Please help me plan my Italy Itinerary!

Oct 29th, 2013, 05:50 PM
  #1  
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Please help me plan my Italy Itinerary!

Hi everyone,

This is my first post and I'm hoping some seasoned travellers can help me out as this will be my first time stepping out of North America (Canada)!

My husband and I are planning our 3 week honeymoon in Italy and the more research we do, the more we are overwhelmed and are having problems narrowing down our itinerary! We are very active and like to be kept busy during our stay, but do not want to underestimate travel times, etc. Basically - we want to get the most out of our trip without overdoing it. I have a VERY EXTREME skeleton Itinerary copied below. It's obviously way too packed and what I'm hoping you can help me to narrow it down! Based on your experiences, can certain day trips / places be missed? We are not huge into history or art and a quick walk through of most museums and churches will suffice, we just want a trip with alot of variety, culture, architecture, and great food and too see as much as possible without turning our vacation into a chore! Please give me your personal preferences as I understand many people will say "it depends on you and your tastes"

Also, are there MUST SEE places that I have missed? Verona? Assissi? Sorrento? etc?Thank you for your help!!!

Day 1 Calgary to London
Day 2 London to Venice - arrive in PM
Day 3 Venice - Tour Venice
Day 4 Venice - Verona Day Trip (or Treviso? or Padova?)
Day 5 Venice - Torcello & Burano Day Trip
Day 6 Venice - Travel to Cinque Terre in AM and stay overnight
Day 7 Cinque Terre - Travel to Florence in PM
Day 8 Florence - Tour Florence
Day 9 Florence - Tour Florence
Day 10 Florence - Pisa / Lucca Day Trip
Day 11 Florence - Siena / San Gimignano Day Trip
Day 12 Florence - Travel to Rome in AM
Day 13 Rome - Tour Rome
Day 14 Rome - Tour Rome
Day 15 Rome - Vatican City
Day 16 Rome - Travel to Amalfi Coast (Salerno home base?)
Day 17 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) - Day Trip to Naples
Day 18 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) - Day Trip to Pompeii / Mt. Vesuvius
Day 19 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) - Day Trip to Capri? Positano?
Day 20 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) - Day Trip to Paestum / Herculaneum
Day 21 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) - Travel back to Venice for Departure
Day 22 Leave
jmplmptn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 05:51 PM
  #2  
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I forgot to mention this trip will be April 20, 2014 - May 10, 2014.
jmplmptn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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Why not fly home from Rome?
And, put it last if you do.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:23 PM
  #4  
 
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I thought Salerno was a fine enough city, but it would be a shame to not stay in one of the scenic villages of the coast, but then again if you really want to do all of those day tips, you may want to be in the most convenient place for travel. But then that is my one critique: It's a little heavy on the day trips, but you can just see how you feel day by day-- you need some time to smell the roses, ya know?
Have you booked flights? An open jaw flight would save lots of time.
Also, no need to visit both cinque terre and the Amalfi coast, as they are similar.
yorkshire is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:24 PM
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Hi and welcome to Fodor's.

Your plan is definitely a bit too busy, as you noted yourself. A mistake that is often made is to not take into account how much time is needed to move from one city to another, including checking in and out of hotels. You will lose a minimum of half a day each time.

If it was me, I would drop Cinque Terre. Venice to Cinque Terre is more or less a full day on a train with a change in either Milan or Florence and 2 half days in CQ isn't enough anyway. You have the Amalfi Coast which will give you a good coastal experience.

I would add that day to Rome and I agree that you should definitely rearrange things so that you finish the trip in Rome and travel home from there.

Re Venice, there is plenty to do in Venice, so don't shortchange it. I would drop the day trip to Verona and explore Venice a little more. Don't forget you'll have some jetlag to deal with and might not feel like dashing around 24/7.

You will get lots of help here if you are willing to listen.
cathies is online now  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:24 PM
  #6  
ekc
 
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I agree - fly home from Rome or Naples.

