Opinion on our intinerary, help!

Nov 8th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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Opinion on our intinerary, help!

Hi, Would greatly appreciate input on our plans, the goal is to see as much as we can without being to exhausted. We (2 of us) are starting our trip in Prague and ending in Milan, already bought our tixs. 3 nights in prague then fly to zurich for 2 nights. (ZRH) has a direct flight to our next destination Venice which we will stay for 2 nights ( we were told by close friends that is all we need). Next take a train to Florence for 3 nights (visiting friends who live near by, Lucca), then a train to Genoa and take a taxi to Portofino for 3 nights. Flying out of Genoa directly to Catania(sicily) for 3 nights in Taormina. Fly out of Catania directly to Milan, then take train, bus or private car to Bellagio for 2 nights. Then spend our last 2 nights in Milan hopefully shopping if we have any money left.

3 nights Prague
2 nights Zurich
2 nights venice
3 nights Florence
3 nights Portofino
3 nights catania
2 nights lake como
2 nights milan
HESSER is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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I think you're going to way too many places. You're going to spend enormous amounts of time traveling between destinations, checking into hotels, and packing and unpacking. If you eliminate Portofino and Catania and cut your stay in Milan down to one night you could spend a few extra days each in Florence and Venice, both of which deserve a lot more time than you're giving them. Think about this carefully, and when you do make realistic assumptions about travel times. Good luck.
sjj is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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I would save Catania for another time...then you can cover more of Sicily in depth. Just my opinion. Then you could perhaps tack those extra days onto Florence and Venice.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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What I'd like to suggest you is to cancel one town among Venice, Bellagio and Milan and add 1 night to each one of the two towns that you have not deleted and, if I were you, I would delete Venice not because it does not deserve a visit, obviously, but for the opposite reason: even 3 nights could be not enough to enjoy it as Venice deserves.
Have a nice trip.

vincenzod is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:17 AM
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Absolutely---drop Sicily from this trip and save it for when you have at least 10 days. Add that time to Venice. Also, I would not stay in Portofino---too small and too expensive. Stay in Santa Margherita instead--3 miles away. Why Zurich at all? I would go from Prague to Vienna then to Venice.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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It looks like too many places it a short time if you ask me.

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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As sjj said, every time you change cities "you're going to spend enormous amounts of time traveling between destinations, checking into hotels, and packing and unpacking."

And because often you are making these connections by air, it can take a lot more time than anticipated. While the flight might be "only and hour," traveling to the airport (often located far from town), checking in the required amount of time by today's security standards, making the flight, collecting luggage/negotiating airport departure, traveling from the airport . . . It will take up at least half a day each time, probably more.

By my estimation, with 8 locations, you'll lose 4-5 days to travel, which can be exhausting and disheartening. Your luxurious amount of vacation time (20 nights) becomes 15 days of actual visiting time. 8 locations in 15 days sounds grueling to me.

ellenem is online now  
Nov 8th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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hi, Hesser,

so far as i can gather, you're locked into 3 nights in Prague, 2 in Zurich, then a flight to Venice anding in Milan 15 nights later.

if that's right, here's what I would do.

3 nights prague.
2 nights zurich
3 nights venice
3 nights lake garda
3 nights florence
5 nights bellagio
1 nights milan.

leave sicily for another time.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Your replies are helping greatly thank you! As you can guess, my husband I made a list of all the places we want to see. Zurich is definitely out, was not high on our list. Sicily though is high, more of an ancestery visit. Prague is also high on list. Maybe tack on one extra day in Prague and one somewhere else.
4 days prague
3 venice
3 florence
3 portofino
3 sicily
3 bellagio
1 milan to fly out
HESSER is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Sicily simply isn't a "3 day place". Logistics, and sites means you need a minimum of 5 days to scratch the surface. Probably more in your case for ancestor hunting.

