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Which order of cities is most logical taking public transport?

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Jun 1st, 2013, 09:14 PM
  #1
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Which order of cities is most logical taking public transport?

We will be flying into Nice, France and spending 4 nights in Antibes, then taking public transportation through Italy. We are planning:
Cinque Terre - 2 nights
Florence - 4 nights; incl. Siena, Lucca
Venice - 2 nights
Rome - 3 nights
Sorrento - 5 nights; incl. Positano, Pompeii, Capri
Naples - 1 night; fly home from Naples
Please suggest the best order in which to see these destinations. In particular, not sure the best place to fit Venice into the itinerary: (A) train from Florence to Venice then train to Rome; or (B) easyjet flight from Nice to Venice, then train Venice to Rome; or (C) another order?
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Jun 1st, 2013, 10:16 PM
  #2
 
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Too many destinations for me, but that wasn't your question...

I would fly Nice-Venice [3-4 hours overall, so you'll only have one full day in Venice]

Train Venice-Cinque Terre [6+ hours, so you'll only have one full day in the CT]

Train Cinque Terre-Florence [3+ hours, so you'll have 3 full days in Florence]

Train Florence-Rome [2 hours overall]

Train Rome-Sorrento [2.5 hours overall]

Hired driver Sorrento-Naples Airport.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 10:50 PM
  #3
 
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Option B makes most sense assuming you are stopping in Florence between Venice and Rome. Its pushing the day trip distance limit but with 6 nights in Florence (consolidate 4 Florence & 2 CT) you could take one day and do a Cinque Terra day trip via early train (2.5 hrs one way) and still have plenty of days for Tuscany. Or tack it onto one end of Florence stay if your set on spending two days there in CT.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:10 AM
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Fly to Venice and skip 5Terre or do all by train and skip Venice.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:44 AM
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Option B is the best plan you listed. However, it is a little rushed.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:05 AM
  #6
 
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I assume you have already looked at a map, or have you?

Not knowing what it is about the Cinque Terre that intrigues you or about any of the other places, I would not sacrifice any Venice days for the CT...I sure wouldn't sacrifice any days for the trip to Siena (vs. Lucca) out of Florence.

IMO you can see the CT in a day (better yet, look at pictures and then go to the other places mentioned).
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:00 AM
  #7
 
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5Terre is only good for hiking (if you love mega crowded toll hiking trails).
Trails around Nice are as good as those of 5Terre, for example the sentier des Balcons de la Mediterranée leg from Eze to La Turbie - Gorbio - Sainte Agnese - Castellar - Menton.
The only difference may be that Rick Steve wasn't there.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:42 AM
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Since you are going to the Amalfi Coast, you should skip the Cinque Terre. Fly Nice to Venice (I don't think the flight is 3-4 hours. We flew from Paris to Venice and it was only 2 hours.)

Spend 3 nights Venice, and train to Florence (2 hours on the fast trains).

Spend 4 nights Florence, taking one day trip to Sienna by bus (1 hour to and 1 hour from). Train to Rome (90 minutes).

Spend 5 nights Rome. (You can get little accomplished in 3 days in Rome. The Vatican would be one entire day, really.)

Train to Sorrento (2-3 hrs depending on connections and timing). Spend the remainder there, moving to Naples the day before your flight. Spend your final night in Naples before flying home.

These are my opinions (though travel time is fairly accurate). Check out the large discounts you can obtain by booking your tickets early, online, with Trenitalia. Be aware that there is no refund if you miss the train you've reserved seats on. But for the massive savings... make the train. www.trenitalia.com. (Choose the British flag up in the right-hand corner for English. Create a free account. The benefit of this is that it keeps track of your tickets.). The stations you'd need to book would be: Venezia S. Lucia to Firenze S.M. Novella. Firenze S.M. Novella to Roma Termini. Roma Termini to Naples Centrali. From Naples, you will catch regional trains, I believe.

Buon viaggio!
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:49 AM
  #9
 
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I agree with Sarge. No need to visit both the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre on the same trip when you are short-changing Venice and Rome. Add that time to both.

Also, I would not choose to stay in Sorrento. If you want the Amalfi Coast experience, STAY on the coast. Sorrento is tour group central and not on the coast.

