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Family Itinerary critique & advice welcome. May 2018.

Family Itinerary critique & advice welcome. May 2018.

Old Nov 19, 17, 6:41 pm
  #1  
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Family Itinerary critique & advice welcome. May 2018.

Hi everyone, we will be a family of 9 ( 5 adults and 4 kids (12,9,8,7) going on a +/- 2 week trip to Italy in May 2018. It will be the first time for our kids but the adults have been at least twice. We'd like to see all the major cities/sites, but would like to limit our hotel transfers for logistics purposes. May i also ask for transportation suggestions as well as hotel options for families in the below places? Between cities, i understand the train system is good. Having luggage + kids to watch though, how is it security-wise? Will we have to worry about theft on board the trains? Would appreciate a critique of our itinerary as below and if ti's possible to use these three cities as a base to explore more through day trips and the like. We can do mini-tours and would also welcome private guide references that can tailor-fit the experience for the kids as they thoroughly enjoyed the Louvre and Versailles this way.

MAY 11MON CEB-HKG
12TUES HKG-MXP-VENICE
13WED VENICE
14THURS VENICE
15FRI VENICE
16SAT VENICE
17SUN VENICE-FLORENCE
18MON FLORENCE
19TUES FLORENCE
20WED FLORENCE
21THURS FLORENCE-ROME
22FRI ROME
23SAT ROME
24SUN ROME
25MON ROME
26TUES ROME
27WED ROME
28THURS FCO-HKG
29FRI HKG-CEB

From Florence we would like to visit Pisa, and the outlets. From Rome perhaps Pompeii and/ or the coast if possible. Thank you all!
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Old Nov 20, 17, 7:37 am
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This is a good start simply because you're not trying to cram too many cities into your stay. I would reduce Venice by 1 night and add it to Florence if your interests skew toward art/museums, or if wine is a big part of your trip. Otherwise, keep as-is, since most tourists don't bother to see Venice at night or out beyond the central tourist areas and it's totally worth doing if you're okay wandering around and getting purposely lost. There is also never enough time for Rome, so giving it 6 of your days is a great idea. You can decide whether to day trip from these places, but I bet you won't want to. It seems like a ton of time in each place, but it will fly by.

Train is preferred between all 3 cities. Stick with high speed trains with Trenitalia (le Frecce - Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, Frecciarossa) or Italo. For these, seats are reserved, and you can buy in advance if your plans are firm for a bit of a discount. For a family traveling together with luggage, I usually choose (and suggest to others) first class train tickets. Most trains are two class - 1st and 2nd, and 1st isn't too much more expensive but you get a lot more personal space and generally available luggage racks. If you're traveling on the Frecciarossa, there are 4 classes of service, and I'd just say select Premium or Business (versus Standard as the lowest and Executive as the highest). If you need the cheapest available, 2nd class/standard are actually still pretty nice compared to other modes of travel, so I'm only suggesting the higher class for the added space. I will gladly travel in Frecciabianca 2nd class over just about anything in the US that flies or rolls. These are very safe and secure.

It's worth mentioning that each city will have multiple stations that serve it. For Venice, you want Venezia Santa Lucia, as it's the station that sits on the island itself. Venezia Mestre is the other station and it's on the mainland - you'd need to hop another train or take a water taxi to complete the trip. In Florence, Firenze Santa Maria Novella is the main station. Firenze Campo di Marte is the other (there are more, but I'm limiting this to high speed service) - generally speaking, you won't want to use this station unless you're staying on the very east end of the historic area. Even then, SMN is often closer, and has more options. In Rome, Termini is the central station. You'll want this station because odds are you'll select a hotel that is closer here, but Ostiense or Tiburtina are other major stations a bit further out.

