Traveling to Italy in June 2011

Nov 27th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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Traveling to Italy in June 2011

My family of 7 is going to Italy in June 2011 for two weeks. Planning to fly into Milan or Rome and flying out of the other. We want to see Venice and possibly Sicily if time allows I think staying in apartments will be the most economical route versus hotels. Also,planning on going by train between cities. Any and all suggestions are welcome.Thanks in advance for your help.
tonyL64 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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I would try to go to Sicily first if it is really important for you to see it, because it will already be hot and only get hotter as June heads into July Sicily is a very large island, so unless you spend the whole two weeks there, you will only have time to see a part of it. Do you know now what parts of it you want to see?

I would fly from Sicily to Rome, and then continue north from there. If you can, fly out of Venice rather than Milan unless there is something in Milan you very much want to see.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 04:56 PM
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I think you're overreaching yourself. To see anything of Sicily and then head to the mainland will take the best part of a week - and will mean you have little time left for any of the other places you want to see.

Suggest you make a list of what you want to see in each place and then determine how long it will take (the Vatican takes most of a day - as do the basics of ancient Rome - so to actually see anything there I reco no fewer than 5 nights).

I think you'll see you need to cut back on destinations if you want to see much of anything.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Since you plan on using trains, Milan -- Venice -- Florence -- Rome would probably be a good itinerary. The first day going from Milan to Venice is lost, as is most of the day going between the other cities. That reduces your actual visiting time to 4 days in each city. You do not have time for Sicily, but you might decide to take a day's excursion to another site from Florence and/or Rome (Siena and Orvieto come to mind)
Michael is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 05:46 PM
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Hi Tony, Just curious, have you looked into air fare to Italy for your family of seven in June? Where will you folks be flying from? I was thinking of taking a new Globus tour in northern Italy in June/July. The company quoted $1800 from Boston to Milan on Lufthansa with stopover in Zurich, I believe. Of course, that included tranfers from Malpensa to the center of Milan which is a considerable distance if I recall correctly. Other fares I checked were in the $1300 range. Still thinking it over...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 12:35 AM
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I think people may have a mental block against travel that simply doesn't fit the usual tourist itinerary and because Sicily is on the wish list for a first time visit. If the original poster had said this trip was two weeks and included "Tuscany," Venice and Rome, would people be responding it's overreach and "not enough time" -- ?? Would people be staying 2 weeks is not enough time to see Venice Rome and Sardegna?

Many people go to Sicily for a week and see plenty. In fact, very few people spend two weeks in Sicily. It is possible the traveler has family roots in Sicily, and visiting that area will take precedence over some kind of Grand Tour. Most travelers posting on Fodor's plan to go to Venice for 3 nights or less and Rome for 4 nights or less and nobody thinks twice about that. Going to Sicily for a week as well won't take time away from seeing Rome and Venice. Plenty of people dislike Florence period, and Sicily is a heck of a lot more interesting than most of rural Tuscany.

It is possible to take an overnight ferry to and from Sicily, or fly, yet "lose" less time to transit than do people who try to pair le Cinque Terre with a Rome-Venice itinerary, or who take the standard advice to spend 4 hours on a bus doing a day trip to San Gimignano from Florence.

The poster may change their mind about the desirability of Sicily, and they should go where they want. But a trip of Sicily/Rome/Venice is hardly some kind of pioneering travel trek or rushed trip.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 01:16 AM
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What I'm questioning (and it's something the OP omitted) is the wisdom of flying into or out of Milan at all. If you're planning 4 venues (Sicily, Rome, Venice, Milan, in any order whatsoever) in 7 days, you really are stretching yourself quite thin.

bookchick is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 04:35 AM
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions.Yes, we do have family in Sicily,both of my grandparents were born there, in the Palermo region.I was thinking maybe 4 days in Rome,2/3 days in Venice maybe 1 day in Milan to see the The Last Supper.Other than that,no real desire to see Milan.Any thoughts on where to stay in Rome or Venice?I am thinking apartments since there 7 of us. Has anyone ever gone on a trip like this with 7 people? Was it hard to get into restaurants,find transportation?
tonyL64 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 05:32 AM
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BC is correct. Hauling a family of 7 to Sicily takes too much time and will cost you. Stay north or south but mixing both will not be good logistics.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Spending two weeks in Sicily would be my dream come true.
iamq is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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hi tony,

it will of course take more effort to organise a trip for 7 people - but your idea of an apartment is a good one, or possibly two together. have a look at the agents who are recommended on the slowtravel website - they mostly have large apartments and most are available to rent for 3 days or more. taknig account of the time that travel will take, i would suggest 6 nights on Sicily, 4 in Rome, and 4 in Venice. you could fly to Sicily, then up to Rome, and get the train to venice, or vice versa. sadly with the size of your group and the rest of your itinerary, i think that milan will have to go.

Restaurants may need to be reserved in advance [but probably only on the day or the day before] and if you are in an apartment, you will be able to self-cater, if only by buying in ready made dishes which you can get from delicatessens or supermarkets.

happily you have plenty of time to plan for your trip - gook luck!
annhig is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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annhig, thank you for the apt website. I will be sure to check it out.After reading the posts so far it doesn't seem to be too farfetched to do Sicily,Rome and Venice. Is it better to fly to Rome then take the train to Sicily via ferry or start in Sicily?I haven't checked into flying into Sicily,is it much more expensive than flying into Rome? What about flying into Venice and starting there and working our way south?Has anyone done this?
tonyL64 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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A flight to Palermo would be with a connection in Rome. The extra leg will cost about 130E each way---times 7. You do the math.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Hi Tony,
it all comes down to time and money and where you want to spend both.Keep in mind that traveling with 7 people takes some coordination especially with luggage; The trains in Italy are not known for punctuality, neither are the ferries. Which is not to say you shouldn't take either - it's an experience in itself, just leave yourself time. You have 2 weeks but subtract out the travel dates to/from Italy and the travel dates between the cities.If this is your first trip to Italy think of it as an appetizer - a taste of Italy where you can plan to come back to what you liked best on your next journey. You might find that you want to spend more time in Sicily exploring your family history and meeting cousins, You could get a glimpse of Venice in 2 days, and there is never enough time in Rome. With the amount of time you have I would skip Milan, it is really a business city - but if you do decide to go you will need to buy tickets to view The Last Supper beforehand. Here is one website where you can buy tickets, but there are others.

You might consider Ryan Air for cheap flights within Italy, but you will have to coordinate the routing as they don't fly bewteen all cities.

GOod Luck
meath1 is offline  

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