I'm planning on inter-railing in August for about 15 days through Italy. I have always been fascinated by the country and thought what better time to do it. I'm planning on going to Oz in November and thought I would do it when I have the time. Does anyon think I could 15 days too long? or should I see some other countries in the time? Or what about designated routes?
any advice, much appreciated.
Fly into Milan and take the train Lake Como, Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Sienna, Sorrento and then to Rome to fly out of.
By all means 15 days is not to long. Take your time in any of these cities. Each one offering something special. If you are wanting to check off things to see historically you will want to spend more time in Florence and Rome. If you are wanting a relaxed trip Venice and the Almafi coast can't be beat. Get some travel books and decide what you really want. The Dolomites are wonderful and a part if Italy most people do not mention. Due to this you will not have as many tourists if you venture the eastwardly direction.
15 days is not too long at all!
i spent 10 days on the eastern coast visiting a friend and was able to spend time in some of the lesser known towns and villages...(rimini, riccione, cervia, milano-maritimma, ravenna - all wonderful places, full of culture, excellent food, and gorgeous churches)
there are a few clubs in milano-maritimma if you're looking for a good nightlife - check out pinetta...
also visited bologna and spent a day in san marino...
we only had 2 days in florence which was not nearly enough!
venice was charming, but it was swarmed with tourists (even in the dead of winter - i was there in february) i would only spend a day or two there.
First of all you should know that the month of August is smack in the middle of the holiday season in Italy, with the 15th of August, called "ferragosto", being the summit. Secondly you will have to reckon with infernal temperatures in any big city, such as Milan, Bologna, Rome, etc.
Thirdly you will find that the beaches are flooded with holiday makers who, rightly, fled the cities. Consequently it's extremely difficult to find accommodation at reasonable rates in those areas.
The good news is that, if you want to visit historical sites in the cities, you'll have them for yourself.
As far as length of your visit is concerned, any answer is a matter of opinion You can visit the historical sites of Rome and find that 2 months are not enough. You may visit Pompey a few times and find that there are sites which you hadn't noticed before. You can walk and "boat" all over Venice, visit Murano and its glass blowing sites, sip a "cappuccino" on the Piazza San Marco (it'll relieve you of some Euros!), and perhaps go to the Lido di Venezia, if you can find the unlikely quiet spot, and not have enough of it.
I would do some more surfing on the net, get a map of Italy, define your main interests, and pick the locations which are more or less on your train (railpass) route. Italy's boot is pretty long, and that's not including two most interesting parts: Sicily and Sardinia.
I was looking at something like 15 days in Italy as well but I saw that at least for me it definitely wasn't enough so I bumped it up to a whole month. As everyone else has said, 15 days is no problem for Italy, perhaps not enough. You should try to base your trip on your interail routes. I'm sure it covers all the majors though.
I went interrailing in Italy on two seperate occasions, the first for a couple of week and the second for just 10 days.
Both times were too short
There is so much to see and do in Italy. It's a good idea to just pick one area and see it really well. Or you could just do a loop of the major cities on the train.
August is when all the Italians head to the coast so avoid the beaches
As it's going to be HOT the North of Italy around the Lake District (Lombardi) would be a nice place to spend your time.
Lake Garda or Lake Como are really beautiful. you could also cross the border into Switzerland for a day or two if you wanted to from here. The train ride from Milan to Zurich is spectacular!
However, if you want see the cities, I'd say hop on the train and do Milan - Rome - Florence - Venice with a few days in each one.