So I'd definitely drop Portofino and add all or most of that time to Sicily. Then you plan is doable - though still pretty hectic.
janisj is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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hi again, hesser,

could you bear to drop Venice - leave it for another time?

then you could do

4 nights Prague,
4 nights Florence [gives you time for Lucca]
3 nights portofino
5 nights sicily
3 nights bellagio
1 night milan

it's still a lot of travelling around, but more doable.

you do NOT want to get to the "if it's tuesday it must be bellagio" stage.

if you can fly direct from Florence to Sicily, personally I'd drop Portofino. you could then put in venice or just spend the extra time in sicily.

it is worth keeping in the Bellagio leg of the trip to recover before you go home.

too many choices!

regards, ann

ps what time of year? - that might affect your plans.

annhig is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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We are going the first 3 weeks in May, hopefuly not to with pleasant weather. I like your idea of an itinerary. Thank you. Wonderful suggestions from everyone!! Love this forum.
HESSER is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 02:16 AM
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Is milan worth going for 2 nights? Plus, I understand the Malpensa airport is a bit of a drive from the center of milan, and traffic is brutal and I am wondering with the fact that our flight is departing at 7:15 A.M. that there will be no to little traffic to the airport? I would like to experience the center of Milan and the shopping but is it to much trouble being so far from the airport for such an early flight? Going the first 3 weeks in May hoping for pleasant weather.
1-milan or 2 not sure
HESSER is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 03:12 AM
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If you want an easy index of "see as much as you can" itinerary, check out the itineraries of the lower cost bus tours such as Cosmos. This will also help start you on what is a reasonable 'shape' to try for a trip (i.e. order of cities visited, what cities are logically grouped together, etc.) because these itineraries, if nothing else, are a model of efficiency. Plus, you as an independent traveller would need to throw in a 'fudge factor' of extra time, anywhere from 20 to 100 per cent, depending on your ambition level. This factor is intended to compensate for the fact that you are not simply being driven around as are the participants on such tours, you have to get to train stations, airports, etc., yourself. You also need to allow for contingencies (24 hour train or air traffic controller strikes, an onset of a head cold that slows you down, etc.)

However, I see you have already bought your tix. Not to smack you one, just for the future - it is almost impossible to give much in the way of useful feedback after you have in effect made your commitment. Otherwise I would have had you ditch Prague for this trip, as it isn't really a very good fit geographically speaking with the rest.

At this point I would do as annhig suggests and look for cheap flights to Sicily from Florence.

I would also swap Austria for Switzerland, or at least Vienna for Zurich, because it is a better geographical fit.

Prague - 3
Vienna - 3 (take the train, for reasons given by ellenem; it's a direct 'eurocity' one, plus you get to see more)
Venice - 3 (need to rest as well as sightsee.)
Florence - 2
Fly to Sicily, solely to see family, not to sightsee - 3
back to Florence - 1
Santa M. Ligure - 3 (see bobthenavigator post)
Back to Milan - 2

Personally I'd be prepared to drop Sicily and do it when you return to Europe (and you will) - combining it with Rome.

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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If Prague and Sicily are tops on your list, and you are flying home from Milan which can't be changed, and want to see Florence because you have friends in Lucca then I'd do this itinerary:

Prague 4 nights - fly to Venice
Venice 3 nights - train to Florence
Florence 4 nights - train to Milan, fly to Sicily
Sicily 5 nights, fly back to Milan
Portofino OR Lake como 3 nights
Last night Milan airport

Since you need to be near Milan airports for flights to and from Sicily, and then home, I would pick Lake Como as it's easy to get to and just as beautiful as the coast. There is a hotel right at the Milan airport (www.hotelcervo.it/)- has no charm but it's cheap and they have a shuttle to the terminals and given that you need to be at the airport at 5am it's about the only sensible thing to do for that last night.

If you'd like to see pictures of all the places you are going I have some at www.pbase.com/annforcier
isabel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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I agree with Ann---good plan. And, I had a chance to see her wonderful shots of Segovia, Salamanca etc. I will be back there next May as part of a larger trip and hope to capture some similar shots. Thanks Ann !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Thanks Bob, have a good time in Spain.
isabel is offline  

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