Planning Stages

Old Jan 7th, 2018, 09:26 AM
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Planning Stages

Hello all,

Planning on going to Italy in the next year Taking trains/public transport everywhere. First time going to Italy and while there is lots to see I'll only have about 11 days to actually spend there not counting flying.

Thinking of

Fly into Naples

Naples/Pompeii for 2 days

Rome for 5 days.

Florence/area for 3 days.

Fly back to the US.

I would like to go to Venice and Milan but I know that I can always go back later to see places I can't now. I like seeing the historical sites but also like to visit small towns etc. and see what the locals are up to.

Any friendly advice of places to stop along the way or different itinaries? Still trying to decide on going in late September or late May. I know those are both technically busy season times but really any other time of the year works for me.

travlinmike is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 10:01 AM
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I don't think you're going to have time to stop anywhere long the way.

Check flight schedules and ticket prices. You may find a round trip to/from Rome is the most practical for this itinerary, but if you can find flights into Naples that don't require an extra connection or aren't 2X more expensive for you, flying into Naples is fine. Same with Florence. What works for where I live may not work as well for where you live - flight connections and prices vary depending on the origin city. So check for your own situation.

Otherwise, plan to fly into/out of Rome. I'd probably end with Rome in that case - that way, you can fly out at the end while being close to your departure airport.

If you fly into Rome to start, consider (if you can fly in early enough) going directly to Naples or Florence and having your first night there. I might start with Florence just to give yourself three nights after the international flight to deal with jet lag. Then train all the way to Naples...and back to Rome at the end.
Andrew is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 10:56 AM
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Assuming you are coming from the US, Italian cities with flights from the US (that don't require changing planes in Europe somewhere) are Milan, Venice, Rome, Pisa (seasonal Delta/JFK). That means departing Florence would mean likely mean an early departure to somewhere in Europe before heading to the US (ditto for Naples). If you are on the west coast of the US, that can make it difficult to get home the same day as your Europe flight may land somewhere in the east too late in the day to head onto the west coast.

If you can get a flight into Naples that arrives fairly early in the day, then I would try to book the return flight from Rome (many more options than Florence). Fly into Naples for 2-3 nights, fast train from Naples to Florence for a couple of nights, train to Rome for the remainder and fly home from Rome. Keep in mind that 2 nights somewhere gives you 1 sightseeing day and only a bit of another.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 01:39 PM
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Definitely try to fly home from a different city, otherwise you'll have to backtrack. I did France and Italy, in 2015, spending 15 days in Italy (after 14 in Paris and Nice). I spent months researching the itinerary! Paris>Nice>Milan>Venice>Florence>Naples/Sorrento>Rome. We went end of April to end of May. It was already starting to get hot in Rome, but I cannot recommend this time of year enough. It's right before high season, but not too early for everything to be open. Also, school is still in session so not too many family vacations. It's our favorite time of year to explore Europe.

Naples has Pompeii's museum. Other than that, if you want to explore the Amalfi Coast, get out of that city. We hired a car service (cheaper than a taxi) to take us to Sorrento. From there, we explored Capri (via boat/ferry--saw the Blue Grotto) and Pompeii (via train). Sorrento was such a beautiful town, and made for an excellent home base. It has a small train station (it's a regional train, just Google which line runs here), but still the charm of a small town, amazing restaurants, and even nightlife. We stayed there 3 nights.

As we chatted with fellow travelers, and since being back home, everyone says how surprised they are by how much they loved Florence. Yes, most of us studied the Renaissance in school, but the actual city is magical. Allow yourself 3+ days to explore all Florence has to offer. We did a "Best of Tuscany" tour from Florence to Siena, a vineyard, San Gimignano, and Pisa, via Walkabout Tours. We wanted to see Pisa and a vineyard and this knocked out both.

Remember that "travel" days don't leave much time for sightseeing, unless you're super determined (I'm only 32-years-old, so I'm still full of energy). You're checking out of a hotel, getting to the train station, traveling, getting a cab, checking into another hotel, etc. Trains are ridiculously convenient and travel-friendly, but it all eats up your day.

I'd take a day off Rome and add it to Florence, if I were you. When in Rome, if you're an art lover, don't forget to prebook tickets for the Borghese Gallery. We also really enjoyed the Capitoline Museum. I also recommend a tour for the Vatican, as it's massive and overwhelming.

End your trip in Rome so you can fly home from here.
okeurotripper is offline  
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