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1st time Italy help

My husband and I were able to extend our trip by 3 days.
Now we arrive in Rome 5/25 am and leave Rome 6/6 am.
That gives us 12 days. We still want to do Florence and tuscan countryside and Amalfi area and see Pompeii. I think now we have a more comfortable amount of time...does anyone have any recommendations of an itinerary. Rome is not as important to us but would love to get there for a couple of days. We are not going to have a car so should we stay in Florence and take day trips or stay in smaller village and take day trips. What towns are not to be missed in Tuscany. Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate all sugguestions. Fran

Posted by
7209 posts

I can't imagine why Rome is not high on your priority of sightseeing. Also, I can't imagine going to Italy and not seeing Venice.

You could do Rome->Florence->Venice by train. Then fly on EasyJet from Venice to Naples where you catch the Circumvesuviana commuter train on to Pompeii and eventually on to beautiful Sorrento on the Mediterranean with the dramatic seaside cliffs and the Isle of Capri right off the coast.

At the end of your trip train from Sorrento->Naples then Naples->Rome and spend the last night near Termini. You can catch the Leonardo Express from Termini to the airport for your flight home.

Lastly, it's a little difficult to explore the Tuscan countryside without a car.

Your dates of travel and where you should spend the night are:

5/25 Rome

5/26 Rome

5/27 Florence

5/28 Florence

5/29 Florence

5/30 Venice San Marco, Basilica, Doge's Palace

5/31 Venice easy 1/2 day trip to Murano, Burano

6/1 Venice daytrip to Verona

6/2 Sorrento (see Pompeii)

6/3 Sorrento (see Capri, Blue Grotto)

6/4 Sorrento

6/5 Rome (to see anything you neglected)

6/6 fly home

Posted by
1449 posts

I'm one of the "less is more" people. I find that a less hurried pace is more enjoyable, allows for spontaneous discoveries, and gives me the flexibility to switch things around a bit in a town if the weather is bad for a day or if I'm just tired.

I use 3 days in cities and 2 in smaller towns as a starting point, then modify it with what I want to see/do. So I'd suggest 2 days in Florence (3 if you want to make a day trip to Pisa or Sienna), then using a town in Tuscany/Umbria as a base (we've used Perugia & Cortona) for 3 more days to see the countryside. You can see 2 hilltowns a day by train easily. They have bus service from the hilltop down to the train station. Go see one in the morning; if you like it stay for lunch and then go to a 2nd one, if not move on and start with lunch in the 2nd. I hesitate to recommend specific towns since each has its charm; read thru descriptions in RS or other guides and plan days with 2 towns in the same general area. Now on a longer travel day ride the train down to Sorrento and just wander around Sorrento after checking in. We're up to 6 days used. Spend 3 exploring the Amalfi area; one day going to Pompeii (although I liked Herculaneum better), one down to Positano and maybe also Amalfi, one more relaxing around town & on the beach (actually floating docs at the town base) or on a day trip into Naples. This leaves the last 3 days for Rome.

This is all doable by train & bus. The bus is Florence <-> Siena and down the Amalfi coast (also consider taking the ferry one direction).

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks Mike, your suggestions are very helpful. I know most people believe less is more but we are used to being on the go. I think your guide is a really good base on what we would like to do. We aren't the type that like to spend all day in museums, although I'm sure we'll go to a couple to get some of the Italian history in.

Posted by
1633 posts

Orvieto is a small, quaint hilltown in Umbria that is easily accessible by train--just over an hour from Rome. It could be a day or overnight stop on your way to Florence from Rome.

Posted by
39 posts

I can send you our notes and itinerary from our last trip if you'd like (about 11 days). I highly recommend Rome, Florence, and Venice. We also stopped in Orvieto for lunch and a very enjoyable few hours of wandering on the way from Rome to Florence. Florence is a great home base for Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, and Cinque Terre. Venice is beautiful if you can give yourself 2 days there.

If you send me your email I will send you our notes which cover everything from packing to accommodations, transportation, museum tickets, tax refund, etc.

You'll have a great time whatever you do. :)