Hotels, restaurants and activities for all 3 are covered pretty well in this forum. You're better off reading through what's already posted.
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Old Nov 20, 17, 9:16 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by allenaatan View Post
Hi everyone, we will be a family of 9 ( 5 adults and 4 kids (12,9,8,7) going on a +/- 2 week trip to Italy in May 2018. It will be the first time for our kids but the adults have been at least twice. We'd like to see all the major cities/sites, but would like to limit our hotel transfers for logistics purposes. May i also ask for transportation suggestions as well as hotel options for families in the below places? Between cities, i understand the train system is good. Having luggage + kids to watch though, how is it security-wise? Will we have to worry about theft on board the trains? Would appreciate a critique of our itinerary as below and if ti's possible to use these three cities as a base to explore more through day trips and the like. We can do mini-tours and would also welcome private guide references that can tailor-fit the experience for the kids as they thoroughly enjoyed the Louvre and Versailles this way.

MAY 11MON CEB-HKG
12TUES HKG-MXP-VENICE
13WED VENICE
14THURS VENICE
15FRI VENICE
16SAT VENICE
17SUN VENICE-FLORENCE
18MON FLORENCE
19TUES FLORENCE
20WED FLORENCE
21THURS FLORENCE-ROME
22FRI ROME
23SAT ROME
24SUN ROME
25MON ROME
26TUES ROME
27WED ROME
28THURS FCO-HKG
29FRI HKG-CEB

From Florence we would like to visit Pisa, and the outlets. From Rome perhaps Pompeii and/ or the coast if possible. Thank you all!
This is great. You are not making the mistake, "How to ruin my vacation in Italy." That mistake is trying to cram in as many cities as you can, and as a result, you don't get to see any city: you just pass through them. I'd leave it as is, and don't worry about where else to go. You can almost decide on what side trips you want to make when you get there. For example, after a few days in Venice, you might take a boat to Burano, or a train to Verona, and then back at night to your hotel in Venice. The way you are doing it makes a lot of sense, because you only need three hotels. While in Florence, if you feel you've had enough and need a break, you can take a train to San Gemignano or to Siena. Actually, with nine of you, you might want to forget about the train, because a car service will most likely be cheaper. I don't think you'll need a side trip from Rome, because there is so much to see and do there compared to anywhere else, but if you do need a break, it's easy to do a day trip to Orvieto. By doing it this way, limiting to three cities, you are being very wise. Those side trips, you can decide to do the night before. Just get on the internet and look at the train schedule and go. It's very easy. But I do suspect that the price of a car service compared to 9 train tickets might be worth looking into. Two weeks, only three cities, with day trips thrown in at whim, that's the way to travel in Italy.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 1:24 am
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Thank you for all this info, especially on the trains and stations! Since we will be with kids, museums and wine will not be the major focus of the trip. It will be more the sights, experiences, and food. I was really thinking the Venice leg is too long and will definitely add it to either Florence or Rome.

Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
This is a good start simply because you're not trying to cram too many cities into your stay. I would reduce Venice by 1 night and add it to Florence if your interests skew toward art/museums, or if wine is a big part of your trip. Otherwise, keep as-is, since most tourists don't bother to see Venice at night or out beyond the central tourist areas and it's totally worth doing if you're okay wandering around and getting purposely lost. There is also never enough time for Rome, so giving it 6 of your days is a great idea. You can decide whether to day trip from these places, but I bet you won't want to. It seems like a ton of time in each place, but it will fly by.

Train is preferred between all 3 cities. Stick with high speed trains with Trenitalia (le Frecce - Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, Frecciarossa) or Italo. For these, seats are reserved, and you can buy in advance if your plans are firm for a bit of a discount. For a family traveling together with luggage, I usually choose (and suggest to others) first class train tickets. Most trains are two class - 1st and 2nd, and 1st isn't too much more expensive but you get a lot more personal space and generally available luggage racks. If you're traveling on the Frecciarossa, there are 4 classes of service, and I'd just say select Premium or Business (versus Standard as the lowest and Executive as the highest). If you need the cheapest available, 2nd class/standard are actually still pretty nice compared to other modes of travel, so I'm only suggesting the higher class for the added space. I will gladly travel in Frecciabianca 2nd class over just about anything in the US that flies or rolls. These are very safe and secure.

