possible itinerary and driving question

Old Dec 10th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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possible itinerary and driving question

hi all...my husband, daughter and i are in the process of planning a trip to italy for the end of june 2007. we are thinking of flying into rome and working our way north, eventually flying home from venice. i know we won't need a car in rome...we will probably stay there for a week. we are looking to rent a car and travel to florence, drop off the car and spend 2 or 3 days there. i guess we will need to rent a car again and drive up the coast to turin, then go to milan for a few days and eventually end in venice. we will have 3 weeks....any suggestions as to what else we need to see or do....and any advice about renting a car?? thanx for all your help!

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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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This is a great "blank slate" to puzzle over. You simply have a lot of reading to do. The trip from Rome to Florence can be done in 95 minutes by train - - or, with a car, you have to decide for yourselves - - 3 nights or (a whole lot/slightly) more? to discover Umbria, southern Tuscany and who knows what else before you get to Florence. Or would you do better to get more acclimated to Italy and do all kinds of exploring from Florence to Venice, with a single rental of 5? 10 days? (or more?)

The key is... 21 days will not be enough to allocate to all the places that will sound good to you.

You need books. Big books. Numerous books. I can't predict what will "speak to you"... Assisi? Cortona? Todi? the Cinque Terre? Portofino? Bergamo? Sirmione? Trentino?

A lovely dilemma to have...

Best wishes,

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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:13 AM
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Two suggested stops on your way north to Torino: Lucca and Lerici (my hometown). Lucca is a wonderful 2 day stop, a really enjoyable town with great shpping, cafes, restaurants, people watching and of course attractions. Lerici is a quintessential Italian seaside village full of color and life and amazing views. You can also easily visit Le Cinque Terre from there via boat. I highly reccommend both! There are some photos and info on my blog if you are interested: http://bellavitaitalia.blogspot.com/.
Enjoy your trip planning!
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 03:16 AM
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Is your itinerary set, or are you seeking suggestions? As you've laid it out above, you have:
Tuscany, Umbria(?)
Coastal area (Cinque Terre?)

If you allow 7 days Rome, 3 Florence and 3 Venice that only leaves 8 days for all the rest. Do you have to go to Turin/Milan? You could easily spend those 8 days in Tuscany/Umbria and Cinque Terre, turn in the car in Florence and then train to Venice.

You might also consider reversing the itinerary. Flights out of Venice usually leave very early in the morning.

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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 04:14 AM
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we are far from set at this point. we wanted to fly into venice and head south but we save over $200 each doing it in the reverse. the return flight leaves venice at 10 am. we haven't booked yet as we are hoping the costs may drop, we will probably book just after the first of the year. we are certainly ok with dropping rome to 5 days in order to do turin and milan. there is just so much to see and do i know we won't be able to do all we want to.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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If you don't have to leave Venice til 10am, then that's fine. If you're set on all those cities, then I wouldn't do the double car rental. Go from Rome to Florence. Rent the car after Florence and head to Tuscany, the Ligurian coast, and Turin. Turn in the car in Turin. Train to Milan and Venice (allow at least 3 nights in Venice!).

My suggestion didn't bear on whether Turin and Milan are worth visiting. It's just that they take you far off the path of a "relaxing" itinerary.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Jeanne and Rex have great advice. I'd totally skip Turin amd Milan. Lot's of reasons,but primarily time.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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I second BellaVita's suggestion of staying in Lerici along the coast. We stayed there for four nights this past June and really loved it. We did a 3 week trip to Italy in June, similar to what you are planning, only in reverse (and we didn't do Venice). We spent 5 nights in Piedmont, 4 nights in Lerici, 5 nights in Castellina in Chianti and 5 nights in Rome. Here is a link to my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34830020

I do think that starting in Rome might be a good idea. We ended in Rome in late June and it was SOOOO hot, it was frankly a bit difficult to enjoy. We were glad it was our second trip there and we didn't need to do all the usual sites. If you start in Rome in early June it ought to be cooler.

On your Rome to Florence leg I would suggest taking the train. It is only about 1.5 hours and very easy. I wouldn't rent a car until you leave Florence for the coast.
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