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Need help with itinerary

Brisbane, Australia
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Need help with itinerary

My daughter (12) and I will be travelling in early December from Paris to Zurich (1 night)

Zurich to Chur to St Moritz on Bernina Express (as per Man in Seat 61 suggestion) (overnight St Moritz) (7th Dec)

St Moritz to Tirano to Milan (2 nights)

Milan (day trip to Venice) - my Daughter wants to go here

Now this is where I'm not sure how to plan. I don't really want to spend 7-8 hours on a train at a time as my daughter will be bored.

I want to stay in Positano for 3-4 nights - visit Sorrento/Capri/Almalfi

I'd also like to visit Cortona. Other places I've been looking at are Siena, Lucca, possibly a day in Florence (I've been here before) and a day trip to Pisa (another daughter request - I'm not fussed - I've been before). I've looked at train & bus travel between these places using google map.

I'd really love to see those "typical" tuscany hills (like the wine area - even though I don't drink wine). The suggestions are to hire a car to do so. Driving on country roads does not really phase me except if it were perhaps snowy....I've also got to keep my wits about me with driving on the right hand side as we drive on the left. So I'd really rather not drive in busy places.

So from my four choices of towns what would be ideal location? I'd like to be able to walk around the town for dinner etc. it would be nice to stay in B & B. I did find one that is very reasonable at villadianella but I think this is not a good location for us???

We need to be back in Paris by 21st as we fly out at 7.50pm.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Umbria, Italy
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for Sunshine Coast, Umbria
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1. Re: Need help with itinerary

this a very fractured request so will attempt small pieces.

If you stay in Lucca you can do Florence...Pisa....and some Tuscan areas with ease.

Long way day trip to Venice....is it a good idea ?

To go to Amalfi is a separate area requiring different motives.

Start to bed down a less divergent route and we can help.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Need help with itinerary

Milan to Venice is not really a day trip due to journey time, unless your visit to Milan is essential you could head straight to Venice by train.

Trains Milan to Venice to Florence to Naples to Rome www.trenitalia.com Click on the UK flag for current train times.

You can visit from Florence by Trenitalia train, Pisa in the morning, continue on to Lucca and return to Florence from Lucca by train.

www.aboutpisa.info www.lucca.ca

Car rental Florence airport www.autoeurope.com.au

Route planner www.viamichelin.com

You will require an International driving permit for Italy.

Be aware of traffic restrictions and ZTL areas in Italy roninrome.com/transportation/driving-italy

Choose a Tuscany town for a base after Florence ie: Siena or Montepulciano www.discovertuscany.com

At Naples train station transfer to the Lower basement station for the train to Sorrento and Pompeii Scavi

www.eavcampania.it

Buses Sorrento to Salerno and Ravello via Amalfi www.sitasudtrasporti.it Click on Orari for Campania bus times.

Accommodation www.venere.com www.bed-and-breakfast-in-italy.com

www.venice-tourism.com www.timeout.com/venice

www.amalficoastweb.com www.sorrentotourism.com www.timeout.com/naples www.pompeiisites.org

www.rome.info www.timeout.com/rome

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Need help with itinerary

Hi

Thanks for your information.

I've worked out rough travel plans to Positano in terms of distance and time.

Now for seeing the Tuscany area.

I'm just wondering if you can hire a car in Cortona and drop off somewhere close to Florence? Do they allow one way travel?

Then we could get to Cortona by public transport (from Positano) hire a car and drive up to somewhere like San Gimignano to base ourselves.

I could then visit Lucca, Siena (maybe Pisa) and surrounding ares by car then go to Florence by public transport and on to Paris by train.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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for Tuscany
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4. Re: Need help with itinerary

Arezzo is probably the closest place to Cortona where you could pick up a hire car. Yes they allow one way rentals, Florence airport is the only place I can think of to drop off the car. Make sure you know all about ZTLs before driving anywhere in Italy and you will need to find out from the hire company if snow chains are part of the rental or extra, it is compulsory to carry them at that time of year.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Need help with itinerary

Ok thanks for that. I'll start looking at the car hire. It will be much easier to see more in the short time we have. I'm really liking the idea of staying in a B & B type room in a old villa....I just need to find something close to a village that has a few restaurants/cafes that we can get to and walk around in the evening for our dinner.

Can you tell me if the countryside around Cortona is similar to say San Gimignano, Lucca or is it very different?..

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: Need help with itinerary

See car rental #2

www.discovertuscany.com/cortona

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Need help with itinerary

You might want to think the Positano portion of your trip. Since it is so very far away and since a great deal of Positano shuts down for the winter...

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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for Tuscany
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8. Re: Need help with itinerary

The countryside around all three of those places is very different, with that around Lucca being least attractive, in my opinion. Cortona overlooks the plains of the Val di Chiana and Lake Trasimeno, the countryside around San Gimignano is more hilly, probably the most attractive of the three and Lucca sits in a river basin with the more attractive hills some distance away. Take a look at google images and you'll see what I mean.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Need help with itinerary

Thanks for you information about the countryside. That's a good idea about the google images. It might influence my itinerary and location more.

As for Positano, I know it shuts down but I have to go, it has been a dream to see the "views", I don't care about the things being shut down. Unfortunately December is the only time I can go, but you make the most of what you have right? I don't think I'll be disappointed but I appreciate your giving me the advice.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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10. Re: Need help with itinerary

Although the countryside around Lucca is not all that scenic, there are a number of interesting villas and it is only a short drive to the lovely scenery of the Serchio valley.