1 day in Assisi/1 day in Orvieto

I have included my entire itinerary everything is set in stone up until Assisi. My main question is whether one day is enough for Assisi and Orvieto, respectively. It seems a bit rushed even on paper. I could potentially remove a day from Rome (which can be taxing after a few days) and move one day onto either Assisi or Orvieto. I have read that Orvieto is a good day trip from Rome. As an aside, my fiance became fascinated with the story of St. Francis after watching Brother Sun and Sister Moon, which is posted in its entirety on youtube for anyone who's interested. I know he would particularly enjoy Assisi. I am interested in seeing Civita di Bagnoregio which seems a bit difficult with only a day in Orvieto... Day 1: Depart U.S. Day 2: Arrive in Venice /Overnight Venice Day 3: Venice / Overnight Venice Day 4: Venice / Overnight Venice Day 5: To Florence / Overnight Florence Day 6: Florence / Overnight Florence Day 7: To Cinque Terre / Overnight Riomaggiore Day 8: Riomaggiore/ Overnight Riomaggiore Day 9: Riomaggiore/ Overnight Riomaggiore Day 10: To Siena / Overnight Siena Day 11: Siena / Overnight Siena Day 12: To Assisi / Overnight Assisi Day 13: To Orvieto / Civita di Bagnoregio / Overnight Orvieto Day 14: To Sorrento via Naples / Overnight Sorrento Day 15: Pompeii / Overnight Sorrento Day 16: Capri/Amalfi / Overnight Sorrento Day 17: Paestum / Overnight Sorrento Day 18: To Rome / Overnight Rome Day 19: Rome / Overnight Rome Day 20: Rome / Overnight Rome Day 21: Rome / Overnight Rome
Day 22: Flight home

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

Based on your fiance's interest (as well as my experiences), I'd suggest Orvieto as a day trip from Rome and an extra day in Assisi. And definitely visit a couple of sites right outside Assisi: San Damiano (a short walk downhill) where Francis encountered the crucifix and was told to rebuild "the church"; and the Eremo della Carcieri (a few km uphill from Assisi; I take a taxi there and walk back), one of the mountain retreats Francis used, with lovely very early buildings and pleasant mountain walks. Both sites (particularly the Eremo) are quiet breaks from the rush of Assisi. Also, while the Basilica of St Francis gets very crowded later in the day, I had the lower basilica and the tomb of St Francis to myself for an hour by getting there when it first opened. (The upper basilica opens later in the day.) Plus, the wakl through Assisi in the very early morning was beautiful. FYI, the cross that Francis saw at San Damiano is now at the Basilica of St Clare, at the opposite end of town from the Basilica of St Francis.

Posted by Bryan
Rome, Lazio, Italy
288 posts

You can easily do Assisi in a day and the same for Orvieto. Especially for Orvieto. My head is spinning reading your itinerary. I'm guessing this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and you don't plan to or otherwise don't anticipate being able to return to any of these places? Really, Orvieto you can do in a few hours. It is very beautiful and charming, but the main attraction is the Cathedral and the views from the hillside. There are some good restaurants and so forth, but you can find good restaurants in other places as well. Assisi you could definitely spend multiple days in, but if you have one full day you could cover a lot of ground also. Just keep in mind that in Assisi you will be walking up a lot of hills/steps just to get around town, and if you are there in the summer it will be hotter than blazes.

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

I agree with one of the posters.......2nights in Assisi and Orvieto as a side trip. I loved Assisi and found 2 nights there perfect. 2nights can equate to 1 full day so I usually say no to 1 night stays. I side tripped to Orvieto from Assisi ( a long train ride, I don't recommend doing that way) because we had torrential rain in Assisi. I found 4 hours was more than enough for Orvieto in my opinion...... I am sure that there are those who feel the same about Assisi though.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5777 posts

First, when is it you're going to be in Italy? That can make a difference in recommendations due to the weather. At any rate, we've been to both Orvieto and Assisi and loved both. We stayed only two nights in each and wished we had stayed three. Given your fiance's interest in St. Francis, I think you really do have to go with two nights in Assisi and save Orvieto as a possible daytrip from Rome. Do you mind if I make one suggestion? I see that you're doing three nights in Riomaggiore and four in Sorrento. For that reason, I would shave a night off Sorrento and put it to Rome. Yes, Rome can be taxing, but it can also be amazing! And there are easy daytrips if you want to get away - Orvieto, as mentioned, but also Ostia Antica which is like Pompeii without the crowds. Here are photos from our trips, in case you're interested. Orvieto May 2011 Assisi May 2008 Ostia Antica May 2008 Also, have you picked a neighborhood yet in Rome? If not, allow me to suggest Trastevere. It's very romantic, much like being in a medieval village. We stayed in Trastevere in May 2008 and loved it.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6735 posts

