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15 day mid March itinerary - changed to 20 days June - planning done!

OK - now itinerary planning is done. Original itinerary was 15 nights starting around March 20. New itinerary is starting around June 10.

Here is the new itinerary:

Rome - 4 nights, AC - 4 nights, Florence - 3 nights, CT - 3 nights, Venice - 3 nights, Varenna/Milan - 3 nights. Total - 20 nights.

Thanks all who provided the feedback - particularly ChristineH, Jay (Chicago), vickie_322, etc.

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Old thread material below for people reaching here via Google/Bing search for March/April itinerary planning:

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I have booked tickets for March to Italy (flying in Naples from San Francisco, flying out Venice back to SFO) and in the early stages of itinerary design - so may have some impractical notions.

Details about us and interests: my wife is in mid forties and I am in the late forties - not traveling with kids this time. Interests are photography - mostly outdoor cityscapes as well as landscapes - and fairly intense about it (at times with a tripod). We love going out on very early morning walks when the light is good or possibly late night when there are fewer crowds. Less interested in museums and churches - but most of the day time is without the magical sunrise/sunset hour and one has to spend time in between somehow. Based on the photography interests - the highest priorities will be the Amalfi coast and Cinque Terre. Other nice to have would have been hilly landscapes in Tuscany and Varenna on Lake Como but unlikely to fit this time.

So here is my first draft - possible I may drop a destination or two. Please give suggestions - is it too hectic and better to drop something? Or a day less/day more at some place?

Day 1: Arrive mid day in Naples - travel to Amalfi Coast and stay at a home base.

Day 2: Explore Amalfi Coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello).

Day 3: Day trip to Capri.

Day 4: Travel to Rome - on the way visit Pompeii. Since Pompeii takes around 3-4 hours, I assume the whole day will be gone.

Day 5, 6 & 7: Rome sightseeing

Day 8: Travel to Siena (ideally this would be a road trip with stops like Montalcino, Pienza, etc. - not sure of feasibility - rental car, etc.).

Day 9-10: Florence

Day 11: Travel to Cinque Terre (possibly stop for a silly photo with the Leaning Tower at Pisa)

Day 12: Cinque Terre

Day 13: Travel to Venice

Day 14-15: Venice

Day 16: Fly back to SFO around 10 am from Venice.

Posted by
2140 posts

I count 14 nights and 6 locations/ hotel changes
That’s a lot of moving about so I’d have to say it is too hectic

Add a day to Amalfi, it will be a bit hard to visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello in 1 day
Your first day hardly counts cuz you’ll be jetlagged and it takes time to get to the coast

Maybe drop Florence this time - especially since art and churches are not priority

You mention road trip to Siena but don’t say if you intend to keep the car any longer than the 1 day? You don’t want a car in Florence or CT

Posted by
1462 posts

Have you investigated lodging availability on the Amalfi Coast in March?

Posted by
70 posts

@ChristineH: Yeah - maybe can drop one destination is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestions - also thanks @Inbsig as well.

About:
You mention road trip to Siena but don’t say if you intend to keep the car any longer than the 1 day? You don’t want a car in Florence or CT

No - I was only thinking to have car for the journey between Rome and Florence - as I read that there are some beautiful landscapes and some cute villages on the way.

Posted by
1358 posts

It's usually easier to fly into Venice than out of Venice. Many flights out of Venice are very early in the morning, which can be a challenge using the vaporetto or water taxi.

Oops, I see that you already booked flights-
Flights are a mess currently, and if that continues into shoulder season, expect many last-minute changes, therefore you need some flexibility in your schedule. For example, you may not arrive midday in Naples, it could be late evening. Use Flight Aware to see if the flights you just booked have even been flying. After 6 changes/cancelations for our [hopefully ] upcoming trip, we found that we were sold flights from the west coast that hadn't flown since March, 2020- and still aren't flying.

No one knows what the covid situation will be like, but build in some time for testing before you return home.

Also, in March you could have a lot of rain, and you don't give yourself much flexibility to adapt to poor weather conditions.