I would drop the overnight in CT - one night stops are a waste of time, especially when it is so far from Venice. You can add that day to Venice or the AC.

If you want to stay on the southern end of the AC, Salerno is a good base with easy acess to the places you want to see, but I would also suggest looking at a smaller town like Vietri, which has quick train and bus connections to Salerno (under 15 minutes). Paestum and Herculaneum are no where near each other, so you should see Herculaneum when you visit Pompeii.
ekc is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Yes, I concur that a bit more relaxed agenda in Venice is a sound idea, one does want to have a few holes in the schedule to just soak up the local ambience. If you are at all into the fine arts a visit to the Teatro La Fenice for an opera is a good date idea for honeymooners.
When in florence your hotel there may be able to arrange for or suggest a nice 1/2 day wine tour. No one area is superior to another, but doing a wine tour is a fun activity. BTW, I agree you may need a bit more time than anticipated for train travel, with the exception that you get from Florence to Rome quickly, so you'll still have alot of the aft and evenign to start your exploration of Rome on your "travel day", given your original agenda.
docdan is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:54 PM
  #8  
 
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Congratulations on your honeymoon! Yes, the hardest part of planning a trip to Italy is deciding what NOT to see. As others have suggested, fly into one city and out of another. The cost should be similar to a round trip, but you'll save both time and money by not circling back. Use the "multi city" option on most airline websites to book.

I agree with others that cutting the CT from your itinerary will make for a more enjoyable pace. I'd also suggest you give yourself permission in advance to drop any of the day trips you list, depending on your mood, the weather, etc. it's always good to have a plan, but it's even better to let the spirit of Italy guide you. If you want spend a day soaking up Venice or Florence rather than day tripping elsewhere, do it! Also, is there a reason you are going to London or is that just the flight pattern? Buon viaggio!
msteacher is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 07:25 PM
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Much better start than many people planning a first trip.

Flights: do check into "multi-city" tickets so you do not have the expense and time lost backtracking to Venice. The backtracking costs you a whole day which could be better used for sightseeing as well as cost of train or airfare.

Based on your expressed interest in architecture, and little interest in art, I think, rather than Paduva (known for the art of. ), you would love Vicenza for all of Palido's beautiful buikdings, including the you will probwbly enjoy Burano and Torcello. A great thing about any day trips from Venice is you can have plans in place, but leave decisions for what you actually do until you are there.

Art is a major focus in Florence. Consider renting a car when you leave CT and staying someplace else in Tuscany, or stay a couple of nights in Florence and rent a car for exploration from another base. Any way you lay it out, cut time in Florence for some overnights in smaller towns/cities in Tuscany.

Lots of possibilities. One I might consider would be to head to Luca for a couple of nights after CT and day trip to Florence. Then, rent a car and explore more of Tuscany from another base for three nights.

I am all for staying longer in one place, but when you want to do a lot of day trips, consider more than one base on the AC. You mentioned Naples, so you could spend a night or two exploring Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum, which are all very close; or base for a couple of nights in Sorrento for Pompeii and Naples. Herculaneum is just south of Naples. Paestum, is south of Salerno, so they are not good for the same day.
My still very skeleton plan
Day 1 travel
Day 2 travel, sleep Venice
Days 3,4,5, Venice
Day 6, travel to CT, sleep CT
Day 7, CT
Day 8, travel to Luca (afternoon to tour Luca), sleep Luca
my still very skeleton plan might be more like this.
Day 9, day trip to Florence, sleep Luca
Day 10, 11, 12, explore Tuscany by car
*Day 13, drop car in Orvieto (only an idea, many other options like dropping car near Naples or Sorrento, train to Naples, sleep Naples
Day 14, Naples plus Herculaneum (or Pompeii)
Days 15, 16, 17, the AC from ?
Days 18, travel to Rome
Days 19, 20, 21 tour Rome
Day 22, depart Rome

Venice, 4 nts, 3 days
CT, 3 nts, 1&1/2 days
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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OOps, hit button before correcting. Sorry for so many typos and incomplete sentences, especially in beginning. The second paragraph is a mess. Oh well, you get the idea. Since you are going to the AC, I would skip CT. Rather than Naples, you can base in Sorrento for a couple of days for Pompeii and even day trip into Naples, easy by train to both.

