Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Proposed Trip Itinerary - Amalfi Coast, Umbria, Tuscany

Proposed Trip Itinerary - Amalfi Coast, Umbria, Tuscany

Old May 9th, 2005, 08:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
Proposed Trip Itinerary - Amalfi Coast, Umbria, Tuscany

My wife and I are planning a two-week trip to Italy for late September - early October (exact dates still uncertain). We've both been to Italy before (the major places like Rome, Florence, and Venice), so this trip will focus on places that we haven't seen.

We've tried to pick a few places to "base" ourselves for day trips that are within an hour or so travel time, rather than constantly changing where we're staying.

Day 1: Arrive early AM in Rome (from Wash., DC). Make our way to Positano. Overnight Positano. We haven't chosen a hotel yet but were looking at the Miramar, Poseidon and a few others.

Day 2: Explore the Amalfi Coast region from our base in Positano (visit Ravello and Amalfi). No rental car at this point so will have to use buses, trains, etc. Overnight Positano.

Day 3: Visit to Pompeii (feasible from Positano?). Overnight Positano.

Day 4: Another day to explore the Amalfi Coast region. Overnight Positano (so 4 nights in Positano).

Day 5: Pick up rental car (we may need to go to Sorrento to do this since we need an automatic) and drive about 4 hours to Spoleto in Umbria. Explore the town at night. Overnight Spoleto (we will be in Spoleto for 4 nights.). We were considering the Hotel Gattabone in Spoleto (any others?)

Day 6: Visit Assisi and perhaps Spello. Overnight Spoleto.

Day 7: Visit Todi (other suggestions?). Overnight Spoleto.

Day 8: Another day to explore Umbria (suggestions?). Overnight Spoleto.

Day 9: Drive about 2.5 hours from Spoleto to Castellina-in-Chianti, which will be our base for 5 nights to explore Tuscany and the Chianti region (hotel recommendations?). We are looking to stay in a Tuscan style inn or small hotel (as opposed to a bigger hotel in a larger city or town). Overnight Castellina in Chianti.

Day 10: Visit San Gimignano. Overnight Castellina-in-Chianti.

Day 11: Visit Montalcino and Montepulciano. Overnight Castellina in Chianti.

Day 12: Visit Siena. Overnight Castellina-in-Chianti.

Day 13: Another day in Chianti region (perhaps visit more wineries, etc.). Overnight Castellina.

Day 14: Drive about 1.5 hours to Bologna. My wife studied abroad here about 10 years ago and is anxious to go back. I've never been. Visit Bologna. Overnight Bologna (good hotel recommendations welcomed).

Day 15: Bologna.

Day 16: Return trip home from Bologna to DC.

We'd welcome any comments or critiques and/or suggestions on places to stay or eat or things to do. Thanks!
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 09:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Given the time of year, I'd consider doing it in reverse to have the best chance of chasing the warm weather.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
We thought about that and decided to do the Amalfi Coast earlier, when it would be warmer.
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 09:52 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,248
I think you are short changing the loveliest section of Tuscany (IMO) - the area around Pienza. I think both the towns & countryside are prettier than in Chanti or near Spoleto. I would nix Chianti and see San Gimignano, Volterra, and Siena from a base in/near Pienza.

I think Bobthenavigator is on vacation or working on a project, but he would probably say the same thing.

Do you have my 20+ page intinerary for Italy that has a heavy emphasis on Tuscany (Amalfi also)? E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy - but do so soon because I'm heading out on my 5 week spring trip to Europe very soon.

Stu Dudley

StuDudley is online now  
Old May 9th, 2005, 10:07 AM
  #5  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,565
Hi jay,

Have you considered flying into Naples instead of Rome?

see http://airtravelcenter.com/onetrav.htm

I think that staying in Sorrento and visiting Positano for a day would be more convenient for you - easier to get to Pompeii, airport bus from Naples to Sorrento.



ira is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 11:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 607
Visit to Pompei is quite feasible from Positano. Would require a 45 minute bus ride to Sorrento and a 30 minute train ride from Sorrento to Pompei. I would agree with others about staying in the Pienza area rather than Chianti. It is a nicer area and more convenient to visit Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Siena. San Gimignano is a bit far for a day trip. Others will probably disagree but I think San Gim is overrated.
BoulderCO is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 11:51 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
This is good stuff. Any hotel suggestions for the Pienza area?
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 11:57 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,248
My favorite hotel in Italy is La Saracina, out in the countryside between Pienza & Montepulciano.
http://www.lasaracina.it/menu_eng.htm

If you want to experience Italian village life up close, stay in San Quirico (first village west of Pienza)
http://www.palazzodelcapitano.com/index_eng.htm

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Old May 9th, 2005, 11:58 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,248
I've done a couple of day trips to San Gimignano and Volterra from the Pienza area. Get to San G at 9:30 before the day trippers arrive,

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Old May 9th, 2005, 02:07 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 607
Another good place to stay is L'Olmo which is in the country just a few miles south of Pienza. Website is www.olmopienza.it/
BoulderCO is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 414
I like this itinerary. Y'all mind if I tag along?

