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Suggestions for our Itinerary for June in Italy

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Apr 28th, 2016, 11:20 AM
  #1
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Suggestions for our Itinerary for June in Italy

We are a family of four (two teens) traveling to Italy for the first time June 12-July 1st. We fly into Milan and out of Rome. We are planning to use Airbnb. Here is what we are thinking so far.

Option 1:
June 12-17th Lake Como
June 17-20 (somewhere between Lake Como and Florence) this is where I need help
June 20-22 Florence or Siena with a day trip to Florence
June 22-25 Rome
June 25-30 Positano
June 30- July Rome (hotel by airport)

Option 2:
June 12-17th Lake Como
June 17-21-Florence or Siena with day trips
June 21-25 Rome
June 25-30 Positano
June 30- July Rome (hotel by airport)


Thanks for the help!
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Apr 28th, 2016, 11:32 AM
  #2
 
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the fabled Cinque Terre could be a neat option between Lake Como and Florence - a few days there hiking between the famous 5 villages could be neat - Monterosso is a nice base with a neat sandy beach - hit Pisa and the Leaning Tower en route to Florence (Pisa train station has luggage storage.

Going by car or train?

Trains are perfect for this - buses fan out from Siena to many of those iconic Tuscan hill towns though that would be one place to rent a car for a few days and stay in a hill town and use it as a base - Siena being a perfect option. For lots of info on trains check www.trenitalia.com for fares and schedules and early booking discounts; www.seat61.com - great advice on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

If driving beware many Italian cities have no go zones for private vehicles and cameras get scofflaws (including clueless tourists) and your rental company may forward a few hundred euro ticket to you months later once home (many posts about this on Fodors).

A combo of trains between large cities and a car to drive between and Rome (Orvieto is a classic hill town - good place to ditch the car and take trains to Rome where you do not want to have a car.

On the Amalfi Coast buses and boats connect the main cities - no car needed or wanted in this very congested area road-wise.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 12:04 PM
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I would go nuts if I had to spend four days on Lake Como. I can't imagine what teens would do there. I know lots of people love the place, and I will admit that it has some nice scenery, which you can see in a day or two. It would be a nice place to relax on a balcony with a book, but I can do that at home. There are also some hikes you can take, but it was very hot when we were there (in early June), and we didn't feel like doing any climbing. We took a few lakeside walks. The villas all had nice gardens, but my husband is not much for gardens. There were lots and lots of azaleas there, but they had mostly finished blooming by June; it would have been nicer a month earlier.

Other than that, it's visiting villas or shopping at overpriced tourist traps. My husband, who went to university in Milan, had told me there wasn't much to do there, but I assumed he and his buddies just went there to meet girls. By the second day, we had visited two villas and my husband put his foot down. We had taken every boat ride available in the mid-lake area (Varenna and Bellagio). My husband was saying, "I told you there wasn't much to do here."

Transportation shuts down completely very early. The restaurants we ate at were mediocre and overpriced.

You probably realize that you're double counting your days, but maybe you haven't thought through the implications. When you say, in option 1," June 20-22 Florence or Siena with a day trip to Florence". The 20th is the day you'll be traveling to Florence and the 22nd is the day you're traveling to Rome. You have only one full day, and it wouldn't make sense to spend that day doing a day trip. It would be three travel days in a row, and you'd have almost no time to see the place where you're staying.

I hope you don't want to see the "major attractions" of Rome if you choose option 1, since you have only two full days there. I myself would take two days from Bellagio and add them to Rome.

Option 2 sounds much better to me, although I still think it shortchanges Rome. If you go to Rome for a short visit, maybe because you don't care for cities, at least don't try to visit the "must-sees". You should only do that when you have plenty of time in the city and can balance the crowds at the popular attractions with time spent strolling, exploring, and enjoying the charm of the real Rome.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 12:26 PM
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From Florence I would go all the way down to Positano, via Naples or Salerno, stay in Rome only once. I'd pick Naples [3 hours by train] and a private transfer.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 12:28 PM
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Option 2 is the better of the two, but it still sounds like a geriatric trip to me rather than a family one with two teenagers.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the feed back. Honestly we are more into family time and relaxing then trying to see everything. This last year was one of the toughest for my family as my mom just lost her battle with cancer at the age of 65. So we are really looking to travel a bit slower, but wanting to see some of the big things. Flying out of Rome was not our first choice as I don't really want to stay in Rome twice, I had thought of passing Rome first on to Positano to finish in Rome. However we didn't want our last stop to be a busy stop with lots of "trying" to see things. I really appreciate the feed back its helpful. bvlenci- I agree with you I was not thinking about the travel time to each location, so the feedback is helpful.