It's worth mentioning that each city will have multiple stations that serve it. For Venice, you want Venezia Santa Lucia, as it's the station that sits on the island itself. Venezia Mestre is the other station and it's on the mainland - you'd need to hop another train or take a water taxi to complete the trip. In Florence, Firenze Santa Maria Novella is the main station. Firenze Campo di Marte is the other (there are more, but I'm limiting this to high speed service) - generally speaking, you won't want to use this station unless you're staying on the very east end of the historic area. Even then, SMN is often closer, and has more options. In Rome, Termini is the central station. You'll want this station because odds are you'll select a hotel that is closer here, but Ostiense or Tiburtina are other major stations a bit further out.

Hotels, restaurants and activities for all 3 are covered pretty well in this forum. You're better off reading through what's already posted.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 1:28 am
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
This is great. You are not making the mistake, "How to ruin my vacation in Italy." That mistake is trying to cram in as many cities as you can, and as a result, you don't get to see any city: you just pass through them. I'd leave it as is, and don't worry about where else to go. You can almost decide on what side trips you want to make when you get there. For example, after a few days in Venice, you might take a boat to Burano, or a train to Verona, and then back at night to your hotel in Venice. The way you are doing it makes a lot of sense, because you only need three hotels. While in Florence, if you feel you've had enough and need a break, you can take a train to San Gemignano or to Siena. Actually, with nine of you, you might want to forget about the train, because a car service will most likely be cheaper. I don't think you'll need a side trip from Rome, because there is so much to see and do there compared to anywhere else, but if you do need a break, it's easy to do a day trip to Orvieto. By doing it this way, limiting to three cities, you are being very wise. Those side trips, you can decide to do the night before. Just get on the internet and look at the train schedule and go. It's very easy. But I do suspect that the price of a car service compared to 9 train tickets might be worth looking into. Two weeks, only three cities, with day trips thrown in at whim, that's the way to travel in Italy.
Would you have any recommendations for a car service? The kids would like to see Pompeii from Rome i think, though we can probably skips the coasts as we are from the tropics.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by allenaatan View Post
Thank you for all this info, especially on the trains and stations! Since we will be with kids, museums and wine will not be the major focus of the trip. It will be more the sights, experiences, and food. I was really thinking the Venice leg is too long and will definitely add it to either Florence or Rome.
The Venice leg is not too long. Venice gets a bad rap because most people have no idea what to do when they get there. They all just go to Piazza San Marco, and the Rialto Bridge, which are not where you would want to be. Go see them early in the morning and late at night, and then forget about them. There isn't any city that can be compared to Venice. It has no reason to exist. It's a miracle. It just floats on water. And May is the perfect time to go. Depending on the weather, you might even get to spend a day at the beach. The Liido (beach) usually opens late April. And it's just a 10 minute boat ride. Kids will love it. No beach in Florence. There's a beach in Rome, but it's a hassle. There are all sorts of events and musical things and magic in Venice, and going to bacari you can feed nine people well for less than 100 euros. Venice and Rome are unique because you can be in real neighborhoods, full of local flavor and food, and still be a 10 minute walk away from things. And you have plenty of potential side trips from there, if you need a break.

Of every 100 people who have told me they've been to Venice, my only response to them is that they have never been to Venice. They went on a cruise ship and say, "I've been to Venice!" "Oh yeah, where'd you go and what did you do?" "We saw San Marco Basilica and Rialto Bridge, and we took pictures!" Then they didn't go to Venice. That's like landing at JFK, hiring a taxi to drive you through Times Square, and then saying I've been to the Big Apple New York City.

