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Recommendations Italy - 2 weeks - First Time Trip

Recommendations Italy - 2 weeks - First Time Trip

Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:09 AM
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Recommendations Italy - 2 weeks - First Time Trip

Hi,

We are traveling to Italy for the first time in April and I need some advice on our itinerary. What are your must see and dos in Italy? Any suggestions is appreciated as all the regions sound amazing to me so I am having a hard time deciding. I am not sure when we will be back to Italy so I want to see as much as I can but also enjoy the visit!

We are arriving on the 19th in Venice and will leave from Rome on the 4th.

This is the itinerary for now but willing to make changes except for start and end location.

19th-21st - Venice
22nd - 23rd - leave Venice in the morning and head to Pisa to see the leaning tower and then to Florence
24th - 26th leave Florence and head to Tuscany (thinking of a town in between Florence and Rome as the hub). We will probably rent a car during this time. Explore towns on the 24th as we leave Florence and reach our destination and then do the same on the 27th when we are heading to Rome.
27th-30th leave Tuscany and head to Rome
1st-2nd - leave Rome in morning and go to Naples
3rd head back to Rome in the morning
4th - home

If Naples can be done in a day trip from Rome we would consider that too so we don't have to change hotels those last couple of days.

What would you change? Recommendations for Tuscany - I want to enjoy the countryside with some relaxing and visiting nearby towns. I also think I want to stay in a farm house close to a town.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:18 AM
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Auggest you look at agriturismos in Tuscany; there are many threads here on this forum. Use search to find them.. Note that Florence is in Tuscany . Skip Naples as you don't have enough time.
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Pisa is down a local commute train from Florence as is Lucca (far nicer walled city), you could at a sqeeze fit in both in a long day.

Siena might do
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for your input!
I will check out agriturismos in Tuscany and the threads on this website.

Is there a town you would recommend to stay during our visit in Tuscany? I realize Florence is part of Tuscany but want to enjoy more of the countryside which seemed more south of Florence so we thought about doing a couple days in Florence to see the city and then head more south to enjoy the smaller towns and the countryside.
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Agree to either skip Naples or do t as a day trip from Rome - the fast train is only a little over an hour. And you can do Pisa or Lucca as a day trip from Florence. Much better to avoid so many hotel changes.

In order to decide how to break up the time it would help to know what you want to see in each place and how long it will take.
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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IMO, and DEPENDING on what your so far unsaid interests are, SIENA might be a definite alternative location to visit.

Pisa from Florence takes one hour by rail (yes there is a BIG reason so many people visit the Tower).
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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We were thinking about Pompei which is why I considered Naples but if it can be done in a day then we might just consider that option. We won't stay in Pisa just go for a visit and thought we would do that on the way from Venice and then head to Florence for the night and next day before heading further south into Tuscany. Thanks!

As for tuscany we want to do some vineyards, explore some small hill towns, a cooking class, see the countryside, etc.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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I agree with the suggestions above about Piasa and Naples. I'm also wondering who the "we" in your group is? If you are, say, a couple in your twenties, this much moving about is probably right for you. But if you will have kids or senior citizens in your party, cutting out at least one more destination might make for a more pleasant trip for everyone. Also, if you're with kids, you will likely want a place with a pool in Tuscany. If you're just adults, perhaps you're more interested in visiting wineries? If you can provide a little more detail about who you are and what your interests are, I'm sure you'll get some great advice here. Buon viaggio!
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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You really don't have any breathing room in this itinerary to enjoy most of what you want to see. I would skip Naples - it's a LONG day trip from Rome and it can take hours to see Pompeii. I would add a day in Roma and make a side trip to Ostia Antica (much smaller in size than either Pompeii or Herculaneum), which is a nice 1/2 day trip.

Get a couple of good travel books (Fodors, Rick Steves) to help you plan. Don't wait too long before booking your room reservations so you're not shut out of your preferred place. Good planning makes all the difference in having a great trip!

You're right when you say that Italy is amazing!
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 12:07 PM
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Naples is not a LONG day trip from Rome. It is one hour on the train, slightly less than Pisa. Pompei is indeed a vast sight, so do some research about whether you will be happy with seeing some, but not all of it.

As for Pisa, were I coming from Venice and staying in Florence but wanted to see Pisa "en route" (rather than as a day trip from Florence), then I might think about leaving my luggage in the Florence in train station while I went to Pisa, then picking it up on the way back. Depends on the details of train schedules, and how much luggage you will be toting. I might even consider getting a Florence hotel near the train station, dumping my luggage, then heading immediately to Pisa and returning to Florence in the evening.

As for rural Tuscany, vineyards, cooking class: You can probably find a cooking class in the countryside in a vineyard where they pick you up in Florence and take you there. You might try some google searches.

Basically I would advise you to focus on what it is you want to see and do in Italy and figure out the logistics, decide if they are doable, rather than have other people change your trip and tell you they would be too tired to make the effort to have that trip, or wouldn't consider it worth it, or they would be too hot, too old, too whatever. You do need to pay attention to the logistics and the personalities of the travelers. But plenty of people have active trips to Italy in the summertime and have a blast. Others regret. Just be realistic about your group and check transportation issues.
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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If you choose to visit Naples and Pompeii, I suggest you put all your time in Rome at the end, when you need to return there to fly home. Here's one posibility:

19 - arrive Venice
20 - Venice
21 - Venice
22 - train to Florence
23 - Florence
24 - daytrip to Pisa, sleep in Florence (pick the day when weather is good)
25 - Florence (Note April 25 is a holiday in Italy.)
26 - travel by car to Tuscany location
27 - Tuscany
28 - Tuscany
29 - travel to Naples
30 - daytrip to Pompeii, sleep in Naples
1 - travel to Rome (Note May 1 is a holiday in Italy)
2 - Rome
3 - Rome
4 - home
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Old Feb 10th, 2015, 02:00 PM
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>>>>22nd - 23rd - leave Venice in the morning and head to Pisa to see the leaning tower and then to Florence
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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Debs, Ostia Antica is actually a little bigger than Pompeii and a lot bigger than Herculaneum. In a few years, it may expand still further, as they're now excavating an entire new section of the city.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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bvienci - We'll have to revisit once the new excavation work is completed! Thanks for the info!
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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For the Tuscan countryside, I suggest staying near the beautiful town of Pienza. Stay at Fonte Bertusi- you will love it and the surrounding area.
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