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-   -   Need help on trip to and Italy (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/italy/1847495-need-help-trip-italy.html)

Bettinae Jun 11, 17 11:01 am

Need help on trip to and Italy
 
My adult son and I would like to fly from Houston, Texas (IAH) to Switzerland or Italy and then fly back to IAH. We are not sure which country to fly into nor which city. We were thinking the schedule below might work. We would like help since we have never been to either country. We are most interested in seeing wildlife, historical places, and the mountains. Thank you so much!

Fly into Rome for 0 nights take a train directly to Naples
Naples 2 Nights
Back to Rome 3 Nights
Florence 3 Nights
Milan 3 Nights
Zermatt 2 Nights
Wengen 2 Nights
Zurich 2 nights fly back to IAH from here.
We would love any helo on the number of days or what we are missing....we have not made any reservations yet so we are open to not going to some of th places or adding/replacing places
Thank you so much!

Yoshi212 Jun 11, 17 11:29 am

Really my only comment is do do the the first 3 days in Rome to allow your body to adjust to the time change and because when you'll be arriving could be anywhere from early morning to mid-late afternoon depending upon routing. After 2 flights I wouldn't want to sent another ~90 minutes on a train to Naples along with going from airport to train station and waiting.
The train ride from Naples to Florence is less than 3 hours and would be backtracking but it's short and a nice ride.
Beyond that it sounds like a nice trip. Quick paced but not overly so.

Bettinae Jun 11, 17 11:32 am

Thank you so much!! I truly appreciate your insight!!

Have a wonderful day!

Yoshi212 Jun 11, 17 12:21 pm

One additional thing. Cross posting is not allowed on FT. It keeps threads focused and information in one place for your own good and for others to use in the future.

I'm going to ask a MOD to use there judgement on placement and close your other two posts.

Bettinae Jun 11, 17 12:58 pm

Oh I am so sorry - I thought it would get more of a rounded response - I am new as of today and I have been watching and now understand that all post go to the main posting site. I am truly sorry and this will not happen again!!

Thank you for your help and I truly appreciate it!
Have a wonderful day!

Yoshi212 Jun 11, 17 1:33 pm

No worries. New and longterm members do this too. It's more of an "in the future.." comment.
You should post your topics where you feel they'll get the best answers. You can always ask a MOD to move or merge it to others too by clicking the red & blue circle under your Screen name on posts. I have a feeling this will be moved to the Destinations: Europe forum where you'll get comments on your trip and cities you plan to visit.

Have a good day and keep posting.


Originally Posted by Bettinae (Post 28429613)
Oh I am so sorry - I thought it would get more of a rounded response - I am new as of today and I have been watching and now understand that all post go to the main posting site. I am truly sorry and this will not happen again!!

Thank you for your help and I truly appreciate it!
Have a wonderful day!


Bettinae Jun 11, 17 2:38 pm

Perfect! Thank you so much! I have learned a lot! I will you too! your very nice!

Air Rarotonga Jun 11, 17 3:16 pm


Originally Posted by Bettinae (Post 28429249)
Milan 3 Nights
Zermatt 2 Nights
Wengen 2 Nights
Zurich 2 nights fly back to IAH from here.

The journeys within Italy are short as they offer high-speed trains, called 'freccie' (en: arrows). Train timetables:

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en (state railway)
http://www.italotreno.it/en (private company)

I would book the train that fits you better and cost the less :-) Trains in Italy were quite cheap!

I would only stay two days at Milan and if you like mountains and trains, you could ride the Bernina (Milan - Tirano - St. Moritz) and Glacier Express (St. Moritz - Zermatt). An overnight stop at St. Moritz would be necessary:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/g...z-zermatt.html
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/p...a-express.html

If you go to Wengen, a visit on the highest railway station of Europe would be a must:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/h...in-europe.html

Trains and livin in Switzerland is expensive. For the train rides, I would recommand you a Swiss Travel Pass, which is valid on most of the public transportation within Switzerland (have a look to the map at the following link):

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/t...om-abroad.html

Timetables within Switzerland:
https://www.sbb.ch/en/

Bettinae Jun 11, 17 3:23 pm

OMG Thank you so much!!!! I will definitely look at these links - You do not know how clueless I feel about booking into two countries that I have never visited.

Air Rarotonga Jun 11, 17 3:35 pm


Originally Posted by Bettinae (Post 28430038)
OMG Thank you so much!!!! I will definitely look at these links - You do not know how clueless I feel about booking into two countries that I have never visited.

