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Where would you go after an Italy tour?

We are planning on taking the Best of Italy tour next September, ending in October. We will have 5 full days/nights after the tour ends before we have to be home, and we are tossing around ideas of what to do in that time. We want to spend one extra day in Rome so we can see the Vatican, so that will leave us will 4 days. We would like to do something that is not too stressful, since we will be tired from the tour. I know there is probably enough to do in Rome for all that time, but I think we might be museumed out. We are interested in exploring towns, nice architecture, and natural beauty.
We have had a few ideas. I have thought of adding some time in the Amalfi coast, but would that be stressful trying to travel there and back to Rome to fly out? We thought about flying to London, since we have been there before and have always wanted to go back. It wouldn't be too stressful because we wouldn't have a long list of must see sights and we wouldn't have a language barrier. We could also get a nonstop flight home from there, which would be nice. We have also thought of flying to Istanbul because we have some family there who are willing to show us around. But would 4 days scratch the surface in a new country? Perhaps there is another region/city that makes sense that we aren't thinking of? Our experience in Europe is limited to London, Paris and the sights on the Scotland and GAS tour. Would love to hear suggestions of where you guys might go.

Posted by
9686 posts

I would probably go with London or Amsterdam...if you have non-stop flights from there as well.

There is a terrific SEA/AMS or AMS/SEA flight that I like to take. Last year after ending the Village Italy tour and flying out of Milan to AMS early , early in the AM I realized that was dumb, I should just book at least an overnight in Amsterdam before the trip back home to decrease the travel stress.

You are in Rome for just 2 nights. I would stay at least the one extra night if not 2.

Posted by
4454 posts

Wow, I'm surprised that the Vatican has been dropped from the Best of Italy tour! Yes, definitely stay an extra day for that; be sure to be in line early in the morning. We went on the Best of Italy tour in 2006; you'll enjoy so many of the locations!

Other ideas for Rome are to go see Ostia Antica - easy connections by city metro/train. And one of our highlights in Rome last year was to take a cooking class with Chef Andrea at cookingclassesinrome.com - lots of fun, and we learned a lot about what we thought was Italian cooking. We stayed at Albergo Cesari which was a perfect location, less than 5 minutes walk to the Pantheon and has a rooftop breakfast & evening drink relaxing spot.

Posted by
544 posts

I would suggest planning where to go for your last five days a week into your tour. You might want to double back to a place you just went and spend more time or go on to somewhere you hear about from your fellow travelers. On top of that, you'll know what the weather will be like.
Just book your outgoing flight to the start of the tour and your flight home from a city with a good connection home (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, etc). Maybe keep the trip Italy focused and fly home from Rome.

Posted by
14898 posts

You have at most 4 full days, and you'll use half of one to fly somewhere else. You could get to see a lot of Istanbul, but it won't be relaxing, plus you may have trouble getting home from there on a single ticket - or open yourselves up to problems with luggage transfers and possible delays.

With just 3.5 days, London sounds great. Since you've been there before, you won't feel pressured to rush around to see the sights. You can enjoy a play, walking in the beautiful parks, taking one or more London Walks, lingering over afternoon tea, visiting one of the markets, taking a leisurely boat ride to Greenwich. And most of the museums are free, so you can pop in if you want. Or take an easy day trip to Oxford or Cambridge, or a 1/2 day to Windsor Castle.

Or stay in Rome. Visit Ostia Antica one day, go out to Hadrian's Villa on another. Take Rick's audio tours of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto. Relax, eat gelato, have a drink in Piazza Navona. There's really a lot to do in Rome besides the museums.

Posted by
3580 posts

Anzio is a short train ride south of Rome. It's a nice small city with fishing harbor. At the beach a memorial has been erected. It's easy to see why Anzio's beach was chosen for Allied landings during WWII. It's a short walk from the train station to the town and beach.

Posted by
524 posts

is this the 17 day tour I see on the website? If so, I would head on over to London. Someplace different from your trip, and since its familiar and the same language, you can relax and decompress a little.

Posted by
13482 posts

Opting to just stay in Rome, decompress, and do a day trip or two isn't a bad idea. As Chani said, there's a lot more to Rome besides museums, and there really isn't much of any language barrier at all. The RS tour itself spends a little less than two days in the city, and even adding 1 day to do the Vatican isn't nearly sufficient for covering Rome's many treasures. I've spent a total of several weeks in the city, haven't come close to running out of things to do, and some of our best days have been those without an itinerary!

By the time you're on your own, you will have an idea of how the city is laid out, and 4-5 days in one place may be welcome after a tour which involves moving around every other day or so.

At the same time, the Sorrentine/Amalfi coasts wouldn't be difficult to do at all: you just get on a train or two. I might suggest staying in Sorrento - as transport options are most varied and frequent from there - and you could hop jet boats to Capri, Positano and Amafli, spend most of a day at Pompeii, and/or run into Naples to see the archeological museum and take in Herculaneum along the way. The only thing I'd advise is spending the night before your flight closer to Fiumicino to eliminate the possibilities of any complications with transport from the coast.

Posted by
260 posts

How about Lake Como? We stayed at a very nice small hotel just outside of Bellagio. You could fly home from Milan. I think it would be lovely there in Sept. It's easy to take ferries to other locations on the lake (including Varenna, a R. Steves' favorite which is now pretty overrun).

Posted by
608 posts

Thank you all so much for all your ideas! They all sound lovely - now I just have to decide! So much to see, so little time.

Posted by
1 posts

We did the Best of Italy Tour, and we spent 3 days on the Amalfi Coast before it started. I highly recommend Praiano! Beautiful but with much fewer tourists!! Train ride from Naples isn't all that fun, but you can stop and see Pompeii or Herculaneum going or coming, which is also worth the time. We didn't travel once we got to Praiano to other towns, but we didn't see the need to since we loved Praiano so much. We stayed at the Hotel Pelligrino. Luigi treats you like royalty!! Amazing views, amazing food, so friendly!!! Good luck and have fun!