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What is the most efficient way to travel between these cities?

Hi! My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy this summer, and are trying to figure out the most efficient way to travel between cities that would minimize our cost and travel time. The cities we would like to visit are: Rome; Florence (w/ side trips to Pisa and possibly Siena & Lucca); Venice (possible side trip to Verona or Padua); Cinque Terre; and
Amalfi Coast (including Pompeii, Capri, Naples, and Paestum) This is our first time to Italy, so I'm wondering what more experienced travelers would recommend as an order to visit these cities so as to minimize the time (and $) we spend on train rides during our time-limited visit. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or advice you have to offer!

Posted by
1589 posts

Maggie, this is a 2 week minimum tour- 14 days on the ground.

Posted by
8700 posts

What is your arrival date in Italy and what is your departure date from Italy for this trip? Have you bought your plane tickets? If you haven't, check the fare for open jaw (multi-city) tickets and fly either Atlanta-Venice and Rome-Atlanta or Atlanta-Rome and Venice-Atlanta.

Posted by
5635 posts

When this summer? How many days? The open jaw recommendation is excellent if you haven't locked yourself into rdtrip tickets yet. Is there a bookstore near you. If so the RS book on Italy is great! Very helpful in providing information to help you plan an itinerary that meets your schedule and budget. Given all you want to see I think a car rental and some train trips will be your best options BUT you need to look at a map and figure out a good route. Rome is about 175 miles from Florence. Easily drivable but a nice train ride as well.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much to everyone who has replied so far! Here is some more information that may be helpful: - The time we have available to travel is the middle to end of July, leaving as early as July 15th and returning as late as Aug. 3. - We have been planning on a 2 week trip. I have read through Rick Steve's Italy book and LOVED it! Now I am trying to figure out how many days to spend in each of these cities, and how to travel most efficiently between them so that we minimize the time we spend sitting on trains. The open-jaw flights are a good idea I had been planning to do a round trip flight from Atlanta to Rome, but we could fly into (or out of) Venice instead and maybe save some time!
Assuming we do fly into Venice and out of Rome (or into Rome & out of Venice) do you have any recommendations about the most efficient order in which to visit these cities (which one to see 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), and how to travel between them? We'd like to use trains rather than cars as much as possible, with the possible exception of renting a car in Tuscany. Suggestions for how many days to spend in each city would also be great! We love learning new things, visiting museums, etc., so I'm thinking of spending more time in places like Rome & Florence where there are tons of sights to see, and less time in places like Cinque Terre...but I haven't yet made a final decision about how to divide up the days.