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8 1/2 day Itinerary in November

Hello!

I am trying to plan an itinerary for an 8 1/2 day trip in Italy in early November. My just married husband and I (this will be a honeymoon) plan on leaving the USA on November 2nd, with an arrival in Rome in the midafternoon on the 3rd. Whatever our plans, we have to end up back in Rome the night of the 11th, for a late morning departure from Rome back to the USA on the 12th.

My fiancé and I are huge foodies. We love trying the local cuisine. I am definitely a wine aficionado while my fiancé prefers beer. We also enjoy experiencing what the locals do and aren't too big on being touristy. We like art, culture, and history - but to an extent. We prefer that not be the focus of our trip but rather knock out the "must-sees". We definitely want to visit the typical spots, such as Rome, Florence, and Venice. We're wondering, since we are not interested in seeing every museum, if we have time for one more spot. We understand the weather might not be ideal, so I think we might want to avoid Cinque Terre, Capri, the Almalfi Coast, etc? Whatever itinerary we end up deciding on, we know we have our hearts set on renting out a car in Florence, staying in a villa in Tuscany for 3 days, while we enjoy the wine and food tours in the area while also taking a cooking class or two.

Basically, I think I have an idea of what we want to do in Rome, Florence, and Venice, but I'm not too sure how much time I need in Rome and Venice, and if maybe we can squeeze in another city. I know the train rides to these cities also eat up time. I don't want to feel too rushed, as this is a honeymoon, so if we need to stop at just those 3 cities, that's fine too. Also, just itinerary suggestions in general are much appreciated. I am overwhelmed by the endless number of options!

Posted by
193 posts

As I understand your priorities, you've got something like this in mind:

Nov 2 departure from US
Nov 3 mid-afternoon arrival in Rome, transfer to villa in Tuscany
Nov 4 5 6 Tuscany for 3 days, wine and food tours, cooking class or two
Nov 7 transfer to Venice
Nov 8 9 Venice
Nov 10 transfer back to Rome
Nov 11 Rome
Nov 12 departure from Rome

Even with 3 destinations, this gives you very little time in Rome (or very little time in Venice) and you are likely to feel rushed. I wonder if you shouldn't choose 2 destinations (Rome and your villa in Tuscany) and allocate the additional days to some day trips and time in Florence.

Posted by
2460 posts

You say you want to do Rome, Florence and Venice plus a 3-night stay in a Tuscan villa, which isn't realistic in the limited time you have. A better option might be to go directly to Florence for 3 nights, rent a car for your Tuscan villa stay and then return to Rome for the last few days of your trip. Note that alcohol limits are very low in Italy and it wouldn't be wise to drive after winery visits. In Rome your husband might enjoy Open Baladin, an Italian craft beer pub near Campo de' Fiori.

Posted by
4 posts

Your replies have all been so helpful! It’s definitely giving me a better idea of my time restraints. It makes me wonder, if we just chose Rome and Florence, if Venice could be done in just a day trip? We want to see the canals, take a ride, and maybe grab a bite to eat. I don’t think I need very much time there, considering my priorities.

Posted by
757 posts

So seven nights total? I would definitely limit that to two locations. Rome and Florence. When you’re in Florence you could do a day tour out into the countryside and have lunch and wine tasting at a winery in the area. Tours by Roberto are very popular, deservedly so.

Venice is 3H22 minutes each way by train from Florence. I would save it for another trip, personally. Way too rushed for me.

Posted by
65 posts

Fast train from Florence to Venice Santa Lucia takes about 2 hours. So it is certainly feasible to take a day trip from Florence to Venice, beware that you won't have time to visit places like Murano or Burano. But be sure to take the vaporetto from San Marco Square to San Giorgio Maggiore, which is a small island on the opposite side of the channel, you will get the best view of the entire San Marco Square, Doge's palace,..etc. Also take the elevator to the top of the bell tower of the church.

Posted by
4 posts

Well, no, it’s 9 nights total.
Nov 2 - travel day
Nov 3 - half day/night 1
Nov 4-11 - night 2 to night 9
Nov 12 - travel day

I think 1 night in Venice, instead of a day trip due to train travel time, would maybe be okay and not too rushed?

Posted by
193 posts

If you do the overnight in Venice, as you're suggesting, you'd have this:

Nov 2 departure from US
Nov 3 mid-afternoon arrival in Rome, transfer to villa in Tuscany
Nov 4 5 6 Tuscany for 3 days, wine and food tours, cooking class or two
Nov 7 am transfer to Venice, pm in Venice, sleep in Venice
Nov 8 am in Venice, pm transfer to Rome
Nov 9 10 11 Rome
Nov 12 departure from Rome

It would be a whirlwind in Venice. Only you can decide if that's the pace you want!!

Posted by
193 posts

Just a thought on whether to stay the night in Venice or visit it as a (long) day trip. If you stay the night in Venice, that's an additional hotel transfer, which eats up even more time getting from the train station to your hotel, checking in, etc.

If you stay in your villa in Tuscany, you'd have a long day trip to Venice, but less hassle of the additional hotel transfer. And, while you're in Tuscany, if you decide you're having a great time and would rather not take the day trip to Venice, you can just stay where you are and enjoy more time in Tuscany!

Posted by
4 posts

I am really liking the idea of maybe tentatively planning just a day trip to Venice. I do like the freedom of that, depending on how much fun I’m having in Tuscany. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

Any ideas of the best areas to stay in Tuscany without getting excessively far from Florence?

Posted by
12358 posts

The difficulty with the tentative-day-trip idea to a distant city is that it works only if you take an express train. Last-minute purchase of a round-trip Freccia trip from Florence to Venice will be very costly. It looks as if the cost will be 106 euros per person. The cost could be less than half as much if you bought non-refundable/non-changeable tickets when they initially went on sale.