Traveling in Italy

Feb 13th, 2006, 06:20 AM
  #1  
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Traveling in Italy

I am in the early stages of planning a trip to Italy. THis will be my husband's and my first trip to Europe. What is the best way to travel to and from the different cities in Italy (train?) Also how close are Florence, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre. Is is possible to stay in Florence and take day trips to Cinque Terre to do the Sentiero Azzuro walking tour Or take a day trip to Tuscanny to visit Pisa and taste some wine?

Any suggestions would be helpful
jansenke is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #2  
cmt
 
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Florence is IN Tuscany!
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Feb 13th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Train is frequent, cheap and convenient. Travel by car in the rural areas is also fine, but there are plenty of stories about white-knuckle driving experiences inside cities.

There is no town called Cinque Terre (it is an area with 5 small towns). There is no town called Tuscany (it is a region).

If you mean a trip to the small towns of the Tuscan countryside, yes, you can day trip, since Florence is in the middle/north part of Tuscany.

You can get to Pisa from Florence by tarin for a day trip.

The most famous Tuscan wine region is not in the same direction as Pisa .. it is more south of Florence, while Pisa is due west. Although the wine region is everwhere, so you could adjust.

Cinque Terre might be a little too far for a comfortable day trip from Florence. You could probably stop off in Pisa on your way from Florence to Cinque Terre, however.

capxxx is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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Thank you very much. Maybe a central place to stay to take day trips is not the answer. We are starting our trip in Rome and ending in Venice. (however, we will of course have to take the train back to Rome to fly home) I wanted to stop somewhere in Tuscany to do a wine tour and I am also very interested in visiting the cities of Cinque Terre by hiking. I may be too ambitious.
jansenke is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:27 AM
  #5  
cmt
 
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You don't have to fly in and out of the same city.

Will you be there for at least three weeks? If so, it may not be too much.
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Feb 13th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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I think it would be helpful if you provide a little more info. How many nights will you be in Italy? Did you already book round-trip to Rome (if not go for an open-jaw, they tend to cost about the same)? If you already booked your roundtrip Rome flight, I would consider booking a connecting flight upon arrival in Rome to Venice, and then work you way back down to Rome via train from city to city.

I suggest you get a map of Italy to better understand the lay of the land. You can also check train schedules on line to see how long the various train trips are (the train website has been frequently mentieond on this site, perhaps someone else can pass it along here).

If this is a first trip, figure a 5 or 6 day minimum in Rome, and 3 full days in Venice. From there, you can fill in the in-between based on how much time you have for the entire trip.
MFNYC is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:59 AM
  #7  
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These are some great suggestions. I have not booked any flights yet. Again, we are in the very early stages of planning and we are looking at going somewhere between 10 and 14 days.
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Feb 13th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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First you need to look at a good map. If you don't have a real one, check out this one;

www.unicasa-italy.co.uk/image/gua1-map.jpg

The Cinque Terre ("Five Lands") are five little towns strung along a picturesque stretch of coast between Genoa and La Spezia. Go to www.google.com and input Cinque Terre and read up on the region.

Then go to www.trenitalia.it and input some trip segments, you'll soon get the hang of it. Use the Italian names whenever possible, Firenze not Florence, and if you're not sure what they are, look at maps or use google.

Pisa is a nice manageable airport, currently busier than usual because Florence airport is undergoing renovations, so some airlines divert their flights to Pisa. Not a problem, there is a train station right at the airport, you ride into town to Pisa Centrale and - if you're headed for Florence - switch to a train for Florence, an hour later you're there (a few trains go all the way without the need to transfer).

So from what you're asking, it looks like you should fly into Pisa, first take the train heading in the opposite direction from Florence, via La Spezia to whichever town in the Cinque Terre you selected to stay.

Then take the train to Florence which is the capital of the Tuscany region.

You can do most any day tour to Tuscan cities and hill-top towns while based in Florence, either on your own by train or by rental car for a day, or by coach. Some coach tours are escorted and have an experienced guide meet you, in a place like Siena that is great - a good guide can open your eyes in just a few hours to interesting details that you'd otherwise miss or you'd need to spend hours reading up on things.

While in Florence, ask any travel agency about wine-tasting tours, it's a seasonal thing, they'll know where you can go.

Other places are not accessible by train, the quirky town of San Gimignano being an example - you can't even drive in, you have to walk up from a parking area down below.

Hope this helps.

WK
WallyKringen is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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I think an excellent introductory trip to Italy is fly into Rome, train to Florence, train to Venice, fly home from Venice. Make hotel reservations three cities. This is fairly straight forward.

Again as mentioned by others and me above, absolutely no need to return to Rome for your flight home.
suze is online now  
Feb 13th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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I think for a 14 day trip you could do much of what you want. Definitely go for the open jaw (fly into rome and out of venice or vica versa). You can do something like this, 4-5 nts Rome, 3-4 FLorence (w/ day trip somewhere else in tuscany), 2 CT, and 3 Venice. If you only have 10 days, you'd have to eliminate with either florence/tuscany or CT.
MFNYC is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Gosh, you guys are so mean to some people with questions!!!! We are all not expert Italy travelers which is why some people ask these questions.

Jan, my FI and are planning on renting a car while in the Tuscan countryside. We will be taking the train from Rome to Chiusi and renting from there. We will also drop it off there before taking the train to Florence. I believe I got that advice on this site...surprisingly! Some of these people who respond are just so nasty!!!
CAAA101406 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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CAAA- What are you talking about??? Who is nasty? I thought everyone was giving Jan some great suggestions here, and so did the she as she clearly told us in a reply mid-thread.
suze is online now  
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:34 PM
  #13  
 
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Egad...so mean.

I was in Italy for a month in October. It is not possible to manage a trip from Florence to the Cinque Terre in one day. If you want to take the trip consider taking the train from Florence to La Spezia. Buy the Cinque Terre pass in the La Spezia train station for however many days you plan to stay there and then use it to hop on the Cinque Terre train and stay in one of the villages at least overnight...maybe even two if you can't stay longer. The Cinque Terre pass gives you free access to almost every public sort of transportation, trains, busses, luggage carts and elevators. It's a good deal.

You can do day trips from Florence to outlying Tuscany...there are several very nice wine tours that will pick you up in Florence and give very nice tours of the area on the way to and from the wineries.

After Cinque Terre, I stayed in Umbria and rented a car out of Pisa for the drive. I liked driving all over the regions and had no problem figuring it all out. I liked having the convenience of the car too...but the train is a grand way to make the longer trips.

Just do it...and have fun!
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