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Tips please - First time to Italy - help with Itinerary

Tips please - First time to Italy - help with Itinerary

Old Nov 9th, 2022, 01:26 AM
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Tips please - First time to Italy - help with Itinerary

Hello,
We are travelling from Australia. First time travelling outside the South Pacific. Family of four - 2 adults, 2 boys 8 & 10.
Flying into Venice - spend three nights
Tuscany - farmhouse outside Siena 5 nights
Positano - 7 nights
Sardinia - 7 nights
Rome - 3 nights then fly home
I have three nights between Venice and Tuscany. Thoughts on staying in other part of the Adriatic coast? Or San Marino? Or Bologna? Also thinking of adding extra night to the Tuscany booking as I believe itís a good base for us.
We are family that are not used to large population & busy cities. I have read that parts of the Adriatic Coast are more traditional Italian areas with less foreign tourists which sounds good.
Any feedback about any of the itinerary would be appreciated. Jemma

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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 04:21 AM
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Before I can give you much advice, I would need to know what time of year you're coming here, and whether you plan to rent a car for any part of your trip. (I imagine that a car would be almost necessary for the Tuscan stay, but for most of the rest of the trip it would be a nuisance.)

Maybe you could also tell us a bit about the sorts of activities you enjoy, and whether you have any particular things you look forward to seeing or doing.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 05:19 AM
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Rome needs more than three days. You can stay in a neighborhood and not have as much of a big city feel. There is so much history around every corner.
Positano- friends who have taken children there reported that the kids got bored and regretted taking kids there. You have beach time in Sardinia. Maybe consider another place like Venice which most kids love.I would also add more time to Tuscany .
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 07:23 AM
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Tell us what you have planned for each place, particularly Positano and Tuscany. Venice and Rome could use more time--especially Rome with boys! Unless you plan on hiking, I think they'll be bored to tears in Positano. Pompeii is difficult to visit from there.
You'll likely want a car in Sardinia as well as Tuscany. Not terribly far from Siena there are some cool sites I think boys would dig--this geothermal park: https://www.visittuscany.com/en/attr...e-nature-park/
Also this Etruscan archaeological site: https://mytravelintuscany.com/the-ar...and-populonia/
It is often these quirky less well known places that I have enjoyed the most.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 08:32 AM
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I, too, wonder about so much time in Positano. It is a beautiful town but not what I would consider a kid-friendly destination. Many visitors there seem to enjoy its restaurants and boutique shopping. Most kids enjoy Pisa (mine loved climbing the tower) and Venice (another tower to climb, gondolas to ride, interesting streets and canals to explore, boat rides to take to islands nearby.) A brief exposure to the art of Florence (particularly the statue of David) is worthwhile and the addition of the wonderful gelato in Florence will be enticing.

I like yorkshire's suggestions but haven't been to those destinations.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 09:14 AM
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As you take in the suggestions to reconsider the number of days/nights everywhere, do some research on transit times (by whatever means). If you follow the order/itinerary as you wrote, you've got some loonng, somewhat convoluted transfers. With three "extra" nights, I wouldn't be adding more destinations without considering the time consumed in traveling from point to point to point. If your trip is in hot/humid summer, you may want to set aside "down" time in the middle of many days which would really impact your sightseeing in places where you're only spending 3 nights.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 10:33 AM
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Excellent advice from all above Jemma.
Hope that all goes well.
I am done. the end
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 11:16 AM
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Seriously consider changing Positano to Sorrento, an actual small town with connections to all of the Amalfi area as well as Capri, Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius, and Herculaneum, no car needed (or desirable, for that matter), and a large choice of restaurants, shops, etc.

I most strongly urge more time in Venice, especially as it will be your first stop with a large body clock shift/jet lag. I would add another of your extra days to Rome, or even two days, since leaving day and half or more of arrival day to Rome will be eaten up by travel overhead. How could your kids not want a gelato "tour," the Colosseum, and pizzas? Actually, there is no such thing as a gelato tour. What you do is get one at every gelato place you pass.

