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10 day Italy Itinerary and hotel help!

Hi All,

My husband and i are planning a trip to Italy this April. This is our first big trip that we are self-planning and we are kind of stressed out!! We are flying in and out of rome. Below is our draft itinerary:

3 nights Rome (Vatican, Colosseum, St. Peter's)
3? nights Sorrento (see pompei, capri, positano, amalfi coast)
4? nights in Florence/ Tuscany (see florence, sienna, hill towns, maybe pisa?)
1 nights Rome to catch flight home

First, we are unsure of whether to spend 3 vs. 4 nights in sorrento or florence... thoughts?
next, we are unsure of what type of places to stay- hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc... any recommendations?
Lastly, is all of this navigable by public transportation or should we look into renting a car? I'm worried about finding parking in places like Sorrento.

Any advice would really be appreciated!!! Thank you, wise Italy experts!

Posted by
61 posts

Questions to consider:
Are you guys museum geeks, if so, get those tix NOW! Do you want to see Italian Ren Rome, Catholic Rome, Roman Rome, Etruscan Rome?
We did the Bernini and Michaelangelo Rome! Bourghese Gallery is not to be missed. And one of the best I have been in. Do a tour for about $100 pp.
We stayed near the Vatican on our Heart of Italy Tour. It was a hike to get the Piazza's and Pantheon.
Never been to Sorrento, but there are buses, trains and private cars that will get you there.
Tuscany is beautiful and relaxing. We stayed in Volterra. Loved that little Hill Town.
in Florence, we stayed near the near the Uffuzi. Walked everywhere. Back to the museum geek question. Florence has it. Like to climb 462 steps or 411 steps? Climb the Duomo or the Bell Tower. Galileo museum is interesting. Get the steak. Spend some time in the Otra Arno. Hotel Torre Guelfa (sp) has a Tower Bar, get a Spritz and watch the lights of Florence come alive.
Are you going to be there for Easter? In Rome? Consider that Rome and Florence are packed with tourists, just don't be surprised at the mobs!
Whatever you decide, get tickets for the museums, attractions, trains, food tours, etc. now. Don't be finding yourself waiting in 4 hr lines.
But please drink the wine, have a little fun, see what you want to see. Don't take someone else's vacation, take yours. It's OK if you bail on the Uffuzi, Don't like steak, no worries, myriad of pasta dishes available, Use Rick Steve's audio guide if that helps you.
Just go have a blast!

Posted by
6141 posts

Suggest going directly to Florence on arrival day, then Sorrento and end in Rome.

Saves one move, which with your limited time is important.

Posted by
1528 posts

3 nights in Rome is only 2.5 days- not nearly enough time to even scratch the surface.
Same for Sorrento- 3 nights is only 2.5 days- you don't have time for the 4 sights you listed with just a 3 night stay.
I'd drop 1 location, you are spending a lot of time getting to and from.

If this is first trip to Italy- do Rome and Florence- go right to Florence on arrival- 5 nights there with day trips to Siena and a hill town. Then return to Rome for 5 nights.
Both the Colosseum and Vatican/St Peter's are both big sights that will consume most of your day.

If Sorrento/Amalfi is more of a priority then go to Sorrento on arrival, end in Rome

Posted by
11506 posts

Hi alissago -
Here's the tall and short of it: we all have differing interests and travel styles so it's really tough to give someone else advice! I've seen posters here say that they didn't think Florence deserved more than a day yet we spent 5 nights/4.5 days there without beginning to run out of things to see. I'm sort of an art/architecture geek and that one is a gold mine of Renaissance treasures!

I've a total of nearly 2 weeks in Rome (over multiple visits) and still have a long must-see list. We budgeted for 6 nights for the last stay as we knew how much we wanted to do - which didn't even include the 2 biggies which we'd already seen - and preferred to tackle it at less than a dead run. We've 5 nights in the Sorrentine/Amalfi area on a different trip and didn't get everything done I would have wished to there either.

LOL, I'm sort of a dawdler that hates to be rushed, loves to look for interesting little details, and wander a bit at will ("Oooh, let's see where THIS goes!"). Not everyone else's style. :O)

Anyway, with only so much time to work with, something usually has to give. That "something" is usually the thing that least appeals or is the outlier on the list. IMHO, 3 nights/2.5 days isn't enough for Rome, to do everything on your Amalfi Coast list, nor to cram in Florence + Siena+ hill towns (even 4 nights/3.5 days would mean shorting Florence itself). But what are YOU interested in? If lukewarm on the Renaissance art thing, then maybe Florence is where YOU cut your time whereas I'd save the outlier Amalfi for a future trip with more days to give it: it can be the most time consuming both to get to + get around in.

Posted by
4134 posts

More time in Rome. Also, consider narrowing your trip to two places. You can come back for more.

Posted by
1094 posts

As far as renting a car, you only need it if you are going into small hill towns in Tuscany. If you are based in Florence (and I agree with going there, first). Siena is an easy bus trip, and Pisa/Lucca is an easy train trip. You don't want to drive in Florence, but you can rent a car there.

Be aware that every driver will need an International Driver's Permit, available at AAA offices for $20.