Thanks to the thoughtful suggestions of posters on my previous Itinerary thread, we have changed our itinerary for mid-May so we will be flying into Venice and out of Rome. This is our new itinerary:
Sunday May 13 - Arrive in Venice - get over jet lag, sleep!
Monday May 14 - Overnight in Venice - one full day
Tuesday May 15 - Overnight in Venice- one full day
Wednesday May 16 - Train from Venice to Florence , overnight Florence - half a day
Thursday May 17 - Overnight in Florence ( on this day we plan to do a trip to Pisa) - one full day
Friday May 18 - morning train from Florence to Naples - overnight in Naples ( we are aware we will pass Rome and will have to change trains); visit Naples museum ( have to check closing hours) - half a day
Saturday May 19 - Overnight in Naples - trip to Pompeii/Herculaneum - one full day
Sunday May 20 - here we are wondering if we should spend another night in Naples so we can do a day trip to Monte Cassino ( have to check Sunday closures) and see more of Naples itself - one full day
OR we can leave today in the morning for Rome. We are inclined towards the former.
Sunday May 20 OR Monday May 21- Naples to Rome by train around 9 a.m or so.
May 20/21 Sunday/Monday through Sunday May 27th - Rome is ours to explore.
Day trips from Rome will be Anzio/Nettuno and of course visit the Vatican which takes a day.
Monday May 28 - leave for U,S
Is Ostia Antica recommended even though we have seen Pompeii? We know it is better preserved - however this will cut into our time in Rome - is it a half day trip?
Should we leave out Herculaneum if we visit Pompeii?
We decided to travel by fast trains throughout - second class ( not Eurostar). There are 9euro mini-fares being offered right now; we'd like to take advantage of those if we can, but first we need to make sure our itinerary is doable. I noticed also that there are special Saturday fares on Trenitalia but I guess those are valid only for February.
Our interests are arch(a)eological ruins, WW2 sites, literary sites ( such as Keats house, Goethe's house, and also the graves of Keats and Shelley) science and art, more or less in that order. Galileo is the reason we are visiting Pisa and Florence ( not that, in the latter, Michelangelo is not another main reason!).
We have yet to book our hotels in each of these places and I know time is running out :-(... so your input is greatly appreciated - please let us know what and if we should change in our itinerary. Florence was not initially in our trip plans but it makes sense to stay there on our way from Venice and at least get to see the birthplace of the Renaissance, Michelangelo's David, the graves of Michelangelo and Galileo.
Grazie, grazie, grazie!