Probably traveling after pandemic. Which tour does everyone recommend thats done both Thanks
Comparing a 17 day 8 locations tour with a 10 day 3 locations tour is a lot like asking "is chocolate ice cream better than salmon?"
Depends if you are ordering dinner or dessert.
Which tour is 'better' depends on what you are looking for. A deeper immersion in fewer places or a wider exposure to the country.
I have done the 17 day tour ( but not the 10 day) and have no hesitance to say I had no regrets and fully enjoyed it.
PS- If all else fails, flip a coin.
I hear ya. Just wondering if you had enough time in each spot on the best of italy tour. Thinking about maybe doing the extra stops on our own and just doing the 3 city tour.
We did the Venice Florence Rome and it was fantastic. We flew into Venice 3 days early and stayed at a B&B. Then, after the tour ended in Rome, we took the train to Sorrento and spent 4 nights and then back to Florence for 4 more nights with some day trips into Tuscany with WalkAbout Florence. The tour was great and well paced with good group time and 'on our own' time.
I'm the flip side of Joe, I've done the VFR tour but not the longer one. I agree that neither is likely to be "better," it depends on what you're looking for. I thought VFR was great. I added several days in Venice at the front end and Rome at the back end, I could certainly have used more than three nights in Florence. For me, the longer tour would have been paced too fast, spending too much time moving around. We had two days centered on bus travel, the longer tour has seven. We had eight total bus hours (based on the itinerary which I think is about right), the longer tour has 30 hours. We had three-night stays, the longer tour has only two nights in each of the cities. So I'd say it depends on how much time you want to spend in transit, how much independent time you can add before and/or after, how interested you are in all the destinations, and whether you expect to revisit Italy in the future.
I'm sure you'll get responses from people who have done both tours and can make a better comparison, but keep in mind that a lot depends on the guide, the weather, and other variables that you can't predict.
I did the Best of Italy in 2019 and while it was an amazing tour I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat, I was pretty worn out by the end. However, I had tacked on 5 days solo travel before the tour in Germany and Switzerland. As others have suggested, it really depends on what you’re looking for. Are you more interested in spending several nights in just three cities, or, covering a lot of ground with 2 night stays each? VFR are also included in the Best of Italy, plus; Lake Como, Dolomites, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Siena, Assisi, Orvieto, Tuscany ... It’s apples and oranges, both fruit, but different as well. For me, I really wanted the variety of the Best of Italy, however, I had been to VFR independently over an 8 day period on a previous trip so spent time last year on what I didn’t get to the first time. And there is still much more left for a future trip.
“Thinking about maybe doing the extra stops on our own”
Just a note that I think it would require a good amount of time and transport complexities to try to cover the Best of Italy locations independently. Particularly if the Northern sections of Lake Como and the Dolomites are included, both of which were spectacular in each their own way.
I agree with mln . . . it's pretty easy to get between Venice and Florence and Rome via fast train. Trying to string together all the stops that are offered in Best of Italy on your own would be challenging, and no way could you do it in the same time frame that the tour offers.
When we did VFR, we flew into Milan and went directly to Varenna for three nights, and then two in Milan before heading for Venice. Milan had direct flight options for us so that worked out well.
While I haven't taken either of those tours, I have taken the 21 day BOE tour which visited Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. Two night stays were fine with me. It was the very few one nighters I didn't particularly like because we were either somewhere I found not enough to do, or somewhere that there was more to see than we had time for. Bus time doesn't seem long because there are stops every two hours for a break or a neat site to explore and/or a meal. I did love Florence and Rome and figure those are two cities I will return to on my own or add in extra time there pre or post tour in the future. I really enjoyed getting to see a lot of places so I could decide for myself where I would like to return to see more of. With that said, for myself I would choose the 17 day tour and add on a couple of days in Rome post tour.
Just because a tour "ends" doesn't mean you have to pack your bags and go home. Not by a long shot!
We took the Best of Italy 17 day RS tour several years ago and fell in love with Italy. We felt like it was such a great itinerary and gave us a chance to stay in both the bigger and smaller towns and also to see the Dolomites, Lake Como and the Mediterranean tiny villages.
After that trip, we have been back to Italy multiple times. I agree that the Venice, Florence, Rome cities are very easy to travel between by train. We have stayed in each of those cities for multiple days besides staying in many more towns in Italy. I would tend to pick a tour that showed me more itinerary locations so I could experience a well-rounded selection that would give me a better idea of favorites.
My husband says do the 17-day, so you don’t miss the Dolomites, Siena and Cinque Terre.
Going to the cities is wonderful, but also try to book some time in smaller town if you can at the front or back end of the trip. It gives you a different perspective and experience and that is beautiful.
Can I just say on a side note that it is so nice to see people talking about trip planning, itineraries, and choices. It makes me hopeful that this Covid nightmare will end at some point - maybe soon! Let's keep sharing and planning our travels on here. Happy days traveling abroad are getting closer and I am feeling more optimistic thanks to posts like this.
I sometimes watch this to make me smile so I thought I'd share here - it's the livecam from Venice
Orvieto and Assisi can be done as a day tour from Rome. I took a bus tour from Rome that went to both places, but don't ask the name because I wouldn't recommend it. Personally, I would skip Assisi unless it's a pilgrimage for you.
The best thing about the Venice, Florence Rome tour is the three night stays. That extra full day in the city is wonderful, IMO. I guess I am a greedy traveler and always want more.
Most RS tours are one or two night stays. I almost always conver the first and last stop into 3+ night stays. Or I zip off to some place we did not visit and do a 3-5 night stay on my own.
I would highly recommend the Best of Italy Tour. The variety of places you visit will really surprise you. I never realized how beautiful Italy is. I previously visited Rome and Florence and loved them, but Italy is so much more. I have attached 2, 10 minute videos of our tour that show how beautiful Italy is. Be sure to turn of the volume up.