I agree with dropping Florence. I love Florence, but your itinerary is just too hectic.

Enjoy your planning and safe travels!

Posted by
1358 posts

Also- check the date of Easter. Many things close Easter Sunday and Monday , and we found Italy very crowded on Good Friday and Saturday.

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks for your insights @Pat.

BTW Easter looks to be mid April and I am back home in the Bay Area way before that - so one less worry. About flight out of Venice, my flight is at 10:45 am - so hopefully that is not too early in terms of getting transportation.

Posted by
1358 posts

Buff,
10:45 am should be fine. In pre-covid days, folks were having problems with 6:30 am flights.
Have a great time planning your trip to this beautiful country.
PS
Is it a direct flight? If not, then check what will be the current covid rules for transferring thru countries. Since our British Air flight touches down in the UK, we can't currently get into Italy with out quarantine. We had to change that part of our trip.

Posted by
205 posts

I’d consider dropping the two nights in CT as you are spending time on the Amalfi Coast. You don’t say if you are renting a car for this part of the trip and while the Amalfi Coast road will certainly be less busy at that time of the year, driving to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello and no doubt stopping to take photos, or attempting to, will take most of the day. The day trip to Capri will be weather dependent. You have some long days…check the hours of daylight at that time of the year. One thought, you might consider visiting the site of Herculaneum rather than Pompeii; the mosaics, still in their original locations are absolutely stunning with vibrant colours and incredibly delicate work. I find it a much more interesting site than Pompeii though much smaller in size.

Posted by
70 posts

@lanlubber: dropping CT rather than Florence may not be a bad idea. I just checked the pictures on 500px dot com for Florence. Florence does seem to have some outstanding cityscapes - those views of the multiple bridges over the river, the Duomo at dusk, etc. I was thinking of not renting a car in Amalfi Coast and was thinking of hiring a private taxi instead as Rick Steves did in his Amalfi Coast episode.

Posted by
677 posts

Gee, with those booked plane flights and that time of year and your interests, I would change almost the whole itinerary. Please forgive me if this is an annoying response to your post. Avoid most of those famous and well-trod places and instead go and photograph some wonderful but less famous towns, cities, and coastlines.

I suggest Naples to Pompeii/Herculaneum, then the cave town of Matera in Basilicata, then almost any town in Puglia (Ostuni, Lecce, and Trani spring to mind) especially the exteriors of the Romanesque churches (you don't even have to go inside!) (google on "church facade animals lecce" images to see some). Check out the town full of trulli, Alberobello, and the countryside dotted with the little stone dome trullo buildings.

Visit the coast along eastern Puglia, where the beaches will all be empty so there won't be people cluttering up your photos of cliffs and water and sky. Then drive up the coast and on the way visit Ravenna, if you'd like to see the mosaics, or just drive straight to Venice.

At some point on this trip, before or after Puglia, you could perhaps squeeze in Saepinum in Molise to photograph an ancient Roman town that virtually nobody visits. We were alone there with just sheep and goats and a friendly dog. Molise has lovely countryside, too.

You can easily do all this in two weeks without rushing, partly because your route from Naples to Venice will be uncomplicated and without tricky driving or parking anywhere. There won't be crowds to avoid. The food in Puglia is excellent and the towns (except the beach towns) will be open and normal because they are not heavily touristed. You'll be warmer and drier, too.

Anyway, check it out, if only for a future trip!

Posted by
760 posts

I'm also a photo buff and I understand your desire to see as much as possible but please - don't do this itinerary. Especially that early in the season. You will almost definitely be sorry.

First, you have way too much travel. You aren't going to be doing much photography on a train (sure some, but I doubt that's what you had in mind). Cut way back on your destinations so you have more time in them. Since you are arriving in Naples keep that area and drop the CT. I'd also drop Venice, as much as I love it.