Venice is a city of mystery and beauty. It's so beautiful that you stop and you look at something and say too yourself, nothing can be that beautiful, I don't believe it, even though you are actually seeing it with your own eyes--you still can't believe it. Just stay away from the tourist spots. See them only late at night. There is no reason for you to cut any days. You did a great job in your planning. Unlike most, who think that visiting Italy is about how many cities they can cram in, and who enjoy it nonetheless, but they have no idea how much they missed by flitting around and not actually visiting any place, I can see you going to a nice neighborhood store buying some amazing food, and eating it outside (no picnicking on church steps or bridges), or on the patio if your place has one, or at a park, and just gazing out and saying, "this place has magic." People don't get this on the tourist zombie shuffle between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.
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Last edited by Perche; Nov 23, 17 at 8:49 am
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Old Nov 23, 17, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by allenaatan View Post
Thank you for all this info, especially on the trains and stations! Since we will be with kids, museums and wine will not be the major focus of the trip. It will be more the sights, experiences, and food. I was really thinking the Venice leg is too long and will definitely add it to either Florence or Rome.
If you do decide to add, it should be Rome. Florence has the historic center, but unlike Venice, where the more you walk away from the center the better it gets, once you are out of the center of Florence it's just run down, so you are just sort of stuck in one area. Unless you are into renaissance art, there really isn't that much to do except to take side trips to get you out of Florence. And you don't hear too many people bragging about the food in Florence. After visiting a museum or two, you'd have to do side trips or tour the countryside, unless seeing art all day is your thing, but with nine people that won't be so easy without hiring a big limo. I think your original plan was perfect, but if you are going to cut from Venice or Florence, which you shouldn't, add to Rome.

No one can ever know Venice. Not even a Venetian knows Venice. They can only know their neighborhood, even though Venice is very small. It's like the famous Thomas Wolfe Short Story, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn. It starts off, "Dere’s no guy livin’ dat knows Brooklyn t’roo an’ t’roo, because it’d take a guy a lifetime just to find his way aroun’ duh goddam town."

Venice is like that. It isn't much bigger than Central Park, but nobody can find there way around. Florence has its historic center, a few things to do on the other side of the Arno, but it's basically museum day otherwise. I was just speaking to someone who spent a whole semester in Florence and she still doesn't even know how to say "hello" in Italian. I have an in-law who spent an entire school year in Florence, and he still can't even order off of an Italian menu back in the USA. It's full of USA college students, and is where everyone goes because of it. It's so touristy that the main language is English.

I have two close relatives who went instead to Perugia for six months, and one year respectively. One landed not knowing any Italian, but can still speak it after living there for six months. The other, who spent a year, went with basic language skills, and even now ten years later, is still fluent. That wouldn't have happened if she went to Florence, because there are so many Americans that she wouldn't have had the opportunity to use her Italian. I still call her when I can't figure out the meaning of some particular word.

There is Italy, and there is tourist Italy. Tourist Italy should be dipped into lightly, and not over-indulged in. Venice has a horrible tourist section that basically goes along the waterfront, San Marco, and Rialto. But it has so many nooks and crannies that you just swerve off into any ally, and five minutes away you are transported back in time a few hundred years, and there won't be one single tourist. In Florence, I've never been able to get that sense of things. As I walk away from the center, it just turns into bad neighborhoods. How many times can you go to Accademia Museum and see the carving of David, or go outside the Piazza della Signora and see the imitation plaster David out in the street, or to Piazzale Michelangelo and see the imitation one made out of bronze?

I wouldn't cut anything from Venice or Florence. If you need a change, either place is perfect for a side trip. And they are so easy to do, maybe not with 9 people, but can be done on the spur of the moment, and not everybody needs to go. Venice to Verona is only an hour. Here's the thing. I disagree with the freciarossa, freciargento, and taking fast trains for nine people unless you are on an unlimited budget. Also, there is no point at all in going higher than second class on a one hour ride, unless it is in the middle of the summer when it gets crowded. If you take a high speed train you are talking about around 300 euros round trip or a one hour train ride for nine people. Just take a normal local/regional train. They won't get you there in an hour, they'll get you there in an hour and a half, but will only cost about 9 euros per person, round trip.