No problem. Hit me up if you've question about Switzerland. Also know Italy a bit... ;)

sydunipete Jun 11, 17 8:27 pm

I travel to Italy once or twice a year (I'm part Italian and visit family).

Agreed with the other posters. Trains are cheap and good (unless they are on strike). Also agree to stay in Rome to start with. It's less hassles if your flight is delayed and gives you a chance to shower then get used to the timezone. Rome is rather touristy - but for a good reason.

I'm not sure of your reasons but why Napoli? I suggest use a tour company (I very rarely do this, but this is one time I make an exception) and organise a 2 or 3 night bus tour to Amalfi Coast from Rome. It's spectacular. They will organise Sorrento, Capri, Blue Grotto, Napoli, hotels, pickup etc. It's much easier than train and self-organised. And it's highly recommended.

Why Milano? It's where my family is from so I love the area but it is probably the least inspirational of Italian cities. The Duomo is wonderful. I would suggest instead Venezia. It is very touristy but it is a one of a kind city. Truly unique. (No cars!)

But around Milano you can catch a train to Lake Como. There are regular ferries that will take you to many beautiful villages on the lake. There are walks and an amazing restaurant Isola Comacina (google it) - totally unforgettable experience. I would suggest train to either Como or Varenna then ferry from there. Bellaggio is a popular spot. In fact you could train it to Varenna, ferry to Bellaggio for morning tea, Isola Comacina for lunch, Como for a drink then train back to Milano. A spectacular day.

You could catch a train to Tirano (where I come from) - it's about 2 1/2 hours from Milano but the Bernina Express departs from there and it is the most scenic rail trip (to St Moritz) you can imagine. There is also a beautiful church in Tirano built on the footprints of where the Virgin Mary appeared in an apparition. The Bernina Express train rides straight past the church along the street!

I hope this is of some assistance. Buona vacanza!

cornfedcowboy Jun 11, 17 8:31 pm

3 nights in Milan might be one or two too many in my opinion. If you like the mountains and outdoors go to Lake Como,Maggiore,Lugano, or Garda. All are fantastic. I guess it will depend on the time of year. Then again you can get to the lakes from Milan.

hotturnip Jun 11, 17 11:00 pm

If you like art, 3 nights in Milan actually might not be enough. Besides Leonardo's Last Supper fresco, there's a great collection at the Brera, and a smaller, less impressive one at the Ambrosiana (but lots of Leonardo stuff there). Also the historic church of Sant'Ambrogio, and various other sights (small museums, etc.). Milan gets a bad rap, I think.

I'd second the idea of a bus tour to Naples from Rome. Naples is rather . . . shall we say, chaotic? Doesn't hurt to have a guide.

sydunipete Jun 11, 17 11:49 pm

+1 for Il Cenacolo (The Last Supper). It's hard to get tickets - I think tour companies snap them up as soon as they're released.

beckoa Jun 12, 17 2:05 am

Welcome to Flyertalk Bettinae,

Please follow the redirect as we send this to our Italy forum.

~beckoa, co-moderator Information Desk

<mod hat off>

Take a peek at the ferry from Naples to Catania. It's a redeye but a very local way to get there. And there really isn't much English spoken here... epic. And on the footsteps of Mt. Etna :eek: My family flew back to the mainland on AZ.

KLouis Jun 12, 17 2:55 am


Originally Posted by sydunipete (Post 28430811)
...I'm not sure of your reasons but why Napoli?...

Several reasons:

1) Pompei!
2) Ercolano
3) Archeological Museum
4) The "old city"
5) The islands and the costiera amalfitana
6) Sea-based food, mozzarella di buffala e pizza
7) Last but not least: Vedi Napoli e poi muori!

It seems to me that either your relatives from the North have influenced you or you've never been down there in "Africa"... :cool:

daveyhog Jun 12, 17 4:42 am

It's a really good point to spend atleast 2 nights in Rome first to give your body time to adjust. If I was you I would also spend atleast 1 night by lake Como, it's close to Milan and it's one of the most beautiful places I've seen.

Forrest Bump Jun 12, 17 4:54 am

Yep KLouis, still a common misconception, despite tourism in Naples had never been booming like now.

I'd add to your list Naples itself.

Pick the city you want: underground (Napoli sotterranea guided tours/metro stations), overground (museums, Sant'Elmo Castle, Via Partenope promenade, up from the hills (Virgiliano park from Posillipo with a stunning view of the city and the 3 islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida, funiculars or a simple stroll along Via Orazio), and make what you want of it.

