itinerary help

we will be traveling to italy in oct. We have 10 full days in italy and 2 days of air travel. Essential I plan to spend 2 nights in each location and ended up for a final night in Rome. I was wondering is this itinerary is plausable or if I am over doing it. We start our first 2 days in rome, on the 3rd day take the train to Pompei (where I believe we can leave our luggage) and end up in Sorrento in the evening. Spend the 4th day in Sorrento or tour the Amalfi coast. On the 5th day I was planning to fly to Venice from Naples and spend 2 nights in Venice. From Venice I was going to take the train to Florence and spend 2 nights there. Finally spending my last night in Rome and departing the next day. While I don't want to run myself ragged, I do want to see as much as I can. I am not interested to much in the museums, so that should save me some time in each location. I was also wondering how soon in advance I should book our plane tickets from Naples to Venice. I was planning on take the bus from Sorento to the Naples airport. This is our first trip to Italy and any help is appreciated. Thank you

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

Personally, I think it's too much. Two nights in a location means one day. You lose most of the day when you change locations so you're really only giving yourself a few hours in each location. That's not enough time to really see anything. You say you're not into museums but each city has so much more to offer than just museums. We were in Rome two weeks ago and didn't step foot into any museums other than the Vatican museums. We still didn't have enough time to visit the sites we wanted to see and we were in Rome for 6 days. With this being your first trip to Italy I would suggest that with only 10 days you spend 3 nights each in Venice and Florence and end up in Rome for the last 4 nights. This will give you a little more time (not much) to spend in these cities and not feel like your on the run all the time. You say you don't want to run yourself ragged but if you keep to the itinerary you have listed that's exactly what you'll do and you won't have many memories other than traveling from city to city to show for it. Donna

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

I agree that's too much. I never went to a museum in Venice, for instance, except St. Mark's, but there was plenty to see and do. Plus, the constant switching locations gets tiring after a while, which means you can't maximize your time. The three city itinerary proposed above is manageable. I did something similar myself, but I didn't fly open jaw, which you should try to do if you can.

Posted by shirley
Toronto, Canada
296 posts

I think it's a lot to cover in the time you have. If you haven't already booked your tickets could you change your itinerary to fly into Venice and out of Rome? Then you aren't backtracking as much except to and from Sorrento to Rome and could save one day of travel. Venice Florence - you can take a high speed train right from the centre of Florence to Naples in less than 3 hours with no train changes and then catch the circumvesuviana train to Pompeii Sorrento
Rome I would personally drop one of the places. Alternatively unless you absolutely want to spend your last night in Rome you could see if you could fly home from Florence - no direct flights to the U.S., but you could fly from Florence and connect from a major city (Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris) to home. This way you can leave from the much smaller and more manageable airport of Florence where you can check your bags through to your final destination and save yourself the trip from Florence to Rome and then out to the Rome airport.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8757 posts

I don't want to beat a dead horsie, so all I will say is I agree with the above. No reason to backtrack - start at one end and wind up at the other. If 'twere me I'd start in Venice and work south, with the strength of the "Italianness" getting stronger as you become acclimated to it. Yes, 2 nights equals one day, especially with as much running as you will be doing. When will you rest?

Posted by Skip
Atlanta, Ga
149 posts

Agree to much for number of days. I would skip Amalfi Coast or Venice. Rome, Florence, Venice is nice 10 day trip.
Save Amalfi for next time.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Agree with the above posters -- did this once, and never again! Spent more time inside airports/train station than I did enjoying the sites. Venice - 2 nights
Florence - 4 nights (take a wine tour one day that includes Siena) Rome - 4 nights. Skip Amalfi for the next trip, land in Rome, and go South. Sit in a piazza and drink some wine!!! This itinerary will only require train trips of around 2 hours or so, no need to mess with security and airports! you lose at least 1/2 day when you change cities, because you have to check out of hotel, get to train, ride train, get to hotel, check in.........wasting precious enjoyment time!

Posted by sue
chicago, il, usa
8 posts

I would have loved to fly into Milan and out of Rome but I screwed up and already booked the tickets, which I cannot change. The reason I added Sorrento was because we are going to Pompei and I thought it would be closer than going back to Rome. Plus I love the idea of being close to the water. I think I would be willing to trade off days in Florence for Sorrento. So a possible adjusted agenda might be rome for 3 nights sorrento for 3 nights fly to venice for 2 nights (1 1/2 days) train to florence for 1 1/2 days
then back to rome to fly home I realize this might be a lot too \, but I thought we could at least relax a little on the front and then be rushed a little on the back end

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Who CARES!!! Have fun, enjoy your trip -- and I also love the water!

Posted by Skip
Atlanta, Ga
149 posts

Sue-- If Pompeii and Sorrento that important, I would drop Florence.
That leaves a great place to visit for your next trip (which will happen), plus time to visit Tuscany next time around. As others have said, we have tried to see Venice and Florence that quickly. Doable but not fun, just rushed. One thing to be rushed on a vacation. Honeymoon should be unrushed fun. Enjoy Italy whoever your final choices are.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8757 posts

About that flight from Naples to Venice, have you considered taking the train? The train would take you from just upstairs from the Circumvesuviana right to the edge of the Grand Canal in Venice with an easy 18 minute change of trains in Rome in around 5:20, in comfort with no airport security check and no trollies wandering down the aisle flogging in-flight merch. And all in large all-reserved seats (second class seats about the size of flying business, first class even larger), and this far out you should be able to get very well priced tickets. Flying, I haven't looked at flight times but it has to be around an hour gate-to-gate. So figure an hour to the Naples airport, 2 hours before departure at the airport, an hour in the air, 30 minutes to get out of Marco Polo airport and 90 minutes plus or minus (depending on how lucky you are with the half hourly bus to Piazzelle Roma, or use the Alilaguna or a taxi). So figure about half an hour longer to fly than take the train.

