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Frecciagialla or Italostar

For my 5000th post in this forum when I will get my yellow star next to my name I'm planning to celebrate with a trip to Italy using the Frecciagialla and the Italostar train.

My initial itinerary is to land in Naples and upon landing take immediately a train to Varenna on lake Como where I will spend 2 to 3 weeks. I'm an avid hiker and I will spend most of the time hiking the trails from Varenna to Monterosso.
Following that stay I will then go to Amalfi, not sure if I should take a train or if there are ferries from Varenna, so hopefully you can help me.
I will spend 2 nights in Amalfi where I plan to take a day trip to Naples, Pompeii, Positano, Sorrento, Capri, Ravello, Procida, and, if I have time, Paestum. Do you think I could also visit Sicily or Venice on another day trip if I add one night to Amalfi?
After the Amalfi coast I plan to visit the Dolomites for one night, I want to stay in Castelrotto, as I heard on RS' it's the only town in the Dolomites.
After another day there hiking, I plan to take the Frecciagialla high speed train to Montepulciano, apparently the only hill town in Tuscany. Do I have to change trains in Pisa and La Spezia or is there a non stop train from Castelrotto to Montepulciano?

Thank you all for your help. It has been a pleasure posting 5000 replies to this forum, especially this post.

PS: I just needed one post to reach 5000 posts and get my yellow star, so here it is.

Posted by
4531 posts

Congratulations on getting your yellow star Roberto!!!

I enjoyed reading your 5000th post immensely! Very funny!

EDIT: Roberto, you forgot something on your itinerary...

Since you will be spending 2 to 3 weeks in Varenna on Lake Como, you can take a ferry from there to Sardinia!

Actually the Frecciagialla will get you there in half the time!

¡Felicidades Roberto!

Posted by
16788 posts

Gosh, it's very handsome. And your itinerary plan is even more ambitious!

Posted by
62 posts

Thank you for posting, I had the same questions but was afraid to ask. Congrats and thanks for all the useful info leading up to this joyous occasion.

Posted by
433 posts

Brilliant plan!
Be sure to validate your train pass and bring Euro from home.

Thanks for all your posts, this star earning post made me laugh!

Posted by
15621 posts

Stella Gialla! Couldn't you have timed it to occur on April 1?

Posted by
651 posts

Be sure you don't wear white sneakers, or people will KNOW you are a tourist. Don't forget your money belt, and your matching set of RS approved luggage.

Posted by
557 posts

Don't forget to validate your train tickets! And though I'm a relative"newbie," I think you might have some unnecessary backtracking--just saying.... Really though, I've learned a lot from your posts for my upcoming trip in 6 days. And I have appreciated you taking the time to help us all try to figure things out for ourselves. Happy 5000th!

Posted by
3470 posts

Bravo !! And how do I get from Venice airport to Venice...Great work Roberto!

Your star is very shinny.

Posted by
31055 posts


Congratulations on your well deserved stella d' oro! You've helped many here (including me) with your excellent and accurate comments.

Thanks also for sharing your creative and entertaining sense of humour!

Posted by
9450 posts

Auguri! It is a shame you don't have time to fit Firenze into your itinerary. And too bad you skipped Roma: I would have bought you a glass of prosecco to celebrate your pretty star. Cin cin!


Posted by
2762 posts

Congrats on the yellow star. You have earned it!!! However your proposed itinerary sucks.

Posted by
1539 posts

Congrats Roberto - and many thanks for all of your posts and the excellent info that you provide to us all.

Posted by
91 posts

Are you going to get Euros here in the US or wait until you arrive in Italy? Happy 5000th!

Posted by
464 posts

Well, your itinerary would need a few improvements. For example, you are lacking a train trip between Venice and Cinque Terre, if possible without stamping your tickets and risking heavy fines which will be collected on the spot!

Posted by
4531 posts

Roberto will you be packing 5 shirts & does that include the one you will be wearing on the plane?

Please do not wear flip flaps or you will get piedi neri!

Thanks for all your helpful advice on this forum, I've learned so much from reading many of your posts!

Posted by
11613 posts

Benvenuti 5000+ times! I see you figured it's 5001 that gets you the gold star!

Posted by
11700 posts

Congratulazioni, Roberto!
Thank you for the first HUGE laugh of the day!

O yes, leave those white tennies at home; that bella figura thing, ya know.

Posted by
693 posts

Make sure you carry plenty of toothpaste to wash your underwear with in bathroom sinks.

Posted by
715 posts

yes, but have you designed a better money belt?

Posted by
247 posts


A tip: Remember to buy a whole new wardrobe full of clothing before you depart. If Italians see you are not dressed very fashionably they will assume you are a prostitute and not give you anything to eat at their restaurants!

Please consider the latest styles from Milan's Fashion week 2015:

These lovely sport coats/suits will have you making friends in Italy in no time. Photo #2 is my favorite:

I'm a big fan of the overall look shown in the middle of this photo:

Posted by
783 posts

Congratulations! It is obvious that you have really learned how to make the most of your time in Italy. Spending quality time in each little town is so important. You are an inspiration to us all and I am sure many people will try to follow your itinerary! It looks like you have a plan that completes any need to return to Italy. According to RS you have seen and done it all. So where to next?

Love reading your posts - I know I get good information and great ideas for my next trip! Keep on posting!!!

Posted by
1102 posts


I suggest you rent a car since you are planning on so many day trips. It is fairly easy to drive in Italy, especially cities like Naples and Amalfi. You can even drive yourself to Venice, they have ample parking along all the canal side streets. True, a car can be expensive, but as long as you have your international driver's permit, you should be fine.

Seriously though, I love your posts and have learned a lot! Congratulations on your star!!

Posted by
23851 posts

Have you got all your hotel reservations yet? They fill up pretty quickly if you just use the Blue Book. Anywhere not in the Book isn't worth considering. If it was any good at all it would have been in the Book.

And what about those skip the line tickets. If you don't get them several months ahead you won't be able to get in anywhere.

Have you got your selfie stick yet?

Have a great trip. I think you've left something out but I can't figure out what....

Posted by
467 posts

Thanks Roberto. I enjoy your posts. Yes, the start looks good!


Posted by
11170 posts

"I think you've left something out but I can't figure out what...."

Well, he needs an RFID-blocking cover for his passport and RFID-blocking holder for his credit cards, for starters. He'll want bicycle chains (the heaviest he can carry), to hold his luggage securely on the trains, as protection against the many thieves. And then there's a 220 to 110 volt stepdown transformer that can handle 1800 watts, so he can bring his home hair dryer...

Congratulations on your posting milestone, Roberto. And most sincerely, thanks for all your great posts - they really are tremendous.

Posted by
707 posts

Enjoy that shiny star, Roberto! Always read your posts. And you legitimately earned that star -- without 1000 posts of "Avoid the ZTLs!" and another 1000 of "You must have an international DP!"