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Amalfi coast or Florence? Can't decide

We will be in Rome for 2 days pre cruise and then have 7 days post cruise. Had planned to train it down to amalfi coast area for a few days then train to venice for couple days and fly home from there. I am reading all your suggested itineraries for short visits and all say Rome/Florence/Venice. Will my rome/Amalfi/Venice plan work? We are beach/water fans over art really. Thanks

Posted by
53 posts

Nancy, I've been to Italy twice. On my last adventure I went down to the Amalfi coast. Sorrento was nice but positano was a dissapointment for sure. If you go all the way down to amalfi you will waste a lot of time on the trains. Amalfi coast looks like the rest of the western coast of Italy; Beautiful but the same. Instead, go to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terra, then Venice. Cinque terra will give you so much more of what the amalfi has to offer and its a slower pace with less traffic. you can do it in a day and a half, or 1 if you get us early and finish with a nice dinner in Vernazza. if you decide on this let me know. I'll recommend a great and fun resturaunt to eat at with fun brothers to tell you stories and jokes as you eat.


Posted by
3551 posts

Check the train travel schedule becuz it will take alot of time to do your first choice with transfers and waits in between. If art is not your interest skip Florence and just do Rome and Venice well. After my 5 trips to Italy I would leave Amalfi coast for another time. Unlike the last poster I think Amalfi coast and its villages are stunningly beautiful and not like most of coastal Italy.

Posted by
479 posts

Nancy, I second the previous post, that Florence is really only for those who can't get enough art. Otherwise it's an over-hyped, insanely expensive tourist mecca with way too many cars and mopeds wrecking whatever sliver of charm used to exist there. It's an AMAZING place for art, and is EXTREMELY historically significant. But I'm not a huge art buff. All I needed to find out is exactly how tall David was, and I was done for the day.

Posted by
1883 posts

Nancy, I've been to Italy 6x. If you want a totally relaxing time, then pick the Amalfi coast. Plan on Pompei and Vesuvio. Ravello is cute, and the ceramic shopping is great.

I LOVE Florence, and miss that town. The Duomo is beautiful and there are lots of little museums to visit. Walking Ponte Vecchio is wonderful too. Florence is a city to be enjoyed and not missed!

If your plans are to fly out of Venice, then I'd skip the Amalfi coast and go north to Florence, enjoy the city, take a day trip to Siena, maybe rent a car for a day and explore the hilltop towns like San Gimignano or Volterra, then train it to Venice.

Going to the coast is a bit more major an undertaking due to the changing of trains. Sorrento is 4 hours from Rome. Florence is a straight shot from Rome in about 1/2 that time (fast train)

My vote for you, is Florence!

Posted by
3313 posts

I'm going to say Florence, then Venice. Once you've been cruising, you'll have seen plenty of ocean and coastal villages. A couple nights in Florence and then three or four in Venice is an efficient way to finish off your trip and see very different styles of Italy.

Posted by
6 posts


I've been to all the places you mentioned, and although I love each one of them, I have to say the Amalfi Coast is my favorite. I've been there twice and just rented a villa there to go back again later this year. If you love the water and beaches and aren't real "big" on museums, then I think you would probably prefer the Amalfi Coast over Florence. The only drawback would be the long journey from there to Venice to fly back home. If you only had a day or two that might be kind of tough, but since you have a full week after you cruise, I don't think you will regret spending a few days on the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
3112 posts

I'm with Cindy. As long as you don't mind about 8 hours on trains going from Amalfi coast to Venice, spend 3 or 4 days of your post-cruise week there. You'll love it.

Posted by
1166 posts

We had the same "fun" problem! The Amalfi coast AND Capri are among my family's favorite places in Italy. However, if you are leaving out of Venice, the travel BACK up to Venice would make me reconsider. With our days post cruise(we docked in Rome), we took the train up to LaSpezia and into Vernazza. We stayed 2 nights and hiked each of the villages(fabulous!)and took a ferry over to Portofino(also fabulous for water fans!). Then you could train it through Lake Como and into Venice. If you love the beach like our family does, you must see Cinque Terre/Portofino AND the Amalfi Coast/Capri. They are so different, yet extremely enjoyable! So definitely do the other on the next trip! Being a family of beach fanatics, Capri and the fabulous hikes(we followed paths to incredible grottoes!), as well as the Blue Grotto and the Farogolini rocks were awesome! Have fun choosing!