You can play it by ear. I've brought female teenage relatives to Venice, and they absolutely cannot stay away from Verona because they want to see the Balcony of Romeo and Juliet. The balcony is there, the only thing is it is 100% fictional. These two characters never existed, and Shakespeare never visited Italy in his life. So not every body has to go. The teenage guys don't want anything to do with it. You really can wing your side trips once you get there. But staying in one place is very smart. If you chop a city down to only three days, you just might as well make it zero days, because you will have no time to see it and have nothing to remember of it, except to look at some selfies you took at monuments when you get back home.

You can see Pompeii from Rome, but you are correct, you don't have time for the Amalfi Coast on only a 12 day trip. It is a long haul day trip, and the only way to really see Pompeii and get the most out of it is with a guide. There are bus tours from Rome, but I cannot imagine being on a bus for that long. Everybody doesn't have to do everything.

One of the beautiful things about Italy is that there is so little crime, so you don't have to stay as a group. People who want to sit on a bus most of the day and get back from Pompeii to Rome can do it, and others can stay at home, and go to Ostia Antica. Since you have wisely chosen only 3 cities, you have many options. You won't be ball and chained to ridiculous schedules, running around. And this way, you are going to see more than most.

I predict that once you get there you're probably going to decide to just relax and stay at each place, rather than go running around feeling like you need to take a photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and spending 3 hours on a train to do so. Staying in one place allows it to grow on you, and allows you to peel back the layers, rather than just seeing things superficially.
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Last edited by Perche; Nov 23, 17 at 8:58 am
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Old Nov 23, 17, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by allenaatan View Post
Would you have any recommendations for a car service? The kids would like to see Pompeii from Rome i think, though we can probably skips the coasts as we are from the tropics.
All car services are basically the same. They are not real companies. Just web sites. Usually, the person running the website isn't even in Italy, they are in New York, New Jersey, Berlin, or London, and they just call up somebody with a car for you. If something goes wrong, you have no one to complain to, because the car service companies don't really exist. the best thing is put it on your hotel. Make them get the car. This way, if something goes wrong, you can go to the front desk and speak to somebody. If you just go with any old company that advertises on the internet, and it's a phantom company from Atlantic City, New Jersey, that promises it can pick you up at airports whether they be in Rome, Tokyo, or San Paolo, good luck. Just make sure the hotel doesn't tack on an extra hundred euro fee for the service. It's best to put the onus on the hotel in your situation, unless they try to gouge you.
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Old Nov 27, 17, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by allenaatan View Post
Thank you for all this info, especially on the trains and stations! Since we will be with kids, museums and wine will not be the major focus of the trip. It will be more the sights, experiences, and food. I was really thinking the Venice leg is too long and will definitely add it to either Florence or Rome.
No problem. Based on your response, I wouldn't add it to Florence. I'd probably leave as-is or add it to Rome if Venice feels too long. I didn't realize you had 9 people - trains will get expensive at that point so you'll need to decide if that's part of the budget, or if you want to look at car services to at least compare prices. You can save a few euro on regional trains (Regionale Veloce if you prefer direct/no train changes) between Florence and Rome (but the price difference isn't huge), while I'm not sure if you have those options without changing trains between Venice and Florence. You can see at www.trenitalia.it what the pricing looks like. You generally can't book May trains just yet, but look at closer in dates for some pricing as a guide. Travel time between Venice and Florence is ~2 hrs on high speed, and Florence to Rome ~90 minutes. Add about an hour to both if you pick a regionale veloce instead, and those travel times are still pretty reasonable.

