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Need Itinerary Help! Florence/Tuscany Homebase - he wants to see Rome/Venice, she wants to see Lake Como/Cinque Terre - help!

Need Itinerary Help! Florence/Tuscany Homebase - he wants to see Rome/Venice, she wants to see Lake Como/Cinque Terre - help!

Mar 25th, 2005, 04:56 PM
  #1  
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Need Itinerary Help! Florence/Tuscany Homebase - he wants to see Rome/Venice, she wants to see Lake Como/Cinque Terre - help!

Hi there! My husband and I are finally getting around to our Italian Honeymoon (a year later), and know that we want to/have to/must see Florence/Tuscany. We are only going for 10 days, so we don't want to overdo it. We are looking for romantic and relaxing (and of course, budget-friendly, with some room for the occasional splurge). So we would like to add only one other region. My husband would like to see Rome (first choice) and/or Venice (second choice) - yes, I know they are in totaly opposite directions. I am curious about Lake Como and the coast (I'm from the Bay Area, and grew up with the coast and Lake Tahoe). Any suggestions? Could we use Florence/Tuscany as a homebase and do daytrips to any/all of these places? Should we do 5 days in Florence/Tuscany with daytrips to Rome and/or Venice, and then 5 days in Milan with daytrips to Lake Como and/or CT? Any thoughts on Lake Como vs. CT vs. Venice? What sounds good to me is either Rome-Florence-Venice or Florence-Venice-Lake Como (I could skip CT, I guess). Which is more do-able? How many days should be alotted to each? So sorry for the ramblings! We have no idea!!!
Lique is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 06:43 PM
  #2  
 
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Lique,
You might want to just skip Rome and fly into Florence for 3 nights, then CT for 2 nights (recommend Manarola), then Lakes region (recommend Stresa on Lake Maggiore or Bellagio on Lake Como) for 3 nights, then Venice 2 nights and fly home from Venice.
Traveler863 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 06:56 PM
  #3  
 
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I would do 3 destinations--all north.
Fly into Milan and home from Venice and include Florence/Tuscany in the middle. I would time it 3-4-3 to include Tuscany day trips from Florence. Good luck !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:09 PM
  #4  
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Thanks! Here's the question - can we do daytrips to CT, Rome and Venice from Florence? I know that Lake Como is close to Milan. Is Venice closer to Milan? Just trying to figure out how much we can see. Or should we just save Rome for another trip. Thanks!
Lique is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:15 PM
  #5  
 
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You really need to do yourself a favor and LOOK AT a map of Italy which would answer a lot of your questions.

Doing day trips to either Rome or Venice will leave you VERY unsatisfied IMO...entirely too much to see even if you do the very minimal "stuff that everybody sees" in these cities.

I think you got better advice with the idea of flying into one place and leaving from another, i.e., Venice for the departure.

I usually travel VERY fast but something has to go from this itinerary and, frankly, I'd start with jettisoning the Cinque Terre and then Lake Como (as much as I LOVE it)..but you haven't even seen the biggies yet and with only ten days I'd concentrate on those alone.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Lique,
I say save Rome for another trip, it seems the odd man out. For the rest, you are trying to attempt to daytrip good distances, why? If you want to see a place then go to that place and stay in that place, its the only way to really enjoy it. Now that is for major itinerary items, daytripping to minor sights of course a different story. Also, I don't know why you want to stay in Milan when you really want to see Lake Como....stay on LAKE COMO! Or equally as pretty consider Maggiore.

Best of luck with your travel planning.
Traveler863 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:51 PM
  #7  
 
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I can certainly understand your eagerness to see as much as you can while you're in Italy, it is MAGIC! But 10 days, minus travel time to and from Italy leaves you with probably 8 days. Not enough time to do nearly what you are considering. Know this, once you get there you'll know that you will definitely return to Italy! So, I would suggest quality over quantity.

Since you must see Florence, I would stay 3 or 4 days, touring the city and concentrate on day trips to the surrounding hilltowns. You could then train to CT, spend 2 days, then train to one of the lake areas via Milan. My favorite is Varenna on Lake Como. Very tiny fishing village opposite Bellagio. Stresa is also very nice, but not as quaint. You can use the ferries on the lake to sightsee during the day. Then train to Milan to fly out.
This would give you a very diverse view of Italy and leave you salivating for more!
nancyz is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 10:37 PM
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Well, to most tourists the big three certainly are Rome, Florence and Venice followed by Lake Como and CT. Since you only have ten days, I think you both have to sit down and decide which places are your first choices. It sounds like Florence/Tuscany rates first for both of you. Perhaps after that you should pick one place and your husband should pick another. If you do pick locations in the north and south, I would fly into one location and fly out of another.

