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April trip advice

April trip advice

Old Jan 11, 18, 9:50 am
  #1  
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April trip advice

My wife and I are going April 4 - 17.

Here is our current plan with Rome and Amalfi set in stone (we are meeting another couple)

Arrive into Milan (2) days and will do a day trip to Cinque Terre, or should we do another day trip and do Cinque Terre from Florence?
Train to Rome (3 nights)
Train to Amalfi Coast (2 nights)
Train To Venice (2 nights)
Train to Florence (2 nights)
Train to Rome (1 night) - just to catch our flight out. I scored Rome - DFW in American business class so I don't want to change this.

Questions

1. Should we start our trip somewhere else? I used United miles on LH so we can fly into other cities. One friend suggest flying into Venice for two nights
2. Should we scrap Venice and do 4 nights in Florence?


Hotels: Thanks to the Marriott merger with Starwood, all hotels are free using Marriott points. Rome and Amalfi are VRBO with the other couple. Our last night in Rome is actually free because of a promotion offering Cat 1- 5 hotel for free.
About us: We are very active and love vacations on the go. My wife has never been to Italy and I have many years ago.

Let me know what you think!
Thanks

Last edited by NDtraveler; Jan 11, 18 at 10:18 am
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Old Jan 11, 18, 11:54 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by NDtraveler View Post
My wife and I are going April 4 - 17.

Here is our current plan with Rome and Amalfi set in stone (we are meeting another couple)

Arrive into Milan (2) days and will do a day trip to Cinque Terre, or should we do another day trip and do Cinque Terre from Florence?
Train to Rome (3 nights)
Train to Amalfi Coast (2 nights)
Train To Venice (2 nights)
Train to Florence (2 nights)
Train to Rome (1 night) - just to catch our flight out. I scored Rome - DFW in American business class so I don't want to change this.

Questions

1. Should we start our trip somewhere else? I used United miles on LH so we can fly into other cities. One friend suggest flying into Venice for two nights
2. Should we scrap Venice and do 4 nights in Florence?


Hotels: Thanks to the Marriott merger with Starwood, all hotels are free using Marriott points. Rome and Amalfi are VRBO with the other couple. Our last night in Rome is actually free because of a promotion offering Cat 1- 5 hotel for free.
About us: We are very active and love vacations on the go. My wife has never been to Italy and I have many years ago.

Let me know what you think!
Thanks
I suggest scrapping Florence and spending 4 nights in Venice. There are excellent Starwood choices in Venice. As your wife has never been to Italy, I believe she will find Venice to be a unique and wonderful experience. Nice time to be in Venice, as it will not be choked with tourists.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by NDtraveler View Post
My wife and I are going April 4 - 17.

Here is our current plan with Rome and Amalfi set in stone (we are meeting another couple)

Arrive into Milan (2) days and will do a day trip to Cinque Terre, or should we do another day trip and do Cinque Terre from Florence?
Train to Rome (3 nights)
Train to Amalfi Coast (2 nights)
Train To Venice (2 nights)
Train to Florence (2 nights)
Train to Rome (1 night) - just to catch our flight out. I scored Rome - DFW in American business class so I don't want to change this.

Questions

1. Should we start our trip somewhere else? I used United miles on LH so we can fly into other cities. One friend suggest flying into Venice for two nights
2. Should we scrap Venice and do 4 nights in Florence?


Hotels: Thanks to the Marriott merger with Starwood, all hotels are free using Marriott points. Rome and Amalfi are VRBO with the other couple. Our last night in Rome is actually free because of a promotion offering Cat 1- 5 hotel for free.
About us: We are very active and love vacations on the go. My wife has never been to Italy and I have many years ago.

Let me know what you think!
Thanks
I would definitely scrap Milan and Cinque Terre, and get on a train to Rome. If you try to see too many things it seriously detracts from your vacation. Being Rome vs Milan is no contest. Rome is 50 times better.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 1:00 pm
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I would scrap Venice for Florence. There is so much art to see in Florence (get the Firenze pass to skip the lines). (There's both a Westin and a St. Regis not too far from the main sights in Florence.) But if art isn't your thing, then keep the schedule as is. Venice is IMHO meh.

So far, I think the collective wisdom has scrapped your entire trip.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by manneca View Post
I would scrap Venice for Florence. There is so much art to see in Florence (get the Firenze pass to skip the lines). (There's both a Westin and a St. Regis not too far from the main sights in Florence.) But if art isn't your thing, then keep the schedule as is. Venice is IMHO meh.

So far, I think the collective wisdom has scrapped your entire trip.
Most travel sites rate Venice as the most beautiful city in the world. The city itself is a piece of art.
https://themysteriousworld.com/most-beautiful-cities/

Conde Nast is also in agreement.
https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries...s-in-the-world

And these:
Most Beautiful Cities in The World 2017, Top 10 List
https://www.gogodays.com/most-beauti...-the-world/10/
https://www.themeshnews.com/top-10-m...he-world-2016/
Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities in the World 2017
https://www.destinationtips.com/insp...8aArQEEALw_wcB
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Old Jan 11, 18, 1:18 pm
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Thanks everyone!

