A few years ago I started taking annual trips to Europe during my summer break (I'm a university professor), traveling solo. I typically spend 4-5 nights in larger cities and 1-2 nights in smaller towns. For me, that pace hits a sweet spot where I can see a decent number of places, but I'm not constantly changing locations.
I'm planning to visit Italy for the first time next June, and besides wanting to see lots of places, I've also discovered some special events I'd like to attend. I thought it best to work my way from south to north since average temperatures will be rising during the month. For this trip, I've eliminated everything south of Rome, and also the Dolomites and the CT. But I still have approximately a four-week itinerary:
- Fly into Rome: 5 nights
- Florence: 4 nights
- Lucca: 3 nights (including a day trip to Pisa, possibly on the day of the Regata di San Ranieri)
- Venice: 4 nights (including a day trip to Padova)
- Verona: 1 night (to attend the Verona Opera Festival)
- Lake Como: 3-4 nights
- Siena: 5-6 nights (I know it's geographically inefficient to go back to Tuscany, but I wanted to finish the trip as early in July as possible, while also being in Siena for Il Palio on July 2).
- Fly home from Florence
Last summer I toured central Europe for just over three weeks (Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, and Munich), and I would have been happy to continue for another week. But it sounds like Rome, Florence, and Venice will be more crowded and more exhausting than my destinations from previous years. I could easily cut out a week by eliminating Lucca and Lake Como, but those should actually be among the more relaxing days on the trip.
I know nobody can tell me with certainty how I'll handle it, but I'd appreciate any insights you could share from your own experiences. Thank you!