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12 days island hopping in Greece followed by CT...too much of a good thing?

Hi everyone - epecially those of you who have been to Italy. Husband and I are spending June 7-18 island hopping vacation in Greece. We are then flying to Rome to spend 10 days in Italy. We both REALLY want to visit Cinque Terre- but have two concerns: one is that it might be too similar to the Greek Islands? The second concern is that we've read and been told that CT doesn't hold the same ambience it used to have just a few years ago due to Rick Steves' praise of it. Would you spend 2-3 days in CT or go somewhere else instead like Venice...or spend more time in the Florence area. This will be our first trip to Italy and our third trip to Greece. Any suggestions would be great. :)

Posted by
864 posts

We were in Cinque Terre again just this last fall and we always enjoy it. That said, and although we find it as enjoyable now as years ago, I wouldn't go there after touring the Greek Isles. I'd spend more time in Florence and the surrounding countryside (driving is easy but buy a good road atlas). Rent a villa outside Florence (cheaper than you think) and take a bus into town, drive your rent-a-car to Sienna etc. Or, train to Florence and Venice and stay in town. If you are interested I have a good hotel in Florence within walking distance of everything of interest. Not cheap but not over the moon. Let me know if you are interested.

Posted by
131 posts

Very interested. Thanks for your advice. Just thinking too much of the sea, beach, etc..might be over the top. Do you know of a good place to stay?

Posted by
115 posts

I would recommend if you've nver been to Italy that you can go to all those places in 10 day. We did Rick Steves Best of Europe when we got to Italy went to Venice for 2 days, chose Sienna instead of Florence for overnight stays, and visited Florence. (LOVED SIENNA) it spectacular, went to Rome for couple day, drove through Tuscanny, and went to CT. Then you get overview and can go back and visit the highlights. Rome was not my favorite place, very busy , traffic etc.

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello Shannon. The Cinque Terre is not too similar to the Greek Islands. You said both of you REALLY want to visit the Cinque Terre, so I recommend go to the Cinque Terre. Walk on the trail between Corniglia and Vernazza, in that direction. Reserve a room at a Cinque Terre village, now. When I was there, I wished I could have stayed there longer. The cities in Italy are crowded and intense, therefore travelers in Italy are advised to go to a place in nature in Italy, for a few of the days in Italy. Venice is not for everyone. Even Florence is not for everyone. Because you will fly to Rome, I highly recommend visit the Villa Borghese Gallery in Rome. Reserve your tickets for that, before you leave Illinois. I do not highly recommend visiting the Vatican museum or Sistine chapel, unless you are an art fanatic. And, I think you will have time to visit the hill town Lucca, it is located between the Cinque Terre and Florence. The north lakes will be very crowded in the summer.

Posted by
11 posts

I would definitely spend a couple of days in CT. I have never been to Greece (but I am planning to go this year)so I cannot compare CT to Greek islands, but I was in CT in May '06. I spent two weeks+ in France and Italy and for me, CT was one of the highlights. These towns did not have an island/beach feel, the were more like samll Italian towns that just happened to be located by the sea. Of course their location gives these towns fabulous scenery and some pretty good seafood too. I stayed in Vernazza, it was my favorite of the five towns. The only town that seemed too "touristy" was Monteroso. It is the only town with a real beach, and there were alot of tourist there being brought in by boat and bus.

Posted by
29 posts

Take a look at Volterra near Sienna. We stayed at Albergo Eturia in June 2006. Follow the girl with the big crossbow to the festival! www.albergoetruria.it

Posted by
131 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It seems we will end up going to CT. We do, as I already mentioned, REALLY want to go there. We both love hiking and small quaint towns. Just one more question...assuming we will visit Italy again, we both love traveling, would you give up Venice this time for CT? We only have 10 days and don't want to rush too much. Does three days in Rome with an afternoon/evening in Orvieto, four days in Florence with a few trips to some Tuscan hilltowns, and three days in CT seem doable? This would, of course, mean putting Venice off. I've read some people actually do Venice in a day from Florence. We could squeeze that in but would it be worth it considering our itinerary? Thanks to all :)

Posted by
4537 posts

Your new plan is definitely doable. I'd say skip Venice. I did Venice once as a day trip from Florence and have also stayed there. I think it is worth saving Venice for a time when you can stay there.

Posted by
655 posts

Shannon.....In the spirit of trying to give you some good advice, I would urge you to take your entire 20/21 days to visit Italy. You won't regret it and you won't, repeat won't, run out of interesting things to do.

Posted by
131 posts

George - Thanks for the advice BUT we LOVE Greece and have family
there so visiting Greece is a must! :)