Second, at that time of year I'd stick to cities as bases to stay in, and plan day trips to the other places. That way on rainy days you can do the cities and use the good days for the others. One March trip I based in Sorrento and it was beautiful one day and rainy on the others. I actually 'ate' a nights hotel and went to Rome a day early where I was much happier, even though it was also raining there. Another year in March I was doing Venice, Florence and Lake Como and the forecast was horrid for Lake Como so I made lat minute changes and went to Rome where it was sunny and 70. At that time of year you have to be as flexible as possible.

For example - as much as I love staying on the Amalfi Coast (been three times for up to 8 days each) I would consider staying in Naples and doing day trips. That way you can do Pompeii and Naples itself on rainy days. Yes it extends your commuting time to Amalfi, Positano, etc. but gives you flexibility. You can take a ferry to Capri from Naples. I would never suggest this if you were going in June or July.

Right now you have 3 nights (2 days) for the Amalfi Coast/Naples area. I would double that. More than enough to do and more likely you'll get a day or two of sun. Right now you have 2 nights in Rome. I would also double that. If you get bored (highly unlikely) you can always do a day trip. Then train to Florence - forget a car for one day. How much photography do you think you'll do spending hours picking up and dropping off the car? If you allow 4 nights also for Florence you can take one or two day trips. Siena is an easy day trip from Florence. So are Pisa and Lucca and even some of the small hilltowns. Yes Tuscany is better with a car, but that's if you have a week or more to see it. Ideally I'd actually up it to 5 nights in each of those three bases and leave it at that. But since you have flights home from Venice then do 4 nights at each place and include Venice. Actually Venice would be only 3 but at that time of year with no day trips 3 is OK.

Here are my Italy photos - these are over 13 trips (some of those trips were a month or more, some of them were March, most were July trips). http://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f739967755

Posted by
12 posts

You have gotten some great suggestions! I'd like to add some more (TMI!). A hotel suggestion in Sorrento as your base on that first section of your trip: Hotel Settimo Cielo. It's in Rick's guidebook. It's plunked into the hillside above Sorrento and the Bay of Naples. Lots of beautiful pics from your balsony. A wall of windows. I'd wake up, grab my camera, take a shot Vesuvius across the bay from my bed.
The owner, Guiseppi, built it 45 years ago. 3 of his adult children run it. He stops in each morning. He will love to talk to you about all the lovely touches and artifacts around the hotel he's picked up over the years. There are 3 other hotels up on that hillside, all 2x more expensive. You don't need that.

You can walk downtown to pick up the bus up the Amalfi coast. Breath taking drive and one of the most beautiful in the world. Or pick up the ferry downtown for the ride to Capri. All info on how to in Rick's books.

Train travel in Italy if easy, fast, fun. But there are VERY rare train strikes. The good news is they rare, short(1 day) and announced weeks before hand! (how Italian.....). This website is one to check for strikes: cgsse.it/calendario-scioperi.

Posted by
12 posts

And I would jettison the Cinque Terre. Besides it's too much on your short trip, It's, my understanding The Walk of Love is still closed. Landslide in maybe 2014.

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks for the suggestions folks. A few decisions I have already made and mentioned but may not have been clear is I have already removed Cinque Terre - and will go directly from Rome to Florence via a fast train (so skip Siena).

So currently as it stands:

Days 1-3: Amalfi coast (2 days, 3 nights) - same as original plan

Days 4-7: Rome (3 days, 4 nights) - same as original plan

Days 8-12: Florence (4 days, 5 nights) - changed.

Days 13-15: Venice (2 days, 3 nights) - same as original plan

Florence has more days compared to other places - so one day will be given to the other 3 places - most suggestions seem to move this to Amalfi coast. If I move that day to Amalfi coast, does the trip seem reasonable?

I understand during Covid times we need to be flexible - this trip itself is being planned because I canceled an October trip to somewhere else and I had to use the credits from the tickets before March end.

Posted by
12 posts

That looks good to me. Personally I'd put a day taken off Florence and add it to Venice. Ahhhh Venice......

