Venice / Tuscany / Rome Itinerary Help

Old Dec 23rd, 2005, 02:37 PM
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Venice / Tuscany / Rome Itinerary Help

First timer to Italy. Usually subscribe to the slow traveler method, however, want to see as much as possible in during an 11 night trip in July 2006. Need some opinions on the following itinerary, particularly if you believe I am cramming to much train time in to my family trip (16 and 14 year old daughters)

June 27 Arrive in Venice
June 28 Venice
June 29 Venice
June 30 Morning Train To Lucca
July 1 Day Trip Lucca to Florence - 1 hour train ride
July 2 Day Trip Lucca to Cinque Terra - 2 hour train ride
July 3 Either Day Trip to San G. or Lucca
July 4 Train Lucca to Rome
July 5 Rome
July 6 Rome
July 7 Rome
July 8 Fly back to U.S.

I have picked Lucca as a possible base for day trips since we can reach all of our interested destinations within a 2 hour train ride. Appreciate your feedback. Thanks!!
KenP is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Most people here would not even call an 11 night trip that included both Venice and Rome to be "slow travel". It sounds like your going to do what you want to do. Would it influence you if EVERY reply you received was to drop 3 or 4 destinations?
bardo1 is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2005, 03:02 PM
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I think your itinerary is fine, although perhaps a bit hectic. Perhaps you want to make July 2 your "off" day. This way you have the option to return to Florence, go to San Girminiano or just relax in Lucca, before heading to Cinque Terre. Then, if you want to, you could spend a night around C.T. (Perhaps Rapallo), and on the following day proceed from there to Rome, withoutr backtracking to Lucca.

Otherwise,you probably don't want to (can't) do the whole Cinque Terre in one day, so select the section you are most interestd in. Start at one end of it and pick up the train to return to Lucca from the other.
treplow is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Here's something else to consider. Since you are going in summer and want to hit the "big 3" plus other extremely popular places, it's going to be crowded and hot - even in San Gimignano (days) and Cinque Terre.

The Cinque Terre could loose much of its scenic and "countryside" appeal.

However, Tuscany being mostly farmland, can still have lots of visitors and not seem so crowded (unless you visit SG between 10am and 3 pm).

How about breaking up your trip by doing Venice, Tuscan countryside (not in a city, maybe not even a town, how about a B&B or agriturismo w/ pool near SG) where you can get to Florence as a day trip. Then go on to Rome.

I think this might give you more of a breather in between Venice and Rome. Personally I liked the CT, but love Tuscany/Umbria for the reasons I mentioned.

I'm one of those who doesn't mind traveling a bit faster than "slow travel" and moving around every 2 nights (short distances) - but I highly recommend a mix of cities and uncrowded countryside.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Coincidentally, we are also arriving in Venice on the same day, departing on the same day and traveling with two teenage girls. Although we have only 10 nights total in Italy, we decided to change accommodations only once. We travel to Rome on June 30 and depart for home on July 7th. I still need to do some of the detailed plannng, but I feel we will be overwhelmed with things to do in Rome, even with 7 nights there (we'll do 2-3 day or half day trips while there)...We'll have to watch for our mirror image American family though! Buon viaggio!
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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I'd like to add my opinion that you are trying to do way too much, and to enjoy Italy at its finest, you should SLOW DOWN. Your rational for choosing Lucca is actually your downfall. 2 hrs by train means 4 hours total travelling in a day, and that's alot - your trip will end up being remembered for the train ride. Try picking either Cinque Terre (coast) OR Florence (central) and concentrating on a more local region. I've not been to Cinque Terre yet, but we LOVE central Tuscany. Florence requires 2 days, and Sienna is not to be missed. Perhaps find other lodgings in between Sienna and Florence in the heart of Tuscany? Otherwise, i would suggest something closer to Cinque Terre, and focus your time in the local towns.

Venice is interesting from an historical perspective, but by far not my favorite part of Italy. We've been once and probably will not return. Its crowded (with tourists) and empty (of locals) at the same time, and doesn't come even close to the charm and beauty of even the smallest of villagi in the rest of the country.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Ken, I like your basic itinerary but you are missing one major point. With 4 of you, and wanting to see the CT and San Gimignano, you really need a car for those middle days. Why not?
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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I agree with bobthenavigator - we picked up a car upon leaving Venice and kept it for our days between there & Rome. We visited the both the CT & Tuscany for a few days each and LOVED having a car! I highly recommend it.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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I agree that you are doing way to much in the time available. We have visited each of your destinations at least once and many several times. I would not for the world spend a day in CT at the expense of Florence. CT is lovely but it is best appreciated over two or three days to hike and relax, not squeezed between two long train rides. If I had 11 days, knowing what I know after 6 trips, I would spend 3 days in Venice, 4 days in Florence with a day trip to San Gimignano, Siena or Lucca and 4 days in Rome. It will be much more relaxing as you will be able to actually enjoy each city with minimal racing around.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Disagree with above opinion on Venice. If you think Venice is only the area along the Grand Canal from P. Roma and the train station down to P., San Marcco, and you go in the high tourist season, and you only visit that part of Venice, then, yes, it is crowded and there is a concentration of tourist restaurants and shabby souvenir sellers.

But if you take a bit of time to do just minimal research, you'll discover that you can walk just a few blocks away from those areas and find that the rest of Venice is practically devoid of tourists.

There are about 60000-70000 people living in Venice. Not a lot by modern megacity standards, but Venice never had a population as large as places like Rome and Paris and London in the first place.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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Hi Ken: It is understandable that for your first trip to Italy that you want to see as much as you can. You are visiting quite a few places, yet allowing at least more than a day trip in Venice and Rome.

I think your itinerary sounds good. Also, I am glad that you picked Lucca. It makes a wonderful base and you are right - it is in the middle of Tuscany with easy train/autostrada access to both the coast and other Tuscan towns around.

Huitres is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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My family of 4 is also planning a similar trip of around 10 days for Rome, Tuscany, Venice and Milan (for sales) commencing July 3rd. We have been to all cities before apart from Tuscany and can spend less time in the cities. We'd appreciate advice on the followingsbr />
- plan to use trains (Rail Pass) for longer distances, but love to drive in country side. Recommended ?

- is one way rental say Rome to Milan via Tuscany, Venice advisable? Are the driving times and distances to much? If so, may be we can travel by train Rome to somewhere convenient in Tuscany before hiring car?

- if driving from Tuscany to Venice and Venice to Milan (how long are these trips please?) is too much, should we take a train instead then.

- does any of these train trips warrant sleep berth (nite travel)?

- do we have to book the train journeys well ahead plse?

- when would the July sales begin in Milan plse?

We have 2 sharing the driving, but would like to keep driving to <4 hours per day.

Many thanks for all advice.
calvinfod is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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Hi Calvin,

Before you buy railpasses, enter your itinerary at

Hi K,
>Usually subscribe to the slow traveler method, ....<

An excellent idea. Continue subscribing.

ira is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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None of the train trips you mention is particularly long--4.5 hours at most. Do check prices at Railsaver as Ira mentions. Rail passes don't usually save any money in Italy for such short trips.
ellenem is offline  
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