You have a really great start for your trip!
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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It appears you have an overnight in London on your way to Venice which is really a waste of time. I would look at flights from Calgary to Naples and start the trip there. Work you way north and fly home from Venice or Milan.

>>>Travel to Amalfi Coast (Salerno home base?)<<<

Salerno doesn't really make sense for the things you want to do and it isn't as attractive as the towns along the coast. Paestum and Herculaneum on the same day doesn't make sense either unless you hire a private driver. Get a map and locate things so you can plan things close together.

Day 1 - depart Calgary
Day 2 - arrive Naples, transfer to Amalfi coast (Amalfi? Positano?)
Days 3-6 - Coast
Day 7 - train to Rome
Days 8-11 - Rome (I think you should add another day to Rome)
Day 12 - train to Florence
Day 13 -15 - Florence
Day 16 - train to Venice
Day 17 -20 - Venice
Day 21 - train to Milan
Day 22 - Depart Milan

If you can depart Venice, add a day to one or two of your other cities depending on how many things you want to see.
kybourbon is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 07:59 PM
  #12  
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Thank you everyone for the advice! And so quickly! I have appreciated every word and am already feeling less anxious about this trip.

I saved around $350 on an awesome deal in and out of Venice. While we had initially planned for a multi-city flight, we just couldn't pass up on the awesome price we got which seemed to have popped up out of nowhere! We will fly from Naples to Venice the morning of our flight departing out of Venice. The discount seemed like it was worth the inconvenience of an extra flight. We will have to see!

Yes London is just a layover

I've revised my itinerary below based on your recommendations and of course will appreciate any further advice!

Day 1 Calgary / London
Day 2 Venice arrive in PM
Day 3 Venice – Tour Venice
Day 4 Venice – Tour Venice (Teatro La Fenice-Opera)
Day 5 Venice – Torcello & Burano Day Trip
Day 6 Venice – Travel to Florence
Day 7 Florence – Tour Florence
Day 8 Florence – Pisa / Lucca Day Trip
Day 9 Florence – Siena / San Gimignano Day Trip
Day 10 Florence – Tour Florence (Half Day Wine Tour)
Day 11 Florence – Travel to Rome
Day 12 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 13 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 14 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 15 Rome – Vatican City
Day 16 Rome – Travel to Amalfi Coast (Salerno)
Day 17 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) – Day Trip to Naples
Day 18 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) – Day Trip to Pompeii / Herculaneum
Day 19 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) – Open day trip? Explore coast
Day 20 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) – Day Trip to Paestum
Day 21 Amalfi Coast (Salerno) – Travel back to Venice for Departure
Day 22 Leave
jmplmptn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 08:07 PM
  #13  
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"Salerno doesn't really make sense for the things you want to do and it isn't as attractive as the towns along the coast. "

I'm confused by this, I assumed the location was perfect based on this article:

http://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/tra...coast-holidays

to sum it up, travel is easier as you are headed in the opposite direction of the people basing in popular Sorrento. Also, it's cheaper and less touristy.
jmplmptn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 10:12 PM
  #14  
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I've worked all night on this itinerary, and I'm coming closer to finalizing it! We've decided on Positano, there are some beautiful little bed and breakfasts and I believe the view will be worth the extra travel!

