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Wedding / Honeymoon Itinerary Advice for Europe trip

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Apr 27th, 2012, 04:23 AM
  #1
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Wedding / Honeymoon Itinerary Advice for Europe trip

I have researched at length my up-coming tour of Europe (Amsterdam, Paris & Italy) which will also include my wedding in Tuscany. Super excited! I have never traveled to Europe so I am sure that I could use some advice on the sequence of our itinerary - well I very much welcome it! Due to work commitments, I have to leave earlier than originally planned therefore we have decided to do some travel for 2 weeks prior to the wedding. We plan to leave roughly either very end of April or beginning of May 2013 (from Australia). This is what i have planned and would love any recommendations or advice you can offer.

Arrive Amsterdam - 5 nights in country (at finance's parents)
Amsterdam - 2 nights
Fast train to Paris - 6 nights
Train to Dijon - 2 nights (oh the winery tour!)
Overnight train to Milan
Morning - train to Florence to pick up hire car
Afternoon - drive to Certaldo Tuscany - 7 nights at Villa (wedding)
Back to Florence, train to Cinque Terre (stopping in Pisa) - 3 nights
Train from Cinque Terre to Milano then onto Lake Como - 2 nights
Train from Lake Como to Venice - 2 nights
Train back to Florence - 3 nights
Train to Rome - 4 nights
Train to Naples - 1 night
Bus or Ferry to Sorrento, then bus to Positano - 2 nights
Then return to Rome - possibly 1 night or fly out to Amsterdam for flight home

I would really like to see all of the places that I have selected and hope I have allowed enough time for travel between them. We are flying into Amsterdam so I can drop off the wedding dress, then returning to Amsterdam to pick it up hence the loop. I am not sure if the travel between Florence (after the wedding) and Rome is efficient so would love any advice on making this more stream lined for ease of travel and efficient use of travel time.

Thanks so much for your advice. Cheers, Stac
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Apr 27th, 2012, 05:01 AM
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All that looping around Italy after the weeding is a bit inefficient as you realize. Here's a simple suggestion to consolidate one hotel change. End with your stay in Rome to connect with the flight to amsterdam.

Train from Lake Como to Venice - 2 nights
Train back to Florence - 3 nights
Train to Naples - 1 night
Bus or Ferry to Sorrento, then bus to Positano - 2 nights
Train to Rome - 5 nights - fly out to Amsterdam for flight home

Also wondering why you can't fly home from Rome rather than having to return to amsterdam. Check "multi-city" flights (Home to Amsterdam, Rome to home) and I suspect the cost will be about the same, especially when you add in the return flight to Amsterdam.
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Apr 27th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Have not noticed any previuos posts - but have you looked in detail into the requiements to get married in Italy. There is s mass of paperwork - all to be done in Italian and approved by the govenment at varuios steps. I don;t know the details but if you search here you will see reports from others who changed their plans based on residence and government requirements.

Or you could check it out on theknot.com.
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Apr 27th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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ellenem - thank you! I did think there was some excess lopping in there I have to go back to Florence to drop the hire car back so it is a little back and forth. I might spend some more time planning this leg and will definitely do Rome last - great suggestion. Thanks again.
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Apr 27th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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nytraveler - yes, we are faced with loads of paperwork but it is fairly simple if you follow the steps sequentially. I have already secured the services of a translator as well in Siena so I am confident in the process. Some brides opt for a planner but I am an extremely good planner (has lots to do with my job!) so I have taken this on myself. I will definitely take on board your suggestion though and will be searching on Fodor. I did not think to look here so thank you
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Apr 27th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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FYI, I got married in Italy many years ago (1989). For all the warnings people offer, it really wasn't that much paperwork in my opinion. The real difficulty is if there is no Italian consulate near your hometown. Otherwise, the paperwork is tedious, but straightforward.
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Apr 27th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Are you sure you can't turn the car in at La Spezia rather than Florence?

