22 nights in Italy
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Dec 10, 2011 6:51 AM Last Post By: zebec
Nov 28, 2011 3:35 AM
22 nights in ItalyHi all,
My wife and I are organising a trip to Italy for mid next June through to early July. We have 22 nights and will be flying into Rome and out of Milan. We are struggling to put together an itinerary and would be grateful for thoughts on what we've come up with so far.
- Rome 7 nights
- Florence 6 nights (including day trips to surrounding areas)
- Venice 3 nights
- Lake Como 3 nights
- Milan 2 nights
We are aware that we are probably spending longer in most places than most itineraries, however we would prefer to take our time, and enjoy each of the cities, without having to cram heaps of activities into each day or travel around from place to place too much. We both quite enjoy cities, and are happy to just stroll around and take in the different culture and enjoy the food.
Nov 28, 2011 5:09 AM
Nov 28, 2011 7:44 AM
Nov 28, 2011 8:18 AM
3Sounds like a nice steady itinerary. My only thought would have been whether you could consider maybe shaving a night off Rome and perhaps two of your nights off Florence and spent a short break in the countryside or the smaller towns in Umbria / Tuscany (instead of day trips from Florence). This probably implies using a car between Rome and Florence whereas I assume you would complete the rest of the trip by train. Whatever you decide it looks a good trip.
Nov 28, 2011 12:57 PM
4Thanks for the advice all.
Mike, I really would have loved to spend some time in Tuscany away from Florence, but like you said the main obstacle was having to hire a car. We'd probably prefer to just keep things simple and get around by train. Perhaps its something we can save for an extended trip another time!
Nov 28, 2011 3:57 PM
Nov 28, 2011 4:46 PM
Nov 28, 2011 5:50 PM
7I agree that it's worth making time for the smaller cities - many have their own history after all. Perugia is good in the central region, and can also be used as a base for day trips to places like Assisi or Spoleto. In the North, I have great memories of a day trip to Mantova/Mantua for the palaces of the local ruling family - some world class frescos in their natural setting. Other cities on the Venice - Turin train line also worth seeing.
Nov 28, 2011 6:02 PM
8The word "secluded" suggests that you don't want to be in a population centre at all, but in a farm house. This would mean that a car is needed. Maybe you should think of spending more time on the lake to decompress properly
What I was thinking about would not provide that level of seclusion - 2 nights (giving one full day) in; say Volterra or Montalcino or Montepulciano.
On a tangent, I have been researching a trip to Italy myself and was interested in going to Ravenna from Siena (which means transiting through Florence). What I didn't want to do is travel through Bologna, which is what the Intercity or ESA trains require you to do. What I found is that you can catch a regional train that takes you from Florence to Faenza, and then onto Ravenna. This train wound its way through a mountain range and through tunnels for a fraction of the cost of the standard Florence-Bologna-Ravenna cost. If you want to look at this on the Trenitalia website, try looking for Florence to Faenza journeys rather than Florence to Ravenna. This just gives another option between Florence and Venice if you want to take a couple of days out of the 11 planned for Rome-Florence.
I forgot to add that the trip was only 20min longer than the more expensive trip with less train changes
Edited by: Stav_ros
Nov 29, 2011 12:28 AM
There will be no shortage of great towns to visit. As you read on the forum, you will frequently see Siena, San Gimignano and the like mentioned and they are great and worth a visit.
If you are up for a longer train ride (approximately 2 hrs with a switch in Bologna) from Florence, you may want to consider Parma. It's a nice small town (around 170,00 inhabitants?) that sees some tourists but is not a big tourist destination. You will be coming during peak season and it might be a nice change of pace to not have to stand in a line. Parma is home to Parmesan cheese and Parma ham so the food is great and I can recommend a restaurant or two and a coffee shop if you are interested. The duomo and baptistry are beautiful and there are several other sights worth seeing as well. It's small enough to walk anywhere (including the train station) in 10-15 minutes and it is flat as a pancake so the walking is easy. The whole town is an easy day trip and is very relaxing-- great evening stroll down the main street with excellent people watching! If you are interested in cooking schools, the Barilla Academy is in Parma-- I haven't taken a class yet but it looks great online. Pricey but great. The biggest downside is the length of the train trip. Also, I don't know if you have travelled in Italy much but be aware that in most towns (except for Rome, Florence and Venice) most sights and many shops are closed on Mondays. Parma is no exception, museums are closed Mondays. Definitely plan to be in a bigger city on Mondays!
Again, from what I have seen, there are no wrong choices in Italy! I am continually amazed by the beauty in all of the little towns so whatever you choose will be a winner. Have a wonderful trip!
Nov 29, 2011 1:20 AM
10Further to Stavros #8, I was thinking of rural Tuscany / Umbria and using a car to spend a couple of days based in an agriturismo somewhere out in the country, if that appealed. However, trains in Italy go just about everywhere. Between Rome and Florence, if you go on the slower regional or Intercity trains they stop at both Orvieto and Arezzo, both of which are worth visiting, with trains running every 1-2 hours along the whole route. However, these aren't secluded - they're local towns but full of Italian life, especially on market day.
I've not been on Stavros' train between Florence and Faenza but have driven much of the parallel road and the scenery across the Apennines is terrific. However north of Bologna / Faenza the scenery becomes much less interesting and it is the towns which beckon you - Modena, Parma, Cremona, Mantova, Ravenna, Verona - well, if you're planning to come again, you'll have to leave something for next time!
Nov 29, 2011 2:43 PM
11I think your plan is very good if it were me I would probably spend one day less around Florence and an extra day in Venice. I really like Venice and the 3 days we were there wasn't quite enough. Since you have plenty of time before your trip you have a lot of time to plan. It is great to go somewhere and wonder around but you should at least research what things there are for you to see and plan your wondering around that. Besides the main attractions in the cities you mentioned there are so many places that are almost off beat places within just a few blocks of places you may be near that would be a shame to not see only because you didn't know about them. With good planning you can see a lot without rushing at all. Just knowing where sites are in relation to each other can save so much time. Have a great trip you will have a great time.
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