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Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and Sicily

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May 30th, 2005, 03:56 AM
  #1
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Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and Sicily

Plan to have a trip in late July.

Day 1: Arrival to Rome
Day 2: Rome to Tuscany
Day 3: Tuscany
Day 4: Tuscany
Day 5: Tuscany
Day 6: Tuscany to Naples
Day 7: Amalfi Coast
Day 8: Amalfi Coast
Day 9: Amalfi Coast
Day 10:Amalfi Coast to Sicily
Day 11: Sicily
Day 12: Sicily
Day 13: Sicily
Day 14: Sicily to Rome
Day 15: Rome - back home

With 4 nights in Tuscany, any recommendation for a base and then day trip to other towns? Which towns should I visit? (Montepulcino, Pienza, Orvieto?)

In Amalfi Coast, I plan to go to Positano, Ravello, a day trip to Capri. Where should I base for accommodation?

What's the suggestion for Sicily?

Should I rent a car for Tuscany and drop the car in Naples, take the bus for A.C. area, then take the ferry to Sicily and rent the car in Sicily again?
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May 30th, 2005, 05:05 AM
  #2
 
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When you arrive in the Rome airport, take a budget flight to Catania. With only 4 nights in Sicily, I would choose 1 base. If you fly into Catania, perhaps choose Taormina. Do you plan on renting a car?

Fly from Catania to Naples (http://www.meridiana.it/en/index.html), then do your Amalfi portion. Next your Tuscany portion, then spend your last 2 nights in Rome.

I'm suggesting all this flying because you're covering a lot of ground in 2 weeks, and I wouldn't want to waste a lot of time on transport.
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May 30th, 2005, 05:12 AM
  #3
cmt
 
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<<What's the suggestion for Sicily?>>

I'd suggest allowing more time for Sicily.

P.S. Orvieto is in Umbria.

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May 30th, 2005, 05:24 AM
  #4
ira
 
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Hi BM,

Instead of going back to Rome, have you considered flying home from Naples?

>In Amalfi Coast, I plan to go to Positano, Ravello, a day trip to Capri. Where should I base for accommodation?

Positano is in the middle and has ferry service to Capri, Amalfi and Sorrento.

>Should I rent a car for Tuscany and drop the car in Naples,...<

What are your plans for Naples? You might want to drop the car there or in Sorrento.

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May 30th, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #5
 
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Hi, I've had the pleasure of everyone's advice for a while and thought I'd finally contribute.

In my opinion you've got way too much on your plate with this itinerary. I've learned the hard way that all the stress in travel comes on the travel days - negotiating trains, maps, parking, etc. does not make for a relaxing vacation. One thing to keep in mind is that Tuscany is a very large area and depending on where you are you could have a lot of hilly/windy (ie. stressful) driving. One option for Tuscany is to stay in Florence, because the train station is centrally located and you could just take day trips to many towns in Tuscany (Siena and Cortona come to mind). I once spent 2 weeks outside of Cortona, and that was great. Got to know Cortona a bit, and did day trips to many places. (Assisi and Cortona were my favorites, but I don't really think you can go wrong - every place was great.) My one suggestion would be stay closer to a town than we did - we had to get into a car for everything.

I'll be in Italy (Praiano) in July too - have a wonderful time.
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May 30th, 2005, 03:03 PM
  #6
 
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Hey Baby

I started thinking you may be doing too much but changed my mind, the itinerary looks great. We like to spend 3 -4 nights in a place and take day trips from there, devoting at least one day on foot around the place we stay. I like Siena as a Tuscany base, great city and restaurants and convenient to other enjoyable Tuscan towns in Chianti. Amalfi Coast, Positano is probably a more picturesque town but we found Sorrento more to our liking because it's bigger and has a more active shopping and restaurant scene at night for strolling around. Sorrey, can't suggest anything for Sicily as I still hope to get there.
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May 31st, 2005, 03:37 AM
  #7
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Just check the price for car rental at autoeurope. Automatic in Italy is almost double of manual! Cannot believe it. I have no confidence in driving manual car, especially for a left wheeled one.

How convenient is public transport in Tuscany and stay in a town as a base? Should I save the budget for driving in either Tuscany or Sicily, which is preferable?

With 4 to 5 days in Sicily, how should I plan?
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May 31st, 2005, 03:46 AM
  #8
 
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2 companies that I have used for automatics in Italy that are significantly cheaper than Autoeurope are:

rent.it

thrifty.it

I have had absolutely no problems with either and am using thrifty again in a few weeks. A week in Calabria for an automatic will be about $340 US.
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May 31st, 2005, 07:47 AM
  #9
ira
 
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It's always worth calling AutoEurope to see if they will match a lower rate.

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May 31st, 2005, 06:22 PM
  #10
 
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Haven't been there myself but friends tell me Taormina is an interesting place in Sicily. Have fun!
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May 31st, 2005, 08:57 PM
  #11
 
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I would definitely stay in Pienza in Tuscany. It is easily accessible by car and the town itself overlooks a beautiful vast valley yet is flat.

Montalcino and Montepulciano are very hilly, steep cities, much bigger and you are constantly walking up hill.

Pienza has great restaurants: La Buca de Fate, Dal Falco, Il Rossellini, to name a few.

By sheer luck, I picked Pienza on our recent trip in May and the four of us were thankful for this lovely spot.

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Jun 1st, 2005, 02:48 AM
  #12
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Just found SmartFour is the cheapest automatic car to rent. Would it be a problem to drive a 1100cc/ 55 bps car in Tuscany or Sicily?
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Jun 1st, 2005, 02:57 AM
  #13
ira
 
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Hi bm,

How many of you in the car?

1.1L is not much engine for going up steep hills.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 03:38 AM
  #14
 
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I'm also inclined to say you're trying to fit in far too much - Sicily is worth 15 days on its own. I'd suggest a week driving round Tuscany & a more relaxed week (without car, using public transport) on the Amalfi Coast. However, if you're determined to fit all this in, be aware that there are overnight ferries between Naples and Sicily - certainly to Palermo and also to Messina I think.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 08:27 PM
  #15
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Only my girlfriend and I. If traffic is not busy or in less populated rural area, perhaps I can give a try to manual car. Tuscany and Sicily, which one is easier for manual gear?
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