This is my definition of a true "Blink and Run for the Train" journey. It's only for the young. You will be spending a lot of time on the train or bus. I'm glad to see that you have at least one night in Assisi and one night in Orvietto. The journey by train from Siena to Assisi takes 4.0hrs. By bus (www.sena.it), it takes just under 3.0hrs. If you book the bus, your destination will be Umbria and Santa Maria Degli Angeli. That's actually the Assisi train station as there is no train station in Assisi. Yes the sign at the train station says Assisi (I have a picture of it) but it's actually Santa Maria Degli Angeli. You will still need to take a bus or taxi up to a place close to your hotel. Secondly, you will be surpised at the travel time to and from Paestum and Sorrento. You will have to get to Salerno to catch the train and the best way is probably the SITA bus. You change buses in Amalfi. Also, I don't think there is a train station in Paestum so you will need to buy your R/T tickets in Salerno on in Naples as you come through. I'm betting that this is a 4.0hr trip from Sorrento to Paestum and 4.0hrs back. You won't see much.

Posted by NancyP
Baton Rouge, LA, United States
56 posts

We have a day trip planned from Sorrento to Paestum in July as follows: Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Pompeii (7:38-8:08) Trenitalia from Pompeii to Paestum (9:01-9:57) and then in reverse: Paestum to Pompeii (3:42-4:41)
Pompeii to Sorrento (5:17-5:46) This route requires you to change stations in Pompeii, which is why we left ourselves plenty of time between trains. It is approximately 2km between stations, so we will either walk it or take a cab, depending on how tired we are and how hot it is. This map shows the route for the station change. So it will take us a little over two hours each way, but we really want to see it, so it's worth it to us!

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6735 posts

Nancy, I'm very aware of the two train stations in Pompei. You did good. Very few people know about this shortcut. I didn't recommend it because many don't understand all of the details. You obviously do. My error. I'm also aware that you will be on the last morning train to Paestum at 09:01. The next train is at 13.23.

Posted by Elle
New York
36 posts

Thanks Michael. I checked Trenitalia and there are several trains departing from Siena for Assisi 4.5-5 hours one way (with multiple changes). We could feasibly take the 5:54 am train from Siena and arrive in Assisi at 9:30 am. This would give us one full day of sightseeing and an overnight in Assisi. Orvieto is about 2-2.5 hours away by train and there are early trains to Orvieto as well. We could spend the morning exploring Orvieto and the afternoon in Civita, arriving in the evening for the passeggiata.

Posted by Elle
New York
36 posts

The consensus seems to be two nights in Assisi. I just checked the SENA bus schedule (not posted for late September). We are scheduled to leave Siena on Sunday, September 30th. As a test-run I checked this Sunday's bus schedule. There is only one bus leaving Siena for Assisi at 18:00 with a 19:30 arrival. This leaves us with, essentially, an extra full day in Siena (which I had not planned for) and a few hours in Assisi. I think two nights is the only reasonable plan. The only problem is this puts us several hours further from Sorrento than we would be if leaving from Orvieto. Also, I would like to visit Civita (although some have mentioned it's overrated). Thoughts? P.S. Michael, I love, love, love your photos! We will also look into staying in Trastevere (which seems like the perfect area for a 20 and 30 something).

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5777 posts

Because of the bus schedule problem, I suggest you take the train from Siena to Assisi.

Posted by Elle
New York
36 posts

We found a great convent at a great rate (Monastero San Giuseppe) and will spend 2 days in Assisi before heading out to Sorrento. One day in Assisi is just too rushed and Orvieto can either be, as some of you have mentioned, a day trip from Rome (where we have 4 days) or saved for another trip. There is an 11:00 pm curfew at the convent, I am curious to know if we would be missing out on any nightlife in Assisi.

