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North or South of Italy for honeymoon in mid August-September

North or South of Italy for honeymoon in mid August-September

Mar 15th, 2012, 05:52 AM
  #1  
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North or South of Italy for honeymoon in mid August-September

Hi!

We are planning our honeymoon to Italy; also our first trip to Italy and need advice on whether to visit:

- North of Italy* or South of Italy (including Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sorrento, Sicily and open to other suggestions).

*We want to visit Cinque Terre but not sure how we can get there. I am aware we can take the train city to city once we are there.

Fly in to Rome
Train from Rome to Florence
Car rental for the rest of Tuscany (Siena, Cinque Terre etc.)
Train from Tuscany to Venice
Not sure what's the best way to get to Lake Como, train or car from Venice?
Not sure what's the best way to get to Milan, train or car?
Train from Milan to Barcelona, Spain
Fly home from Barcelona, Spain

We have about 20 days for travel and if possible would like to see both north and south of Italy together with Barcelona.

Please advise best itinerary for the time we have and also advise best transportation mode from place to place if possible.

Thank you in advance for your help and advice!

Cheers,
Angel
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 08:39 AM
  #2  
 
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There is also a ferry from Genoa to Barcelona.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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You realize that it will be very, very hot, right?
Pegontheroad is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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Makes me feel breathless! When will you have time to relax?
Decide on Amalfi coast OR Tuscany, not both. Echo Peg's remarks that the temperatures at that time of the year will slow you down. Cities are unbearably hot at that time of the year and many places close for August.
bellini is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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JustCallMeAngel, congrats! Here are your entries and my opinions (I am not a pro and have never driven in Italy)

Fly in to Rome------Stay in Rome for a day or 3 to get over jet lag and see a couple of things. Splurge on Raphael Hotel.

Train from Rome to Florence---No problems here
Car rental for the rest of Tuscany (Siena, Cinque Terre etc.)---You can also take van tours from Florence to do some wine tasting with someone else driving. Make sure your hotel has garage parking in a zone where your car is allowed.

Train from Tuscany to Venice----If you like food, stop in Bologna. You could drop off your car and train from there.

Not sure what's the best way to get to Lake Como, train or car from Venice?----We were based in Venice, trained to Verona for our second base and took a train to Milan from there so we were starting from Milan not Venice. Am pretty sure we passed the Como station but someone else must say for sure. Did you have a place in mind on the lake? We went to Bellagio-it required a change in (again I think) Como for the Varenna-Esina train. Then we took the ferry to Bellagio.

Not sure what's the best way to get to Milan, train or car?----See what we did above but go in reverse. We took a bus to the Milan airport from the train station there. Can someone help with the commuter train to Malpensa? Others have driven to Lake Como--please do a search above your thread.

Train from Milan to Barcelona, Spain---What time of day is the flight? If it's terribly early you might want to stay in Milano the night before. I have no experience with this flight.

Fly home from Barcelona, Spain-----And I hope with giant sighs for your wonderful honeymoon!

And now, prepare yourself for lots of good advice and people changing your plans all around!
TDudette is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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IMO, you don't have time for Barcelona. Even without Barcelona, you don't have time to see all of the places you listed in both northern and southern Italy, so you need to make a choice. In Aug/Sept, my choice would be northern Italy.

The Cinque Terre is not in Tuscany. You need to think of this as a separate destination.

I would order the trip:

Arrive Venice
Train to Lake Como
Train to Cinque Terre (pick up car as you're leaving)
Tuscany (drop car in Siena)
Train to Florence
Train to Rome
Fly home

If it were my trip, I'd drop either the CT or Lake Como. Because of the heat and (in some places) crowds, you may not be able to see/do as much in a day as you'd like.
Jean is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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ekscrunchy: For General ferry trip, do you know cost and duration? I hear about trenhotel (Elipso.com), very comfortable and good way to travel from Milan to Barcelona.
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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pegontheroad: Although we live in Ontario, Canada the past 2 years, I lived in Singapore most of my life. It's easily over 32 degrees celcius all year round with crazy high humidity so I will be fine. He worked in Singapore over 4 years so I know we will survive. I checked for Italy in Aug and Sept, it is around 12 (lowest in Milan) to 29 (highest in Palermo). Thanks for the reminder though
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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bellini: thanks for replying. Which would you recommend? Amalfi Coast or Tuscany? We love food, wine, sightseeing, exploring, walks / hikes, nature, soaking in the grandeur of the architecture, etc. etc... EVERYTHING! We would like to experience life in Italy! You mentioned many places are closed, places in cities or smaller towns?
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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TDudette: Thanks so much for the detailed advice and tips! Appreciate it!

So can I safely say that you would highly recommend the North of Italy and Barcelona and drop the South?

How was Bellagio in Lake Como? I hear it mentioned quite a fair bit. To get there, it's train then ferry?

We are thinking of overnight train to Barcelona. Dinner on board then sleep then breakfast in the morning.

Where did you visit in Tuscany?
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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I would drop Barcelona also. It's simply not practical to travel there from northern Italy except by plane possibly.

And I wouldn't be caught dead on the Amalfi Coast in August, though I'm sure there's probably a place or two that isn't standing room only.

I like Jean's suggested itinerary.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 01:23 PM
  #12  
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Jean: Thanks for your reply. I guess you are right. We may drop the South and try for north of Italy and Barcelona if possible.

Could I pick your brains on the best route ending in Milan so we can go to Barcelona?