I'd suggest that with that many people, you try and pack a little lighter - one bag per person who is able to independently manage that bag, max, but consolidate as much as possible. For the most part, you'll be lugging this stuff yourself, although the train stations themselves aren't all that challenging to navigate. Roma Termini is huge, but given that your trip will end there, you really won't be doing much except finding your way out so no real issue there. Trains do have luggage racks onboard, as well as overhead shelves in most cabins.
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Old Dec 10, 17, 6:22 pm
  #10  
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Thanks for all the wonderful insight! Taking it all in. Regarding Florence, with our kids' ages we are likely to do only one museum day. Given that, i'm wondering if we can base ourselves somewhere more interesting for them like a farm or village that will still be close or central enough to do day trips to the interesting places (for us, probably Pisa, maybe the outlets) in that area.


Originally Posted by Perche View Post
If you do decide to add, it should be Rome. Florence has the historic center, but unlike Venice, where the more you walk away from the center the better it gets, once you are out of the center of Florence it's just run down, so you are just sort of stuck in one area. Unless you are into renaissance art, there really isn't that much to do except to take side trips to get you out of Florence. And you don't hear too many people bragging about the food in Florence. After visiting a museum or two, you'd have to do side trips or tour the countryside, unless seeing art all day is your thing, but with nine people that won't be so easy without hiring a big limo. I think your original plan was perfect, but if you are going to cut from Venice or Florence, which you shouldn't, add to Rome.

No one can ever know Venice. Not even a Venetian knows Venice. They can only know their neighborhood, even though Venice is very small. It's like the famous Thomas Wolfe Short Story, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn. It starts off, "Dereís no guy liviní dat knows Brooklyn tíroo aní tíroo, because itíd take a guy a lifetime just to find his way arouní duh goddam town."

Venice is like that. It isn't much bigger than Central Park, but nobody can find there way around. Florence has its historic center, a few things to do on the other side of the Arno, but it's basically museum day otherwise. I was just speaking to someone who spent a whole semester in Florence and she still doesn't even know how to say "hello" in Italian. I have an in-law who spent an entire school year in Florence, and he still can't even order off of an Italian menu back in the USA. It's full of USA college students, and is where everyone goes because of it. It's so touristy that the main language is English.

I have two close relatives who went instead to Perugia for six months, and one year respectively. One landed not knowing any Italian, but can still speak it after living there for six months. The other, who spent a year, went with basic language skills, and even now ten years later, is still fluent. That wouldn't have happened if she went to Florence, because there are so many Americans that she wouldn't have had the opportunity to use her Italian. I still call her when I can't figure out the meaning of some particular word.

There is Italy, and there is tourist Italy. Tourist Italy should be dipped into lightly, and not over-indulged in. Venice has a horrible tourist section that basically goes along the waterfront, San Marco, and Rialto. But it has so many nooks and crannies that you just swerve off into any ally, and five minutes away you are transported back in time a few hundred years, and there won't be one single tourist. In Florence, I've never been able to get that sense of things. As I walk away from the center, it just turns into bad neighborhoods. How many times can you go to Accademia Museum and see the carving of David, or go outside the Piazza della Signora and see the imitation plaster David out in the street, or to Piazzale Michelangelo and see the imitation one made out of bronze?

I wouldn't cut anything from Venice or Florence. If you need a change, either place is perfect for a side trip. And they are so easy to do, maybe not with 9 people, but can be done on the spur of the moment, and not everybody needs to go. Venice to Verona is only an hour. Here's the thing. I disagree with the freciarossa, freciargento, and taking fast trains for nine people unless you are on an unlimited budget. Also, there is no point at all in going higher than second class on a one hour ride, unless it is in the middle of the summer when it gets crowded. If you take a high speed train you are talking about around 300 euros round trip or a one hour train ride for nine people. Just take a normal local/regional train. They won't get you there in an hour, they'll get you there in an hour and a half, but will only cost about 9 euros per person, round trip.