Posted by Ian
San Diego, California, United States of America
14 posts

If you only have 10 days do Rome and Florence/Pisa(maybe even Venice) or Rome and Sorrento(Naples/Pompeii/ Capri). You have to enjoy each city and not rush around. I think Florence is much better than Sorrento. Naples is also very dirty and littered with a bunch of trash. Pompeii is nice, but the Uffizi Gallery is far superior. Pompeii is ruins so after awhile it begins to seem like a bunch of rocks. But don't get me wrong, Pompeii is a great place to see. Spend your First 3-4 days in Rome and enjoy the sights. If you want to the Vatican and the Coliseum get tickets before you go. Then head to Florence or Sorrento by train, bus, and or rental car. *Check prices. If you want to see Daivd at the Uffizi Gallery get tickets before you go.Have you also taken into account that on the first day you might need to rest for awhile to get adjusted to Europe? So you may lose a day. You could spend less time in Florence or Rome and go to Venice. The drive by car to Venice from Florence is 3 hours which is not that bad. Also what do you want to do in Italy? It's clear museums aren't your top priority. Also how are you going to get around each city? Walking? Metro? Bus? Taxi? I hoped I helped and enjoy Italy.

Posted by Shari
Highlands Ranch, Colorado, United States
14 posts

I think you will be ok! We just returned, did not do a ton of museums, and saw plenty of the sights and got a great feel for each city. In Rome and Florence with did the on and off bus to get a feel of the city and where we wanted to focus. Then we spent much of the time just walking the streets. When we saw something we wanted to see, we did. We also did two tours outside of Florence which gave us a feel for Tuscany. My advice- pack very light. Its a lot of movement and you want to move around quickly and easily.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

I agree with everybody above! You will. Be eating ur Gelato on the run....seems to much..maybe split those 9 days in 3 city's..pick the ones really wanna see...

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Completely agree with above replies, and DONNA I love love love italian still water now - I buy it at whole foods, but it's not nearly as good as putting my plastic bottle to a spicket on a side street in Rome, and drinking the purest most delectable water I've ever had!! Never knew! So, Sue - agreed - fly into Venice, recover from jet lag with a wonderland of sinking restored palaces on the city built on the lagoon - no cars, still lots of people, but get up early, wander the streets, take a mid day nap like the locals, and head back out late afternoon when the day trippers are gone. Venice is magical! Spend a couple nights. Fast train to Florence for a couple nights, maybe rent a car for a day, and drive the Chiantigiana scenic road down through Chianti region (stop in all the towns, and sample wineries!) drive safe and smart though! Then finish in Rome! Pick a couple main things, them just relax at a good cafe or restaurant. Stroll to trek fountain late after dinner, don't worry if you "miss sights". Rome wasn't built in a day, and can't be viewed in 4 days. Just enjoy.
Take it slow, and have a fabulous Italian trip!!

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

I did a day trip from Rome, with plans to see the archeological museum in Naples, view Pompei, and view Herculaneum, then have pizza in Naples before a late train back to Rome. We did the museum and Herculaneum, had pizza (it was ok) and went back to Rome around 6 pm for a fanatic dinner somewhere between trevi and pantheon. (Skipped Pompei). Point is, you could day trip - it'll be all day, but it was important to me to see ancient archeological ruins. Looking back, another day to relax in rome would've been fine instead of all the extra travel, but had I not it, I might regret it...
Leave space for spontaneity!!

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Oops, just read ALL the posts. I was talking about a different kinda water, hahaha. And Sue, if you have you tix already, just try to go with it, and not pack too much "must see" into each place - limit that portion, and have a back up list of "would be cool to do". Italian life is slow, (well, paradoxically its also fast), living in the moment, enjoying a glass of wine with loved ones, savoring your cheese and your view. Questioning: how they built that and it still stands there!!! Soak it all in, when you feel rushed, just take 3 deep breaths, and remember, "ahh, I'm in Italia!!! Yay" -insert yoga pose if needed :) -
Enjoy!!!!

Posted by Valerie
Dallas, TX, USA
3 posts

The international airport in Pisa, Italy (PSA) is on the coast west of Florence - directly connected to the railway via a 40 meter covered walkway to/from the airport. A one-hour train ride to/from Florence Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station in the heart of Florence. Check Trentitalia website for times of direct trains and trains with a change in Pisa Centrale station. We booked an American Airlines flight direct from DFW to PSA on the same booking and points. However, you must change planes (and terminals) at Heathrow - we are taking a BA (British Air) flight (partner of AA) from Heathrow (LHR) to Pisa (PSA). There are free terminal connect buses (purple signs) at Heathrow to get you transferred from your arriving terminal, which is probably T3 from the US, to T5 for depart/arriving European flights. If you arrive from the US on an international flight and plan to fly to Florence airport, you will almost assuredly be required to change terminals and planes as well.