Thank you very much for your comments. Your suggests, as well, is truly appreciated. This is what my wife and I love to do, find the less beaten path to go on. Obviously not so less beaten that we loose our way.
On the other hand, your preliminary itinerary does help out a lot, it gives my wife and I a chance to start pinpointing destinations on the map and see what is feasable.
From your experience, you seem to know that I can cover central/northern in 2 weeks, or central/souther in 2 weeks. I don't know how large Italy is so your suggestion will come in handy.
At the current moment, we are thinking of flying into London or Paris and then from there flying into Rome. We will probably book a hotel in Rome as a starter and then find other hotels based on where we want to head out after 2-3 days in Rome.
Car Rental wise? Any suggestions? Cheap and reliable?
On another topic, you didn't have too much information for Southern Italy? I'm sure it's as beautiful as it is in Northern Italy. I, of course, would like to come back there at another point to do southern Italy but where does the Vatican lie in Italy? North or South? (Sorry haven't started researching locations yet)
If you had to choose, which would you visit first? Northern or Southern ItalY?
from north (torino) to southern campania (cilento) i took 12 hours with a couple of stops between.
i reckon in two days, with pacey speed and few stops, you could travel from norther italy to sicily .
one of the best places the A1 (main italian railway from north to south) touches is Orvieto, a very nice well preserved medieval city.
don't count eventual stops for queues, works in progress etcetera
Italy, from north to south, is about 1500kms.
I read in another thread you're coming on April: we have easter holidays (15th, 16th, 17th of april), the republic day holiday (25th of April) and the labour day holiday (1st of May).Basically a lot of vacations, that means a lot of people moving (coming back home or for vacations) from north to south....that means motorway really crowded...and so on.
obviously, if you want, you can move from north to south, spending a lot of hours driving..in my personal opinion, it doesn't worth the effort..is better choosing an area ans see that area, maybe come back another time to see the rest. In any case, if you wish to see north and South of Italy, you can consider low cost airlines companies leaving from rome to the south:
; http://w5.volawindjet.it/ ;
http://www.blu-express.com/ [only from rome to bari]
www.ryanair.com [ from rome to alghero, sardinia island]
I check now, there are interesting offers, but obviously they change prices very quickly.
South of Italy is very beautiful, if you're lucky and find a good season from the end of April you can have a sun bath on the beach and maybe having a bath on the sea (that doesn't usually happen northern).
The sea is beautiful, as I told you, as well as people and food.
I have less informations about the south of Italy because I visited many times, but years ago with my parents and in a caravan..so I don't remember all the name of the places and it's harder for me to provide you an itinerary without a map in front of me.
I've never rented a car in Italy..I only know Europcar, Avis and Hertz as rental companies, but I suppose they are spread also abroad..
Interesting. That is a 10+ hour drive. I prefer not to jump around from north and south but would rather do many things in northernitaly or southern italy rather than try to do little on both areas.
As stated in my prior posts, I rather come back at another time to visit either the north or south, whichever we decide.
Which would you prefer to visit first? North/South?
Also, which part of Italy are you from?
Vatican City lies in the center of Rome, which is Central Italy. I definitely agree with Anancer, and you should do EITHER northern or southern, starting out in Rome for either trip.
As for how much time you should spend: Rome is definitely at least three days. I spent 4, and still didn't see everything. Vatican needs at least 1 full day (St. Peter's Basilica is magnificent). Also, dress accordingly for the Vatican - no shorts, and no tank-tops (knees and shoulders must be covered). And try to get to the Vatican earlier in the morning, as there is a decent amount of people trying to get in, and you will have to stand in line.
Try to spend at least 2 nights in Florence. It's a beautiful, calm, historical city and deserves at the very least 2 full days. I disagree with some previous posts on spending 3 days in Venice. It is ridiculously touristy and crowded. But you should definitely visit one of the glass-blowing islands (Murano) when you're in Venice.
Don't want to repeat what's already been said, so that's that.
Vaticane State is located in the centre of Rome.
I really don't know from where I would start a visit of Italy...in the extreme part of the north you've Alps mountains, very beautiful, travelling from Alps to south you've a large area of lowland (pianura padana), not so interesting for landscapes.
Tuscany, Umbria and Marche region, as well as Lazio (rome' s Region), in the centre of Italy, have beautiful and very various landscapes, due to hills, lakes and river, as well as mountains (appennini).
going to the south, the best attraction is definitely the sea, but you've beautiful mountains and natural parks as well, and 2 famous volcans (Vesuvio , near naples, and Etna, over Catania, Sicily).
Sicily is the easy reachable south region by plane, the island preserves ancient greek and roman monuments, arabian buildings and so on. I remember Agrigento temples Valley, Erice, Monreale's Cathedral, Taormina, Syracuse, Palermo, Piazza armerina (ancient roman mosaics)
"must to be taste" in Sicily: almond juice and almond cakes, called marzapane.
I haven't visited the entire island, so I can't tell you more.
Eolie islands, a bit hours far from Sicily by boat, are very small and nice, but in high season are really expensive.
let me know where you decide to go, maybe I can provide you more informations, or link useful web sites to visit.
EasyCar is another car rental company - same guys that do EasyJet, EasyInternet, EasyCruise, Easy[insert almost anything here].
I'm from Tuscany, I actually live in Siena
Considering Rome wil be the first place we go, how is the night life there? When are the nice nights to go? Friday? Saturday?
How about any specific romantic locations in Tuscany? We plan to stay there at least two nights...i heard Tuscany was nice...
Oh what is the weather like at the end of March and at the end of April?