Manneca, I think you are right!

We could just do a day trip from Florence to Venice so she can see the sites.

I think we both really want to do Cinque Terre.... does it makes sense to do so from Milan or Florence though?

Last edited by NDtraveler; Jan 11, 18 at 1:27 pm
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Old Jan 11, 18, 4:17 pm
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I changed out our flights into VCE and we have a 4 hour layover in FRA which will be awesome if LH opens up in first and we get to go to the FCT.

Venice 2 nights - Boscolo Venezia
Rome 3 nights - VRBO
Amalfi Coast 2 nights - Vrbo (we are getting a car and will also visit Pompeii)
Florence 4 nights Sina Villa Medici
Rome 1 night Marriott Park Hotel

From Florence we will do a day trip to Cinque Terra and Tuscany.

How does this look/sound?
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Old Jan 11, 18, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by NDtraveler View Post
I changed out our flights into VCE and we have a 4 hour layover in FRA which will be awesome if LH opens up in first and we get to go to the FCT.

Venice 2 nights - Boscolo Venezia
Rome 3 nights - VRBO
Amalfi Coast 2 nights - Vrbo (we are getting a car and will also visit Pompeii)
Florence 4 nights Sina Villa Medici
Rome 1 night Marriott Park Hotel

From Florence we will do a day trip to Cinque Terra and Tuscany.

How does this look/sound?
Can I ask why you want to train through Florence and then backtrack all the way there after Amalfi? If its your wife's first trip to Italy I can certainly understand hitting the big 3 and Amalfi is unique so the stops are all good but once those are set it really makes sense to maximize your relaxation and minimize your intra-Italy travel.

Personally, I'd arrive in Venice, train to Florence, train to Rome and then rent a car there to do Amalfi. I'd return directly to FCO the night before departure and I'd stay at the airport (there's a Hilton right there and a Hilton Garden Inn very close). How you split your time between Venice, Florence, Rome and Amalfi should reflect your preferences but you'll do yourself a favor by not backtracking. You'll have a more relaxed time and more time to enjoy Italy. Taking the Frecciarossa VCE-FLR-ROM (& even NAP, if you wish) will give you plenty of exposure to Italian trains.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by NDtraveler View Post
I changed out our flights into VCE and we have a 4 hour layover in FRA which will be awesome if LH opens up in first and we get to go to the FCT.

Venice 2 nights - Boscolo Venezia
Rome 3 nights - VRBO
Amalfi Coast 2 nights - Vrbo (we are getting a car and will also visit Pompeii)
Florence 4 nights Sina Villa Medici
Rome 1 night Marriott Park Hotel

From Florence we will do a day trip to Cinque Terra and Tuscany.

How does this look/sound?
Originally Posted by JMN57 View Post
Can I ask why you want to train through Florence and then backtrack all the way there after Amalfi? If its your wife's first trip to Italy I can certainly understand hitting the big 3 and Amalfi is unique so the stops are all good but once those are set it really makes sense to maximize your relaxation and minimize your intra-Italy travel.

Personally, I'd arrive in Venice, train to Florence, train to Rome and then rent a car there to do Amalfi. I'd return directly to FCO the night before departure and I'd stay at the airport (there's a Hilton right there and a Hilton Garden Inn very close). How you split your time between Venice, Florence, Rome and Amalfi should reflect your preferences but you'll do yourself a favor by not backtracking. You'll have a more relaxed time and more time to enjoy Italy. Taking the Frecciarossa VCE-FLR-ROM (& even NAP, if you wish) will give you plenty of exposure to Italian trains.
I agree-mostly. It's going to be tough to crack the nut that Venice has to offer that makes it the number 1 most beautiful city in the world (Florence is usually ranked around 7th). OP will need to do some very careful planning to see enough of Venice to say she has been there, because she will only have one day there. She will arrive jet lagged, so the first night at Boscolo will not count. She has one full day, then she is gone. Giving Florence 4 days and Rome only three to me, is upside down, unless you are absolutely fascinated with with renaissance art, which is the main thing about visiting there. Rome has infinitely better food, and 10 times as many sights to see.

As the repeatedly voted "most beautiful city in the world," Venice has been described as, "A 10,000-carat jewel set by the greatest ever goldsmith pinned to the breast of the most beautiful woman to have lived. Art is everywhere, not just including the city itself and it's otherworldly architecture and landscape (waterscape). Duck into any church, and there is a church every few block, and you will see a famous painting by Carravagio, Tintoretto, Tiziano (Titan, labeled the most painterly painter in history), Tiepolo, Veronese, Carpaccio, Bellini (Tiziano's teacher). And the art is not just renaissance, it goes from byzantine to modern at the Guggenheim museum.

That part of Italy, the Veneto, has the second most Michelin star restaurants in Italy. You just have to know how to visit Venice. Most people go immediately to San Marco Square, and then do a zombi walk in the slow moving crowds packing the over-commercialized streets to get to the Rialto Bridge. Then they say they didn't like it, and I agree they shouldn't if that's what they did. That is 180 degrees opposite of what you should do in Venice, and OP would only have one full day there.

