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need help with our first europe trip

Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  #1  
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need help with our first europe trip

hiii friends...

Wife and I are making our first trip to Europe together, she has been there few times, but its my first. We have decided on Italy as our first trip. We are having some hard time with our Itinerary. I spoke to co-worker of mine, since he is an avid traveler all over Europe, he helped us out.

Here is our tentative itinerary. We have total of 10 nights in Italy. We decided on 3 in Venice, 3 in Sorrento and 3 in Rome. That leaves us with 1 more night to use somewhere else.

My co-worker is suggesting we drive all over italy, instead of using public transportation. So from Venice, we drive through Verona to Cinque Terre and spend a night there. We won't be doing all thev villages. From there drive through Pisa, and along the coast to Sorrento. And from Sorrento to Rome. Give up the car in Rome.

* How does everyone feel about this?
* I am pretty accustomed to driving in crazy traffic Areas (ala NYC, India, etc).
* We are planning our trip in August, is driving recommended?

Biggest advantage I can see with driving is my schedule can be flexible, I am not bounded by train timings, etc. Looking on mapquest, driving distances between cities are not that bad...but wanted to get a first hand experience.

First time on this site, saw some great posts and responses, so hoping to have some guidance. Thanks everyone.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Do you have to go in August? Italy will be too hot, and too crowded. With this itinerary there's no way I would drive. If you wanted to spend some time in a villa in Tuscany, yes, renting a car is necessary, but for this trip it will just increase you costs. Also, if you're going to Sorrento it doesn't make much sense to detour to the CT for one night. Add the day to Sorrento - there's so much to do there - Naples for the Arch. Museum, Herculaneum and Pompei, the coast itself, Capri, Paestum.... Or Venice or Rome, for that matter - I recently spent six nights in Venice, and still could have stayed longer.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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We found driving in Italy very easy but I would think about flying from Venice to Naples and training to Sorrento, then training on to Rome. You won't need a car in any of the 3 places you plan to spend your time. You could then add the extra night to Rome or Sorrento. If you really want to drive, I would stop in Tuscany instead of going all the way over to the coast, and then give up the car once you get to Sorrento. Taking the ferries along the Amalfi Coast is much more fun than driving in all the traffic.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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ira
 
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Hi A,

>We decided on 3 in Venice, 3 in Sorrento and 3 in Rome.

No need for a car for this itinerary.

When are you going?

I wouldn't include Sorrento and the AC, and the CT in one visit.

Why Sorrento?

I would fly into Venice and out of Rome.

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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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We had 6 nights in Rome and we barely scratched the surface.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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A car is totally useless in Venice, a royal pain in Rome, and only minimally worthwhile in Sorrento.

August in Sorrento will be wall-to-wall tourists. August anywhere in Italy will be uncomfortably hot and crowded.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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If you do get a car, be absolutely sure it has air conditioning.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Does it have to be August? Even June should be better. We went to Rome, Florence and Venice one early June-it was cool and somewhat crowded. A lady we know took essentially the same trip two months later (August)-it was horribly hot, horribly crowded and she hated it. The pity was that she was a retired woman and literally could have gone any month of the year.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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LJ
 
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I beg to differ with the verdict on August...I have spent two Augusts in Italy now and it is not that bad (and I am from Canada so it is not that I am accustoned to a tropical climate!).

There are a little more 'chiuso' (closed) signs in evidence on some restaurants and some rooms in some galleries (The Uffizi often closes some rooms in August on rotating basis so that staff can vacation).

There is a need to ask about AC in advance when you book at room, but most have AC.

There is a need to plan your siesta along with the folks in the town you are visiting.(But the off-setting chance to linger in cafes late in the cool of the evening is an advantage in experiencing the real Italy.)Or you can be in a museum gallery or church at the hottest time of day.

And, personally, I wouldn't avoid like the plague all those places, like beach resorts where Italians spend their holidays: that is its own kind of fun!

The road-trafic problem, BTW, will be limited to the resort and mountain twosns that are most popular with Italians families. You can still drive, but I think that trains are a better choice. Id od agree that one or the other of Cinque Terra or Sorrento would be sufficient for your first time (it won't be your last!)

Buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Just supporting all the above advice. You will be paying rental and parking for the car in all the cities and not be using it. Take the train. Schedules are so frequent, you won't feel restricted.
August isn't the best time, for sure, but at least it is Italy. Whenever you go, fly into Venice, fly Venice to Naples, visit the AC and then train to Rome. Just add that extra day to Rome or the AC. There is so much to do in both places, you will wish for more. You could do one day trip from Rome with that extra day or just chill out on the AC before heading for Rome. Read all Ira's suggestions for the AC.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:59 AM
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One can easily use a week in Rome alone. As this is your first visit I'd skip one of the three destinations - probably Sorrento - and save it for another time.
As others have said, cars are useless in Rome and Venice.
July and August are statistically the hottest months in Italy, and it is no coincidence that most Italians go on vacation in August - they want to escape the cities and go anywhere less hot and stuffy.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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I went to Italy for the first time last summer and has an incredible time - it was late July and we spent a few days in Venice and I thought it was perfect - 85ish all day and sunny!

We did a different kind of trip - spent 3 days in the Dolomites, 3 days in Venice and a day in Verona. We had a car for the Dolomites but got rid of it at the train station outside Venice - and even driving around there was a bit of a nightmare. In retrospect, we should have gotten rid of the car earlier.

I do agree you should limit yourself to 3 places - you lose a lot of time each time you switch locations and have to pack up all your stuff and carry it all over the place. I haven't been anywhere else in Italy, but Venice is one of the most incredible places I've seen and I'd love to return some day. I'm sure you could find plenty to do in Rome for another day as well!

Have a great trip
PittPurple
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Thank you everyone for such great suggestions.

- Unfortunately, I can only do August, and its the last week of August.

I won't do the car deal anymore, in any case, I wasn't planning on having the car in Venice or Rome. My plan was to rent a car the day I am leaving Venice and give up the car, the moment I enter Rome. But if the hassle of driving, time spent, gas and parking is too much, then it certainly doesn't make sense.

As far as taking Sorrento out, I think my wife would kill me. She has seen way too many pics of AC/Capri online. In addition, she saw pics of CT, which she really loves as well. So I wanted to see if I can do both. I think it might prudent to leave CT out of this trip. Both of us really love the scenery / beautiful water/mountains, etc factor in our trip.

So that leaves me with 3 nights for each location. Don't know where I should add the other night? Capri maybe?

Thanks again everyone! This site is awesome...
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Add the extra night to Rome. You can stay rthere a week, and still not see all the highlights.

If you prefer R&R over sight-seeing, then add it to Sorrento.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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The AC has the most beautiful natural scenery you can desire. The first time we went there, we planned on a three day rest and then a week in Rome and Florence. After the second day, we cancelled the rest of our plans and stayed ten days on the AC. We've returned twice since then. Your wife will love it. No pictures do it justice. Do go to Positano. It is breaktaking viewed from the water.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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I agree with most of the replies. A car is not needed and trains are fast and easy. I would not do Sorrento instead go to Positano (try Hotel Coca Dora, very reasonable and very nice).

Rome can be done in three days but you will have to come back again.

Hope you have a great trip.

Will Person
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I was going to suggest adding the extra night to Rome as well, but given your wife's wishes, add it to Sorrento. Definitely not more than three stops, and I'm glad you decided against the driving!
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Willperson,
Did you mean Hotel Conca D'Oro? It looks like a good deal for the money if this is the right place.
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