Perche Jun 12, 17 9:50 am


Originally Posted by Bettinae (Post 28429249)
My adult son and I would like to fly from Houston, Texas (IAH) to Switzerland or Italy and then fly back to IAH. We are not sure which country to fly into nor which city. We were thinking the schedule below might work. We would like help since we have never been to either country. We are most interested in seeing wildlife, historical places, and the mountains. Thank you so much!

Fly into Rome for 0 nights take a train directly to Naples
Naples 2 Nights
Back to Rome 3 Nights
Florence 3 Nights
Milan 3 Nights
Zermatt 2 Nights
Wengen 2 Nights
Zurich 2 nights fly back to IAH from here.
We would love any helo on the number of days or what we are missing....we have not made any reservations yet so we are open to not going to some of th places or adding/replacing places
Thank you so much!

You are trying to do too much. It would also be helpful to know when your trip is. Certain parts of Italy are recommendable at certain times of the year, condemnable at other times. A bunch of two-night stay overs means you won't really have time to see anything. By the time you get situated in a city, it will be time to pack up and leave.

Italy is like walking into a gelato shop. You'd like to try all 20 flavors, but you can't. You only get to have 2-3 scoops, otherwise. If you try to taste too many things you wouldn't really know what flavor you are eating.

Milan is a major city and cannot be dismissed as nothing, but as far as visiting Italy goes it is way, way down on the priority list. If you go there, it's at the expense of someplace else. It's like someone going to the New York tri-state area and visiting Newark, not New York City. Or going to the Bay area and visiting Oakland, not San Francisco. Milan is way down the list. I'd skip it.

I think you need to drop either Zermatt or Wengen. You have to fly out of Zurich. Running around to a lot of different places means that you won't have time to see anything. Dropping Milan and one other city gives you five more days that can be added on to other places where you are basically just driving through.

I agree that if you are landing in Rome, you should stay there first. You are going to be tired. Rome is also accustomed to tourism, so it's a good place to get situated. You might want to add on a night or two.

Then go to Naples. Naples always feels like the most Italian of all cities to me. You don't get the feeling of it being touristy at all. Walking along the waterfront in the early evening is one of the best things you can do in Italy. Eat the pizza here, and you might never order a pizza in the USA for the rest of your life.

You should add on some time to Naples too, so that you spend a day in Pompeii, take a trip to one of the islands, down the Amalfi Coast, have a museum and art day. Just seeing Rome and the Naples area is going to eat up at least a week to see anything. I don't see how you can visit two countries and seven cities in 17 days since the first day is mostly lost to jet lag, getting from the airport to the city, and checking into the hotel. It is not a full day in the city. The last day involves packing and logistics too, so you really only have 15 days to explore. I don't see how you can see seven cities in so little time. The result is that you won't get to see anything because you won't be anywhere long enough to see it.

Florence deserves 3 nights, but you haven't said when you are going. If it is in July or August I'd consider taking it off the list. It will be hot, packed, long lines, muggy, mosquitoes, super touristy at that time of the year.

If you want wildlife and mountains and you are going in July or August, Lake Como has that. Como is up in the mountains, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I've done some great hiking in those mountains. You can get your mountain and wilderness fix there. It would be a nice respite after Rome and Naples. Just avoid the city of Como, and stay in one of the lake towns, Varenna would be optimal. It's a big lake. You are going to need 3-4 days to get even a slight taste and to enjoy what the Lake has to offer.

After Rome, Naples, and Lake Como, your 15 days will be gone. If you want to squeeze in a day in Switzerland up in the mountains in Wengen or Zermatt (I don't see how you can do both), keep in mind that's a day lost to travel. It's four hours on the train. Add an hour on each end getting to and from the train station, checking in and out of the hotel, and it will use up a day to get there. Then, you will have to get to Zurich a two hour train ride away to fly back, so you will be consuming a lot of time diverting to Switzerland.

I think things will go better if you realize that you can't have it all, and make some hard choices about where you will visit, and what will have to wait for another time. Checking in and out of a hotel every other day doesn't allow you time to see anything. Just to get a taste of Naples takes at least a week with all it has to offer between the city itself, the islands, the museums and art, the ruins, the Amalfi coast.

As for, "what we are missing," you will be missing a ton, but that's just the way it is. By focusing down on fewer places at least when you go back to Houston you will be able to say that you actually got to visit a few places, rather than just packing, unpacking, and leaving before you get to experience any place.

Welcome to the Italy forum!


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