Posted by
12 posts

I'm in the same boat (or plane...) with flight credits mine with American that have to be used by end of March 2022. Stingy of them. Delta credits good thru end of December 2022. I'm trying to sort out a trip in March. I will be in Italy for 3 weeks this October (baring more covid changes). My 6th trip. Miss Italy very much. And traveling.

Posted by
12 posts

2 more hotel recommendations you might want to check out. In Rome: Hotel Impero. Nice hotel 2 blocks from the train station. Can walk everywhere around Rome from there.
In Venice: Hotel Montecarlo. A block from St. Marks. Reasonably priced for expensive Venice and so close to St. Marks. Nicely appointed. Awesome breakfast. Maintain same friendly professional staff thru the years I've stayed there.

Posted by
70 posts

Yes - our credits are with United. Shame the credit is only it till March end - if it was till summer we could have taken our college kids as well. Thanks for the hotel suggestions.

Another option is take two days from Florence - 1 more day to Amalfi to account for jet lag/weather unpredictability and one to Venice because it is Venice and because we are flying off from there (to keep things more sane). In that case the itinerary will be:

Days 1-4: Amalfi coast (3 days, 4 nights)

Days 5-8: Rome (3 days, 4 nights)

Days 9-11: Florence (2 days, 3 nights)

Days 12-15: Venice (3 days, 4 nights)

Posted by
25771 posts

is the date on the credit the date you must fly before or is it the date you need to book tickets by? In other words can you use the credits in March and fly in June?

Posted by
70 posts

@nancys8 : Interesting alternative suggestions - thank you. Will check out - if only for a future trip.

Posted by
2140 posts

Days 1-4: Amalfi coast (3 days, 4 nights) Days 5-8: Rome (3 days, 4
nights) Days 9-11: Florence (2 days, 3 nights) Days 12-15: Venice (3
days, 4 nights)

I like this but I might stick with 4 in Florence, 3 in Venice especially if you are interested in any day trip from Florence- Siena, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano etc are all possibilities.
Am early train from Florence to Venice will get you there well before noon so you've got almost a full day then plus 2 more.

My hotel recommendation for Venice is always Hotel Ala- easy access from vaporetto or water taxi- just steps from the dock, no bridges or canals to cross, close to San Marco but in a quiet campo. Great rooftop deck and a very good bkft

Posted by
70 posts

@ChristineH: Yes - I am also leaning towards that option with Florence 4 nights instead of Venice (same reasons you mentioned and the same idea of early train to reach Venice before lunch). So it will be:

Sorrento (4 nights), Rome (4 nights), Florence (4 nights) and Venice (3 nights).

Posted by
2140 posts

Sounds great

My recommendation for hotel in Sorrento is Grand Hotel de la Ville
A bit of a splurge but maybe not too bad in March
It’s about 5-10 min walk from train station and easy 10 min walk to town
The rooms are just gorgeous with beautiful tile, inlaid wood furniture etc
Best bkft we’ve ever had and the views from the pool/terrace area are to die for

Posted by
70 posts

I changed the tickets to fly into Venice and fly out of Rome. That way there will be no additional travel on the day of arrival or departure - with a Naples arrival I will have to go to Sorrento from there. Also I do not have to deal with Venice morning departure that someone mentioned can be a problem with water taxi.

So now I can do the following order instead:

Venice (3 nights), Florence (4 nights), Sorrento (4 nights), Rome (4 nights).

The possibility that now opens up due to this change is that I can substitute Sorrento (Amalfi coast) section with a small road trip in Tuscany instead. Would that be preferable considering the slightly higher possibility of rained out days at Amalfi Coast at that time of the year? Rained out days may mean that boat trip to Capri can be canceled, etc. I arrive around March 20 and leave early April. Lonely Planet's Best of Italy book shows a Tuscany road trip Florence (start) -> Greve -> Siena -> Montalcino -> Pienza -> Montepulciano.

So basically the following:

Venice (3 nights), Florence (4 nights), Tuscany road trip (4 nights), Rome (4 nights).

Or:

Venice (3 nights), Florence + Tuscany road trip (8 nights), Rome (4 nights).

