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Where to start and end our Italian Itinerary

Where to start and end our Italian Itinerary

Old May 20th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Where to start and end our Italian Itinerary

My husband and I will be landing in Milan early Thursday, October 2nd, and immediately will be off to our next destination. However, we are unsure of where our first stop should be?
Below is a list of cities/destinations that we want to visit.

We will take any recommendations or suggestions that you have.

Thanks!!!

2 days in Venice
3 days in Rome
4 days in Florence with day trips to Tuscany
3 days in Cinque Terra

Flying out of Milan on October 14th at 1 pm.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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Personally, I would go directly to Venice, as IMO it is the easiest city for recovering from jetlag since you are walking everywhere and there are no vehicles. I would then go to CT, to avoid the possibility of bad weather further into October. Then Florence, then Rome.

You will need to stay in Milan the night before your flight. So that cuts out a day in Rome.

You also do not really have 2 days in Venice. You have 1.5 days, by the time you get from Milan to Venice, and the first day will mainly be lost to jetlag. So you really only have 1 day in Venice.

It takes almost a full day to get from Venice to CT, (breakfast, pack, check out of hotel, get to train station, 6-hour train ride, get from train station to hotel, check-in, drop bags), so that will leave you just over 2 days in CT. To me, I would want more time in Venice than in CT, but maybe hiking is more important to you.

It will take you a full half-day to get from CT to Florence, so you have 3.5 days in Florence, and less given your day trips.

Then, taking into account getting from Florence to Rome, and then from Rome to Milan on the 13th, you really only have 2 days in Rome.

IMO that is too much traveling and not enough actually seeing the places you are visiting. But it is your vacation and I hope it is a good one.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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I'd do the following, counting nights, not days:

Venice, 3 nights (2 full days).
Florence, 3 nights. Or in Lucca, if art is not your reason for visiting Florence. (2 full days)
Rome, 4 nights (3 full days).
CT, 2 nights (1 full day).

If you leave early in the morning you can get to the airport for your flight. I'd personally take 1 night away from somewhere and spend the last night in Milan, as ekc has suggested. A better plan might have been to fly home from Rome, although not a great deal better. You might consider visiting 1 less location in favor of more time in the others.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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I should add, those suggestions reflect my preferences to a certain extent, and very possibly not yours. As any suggestions here will. A forum is really a better resource for logistics than it is for how you spend your time which is so subjective. For instance, despite the great art, I'm not a fan of Florence. So my own trip would likely be Venice, Lucca OR the CT, and Rome.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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At that time of year, I would usually say start in the north for weather purposes and work your way south. Departing from Milan puts a crimp in that plan. The most efficient itinerary would probably be:

1) Fly to Venice, train to Rome, train to Florence, train to CT, train to Milan.

or

2). Fly to Rome, train to Venice, train to Florence, train to CT, train to Milan.

Unless you've been some of these places, I would cut one from the list as you aren't allowing enough time in most of them.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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I would drop the CT that late in the year and have more time to enjoy the others.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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I agree with BTN, given both the amount of time you have and the time of year you are traveling.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 01:30 PM
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The advantage of "that late in the year" would be fewer tourists, so in that sense, an ideal time. But I agree the trip would likely be better all-around with 1 less destination.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Thank you for all of the feedback! I'm taking it all in and trying to figure out how I'm going to tweak our plans

I guess I'm confused with all the responses about starting North or eliminating CT due to weather?

The literature that I've read, it seems that the "rainier" season "starts" in November. Or when mentioning weather being an issue, are you talking about it being cooler?

Being from the Mid-West, the slightly cooler temperatures are ideal for us.

I've also read that there are chances of heavy rain in the summer months that could wipe out paths in Cinque Terra.

We can never predict weather obviously, but please enlighten me if I'm missing something?
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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Rains don't start in November - it can rain at any time. And if you look at the map of the CT trails you will see that there are some closed currently due to bad conditions in previous years. Yes, Nov can be cooler as well - 45 and rainy really isn't hiking weather IMHO.

And I can;t figure out exactly how much time you have. You are talking days when you should be figuring where you are spending the nights. (Two nights is one full day - not 3 - not matter what the tour groups or cruises may tell you.)
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:47 PM
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I think October weather will be temperate anywhere you decide to go, rain or no rain. You have 11 days on the ground, excluding arrival and departure days. If you go to 4 places, subtract 3 travel days, leaving 8 full days, not enough.

I'd concentrate on Venice & Rome and do a pass-through of one more location. If you start with 3 days in Venice, go directly to Rome for 3 days, you'll have 2 left. If you stop in Florence, skip the CT.

Plot it on a calendar and you'll see how the days/nights work out. Put travel days down too and you'll get a better feel for what you have time to do, one would hope, and what you can't do.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 11:38 PM
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rachel..is it possible to alter your air tickets to allow you to fly into and out of different cities. (Open jaw).

Although you're flying into Milan, you're spending no time there, so it would make sense to fly into Venice or Rome if possible. You'd then recover from the jet-lag without much more travelling and when leaving, you can be in the right place at the right time.

I'd agree that Cinque Terre is too far off your route to blend in time wise,(and in IMO in any case, not worth the effort to get there. All you're likely to get are muddy trails and OK villages) but the rest hinges on being able to alter the in/out airports.

If you can fly into Venice, you can spend your time there firstly, then Florence and then Rome and home.
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Old May 21st, 2014, 08:22 AM
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Sorry, I didn't catch you already booked flights in and out of Milan. That wastes more time as it requires backtracking. You will have to spend the last night in Milan.
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Old May 21st, 2014, 08:41 AM
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I'd skip CT, too.

As far as enjoying cooler weather in the Midwest, be aware that inland cool weather and seaside cool weather are two very different things. If you get a damp, cool day in CT, it's not going to be enjoyable.
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