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first time to Italy

Level Contributor
176 posts
13 reviews
first time to Italy

My Husband and I are going to Italy in September for our 30th wedding anniversary. We fly into Milan, but don't get there until 9 pm. Can anyone suggest an itinerary for us? Originally, we had planned to get up, go to the Duomo, and then train to Venice. I just saw the Rick Steves show on Lake Como, and it is tempting to stop there. We also want to include Florence, perhaps some of Tuscany, and we fly out of Rome. Our first full day in Milan will be 9/8, then we fly out of Rome at 5pm on 9/20. I know we want time to relax.. and not be constantly on the move. I just am not sure what the best plan would be. We plan to use the train, I am too chicken to drive!

Thanks in advance!

Tucker, Georgia
Level Contributor
1,091 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: first time to Italy

It sounds like you have twelve days 'on the ground' and you definitely can do fine with twelve days. A good rule of thumb for planning 'at least a half week for each major city'. What you need to remember is that each time you pick up an go another place you basically lose one 'sightseeing' day. I know that Lake Como, Venice and Rome and all are worthy destinations. I am not down on Florence or Tuscany, just haven't gotten there yet.

There is no need for a rental car on a first trip to Italy.[ Maybe I should really emphasize no need.]

So here is a high speed trip:

Sept 8th - Milan (Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel, etc)

Sept 9th - Change to Lake Como

Sept 10th - Lake Como

Sept 11th - change to Venice

Sept 12th - Venice

Sept 13th - Venice

Sept 14th - change to Tuscany

Sept 14th - Florence or small towns Tuscany

Sept 15th - Same as Sept 14th

Sept 16th - change to Rome

Sept 17th - Rome

Sept 18th - Rome

Sept 19th - Slack time - so rearrange the itinerary with where you want to add a day (maybe Lake Como)

Sept 20th - Piddle around and fly home

One comment, if you are traveling at this speed, then 1/2 day sightseeing tours are not a bad thing. On one day you tick off a bunch of sights and on the second day you fill in the other important sights or do a museum or something.

Second comment:: single night stops are only acceptable for small towns and if you arrive before lunch.

Final comment, you should go to the places that interest you and Lake Como is definitely worth including in your itinerary.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
34,020 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: first time to Italy

From Florence you can visit both Pisa and Lucca in a day by train www.trenitalia.it/homepage_en.htm Pisa in the morning onto Lucca in the afternoon, return to Florence from Lucca.






All connected by Trenitalia train.

Level Contributor
1,015 posts
36 reviews
3. Re: first time to Italy

I would try to focus on just 3 or 4 places to stay in a 12 day itinerary.

I'd skip Milan altogether. If you are landing in Malpensa it's just as easy to get straight to Como as it is to Milan. You are getting in late, so might want to spring for a taxi (I'm not sure the time of the last train). I've done the taxi between Malpensa and Como and it's worth it to not have to spend a night near the airport or in Milan. Como is definitely worth several days, it's simply one of the most gorgeous places on earth and the perfect spot for relaxation. There are many small towns on the lake that offer great places to stay. It's also possible to do a day trip by train from Como to Lake Maggiore .

From Como I'd take the train to Venice and spend another 3 days.

After that, to Florence by train. From Florence you can easily do day trips to Lucca and/or Siena. Then spend your last couple of days in Rome.

I agree with the earlier post which says not to think about a rental car. It's way more trouble than it's worth. The trains will get you where you want to go.

Level Contributor
176 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: first time to Italy

Hmmm, I like the idea of going directly to Como. Roughly, how much does it cost, and how long did it take?

Level Contributor
1,015 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: first time to Italy

It's been a few years since I did this by Taxi - as I remember it was about $100 but split between 2 people that seemed reasonable to gain an extra night on Lake Como. Probably more expensive now with the value of the dollar down. I think it took about an hour - hour and a half.

The hotel I was staying in was able to arrange this and get a bit of a discount, so you might check that out where ever you are staying.

Varenna, Italy
Level Contributor
603 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: first time to Italy

Taxi fare and travel times are going to vary widely depending on which town and taxi service you pick. Plan roughly on up to €200, 1.5-1.75 hours to Bellagio, around €100 and about 45 min. - 1 hr. to the town of Como.

A couple you can try:



7. Re: first time to Italy

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