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Need Help with Italy Itinerary - September 2016

Need Help with Italy Itinerary - September 2016

Old Aug 1st, 2016, 05:46 AM
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Need Help with Italy Itinerary - September 2016

Hello,

We are going to Italy in the beginning of September and I need help with finalizing my itinerary.

Going on the trip: Me and my husband, 2 boys (ages 5 and 2.5), grandma and my brother

Flying in and out of Rome

Potential Itinerary:
6th Sept: Land in Rome and go straight to Florence (we have already booked a place so this cannot be changed)
7th: Florence
8th: Florence
9th: Florence to Sorrento (via train?)
10th: Sorrento (Capri day trip)
11th: Sorrento
12th: Sorrento to Rome
13th: Rome
14th: Rome
15th: Return to USA

Is this too ambitious?
What is the best way to go from Florence to Sorrento?
If we don't go to Sorrento, is it better to do a few day trips from Rome (since we would have the option of being in Rome from Sept 9th to 15th)?

I'm the only one in the group that has gone to Rome and Florence and I know you can spend countless days in Rome but I just wanted to see another city if possible.

I know it's going to be tough with kids but they are pretty good travelers.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 07:01 AM
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IMO, that "other city" you might want to see would be Venice but that's subjective, obviously.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 07:16 AM
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I'd make it Venice also but I think your itinerary is fine.

You can do a quick trip to Pisa from Florence, and a longer one to Pompeii from Sorrento.

There are folks who have taken day-tours to Florence from Rome--it's a long day but it might help in adding another city.

DH and I took train to Naples, then changed to the Circumvesuviana (sp?) train to Sorrento. Everything was well marked. This was before some of the new trains so can someone else suggest a better/easier trip to Sorrento? With 6 people, a private car would cost a pile.

Please report back about your trip.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 09:35 AM
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Yes trains are best Florence to Sorrento- direct to Naples Centrale then Circumveuviana commuter train to Sorrento (like a metro buy your tickets at the station.

Kids may go free on trains - especially the 2.5 year old but check on www.trenitalia.com - official site of Italian Railways - book far in advance and get deep discounted tickets. ditto Sorrento to Rome. for lots of info on Italian trains - www.seat61.com- specializes in advice about discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Venice vs Sorrento - tough call - if kids were not involved I'd say Venice but kids may love a beach area.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 10:44 AM
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I would probably cut a day from Sorrento to add it to Rome. I know that this would give you little time in Sorrento itself, because you're making a day trip to Capri, but there's much more to see in Rome than in Sorrento.

For that matter, I've never been to Capri, but I've heard that it's overwhelmed by tourists, and September is high season. I myself wouldn't enjoy such a crowded place.

Kids under 3 can ride free on Italian trains, but they're not guaranteed seats. The child will have to sit on your lap if there's not a free seat nearby. Seats are reserved, so you have little choice about moving if you find yourself in a spot with no extra empty seat. There are other offers (Bimbi Gratis, Tariffa Famiglia) that can give discounts to families with children, but there are usually even better discounts available if you reserve far enough in advance. Kids under 12 pay half the adult fare.

For the trip from Florence to Naples, and for Naples back to Rome, I'd reserve immediately on http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
keeping in mind that once you've reserved you can't change the departure time without a large penalty. For that reason, I wouldn't reserve the train you'll take on arrival, to Florence, because it's not possible to be sure of the arrival time or time needed to get out of the airport arrivals hall.

You have to use the Italian names of the cities on the Trenitalia site: Roma, Firenze, Napoli. If you enter the details about those traveling, you'll be shown the best fare available for your group on each train. Trains at non-peak times are more likely to have discounts still available.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Don't underestimate how much time and effort it takes to move 6 people (and their luggage) around, especially when one adult will be fully occupied in assisting the 2 kids.

If it was my trip, I wouldn't add another big city (Venice) and I wouldn't go to Sorrento (easily 4 hours from Florence) to spend just 2 full days there. In early-ish September, both Venice and Sorrento/Capri will still be very crowded.

I'd look for a destination between Florence and Rome and a less crowded/noisy couple of days. If you are willing to rent a car, you could spend those 3 nights in a small town or at an agriturismo with a pool. If you kept the car until Rome, you could stop at Parco dei Mostri (Park of Monsters) near Bomarzo. If you didn't want to rent a car, you could train or bus to Siena or train to Orvieto. (You can visit the park in Bomarzo from Orvieto by a combo of train and taxi but would require careful planning.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_of_Bomarzo

http://www.bomarzo.net/index_en.html
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 10:53 AM
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As for Sorrento, immediately check lodging availability in your budget range. Your plan would have you there on a weekend, and you're late in booking.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 10:56 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Let me hear more suggestions on day trips from Rome. Please respond if you know of some really good, kid friendly day trip ideas!
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 11:10 AM
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Or another idea was to go to Cinque Terre for 2 days from Florence, then go to Rome.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Let me hear more suggestions on day trips from Rome. Please respond if you know of some really good, kid friendly day trip ideas!>

For kids that age I know of none really - Rome must have a zoo or something friendly to kids?

Ostia Antica are stellar Roman ruins that many enjoy as much as Pompeii since it is just as vast it seems and rarely crowded - short metro ride from Rome.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 12:35 PM
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if you stay on the train past ostia antica you will come to Rome's beach resort - ostia lido, or do a special trip to this nearby beach:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/b...lla-restaurant

and here's a website that you might find useful:

http://mylittlenomads.com/family-travel-best-rome-kids

[there are others too - just put "Rome for kids" into your search engine]
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