My wife and I, mid-60s, just returned from our first trip to Italy. "Tutto magnifico." We visited, in order, Venice, Florence, Torino, Monterosso, a stop in Pisa, then Siena, Orvieto and Rome. We traveled light, so all by train. I found the Trenitalia website very useful. I booked ahead for most legs, sometimes getting 1st class at the lowest price, but the difference in service or comfort was more a function of the particular train. Can't complain about any of them. Used RS guidebooks for nearly everything. Good, useful info and we were happy with all the choices made from the books. At each stop we chose from the recommended hotels, restaurants, sites and self-guided tours without problem. With RS guidance we had our hotel book reservations for Uffizzi and Accademia in Florence. Booked on-line for Borghese and an RS-recommended Vatican tour. All the advice, including arrivals and departures, was a blessing. My main disappointment was Florence Duomo and Museum-the Donatello floor was completely closed, but they still charged full price; I didn't see the notice until too late. Duomo was underwhelming. Stayed overnite in Orvieto, but it's probably more fitting as a day trip, or a short stop, from Rome. Great highlights but needed more time. A lot left for next trip, God-willing.
Bob, Glad to hear that you had such a fantastic time on your trip! How many days did you spend in Monterosso and which hotel did you use? Time to start planning the next trip! Cheers!
5T is certainly very high on our places to re-visit. It was a great change of pace in the middle of the trip. We stayed 3 nights at Locanda Il Maestrale. Giovanni and Stephania have 2 large and 4 smaller rooms with a terrific balcony terrace on the street for breakfast and lounging in the Old Town. We often saw people on the street taking a picture of the terrace. It's a great place for a peaceful picnic lunch. We had one of the smaller rooms which was quite comfortable. We'll stay there when we go back. We wanted a place that would accept an advance reservation. You can find them at www.locandamaestrale.net.
Cheers on your first trip to Italy, and best wishes for many more!