Due to the fact we have to fly in & out of Rome in which order would you recommend our itinerary? We plan on spending 2 nights in Sorrento, 2-3 nights in Florence & 8 nights in Tuscany w/our last night in Rome before our flight home the next morning. We plan to train in & out of Rome & will have a rental car only during our Tuscany visit. Thanks for any help or suggestions.
We haven't traveled yet, (only 2 more weeks!! Yeah!!) but we are also flying in and out of Rome.
We decided to end our trip in Florence because we can catch a 6am eurostar train from Florence to Rome and we'll have several hours to get to the airport in Rome and catch our flight home.
From Rome airport by train (allowing some connection time), Florence is about 2.5 hours and Sorrento is about 5 hours. After a long flight, and especially if you connect in Europe and don't arrive in Rome until midday, going to closer Florence first would be my suggestion. Then on to Tuscany and Sorrento before returning for a final evening in Rome. Trains from Florence to Sorrento take about the same time as from Rome airport, so that route isn't as inefficient as a map might make it appear. If you'd like to add a full afternoon in Rome on your last day and don't mind the longer first day trip to Sorrento, then do Sorrento, Tuscany, Florence and Rome. Either route, you probably maximize your rental car days by keeping them in between Sorrento and Florence.
I would stay in Rome the first night, you'll be tired after the long trip. Then do Sorrento - Florence - Tuscany - Rome. Drop the car in Chiusi or Orvieto and train to Rome. Add a night to Sorrento if you can.
The last 2 summers we flew from San Francisco to London, then to Rome then took a train to Naples and the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, starting our first day in Europe in Sorrento. I'm not saying you should, but it is very do-able and I'm 50 yrs old. The train from Rome airport to Naples takes 2:17 hrs or 2.5 depending on the train you take and the Circumvesuviana from Naples to Sorrento takes appx 1 hr so it's not a 5 hr trip as one poster wrote. We prefer starting in Sorrento, which we love, because it is so relaxed and easy...we don't have to rush around there as we would in Rome or Florence. Again, I'm not saying you should do this but it is a good option. But then again, any place you start your vacation in Italy will be great because it is Italy!
Stephanie, I think with this itinerary, you could almost start anywhere ... it really depends on your interests.
I would probably start in Florence. There are frequent trains from Rome to Florence. You'll probably be tired, but sitting on a train for a couple of hours is not taxing. After Florence, I would pick up a car and tour Tuscany and then drop off the car and train to Naples and then connect to Sorrento.
Alternatively, if you want to really relax at the beginning of your vacation, go directly to Sorrento. The train trip will be a little more hectic than the train to Florence (because Naples train station is a bit crazier than either Rome or Florence).
Stephanie, just remember to take your trip in a straight line. Backtrack as little as possible. Another tip: check to see which days you're going to be in a certain city. For example, if things in a particular town are all closed on Mondays then don't be in that town on Monday. Or if you're worried about fighting crowds in Sorrento on the weekend, then don't be there on the weekend. Doing this level of research should give you your answer as to where to start first.
Thank all of you for your advice & recommendations. I have been having computer problems so I apologize for being so late with my thank you.