You can play it by ear. I've brought female teenage relatives to Venice, and they absolutely cannot stay away from Verona because they want to see the Balcony of Romeo and Juliet. The balcony is there, the only thing is it is 100% fictional. These two characters never existed, and Shakespeare never visited Italy in his life. So not every body has to go. The teenage guys don't want anything to do with it. You really can wing your side trips once you get there. But staying in one place is very smart. If you chop a city down to only three days, you just might as well make it zero days, because you will have no time to see it and have nothing to remember of it, except to look at some selfies you took at monuments when you get back home.

You can see Pompeii from Rome, but you are correct, you don't have time for the Amalfi Coast on only a 12 day trip. It is a long haul day trip, and the only way to really see Pompeii and get the most out of it is with a guide. There are bus tours from Rome, but I cannot imagine being on a bus for that long. Everybody doesn't have to do everything.

One of the beautiful things about Italy is that there is so little crime, so you don't have to stay as a group. People who want to sit on a bus most of the day and get back from Pompeii to Rome can do it, and others can stay at home, and go to Ostia Antica. Since you have wisely chosen only 3 cities, you have many options. You won't be ball and chained to ridiculous schedules, running around. And this way, you are going to see more than most.

I predict that once you get there you're probably going to decide to just relax and stay at each place, rather than go running around feeling like you need to take a photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and spending 3 hours on a train to do so. Staying in one place allows it to grow on you, and allows you to peel back the layers, rather than just seeing things superficially.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 5:23 am
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If you're going to stay in an agriturismo, you'll probably need a car (large for 9). When you head into Firenze for the museum day, you'll want to train in to avoid the ZTL (areas you're not allowed into with a car without special permission). With Pisa and outlets as destinations, you're somewhat split geographically. The big outlet mall (Leccio) is southeast of Florence while Pisa is west and a bit south. You might want to look for an agriturismo around Vinci which is southwest of Florence. Short drive to train into Florence, not bad drives to Pisa (I'd recommend Lucca over Pisa any day) and the outlets. Some interesting history as Vinci is Leonardo's birthplace...
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Old Jan 2, 18, 7:30 am
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Not to threadjack too much, but also planning a trip to Italy. Is it worth going to Milan if the goal is just shopping or will the Florence outlet suffice? Have about 9.5 days and wondering if should do Milan and Florence or swap Milan with Rome?
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Old Jan 2, 18, 8:40 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
Not to threadjack too much, but also planning a trip to Italy. Is it worth going to Milan if the goal is just shopping or will the Florence outlet suffice? Have about 9.5 days and wondering if should do Milan and Florence or swap Milan with Rome?
It depends. You'll need to figure out if the stores you were looking at in Milan are also in Florence (or Rome). If you're talking specifically about outlets, I don't have much experience there, but I'd not personally plan a trip around them. I'd rather spend time in Rome over Milan, all things considered.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 2:07 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
Not to threadjack too much, but also planning a trip to Italy. Is it worth going to Milan if the goal is just shopping or will the Florence outlet suffice? Have about 9.5 days and wondering if should do Milan and Florence or swap Milan with Rome?
It is worth going to Milan if you want to do high-end, major clothing shopping, of the type you would find models wearing on a runway, at a very high price. If that's the type of shopping you are looking for, Milan is the best in Italy. If you're just looking to buy jeans, some jacket off the rack, their is no reason to go so out of the way to any shopping outlet. There is a person who is on this website every now and then who knows more, but that's my opinion.
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Old Jan 3, 18, 4:47 pm
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Shopping is possible in Milan but you really have to know what you're doing. There is a lot of retail to see (wild outfits that most people would never wear) but a lot to buy if you know where and how. The mall near Florence is pretty good but you have to be careful there to distinguish between outlet clothes (made for the outlet) and the actual stuff from last season that is now marked down. If you have specific stuff you are looking for I can ask my friends what the best strategy is.
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