How long does it stay light during Sept early October? Thank you for any help!
We are going all over. Rome, amalfi, Florence, Venice, bolzano, Milan, conquest Terre. Yes we are crazy and trying to fit it all in. :)
Go here http://www.sunrisesunset.com/custom_srss_calendar.asp and plug in all those locations, and a calendar will come up and reveal everything to you. Sounds like a lot. Have you allowed for the time to change locations and travel time in between locations?
Thank you so much!
Leslie, What time frame do you have for visiting all the locations you mentioned? How are you planning to get between locations? Also, are you referring to the Cinque Terre ?
Actually, late September and early October is about the same all over the world. 12 hours. It's the equinox. There can be variations depending on where you are relative to a time zone change. On September 21 it is light later in Portland than it is in Lewiston.
Ken, We have 18 days to do all of this. Yes we are going to Cinque Terre too. Actually there are a few other places too that I didn't mention. But I did make a mock itinerary last night and sent it to my family. They seem to think that they can do Rome, Amalfi Coast, Assissi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Venice, Blozano, Varenna, Milan and Monte Cervina( Matterhorn). All in this trip. While it is technically possible they also seem to think that they are going to have some good down time too. I'm trying to get them to realize that the two don't mix. :) Either we run ourselves to death or we miss a few places and then have down time. They are driving me crazy! :)
We are planning on trains and buses to get us around.
I like the idea of referring to the Cinque Terre as the "Conquest Terre", since they've pretty much been conquered by tourists. :-) And you really should plan to stay at least two nights per location, IMHO. Otherwise, you're just playing "tag" with your destinations.
Leslie, With all respect, i'd suggest that your family needs to do a serious "reality check"!!! Trying to visit 12 geographically distant Italian locations in 18 days allows about 1.5 days per spot, with no allowances for travel times between locations. Whether it's actually possible is not really the issue. It wouldn't be an enjoyable holiday! Keep in mind that you'll lose the first day in flight times and time zone changes (you'll arrive the day AFTER you departed) and the last day will be spent on the flight home. For the first day or two, you'll still be recovering from jet lag, and won't be up to full "touring speed". Therefore, you have 16-days to work with. With this Itinerary, I can assure you there won't be any down time!!! It would be a good idea to get the group together and reduce the number of locations. Start with the Amalfi Coast as the transportation to that will use too much of your limited time. I'd also drop Milan unless there's a specific reason someone wants to stop there. With such a short time, I'd also drop Pisa as going there just to see the Tower is not worth the time it will take. I'm sure the others will have some comments on this as well. Good luck!
This FAQ, which is a stickie that's always at the top of the To The Boot page, http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/39867/bhow-much-time-to-get-there--itinerary-questions-answered-hereb.html was intended to help travelers who need help figuring out realistic travel times between their destinations. And to help them think about whether their proposed itineraries are feasible, or will not be as enjoyable as they were hoping because they didn't realize that changing locations and travel times between destinations will eat up more time than they thought.
Your itinerary sounds like a marathon on a dead run. italy isn't going anywhere, so plan on returning. Buon viaggio,
You should consider dropping at least Amalfi Coast, Pisa, Bolzano, and Milan. Good luck.
i finally got them to drop Bolzano and Venice. Yay!! 18 days is for the trip itself. so with flight in and out we have 20 days.
new itinerary is Milan-just mainly to fly into; matterhorn; varenna-there is a cooking class we really want to do; cinque terre; florence; rome and amalfi
Leslie, Dropping Bolzano and Venice are a good start, but IMHO it will still be necessary to cut a few more places. Even though you're not really staying in Milan, it will still take time to travel through there to your first destination (and possibly even one night, depending on what time your flight arrives). Assuming your Itinerary covers nine destinations in an 18-day time frame (not including Milan), that still only allows two days per city, still with no allowances for travel times. As your trip covers both the north and south of Italy, using open jaw flights would be a really good idea (eg: inbound Milan, outbound Rome). Given the number of places you're planning to visit, you'll need to use EuroStar Italia / Alta Velocita or other fast trains quite frequently, so be sure to allocate sufficient funds in your budget.
I would drop the Amalfi coast. It is out of the way of your other locations. I just spent 20 nights in Italy and stayed in Rome (3 nights), Siena (4 nights), Florence (2 nights), Lucca (1 night), Vernazza (3 nights), Varenna (3 nights), Venice (2 nights) and Verona (2 nights). I was surprised at how much time it took on each of our travel days. Getting to the train station, waiting for the train, then finding your way to your next lodging is more time consuming than you think it will be. This was the first time we used trains extensively. You definitely lose less time when traveling by car. Are you taking the cooking class at Il Caminetto? It was one of the highlights of our 4 week trip - we also spent a week in Bavaria. The class does take all day though. They picked us up at 10:00 a.m. and dropped us off at 5:00 p.m. We were there towards the end of September and it was beautiful there. Remember that Italy isn't going anywhere, and you will enjoy your trip so much more if you don't try to do everything. I went to Europe for the first time 4 years ago. I thought it would be my one and only trip there. Fast forward ...we just took our 4th trip and I am now planning my trip back next fall. A big time saver, fly into one location and out of another. It usually doesn't cost more (and sometimes it costs less), plus it saves you time and the cost of transportation back to your original location.
We were in Italy Nov/Dec. It seemed that it started getting dark by 4ish and by 5 completely dark that it seemed like 9 pm to me.
Too bad about dropping Venice. I would have dropped almost anything else first. Good luck.
I also wouldnt drop Venice and agree the Amalfi is out of the way. If you try to visit too much you will be able to say were in all those places but didnt actually experience them. 3 weeks in Italy allows you to really see and experience it as does 3 weeks in France.However everyones travel goals are not the same.