Posted by Bryan
Rome, Lazio, Italy
288 posts

In Assisi during the summer there are almost-nightly concerts in the Piazza del Comune (main square) last summer, at least (maybe that was a special thing for the 150th anniversary of the 'unification' of Italy? - if it was, they didn't have any banners up to that effect). A hotel not far off the main square, Hotel Posta Panoramic, is very lovely and has good rates. A nice family runs it. I would recommend, if you were to stay there, that you ask them for a room with a view. It has a great view of the valley below, and by getting one of those rooms you can avoid some of the street noise on the opposite side of the building. The concerts in the square often go past midnight, so if you turn in earlier than that you may want to bring ear plugs the town is not large and the sound filters easily down the narrow streets. http://www.hotelpostassisi.it/ A great pizza place in Assisi is "Pizzeria ai Monaci". Top-notch. Be sure to try it. Not far from the main square. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187905-d1567368-Reviews-Ristorante_Pizzeria_I_Monaci-Assisi_Province_of_Perugia_Umbria.html A wonderful place to have a gelato or a drink and enjoy an exceedingly beautiful view is Caffe La Selva http://www.gardenlaselvaassisi.com/ There's a nice plaza in front of the Basilica di Santa Chiara that overlooks the valley, and is a great place to watch the sunset. I wouldn't know anything about the club scene in Assisi, but I do know that typically there will be a lot of people out late walking around and just enjoying the town at night. It's a beautiful place and you will love it.

Posted by maggie
St Louis
403 posts

Check into the Hotel Pallotta in assisi. It's very charming with a very friendly helpful owner and no curfew.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5777 posts

Elle, monasteries and convents usually provide only twin beds for their guests, FWIW. They're not exactly the most romantic settings. Throw in the worrying about making curfew and I bet you'd enjoy staying somewhere else more. Happy travels.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

If budget is a consideration, I stayed at a great guest house in Assisi, about a block from the main square, several hundred year old building, very clean, decor like your grandmother's house, and very nice, welcoming people. It's in the RS guide, Camere Annalisa Martini. I think I paid 25E/night last Sept/Oct. No breakfast, but places nearby. The owner/daughter speaks English. Her mother, whom you'll often see, does not, but is lovely and welcoming (and usually offers some high calorie treat whenever she sees you). I stayed there a week and it was wonderful. Off the main street, so it's quieter than many of the hotels, and it's closer to the center than most convents (I'm not aware of the location of the convent you mentioned).

Posted by Elle
New York
36 posts

Thank you to everyone for your kind replies. We are now trying to decide between Hotel Palotta and Hotel Ideale. Rick recommends both and they each have their charms. Has anyone stayed in either? On tripadvisor there is mention of a grumpy old goat that broods on the first floor of Hotel Ideale and ruined a couple of people's stay. For all we know, he's with St. Francis by now. The views are fantastic from what I can gather. Hotel Palotta seems well-run and well-liked and conveniently located.

Posted by Dina
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvan, USA
27 posts

Hi Elle, I think your itinerary sounds amazing. This is exactly the type of trip I enjoy and tend to take. Fast moving and seeing as much as possible. You only live once and I am sure you will enojy it. Personally, I believe one night in Assisi would be adequate. I have done Orvieto as a day trip from Florence and had plenty of time to see everything we planned to see. In addition to the cathedral, consider taking the underground tour that is offered. It is amazing. Happy travels!!

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

I stayed at hotel Ideale at the beginning of December 2010. Made reservations in June for a nice double with view. 2 weeks prior, I reconfirmed reservations with all hotels only to get back an email from Ideale that said they were closed til march. No mention of this on website. I wrote back with my confirmation numbers that said they looked forward to seeing us in December. Then got another email back stating that the reservation is confirmed. We were only ones in the hotel for our 2 night stay......even the owners left leaving us alone all night (not a big deal, but glad we didn't need anything). Young daugthers spoke english but the elders did not.... Lots of hand gestures used to communicate. Breakfast was stale cereal, not the beautiful spread they advertised on website. For being the only people there we felt like they should have given us a bigger room. We had to walK sideways around bed (we r not that big). The shower and toilet were one (I know, common in Italy, but had never experienced it in any other city that we stayed in)..................but the views were fantastic. They were breath taking. We ate both nights at la palotta. We had a black truffles epiphany. Sooooooooooooo good especially with their fat spaghetti. If we go back, we would stay at hotel palotta because of the dining discount. But I do not think they have the countryside views.

Posted by Elle
New York
36 posts

Thank you for all of your replies. We have chosen to stay in Assisi for two nights at the Hotel Pallotta. On one of those nights there is a full moon--we are eager to see Assisi and the surrounding countryside by moonlight!

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
1476 posts

Hotel Pallotta is a great choice, and as a guest you'll get 10% off at their excellent restaurant nearby. If your waiter doesn't recognize you from the hotel (they often do), mention that you're staying there. Assisi is charming in the evening when it's much less crowded. The main square is very lively, and be sure to check out the views of the valley from the piazza in front of St. Clare church. I think you'll be very happy with your choice of 2 nights in Assisi. In case you're really disappointed about not seeing Civita, it can be tricky to sidetrip from Orvieto to Civita by bus and that plan may not have worked with only one night in Orvieto. I looked into it during my last visit to Orvieto, and it would have taken a good part of the day due to timing of buses.