Will love to hear the advice on this. I am OK to move Amalfi coast to some future year - but would like to match the weather and time of the year to appropriate destinations to visit.

Posted by
70 posts

Finalized my itinerary - at least I think so :). Also and booked hotels at all places - with free cancellations. Thanks for all your help.

Couple of more small/detail questions below on the itinerary:

I have decided to keep the plan of 3 nights Venice, 4 nights Florence, 4 nights Sorrento and 4 nights Rome. I will keep a more dedicated 7-day Tuscany road trip (excluding Florence) for a future Italy vacation.

So here is the updated itinerary:

1) Venice: 3 nights. 3 nights actually means 2 as first day I will arrive around 1 pm and the day may be wasted. But if I do feel I need half a day more in Venice, I will kind of borrow it from Florence by going there very late in the day.

Question 1: for the faster trains, do I need to book Venice to Florence in advance or can I make it a game time decision?

2) Florence: 4 nights. If I have arrived in Florence in the evening (Venice borrowed half a day), then I will have only 3 full days in Florence to do any real day trips. But that is OK - I will do whatever I planned as day trips during a future Tuscany road trip.

3) Sorrento: 4 nights.

4) Rome: 4 nights. Fly back home on the 5th day morning.

Question 2: I have booked 2 hotels right now and will cancel one of them. One is almost equidistant to Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and the Colosseum, has a terrific view from the terrace but the nearest Metro station is around 15 minutes walk away. The second hotel is next to the central Barberini metro station and less than 5 minutes from the Trevi fountain, but a little less closer to the other two attractions (Pantheon and the Colosseum) than the first one. It seems that the Barberini metro station is only open partially - for exiting and not for entering. So this will likely help for coming from the Termini when coming from Sorrento, but will still have to take a cab while going to airport on the day of the departure. But otherwise how important is the presence of Metro station near the hotel to get around the city considering I am going to be centrally located with the first hotel?

Would also love to hear any other feedback as well - particularly on the Venice - Florence section (more time in Venice or Florence).

Posted by
1823 posts

I think you've improved your itinerary quite a bit already--4 destinations in 15 nights is doable.

First, a word on fast trains. If you're OK with staying on your schedule, you can save as much as half to two-thirds in cost by booking in advance, maybe 2-3 months prior, on Trenitalia. Only caveat is if you can't use the ticket for whatever reason, you can't change & you'd have to eat the cost & would have to buy another. I consider that a tolerable financial risk. We've done this, had computer-printed hard copies of the tickets on our person as well as pdf's of the same ticket on our smartphones. Go for the failsafe when possible, even if it's overkill to some!

Don't worry about 4 nights in Sorrento, even if the weather turns against you. In early March 2017, we scheduled 5 nights there. We weren't really happy with the B&B, in that most of the A.C. is still closed up that time of year, with Sorrento the only town that has a variety of places to stay. So please, really do your research & don't try to go on the cheap here--take it from me! Our B&B, while well situated, was cold, damp & almost an afterthought in an apartment building. Yuck, but we made it work--still better'n being home!

And it rained like the proverbial cow on the flat rock for 3 of those days. Just luck of the draw that time of year. If you get the weather, a fabulous alternative is to take the Circumvesuviana commuter train, which is dirt-cheap and relatively safe during the day, to Napoli Centrale station, at which point you'll take a cab (regulated at 18 Euro) to the Archeological Museum. Phenomenal. Then find some good Napolitan pizza before retracing your steps back to Sorrento.

I digress though. I found the cuisine across the board in Sorrento to be some of the very best in the country, which is saying a lot, meaning if you get the rain, you can always eat, and very, very well. A good bit of lemon in their dishes, but not heavy and always with a deft touch. PM me for rec's.

Just a bit on Rome vs. Florence. I've been to both multiple times. To a certain extent it is like apples and oranges, but I'll pick the Eternal City, Roma, my favorite place in the world, every time.

FYI, we're hopefully traveling about a month after you, leaving Chicago around April 25. Flying into Zurich, immediately taking the train to Lucerne for 3 nights. Then train over the Alps to Varenna on Como for 3 nights. Then train to Florence for 5 nights, finally to Rome for 6 nights, fly home out of Fiumicino.

