First and maybe only visit to Italy this summer with my son on what is really a heritage tour ( I am 60+,he is 18). We'll have 8-10 days (not counting flight). My mother's side is fom Sicily, father's from Naples. Want to visit both, plus Venice and Rome. Don't want a tour. Don't have to see everything, mostly just want to soak it all in.
Joan, First of all, what a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your son! I'm not sure what information you want, but here are a few thoughts. If you have 10 days, 4 locations is a lot. If you really want to do all four, I suggest flying into Venice and working south, flying home from Sicily if possible. Otherwise, maybe fly into Rome, and then go on to Naples, and Sicily; even that's a lot of territory. Given the family focus, you might want to spend a little time getting immigration documents, etc, about your ancestors and focusing Naples and Sicily visits on those specific locales. As a starter, I suggest picking up a few good guidebooks to develop your plans. The Rick Steves books (or just the Italy book) would help with Venice, Rome, and Naples, but I don't think any cover Sicily (may be wrong about that). The DK Eyewitness Guides and National Geographic Guides aren't terrific to take with you, but have lots of great photos that help me with narrowing down plans when I need direction. And the Europe through the Back Door book is a really good source for practical information about logistics. The Rick Steves office also offers phone travel consultations for a fee; that may help with planning. Finally, although you don't want to take a tour, looking at tour itineraries for the areas is a good way of identifying highlights/routes that most people take. Enjoy your planning
Joan, I have to agree with Chani in terms of visiting four geographically distant places in an 8-10 day time frame. I also agree that skipping Venice would be a good idea. Does your time frame include your two flight days? You'll arrive in Europe the day after you depart (and will be jet-lagged for a few days), and the last day will be spent on the flight home. Your proposed Itinerary is too busy (IMO) and won't allow much/any time to "soak it all in". Keep in mind that each time you change locations, it will require at least half a day, and in some cases a full travel day. Each move will require both time and money. Is there any possibility you could add more time? Although it still wouldn't allow much time, you could arrange your Itinerary along these lines: > D1 - Flight to Italy > D2 - Arrive Naples > D3 - Naples, touring > D4 - Naples, touring > D5 - Flight to Palermo (Alitalia?) > D6 - Palermo, touring > D7 - Palermo, touring > D8 - Flight to Rome (EasyJet) > D9 - Rome, touring > D10 - Flight home There are many ways this could be arranged, and this is only one suggestion. I "weighted" the trip more towards Naples and Palermo, as that seems to be your desired focus. Buon Viaggio!
You could do Venice-fly to Sicily-fly to Naples-train to Rome-fly home. In ten days, from your post I think you'll want to spend more time in Sicily and Naples, perhaps three nights in each place, and two nights each in Venice and Rome. Flying will take a half-day instead of a full day of travel (example: Alitalia flight from Palermo to Naples is one hour, plus three hours to/from airport/hotel and security lines at airport). The Venice-Sicily flight time will be longer. What part of Sicily are you planning to visit? You can fly into either Palermo or Catania from the mainland.
Best trip of my life was to Sicily! We did the East Coast, arriving in Catania and basing in Taormina. Absolutely beautiful, and while we were there we DID have a guide best $$ I ever spent on a vacation. Went to Mt. Etna, still active and beautiful, to a vineyard for a wine tasting (with food), and some other things, including the town where Godfather I was filmed. Taormina has beautiful Greek Ruins (the Greek Theatre) and the views are absolutely amazing. You might want to scratch Venice from this trip and add a day on for your "Heritage" places! I'd do at least 4 days in Sicily, 2 in Naples, visiting Pompei, and the rest in Rome. It would be great if you could add another 3 days to this trip! If you want, you can look at www.magicofsicily.com which has drop dead gorgeous pics of Taormina. We're returning this year and doing more time in Sicily along with visiting the friends we made in Taormina.
In 10 days, it's possible, though rushed. If you end up with less than 10, think about skipping Venice, not best in summer and too far from your other destinations.