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Itinerary Advice for April trip needed ASAP!!!!

My wife, another couple, and I are going to Italy for two weeks in mid/late April. Our itinerary so far is this:

April 14-Sa -Land in Rome 8 am

-Take train to Venice- leaves around 11

-Arrive in Venice @ 3:30pm

-Tour Venice

April 15-Su -Tour Venice

April 16-M -Tour Venice

April 17-T -checkout of Venice apt-

-train from Venice to Florence (2hours)

-check into Florence apt (between 3-8pm)

Explore Florence

April 18-W -explore Florence

April 19-R -check out of Florence apt

-train from Florence to Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre (2hours)

-check into apt- (between 2-5pm)

April 20-F -explore Cinque Terre

April 21-Sa -check out of Riomaggiore before 10am

-train from Riomaggiore to Sorrento (7-8 hours?)

Check into Sorrento apt

April 22-Su Explore Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Pompeii

April 23-M Explore Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Pompeii

April 24-T check out of Sorrento Apt by 11

Train from Sorrento to Rome

-check into Rome apt- after noon

-Explore Rome

April 25-W Explore Rome

-Papal Audience-early

April 26-R Explore Rome

-Vatican Sistine Express- 7:05 check in

-SCAVI tour 11am

April 27-F - Fly out of Rome @ 11 am

However, the more we started thinking about it, the more we felt like we were spending almost a whole day going from Cinque Terre to Sorrento...and might not have enough time to do justice to Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, and Rome. So the other option we were thinking would be to completely take out the Amalfi Coast portion...and spending the morning of the 21st in Cinque Terre, spend the evening of the 21st in Pisa, and spend the night of the 21st in Siena. Then spend the 22nd exploring Siena, the 23rd possibly renting a car and seeing some sights in Tuscany, and adding the entire day of the 24th onto our Rome segment-giving us 3 days there instead of just 2? We would just leave the southern Italian portion of our trip to another time.

We all really wanted to see the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii....but if you were in our shoes.....which option would you go with?

Posted by
234 posts

If it were me I would take out the Cinque Terre portion and add time to your Florence portion. Florence and Siena/Tuscany are close so you could do both from one location. I wouldn't stay in Florence then move to Siena. I would totally rent a car to tour Tuscany. We chose to stay in a hill town between Florence and Siena so we could train into Florence easily then have a car when we wanted to drive around Tuscany and into Siena.

Posted by
15276 posts

I'd cut the Amalfi - it's your outlier so save it for another trip - and add two nights to Florence and 1 to Rome. Florence deserves more than 1 full day, and you could day-trip to Siena from there by bus without eating up time changing hotels. Rome deserves a minimum of 3 FULL days/4 nights to begin to even scratch of the surface of what it has to offer, IMHO.

Are you trying to do this trip next month?? If so, I'd get right on finding accommodations in the CT.

Posted by
11059 posts

Absolutely drop the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento portion. Your instincts are good. I would not stay in Pisa. Shuffle things around and add the time to Florence and Rome. A solid 4 nights in each would not go amiss with a day trip to Siena, maybe rent a car for a day in Chianti.

I would go in this order:

Venice - 3 nights

Florence - 4 nights

Cinque Terre - 2 nights

Rome - 4 nights

Visiting fewer places will make for a more memorable trip.

Posted by
10323 posts

We have always concentrated either on northern or southern Italy, not combining them and running ourselves ragged. More time in fewer places works better for us. Save Sorrento, Amalfi, Pompeii.. I agree with spending time in the Tuscan countryside where you should rent a car for the best experience.

Posted by
335 posts

My wife and I had a similar wish list and 13 nights in country, last September (our first trip to Italy). To me, your schedule sounds very ambitious.. We decided to drop Venice and Amalfi from our itinerary. We did 3 nights in Rome, 3 in Florence, 3 in CT, 3 in Montepulciano, and last night back in Rome. We also hit Pisa and Sienna along the way. We did not feel rushed at all.. I'd suggest dropping 1 or 2 destinations based on how it looks on a map. Like Rick says, plan like you will return.. BTW, my wife and I are returning just 9 months later to do Amalfi and Venice which we dropped from last year's trip. Go figure!!!.

Posted by
2 posts

Having travelled around all those areas, on first glance i agree that you are doing way too much. Travelling around both CT and Amalfi is slow slow slow. At the very least I would remove one of those and save the other for another time (as you have suggested). You will not do either of them justice by trying to see them in 1-2 days. For example, it takes a long time to get to/from sorrento/pompei - it doesnt look far but trains are slow / traffic is congested. Amalfi coast deserves a week to really enjoy the scenery, explore the culture, boat trips and food etc. And its a surprisingly long way from CT to Amalfi.
And one day in florence is definitely not enough!!
My rule of thumb is that if you are on a travelling day in italy, then thats probably all you'll get time to do. Everything moves slowly and it always takes much longer to get anywhere than you think. As i said before roads are congested, you often have to get to stations quite early to get on trains etc. And the travel days are stressful and tiring.
Take out some locations so that you can enjoy what you do will never see 'enough' of italy and my experience is that it is a place to be 'enjoyed' not rushed.

Posted by
2032 posts

Have you made any reservations beyond airlines? Our response would be determined by how much flexibility you have. First off, I agree with skipping Serrento altogether. You are traveling around a lot. I'd cut back moving so much. Every move will take up a lot more time than you anticipate.

Posted by
21 posts

We have reservations for all nights for our original trip. The Sorrento hotel allows us to cancel up to a week prior, so we are ok dropping that portion and not losing money. Right now we are making sure we can get the extra nights of accomodations in Florence, Siena, and/or Rome if we switch things up.

Thanks for all the great advice so far!

Posted by
31512 posts

I don't go back to the Cinque Terre area anymore because I can't deal with the crowds.

It has been a few years since my last trip to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast because there is so much more to see in the rest of Italy and I don't have more than a week or two a year to do it.

But I would go back to Sorrento, the Bay of Naples and the Coast of Amalfi in a heartbeat at this time of year - my favourite time there. I love the vistas, I love the fresh fish, I love the huge knobbly lemons.

You should decide for yourself what you want in and what you want out. I'm just saying what I would do....

Posted by
672 posts

You might consider an open-jaw arrangement and fly directly to Venice first instead of needing to immediately travel there from Rome.