Noooo! Don't drop Venice! I would drop almost anywhere else on your itinerary first. Venice is one of the treasures of the world! It's unique. It's iconic. I can't imagine coming back from a trip to Italy to report that, while I missed Venice, I did get to see Bolzano...
Oh dear,not Venice. I have written recently on this wall about how Cinque Terre has leaped into major destination ranking. How can your gang go halfway around the world and, on what has to be the whistle stop tour of all whistle stop tours, and miss the most unique place in all of Europe? Love it or not as you wish, but surely you must visit it. (That's Venice, not the ubiquitous CT, by the way)
Thank you all for your tips. We are really OK with ping Venice. I know it may sound odd, but we really are. :) All we have heard from first hand people who have been there is that it stinks horribly, is dirty and way over priced. It is also on the other side of the country and so it would take up a lot of our time that we are hoping to spend more so in smaller towns around more of a 'country' setting. It will still be a stretch on our time to see Amalfi but it is at the end so it is an if-we-have-time thing.. We are definitely flying open-jaw. into Milan and out of Rome. I have a train timetable that we borrowed from friends that were there and brought it back so I'll be using it to help plan travel times. (unless anyone has any contrary experiences with that) (hope that made since) And yes, in the first part of this thread I did mean Cinque, not conquest. LOL. I was using my phone for that and it decides for me sometimes what i 'really' mean and changes it for me. And I will definitely be suggesting that bottle of wine to my family ;) Thank you all again!!
I suppose those of us who really love Venice should thank those people who insist for some reason that it's a horrible place to visit. Anything that means fewer tourists when we go can be looked at as a good thing. :-)
I'm glad there's always the bright side to look at.
It stays light as long as the sun is up.
7 trips to Venice, never noticed a stink, never noticed dirty. That's fine, though - more room for me and folks who want to go. The one thing I will give is the crowds do tend to fill up certain parts at some times of the year.
Leslie, My experience in Venice is much the same as Nigel mentioned. I've never noticed a "stink" and it didn't seem to be any more or less "dirty" than any other places in Italy. I will concede that I've found that Venice is more expensive than travel in other parts of Italy (in my experience). It's unfortunate that your group decided to drop Venice, as it's such a unique place with incredible history. However, everyone's preferences are different so it's best to focus on the places that do interest you. I agree with some of the others in terms of also dropping the Amalfi Coast. While it's very scenic, the transportation to get there and back will use valuable time (likely at least half a day in each direction). For that part of your trip, the quickest method is to use ES/AV trains to Napoli Centrale and then transfer to the Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento. Travel to Positano or some other locations will often involve a Bus. You'll have to decide if the time and expense in getting there and back is worth the effort for a very short visit.
Consider picking either the CT or Amalfi - not both. They're both made up of steep seaside villages. The main difference is that the Amalfi locations are higher end than the CT, meaning more expensive shops, resorts, etc.
It's been a week since I have been back from Italy. I was there for 16 nights. This is what I did: Milan 1, Florence 3, Siena 2 with side trip to San Gimignano, Assisi 2 with side trip to Orvieto, Rome 4, Venice 3. It was an exhausting 16 night trip even staying in the cities for 2 or more days. If I could start over again and re plan this trip, this is what I would have done: Milan 1, Florence 3, Siena 3, Assisi 3, Venice 7. Notice the 7 days in Venice. Yes, Venice was that awesome (of course IMO). No other place in Italy shook me up like Venice did. Oh and another thing: VENICE DOES NOT STINK!!!!!! I think maybe it did in the past and they have been unable to shake that stereotype ever since. But it is your trip and your family's trip so have fun no matter what you do.
thank you for the comments on Venice. I certainly never meant to offend anyone!!!! Since I haven't been there I will keep an open mind. But as mentioned Italy isn't going anywhere and we are going to keep it for a future trip. I will agree that I too feel that Amalfi is slightly redundant since we are already going to cinque Terre. My mom wants to see Pompeii and I want to see Paestum so since we are down there we may as well see amalfi.
But we have till September to finalize our route, so I'm sure it will change again as we learn about different places. idk though. But I really do appreciate all viewpoints, but please dont be nasty about the comments i relayed from people who told me about Venice. I'm truly sorry for speaking out of place.
You didn't speak out of place, nor did anybody, and I bet nobody's offended - I'm certainly not. You asked for input - we are passionate and gave it. If you've never been somewhere and others have you will hear from them. Your other friends saw and reported something. We have seen and reported otherwise. I'm sure nobody's wrong, just have seen different things. What you get on this board (I've never seen it counted up) is probably several hundred trips to each of the major places and dozens to even the most out of the way - except for some places mentioned by Lee who is unique on many. I myself have traveled to Europe and Great Britain (not counting the UK in the 20+ years I've lived in the UK) at least 50 times. You came here for first hand knowledge and that what we have. Nobody's upset. Its your trip (and your gang) and completely for you to do as you wish. Keep on with the questions and I know we will keep coming with what we see as the answers. We are all as different as different things. When you see us agreeing there's probably something in it. Happy Trails..... (and be glad you're not in Europe this week....)
I've been enjoying lurking on this thread and now I'm finally moved to put in my two cents: I'm sure Nigel is right that nobody is offended. But OMG I just got back from Italy and Venice was the place I was least interested in going to and turned out to be the place I most wanted to return to! I noticed no stink, and the canals were cleaner than the Marina del Rey here in Los Angeles. People seem to fall into two camps when it comes to Venice: some say Venice is magical (that's definitely me) and others think it is the Times Square of Italy.