Will you be returning at any time in the near future to Italy? In that case, I'd narrow my focus and try not to do too much particularly if you are looking for romantic and relaxing. Rome, Florence and Venice, while superb, would be a very busy 10 day trip.
KathrynT is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 10:40 PM
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Another thought: Rome and Venice really are too far from Florence/Tuscany for day trips. You would be spending way too much of your precious time going and coming.
KathrynT is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 04:25 AM
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And Venice is especially unsuited for a day trip--certainly so in the May to October time frame. The way major sights are situated in the city, the daytripping herd is funneled along a well-beaten path to P. San Marco. This results in a concentration of the worst restaurants, most annoying street vendors, and trashiest shops along the route. It can be a real turn-off.

Then add in that you're in this mob of folks who don't really know where they are going or what to do once they get there and are dumping their McDonald's wrappers and plastic water bottles all along the streets--well, it might not be particularly romantic and relaxing for a day trip.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 04:48 AM
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As I said, pick 3 destinations or get more time.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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I have a post from a couple days ago, "Rome-Florence-Tuscany". So, naturally these responses here are a great help to me as well. Thanks Lique. I have crossed off Venice prior to my post, but now I am thinking of crossing off Rome and concentrating on Florence and the Tuscan/Umbria area. Check out my post, too, as some nice folks also gave great advice regarding this similar itinerary!
ParisAmie is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 05:10 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi L,

With only 10 days, I suggest splitting your time 5 nights in Florence and 4 in Venice.

You can visit Siena and one other Tuscan town as daytrips from Florence. Bologna is also a nice daytrip from Florence.

From Venice, should you get bored, you can take a daytrip to Padua or Verona.

Italy will be there for a long time, and you will go back.

ira is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 09:31 AM
  #14  
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. Intrepid - FYI, we HAVE looked at a map, but maps don't always reveal travel times between two places. Even though they may look close on a map, it could be that there is only a one-lane winding mountain road vs. a highway which can get you to a much more faraway destination much faster. Also, we are taking two full weeks off, with 10 of those days being actual vacation days (we always leave two days on either end for pre/recovery and travel). Anyway, we have decided that the three places we really would like to see are Florence/Tuscany (both of our first choice), Venice (his choice) and Lake Como (my choice). We agreed that we can come back and do Rome, the coast/islands, and the south another time (perhaps when we come back for a family trip). We picked these three mainly because they seem especially romantic and unique to us (we've seen alot of big cities, beaches and islands - but not so much countryside, mountains and lakes - and Venice, well that's a world of its own). We are now thinking of flying into Florence, staying 5 days and doing day-trips to the little hilltowns (I am told we can daytrip to CT if we really want, but we'll just wing that as we don't want to be rushed). From there we plan to head up to Venice for a couple days, then to Lake Como for the last three days, flying out of Milan. How's that?
Lique is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Lique, you have settled on what you both really want to see. Consequently your intinerary looks good to me. Have a beautiful honeymoon in Italy!
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 10:51 AM
  #16  
 
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Yes, you have settled your plans and it looks like each of you "won" ~ well, perhaps you a bit more with CT AND Lake Como ! Since Venice is now included in your itinerary, may I suggest the Dorsoduro neighborhood for a wonderful location for all things Venice. I posted a "Trip Report: Venice is a Dream" about a week ago and you might find the thread interesting.
Also, "Spring in Italy" and "Venice Hotels" might help you in planning. (Did you say what time of year you will be traveling?) Cannot offer insight into CT/Lake Como/Milan, but having been to the rest of your itinerary's destinations, I know you will have an absolutely beautiful trip.

Chiara is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 10:39 PM
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For Lique,

I see that you've settled on an itinerary. Have fun on your honeymoon!

You may find some useful information on my website which describes several of our trips to Italy.

At Lake Como, don't miss Bellagio, one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Europe!

Here's the URL:
http://www.travel.stv77.com
sssteve is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 02:07 AM
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Lique, I am envious. You are going to have such a magical time. There is no place like Italy.
Julia is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #19  
ira
 
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> We are now thinking of flying into Florence, staying 5 days and doing day-trips to the little hilltowns...From there we plan to head up to Venice for a couple days, then to Lake Como for the last three days, flying out of Milan. How's that?<

Sounds very nice, Lique.

Will you be renting a car for Tuscany or using trains and buses?

www.mappy.com and www.viamichelin.com give driving directions and driving times.



ira is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 04:46 PM
  #20  
 
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Hi Lique,

Your trip sounds great! My only suggestion would be to spend 2 days in Florence, then stay in the tuscan countryside for the other 3 days. You will realy enjoy the atmosphere of the hilltowns if you actually stay overnight in one, or nearby.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
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