Day 1 Calgary / London
Day 2 Venice arrive in PM
Day 3 Venice – Tour Venice
Day 4 Venice – Tour Venice (Teatro La Fenice-Opera)
Day 5 Venice – Torcello & Burano Day Trip or Relax!
Day 6 Venice – Travel to Florence
Day 7 Florence – Tour Florence
Day 8 Florence – Pisa / Lucca Day Trip
Day 9 Florence – Siena / San Gimignano Day Trip or Relax!
Day 10 Florence – Tour Florence (Half Day Wine Tour)
Day 11 Florence – Travel to Rome
Day 12 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 13 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 14 Rome – Tour Rome
Day 15 Rome – Vatican City
Day 16 Rome – Travel to A.C. (Positano)
Day 17 A.C. (Positano) – Day Trip to Pompeii / Herculaneum
Day 18 A.C. (Positano) – Day Trip or Relax!
Day 19 A.C. (Positano) – Day Trip to Paestum
Day 20 A.C. (Positano) – Travel to Naples and stay overnight near airport
Day 21 Naples – Tour Naples
Day 22(May 10) – Fly from Naples to Venice and fly home
jmplmptn is offline  
Oct 30th, 2013, 12:36 AM
  #15  
 
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It looks good to me. Pity you have to fly via London but sounds like that's part of the deal with the tickets (never knock back a good deal!). I would hesitate to try and see Siena and San Gimignano in one day but I'm sure many do. And personally, I'd have a day less in Rome but that's just because I prefer smaller places. Sounds like a lovely trip.
dreamon is offline  
Oct 30th, 2013, 03:20 AM
  #16  
 
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I like your new plan. Have a wonderful honeymoon!
msteacher is offline  
Oct 30th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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>>>to sum it up, travel is easier as you are headed in the opposite direction of the people basing in popular Sorrento.<<<

That's not really true. Travel from Salerno to Amalfi by bus might be less crowded (not my personal experience), the rest of the route (Amalfi/Positano/Sorrento) is equally crowded both directions.

>>Day 1 Calgary / London
Day 2 Venice arrive in PM<<<

This is confusing. Are you really departing Calgary day 1 and arriving London day 1? Most flights are overnight and arrive the next morning (day 2). Why the long layover in London? Why London at all? Fly somewhere more convenient to your destination with better timing.

>>>Day 21 Naples – Tour Naples
Day 22(May 10) – Fly from Naples to Venice and fly home<<<

Again. Do you mean your flight has a connection of a couple of hours in Venice? Seems an odd connection from Naples as usually you connect to a major airport, not a small airport. What are you using to search for flights?

>>>Day 17 A.C. (Positano) – Day Trip to Pompeii / Herculaneum
Day 18 A.C. (Positano) – Day Trip or Relax!<<<

I would switch these days. You will have traveled by both these the day before on your way to the coast from Naples. I wouldn't want to backtrack the next day. You might consider visiting Pompeii on your way to the coast (there's free luggage storage at the entrance).

I would still start south and head north for weather purposes, but if not, I would consider traveling from Florence to Naples and put Rome at the end of your trip. You will have a lot of flight selections home from Rome that don't require transiting through Venice. Rome and Milan are the major airports in Italy with non-stop flights to other countries. Having to change flights somewhere in Europe means very early departures.
kybourbon is offline  
Oct 30th, 2013, 05:40 AM
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Kybourbon I think the flights have all been booked...
jamikins is offline  
Oct 30th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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Not enough time anywhere for me, and not enough days that don't involve day trips. But that's me.

You could stop to see Pompeii on the way from Rome to Positano.
Jean is online now  
Oct 30th, 2013, 07:06 AM
  #20  
 
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I think you are a quick learner, and your itinerary has improved greatly! Looks perfect to me.
Only one comment: Naples airport is not far from the city center, so even if you have an early flight, there is no reason to stay near the airport (in fact, if early there will be no traffic). You hotel can arrange a taxi--I think it was 15 euro. Stay in the old town where you can walk around, visit the archaeology museum (where the treasures from Pompeii are located), and eat pizza. I loved http://www.hotelpiazzabellini.com/.
yorkshire is offline  

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