We are novice travellers and we are planning to do a 9-day Italy & Spain trip in early October. Our tentative route :
London -> Rome -> Florence -> Venice -> Milan -> Seville -> Barcelona -> London
We know this is a little bit hectic to do six cities in 9 days but we only got that much time and $$..
We would appreciate if any of u seasoned travellers out there could offer some advice or opinion..perhaps we could alter the iterinary or something..
also, what can we expect bout the internal train/bus systems in Spain n Italy? would it be cheaper if we get 3/5 day passes?
and we welcome anyone who's interested in joining us for the whole or part of this trip..
jeremy n belle
I would suggest that you do only one country in 9 days. How are you going to travel from city to city? Driving? By train and bus? Remember you'll be spending half of your time on the road, checking in and out of your hostel/hotel... that leaves you NO time for sight seeing.
Thanks for the advice! It really make sense. We have therefore decided to scrap seville and the new route would look something like this.
London - Barcelona - Rome - Florence - Venice - Milan - London
We intend to spend 3 days in Barca, 2 in rome, 2 in venice, and 1 each in Florence & Milan. I wonder if this is realistic?
If you could enlighthen me with the domestic transport system in Italy we would be very grateful indeed. I heard the train systems there sux big time.. to the extend that certain bus trips could be even quicker than trains, not to mention cheaper.
What we are concerned with is how to get round like from Rome to Florence or Florence to venice and so on so forth. Do you think we shd buy train or bus tickets on the spot or we would be better off getting a 5 day travel pass or something?
Thanks once again. You have been very helpful indeed.
Jeremy + Belle
It really depends on what you want to see during the trip. My suggestion for you is to first figure out what you want to see in each city (check out this forum; there're plenty of information on Barcelona and those cities in Italy), next how you will travel between each city (for example, I assume you'll fly from Barcelona to Roma right? we'll talk about transportation in italy a bit later), and then you can decide whether you want to cut one day from this city and add another one day in another.
In general two days in Rome is feasible, although tight. Two day in Venice is OK but it's small. Again depends on the purpose of your trip. Milan in one day is enough but Florence in one day... I would stay longer. Last time I was there for 1 weeks but I still did not see enough. I don't know about Barcelona.
You are traveling in big cities in Italy so the train should not be too much of a problem. Unless you are traveling during the holidays... remember to check the calendar. Book the train tickets early (check out the trenitalia website; there're a few threads on this topic) I've only had problem once when I traveled from Venice to Rome. The Eurostar train departing from St. Lucia station has been canceled therefore we all had to take the train to the next stop. Watch where the crowds go... then you'll be fine. Most people working in those train stations speak English and very helpful, ask them if you don't speak Italian. Train is the easiest way to travel between cities; bus is a bit difficult for first time travelers to Italy who don't speak Italian. Depends on how often and how far you travel with the train... you need to check out the website to decide whether you should buy the pass.
Plan your route wisely. Whenever there's queue for the place that you are going (for example, Vatican city, Colosseo), do it in the early morning and avoid the crowd.
In the cities it will be easy to move around. You can walk in Florence. Take metro in Milan and Rome (buy a day pass; take you 3 or 4 euro) some people will decide just to walk in Rome as you still need to walk a while from the metro station to the spot you will be visiting. In Venice I took the boat from the train station up to San Marco then walked down.
Thanks for the quick reply. Yup, its done. We have finally booked the flights:
30/9 London - Barcelona
3/10 Barcelona - Rome
8/10 Milan - London
We are fine with Barcelona. It is italy that we are concerned about actually. What would you suggest? Rome - Florence - Venice - Milan? We dun really intend to spend much time in Milan, its just for the sake of ease of catching a flight back to london. So it really leaves us with the route Rome-Florence-Venice to think about. Ideally we would like to see a bit of the famous ruins, some art stuffs, the pisa tower and a bit of the beaches/landscape if possible. What'd you reckon? If you could tell us some of the names of these places it would do us alot of good
also, is it worth booking the train tickets tru trenitalia or we could just buy on the spot? coz if we book it in advance the time will not be flexible..
really forward to this trip.. hope it will all turn out good!
hey there .. the trip seems squeezed but one can definitely do it...had a similar one done last year in italy n spain...11/12 days tho
Rome 2 days .. Florence/pisa a day n half (ideally a day more required for florence) ...venice 2 days ... milan 1 day
Barcelona 3 days madrid 2 1/2 days
I did go the route you are planning to
Rome - Florence/Pisa (pisa is an hour away by train frm florence) - Venice - Milan
Booked my train tickets on the spot . . but would suggest u log in trenitalia to check schedules, that would help. Also sometimes regular tickets will not be available and only first class may be ones u get...which would be a lil expensive..you should book once you reach the city rather then land at the station a few hours before moving on.
Wish i could get back there...
All the best and i am sure you will have a lovely time...post some pics
now ive got a better picture of things that i can expect and it really helps..
we are off to france during the august bank hols.. next up will be november.. i guess we would probably do austria n swiss n maybe denmark or germany...
its back to the drawing board once again..but im enjoying every minute of it..
J & B
in my opinion the time you've planned could be enough (but very strict) to visit the cities you've mentioned, but not to see anything more.
florence rome by fast trains: 2hours and half hours journey,
florence to venice by fast trains 3 hours
venice to milan by fast trains 3 hours
florence pisa 1 hour by regional train (the only train on this route)
check the timetable in trenitalia web site. you can buy the ticket directly at the station, consider that IN Eurostar trains (the fastest and most expensive trains) reservation is mandatory; so that if the train is full you can't get in. Many train routes (f. e. between Florence and milan via Bologna) are covered essentially by ES trains...if they are full you could expect a lot before departing. luckily October is low season, you shouldn't have so much problems (excluding on fridays because of the commuters).
trains are cheap if compared with other european countries, but the service is considerable worst . Delays are very frequent, trains are often old.
this problem need to be to be considered, because a waste of time could be ever possible (and you don't have so much time!!)
REMEMBER TO STAMP THE TICKET before getting in the train (search the yellow boxes in the station or along the tracks.) (return tickets must be convalidated twice, both when you leave and when you come back)