On the free days that you've built into the schedule (days 4, 8, and 13), don't necessarily go see some other destination. Use the days to sit and do nothing. Sit in a piazza, nurse a Campari and soda, write your postcards, and people-watch. In other words, take a vacation from your vacation. Day-tripping every day will wear you out and you'll be glad for the downtime.

As for logistics, I agree with Ira in that you should look into flying into Naples instead of Rome to reduce some of the schlepping.
tdyls is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 05:26 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,598
Hi Jaydreb,

One other possibility. How about staying 3 nights around Pienza and 2 nights in Chianti?

We stayed at Residence San Sano, a small 4* in the TINY Chianti village of San Sano which I highly recommend. From there, we did a day trip into Siena, 20 minutes. A day trip to San Gimignano and Volterra (which was a LONG day) and trips to Greve and La Badia di Coultibuono for lunch.

I agree that Chianti is not the place to do day trips to the Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano area, but it's beautiful, lots of great wine to taste, and we loved staying there.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 06:22 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 341
Try to take a day trip to Capri from Positano...so worth it! Also - in Spoleto, eat at Il Tempio del Gusto! Very charming and great food!!!

We stayed at the Hotel San Luca in Spoleto. It was outside the city walls, but we enjoy walking (since all we do is eat and dring in Italy....) so we enjoyed it. It was charming and had a cute courtyard loaded with flowers...great for an afternoon glass of wine after day trips and before dinner. Have a great trip!
mgfit is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 07:15 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Day 1: Have you figured out how you're going to get from Rome (Fiumicino?) to Positano?

I too prefer Sorrento as a base in the Amalfi Coast area. Good transportation connections plus the possibility of day-tripping to Naples and its Archeological Museum.

....

Day 5: So why did you pick Spoleto? It's not particularly central in Umbria. Other possible sights in Umbria: Orvieto, Deruta (majolica), Gubbio, Bevagna.

Mimar is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 08:12 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
Thanks for all the replies so far. Very helpful. A couple of additional points:

1) Based on some of the comments we've received here, we've decided to revise our itinerary as follows:

--4 nights Positano (we agree Sorrento would probably be a more convenient place but my wife has been there before and would like to stay somewhere new)

--3 nights in Umbria (right now we have them in Spoleto; any other suggestions for Umbria towns/hotels, etc. to stay?)

--4 (or 3) nights in Pienza/Val d'Orcia region (this is a new addition; we welcome additional hotel suggestions)

--2 (or 3) nights in Chianti (is 2 nights enough? hotel suggestions?)

How do people feel about the new itinerary?

2. Any hotel suggestions for Bologna?

Thanks! I think it's coming together.
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 08:40 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 607
I would suggest Todi as your stop in Umbria. It is not far from the border with Tuscany so will not require as much driving. Very charming walled hill town. Hotel Fonte Cesia is an excellent place to stay right in the center of town..
BoulderCO is offline  
Old May 12th, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
I'm topping for any further comments. Should we do 4 days Pienza / 2 days Chianti or split 3/3? Do others prefer staying in Todi to Spoleto?
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old May 12th, 2005, 12:35 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
In Umbria you could also look at Orvieto, Trevi, Assisi or Perugia. Our potential trip this fall will be strictly Umbrian hilltowns that we have not yet seen. Very exciting.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Old May 12th, 2005, 01:19 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,001
Sandi, a friend and I are thinking of similar Umbrian towns.

Where have you chosen for a base town?

Cheers, Linda
BowenLinda is offline  
Old May 12th, 2005, 01:32 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,236
Consider basing at Malvarina, outside Assisi, for your Umbrian stay. You won't be sorry. Type Malvarina into the search box for reviews from the Fodor's archives.

http://www.malvarina.com/

Wait a second for the page to load and then click on the British flag for the English translation.
Betsy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO