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8 week Italy itinerary fall 2022

Hello, I am planning for a great trip to Italy next fall. Was originally planning Milan arrival flight from states. 3 nights there, then 10 days to 2 weeks to visit Lakes region and Dolomites, Bologna, Verona etc. We previously visited Italy around 2015 and did Cinque region, Sienna, Florence, Venice, Rome and Positano. Each of these regions we only spent 2 or 3 days.
We are interested in seeing Sicily and loved Tuscany and wouldn’t mind revisiting some of these areas that we just skimmed over last time.
I had originally planned to just see the north of Italy and then see Slovenia and Croatia as part of this trip, however, after watching some recent Netflix specials on Italy both my wife and I were so back in love.
We are late 50’s in ok shape. We love a good mix of beautiful villages and history, art museum stuff but more times than not just walking the sights and smells in a good way wins every time.
We are open to mixing other countries as well.
Penny for your thoughts please.
Mike

Posted by
1020 posts

Lots of gorgeous places to choose from. The Dolomites are on my list for “next time”.

Posted by
1231 posts

You are in the Trip Reports section, not the questions section for Italy, altho I'm not sure it make much a difference.
Have fun planning,

Posted by
4796 posts

Mke, here’s my two cents worth for your Penny:

I was in Florence in October and/or November for a week or two in 3 of the last 4 years. Really great time to be there - not too many other tourists, and sights and restaurants were open, although it rains some of the time, and can be chilly at night. If 2-3 days wasn’t enough before, maybe spend a few more there this next trip.

We also visited Sicily at Christmastime in 2012. Farther south, it wasn’t so cold, even in December. Returned in late October 2018 with a girlfriend for a few days. And crowds? None at that time of year - not positive what it’s like in earlier fall.

My husband and I have plane tickets for Bologna this fall, landing Sept. 22 - right at the start of fall. Hoping that we’ll be able to make that trip happen, if Covid-19 conditions don’t make us cancel in August.

Posted by
12129 posts

The Dolomites start shutting down for a shoulder-season break in late September or early October, although some places are open until mid-October or perhaps later. Make sure you head there first. The good news is there is usually a price drop in the hotels at this time.

Posted by
17 posts

My thoughts.....we stayed in Cortona for nearly three months a few years ago - it was perfect. SO I would suggest Cortona, of course, for a few nights and make some wonderful day trips from there. We have gone to Castello di Verrazzano for wine tour and lunch twice - and would happily go again. Lake Como is a favorite as well. You will have a wonderful trip! Cinque Terre is also a favorite of ours, but sounds like you have been there.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Lola and Marna. I figured we would hit the North region first and slowly work our way South. We have seen nothing along the east and southern region of Italy. It seems like most tours and tourist in general make it to Rome and the Amalfi area and I have read very little about further south. I am interested if someone could comment on whether this is because the region does not offer much or if this is a hidden gem that due to time most people miss out? Thanks for your feedback

Posted by
18699 posts

Both Puglia and Sicily are very worthwhile. Sicily is so large and has such a variety of sights that I commonly urge potential visitors to spend at least 2 weeks there, and longer if they don't plan to rent a car.

Posted by
14267 posts

8 weeks sounds wonderful.

I really enjoyed Naples. It's also a good base for the ruins - Pompeii, Herculaneum, etc. - if you haven't seen them yet.

Instead of - or maybe in addition to - Tuscany, Umbria is great. The terrain is similar to Tuscany. Orvieto and Assisi are probably the two most popular towns but there are a lot more.

Bologna - yes!! You can easily day trip by train to nearby towns (Modena, Parma, Ferrara) and even Ravenna, though to do it justice you need a couple nights there.

Sicily needs at least 2 weeks and 3's not too many. It's large (the largest island in the Med) and there is so much to see, everything on your list and much more. Would you consider renting a car? It's the best way to tour the island.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Chani and everyone for your comments. We would have a car. My biggest dilemma is I know very little about southern italy. Apuglia region and Materna I have read about. In your opinion does Sicily and this southern italy warrant the time over the tourist stops of Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar etc. ?

Posted by
18699 posts

I like the Dalmatian Coast, too, but I'd choose Sicily. I hope someone else can give you a good explanation, because I can't put into words why I think Sicily is such a good option. Maybe it's the layers of history; maybe it's the comparative lack of tourist throngs (except in Taormina).

I think you might run into fall weather (wetter, cooler) in Croatia earlier than in Sicily. You can check out actual, historical, day-by-day weather statistics going back about ten years on timeanddate.com. That first link takes you to Cefalu's data for October 2020. Here's Dubrovnik for the same month: timeanddate.com Dubrovnik. The timing of fall's arrival varies considerably from year to year, so you should check at least three years' worth of data.

Posted by
18699 posts

Fair point. Croatia would probably be cheaper. However, I haven't had any trouble finding budget-level lodgings in Italy (as compared to parts of the UK or even France, for example). 'Tis true that there isn't an equivalent of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Italy.

Edited to add: I haven't been to Venice or Florence recently; I assume inexpensive rooms in those cities are a challenge.