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Please respond if you've done a whirlwind tour of Italy

Please respond if you've done a whirlwind tour of Italy

Old Oct 24th, 2002, 02:08 PM
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Let us know when you return, please, with a little report.
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 02:43 PM
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Fast Trav...

Some repeats from above, but that is how you determine the concencus...

1. Rent a car for the whole trip.

2. We spent 17 days.

Our trip

Day 1 Fly to Milan...rent car...drive directly to Bellagio
Sleep in Bellagio.

Day 2 Bellagio:
Sleep in Bellagio

Comment: Bellagio was great. Certainly a dont miss. Good idea to fly in and hang out in a small town, get over fatigue, adjust to the pace..

Day 3 Drive 4 hrs to Venice. Arrived by 2 pm.
Sleep in Venice.

Day 4 Venice

Sleep in Venice

Comment: We understand the mixed feelings about Venice, but it is a must see.

Day 5: Drive 5 hours to Rome.

Sleep in Rome

Day 6 Rome

Sleep in Rome

Day 7 Rome till 1 pm-- Drive 1 hour to Spoletto.

Sleep in Spoletto

Comment: Spoletto was awesome. Small town with hiking trails..., one of our best experiences in all of Italy.

Day 8: Morning in Spoletto. Drive to Assisi, then on to Siena.

Sleep in Siena

Day 9 Siena

Sleep in Siena

Day 10 Day trip up the Chianti Highway and back to Siena.

Sleep in Siena

Day 11 Drive 1.5 hrs to Florence

Sleep in Florence

Day 12 Florence

Sleep in Florence.

Day 13 Drive to San Gimignano

Sleep in San G.

Day 14 Drive to Cinque Terre.

Sleep in CT.

Day 15 Trails of Cinque Terre.

Sleep in CT.

Day 16 Drive to Milan.

Sleep in Milan.

Day 17 fly out.

Most missed Town: Wow, tough...Bellagio I guess.

Personal tip: Mix it up. Looking back, our best decision was to alternate between small towns and larger cities. Morning in-town, then driving to the next place was the best. Although we kept a good pace, it did not seem rushed.

Unexpected pleasures: Interacting with the people. We would ask the hotel clerks where they go to eat or have a drink. We were amazed at how friendly the people were in the small towns. We had our best experiences at small restaurants and pubs in small towns. For this reason, I politely disagree that you should stay in one place for 3 nights. We would have short drives, then experience another small town for a late dinner or a beer/wine out. This opened us up to more social culture than staying in one place.

Old Oct 25th, 2002, 12:06 AM
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Fast Trav,

Based on my recent Whirlwind of Italy, if I was doing it again, I would recommend:

(1) Try to stay three nights most places. Book ahead by Internet.
(2) Ditch the car, use the train (we did).
(3) Travel Very Light with Lots of Money.

Starting north, heading south, I'd stay in:

(1) Lugano (or Vico Morcote, nearby)
(2) Florence
(3) Assisi (two nights would do it)
(4) Rome
(5) Ravello (great for relaxing)
(6) Venice (on the way back)

For more than 2/3 weeks, then a car might be worthwhile.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 05:32 AM
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My two week trip to Italy in March 2001 wasn't as whirlwind as some of the above posts but we covered a lot of ground! I agree with everyone who says rent a car. Driving in the countryside was easy and fun. Parking could be a challenge but all the towns we visited had parking lots located outside the city walls.

Our itinerary was:

Day 1 Arrived Milan, short flight to Pisa, Pisa overnight
Day 2 Pisa AM, train to Siena PM, Siena overnight
Day 3 Siena, picked up car, Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Bagno Vignoni, BV overnight
Day 4 Montalcino, Chuisi, drove to house rental near Spello
Day 5 day trip to Spello AM, Assisi PM
Day 6 AM--laundry, chores, PM—neighborhood, Bevegna, dinner Montefalco
Day 7 Overnight trip to Orvieto
Day 8 Orvieto AM, Deruta PM, returned to rental house
Day 9 day trip to Gubbio
Day 10 day trip to Norcia, Piano Grande
Day 11 checked out of house, drove to Florence, (stopped in Cortona for lunch), dropped rental car at
airport, taxi into Florence
Day 12 Florence
Day 13 Florence, Fiesole PM
Day 14 Florence
Day 15 Short flight to Milan, Milan to Home

If we had had a third week we would have gone either to the Cinque Terre or to Rome. Next time!

Have fun!

Old Oct 25th, 2002, 08:06 AM
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I just got back from Italy last week. We rented a car and stayed in a ville on the Sorrento peninsula for a few days, then turned the car in and finished the trip in Rome. Visited Pompeii, Herculaneum (Ercolano), Positano, Amalfi.

What ever you do, don't drive into Napoli! I got so frustrated at the lack of driving rules and parking spaces that I just turned around and went to our next destination.

Amalfi coast was great. Make sure you allow time for driving, because while the towns are a short distance as the crow flies, the mountain roads double/triple the time it takes to get there. For two days, I never got out of second gear. The roads provide such stellar views, though, you hardly notice.

Positano was fun. Park in the car park and walk down the alleys through the town.

Rome was my favorite, though. I'm not a fan of big cities, but Rome was great. Everything is within walking distance, and there are so many great sites to see on every corner.

I most wish that I could have taken a tour of the catacombs in Rome, recommended was St. Calixtis.

One thing I cannot recommend enough - learn some Italian before you go. I can't count the times we met someone that didn't speak English, and my smattering of Italian was invaluable.

Have a great trip.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 09:04 AM
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whirling it up
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