary:

1. Venice - 3 nights
2. Dolomites /Lake Garda - 3 nights
3. Cinque Terre/ Pisa - 3 nights
4. Florence/Tuscany/Umbria - 7 nights
5. Rome - 4 nights (and perhaps 1 day trip to Amalfi coast from Rome?)
Shiriw is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Btw, each one of the areas I listed will have one base. I like the idea of having one base to branch out from in the Dolomites/Garda area and another base in Tuscany to explore Florence and a bit of Umbria (maybe Assisi?)
Shiriw is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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You could visit Verona as a day trip from Garda.
Nonconformist is online now  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

>its are 1st time and we wanted to fit everything in!

That's a typical first-time mistake.

You can't. Italy will still be there for another visit.

Keep in mind that each time you cahnge venues you lose about 1/2 day.

As planned, you will lose about 3 days of your vacation time.

>We are also travelling with a baby so things will probably take a lot longer to get from place to place.

Make that 4-5 days lost.

Excellent advice from Bob.





ira is online now  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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S,

Your new plan is molto bene!
Dayle is online now  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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3 days in Venice is too long, you can see all in 1.5 days. I really did't like Venice that much. Guggenheim museum is good, lots of tourists from boats. We like spending time with local culture and felt the town shut down early and then you are stuck. Would spend more time in Rome. At least 4 days. See the Collesium at night. Stay central like Campo Di Fiori and walk to much. Don't miss the Pantheon!
wendydear is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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You've improved it alot!

I'd not include Umbria and certainly not a one day trip to the Amalfi Coast.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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BTW, 3 days in Venice is NOT too long.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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I don't think 3 days in Venice is too long either, we loved it! Spend at least a half day being lost and wandering around. Don't try to make a day trip to Amalfi from Rome - its too far.
Ninkette is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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The new plan is an improvement.

When you list CT/Pisa for 3 nights, is that sleeping in CT with a day trip to Pisa? Or stopping in Pisa on the way?

Florence/Tuscany/Umbria for 7 nights would be difficult for a couple without a small child. (Is that 7 nights in Florence or 7 nights somewhere else with trips into Florence?) I think you need to decide between Florence and a bit of Tuscany or Florence and a bit of Umbria. (Or vice-versa, making Florence the "bit of.") If you try to cover all three in 7 days, you'll be in the car a lot.

A day trip to the Amalfi Coast from Rome is just not realistic with a small child. (Ditto comment above re Florence/Tuscany/Umbria.)

One comment about traveling to Italy with a small child: Although your little guy is going to slow you down more than I think you realize, I don't think there is a better place to go. The Italians love small children, and they will make every accommodation to help you wherever you go. We once watched in fascination as an entire small town came to an absolute standstill as the children left school for lunch. Nothing moved until every last child was collected by a parent or boarded onto a school bus.
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