Yeah, I know. Many of you are probably tired of reading these "help me with my itinerary" messages, but I also know that many, many of you have a whole lot to offer to those of us who have never been to Italy yet! So here's my request, please!
We're in or near our 70s, experienced solo (not with tour group) travelers. We want to spend almost all of this coming September in Italy. It'll be our first trip there, having been to many other parts of the globe. We like history, art, classical music/opera, pretty scenery, some easy day hikes (e.g., Cinque Terre), etc. We have a fair amount of flexibility in how long we spend. We don't want to whiz around seeing Italy from a train window, so settling down in a few key spots for a few days at a time is preferable to "if it's Tuesday this must be Tuscany". We are fine with train travel; we will not consider renting a car. We speak "music Italian" only but we've got time to get a little better than that, and we will.
All that having been said, here is one idea that I've worked out for starters. The segments can be rearranged almost at will, but how about this:
- day 1 fly to Rome
- day 2 arrive Rome; rest up
- days 3-6 Rome (e.g., Vatican, Sistine Chapel, the Caesar shuffle, as Rick calls it, etc.)
- day 7 move to one of the Tuscan towns (but without driving; is that practical?)
- day 8 relax in a Tuscan town
- day 9 move to Florence
- days 10-11 see Florence; Uffizi, duomo, etc.
- day 12 move to Pisa and lean over
- day 13 move to Cinque Terre (or would it work to lean over in Pisa on day 12 and still get to CT?)
- day 14 see Cinque Terre (maybe add another day here?)
- day 15 move to Milan, mostly to see the Last Supper (I know we'd have to reserve ASAP)
- day 16 Milan
- day 17 move to Venice
- days 18-20 see Venice
- day 21 fly home (unless we decide to train back to Rome or Milan dep. on $)
I'm curious if we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces to leave out a day or two around the lakes (Como, etc.), the Dolomites, and possibly also Vesuvius. If we had to add a whole extra week, to "do it right" once we're there, that's not out of the question.