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Travelling Italy - How To Do It

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Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Hi

We will be flying into Rome in September this year. We will have two weeks to see the following areas in Italy:

Rome

Florence

Venice

Tuscany

Maybe Milan

Is it unrealistic to expect to see as much as we can of these places in a two week period? We want to organise the trip ourselves, rather than an organised tour. How long is suggested to stay in each place and in what order? Suggestions on how to get from one place to another would be very helpful (eg. train, bus). We don't really want to hire a car, although maybe it may be necessary in Tuscany? Otherwise, we could do a short tour of Tuscany?

We are heading to France after Italy. (Or would it be better weather-wise to go to France first?)

All suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...Chinta

Quebec
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1. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

We did the first four on your list with no issues. I would not have added another city in as we really only just had enough time.

No car rental, trains were awesome and punctual and cheap. No dealing with parking and ZTL's. We rented apartments in all three cities and enjoyed al fresco dining on the terrasses every night.

Flew into Rome, stayed five nights.

Then train to Florence, stayed 6 nights and did Siena, San Gimignano one day, Pisa and Lucca another and Chianti another. We took the train to Pisa and Lucca and private tours for the other two days.

Train to Venice for three nights.

Flew out of Venice.

It really went very well.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Some people hate his books, but I think Rick Steves does a really good job in demystifying the travel process to Europe, esp. for first time travelers. Although his books are geared mostly to Americans, I would think Aussies could benefit as well. Unlike most guide books, he gives information only on those places that he thinks tourists would enjoy the most. (No Geneva or Bologna, for example.)

You might pick up a copy of his Italy book.(They're updated every year.)

Australia
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3. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Great thanks bogwoppit

That's a great help. How did you do Tuscany?

If you had another two days, how would you have distributed your time? Was it very rushed?

Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

If two weeks means the full 14 days, then yes, it would be fine, otherwise you may have to reduce the number of places. Also, carefully consider the order of your itinerary, it would make sense to use Florence as your base to explore Tuscany if you intend to drive.

The question whether Rome or Venice as your first place of entry into Italy would best be considered by what airline you will be using.

Trains are plentiful, efficient, and cost effective. Book direct with Trenitalia, not through any Australian travel agents. If you want more info, post in the Train Travel forum, I am a frequent contributor there, and would be happy to answer your queries.

As a guide, here are the costs of using the train in Italy: (based on late April/early May fares)

- Venice to Rome , € 49

- Rome to Florence, € 29

- Florence to Milan, € 29

From Milan, direct TGV high speed trains to Paris operates 3 times a day, cost € 83

Quebec
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5. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

No it wasn't rushed, it really was a perfect holiday. Every day we planned one main activity or two smaller ones, Each afternoon we scheduled downtime, we had three teens with us. They would go chill at the apartment and surf the net whilst we found a drink and some extra dinner stuff. We travel a lot and find that keeping the schedule light makes everybody happy.

For Tuscany we used scenic wine tours, driver Sergio. With him we did a full day in the Chianti region and then a second full day for Siena and San Gimignano. To do Pisa and Lucca we took the local trains, buy tickets on the day, it was very easy to do both. Kids rode bikes around the walls of the city of Lucca whilst we enjoyed a drink and the views.

When we travelled between cities we took trains around midday, this worked well for check out and check in times at the apartments we rented. We would eat lunch on the train.

We used Tren Italo, new trains, free WIFI and very efficient online booking system. I think I paid 20 EUR per person for Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice. Booked early of course.

In Rome I booked Rome cabs for the airport pick up and transfer from apartment to Tiburtina train station. Very good company with big and clean vans.

We ate breakfast in the apartment every day. Fruit, croissants, bread etc. We ate lunch out standing at the counters of take out places or had a slice of pizza somewhere and we made dinner at night using things we bought on our travels during the day. Each apartment had outdoor space with a view of some kind. I think these meals in made things very relaxing as every could chill and do their own thing for a while. Meals were simple though.

Every night we would go for a walk after dinner to buy gelato and enjoy the night.

If I had another two days I would have added one to Rome to go to Pompeii and another to Venice as there is much I wish to still see there. In fact I really was not expecting to enjoy Venice, but I was quite taken with the city.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 21:58
Australia
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6. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Thanks everyone. Very helpful info. If we start our trip at the beginning of September and are planning to do France and Italy, what country is it best to visit first (relating to weather). eg. would Italy overall be warmer than France? If so, we could do France before Italy.

Lots to learn! Thanks!

London, United...
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7. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Hi can you recommend any of the apartments or agencies for apartmenst that you used? I'm visiting Rome in June this year. Thanks

Australia
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8. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

Hi Kathshx

I haven't yet been on my trip:) so can't recommend anywhere to you. Suggest you post the question on this forum. There are lots of lovely helpful people who will be able to make suggestions to you.

Good luck.

London, United...
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9. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

cheers, will do

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Travelling Italy - How To Do It

We did Italy first then France & onto England at the start of last Sept, in Paris it was cool & rainy & Italy being further south was warm & dry.

Next time we will start in England & travel South especially at that time of year.