Rethinking my 20 day Italy itinerary

Old Sep 12th, 2015, 06:39 PM
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Rethinking my 20 day Italy itinerary

hi. I'm planning a 20 day trip to Italy next year-late April/early May. My husband and I fly into Milan and out of Rome. We're in our mid60's and It's our first trip to Italy. Here's our itinerary as I've planned it so far. We'll be traveling by train.

Go directly to Varenna/lake Como-3 days
Venice-4 days
Florence (day trip Siena )-4 days
Sorrento( couple day trips-)-5 days
Rome-4 days

I'm just wondering if we're trying to pack too much into our trip. I was pretty comfortable with the itinerary and then I noticed a comment somewhere about only traveling north of Rome or south but not both!
What do you all think? Not sure if we'll get back to Italy any time soon. Croatia will be our next trip.
Thanks in advance!
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Old Sep 12th, 2015, 06:50 PM
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I think your plan is fine. What we sometimes get are itineraries trying to cover all that in 10 days or two weeks -- but you have three weeks and five destinations. It really isn't all that fast paced.

(If it was me -- I'd cut a day+ from Sorrento and add it to Rome. But that would be my trip and yours is totally reasonable)
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 04:20 AM
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Agree with janis - but then I love antiquities - and Rome.
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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I think it's OK. Just note that your itinerary doesn't include travel time from place to place, so it's a bit of an exaggeration to say, for instance, that you'll spend 4 days in Venice, when you subtract the time it takes to get from Varenna to Venice and get settled at your hotel. Similar in other parts of your itinerary.

I, too, probably would subtract a day from Sorrento and add to Rome. But if you decide not to, it's not as if the Sorrento area is a terrible place to spend an extra day. You'll be fine.
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 04:47 AM
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I don't think your plan is rushed. I'm not a fan of Venice so I would take one of those days and add to Rome. Take a Sorrento day and add to Florence (day trip to a couple of hill towns smaller than Siena).

Perhaps you don't have the time you listed though. You need to list how many hotel nights you will have somewhere. Three hotel nights will yield two sightseeing days. Your travel from Como to Venice will take up much of a day in travel. So will travel from Florence to Sorrento (even more if you stay further south in Amalfi or Positano).
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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I like it.
Have fun !
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 07:38 AM
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I think the 3, 4, and 5 day stays are fine. I'm not sure about adding a lot of extra "day trips" though.
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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Thank you all for your input! The numbers I mentioned are hotel nights. I know travel time will be subtracted. I just realized though, what a long trip it is from Varenna to Venice, (4.5 hours) having to backtrack to Milan. Maybe better to skip Como area and stay in Milan a couple of nights' which could give us more time in Florence or Rome. What do you think?
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Well, mid lake on Como is pretty gorgeous, and would be a great place to recover from any travel exhaustion.

I'm finally going to Milan for a couple of nights after several trips to Italy. It seems that there is plenty to enjoy there but the experiences of Lake Como and a big bustling business city appear very different.

Hard to say, but I wouldn't skip Varenna if I were you. But then, that's me and my trip, not yours.
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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Check out the train times going from Varenna to Florence, then to Venice, then to Rome. You might find that schedule more to your liking.
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 02:03 PM
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The lake is lovely, but it was not one of my favorite places in Italy. I think Milan tends to be underrated. It's a big city and there is a lot to see and do. I think your decision might be whether you want to be in the countryside (lakeside) in smaller towns or in a big city. It would definitely make it easier not to go to the lake upon arrival.

I agree that I would add a day to Rome and take one off Sorrento. Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 06:20 PM
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You don't have to go back to Milan to travel from Varenna to Venice but it might not reduce the travel time.

I think some semi-rural time would be great but you could also consider stopping somewhere more directly between Milan and Venice, such as Vicenza or Verona (or maybe Mantova). Or go straight to Venice and add some time to Florence and do some trips to smaller towns from there.
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 03:47 AM
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I can't say whether to skip Varenna/LC to save time. It does present a nice contrast to the rest of your trip, but it's a judgment call.

I like Milan, so the idea of spending a couple of days there sounds good to me. Lots to see and do to cover a few days: the Duomo and its roof, Sforza Castle, a tour of La Scala, the Last Supper (book tix well in advance), the Brera district.

dream: >>You don't have to go back to Milan to travel from Varenna to Venice
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 09:21 AM
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I quite like Milan but I don't see the point of spending 2 or 3 days there if you aren't already quite interested to go. Maybe if you are the type of person who really enjoys big city activities -- museums, opera, shopping, restaurants -- you can sail into Milan and get engaged -- but it is mainly a modern city, and not the "another world" experience of beauty and/or art that most people cherish about a visit to Italy.

I agree that 4+ hours in transit from Varenna to Venice sounds like a mood-killer, but if you go from Varenna to Florence, it's more like 3 hours in transit. Then it's 2+ hours to Venice from Florence, and there are good fast trains from Rome to Venice that are just over 3 hours.
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 09:34 AM
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<Maybe better to skip Como area and stay in Milan a couple of nights' which could give us more time in Florence or Rome.>

Personally I would add any "extra" time to Venice.
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for all the comments-I think I will stick to our original itinerary but take a day from Sorrento and add it to Rome, giving us 5 days there. Hopefully After relaxing in Varenna we'll be ready for the trip to Venice!
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 06:39 PM
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Vincenzo, you can go via Bergamo and Brescia. But as I said, not sure it would save time. Just different, as the OP wasn't wild about going back through Milan.
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 07:54 PM
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Varenna to Venice is 4:03 hours when connecting in Milan. No other route is faster. The Bergamo/Brescia route involves a 3rd connection at Lecco.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 03:47 AM
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I didn't read that the OP "wasn't wild" about going through Milan. What I read was the reluctance to endure the 4-hour (total) train ride from Varenna to Venice. I hardly think a longer ride with more changes presents a viable alternative.
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Old Sep 16th, 2015, 03:46 AM
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Whatever. I never said that it was a better route. Just that it was an alternative if one didn't want to travel via Milan. In fact I made a point of saying it wouldn't probably wouldn't save time.

OP, if you decide you want to break the journey Bergamo is a very pleasant town (the bar at the top of the funicular has wonderful views while you enjoy a drink). It is about a kilometre into the centre of town or a short bus ride. There is luggage storage at the bus station opposite the train station but I've never used it so can't personally vouch for it. http://www.depositobagagli.it/ Of course, sometimes it's easiest to just keep travelling to your final destination.
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