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Switzerland-Amalfi coast-- too much?

Old Jun 1st, 2017, 10:57 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Switzerland-Amalfi coast-- too much?

Hello,

I am in the beginning stage of planning a trip for next Spring. The ideal itinerary I drew up in my mind is as follows:
- Fly into Zurich, spend 2 nights
- Travel to Lake Como, spend 2 nights
- Travel to Rome, spend 2 nights
- Travel to Positano, spend 2 nights
- Travel to Ravello, spend 2 nights
- Fly out of Naples

I have never been to Italy or Switzerland, and feel while this barely scratches the surface in general, this itinerary does give some diversity by including big cities, a lake and small towns, and coastal towns. However, is this "doing too much" for a 2 week trip? I tend to think I can fit more into a trip than may be wise, and I've gotten advice for past trips that I needed to pare down itineraries, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear that this is too much. If so, what would you cut out?

If it's relevant, I will be traveling with my boyfriend and we are both in our early 30's and active. He has never been to Europe, while I would consider myself a relatively seasoned traveler.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
bluesky1 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Of course this is only my opinion, but I would skip Zurich.

This isn't the Switzerland of my imagination. Zurich is a big city, and may not offer the Swiss experience that some people (me) want.

I have done a trip that included Bellagio and Positano. We flew from Milan to Naples and back. It was a very nice trip.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:22 AM
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Yes head right from Zurich airport to the Interlaken area - go to a mountain village like Grindelwald and be eyeball to eyeball with blacier-girdled soaring Alps of your dreams - Zurich nonpluses many folks -nice city but not the Switzerland many are dreaming of:

https://www.google.com/search?q=grin...w=1920&bih=950

anyway trains are great in both countries - for lots of info check www.seat61.com -www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

That said 2 days in Rome is not much - you will spend much a day getting there -I'd scrub Lake Como - can have dicey weather in spring - and spend 4 nights in Rome and then base in Positano for 4 nights rather than relocating to Ravello - can day trip to there and Amalfi - a nice old seaside town. Relocating takes a lot of time of which you do not have. Plus Positano is much more of a lively town than isolated away from sea Ravello.

I walked up to Ravello from Amalfi and it was a really neat easy for your ages uphill walk.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:30 AM
  #4  
ekc
 
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I would skip either Zurich or Lake Como and spend 4 nights in Rome (which is only 3.25 days once you figure how long it takes to get from Zurich to Rome) and 4 days in Positano (which is only 3.5 once you figure how long it takes to get from Rome to Positano). You waste precious vacation time every time you change locations - up to a half day. And it can be especially exhausting for someone who has not yet been to Europe.

Ravello is only an hour from Positano (35-minute ferry ride and a 25 minute bus ride), so it is easy to see as a day trip from Positano.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:34 AM
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You have two nights in each place, which is just one full day. Perhaps you like this pace, but I figure anyplace I want to see is worth three nights, two full days at a minimum.

And your only time in Switzerland is in Zurich. If you want to see some of Switzerland, you need to spend some time there. As it stands, this is really an Italy trip. I'd suggest you choose either Switzerland or Italy and give yourself a good experience there by spending enough time to get a feel for the place.

I'd fly into someplace in Italy, and choose fewer stops so you really get a chance to see the place. I agree, 2 nights in Rome is nothing. You won't even scratch the surface.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:36 AM
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And try to spend another day or so in the Grindelwald area if into Alps -so much to see and do - great walks or hikes - toylike mountain trains impossibly climbing to heights - aerial gondolas going off in all directions, etc.

Grindelwald is a great place for folks you age who are active -it does have a nightlife.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:45 AM
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Really appreciating all of these responses so far! Zurich was in the initial plan because it seemed smart to start north and head south, but I think I will eliminate that and save it for a more Switzerland-focused trip at another time. Now we'll probably fly in to Milan, if we keep Como in the plan, or just start in Rome.

I agree about spending more time in each place. We want to have some relaxation time as well, and two nights in each spot would not provide that.

Thanks!
bluesky1 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Good choice.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2017, 12:21 PM
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Why not stop in Florence for a few days or in one of those iconic Tuscan hill towns like Siena - I'd take either of those over Lake Como in spring-if early spring esepcially.

Or add days to Amalfi and take a boat ride to Capri for the day. I'd even suggest staying in Capri perhaps over Lake Como for much nicer warmer weather. From Capri boat back to Naples.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 12:47 PM
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I don't see the need for 2 nights Positano and then 2 nights Ravello. Choose one place for four nights, or even three Add time to Rome. Skip Zurich (looks like you plan to do so).
Leely2 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:35 AM
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As often happens, you are not counting travel time and then considering how much time you will actually spend IN places compared to moving BETWEEN places.

The ideal use of time would be to spend 100% of it IN places seeing and doing things. To do that however you can only go to one place and stay there.

Most people want to visit more than one place. That is understandable but often what they do is first come up with a list of places and then try to 'fit' that list into the time available. As a result, many people end up with a plan that sees them spending a large percentage of their time moving rather than spending it in any place. Your initial plan will cost you roughly 50% of your time lost to moving. Is that what you want?

I suggest starting from the other end of the equation. First decide how much time you want to allocate per place. Then see how many you can fit into the time you have.

Kathie suggests 3 nights/2 days per place as a minimum. I tend towards 4 nights/3 full days as a minimum. But whatever you choose to try to stick to, it is a MINIMUM and only for initial basic planning purposes. Most people for example would agree that even 3 full day is not enough to do somewhere like Rome or the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland justice. Those 2 alone could easily hold your interest for your entire 2 weeks.

So I agree, pick Switzerland or Italy for your entire time as a first criteria to narrow things down. If you choose Italy, then decide on the time for Rome first and then see how many days you will have left. Pick your next stop in order of priority and how much time you will want to spend there. You just continue till there is no time left. Do NOT go back and shorten one to 'squeeze' in another.

You say you have been told in the past to 'pare down' your plans. Yet given what you posted, it seems you haven't really figured out what that actually means. In 2 weeks I would not attempt to visit more than 4 places and even that would not work if it included Rome for example.
Dogeared is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 10:39 AM
  #12  
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"You say you have been told in the past to 'pare down' your plans. Yet given what you posted, it seems you haven't really figured out what that actually means. In 2 weeks I would not attempt to visit more than 4 places and even that would not work if it included Rome for example."

I believe the fact that I recognized this in my original post and it was the reason why I decided to ask the question here in the first place shows that I do understand what the phrase actually means.

With that said, thank you for the rest of your recommendations.
bluesky1 is offline  
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