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ozzy1 Jan 18th, 2011 07:48 PM

Need Help with 9-day Italy Itinerary
We're a couple in their early thirties. We like going out, but also enjoy art and historical sights. We have 9 full days. It's our 1st time traveling to Italy. Our travel dates are between April 1-10.

Definitely want to include:
-2 nights in Rome
-2 nights in Florence

We can't decide where else we want to go. These are the places we're interested in seeing:

-Venice (but not sure b/c it's too far) 1 night
-Tuscany (visit few wineries) 1-2 nights
-Amalfi Coast - Positano 2 nights


ozzy1 Jan 18th, 2011 07:52 PM

Ooh and I forgot. We're flying in and out of Rome.

pctraveler Jan 18th, 2011 08:32 PM

I would skip Venice and add that night to either Rome or Florence; you can save Venice for another trip. You can also get a driver in Florence and take in a few wineries. I have done that, and you could add those two nights to either of the two cities that are, IMHO, absolutely must sees. I have been to Positano and Amalfi, but never spent the night in either place, so can't comment on those locations. My experience is that Italy is such a magical place that this will not be your only trip there. There is so much to see and do that it will take several trips to even begin to scratch the surface.

You can get from Rome to Florence on the fast train in a couple of hours, so "back-tracking" to Rome for your departure shouldn't be a problem.

zeppole Jan 19th, 2011 04:20 AM

Your time frame is a bit early for the Mediterranean coast, meaning you could encounter rain and fogs that obliterate the views that make the area a magnet for tourists.

I suggest that when you land in Rome, you go directly to Florence by train. After 2 nights there, rent a car and head back toward Rome through the wine country south of Siena -- but don't make it a road trip. Pick a beautiful countryside winery to stay in that has a restaurant and just fool around in the immediate vicinity, doing scenic drives to castles, seeing a few historic abbeys and towns, and relaxing. Drop off the car in a town like Orvieto (or Chiusi) and take a train into Rome.

So I would pick Florence 2 nights, wine country 3 nights, Rome 4 nights.

zeppole Jan 19th, 2011 04:23 AM

PS: I forgot to say that your instinct about going to Venice is right -- it's too far for just one night, and you'd have a very shallow but tiring and touristy experience of the town as a result.

elaine Jan 19th, 2011 04:29 AM

Venice is my travel soul mate, but I agree with the above advice.
Don't dilute your experiences in Florence, Rome, and wine country. Florence is small geographically, and overwhelming it its art and architecture treasures.
I also suggest arriving in Rome, and immediately going on the Florence. I think a minimum of 3 full days in Florence. You can daytrip into wine country, or drive and stay over a night or two (better, if you don't mind the driving). Drivers can also be hired. Include Siena. That's another two days after Florence.
Then spend your final four days in Rome. You won't run out of things to do in Rome, but you could do one day trip from there, even south to Pompeii.

kfusto Jan 19th, 2011 06:21 AM

We prefer not to rent a car in Italy and rely on public transport as well as a private driver to visit the wineries in Tuscany.

I would head directly to Florence upon arrival and settle in for 5 nights. Day trip to Siena by bus instead of changing hotels. Hire a driver and visit a few wineries another day. That leaves 2 full days for Florence as tour arrival day is pretty compromised by jet lag.

Spend the remainder in Rome, with a day trip to an area that interests you. Lots of options there.

If you want to rent a car and explore that way, then I agree with zeppole's advice to base in the countryside for 3 nights. I would not recommend that option if you are relying on public transport.

bobthenavigator Jan 19th, 2011 09:53 AM

Good advice above.
With your time pick only 3 destinations and start in Florence.

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