Good luck to all of us and hopefully we can make our trips!

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks for the tips Jay - makes a lot of sense (what to do in case of Sorrento rains, advance train bookings, etc.). Yes - I think it is quite a doable plan now. Also very simple in terms of what I need to book right now (hotels) - I have a lot of time to work out the details at each destination. Of course I will need to book the tickets for some of the more popular attractions in advance - but can easily take the next couple of months as I get time. Planning vacations is part of the fun of vacations :)

Posted by
70 posts

Blockquote
Yes - our credits are with United. Shame the credit is only it till March end - if it was till summer we could have taken our college kids as well.

I got a bit inspired by ChristineH about her thread about postponing her trip from September to end of April (sorry to hear about her postponement). So I just checked the possibilities - I was able to change the tickets to June and also book flights for our college kids. I had to pay a little extra per ticket but we get to have the vacation with them before they fly off from home to their lives - even though it is going to be the crowded season. I have also increased the number of days from 14 full available days to now have 18 full days (19 days/nights if you include the day of arrival).

Now I have to plan for the June itinerary - as it will have some different factors: 4 more days, June crowds, better weather, interests of freshmen college/late high schooler are even less towards the museums and more towards experiences, etc. I will likely do a separate thread about questions on June itinerary once I have thought through a bit.

Posted by
2140 posts

Oh! well thanks for the sympathy- I'll get over it as soon as we pass our intended departure time (Fri 5 pm) lol
And as you said- planning is part of the fun- it's just that I have now planned 3 major trips that all had to be canceled, I am an expert planner now- next one will be perfection.

That is awesome- always nice to have more days and your kids are super lucky.
United has made it so easy to change without fees- this is the third change we have made- our flight credits are good til 12/31/22 so if that credit is not enough to fly to Italy in April we can fly with someone else and use the credit to rebook our 2020 canceled trip to Portugal!

One of the best trips my husband and I took was in 2008 when we took our then 20 yo daughter for a few weeks in France and Spain before dropping her in Barcelona for the school year. So many good memories and she was just the right age. (I traveled to Europe with her again in 2013 and have to say it was fun but she had very different ideas than I did- she could spend 24/7 in art museums-I have my limits lol)

Do let your kids be part of the planning process, they will enjoy the trip so much more when they have input. If you are lucky maybe one of them (or both ) will want to study abroad and you get another trip to Europe in a few years.

Here's a few suggestions of things to do that the whole family should enjoy:

Rome- do a food tour. Eating Europe tours are wonderful, specifically the Trastevere tours. Discount code EATWELL 10
https://www.eatingeurope.com

Sorrento- Mondo Guides day trip to Capri- so much fun! www.sharedtours.com

Venice- Secret itineraries Tour https://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/pianifica-la-tua-visita/special-itineraries/secret-itineraries-tour/

Posted by
70 posts

That is awesome- always nice to have more days and your kids are super lucky.

Thanks!

United has made it so easy to change without fees- this is the third change we have made- our flight credits are good til 12/31/22 so if that credit is not enough to fly to Italy in April we can fly with someone else and use the credit to rebook our 2020 canceled trip to Portugal!

Yes - I have used the changes 3 times as well. I heard Portugal is a beautiful place and a little cheaper than Spain, Italy, etc.

One of the best trips my husband and I took was in 2008 when we took our then 20 yo daughter for a few weeks in France and Spain before dropping her in Barcelona for the school year. So many good memories and she was just the right age.

True.

Do let your kids be part of the planning process, they will enjoy the trip so much more when they have input.

We had not traveled to Europe as a family before 2018 for myriad of reasons - twice because one of us got sick just before the trip or not having time, trips to family in India, etc. Then between Sept 2018 and Dec 2019 (just before Covid) we had three trips - 9 days to Amsterdam-Paris, 8-9 days Brugge (Bruges) and Northern France (Normandy, Brittany & Loire Valley) and a 16 night Spain trip (Barcelona, Andalucia and Madrid-Toledo). The kids do not want to be involved in the planning but they have provided good inputs with what they liked and did not like during those trips.

