3 Weeks + in Italy in May, 2013
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Dec 6, 2012 7:10 AM Last Post By: happiness79
Oct 18, 2012 7:46 PM
3 Weeks + in Italy in May, 2013The plan is to fly with a friend (we are both 49, in relative good health and fitness) in to Venice on Friday, May 10 and stay for 3 nights. We'd like to rent a car at some point to spend the next week touring around Umbria and/or Tuscany before heading to Rome for a week. After Rome, we'll take a train south to Naples/Amalfi.
Should we take a train first to Florence, spend a few days there and then use Florence as a hub to take day trips to other towns? Or should we rent the car outside of Venice, then drive to each town (Florence, Perugia, Pisa, Sienna, etc.) and spend a night or two in each?
Is it advisable to drive down to Rome and return the car at Termini or turn the car in near a smaller town further north and then take the train to Rome?
Now, back to the gap week between Venice and Rome: suggestions on which towns to see, please. We love history, architecture, food, breathtaking landscapes, people watching, "must see" sites as well as things most tourists may not seek (example: I'd like to go "tourist fishing" in Venice, tour a cheese factory in Parma or do a agroturismo stay for a few days).
So far, the only plans to reserve lodging is for a flat in Rome and the hotel room for the 3 nights in Venice. Is it relatively safe to wait to see what we can find once we are in Florence and Naples? Should we even stay in Naples or go on to Sorrento or Salerno and use that as a hub to make day trips to Pompeii and Amalfi coast?
For car rental, I've looked at autoeurope.com. Are there others that are preferable?
Sorry for so many questions. For us, a 23 night trip is a long trip, so it is very overwhelming to even begin to plan. Oh, that brings up one more thing: I've found a three-legged flight, flying in to Venice and out of Naples for around US$1,190, which is about as cheap as what I've seen in the past several months. Should I book the flights this far in advance (almost 7 months) or wait to within 60 days of departure?
Thank you for your help and patience!
Oct 18, 2012 10:21 PM
Ask your rental company where you can drop the car off outside Rome.
Oct 18, 2012 11:03 PM
2In general,you want to avoid driving in the big cities.
So..if you want to drive around Tuscany/Umbria I'd take the train from Venice to Florence,spend a few days there and then hire the car.
Some places around Tuscany are maybe better done by public transport...eg Pisa (very fast and easy by train) or Siena (by bus).You could hire the car to visit some smaller towns and villages,or to get into the countryside more.
Then I'd drop the car off (say,in Umbria or northern Lazio) and take a train into Rome itself.
Oct 18, 2012 11:07 PM
3As for where to go exactly..there are hundreds of places in Italy that have everything you ask for above.
Naples is a very interesting city,depending on what you like and what you want to do there.If your focus is the Amalfi coast and Pompeii I'd probably stay in Sorrento...it has plenty of accommodation,good transport connections and is more relaxing than the big city.
Oct 18, 2012 11:12 PM
4The flight is a difficult one.As #1 says,it won't get any cheaper.
However other flights that are not available at the moment might be released and might be cheaper.7 months is a long time in advance to book an inter continental flight.
Its a gamble to some extent.but if you have been tracking prices for a few months and that is a good one,I'd probably book it now.
BTW have you checked into Venice and out of Rome? That might be a considerably cheaper open-jaw than flying home from Naples,and its only a couple of hours from Naples to Fiumicino.
Oct 19, 2012 8:09 AM
Oct 19, 2012 11:13 AM
6In case it helps, both Avis and Hertz have car rental offices almost next door to each other) just a couple of hundred metres from the rail station in Orvieto and only a couple of kilometres from the exit off the autostrada. There are trains about hourly from Orvieto to Rome taking around 70 minutes.
Unless you want to visit the small (and beautiful) cities between Venice and Florence, go by train and plan to hire a car from Florence, or one of the other smaller cities. Otherwise good advice in above replies
Oct 19, 2012 1:10 PM
7Sounds like an amazing trip!
I'd like to enter a vote for staying in Naples. The Museo di Capodimonte is one of the best art galleries I have been to, and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale was also very good. The Alexander mosaic is worth the price of admission, imo. We stayed in a little pensione in the old centre for just three days but there was so much to see we didn't even get out to see Pompeii :(
Oct 20, 2012 8:29 PM
Oct 22, 2012 2:16 PM
9Well, since you asked...;)
I would also think about going to Padova. It's not far out of Venice (less than an hour, I think) but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Giotto frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel are not to be missed. And the Orto Botanico, if you like gardens, are the oldest of their kind in the world. And they serve prosecco on tap! What more could you ask from a town?
Oct 22, 2012 6:14 PM
Oct 22, 2012 8:34 PM
11Prosecco? On +tap+?
Why was I not previously informed of this development?
Still, 3 nights--less than 3 full days--in Venice is pretty short. I wouldn't go to Padova if it meant shortening your time in Venice. Despite the prosecco on tap. if only because of the strict time limitation--15 minutes--in the best sight in town, the aforementioned Scrovegni Chapel.
Spending a week in Rome sounds like a good idea. But bear in mind that leaves you only a little more than 2 weeks for everything else. Prioritize accordingly. You can't see it all, so don't bother trying. That means focusing on the things that truly interest you, not the things everyone else tells you to do or expects you to do.
I'm almost always happier seeing more of fewer destinations than seeing less of more destinations.
Also another vote for the Capodimonte in Naples--distinctly under-touristed.
Oct 23, 2012 7:31 AM
12+Prosecco? On +tap+?
Why was I not previously informed of this development?+
I know! I asked for a prosecco at the bar in my wretched Italian and she said, "Alla spina?". So then I was all confused because I thought alla spina meant on tap (an important phrase to know for ordering beer). I clearly looked confused and probably said, what? So she showed me the tap. Of course I had to get it alla spina after that. It's slightly less bubbly than from a bottle but still tasty and cheap!
This is clearly vital information for aswain. And I agree with clementis to not shorten Venice for Padova. I was suggesting Padova after Venice.
Dec 6, 2012 7:10 AM
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