My husband & I are planning a 16 day trip with the following itinerary: Rome; Positano; ??; Tuscany -San Quirico d'Orcia near Montalcino @ Il Poggiolo B&B; San Gimigniano @ Vecchio Asilo; Modena area or Cinque Terre; ending with Venice. We are looking for ideas for a B&B in Rome and Venice and suggestions for a location between Positano and Montalcino to stay. I think including Cinque Terre would be too much... thoughts? Ideas on Modena area? Feeling a little overwhelmed! First timers in Italy ;-)
Deanna - I too am interested in the Modena area. Our group (3 couples) is staying just outside of Modena on October 20 at Locanda Del Feudo in the town of Castelvetro. The rooms look beautiful and the rates are great! Just a suggestion. Have fun.
I think you are staying in too many cities - 6 cites and trying to add a 7th in 15 days. Cross Positano off the list simply because it is too far south compared to the rest of the cities you are interested in seeing. You want to spend your time touring cities, not traveling between them and checking in/out of hotels.
We were in Modena as a day trip from Bologna this May...not that exciting. No need to spend the night there. You can explore from Modena if that is your plan, just don't expect too much in the way of a piazza and vibrant town!
The Cinque Terre is a bit out of your way based on your plans now. you already have the coast around Rome planned, so stick with that. Spend more time on the Amalfi coast to get the feel for a beach area in Italy.
Between Positano and Montalcino you could choose Pienza (also VERY small, but cute) or Orvieto (wonderful little town) If you are renting a car, you have freedom to move a lot, so just plop yourself down in a town and go explore!
I have done a lot of those places, and included Cinque Terre on a trip that went from Venice -> Ravenna -> Siena -> Florence -> Pisa -> Cinque Terre -> Milan. I can say that this was really a whirlwind trip. Whatever you do, try to keep going in one direction; don't backtrack!
Are you going car or train? A car makes you a lot more flexible, as you can spend a romantic few nights at an agriturismo in Tuscany, for example. Recommend taking a car if you're dreaming of Montalcino and San Gimigniano.
Based on your itinerary I'd do everything on it, but choose between the Cinque Terre and Venice. You have to WANT to go to the Cinque Terre. It's always out of the way, and close to almost nothing. There is a major train line that goes from many points in Eastern Europe to Villach, Austria, which connects easily to Salzburg, Venice or Ljubljana. So Venice is easier to put on another itinerary in the future. But since this is an anniversary, it's tough to nix Venice.
Everyone's replies have been so helpful! We have indeed nixed Cinque Terre and will be travelling by car except in the major cities. I am trying to figure out if I should just focus on Tuscany and Venice after Rome... to avoid the backtracking with the Amalfi coast. My husband really wants to see Pompeii, so we are struggling with that! I think we need to come back a second time and savour the Tuscany region at a more leisurely pace this time!
Keep the posts coming... they are most helpful!
Deanna, are you flying into Rome? Is there a reason you HAVE to start there? Why not start in Tuscany and end in Amalfi? You'll need to backtrack a little to get to whatever airport you're flying out from. There isn't exactly a major airport near Amalfi.
Another thought would be to start on the Amalfi Coast and head north. You could fly into Rome and out of Florence. Just see Rome on the way through instead of right away upon arrival. The downside to this option is that you're starting your trip in an area that is typically better for a relaxing hiatus in the middle of a trip.
We were flying into Rome and departing from Venice... perhaps you are right about starting in Amalfi and doing Rome on the way back up the coast. We arrive at 9:00 a.m. and could even drive down the coast or train down. I am a little worried about being jet-lagged though. I also thought about checking to see if we could revise our flight to arrive in Naples and that way we would hardly backtrack at all! Thanks for the ideas Jarrod et al!