Italy in July (2 weeks)

Hi We want to go on a 2 week trip to Italy during the last 2 weeks of July. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 kids (8,16). I'm looking for the optimum route from SFO as well as a rough itinerary. We like to explore cities and rural areas to the extent possible. Of course, we want to check out the major tourist stops as well. Thanks for your time. G

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

Your questions are very general, and that's why you're not getting any returns. You might want to buy some travel guides on Spain and Italy, like Rick Steves' books. Or they may be available in your library. Figure out where you'd like to visit, and research the flights at Kayak.com or Expedia.com for flight information. You'd want to fly (multi city) open jaw into Italy and out of Spain, or vice versa. You can fly inexpensively on Vueling.com between the countries. With your limited time, you'd do best to visit Rome and Florence in Italy and Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. Train travel within each country is best.
Another option would be to spend all your time in one country or the other. Slow travel is often preferred vs. trying to see so much in a short time.

Posted by WriteFace
Santa Clara, California, USA
27 posts

Thank you, there was another reply to my thread earlier, but somehow it's missing. Thanks to the other respondent as well. As advised I am open to changing the plan to spend 2 full weeks in Italy. I wonder the best route would be to arrive into Venice and depart from Rome. At the minimum, we would like to visit Venice,Florence,Rome during our time.
How many days each would require? G

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

WriteFace, You made reference to wanting to "sample both countries". You only mentioned Italy, so could you clarify "both countries"??? Does your 2 week time frame include your 2 flight days? You'll usually arrive in Europe the day after you depart. With only 12 days, you won't have time for much more than Venice, Florence and Rome. One Itinerary that might work is: > D1 - Depart SFO > D2 - Arrive Venice - "light" touring as you'll be jet lagged > D3 - Venice, touring > D4 - Train to Florence (~2 hours, depart after breakfast) > D5 - Florence, touring > D6 - Florence, day trip to Pisa or Lucca? > D7 - Bus to Siena (~1 hour) (DON'T forget to validate your tickets!) > D8 - Siena, touring (the Palio is July 2 & August 16 this year, so you'll miss that but Siena will still be crowded) > D9 - Train to Rome (ask your hotel to prearrange a Taxi to the station - I'd use a departure at 11:18, arriving Roma Termini at 15:05 (time 3H:47M, one change at Firenze SMN) > D10 - Rome, touring > D11 - Rome, touring > D12 - Rome, touring > D13 - Rome, touring (day trip to Orvieto?) > D14 - Leonardo Express to FCO and flight home An option would be to add time in Florence and just visit Siena as a day trip (via Bus). If you take the day trip to Orvieto, that will allow 3+ days in Rome, which is a bare minimum as there's LOTS to see. It will be hot and crowded, so be prepared! The Italy Guidebook would be an excellent resource to pack along. It would be a good idea to book accommodations SOON! Be sure to validate tickets for Regionale trains and have reservations for Freccia trains, or you could get a nasty surprise! Good luck with your planning!

Posted by WriteFace
Santa Clara, California, USA
27 posts

Ken, Thanks.
Originally when I posted this I had plans to go Spain for a week. But I am now convinced to stay in Italy.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

If you don't know where you want to go, you might check the itinerary of some packaged tours. Those will show you the "major tourist stops" that you mention wanting to see. However, keep in mind that it will take you more time to cover the territory on your own, vs with a tour group where everything is prearranged. If I had 12 days on the ground, I'd divide them evenly among Rome, Florence, and Venice, but that reflects my interests. You'll need to decide what most interests you.

Posted by WriteFace
Santa Clara, California, USA
27 posts

Sherry, Thank you. I have been looking at the timelines/places of interest that people have posted in this forum as well. G

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
304 posts

I would agree with the suggestion to get the RS guidebook for Italy. Many of us travel with them and RS gives them to people taking his tours to have for additional info. Some of us throw out the pages as we go to reduce weight. I also look at the tours on his website. Click on each tour and it will give you an idea of what they do each day. That should help with what the highlights are and gives a good idea of timing. How adaptable are your children? Since you are traveling in July you may want to include Cinque Terra. It will be crowded, but will have the sea. As soon as possible, try and make reservations for David at The Accedemia in Florence and The Vatican.