Spending 15 nights in Italy towards end of October. Flying out of Venice. Was thinking to start in Rome, Florence, Venice as home bases. Day trips out like sienna or Islands off of Venice. Would love to see the Cinque Terre but don’t want to be rushed. Any thoughts? I should do Rome over coast right? How many days is enough-too much in these areas for time I’m there?
What are your interests? Do you prefer museums or hiking excursions (or both)? Four nights in Rome was enough for me - I saw what I needed to see and appreciated it but didn't love Rome. Some do, not everyone. I'm not a museum person; even though i had three nights in Florence, I did a lot of day trips and only one museum. I love the Cinque Terre - actually, I love the whole riviera (a small part of which is the CT, but it's the only part most first-time tourists have heard of, so they all want to go there). The CT has become very crowded and popular in the last decade or two, but maybe by late October it will be less crowded - a little. It may also be raining. If you aren't big hikers, I wouldn't make the CT a priority necessarily.
If you really have 15 nights in country, you could do 5 in Rome, 3 in Florence, 3 in the riviera/CT, and 4 in Venice,. That wouldn't be super rushed. (Use the train to get from place to place.)
Thanks for your response Andrew H. I do like hiking, food, and art. The CT sounds amazing, just didn’t know if all 4 areas was craming to much in. I don’t want to be traveling more than I’m seeing. I really do have 15 nights, land early on Oct 22 leave afternoon Nov 6 round trip from Venice. I feel Rome will be a lot and maybe overwhelming, but I would love to see the cites.
If you must round trip into/out of Venice, then I would probably head directly to Florence by train as soon as you land (take a bus to Mestre train station from the airport, a train from there). You could even go all the way to Rome to start and work your way back to Venice and do all of your nights in Venice at the end instead of splitting them up. But that does mean a longer first day of travel.
If you want to do Cinque Terre/riviera, I would try to get there earlier rather than later. The later into the fall you get, the shorter the days and the increased chance of rain. If you can be flexible, you might even make ad hoc plans as you go and go to the CT depending on the weather or move things around based on the weather. I'd rather be in a museum in Florence on a rainy day than up in one of the CT towns in the rain, where the trails have been closed to hikers due to the weather. In late October, you could probably pull that off.
Yes my round trip Venice is already set. I was thinking to head to Rome first then make my way back to Venice, thanks for your input. Just torn about the CT. Maybe the riviera is meant for another trip?
Venice 3 nights
Florence 5 nights -- day trips to Sienna, perhaps Lucca and Pisa
Orvieto 1 night
Rome 6 nights
I always recommend starting in Venice because it's the best place to get over jetlag and soak up the atmosphere. I would definitely not go to Rome the first day, and start in the big bustling city noisy city with several major sights. In your case it means spending your last night in Venice but I'd still advise you to do that. After 3 nights, you'll be ready for Rome, then the CT, and finally Florence. Spend your last full day in Florence and take an evening train to Venice. Then I'd suggest you find a hotel in Venice Mestre for an easy trip to the airport in the morning.