I agree that you should see what you can do to eliminate backtracking per JMN57. People who go to too many places wind up spending 2-3 days packing and unpacking, and waiting for or riding in trains.

As for renting a car to drive to Amalfi, I'd have to disagree. That's only for a particular type of driver. You have serious turns, hairpin ones, on the side of you is a sheer cliff dropping to the sea 1,000 feet below, on a road barely wide enough for two cars, and the Italians don't slow down. When a bus is coming from the opposite direction they might miss clipping off your sideview mirror by 3 inches. You have to pay so much attention to the driving that you miss the beauty of one of the most beautiful rides in the world, because if you take your eye off the road, you will plunge 1,000 feet onto rocks, or crash head on into another care. I agree, very confident drivers can do this, and I have, but it's not for everyone.

I take the local bus, and just sit on the right side. At that time of the year they should have little trouble getting a good seat up front, if they queue like an Italian.

The main thing is, Florence for 4 days, with backtracking involved, while Rome gets only three days is backwards unless they want to just go to museums, and miss all that Rome has to offer, because you cannot see much in just three days, or eat at most of the great restaurants, and spending just one full day in Venice.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
...{snip}...As for renting a car to drive to Amalfi, I'd have to disagree. That's only for a particular type of driver. You have serious turns, hairpin ones, on the side of you is a sheer cliff dropping to the sea 1,000 feet below, on a road barely wide enough for two cars, and the Italians don't slow down. When a bus is coming from the opposite direction they might miss clipping off your sideview mirror by 3 inches. You have to pay so much attention to the driving that you miss the beauty of one of the most beautiful rides in the world, because if you take your eye off the road, you will plunge 1,000 feet onto rocks, or crash head on into another care. I agree, very confident drivers can do this, and I have, but it's not for everyone....{snip}...
I simply looooove driving on the costiera amalfitana. But afterwards, of course, I'm in dire need of two-three limoncelli and a two hours long nap!
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Old Jan 12, 18, 8:39 am
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Thanks everyone!

The reason we have to backtrack is that we can't leave earlier than we already are (must leave after Easter) and we are meeting another couple who is traveling in from Cyprus. My buddy drives there so I don't think he will have trouble for the Amalfi Coast.

Florence for 4 nights is because one day we will be at Cinque Terre, one day a Tuscany Tour and that really only leaves one more day to do Florence which I think is enough time.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by NDtraveler View Post
Thanks everyone!

The reason we have to backtrack is that we can't leave earlier than we already are (must leave after Easter) and we are meeting another couple who is traveling in from Cyprus. My buddy drives there so I don't think he will have trouble for the Amalfi Coast.

Florence for 4 nights is because one day we will be at Cinque Terre, one day a Tuscany Tour and that really only leaves one more day to do Florence which I think is enough time.
If your Rome and Amalfi (are you staying in the town of Amalfi? or some other town on the coast?) dates are non-negotiable the itinerary is solid. That's a lot of traveling in that span though. Recommend scrapping the Cinque Terre - IMO not a day trip sort of destination from Florence. 2/3 nights in Florence is more than enough. If you're comfortable driving you might consider spending 2/3 nights straight in Florence, renting a car and driving out to Tuscany (it's a large province with many distinct areas, any thoughts on where you might go/what you'd like to do/see?) and spending a night or two there before heading to Rome. I know I'm adding more travel after my aforementioned comment. Really depends on your likes/wants to get out of your vacation.

Used to live in Rome (Trastevere neighborhood) and will happen to be on the peninsula during some of the days of your trip. Happy to provide recommendations for the eternal city and if you find yourself in Montalcino don't hesitate to reach out.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by Trastevere View Post
If you're comfortable driving you might consider spending 2/3 nights straight in Florence, renting a car and driving out to Tuscany (it's a large province with many distinct areas, any thoughts on where you might go/what you'd like to do/see?) and spending a night or two there before heading to Rome.
I've heard someone suggest this twice in this thread, and I just want to clear it up. You cannot stay in Florence and drive out to Tuscany. Florence is the capital of Tuscany. It's like saying, "Spend two days in Manhattan, then drive to New York City." When you are in Florence you are in Tuscany.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
I've heard someone suggest this twice in this thread, and I just want to clear it up. You cannot stay in Florence and drive out to Tuscany. Florence is the capital of Tuscany. It's like saying, "Spend two days in Manhattan, then drive to New York City." When you are in Florence you are in Tuscany.
I sensed OP meant more rural areas of Tuscany, which one might consider would not include the city of Florence (but might include, say a town like Vagliagli). NDtraveler - If I misunderstood, please feel free to clarify. Should've been more specific.

And Perche, your example re: NYC isn't the same but you get an 'A' for effort. You are correct re: Florence being in Tuscany. Hopefully we can all move on now.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 12:17 pm
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Thanks! We are staying in Furore.

Yes I did mean the rural areas and countryside. I think my wife would enjoy just seeing the countryside and maybe stopping at a vineyard or two.
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