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Itinerary help

Hi, This is my first trip to Italy. I am traveling with my 27 year old daughter. We are arriving April 4th in Rome at 4:30 pm. We were thinking of traveling that evening to Ovierto for Sat. and Sun. night. Renting a car on Monday morning and spending Monday and Tuesday in the Umbria/Tuscany region. Then two nights in Florence and two nights in Venice and Sunday night(Easter) in Milan. I fly out of Milan on Monday at noon. The only thing that I have booked is the flights into Rome and out Milan. Should I eliminate Venice and spend more time in Tuscany. Does anyone have any suggestions on my itinerary or recommendations for places to stay? Should I spend the first night in Rome? Thank you.

Posted by
32244 posts


A few suggestions, based on the method I'd probably use under the same circumstances....

Even though you're arriving at 16:30, I'd probably continue on to Orvieto. You'll probably be tired and certainly jet lagged, but with such a short time frame it would be preferable (especially as Orvieto is relatively close).

It will take an hour or two to disembark, clear Passport control and collect luggage. Take the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini (~30 min.). I'd buy both the tickets for the Leonardo Express and the trip to Orvieto at one of the ticket booths at FCO (don't forget to validate in the yellow machine).

Your most likely connection on Apr. 4 is a direct train departing Termini at 18:57, arriving Orvieto at 20:15(1H18M). When you arrive at Orvieto, buy a ticket for the Funicular at the Tabachi in the station, about Eu$1, good for 70 min. You might consider for your first two nights. It's within easy walking distance of the Funicular station, but I'd suggest taking the Italy book so that you have a Map (take the street to the left side of the Piazza). Be sure to tell the Hotel that you'll be a "late arrival"!

I'd probably skip Venice on such a short trip, which will provide more time to explore other locations such as Siena, and add some time in Florence as well as allow for travel times. IMO it would be a much more relaxing and enjoyable trip without the Venice segment.

I assume you'll be dropping the car in Milan? As you'll be driving part of the time, a GPS as well as a good Map are highly recommended. You might want to read some of the posts here regarding the dreaded "Zona Traffico Limitato" zones (especially around Florence).

If you could be more specific on which places you'll be visiting in Umbria/Tuscany, it would be easier to offer lodging suggestions. In Florence have a look at (click english tab at bottom).

Happy travels!

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks Ken,
From Orvieto we plan on possibly stopping at Civita di Bagnoregio then heading north towards Siena. Possible stops are Cortuna, Montepulciano, Volterra,San Gimignano, Siena and anywhere else. All the towns sound interesting so narrowing it down will be hard. We are debating whether we should stay at a centrally located agriturismo or stay in a hotel or B&B within one or two of the towns. We will drop off the car before we head into Florence and then take the train from Florence to Milan assuming we skip Venice.

Posted by
3313 posts

Try to find something to the south of Siena and base there. It will be much easier to get to Cortona and the other towns you want to visit from that direction. An agriturismo is likely to be an advantage because you don't have to deal with town driving to get in and out.

Posted by
3696 posts

I found a wonderful tiny village that overlooked a vineyard called San Donato and stayed at a great hotel called Antica Dimora. There was also a church and that's about all! When we arrived there was a group of women with easles painting the Tuscan countryside... it was like a scene from a movie. It was so easy to get to San Gimiyanno, Certaldo, and lots of other little villages and vineyards in Tuscany. It seems a shame to fly into Rome and totally bypass it. I had been to Italy 6 or 7 times before I finally made it to Rome (I never had the desire) but now that I have been I would say you could do the 'hop on hop off' bus and at least see the highlights. The train is easy to Florence and you could get your car at the airport and visit Tuscany, then return to the airport and take the train to Milan. I stayed in Milan a few days and found it to be great. I'd heard to pass it, but plans forced me there and we had a great time. Wonderful shopping and restaurants, but I would not trade it for Venice. You can definitely do a 'highlights trip' and keep Venice or spend more time in Tuscany. My first few trips I did the 'whirlwind' trip and loved it.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks Terry for the suggestions. I think we may have an itinerary. We are going to spend two nights in Rome, 4 nights in Umbria/Tuscany, 2 nights in Florence and last night in Milan.
I have my hotels in Florence and Rome booked and just need the middle of the trip worked out.

Thank you all again for your suggestions.