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What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

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What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

We are thinking of touring Italy for 3 weeks in June next year and would like

advice on which cities to visit and for how long.

Would like recommendations on hotels or B&Bs?

This is our first visit to Italy.

We will bot be driving but probably using the train where possible..

We will be arriving in Milan from Australia via Kuala Lumpar.

Your thoughst would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

I think I would take it slow and try to hit Milan, then Venice, move down to Florence and finally Rome, flying out of that city.

It you stick to four cities in three weeks, you'll minimize the time you spend changing hotels. You will still have the flexibility for day trips, via train.

Look at Venere.com for hotels in these cities.

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2. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

I'm not an Italy expert but have been three times and the last two were also with "first time" visitors - I added the Amalfi coast on this past trip and it was a fantastic decision - if you want to stay north, you may consider Cinque Terre as a coastal option - I looked into it but decided on Amalfi instead - it depends on your tastes but I would highly recommend a coastline portion of your stay:-)

otherwise, Florence, Venice and Rome are pretty standard first visit destinations - Milan was included in my first trip and I'm not a big city or fashion person so it didn't really speak to me and I found 1-2 days sufficient, but it just depends on what your interests are!

Have a great trip:-)

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3. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

"which cities to visit and for how long"

Have you looked through a guidebook yet? There must be a reason you chose Italy as your destination. It makes no sense for a bunch of strangers to tell you how to spend your 3 weeks since it's your vacation. It would make much more sense for you to figure out where you want to go and what it is you want to do in each place. Once you've gotten a tentative itinerary figured out people can assist if you have more specific questions.

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4. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

Hi brownpoodle from Adelaide

I agree with MiriamLisa above - find out what 'grabs' you about Italy - is it the food? the countryside? the history? the architecture? the lakes? the mountains? the beaches? the cities?

Try and narrow it down to regions, for example the Lakes region up north could also incorporate a visit to the Dolomites, Rome is packed with architecture and history - as is Naples. The Amalfi Coast has exquisite villages and that picture postcard look we see on calendars (have you seen Kath & Kim the movie? It's set on the Amalfi Coast). The cities such as Florence and Venice are the stuff we see for years on TV and movies but to see it in real life truly defies description.

So have a think about why you *really* want to see Italy. Everyone has a reason why this country calls them. You'll find your reason and then come back to the forums so everyone can help you some more.

In the meantime, happy planning!

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5. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

Milan is lovely, but don't have a car there. Maybe see the lakes but make sure you see Venice. From there, pick up a car and head for Tuscany. If you are driving I suggest you not stay in Florence, but somewhere within striking distance, devote a day or two to Florence and the rest of your Tuscan time to the very lovely hill towns and tuscan countryside. We based in Lucca once, took a few side trips by bus to Florence, but explored northern Tuscany by car, then moving on to somewhere like Montepulciano or Pienza for a few days around the Val d'Orcia. You can also visit Asssisi and Siena before finally ending up in Rome, ditching the car and staying some time there before flying out.

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6. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

I'm not sure how knowing other peoples' priorites could possibly help you determine your own, but the order I chose when I started visiting Italy 20+ years ago was Venice, Rome, Florence, Sicily, Aeolian Islands, Bologna-Ravenna, Tuscany (Siena-Lucca-Pisa), Naples, Puglia-Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Umbria, Milan+Veneto, Lombardy (based in Brescia), Sardinia, Liguria, Turin+Piedmont; still have to make it to Trieste as I keep going back to places I have been to before...

My first question for itinerary planning would be, are you also flying out of Milan or e.g. Rome? If leaving from Milan (or Venice), I would stay in the North and do Milan, Lakes, Verona, Venice (dumping the car at/before Venice). If flying out of Rome, I would skip (postpone) Lakes and Verona, take the fast train from Venice to Rome and visit Florence, again by train, from there.

But as others have said, you have to work out what you really want to do, anywhere you go will be fine!

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

Hi brownpoodle

We are also planning our first trip to Italy next year, but not until October :(

We will be away for four weeks and this is what we have planned so far:

Fly into Milan and get a private transfer immediately to Bellagio, stay for four nights to get over jet lag.

Back to Milan for two nights, not really interested in Milan but would like to see the Last Supper and a quick look, then train to Venice for three nights.

Train to Florence where we stay for a week with a couple of day trips to Chianti and San Gimignano, Pisa and Lucca, then onto Rome for 5 nights, Sorrento for 6 nights with day trips to the Amalfi Coast and Capri and finally back to Rome for the last night before flying home.

From everything I have read it is worth not having a car and using the trains, but obviously we havent been yet!

We have been to the UK, France and Amsterdam and used trains between those countries on a number of occasions. The trains in Europe leave our Australian ones for dead so that is worth considering rather can a car, as from my reading cars don't work well except possibly in Tuscany.

Have fun planning, I certainly am.


north carolina
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8. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

I agree with Miriam.

It seems ridiculous to just go to see what someone else wants, when there are so many (so many) wonderful things there. The toughest part of planning any trip to italy, especially the first, is to figure out what not to see, because you can't do everything.

And, in my opinion, the surest way to ruin a trip to Italy is to try to do too much. In three weeks, for the first time, i would plan on not more than four places to stay a few nights.

A few hours spent in a couple of guide books will greatly reward you in terms of a successful vacation.

But here is one constructive suggestion: find some way to fit in 4 nights in a small town or out in a country B&B.

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9. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

You have about a year to do your research on what YOU want to see and do. The 8 people or so who have come up on your thread have each their own ideas what THEY want to see and these may not necessarily be yours. The fact that you have chosen to spend time in Italy means that something in the country attracts you, so focus on that. Read books, go see movies that feature different areas: Roman Holiday, My House in Umbria, Room with a View, Cassanova etc. I love Florence, I love Rome, Venice is great for me but no more than 2 visits, Milan is for shopping, Vicenza, Siena, The Lake Region, Verona, Portofino,Capri etc. So many places but with so little time you need to focus on YOUR interests. The advice to concentrate on no more than 4 cities is a very good one. Don't spread yourself thin.

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10. Re: What towns to visit on your first trip to Italy.

Many thanks for you help.

I will purchase on book on Italy.