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Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Singapore, Singapore
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Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Hi everyone!

I will be flying from one week in Paris to Italy for two weeks in Dec 2013 with my husband. We are both in our twenties and it is our first visit to France and Italy. We are not used to winter, coming from a tropical climate and so would like some advice about feasibility of visiting some places or where to stay in places like Cinque Terre.

Day one: Arrive in Venice by easyjet/ryanair (evening)

Day two: Sightsee Venice

Day three: Sightsee Venice

Day four: Leave Venice for Florence (What's the best way to travel multi-city within Italy? Should we hire a car or just take the Eurail?)

Day five: Join Florence for Foodies tour

Day six: Sightsee Florence

Day seven: Join The Best of Tuscany Tour

Day eight: Leave Florence for Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre (Again, should we just take the Eurail at this point? Can anyone also advise about the best place to stay to base ourselves in CT? We probably won't be hiking very much because of the cold and the winds from the sea. Is staying by the sea - have sea view from our B&B/apartment a good idea in Dec 2013?)

Day nine: Vernazza

Day ten: Corniglia

Day eleven: Leave Riomaggiore for Rome (Again, best way to travel?)

Day twelve: Sightsee (I haven't had a chance to properly research Rome but I know there's a lot to do there and I've blocked out three and a half days at least to spend there uninterrupted)

Day thirteen: Sightsee

Day fourteen: Sightsee

Day fifteen: Leave Rome for home

Is this itinerary feasible? Would really like to hear what your thoughts are about travelling from one place in Italy to another. Thanks!!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Hi ZF!

Lucky you! Two weeks in Italy! Even in winter it will be amazing. You will have a different experience than the typical one but that's ok. Fewer crowds, yes?

We visited Venice in the late Fall and it was really lovely:

…deviantart.com/art/Autumn-in-Venice-1422106…

You ask about the Venice to Florence leg:

>>What's the best way to travel multi-city within Italy? Should we hire a car or just take the Eurail

Take the train from Venezia Santa Lucia to Firenze, cheap fast easy.

I have not gone to CT so can't advise. But do try to nail down your reservations before travel. Places will be closed or booked. That said, I booked this place in Vernazza for my boss at work and he raved about it:

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187822-d283494…

One thing for sure: you will have a fabulous trip!

-Karl

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

P.S.,

Your general itinerary seems fine to me. Others may comment differently. Most of your trip should be done by train which is easy to see from the website:

http://www.trenitalia.com/

Click on the little British flag at the top right.

-Karl

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Hi Karl,

Many thanks for commenting on my itinerary - I feel much more confident about it and am not second guessing myself that much, anymore. Haha!

And yes, definitely - am looking forward to fewer crowds and to be able to truly soak in the italian experience! I love what you wrote about Venice in your link - that's precisely like what my friend described when she went there last year. I can't wait to get there!

Thanks for the recomendations and OK - I will be sure to look at the rails for travel within Italy :)

Maryland
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4. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Fly easyjet from Paris Orly or CDG to Venice Marco Polo. Ryanair airports in both Paris and Venice are very far and in other towns. You have to get to and from them by coaches which take an hour or more. Paris Orly and CDG and Venice Marco Polo airports are both on shorter ride public transport that runs frequently.

Do not buy eurail tickets. Use trenitalia trains between cities and towns. If you want to visit Academia, Uffizi, Borghese, Colosseum and Vatican Museums try and prebook online to avoid waiting in lines. Borghese requires prebooking. Have fun!

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

all great tips mothergirl, I agree! -K

Edited: 27 September 2013, 04:43
Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Hi ZF,

I don't know what you enjoy, but (in addition to the grand must see sights of Venice, like the Basilica di San Marco, etc.), some of my memorable visits there were:

1) exploring back neighborhoods of Venice without plan

2) I enjoyed the beautiful jewelbox of a church Santa Maria dei Miracoli (in Cannaregio)

3) I loved just riding up and down the Grand Canal, snagging a seat out front to soak it all in!

4) Relaxing in some wine bar/restaurant at night with a fabulous seafood meal.

5) Myself, I really enjoyed the Tintorettos at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

(but then, I really like his dramatic chiaroscuro paintings).

www.google.com/search?q=tintoretto+venice+scuola+grande+di+san+rocco&tbm=isch

You'll have to find your own favorites and report back here after your trip!

-Karl

p.s., before you go, watch this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBoHska-RjA

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDxxa2uXs1s

and perhaps the romantic movie about Venice with Katherine Hepburn called Summertime:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048673/

Maryland
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7. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Oh my I love Francesco's productions and these are great! thanks for sharing Karl!

West Chester...
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8. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Venice to Florence by train is quite easy and both stations are centrally located. Trying to rent a car in Venice would be a hassle and you don't want it in Florence. Not would you want to take it into Rome.

There are lots of suggestions on the Rome Forum as to places to visit. Our new favorite is the national Etruscan Museum, a real gem and close to the Villa Borghese museums. depending o what you are interested in, there are easy to get to Roman ruins in Ostia Antica and Tivoli (Hadrians Villa which is actually a sizeable town).

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Thank you mothergirl for the tips about the airline - I have booked with easyjet because of the points you raised about ryanair!

Could you explain why I shouldn't get eurail? I was actually considering it because there's a 20% off for Italy regional travel. Do I have to prebook trenitalia tickets for travel from Venice to Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome?

Wow Karlitos great tips! I agree about the getting lost in Venice parts and riding in the Grand Canal. I totally can't wait for the entire experience! Thanks for sharing about the paintings and the video links - am going to watch them right after this! :)

My main question will now be about Cinque Terre: I've read many different views about traveling to CT in winter and I am thinking about shortening our stay there to two nights, to reduce our time there if weather is bad and cold and miserable but to still have some time to explore the area. I've also found that many hiking trails are closed for repairs etc, even the Via dell'Amore (Lovers' Walk) so I suppose the main mode of transport between the five villages will be train. Boat might be too risky in cold weather I wager.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Two weeks itinerary in Italy - Help needed!

Eurail is just a marketing name for selling over-priced tickets and train passes. For the best prices on long-distance trains, book direct with the operator as far ahead as possible. Trenitalia tickets normally go on sale 4 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

You can get train times and costs from www.trenitalia.com clicking on the UK flag to change to English and using the Italian names for towns, or from the competitor on major routes http://www.italotreno.it/EN . There are notes about online booking at www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/ItalyTrain.htm

However, most of the trains from Florence to the Cinque Terre are local (Regionale) trains and it is pointless to try to book these trains in advance over the Internet. They have no seat reservations (so tickets cannot sell out) and no discounts.

There is a timetable change on 15 December, and train times after that date will not be posted until some time in November. It is unlikely that there will be major changes, so you can use current times for planning.

The Cinque Terre area is a summer destination. Many of the restaurants and tourist shops will be closed in December, and the boats will not be running.

Edited: 02 October 2013, 07:52