BTW- My son is 14 and daughter is 15.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 01:54 PM
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I would go nuts if I had to spend four days on Lake Como. I can't imagine what teens would do there>
I was on the lake for three days and agree with bvlenci - cut a few days off the lake and put them in Rome or Florence or anywhere else.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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If the "big things" you want to see in Rome include the Vatican and the Colosseum, I have to warn you that both are extremely, maybe more than extremely, crowded at that time of year. Those are the two things that everyone thinks they have to see in Rome. I myself wouldn't let myself be persuaded to go to either one in June.

I had some American cousins, a group of three adults and three teens, visiting me last June, and I went to Rome with them. They had organized a private tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. They wanted me to join them for the tour, but I told them I preferred not to. I had already warned them that it would be insanely crowded, but they said it was a must for them. When they got inside and saw the crowds, they decided to skip the tour, even though it was already paid for. If you'll be in Rome on a Friday evening, you could visit the Vatican Museums in the evening, and this is usually not so crowded. Or, there are also some very expensive early-entrance tours, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be easy to get teens up early enough for that.

As for the Colosseum, on the same trip with my American cousins, even though we already had tickets, we waited in line for almost an hour to get inside, under the broiling sun.

I could give you a list of some uncrowded, interesting, and pleasant things to do instead, if you like.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:20 PM
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I am always interested in such lists
bvlenci. We have a few days in Rome in early October and have no desire to see the biggies. My wife has seen them and I hate crowds.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:34 PM
  #10
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bvlenci- I would love a list as! I hear what you are saying as far as the time of year and the popularity of the "big" things. I'm open to ideas. Kids are early risers so that may not be a bad idea, or like you said going on a Friday night.
Thanks!
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:41 PM
  #11
 
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I am always interested in such lists
bvlenci. We have a few days in Rome in early October and have no desire to see the biggies.>

To see the biggies do as a friend of mine did - just look at postcard pictures- if they still have postcards say of Vatican areas, Colosseum and Forum.

One place that fascinated me was EUR - Mussolini's planned new town on the edge of Rome - built to be the focus of a planned but never materialized Worlds Fair - fascist architecture and now a kind of business center - take the metro there:

http://untappedcities.com/2013/06/14...hat-never-was/
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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Posted prematurely somehow - some pictures of EUR - very unlike the ancient center of Rome - Rome though may not have been built in a day but it seems like EUR could have been!

https://www.google.com/search?q=EUR+...w=1745&bih=868
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Apr 28th, 2016, 07:55 PM
  #13
 
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I agree with the above suggestions, option 2 is better but I would take off a day from Lake Como and add it to Siena then go straight to Positano and finish with Rome instead of going to Rome first .
You can click on my name to see my trip report, we did Italy with our teens a couple of years ago. They loved it and like so many families discover, it's the "unplanned" moments that often make a trip special.
Also engage your kids to see what interests them. I've found that they often want to see "in person" things they've recently studied at school, art or history or perhaps culture.
Most of all, use it as a time to relax and enjoy!
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Apr 28th, 2016, 11:42 PM
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It's May in one day and you're planning to stay in Positano in June?

You'll be lucky to get a garage in Nocelle to sleep in.
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Apr 29th, 2016, 11:53 AM
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I would do option 2, 2 days in Florence, 2-3 days in Siena, doing a day or two day tour around the Tuscan countryside. With 2 days in Florence, you obviously won't be able to cover everything, but it's not bad at all.
Do have a look at my TR: https://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com...rence-tuscany/
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Apr 29th, 2016, 12:42 PM
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I took 3 granddaughters to Italy last June for 2 1/2 weeks. We spent the first night in Milan and the next few days in Bellagio on Lake Como. After that, we went to Venice, Sicily, and then ended up in Rome. Their very favorite place was Lake Como. They would all go back in a flash. Ages of my granddaughters was 12 - 15 - 19. They all loved Lake Como. June in Rome can be very hot - their favorite activity in Rome was the catacomb tour that we took one afternoon. It was entertaining - and cool most of the time.
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Apr 30th, 2016, 07:59 AM
  #17
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Thanks Lynn- We actually were just talking about the catacombs. Do you have any other feed back on the tour or information?

Thanks!
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Apr 30th, 2016, 08:07 AM
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"I could give you a list of some uncrowded, interesting, and pleasant things to do instead, if you like".

bvlenci--Please! We would be very interested as well.
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