They liked more stay at one place rather than move about. They did not like museums - but they loved taking in the atmosphere sitting near the I Amsterdam sign and having some fries or even city walking (but not the time in metro as they thought they had to protect my wife from pick pockets by surrounding her).
At the same time they liked the rural or small town destinations more. Like the Pueblo Blancos (White Towns) in Andalucia and Etretat in Normandy and Ploumanac'h & Saint-Malo in Brittany because it involved driving to places and walking/hiking around.

Based on their requirements, the ideal Italy trip may involve Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the heart of Tuscany (Val d’Orcia - Pienza, Montepulciano, etc.) and Varenna at Lake Como. But that is probably 4 nights at AC, 2 or 3 nights at CT, 2 or 3 nights in Tuscany (other than Florence/Pisa) and 2 or 3 nights at Varenna/Milan - so around 13 nights between these 4 destinations. Since we have only 19 nights (18 days), we will have to drop one or two of these 4 destinations. Among these 4, the kids will likely enjoy Amalfi Coast and the trip to Capri the most - and wife wants to visit Varenna looking at the pictures - so it is possible heart of Tuscany and CT will be the ones dropped to bring the total nights among these non Rome-Venice-Florence to 9 or 10.
Wife wants to not miss Pisa (even if it is for taking that silly picture and Venice - so Venice cannot be dropped and Florence cannot be completely dropped (as it is near Pisa and can be a day trip).

So probably something like: Rome - 4 nights, AC - 4 nights, Florence - 3 nights, Venice - 3 nights, Varenna/Milan - 3 nights. That makes it 17 nights. Of the 2 nights remaining (of the 19 nights) - either give it to Florence or Rome (which will make it more relaxed) - or add 2 nights in Val d’Orcia (more what the kids may want).

Here's a few suggestions of things to do that the whole family should enjoy:

Thanks for the suggestions.

Posted by
39 posts

We just found out that a travel credit ( money from a cancelled flight) with United was extended until Dec 2022. The original expiration date was May 2022. United did not notify us of this change, we found out from a newsletter from The Points Guy. Could be your case too?

Posted by
70 posts

We just found out that a travel credit ( money from a cancelled flight) with United was extended until Dec 2022. The original expiration date was May 2022. United did not notify us of this change, we found out from a newsletter from The Points Guy. Could be your case too?

Yes - that might be the case.

Posted by
70 posts

So probably something like: Rome - 4 nights, AC - 4 nights, Florence - 3 nights, Venice - 3 nights, Varenna/Milan - 3 nights. That makes it 17 nights. Of the 2 nights remaining (of the 19 nights) - either give it to Florence or Rome (which will make it more relaxed) - or add 2 nights in Val d’Orcia (more what the kids may want).

I decided to give those 2 days to Cinque Terre and also add one more day to the entire trip which would also be given to Cinque Terre. So the trip now is:

Rome - 4 nights, AC - 4 nights, Florence - 3 nights, CT - 3 nights, Venice - 3 nights, Varenna/Milan - 3 nights. Total - 20 nights.

As working professionals we can only do one trip every 1-2 years. So it makes sense to go to countries other than Italy in the next 10 years or so. Hence it is good to cover all our highest priority Italy destinations during this trip and this itinerary does that at a manageable pace in a not too high number of days.

Now I am done with the itinerary planning.

Posted by
2140 posts

Looks good!
I really like that it’s all 3 or 4 nights stays

You might want to start a new thread or maybe edit your post subject line
I started to say maybe CT not a good choice in late March then remembered you changed trip to June;)

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks!

You might want to start a new thread or maybe edit your post subject line
I started to say maybe CT not a good choice in late March then remembered you changed trip to June;)

Changed the post subject line and added the final itinerary at the start of the post while keeping rest of the post for folks looking for help in March itinerary planning in the future by searching on Google.