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Italy Travel Suggestions

Washington DC...
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Italy Travel Suggestions

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Italy. We have never been before so we do have a few questions. We will be going in mid august for a little over a week. I know a week isn't very much time to see and do everything we want, but we were hoping it was possible to hop around a bit. We really would love to see Venice, Rome, and the Amalfi coast/Naples area. We were thinking of staying in the Tuscany Region for about 3-4 days, and then making our way down to the Amalfi coast for the rest of the time.

1) Do most hotels in Italy offer tours or excursions, or things we can have the hotel book for us? We were hoping it was possible to do a day trip to Rome and a day trip to Venice while staying in Tuscany. We would like to do it with a tour company. Can anyone recommend any hotels while we stay in Tuscany?

2) What would be our best bet to get to the Amalfi Coast from Tuscany? I've heard mixed reviews about driving vs. taking the train etc. We would just like to do whatever is easiest and makes the most sense.

3) We really want the last part of our trip to be a wind down, we're hoping to stay somewhere with a more beach resort feel where we don't really have to leave if we don't have to. We just want to relax and take in the beauty. Does anyone have any suggestions of places to stay like this?

Also, any places that offer free transfers from hotel to airports would be awesome. We did find a few hotels we're scoping out, but if anyone has any other suggestions, tips, or input that would be great! We're fairly new at traveling overseas and have only been to a couple places in Europe, so I apologize if these questions seem silly. We just want to make the most of our trip!

Thank you!!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

Boy, do you need to look at a map - Rome or Venice as day trip from Tuscany is just not doable - not for more than a few hours being there and many hours going to and from.

Where in Tuscany do you plan to stay? And, how many actual days on the ground NOT counting travel days to and from Italy.

Have you gotten a guidebook yet - if not, get one and really, do look at a map and start looking at travel times in getting from one place to another.

It's really beyond me right now how to even suggest a plan (just kind of tired I think but still probably wouldn't be able to formulate one in any case) - BUT, I will say this, if you are planning on the AC for this August, book ASAP! - places have been booked now for months, some even longer.

Check www.venere.com where you can sort by budget, dates, etc.

I know of no hotels in cities that have free shuttles to airports - airports are not that close to the cities - so if you want a free shuttle from an airport, you would have to find one offering such right by the airports.

Saint Marys, Ohio
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2. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

MomCat is right; you need to get a guidebook/map and do some homework. Seven days is enough time to visit 2 cities/areas. If you'd spend 4 days in Tuscany and 3 on the Amalfi Coast, that's about the best you could hope for.

I think the train is best from Tuscany to the AC. If you stayed somewhere in the Val d'Orcia, near Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, and took the train to the Naples from Chiusi, it would take 3+-4 hours. Once in Naples you're still 90 minutes by driver from the Amalfi Coast.

Where do you plan on flying into and out of?

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

We have been looking at maps, from Tuscany to Rome it said it was about an 1.5 hour drive, from Tuscany to Venice it ranged about 3hrs. In Ireland we did day trips that were a few hours out from Dublin. That time frame seemed doable as we had done it before in other countries, we would leave very early in the morning and arrive back late that evening. We will have about 8 days on land and were hoping to split the time between between Tuscany and AC. Can you recommend the best way to get from Tuscany to AC? Map estimates it about 4 hours by car but we've heard driving in AC can be dangerous and difficult due to the winding roads and cliffs.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

Thank you for your response! We're undecided as to where we want to fly into. We've been debating a lot on where to start our trip. We can catch a direct flight to Rome which we've considered. We would probably fly home from Naples since we would be down that way anyways.

Are the estimates for time wrong on google maps? Tuscany to Rome says about 1.5 hrs and Tuscany to Venice estimates about 3. We will definitely get a guide book, thank you for that suggestion!

Destination Expert
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5. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

What map are you looking at? It's nearly 500 miles from Venice to the Amalfi Coast - a minimum of eight hours of driving, without stops or major traffic jams.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

We wouldn't be driving from Venice to AC. We would be doing so from Tuscany to AC. Most likely via train. I was just curious if day trips were possible from Tuscany to Venice, the map says about 3 hour drive. (Google Maps)

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7. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

From Florence, yes. Tuscany covers a lot of area so it depends on where in Tuscany you start from.

Google maps's estimates assume no traffic delays, which isn't the usual situation, so I'd add about 10% to their estimates.

Edited: 14 March 2014, 02:41
Washington DC...
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8. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

Thanks! Do you know if hotels offer day tours, or would you recommend renting a car and getting around that way? Have you ever driven down to AC? We've been reading the roads are crazy to get around on and a little dangerous.

Pottersville, New...
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9. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

Generally speaking, no, hotels do not offer day tours. Most Italian hotels are not as large as those you might find in some cities. However there are many companies that offer day tours (Viator is a popular one but there are many others) if that is of interest to you.

However, I would strongly suggest that if you want to visit a city like Rome or Venice, you actually stay overnight in the city for several nights. Each city takes on a special kind of magic at night. Think carefully about what you'd like to see and do in each city. For example, in Rome most folks find the Vatican takes a full day, and the Colosseum, Forum, and other ancient sites take another day. Add in a museum and a couple of other sites and that's another day. And be sure to factor in plenty of time for some long, lingering Italian meals and a glass of wine.

Remember that in a week, you won't be able to see everything in Italy. Think of it this way- would you advise a visitor to the US to stay in rural Pennsylvania, and do day trips to Washington DC and NYC, then pop up to Cape Cod to finish out their week on the beach? In theory it could be done, but not really the most enjoyable way to do it. Especially in August.

So get a good guidebook, do some reading, and have fun planning. Buon viaggio!

Forestville, CA
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10. Re: Italy Travel Suggestions

hi: Venice, Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast and 3-4 days in "Tuscany"..... and you have a week, i'm guessing 7 days/8 nights? or 6 days/7 nights?....in either case, it's best not to count arrival and departure day. I know you wish to see all these fabulous places but you simply don't have enough time. You don't understand the distances and travel time between these destinations. Venice and Rome are not day-trips from somewhere in Tuscany (which is not a city but an area) but most importantly, they just are not 'day-trips'...they deserve much more of your time and attention.

You really don't wish to drive in any of the cities, let alone Naples and the Amalfi Coast. In addition, you need to ADD travel/transport time of 1/2 day from each point A to point B. By the time you have breakfast and then pack and then make it to a train station and perhaps have to transfer en route and then get into the new station and try to find your hotel and maybe get lost and then finally find it and climb 3 flights of stairs ..... whew, it's 1/2 day.

Please take time with a good guide book and a good map and make lists of what you wish to see and do. What, if after reading up, you decide to stay 3 days in Rome because you wish to do all these fabulous things? Or around the Amalfi Coast?

This is my suggestion, leave off Venice and the Tuscan countryside this time (you will come back!) and concentrate on having a wonderful time in Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast--which will completely take up your time. Perhaps you mentioned this but what are your 'on the ground' days in Italy and what city do you fly in and out from? That will also dictate your itinerary.