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URGENT GUIDANCE NEEDED: Cinque Terre/Tuscan Towns or Pompeii/Sorrento

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URGENT GUIDANCE NEEDED: Cinque Terre/Tuscan Towns or Pompeii/Sorrento

Old Aug 24th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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URGENT GUIDANCE NEEDED: Cinque Terre/Tuscan Towns or Pompeii/Sorrento

Fodors forum has never failed me before, please help!

My wife and I (both early 30's) are going to Italy for two weeks starting Labor Day weekend (September 6). We've never been to Italy before and we're trying to finalize the itinerary, this is what we're looking at.


Venice: 3 nights (but really two bc we're getting in real late on the 1st)
Florence: 3 nights
Cinque Terre (w/ day trip to Pisa): 3 nights
Sienna: 1 night
Rome: 3 nights

Alternative 1:
Skip Cinque Terre, add day to Florence for daytrip to Pisa and add the other two days to the end for Sorrento/Pompeii/Amalfi.

Alternative 2:
Skip Cinque Terre, add day to Florence for daytrip to Pisa, spend two nights in another town in Tuscany.

We really appreciate any guidance! Very anxious to book quickly filling up hotels...

-Chad
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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I've never been to Italy either, but that seems like a lot of places for that amount of time. Travel between cities eats up time. We're going at the end of September and are going to Rome, Sorrento (Capri/parts of Amalfi coast), and then to Florence.

If you are going to be in the Northern part of Italy, it seems like you would want to save Sorrento etc. for another time. Are you set on going to Pisa? We decided to skip it along with CT but I would love to go to CT and spend more time in Tuscany...the next time.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Your itinerary looks okay but w/o any hotel reservations it will be risky this time of the year. I'd guess the CT would be the most difficult to secure anything now. If you can reserve in the CT, I'd go for your original plan with perhaps foregoing the night in Siena. You need to make "reserves" like yesterday!

I would definitely drop the Amalfi/Sorrento/Pompeii leg--too much transit time for this trip. Alternative #2 looks good also but get those reservations!
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Thanks Macanimals. Was supposed to go in Sept but had to go earlier, everything's much harder. Secured space in Venice at the Pensione Guerrato. I've got inquiries out for Monterosso, so we'll see. Maybe something will open up.

Would you suggest Tuscan city like Pienza over CT?
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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i mean was supposed to go in October...
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Pienza is good--kind of central Southern Tuscany. Will you have a car then? Best to reserve it from here-cheaper and the best way to explore the area--Montepulciano, Montalcino,Chianti areas, San Antimo and the Crete Senese. The wines of Montepulciano and brunello from Montalcino keep calling me and we will return in December.

Don't get me wrong, both CT and Tuscany are terrific and if you can get to CT, I'm certain you will enjoy it. Staying on the Ligurian coast and eating pasta and gnocchi with local pesto topped off with the local vino is incomparable. Good luck! Paul
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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I would book rooms ahead of time. You don't want to spend your vacation trying to find a room.

I would book:
Venice 3 nights
CT (if you must) 3 nights (stop at Pisa on the way to Florence)
Florence
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Opps. Posted too soon.

Venice 3 nights
CT 3 nights
Florence 3 nights (day trip to Siena)
Rome 4 nights.

You can store your luggage at Pisa Centrale while you tour the Leaning Tower area as you probably won't want to spend more than an hour or so unless you want to climb the tower (must have timed reservations).

Siena is an easy bus ride from Florence (about 70 minutes). Make sure you book the rapido that doesn't make stops. Buses depart for Siena hourly except on Sundays. Most museums in Florence are closed on Monday so plan accordingly.
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