IMO, this itinerary starts out fantastic but becomes less appealing after the wedding. Only one full day at Lake Como (where on the lake?), one full day in Venice, and one full day in Positano. Less than a day in Naples, and no apparent time available to see Capri. If it were my trip, I'd reduce the number of destinations, starting with either/both the CT and/or Lake Como which both require a lot of time to reach and to move on to the next destination. Again, JMO, but you're very short of time in Venice and the Amalfi Coast area.

If everything stays on the list, at least consider re-ordering it a bit to eliminate having to go to both Milan and Florence three times. Also, if you went by train from Florence to Naples/Positano and put all of your Rome days at the end, you'd eliminate going to Rome twice. Or see if you can fly from Naples to Amsterdam.
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Apr 27th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Jean - thank you so much for your advice! Thinking about it now, I think you are 100% right. My itinerary was a little ambitious and not as efficient as I would like. I think we will drop both Cinque Terre and Lake Como and do it another time. That gives me an additional 5 days and I think this will make for a much nicer honeymoon!! Capri was not even on my radar but having looked at it now, it looks amazing. What would be your suggestion be on the time spent in Naples, Positano & Capri? I was not aware that I could go from Venice to Naples, there is a train connection? Perhaps I need to add 1 more night to Venice also? Thoughts? I am very happy to be on Fodor's as I knew it needed fine tuning
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Apr 27th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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ellenem - yes, the paperwork is tedious but it looks very straight forward. I live in Melbourne so have an Italian Consulate close by. I was going to pay a wedding planner but once looking into it, it all looks quite achievable in my opinion. Plus, I have a year to work it all out
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Apr 27th, 2012, 06:11 PM
  #10
 
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Stac,

I agree your honeymoon needs streamlining. Good suggestions above.

My comments are
1. Why must you return to Amsterdam to retrieve the dress? I would be must less expensive to just have your inlaws ship it to you, OR have them keep it until you visit again (which you surely will do in the not too distant future).

2. You don't have to return a rental car to the same city. You can return it many places with no additional charge. Check locations and dates. Some smaller town offices are closed on Sundays and parts of other days.

Buon viaggio!
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Apr 28th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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Stac, I don't think you'll regret slowing down a bit.

I can tell you how I would divide the days in Florence, Venice, Naples/Positano and Rome, but that would be based on my interests and biases. (Any interest in Pompeii?) You should read some guidebooks to decide what you want to see/do in each place and then figure out how much time you'll need. You won't be able to see everything anywhere, but only you can prioritize each city and how you want to spend your time.

Once you've figured out what you want to see in each place, you need to investigate the open days/hours of the various sights, car rental offices, etc., and then plot out the days in a logical geographic and chronological order. Don't overbook your days (I know, hard to do when you haven't been to the place!) and don't forget to factor in time for lunch.

You can search train schedules here (does not include the Naples-Sorrento commuter train):

http://www.fsitaliane.it/homepage_en.html
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Apr 29th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Dayle - I never thought to ship the wedding dress or keep it there. That could very well solve our problem of looping back to Amsterdam. I shall check it out. We have also decided to change our itinerary to drop Cinque Terre and Lake Como and now returning to Florence directly after the wedding to spend a few days so taking the car back will not be an issue. Thanks for your advice
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Apr 29th, 2012, 02:27 AM
  #13
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Jean - We have increased our time in both Venice and Naples/Positano and have factored in an overnight stay at Capri then back to Rome. Once going back over my planning notes, I had actually referenced to do a boating tour to Capri. I think an overnight would be grand though so now doing that. All of the suggestions are fantastic and made my itinerary far more efficient. I was tired just looking at it. Thanks for the help.
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Apr 29th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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Stac,

Good adjustments. Staying overnight on Capri will make your visit there 100% better! Be sure to have your hotel make reservations for you a couple days ahead of going to Capri, and go EARLY.

Personally, I didn't care for the crowded, high end town itself. What I enjoyed most was hiking up to Villa Jovis and taking a small boat tour around the island.

Keep fine tuning and come back for more help with the details.

By the way, it's always appreciated when you return the good advice with a trip report when you get back!

Buon viaggio
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