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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 11:37 AM
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Welcome to Fodors. Ditto to all of the comments above: Not enough time in Venice, not enough time in Rome, too much time in Positano (or change to another location such as Sorrento - but probably too much time for there as well)
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 12:02 PM
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Thank you. Great helpful info.
I should have added more specifics.
We arrive early Sept and leave on the 3rd of Oct
My boys are into water sports - surfing, snorkelling, boating, kayaking etc.
Myself and husband are foodies and love slower travel.
The commutes between destinations arenít a problem to us - being Australian they seem fine particularly with a better transport system.
Iíve heard mixed things about Positano regarding the kids.
My husband is a professional boat skipper so our plan in Positano is to hire boats and visit Capri and different parts on the coast line.
The plan is to have a car in Tuscany and Sardinia
My plan now will be to extend Tuscany, Venice and Rome & shorten Positano slightly.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 12:13 PM
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With the knowledge that you plan to be boating, I think the Amalfi coast will be great, but I would figure out how to painlessly add in a day at Pompeii--it's really quite extraordinary. It will be very hot, but you'll have the rest of the week to cool off in the sea. I would look at other AC villages though, which may offer boating but without the premium price tag of Positano. I'd try to do some boating in Sardinia too.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 12:50 PM
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Somehow I missed that you are flying into Venice. Three nights there is probably fine if you need more time for other places.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 01:32 PM
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I agree that is maybe to much time on the Amalfi coast. Naples is an extraordinary town and the Archeological museum is kid worthy. You can also boat from there to Capri and other areas. It has a train station you could arrive from Rome to there or even on to Sorrento. We loved Naples.
I would go to Herculaneum vs Pompeii it is much more manageable and very well preserved. Just my thoughts.
Enjoy it is all so beautiful.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 09:00 PM
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"The commutes between destinations aren’t a problem to us - being Australian they seem fine particularly with a better transport system."

Wellll... It may be a better transport system than what you have at home, but distances are still distances and there are logistic choices to be made. Two adults carrying their own luggage can make some choices that two adults traveling with young children might not.

Your preliminary itinerary involves this:

The transfer from Venice to a location outside Siena... You have to get yourselves from your Venice hotel to the car rental office. Depending on the lodging location in Venice, this could be a schlep... with luggage. The drive to near Siena would take close to 4 hours on the fairly boring autostrada or easily 5-6 hours if you choose to take a more interesting route. In both cases, that's without time for lunch or any other stops. If you take the train instead, the shorter journeys are about 4.5 hours and involve two changes. Then, you have to get to the car rental office and drive to your lodging location. If you haven't driven or taken trains in Italy, this day could be draining whichever way you do it.

The transfer from a location outside Siena to Positano... First decide whether to keep the car. If you don't return it in Siena, there will be a one-way surcharge. If you keep it, there are issues with driving it all the way to Positano, you'd need lodging that includes parking, and you likely wouldn't drive the car while you're staying in Positano. (This year, the region instituted a traffic limiting scheme that could become permanent in the future. Cars with even-numbered license plates could drive on the coast road only on even numbered calendar days. Odds on odds, etc.) The drive to Positano would take 6 hours (no stops) on the autostrada. Add 3-4 hours if you deviate much from the autostrada and/or make some stops. If you take the train from Siena, it's 5 hours to Naples with one change, then about 90 minutes by commuter train to Sorrento and another 40-45 minutes by taxi to Positano. Or you could hire a driver to meet your train at Napoli Centrale and take you to your lodging in Positano. That would take upwards of 90 minutes.

Positano to Sardinia... You'll need to research airlines and flights from Naples to your preferred Sardinia airport for your particular dates. Not every airline operates flights every day to all three airports. AFAIK, two airlines don't fly Naples to Alghero, and one doesn't fly Naples to Olbia. Rent another car and drive to your lodging on Sardinia. If you don't have the rental car while in Positano, I'd spend the euros for a driver/taxi rather than go through the multiple steps on public transportation to get from Positano to the airport.

Sardinia to Rome is pretty straightforward but still involves multiple steps.
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