Buon viaggio!
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #10
 
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Sarge's times were just for the actual train ride or flight. I think Jean's travel times including the connecting (getting to and from train stations, etc), not just the actual trip. It is important to remember that changing locations takes more time than the actual train ride of flight. Add in checking in and out of hotels, traveling between hotels and stations/airports, waiting time, and you can easily add 2 hours to each "travel" time. so even the simplest relocation involvling a 90-minute train ride might take the entire morning to complete.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 01:04 PM
  #11
 
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Loved Cinque Terre but you are including too many places in too little time. Leave it for another trip. Also I would choose Positano over Sorrento.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:54 PM
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There is no direct train from Rome to Sorrento. You take the train to Naples and change for the local commuter train to Sorrento. The latter takes about 90 minutes, not counting the change of trains in Naples. We did the exact transfer using the fast train last May. Rome to Sorrento, including getting to the train in Rome, two train rides, a change of trains, and getting to our Sorrento hotel was a long half day. Early breakfast in Rome, late lunch in Sorrento, and it's 3 pm. Positano takes longer. Figure similar lost time on your other transfers, beyond the overly optimistic estimates in the other posts.

I agree that you will spend too much time coming and going and too little time doing. Cut out a place or two and you will have a much better trip.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:57 PM
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To clarify, the Naples to Sorrento ride alone is 90 minutes or so.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:57 PM
  #14
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Thanks, everyone for all of your suggestions on itinerary as well as information on transportation. I am now considering
flying from Nice to Venice (after staying Antibes 4 nights and seeing surrounding area by car including Eze and St. Paul de Vence), with 2-3 nights in Venice, 5 nights Florence with day trips to CT/Pisa and Lucca, 4 nights Rome, 4 nights in Positano (or maybe Sorrento) with day trips to Pompeii and Capri, last day and 1 night in Naples before catching early flight home. Does this sound more reasonable?

I am also considering car rental for the day trips out of Florence to Pisa/CT/Lucca and area. Would it make sense for 2 adults travelling or would it just be a hassle to park? I have read about the ZTL zone in Florence, which makes me hesitate to rent a car.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:15 PM
  #15
 
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You've been given some great advise here. I would take it.

Everyone should budget their travel time with AJ's quote in mind: "you will spend too much time coming and going and too little time doing". It would greatly improve the travel experience!

Having said that, if you hire a car in Florence you have much more flexibility to check out small Tuscan towns such as San Gimignano and other great stops with no nearby rail service.
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Jun 6th, 2013, 07:08 PM
  #16
 
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wan2gothere,

I would not recommend trying to visit the Cinque Terre as a day trip from Florence. Not worth the travel time and effort. Spend your time more wisely seeing places nearby.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 03:19 AM
  #17
 
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Everyone should budget their travel time with AJ's quote in mind: "you will spend too much time coming and going and too little time doing". It would greatly improve the travel experience! >>

or "less is more" which is how i advise other people to plan and then ignore it myself!

wan2gothere - you do know that your 5 nights in Florence with 3 day trips leaves you only one day in Florence itself, don't you?
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:18 AM
  #18
 
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Well I agree that you have too many destinations for your length of trip and that of them all, the CT makes the most sense to cut. Although I don't agree it's just crowded hiking trails. There ARE five cute little villages (hence the name!) and it IS a slightly different experience than the Amalfi Coast. But of the two, the Amalfi Coast area is somewhat more beautiful and with more to do.

Sorrento IS on the coast (just not technically the 'Amalfi' coast. It has a gorgeous setting. Every single place you are going has tour groups. Dayle is just giving an opinion, and in MY opinion, a wrong one. It is much easier to get to Sorrento, and then to get to Naples for the flight than if you stayed in Positano or Amalfi. And visiting them on day trips is part of the experience. The Amalfi Coast Drive is wonderful, but I'd rather do it when I'm fresh in the morning than after traveling all the way from Rome and with luggage. Plus in the summer you have the options of ferries to get around. The local train from Naples to Sorrento is 60 minutes.

I think Sarge56's plan is the best.
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Jun 25th, 2013, 12:05 AM
  #19
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Thanks, everyone, for all the helpful advice! It was so difficult to decide, since we want to see as much as reasonably possible on our first trip to Italy. We are all booked! Arrive in Nice, France and stay Antibes for 4 nights, EasyJet flight Nice to Venice for 3 nights, train to Florence for 5 nights, train to Rome for 3 nights, train to Naples/Amalfi for 5 nights, then train back to Naples the day before our flight home.

Great tip on using the Trenitalia website, I can see all our bookings!

As for Cinque Terre, we will just decide on once we get there, but possibly save it for another time.
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Jun 25th, 2013, 08:37 AM
  #20
 
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wan2gothere - looks like a great trip.

hope you have a wonderful time.
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