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2 Weeks in Italy

I am currently planning a trip to Italy for my husband and I for the end of May. I am struggling with the itinerary because I have been to Italy before and he has not; I want him to be able to experience all that is wonderful about Italy, but do not want to repeat my first trip.

Here is my tentative itinerary:

May 16th - Travel to Nice from Rotterdam (we currently live in Delft)

May 17th - Nice

May 18th - Day in Monacco; travel to Genoa

May 19th - Genoa; Travel to Cinque Terra

May 20th - Cinque Terra

May 21st - Travel through Pisa (stop and look at tower) to Florence

May 22nd - Florence

May 23rd - May 3oth - Travel to?

June 1st - Fly Home from Rome or Naples (or Bari)

I know I want to spend 3 days in Rome, but the rest of the trip I am unsure about. I have been to Venice, San Gimignano, Lucca, Sienne, and Ferrara.

I am looking for suggestions of other small, wonderful Italian towns to stay in that are easily accessible on the train and thoughts as to whether a trip to Sorrento and Capri would be a good idea since we are spending a bit of time on the coast already. It is also possible for us to fly home from Bari and I was contemplating hitting Rome and then going to the southeast coast for the rest of the trip.



Posted by
242 posts

I would love to here more suggestions about traveling down the Adriatic side of Italy and flying out of Bari, especially about recommended small towns.

I am only stopping in Florence to visit the big two art galleries; I know some people love it, but I didn't really care for it last time I was there. I want my husband to be able to David and my favorite painting is Botticelli's Birth of Venus, but after that I would prefer to move on.

Posted by
12154 posts

If he hasn't been to Venice, I would certainly include that. May should be a great time to visit. We also really enjoyed Verona, which could work as a stop when you cross Northern Italy.

Posted by
779 posts

You're already moving around quite a bit; I think you could enjoy yourself sufficiently with the destinations you already have in mind. Add a day to the Cinque Terre and a day to Florence, then spend the rest of your time in Rome.

In terms of other small, wonderful Italian towns to stay in that are on your intended train route, the only one that comes to mind is Orvieto, between Florence and Rome.


Posted by
1449 posts

Laura, there are so many great places to visit in Italy that its hard to know where to begin! You might want to rearrange your itinerary a bit once you fill that extra week so you're not backtracking, BTW. Also, as far as coastal, the hill range running thru the center of Italy makes visiting interior towns by train a bit more difficult that the coastal areas.

Anyway, to throw out a few ideas ... Parma is a small town outside of Bologna, with the wonderful food of the region (Parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, etc). The Adriatic side of Italy is somewhat less visited by tourists even though it is popular with Italians; the Marche region (including Ravenna, Pesaro, etc) is interesting to visit. The problem with that side is it would be more time consuming to end up in Rome or Naples, but if you work your way down the coast to Bari it would work. Or if you're going from Florence down toward Rome you could stay at one or two of the hilltowns in Tuscany/Umbria. Maybe use one as a base for a few days such as Perugia or Cortona, and then take day trips by bus/train to surrounding towns. Perugia is a hub for a bus network and you can work out your trip ahead of time if you spend a little time with the online bus schedules. So maybe 3-4 days in a hilltown, then on to Rome for the final days.

Posted by
586 posts

I agree fully with the concept of adding a day to Cinque Terre and a day to Firenze. Might also considering taking a 'stand' and skipping the Pisa stop altogther!

Posted by
84 posts

Hi Laura - Have a nice trip! I just sspent 15 days in Italy at the end of October. I went to Sorrento. Sorrento was OK ...Pompeii was could do a day trip from Rome. I would skip doesn't have much to offer except shopping. Spend more time in Tuscany. The hill towns around Siena are pretty. Take your husband to Venice!

Posted by
157 posts

Personally I would delete Monaco and add the time to CT or Rome. You are doing a lot of traveling and in one place for the briefest amount of time. I think that will get very tiring and much time will be lost traveling not actually seeing anything. Have you considered skipping Nice as well and flying into Pisa? The Pisa airport is nice and small and gets you right into Italy. If you are renting a car the car will likely cost less than picking it up in one country and dropping it off in another.

Posted by
242 posts

Nice is part of the trip for me. I am looking forward to spending some time on in the French Riviera and it accessible from where we live by plane and train. I guess I should go ahead and mention that we are hitting Milan and Venice on other weekends, so they do not need to factored into this trip.

Does anyone have any advice about traveling down the Adriatic coast (by train or bus)?

Posted by
109 posts

I personally would leave southern Italy for another trip. You do not say what your interests are but have you considered basing yourself in an agriturismo in southern Tuscany or Umbria for several days of relaxation? They can range from rustic to quite luxurious but it is our favorite way to travel in Italy. Some of our favorite towns were Orvieto, Todi,Civita di Bagnoregio. In 2006 we traveled to Puglia and loved it, but I would not travel from one end of Italy to another. Too hectic for us.
Good luck. Whatever you decide, let us know how it goes.

Posted by
1449 posts

Laura, take a look at the Rough guides. They cover every region in Italy, including the Adriatic side. You can probably find other guidebooks that cover the Adriatic side, or find websites. My personal experience is only with Pesaro; we were staying in Urbino and traveling around by car. It is a beach resort town with a pedestrian-only walking section. One of the best meals I've ever had in my life was in Pesaro!

Also I want to agree with some of the comments made earlier about visiting fewer places. Are you an experienced traveler? I ask because if you've done this before and you're ok with it, that's great; you know what you like. However if this is your first trip like this -- my personal recommendation would be to stay 2 nites minimum with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, and 3 nites would be better. Even if you're just taking a 2-hour train ride by the time you get to the station ahead of the train, then on arrival find the new hotel and get set to go explore, it's going to feel like 1/2 the day is already gone.

Posted by
15450 posts

Im going to disagree with Gio! Do stop for 1/2 day in Pisa on your way to Florence. Seeing the Leaning Tower is much different from the pictures, and climbing it is an experience. The church, baptistry and grounds are lovely. You can leave your luggage at the train station.

Posted by
32065 posts


With such a short trip my preference would be to add a day or two onto either the Cinque Terre or Florence, rather than adding many other stops. However, if you do want to stop in one of the hill towns on your way from Florence to Rome, I would recommend Orvieto (which is in Umbria), since you've already been to Siena and don't want to revisit places you've already been. From Orvieto you can also visit one of Rick's favourite "back door" locations, the small village of Civita di Bagnoregio.

I'm assuming you'll be visiting Rome for at least a few days? There's LOTS to see, so I'd suggest at least four days. If you're able to buy Rick's Italy book in local bookstores, it's an excellent reference to take with you, as there's lots of details on opening & closing times for various attractions, how to minimize queue's (especially at the Colosseum), lodgings, restaurants, etc.

If you decide to focus more on the Amalfi coast, Sorrento makes a good "home base", as it's easy to visit Pompeii, Capri, Positano or other places from there. It's also easy to reach Naples for your flight home. As you may know, you'll need to use the Circumvesuviana train to reach Sorrento from Naples. If you need further information on the trains, post another note and many here can provide the details.

Happy travels!