Hello TA Friends!
We are currently planning a 19-day Italian Honeymoon and would like to request your expert advice on our very rough plans at this point.
Last year we took a similar trip where we explored Europe for 23 days. We flew round trip to London--however we booked an immediate flight out (to Paris). We then toured Europe--by combination of bus, train, and rental car--finishing our trip in London. We saw 11 cities in 6 different countries and it worked out to be the most AMAZING trip of our lives!!!
I should mention that we are NOT typical American tourists and prefer to do more exploring than touristy things. During our 23 days in Europe last year we did not step foot in a single museum. Instead we road bikes, ate amazing food (& wine!!), hiked, had incredible adventures, and LIVED like the locals. It was truly out of this world!!
We got a great deal on airfare, so our flight is already booked! We are flying round trip to Venice arriving TUES. 29 APR 2014 and departing SAT. 17 MAY 2014. (FYI This is our first time in Italy).
At this point we are planning to rent a car for the entire trip--picking it up at the Venice Airport not actually "doing" Venice until the end. We're thinking we'll drive down the Eastern Coast of Italy to Sicily, stopping along to the way to stay one night (so we're not doing the entire 15 hour drive in one day). After Sicily we would work our way back up the Western half, staying 2-3 nights per city and finishing our trip in Venice. The breakdown would look something like this:
29: Arrive in Venice. Pickup Car. Drive South. Stay somewhere along the Eastern Coast (Ancona? Pescara? recommendations?)
30: Continue down the Coast. Arrive (late) in Sicily. Stay in Sicily
03: Head to Naples. Stay in Naples.
05: Head to Rome. Stay in Rome.
07: Head to Florence. Stay in Florence.
09: Head to Cinque Terre. Stay in Cinque Terre
10: Cinque Terre
11: Head to Portofino. Stay in Portofino.
13: Head to Verona. Stay in Verona.
15: Head to Venice. Stay in Venice.
17: Drop off Car. Depart Venice for Home.
I have not found much by way of anyone recommending driving and/or the eastern coast for that matter which is why I am really in need of some guidance (or perhaps some reassurance). We don't want to make a huge mistake but the cost savings and "adventure" aspect seem to be drawing us to this plan.
Further, any recommendations of what to see or places to stay are also VERY much appreciated! When booking hotels/rooms/etc. we often prefer to stay in rental properties as opposed to typical hotels. We are not looking to stay in hostels or shared spaces (B&B's) necessarily (it is our honeymoon!) but we are also not looking to spend $200+/night every night (or at all if we can swing it!) Location is important to us (or at least proximity to public transit) and included parking will be essential. We will utilize public transit for local moving about and the car will just be for getting us to each city on our own schedule.
The future Mrs. Ackerman