And I found on the web that CT is on the northern part of Tuscany. To get to CT, we can take train from Lake Como?

Would you suggest to get single tickets for train or a train pass? I hear lotsa mention for trenitalia. Cheers
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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StCirq: overnight Milan to Barcelona train from trenhotel sounds good. Dinner, sleep then breakfast! Thanks for the heads up for Amalfi Coast. Is it really that packed?!! Cheers!
JustCallMeAngel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Do you know there is an overnight ferry from Genoa to Barcelona? Genoa is near le Cinque Terre.

One of your biggest problems at that time of year will certainly be crowds, and at that time of year on the Amalfi, crowds translate into endliess traffic jams, because there is only one road. You can join the lines to get on the boats, but it really is a zoo. Don't go imaginging you'd be doing lots of day trips. Only go if you want to stay in one town and relax on a terrace with a view and a cocktail.

If you don't have a car, it is really not a great idea to go to Tuscany. How interested are you in the sights of Rome and Venice? Rome will be dead in term anything other than sightseeing (shops, clubs, closed). Venice will be a worse zoo than the Amalfi, and a Singaporean sauna.

However, for a 20 day trip, trying to cram in all your sights, using public transportation:

Fly to Naples, taxi to ferry docks, ferry to Amalfi coast, 3 days
Ferry back out, take train to Rome, 3 days
Fast train to Venice 3 days
train to Lago di Como -- 3 days
Train to Italian Riviera 3 days
Overnight ferry to Barelona
Barcelona -- fly home

If you can bring yourself to cut anything out you could have more time, in which case you might rent a car and see rural Tuscany between Rome and Venice.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 04:59 PM
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Although I agree that you should probably skip Barcelona, here is the information for the ferry that I referred to above; it runs 3 times a week from Genoa and takes 19 hours:


http://www2.gnv.it/ferries-destinations/genoa.html
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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You may not mind the heat - but central Italy can easily be way higher than 29 degrees in the summer - and when you're packed in with tens of thousnds of other people and the venues don;t have AC - it is sheer hell

Also - don't know why you are detetmined to go from Milan to Barcelona (or Barcelona at all frankly) - you should look at other options to get there.

Amalfi Coast thought I love it in late May is also sheet hell in the summer. The coast raode is often backed up by huge trafic jams caused by giant tour coaches - and a one hour trip can easily take 3.

And agree that the hill towns of Tuscany really need to be seen by car - public transit is not an option for many of them.

I think you need to lay out your trip day by day - where you are starting the day, where you well end up - and if it will be a travel day - you will lose at least 1/2 a day - sometimes a full day - when moving from one hotel/city to another.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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lots of good advice above. i would probably fly from milan to barcelona. you are short on tme and that is a pretty long train ride. i think you can fly for between 50-100 one way... maybe cheaper than the train. (i think easyjet makes that flight)
kawh
kawh is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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Sorry, I ignored the Southern parts and went right to your proposed itinerary.

You could fly to Rome and then train to Naples and replace the northern cities with the southern ones. A long train or ferry ride to eastern Sicily and then work you way west to Palermo and fly to Barcelona from there. OR start in Palermo, work your west east and go north as the weather gets warmer. Fly to Barcelona from Rome.

I'd fly from Milan to Barcelona. Don't know the time/money frame though.

Bellagio was wonderful and there are other places on Como but you have to decide what you want to see! We were leaving on Easter Monday and the ferry schedule was changed. These were our options from Bellagio: bus to Como city and train from there, expensive taxi to Como. We moved to Varenna for the night and took the train to Milan and bus to airport.

Just figure that you will "kill" a minimum of 1/2 day when you move from one town to another. Some you'll lose an entire day. In general you'd want 1-5 days to get a good taste of places at least depending on their size. So divide that into 20 days.

Where in Tuscany? That's so personal. We get into many debates here about that! Get thee to the library and start checking out the towns. See what calls out to you, eh? We always found a base city or town and made day trips.

Most of us are very diy here. Hub and I did sit down with American Express 2 times and they arranged the hotels for our base cities and arranged any big trips. We did it ourselves for the little jaunts.
TDudette is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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You can also fly from Genoa to Barcelona in the summer.

It is expensive to take the overnight ferry from Italy to Barcelona (there is more than one port to choose from) but I actually think it is a time saver. In the port of Genova, the boat doesn't leave until after 6pm, giving you a full day. You have an evening at sea, with dinner and entertainments, and then you pull into Barcelona by 8 in the morning, ready to start your day.

I'm not pushing you to go to Barcelona -- I actually don't like the city and post that on Fodor's often -- but I do think some people have a mental block against multi-country, multi-culture trips.

You can also fly from Genoa to Barcelona in the summer.

Only you know what you want to do on your honeymoon. There is nothing wrong with what you are proposing to do -- it could be fun for certain people. My main problem would be the heat (I couldn't possibly to go to Sicily in August, or Tuscany or Spain) and I simply wouldn't want to go to some the crowded areas you are thinking of going to, like Venice or the Amalfi.

In fact, were it me, i'd go to the valle d'Aosta or Friuili-Venezia, Guilia.

But it's not me. It's you. Have a great honeymoon.


I'd rather take the ferry because the airports are just so crowded in the summer.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 16th, 2012, 03:14 AM
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Z: The timetable linked above puts the crossing time from Genoa to Barcelona at 19.5 hours.
ekscrunchy is offline  

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