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Italy Vacation June 6-14, 2008

I have limited amount of days to see what Italy has to offer. My goal is to fly in to Rome early on the 6th (2 days), go by train to Florence(2 days 1 night), then Cinque Terre (2 days), and then fly out from Venice (2 days) mid-day on the 16th. Is this feasible in 9 days? Would you recommend taking out one city? We are young with no kids, so i think we could do it but will wait to see what everyone says. Does anyone have a must see list of things we shouldnt miss, in the 4 cities listed (Rome, Florence, Cinque Terra, and Venice)

Posted by
586 posts

Could certainly be done, but if it was me, I'd add another day to Rome and another day to Florence and save CT for another trip/time. Otherwise, I would skip Rome for another time, and do Florence, CT & Venice. A matter of preference, I guess, but Rome and Florence need more time. Good luck!

Posted by
6898 posts

I have a couple of comments while awaiting your answer to Kent's question. At first glance, you itinerary is a bit light for these four fabulous locations. But, travelers posting on this site seem to do these quick visits all the time.

A couple of thoughts. First, the train travel time from the CT to Venice is 7.0hrs. You might want to factor that in. Second, I suggest that you don't book your flight out of Venice anytime before 8:30am unless you are staying next to the Piazzale Roma (so you can catch the bus to the airport), near the airport itself or you are prepared to take the James Bond-type high-speed water taxi for about 115Euro ($184). We see travelers on this site all the time who discover that the combination of vaporettos, Alilaguna boats or buses just cannot get you to the airport before 6:30am from the main parts of the islands. They are forced to take the expensive water taxi.

Posted by
425 posts

I agree with John: cut out CT and spend more time in other places. Since you've asked for a must-see list: in Rome, Saint Peter's Square and Basilica, Coliseum, Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) and Trevi Fountain in the evening (better atmosphere in the evening) be sure to throw a coin over your back into the fountain if you want to guarantee you'll return to Rome!). Piazza Navona is also beautiful. Florence: reserve in advance for the Uffizi and the Accademia. Venice: reserve in advance for the Doge's Palace at the link below: http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/frame.asp?musid=8&sezione=musei be sure to leave some $$ in your budget for gelato! buon viaggio!

Posted by
1449 posts

My suggestion is drop Venice, rearrange things a bit, fly out of Florence. If I understand your itinerary right now you're planning on going to Florence from Rome, spending the day and a nite there, then leaving the next afternoon for CT. A bit rushed, and that really leaves just 1 day in CT if you arrive late afernoon/nite.

If I were in your shoes I'd spend 3 days in Rome (figuring the 1st is somewhat lost to jetlag anyway), then go to the CT (about a 4.5 hr ride) arriving mid-day, spend 2 nites there, then go to Florence (3 hr train ride) for the remainder. Or if Venice is a big draw for you then drop Rome and spend more time in Venice (although for full disclosure I'm one of the people that is fine never visiting Venice again).

IMHO you'll have a more memorable trip by spending more nites in fewer places; otherwise you always have the "we spent a few hours today just to get here, and tomorrow is our only full day before we leave" feeling the whole trip. Like RS says, assume you'll be back!

Posted by
7 posts

Okay so if i do have an early morning flight out of Venice. I stay near Pizzale Roma. Do you have any inexpensive hotels you suggest? is it pretty easy to catch the bus from most places in Pizzale Roma? thanks for your help.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you for all the replies. What do you all think about with getting a rental car? My company will pay for it but i just didnt know how crazy it would be trying to get around Italy? For those who have driven from city to city is it manageable? Do they have navigation over there? Would you recommend this over the train while in Italy? For should i just take CT out of the equation?

Posted by
1449 posts

No car! No car! You are going to places well served by trains that run about hourly except for the CT. And the CT still has plenty of trains, it is only about 3 hours from the heart of Florence by train (I'm flying into Florence and taking the train there this summer). As Rick says, a car in needed in Tuscany to explore a lot of the hill towns and wineries not close to the train, but everywhere else it is a needless headache. You do NOT want to drive in Rome. You will get expensive tickets in Florence because much of the city is off limits to non-resident cars (search the forum for tickets for more stories on this). Your car won't take you to your hotel in Venice unless it floats. And the train stations in Europe are in the heart of downtown; they take you right where you want to be then you just step off without worrying about where to park. Go to the trenitalia site and take a look (you need to use the Italian version of city names)

Posted by
47 posts

I agree with the other posts. Assume you'll be back. I'd knock off Venice or CT. It is a long train ride to Venice - though you could do it at night and so not have a hotel that night you're on the train. We travelled like this our first time there and we're glad we saw a lot but regret not moving more slowly and seeing more. Rome is more than two days but I do think you could see Florence in two. Don't rent a car. Have you thought about EasyJet or Ryan Air to get to Venice? See Rome, Florence and maybe Venice too but you'll want to go back and see more natural beauty like Lake Como, the Amalfi Coast and CT. I just found hostels that have private rooms and are pretty inexpensive. Google hostelworld. Venice - St. Mark's and Doge. Rome - all a previous poster sent before (take the guided tour through the forum and Palatine and Collisium) Florence -Uffizi, duomo, David. It's a great walking city. Paula

Posted by
10344 posts

For your itinerary a rental car is a bad idea, for the reasons given by Mike. You asked about "inexpensive" Venice hotels: basically, there aren't any. On another part of this site Venice has been identified (yesterday) as one of the 3 most expensive hotel cities in Europe. Of course there's a range of hotel prices and you can select one on the lower end of that price range--some of these are listed in Rick's books--but even those on the lower end of the Venice price range are not what most people would consider inexpensive. This is just a fact of life about travel to Venice.

Posted by
12 posts

I have been lucky enough to visit Italy the last 3 years. I also will going back in May. I suggest skipping Venice this trip. You can always go back again and see Venice and other places. Spending 3 nights in one hotel before you move to the next hotel allows you to relax as well as see the amazing sights. The best part of each city is sitting lazily with a coffee or glass a wine, watching and learning about the people. The best place I can suggest is the Portovenere (beginning of the CT).

Posted by
7737 posts

I can't believe I'm saying this, but drop Venice. Save it for a future trip. Or figure out a way to stay over there longer. For us Westcoasters it take so long to get over there that you need to do whatever you can to make the trip longer by even a couple of days.